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Old 01-15-2010, 11:30 PM   #1
Firestarter
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Starting low tech ghetto 90g planted aquarium


I will be picking up the tank tomorrow. Today I bought the gravel 160lbs of pea pebbles that took four hours to clean and rinse LOL. Not sure what I will have in there but I have some hair grass java moss chain sword and riccia that I could put in there. Not sure about the riccia though since the aquarium only has a standard four foot fixture with two bulbs. I will be starting it out with a whisper 3 filter that is good for up to sixty gallon aquarium to get it cycled using filter media and some gravel from cycled aquarium. Anyone else with low tech 90g aquarium?

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Old 01-16-2010, 01:08 AM   #2
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My 90gal is low tech (all of my tanks are, actually LOL)

If you've got a single or even double bulb T8 fixture, you'll do best sticking with the hardiest of low light plants; Java fern, Java moss, Anubias, mosses, etc. Perhaps some Crypts and swords. I think the plants you've listed so far will probably survive (the hairgrass is iffy) but not grow much if at all. Riccia would probably float OK.

You might consider adding a Coralife T5NO to your current fixture, that would be an economical fixture to bump your lighting to where it's more likely to support better plant growth (and a wider variety of plants) yet not need CO2.
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Old 01-16-2010, 01:29 AM   #3
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Shortly before my sister tore this down she bought some kind of coral bulbs said they were like 70 for the two but will have to see what she has in there. Thanks for the advice. I will move some of the hair grass from the 10g and see what it does. I have java moss outgrowing it's allowed space and the same with the chain sword. And riccia just floats most of the time anyway so I will give some of that a shot too. I have CO2 so that is not a problem I may add some to help.
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Old 01-16-2010, 01:34 AM   #4
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Unless you've got a pressurized CO2 setup, don't bother with DIY on a 90gal.
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Old 01-16-2010, 01:46 AM   #5
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Currently have a 20lb tank with regulator. And a 2.5lb cylinder for when the 20lb is getting filled. Currently have 52 watts of compact fluorescent light and CO2 on my 10g. Plants are growing like crazy.
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Old 01-18-2010, 04:40 AM   #6
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Only used about 90lb of pea pebbles gravel. Two full bags that I got plus some I had from when I did my 10g. It's full of water and the cycling begins. Once let it sit long enough to remove some chlorine. Sometimes the town adds enough chlorine that the water smells like a pool.
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Old 01-18-2010, 01:04 PM   #7
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The only thing that stinks right now is that the fixture that came with it did not work good. Having to play with the switch and wiggle bulbs is not my idea of safe. So after dismantling the fixture I found that it was so badly corroded from salt that I am afraid to use it. Mostly because of the ballast they looked like wet salt crystals when I opened it up. Since the ballasts are right where the vents are and the salt splash went through there is ate them up. So I am thinking if I can find a t5 ballast or t5 shop light fixture and just mount it inside this fixture. There are a few standard four foot shop fixtures that would fit inside if I can't find a t5 fixture.
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Old 01-19-2010, 07:23 PM   #8
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Finally got light for the 90g aquarium. I ended up going with a two bulb T12 fixture and bough two phillips T12 40watt daylight deluxe bulbs 6500k. Wondering what I can grow with these.
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Old 01-20-2010, 04:45 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Firestarter View Post
Finally got light for the 90g aquarium. I ended up going with a two bulb T12 fixture and bough two phillips T12 40watt daylight deluxe bulbs 6500k. Wondering what I can grow with these.
Not much. You're going to be limited to the very hardiest of low light plants, which will probably survive but not put on much visible growth; Java ferns, mosses, Anubias, POSSIBLY some swords or crypts if they're planted directly under the bulbs...

If you could add a Coralife T5NO fixture from www.BigAlsOnline.com, this would greatly increase your plant options yet still keep you in the low light/no CO2 needed range.
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Old 01-20-2010, 05:27 PM   #10
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I would like to keep this low tech for a while and once I am ready to buy good lighting I will get one and use CO2. But for now I am going really low tech and basic here. I am trying a variety of plants that I have just to see what happens. I had some extra java moss, drarf hair grass, micro sword and riccia so I threw it in there to see what happens. Hopefully I can get some java fern sometime. Not looking to go crazy with plants. I would be happy if I could make something that looks like my 10g.
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Old 01-20-2010, 05:32 PM   #11
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The java moss will probably do fine, the Riccia will probably do OK floating, but I doubt the microsword or hairgrass will survive. No hurt in trying since you've got them, of course.

Keep in mind that in a 10gal, the plants are pretty close to the light. In a 90gal, plants at the bottom of the tank will be a LONG way from the light and get little to none from your current fixture, especially if they happen to get shaded.
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Old 01-20-2010, 05:32 PM   #12
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But you can't really grow a variety with that lighting. Like Laura said, you might be able to get some javas or moss to survive in there, but I doubt you will see any growth. The basis of a planted tank is the lighting, and if you don't have that you can't really go planted....
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Old 01-20-2010, 05:44 PM   #13
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I also have a big bunch of chain sword do you think that has a chance? What I read says low light. But I may just keep this bunch in the 10g and use small bunches in the 90g if there is not much chance of it gwoing.
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Old 01-20-2010, 06:15 PM   #14
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I wouldn't bother with plants for the bottom of the tank until you've upgraded the lighting, personally.

I'm running 108 watts of T5HO over my own low tech 90gal, and the carpeting plants still fill in very slowly.
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Old 01-20-2010, 06:38 PM   #15
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Ok. I will just stick with the easy stuff wish it was summer I would really like to get some stuff from the local creek and see what grows in there. That is where I got my riccia and duck weed.
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