Will my set-up work? No CO2
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Old Yesterday, 06:32 PM   #1
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Will my set-up work? No CO2

Hello all, I'm new to planted aquariums, and have never set one up before... although I have been doing lots and lots of research. My main question is... Will my set up work? (Iwagumi)
I bought a marineland penguin 350 (for up to 70) gallons since it was on sale, and am currently waiting for Petco's dollar per gallon sale to buy a 50 gallon tank. My lighting will be a 4ft fluorescent light fixture with 2 6500k bulbs (I have 2 of these lights in my mini greenhouse for my carnivorous plant collection, and the plants are growing great!)
I'm going to find some rocks that won't change the chemistry of the water at a landscaping rock place near where I live.
At first I wanted a carpet of dwarf HC, but they require CO2 to grow well, and I heard that dwarf hairgrass isn't as needy, so I'm going to give it a shot. To keep algae from growing, I'm deciding on whether to buy floating plants (dwarf water lettuce) or a UV sterilizer then take them out when the carpet of dwarf HG is well established. For substrate, I found Caribsea eco-complete for $22 per 20 pound bag on amazon. Then once everything is well established, i'll add some neon tetras ( would I have to cycle my planted tank for this?)
Very excited for this!
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Old Yesterday, 08:46 PM   #2
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Dwarf hair grass is a craps shoot without co2. I could get it to grow without co2 in sunlight but not in my lower lift tank, and it takes forever. Dwarf sag would be a better choice. Plus water lettuce will cut out most of the light the dhg will need, unless u can keep it in a certain area. I am more of a fan of dirt tanks due to cost but everything else seems fine to me. With enough plants and just a few fish your tank should cycle silently but I don't know about the caribsea and if it releases ammonia like ada soil.
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Old Yesterday, 09:49 PM   #3
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if your waiting on the petco sale you will be waiting a long time they just had it
not sure when it comes around again for a smal but bigger than a nano i like the breeders better go dirt and sand
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Old Yesterday, 10:41 PM   #4
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For non-co2 I've seen better results with a dirt & cap than with commercial substrates. DHG does take time to fill in though without co2; if you have a smaller foreground in a 50gal it could be doable. Ironically i find that it requires more light to grow well than compared to a co2 enriched tank. While it is taking time to fill in you then need to have other faster growing stuff to out compete the algae. If you're new to planted tanks i wouldn't recommend DHG in such a setup. Dwarf sag, micro sword, moss, these are easier to start with.
Regards, Dennis
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iwagumi, low tech, no c02

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