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Thread: Low Tech Tank Show-and-Tell (low tech can be lush, too! =) Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
Today 11:21 PM
Dan110024 Those lighting fixtures look surprisingly easy to make! Looks good.
Today 10:01 AM
burr740 Some really great looking tanks on this page^^^


Here's a 20 long I recently brought back from the dead. For almost a year it was nothing more than a depository for cuttings and plantlets that I didnt want to throw away. I'd just toss stuff in there and forget about it. Had an old standard hood with a single T8. Couple months ago I finally decided to plant a few things properly and make a presentable low tech.

It's mainly crypts and swords off bigger plants Ive had in my 75 at one point or another. There's a java fern on a rock, and an anubias on the wood. Plus a couple other random sprigs.

Substrate - Black Diamond blasting sand, a little bit of regular black aquarium gravel.
Ferts - a heavy application of Osmocote+ root tabs.
Filter - Some kind of old Whisper HOB
Light - two T8 bulbs in a homemade box. Pics of that to follow.

After about a month I started dosing Excel, because the light is borderline too much.

Livestock is a 4 fancy guppies, 2 platys, 2 ottos, and a baby bristle nose pleco.


First planting -




Couple months later, it's coming along pretty well.




Ignore that big clump of Willow moss, lol. It's just sitting there until I decide what to do with it.




Here's the light. I just made a simple wooden box and mounted two cheap 24" household fixtures inside. Then added a reflector made out of aluminum flashing.


Today 08:11 AM
Dan110024 I don't know what the exact rules are for low tech, so forgive me if it's a little more than typical low tech. I dose excel and half strength EI but still have low light and obviously no pressurised CO2. I also added DIY root tabs 4 days ago.

I planted it one week ago. I'm amazed at how fast some of the plants are growing. I don't think my high tech tank has ever had plants grow this fast before. It kind of doesn't make sense. Haha. I added some left over star grass to my high tech tank (ADA AS, EI, CO2 & High light) and it's grown faster in the low tech tank.

Here is the tank 24 hours after I'd planted, once the water cleared up....



And here it is exactly 7 days after planting. The star grass has taken off. The vallis isn't doing badly either and the amazon sword is growing a little too.



This thread is what pushed me over the edge to setup a low tech tank. It really shows that low tech can indeed be lush and healthy. From looking at everyones tanks through this thread, I figured it was best to start out with as many plants as you can fit. I didn't want to see the back of the tank at all. I think I've come close enough to accomplishing that, and it's still only freshly planted. I don't think I can fit in another bunch of vallis in the back there. I actually almost didn't have room to plant the last couple. Hopefully it stays as healthy as it is now
01-12-2015 09:31 PM
mesohorny
Quote:
Originally Posted by caffeinetherapy View Post
That's an awesome piece of driftwood.
thanks; a good find. it's actually 2 I set up to look like a gnarly stump. the wonder of zip ties!
01-12-2015 04:28 PM
goomba Love this tank!!


Quote:
Originally Posted by BigJay180 View Post
180 gallon
Eheim Pro2, Fluval FX6, Hydor inline
Lights are one 48" T8 plant light, and two 36" T5HO fixtures with three bulbs each (two 6500K and one 650nm red)
Fish: Various Rainbows and Harlequin Rasboras.
Ferts: One EI dry fert NPK dose weekly after a 60% water change, micros the day after. Sometimes I'll do a 50% EI NPK dose mid week.
CO2: Excel maintenance dose daily every night.
01-11-2015 04:58 PM
Sparklescale This is my little newbie tank...about 2 cups volume. It has a dirt bottom capped with pool filter sand, one piece of New Mexico sandstone and planted with Pennywort, Ludwigia repensxarcuata, Anubias nana petite, Lilaeopsis macloviana, Hydrocotle tripartite, and frogbit. These pics were taken right after I set this up, so, waiting to see what kind of growth it gets. This gets side light from my 2g jar.
01-03-2015 02:33 AM
hitmanx Update:

Tank with far more moss on the driftwood... the CPD's have dwindled to 7, but the 7 yellow forktail furcatus have become very healthy. ..

