First Time Low Tech Tank - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 05-21-2018, 04:15 AM Thread Starter
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First Time Low Tech Tank

Hi Everyone!
I’m starting a low tech 29 gallon (30”x20”x12”) tank and wanted to run my setup ideas past experienced eyes. I don’t want to do CO2 as it is a bit too pricey and I am not comfortable with it around my very little kids (tank is in living room). I also don’t need massive growth, but I do recognize that I won’t get the same coloration and max vibrancy of CO2.

Substrate: ADA Aquasoil Amazonia (2 9L bags + 3L Powder for front carpet area). I am also planning to put some SeaChem Black Florite under/in the egg crate supports for my rocks. I decided to bite the bullet and spend on substrate since it seems to be a big help for getting started and I don’t want to do root tabs.

Filtration: Hydor 350 canister with stock materials + Purigen. I don’t want to have to mess with carbon every couple of weeks.

Light: I plan on getting a Beamswork DHL 30” after reviewing clownplanted’s post about par data. I am hoping to grow some carpeting plants and need enough light to reach the bottom of the tank. The lighting is the most confusing part of where to begin... is this a low or medium light? Will I have enough PAR at the bottom? Is it too much light (especially the top third of the tank) w/o CO2? Any advice would be helpful. I am trying not to spend $$$ on Fluval Planted 3.0, but is it worth it for a beginner?

Plant List:
My research so far shows that these should all do “okay” in a low tech tank. Some confirmation would be appreciated. I do plan on heavily planting from the start.

S Repens, Monte Carlo, & Crypt Parva (small carpet areas)
Crypt Wedtii (green, brown & red)
Crypt Lutea
Helanthium Tenellum Green
Blyxa Japonica
Bucephalandra (still narrowing down)
Anubias Nana “Petite”
Java & Flame Moss
Amazon Sword & Needle Leaf Java Fern (background corner)

I plan on doing potassium and iron but trying to avoid nitrate fertalizers per Kevin Novak on YouTube. He suggests that most aquatic plants don’t uptake the extra nitrates directly and that it can mostly encourage algae. I know everyone has their own plan for ferts and I have to see how the tank gets off the ground, but what do the good folks here think of this line of reasoning?

Thanks for taking a look!
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 05-21-2018, 04:26 AM
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I'm a little skeptical of S Repens, Monte Carlo and Blyxa Japonica for low tech. Those are the only ones that strike me as really needing CO2 to do ok. They might survive without it, but you want good looking plants right? Otherwise, the list looks solid.

Between the parva and the helanthium, you've got a couple carpet options, but in case you want more, take a look at littorella uniflora and sagittaria subulata.

Nitrate: depending on your livestock load vs your plants, you may eventually need it. I eventually did after NO3 was stuck at 30 ppm for months. Don't neglect micros, and if you need nitrate, you might need phosphate at that point, too.

Last edited by Mike!; 05-21-2018 at 04:35 AM. Reason: Alternatives
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 05-21-2018, 04:12 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for your thoughts Mike!

I am hoping the ADA will help the s repens and mc get going, but if not I can try to work on spreading the parva around. I plan on doing small features of each in different areas, so if something doesn’t work it shouldn’t bring down the whole ship. The blyxa is for accent near larger rocks, but I am considering the littorella you mentioned so thanks.

As for fertilizer, I think you are right that I will need to do an all-in-one once everything is established, but I am hoping that the focus on K-Fe at the start will help me manage the algae outbreaks the I read about with new tanks. I’m not sold on EI but I will look into which product will work best for me and how I want to dose when I add in a more generalized fertilizer.

Thanks Again!
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 05-22-2018, 06:05 PM
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Bucephalandra will need potassimum nitrate. Spectricide stump remover is %100 KNO3. Can be bought at local hardware store in some states. Is illegal in some states
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