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-   -   Want to set up a low-tech planted tank (http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/showthread.php?t=198785)

Betta132 11-29-2012 05:05 PM

Want to set up a low-tech planted tank
 
Hi! I currently have a 20g tank stocked with a decent school each of zebra danios and cories, as well as 3 ghost shrimp, two female bettas, and a male swordtail. It has a tiny swordplant in it, a sponge filter, and the light that came with the tank. So, all in all, it's a mess.
I want to turn it into a low-tech planted tank, and may get a larger tank over Christmas. I have some dry compost, with no manure, and was thinking of mixing it with black sand for substrate. Will this work? I tested to make sure the soil won't turn the tank into a cesspool.
I will be dosing with Flourite Excel, but I still need plants that aren't high-demand. I may get a better light, but I'm not sure. What plants like medium-ish light and no extra fertilizer? I must note that our water is rock-hard, but we have a softener, so it's not too hard.
I will definitely have java fern and java moss, possibly swordplants or peacock moss. Any other suggestions? Tips? Size of tank that will fit on a 24" by 14" stand?

ony 11-29-2012 06:24 PM

Be careful with the water softener as most are not suitable for aquariums and do not reduce the TDS at all, other than that it sounds like you are on the right track.

Betta132 11-29-2012 09:44 PM

I'm pretty sure the softener is fish-safe, as it's hooked up to the whole house and my current fish don't seem to mind. In fact, a couple have been showing even brighter colors since it was installed.
Do you have any plant recommendations? Now that I look at the tank, the lighting is probably considered low.

ony 11-29-2012 11:29 PM

http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...ad.php?t=56042

I don't know of any whole house softeners that are fish safe so I really do recommend you do a little research and make sure it wont have any long term effects.

Coldnorthtoy 11-30-2012 08:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Betta132 (Post 2093320)
I have some dry compost, with no manure, and was thinking of mixing it with black sand for substrate. Will this work? I tested to make sure the soil won't turn the tank into a cesspool.

You'll probably want to lay the compost down first, and then cap it with the black sand to keep the dirt 'down.' That seems to be the normal approach, and that's what I did on my two 5.5's, and it works beautifully.

Betta132 12-01-2012 06:09 PM

Alright, thanks! What lighting strength/brand do you recommend?


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