90p mid-tech - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 09-15-2020, 12:37 AM Thread Starter
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90p mid-tech

ĎSimple but niceí is the mantra here.

After exiting the hobby in 2016, I am getting back into it. I learned a lot with my previous 40 breeder and itís starting to come back to me (thanks primarily to this forum). That one started as a low tech and quickly evolved into a maintenance heavy high light CO2 stem growing machine. This time around, I want to find a middle ground between low tech and high tech. Ideally being able to grow and sustain most plants but without being a complicated and maintenance heavy tank.

This is the equipment I have selected:

Tank: Landen 90p. I chose this due to having similar dimensions to a 40B and being familiar with that footprint. Iím a sucker for rimless tanks.

Stand: DIY but inspired by the UNS tank stands. Itís nowhere near the same level of quality, but much cheaper at only $75 in materials. Going DIY was also a good excuse to acquire some new tools.

Light: CurrentUSA Serene Sun LE PRO. I couldnít find much info on this light, but Iím excited to give it a shot. I wanted a remote operated light with a built in timer, color adjustability, and a mid-grade price. CurrentUSA claims decent PAR and the spectrum will help support reds. Only time will tell if it works out.

Filter: UNS 120 with stainless lily pipes. Seems adequate for my needs.

Heater: Hydor in-line ETH-200. I perceive some controversy with these but I had good experiences with them in the past. I got a deal on an opened box that I couldnít pass up.

CO2: FZONE Pro Series Aquarium Dual Stage CO2 Regulator with 5lb bottle. This one seems to be a mimic of the UNS dual stage regulator. It had decent reviews and was cheaper so I figured Iíd give it a shot. For now, Iím using an Aquario Neo Co2 Diffuser and drop checker.

Fertilizers: For now, leaning towards ATP Complete with an autodoser.

For hardscape I ordered some Manzanita Driftwood and 15lb Manten Stone from Pet Zone SD. Iíll be honest, I wasnít too pleased with what I received but thatís the price I paid for buying sight unseen. I think Iíll end up using it since I bought it already, but I would probably spend more and but WYSISWYG if I could do it again.

For substrate, I initially ordered 10L of extra fine Controsoil in black from Aquascape Supply. My plan was to use that for a carpet area with BDBS in the non-carpet area. Long story short, I found out they did not have it in stock like their site suggested with no ETA. It took entirely too much effort to find this out and Iím realizing I probably should have read reviews on Aquascape Supply before ordering. (Side note, I found out that Pet Zone SD and Aquascape Supply Co are one in the same). I canít find Controsoil in black in stock anywhere so substrate is currently TBD. Iím considering Aquasoil, straight BDBS, or anything in between. Suggestions are appreciated!

For plant livestock, I am not set in stone on anything. Iím considering a dry start for a carpeted area, and will likely go with DHG or HC Cuba, or a mixture of both. When I do fill, I would like to plant heavily off the bat so the plant list will largely depend on whatís available when I do plant. These are the species I have shortlisted for now:

Foreground
-Hemianthus callitrichoides Ďcubaí
-Eleocharis acicularis 'Mini'
-Micranthemum 'Monte Carlo'

Midground
Reds:
-Alternanthera reineckii 'Mini'
-Alternanthera rosanervig
-Ammania senegalensis

Greens:
-Hygrophila 'Araguaia'

Background
-Pogostemon erectus

For fish, snails, shrimp, etc. I am still somewhat undecided. I had a GBR pair in my 40B and really enjoyed them. Iíd like another Ďcenterpieceí pair again, maybe even two pairs. 44gallons may be pushing it for that though. Iíll refine this list when I get closer to adding livestock. Here is my shortlist for now:
-Electric Blue ram pair
-Apisto pair
-Tetra variety schooling fish
-Corys
-SAE
-Amano shrimp
-Assassin snail if necessary

So that leaves me with a substrate dilemma. Iíll continue doing research and will likely make a decision based on whatís readily available without breaking the bank. I recognize each has pros and cons. ĎSimple but niceí.

Questions I currently have:
Will BDBS with no root tabs be sufficient for dry-start carpet growth?
Does anyone have experience with this light? Iíd like to hear your experience.

Pictures for now. Once I have my substrate, Iíll begin scaping and update then.

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Last edited by AguaTropical; 09-15-2020 at 02:39 PM. Reason: Photos
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 09-15-2020, 01:21 AM
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Following along..

Awesome start! I canít really give you any advice at the moment, since I am a newbie in the beautiful world of nature style aquariums.

That tank looks very nice! How is the quality glass clarity and silicone work? Never heard of that brand but looks super clean.. Nice plant selection. learning the names as i go of the plants.. Hopefully I pick the right ones. I also recently also got a ADA 60P doing a build at the moment. First high tech attempt

I real your stand came real clean! Looking forward to your build bud!


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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 09-15-2020, 01:41 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Hector_Hinojosa View Post
Following along..

Awesome start! I canít really give you any advice at the moment, since I am a newbie in the beautiful world of nature style aquariums.

That tank looks very nice! How is the quality glass clarity and silicone work? Never heard of that brand but looks super clean.. Nice plant selection. learning the names as i go of the plants.. Hopefully I pick the right ones. I also recently also got a ADA 60P doing a build at the moment. First high tech attempt

I real your stand came real clean! Looking forward to your build bud!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Thanks for your kind words. I've never owned a "name brand" rimless tank like ADA or UNS so I can't compare to their quality, but it seems well built with nice uniform silicone. Glass clarity seems fantastic, but I'll likely be able to judge that better once something is in it.

I just checked out your journal! You've made nice progress so far with a nice selection of top notch components. I'm very jealous of that stand! That is the exact stand that inspired my DIY version.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 09-16-2020, 12:55 AM Thread Starter
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I found UNS Controsoil in stock in brown through Buce Plant. I wanted black originally, but figured brown will be fine since it will primarily be covered by plants and hardscape. I wanted this particular substrate because it does not leach ammonia but still fosters beneficial bacteria (versus an inert substrate like BDBS) and provides beneficial nutrients for plants. After further research, attempting a carpet of any type in an inert substrate seemed futile. Controsoil will also balance well with my desired fertilizer approach, which ideally will fall somewhere between EI and ADA methods.

Iím considering get an RO filter to make mineralized water with my desired parameters. Although, I tested my tap water parameters today and theyíre not bad at all.


My tap water conditions:
PH 7.6
3.2 dHG
3.0 dKH
TDS 43ppm


My ideal water conditions:
pH around 6.8
GH around 4-6 dH
KH can be relatively low due to the presence of my buffering substrate
TDS less than 100ppm is satisfactory


I also purchased the DD Jumpguard PRO DIY net screen cover. I hope this doesnít interfere with the light to much but Iíve had problems with fishes jumping ship before. Thereís also cats in the house, but Iím not so sure if this will hold the weight of the cat.

Lastly, I purchased a Kamoer X1 Single Bluetooth Micropump Doser for fertilizer. This will make things easier if and when I travel for work, and is modular in the sense that additional pumps can be added later down the road if necessary.

Now to decide if I should go the DSM route (with DHG, HC Cuba, etc.) or flood right away using high biomass and the silent cycling method.
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