New low-tech tank, seeking advice (56k warning )
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Old 08-28-2006, 10:55 PM   #1
Algae Grower
PTrader: (3/100%)
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: texas
Posts: 43
Question New low-tech tank, seeking advice (56k warning )

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:

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