I converted my fish only tank to a low-tech tank. I wanted to get some input to make sure I'm off to a great start. My goal was to follow a low-tech approach similar to some write-ups by Tom Barr re low-tech tanks. I want to have a low-tech plant with low maintenance, minimal water changes, etc.
Some info on my setup:
- My tank is 75 gal.
- My lights are 2x54w ho t5 bulbs with tek reflectors and I run those 12hrs a day.
- My substrate is Turface MVP, I have about 6 in in the back and sloped to 3in in the front before laying the gravel down I sprinkled peat moss on the bottom.
- 12 ottos
- 20 amano shrimp (added yesterday)
- 7 misc barbs/tetras
- 5 skunk cory's
- Removed 2 paradise gouramis today to save the small amano's
- About 8 large clumps of Java fern
- a few Chain sword (Echinodorus tenellus)
- 2 stems of Cabomba caroliniana var. caroliniana
- 3 stems of Bacopa
- A few stems of Wisteria (Hygrophila difformis)
- About 15 Cyrpts green and brown leaves
- A couple of Anacharis strands (Egeria densa)
- 3 large clumps of hornwort (CERATOPHYLLYM DEMERSUM)
- 2 anubias nana
The tank was previously established as a fish only. I changed the substrate and started adding plants around 2 weeks ago on Aug 10. The tank is fully cycled already because I already had fish in it Nitrites=0, ammonia=0, Nitrates~40ppm, ph ~ 7.8. I have not done any dosing yet but was planning on doing minimal dosing probably starting in a few weeks.
So far the plants are looking good, however I am seeing hair algae begin to form on some of the plants. Looks like over the last week is when it started on a bacopa and is spreading. I can see small strands on almost all the plants now. I've also noticed the brown diatoms begin to start forming on various plants.
I'm thinking part of what I need is to replace some of my Java fern with faster growing stem plants to out-compete algae like more Hygro's, Limnophila sessiliflora, ludwigia repens, etc I was also considering getting 4-5 SAE's but not sure about that yet and I know that's not a solution to the algae.
Any guidance would be appreciated. I'm enjoying this but I'm a little concerned that I may need to make some adjustments here.
Here's a couple of pics. Don't let the tank background fool you, I need to replace/remove it. It makes it look like I have more plants than I really do.
One pic is the left side one is the right side: