Well, I bit the bullet...
Planted Tank Forums
Your Tanks Image Hosting *Tank Tracker * Plant Profiles Fish Profiles Planted Tank Guide Photo Gallery Articles

Go Back   The Planted Tank Forum > General Planted Tank Forums > Low Tech Forum


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 10-17-2012, 09:29 PM   #1
snakebite
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: LBC
Posts: 51
Default

Well, I bit the bullet...


I have a 40g breeder that has been sitting around for years and I would like to put it to use so I decided I wanted to try a low light planted tank and I need your assistance

Substrate - (2) 20lbs bags of black Eco-Complete
Lighting - ? trying to locate a used one on craigslist
Filteration - XP3
Decor - Manzanita driftwood
Flora - Undecisive but definitely HC or Marsilea for ground cover. I'll have to look at the pinned thread for low light plants.
Ferts - Should I dose Seachem Flourish or excell or add root tabs for the HC?

I'd perfer purchasing plants from members on here but is there any other places where I can shop online like Bobstropicalplants.com or aquariumplants.com?

On a side note: I've been lurking through the low tech tank show - and -tell. It is very inspiring
snakebite is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 10-17-2012, 09:43 PM   #2
Pooky125
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
PTrader: (3/100%)
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Philomath, OR
Posts: 859
Send a message via AIM to Pooky125 Send a message via MSN to Pooky125 Send a message via Yahoo to Pooky125 Send a message via Skype™ to Pooky125
Default

I think my 40 breeder had about 80ish pounds of eco complete. Maybe 90. So, 4-5 bags should suffice? But, we actually have a Substrate Calculator built into this website. You might want to check that out for a better idea.

That said, I would totally vote for skipping paying a fortune for substrate, and instead going the dirt/pool filter sand/blasting sand cap method instead. For the price of one bag of eco, you can do your entire tank, and long term it will offer far more nutrients then eco complete.

HC won't grow in a lowlight tank. That much I know. I've never had luck with marsilea either, but I think that's just me.

You might want to check out fleabay for cheap lighting. 3 foot fixtures tend to be on the rarer side, and thus a little more expensive.

If you stick with eco complete, yeah, throw root tabs down. It's certainly not going to hurt anything. Dosing florish or excel on a tank that size is going to cost ALOT though. If you really want to dose, or incorporate co2, you'd be better off buying a regulator and co2 tank, and dry ferts from one of our vendors and going about it that way. Personally though, I'm not sure that it's necessary.
Pooky125 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-17-2012, 11:51 PM   #3
wheatiesl337
Planted Tank Obsessed
 
PTrader: (20/100%)
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Davis, CA
Posts: 317
Default

Having had much success with organic potting soil capped with blasting sand, I second the above comment if you are looking to save on costs.

It also sounds like you should be putting in quite a bit more research so you can pick a method and stick with it. Low-light is not necessarily low-tech. Being a fan of low-tech, I have not grown HC as a ground cover. Do you want to be dealing with keeping c02 steady, fertilizing every day, and running frequent water changes? Something to consider.

Otherwise, you can consider a slow growing set-up that doesn't require much upkeep once it's going. I personally like crypts, java fern, and anubias.

Finally, front-load your effort. If you get the set-up right initially, you stand a better chance of avoiding a long and drawn out fight with algea. I personally would recommend doing some research into dry-starts.
wheatiesl337 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-18-2012, 12:19 AM   #4
Knotyoureality
Wannabe Guru
 
Knotyoureality's Avatar
 
PTrader: (3/100%)
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Mesa, AZ
Posts: 1,050
Default

Totally get shopping by opportunity, but until you know what your light is going to end up being, tough to know what plants/ferts are going to be workable. You might end up at low light, or luck out and find a great light setup that puts you into moderate/high light.

While you're waiting, might be worth your time to sleuth around the DIY lighting threads. It's possible to put together excellent light systems on the cheap if you've a little know-how.
Knotyoureality is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-18-2012, 07:48 PM   #5
snakebite
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: LBC
Posts: 51
Default

With 80lbs of eco-complete that should give me a little of 2" of depth. I found acouple light fixtures for a pretty cheap(too cheap too be true). (2) 36W T5HO for $50 or (4) 36W T5HO for $100 but I'm not sure if I would be able to keep up with this lighting.

If anything I'll run a DIY co2 with cerges reactor and ferts...well, I'll do some reading on that as well.

Regarding HC as ground cover I don't mind fertilizing everyday and doing frequent water changes but again that wouldn't be low tech so I'll look at other options.
snakebite is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-18-2012, 08:07 PM   #6
wheatiesl337
Planted Tank Obsessed
 
PTrader: (20/100%)
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Davis, CA
Posts: 317
Default

If you do run DIY C02, I would suggest looking into a multi-container set-up. I had a hard time keeping c02 levels stable with a single container because it takes time for new yeast-mixtures to get going. With multiple containers, you can alternate when you change the mixtures.

Best of luck. I am sure with enough research on these forums, you will be able to find a method you like.
wheatiesl337 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-18-2012, 09:15 PM   #7
PaulG
Planted Tank Obsessed
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: England
Posts: 355
Default

Eco complete is a waste of money.
__________________
Fraternity of dirt no. 60.

Got a tank? Doing it filterless? Add it here!

http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...d.php?t=221729
PaulG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-18-2012, 09:45 PM   #8
snakebite
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: LBC
Posts: 51
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by wheatiesl337 View Post
If you do run DIY C02, I would suggest looking into a multi-container set-up. I had a hard time keeping c02 levels stable with a single container because it takes time for new yeast-mixtures to get going. With multiple containers, you can alternate when you change the mixtures.

Best of luck. I am sure with enough research on these forums, you will be able to find a method you like.
Thanks Wheatiesl!

Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulG View Post
Eco complete is a waste of money.
Paul, enlighten me please.

I just got done reading about eco-complete being too coarse for small rooted plants.

I might just use organic potting soil like previously mentioned, Yesterday I read something about a 50lb(?) bag can be purchased at home depot and what do people usually cap their soil with? I really don't want to use any type of sand, I perfer a dark substrate
snakebite is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-18-2012, 10:29 PM   #9
Pooky125
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
PTrader: (3/100%)
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Philomath, OR
Posts: 859
Send a message via AIM to Pooky125 Send a message via MSN to Pooky125 Send a message via Yahoo to Pooky125 Send a message via Skype™ to Pooky125
Default

Eco complete doesn't have any actual nutrients in it. It just has a high CEC content. Which, in laymans terms, means it can absorb nutrients from the water, and release them to the plants, but doesn't actually carry any nutrients of its own. (If anyone else can explain that better, please do!)

There are a few dark sands out there. Sand blasting sand, like Black Diamond can be picked up from Tractor Supply, and such places for pretty inexpensively. There's a lot of information about it here on the forum, but basically, it's sand, it's black, it's cheap, and it's aquarium safe.

4 T5HO's are definitely, no second thoughts, going to be to much light. Even 2 is going to put you into the, needing co2, and daily ferts level of lighting, but I'm thinking you SHOULD be able to grow almost anything with it. Though odds are pretty good you're going to have to suspend it above the aquarium.
Pooky125 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-19-2012, 03:53 PM   #10
snakebite
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: LBC
Posts: 51
Default

Thanks for the info Pooky125, helpful people like you motivate entry level hobbyist to succeed in a new hobby.

I'll be picking up (4)39w T5HO 6500k. I've also been reading on regulators and co2, it's alot to take in and could be overwelming.

I might just pick up some organic potting soil by miracle gro(from home depot?) and cap it with black beauty or simple black sand if I'm not able to locate black beauty.

Okay, so far...
  • Lighting - (4)39w T5HO
  • Filter - XP3
  • Substrate - Miracle gro organic soil, capped with black sand
  • CO2 - Still reading million different opinions on regulators

Ferts - I've yet to read anything regarding this.

I'm slowly gathering everything, anything else I need to look out for?
snakebite is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-19-2012, 05:54 PM   #11
Pooky125
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
PTrader: (3/100%)
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Philomath, OR
Posts: 859
Send a message via AIM to Pooky125 Send a message via MSN to Pooky125 Send a message via Yahoo to Pooky125 Send a message via Skype™ to Pooky125
Default

Miracle grow can definitely be found at home depot. It's in an orange bag, and usually in with the house plants. You might need 2 bags, for a tank that large. You want about an inch of dirt below the cap.

I would add a heater to that mix. Since you're getting a canister filter, an inline heater would probably be the best bet. Hydor, makes them, though off the top of my head, I have no idea if an XP3 has 1/2" or 5/8" tubing, so you'll have to look that up and order appropriately.

As for ferts, this really isn't my area of expertise. I keep it on the low tech side of things. HOWEVER, I do know that most people on this forum dose EI (estimate index), pretty successfully these days. A quick search for that should bring you up LOTS of information. They can also help you out on where to get dry ferts from, rather then buying premixed stuff from a pet store for outrageous costs.
Pooky125 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-19-2012, 10:55 PM   #12
PaulG
Planted Tank Obsessed
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: England
Posts: 355
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pooky125 View Post
Eco complete doesn't have any actual nutrients in it. It just has a high CEC content. Which, in laymans terms, means it can absorb nutrients from the water, and release them to the plants, but doesn't actually carry any nutrients of its own. (If anyone else can explain that better, please do!)

Yes, this. Given the high price it's much better to choose something like the ADA substrates.
__________________
Fraternity of dirt no. 60.

Got a tank? Doing it filterless? Add it here!

http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...d.php?t=221729
PaulG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-19-2012, 11:37 PM   #13
storrisch
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (6/100%)
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: minneapolis, mn
Posts: 148
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulG View Post
Yes, this. Given the high price it's much better to choose something like the ADA substrates.
You can get eco-complete for half if not a third of the price of ADA substrates.
__________________
Garrett Brueland

The Fraternity of Dirt #52
storrisch is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 11:05 PM.


Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright Planted Tank LLC 2012