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Old 11-29-2012, 04:05 PM   #1
Betta132
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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?
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Old 11-29-2012, 05:24 PM   #2
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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.
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Old 11-29-2012, 08:44 PM   #3
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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.
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My adventures in keeping Indostomus crocodilus, the crocodile toothpick fish. AKA armored stickleback, paradox fish, and freshwater pipefish. Care is (to the best of my knowledge) exactly the same as Indostomus paradoxus.
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Old 11-29-2012, 10:29 PM   #4
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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.
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Old 11-30-2012, 07:47 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Betta132 View Post
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.
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Old 12-01-2012, 05:09 PM   #6
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Alright, thanks! What lighting strength/brand do you recommend?
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My adventures in keeping Indostomus crocodilus, the crocodile toothpick fish. AKA armored stickleback, paradox fish, and freshwater pipefish. Care is (to the best of my knowledge) exactly the same as Indostomus paradoxus.
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