I guess because I am using only RO water for topoff , the KH also fell to below 2 and a subsequent ph crash happened resulting in my amano shrimp population also crashing down to 3 sorry looking shrimp...

I added baking soda slowly to to raise it to 5 but it's again lowered to 3 over a month...

Before this I finally changed about 50% of the water with RO over the course of several weeks to reduce the gh to 16 and my ph remains at 8.0 but I recently acquired a tds meter and it's reading 1020ppm...

My other low tech 5.5 gallon also reads over 1000ppm but it has a thriving RCS colony and very healthy amano shrimp... so who knows...

the only difference between these tanks is aquasoil malaya vs flourite black sand and no fish vs fish
01-03-2015 01:46 AM
caffeinetherapy That's an awesome piece of driftwood.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mesohorny View Post
doesn't seem to compare to most on here, but I figured i'd share my low tech tank.

27g cube, estimated PAR of 30 at the level of the substrate. dose excel flourish daily, Fe and trace after weekly changes of roughly 20%

a young tank, running for 2 months. various Crypts with some Ludwigia stems. still working out the details on livestock; just a few tetras and RCS now, looking to focus on invertebrates, but still learning about what all is compatible. also combating hydra ...
01-03-2015 12:33 AM
knm<><

My 7.5, only has a 12" stingray for light.
12-17-2014 04:11 PM
mesohorny doesn't seem to compare to most on here, but I figured i'd share my low tech tank.

27g cube, estimated PAR of 30 at the level of the substrate. dose excel flourish daily, Fe and trace after weekly changes of roughly 20%

a young tank, running for 2 months. various Crypts with some Ludwigia stems. still working out the details on livestock; just a few tetras and RCS now, looking to focus on invertebrates, but still learning about what all is compatible. also combating hydra ...
12-07-2014 11:52 AM
Saxtonhill I so enjoy revisiting this thread to see all the creative ideas! Such lovely tanks! And great discussions on what worked and what didn't work.
12-01-2014 05:53 PM
mattjm20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Twisty View Post
I went extremely low tech with it. The lighting is 1x39w on for five hours a day with no CO2 and ferts once every ten days or so.



Lots of root tabs and tap water top offs once a week with water changes about once every 45-60 days.



I dose Excel once or twice a week and feed the fish about three times a week. I do get a little BBA from time to time but I clip the leaf and go on.





I've thought about breaking this down and starting over again but it's so easy keeping this going. The tank is almost two years old now and I wish I would've put a little more thought into the layout on the front end but this was my first planted tank and it's been a valuable learning tool.

Thanks for looking and thanks for starting a post like this.
I can't believe you have such good growth with that level of lighting and short photo period. That is awesome, congrats. Don't worry too much about the layout... no, it's not some crazy dutch scape but it looks very cool. I've got a 90G with MGOPS and 4 T5HO (I don't run all four all day because I'd have algae issues) that is considerably less lush than this. RE: tank to tank comparison, I think I need new bulbs because I started with stock T5's and also the distance from the surface to the plants is much different than a 40B. But again, this is an awesome tank. I'd put a pair of apistos in there to breed and call it a day
12-01-2014 02:14 AM
BigJay180 180 gallon
Eheim Pro2, Fluval FX6, Hydor inline
Lights are one 48" T8 plant light, and two 36" T5HO fixtures with three bulbs each (two 6500K and one 650nm red)
Fish: Various Rainbows and Harlequin Rasboras.
Ferts: One EI dry fert NPK dose weekly after a 60% water change, micros the day after. Sometimes I'll do a 50% EI NPK dose mid week.
CO2: Excel maintenance dose daily every night.
12-01-2014 02:13 AM
Greggz This is my 120 gallon Rainbow Tank.

I consider it a fish tank with plants, not really a planted tank.

Thinking of going CO2 and going to next step, but my set up is really easy to care for now.
Attachment 397354
11-11-2014 06:24 PM
Hilde
Quote:
Originally Posted by extrame View Post
here's my low tech tank, hope you guys like it
Lovely. That must be a docile Betta in with the Neon Tetras
This thread has more than 15 replies. Click here to review the whole thread.

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