I converted a 10 gallon into a low tech planted tank 1.5 months ago. I want to experiment a few things with this tank.
a) No CO2. I want slow, steady growth, low maintanance. I only want to trim the plants once a month or even two months. Can I grow most demanding plants under this condition? I am using Excel initially to speed up the grow-in process and plan to stop it once the tank matures.
b) Some plants are really weedy in my Co2 enriched tank. Apart from growing too fast, they have really long internodes(see discussion in Scolley's cabomba pulcherrima thread). I want to know if I can get more compact growth in this condition.
c) I want to use cheap lights, with "wrong" color temperature. Do the plants care?
d) Would it be an algae farm?
Other stats about this tank:
plain aquarium gravel, no substrate fertilizer/additives.
2x15w screw-on CF bulbs in original incandescent light hood. 2700K(hence, the 'wrong' color temperature). $0.98 each in supermarkets.
25% weekly water change, dose N, P, K, CSM Plantex for trace. A few ml of Excel every few days. I thought I could get away with fish food only for NO3, but I measured 0 NO3(Sorry, Scolley, I know I promised no NO3 deficiency, wink, wink) today when I observed some rotala tips stunting.
Observations of the tank so far:
No plants are melting, even some demanding ones: rotala macrandra, tonina fluviatilis(week old). The macrandra is actually growing some nice red leaves.
All plants are free of any algae, except a little gravel algae and on a few anubias leaves.
Some plants are growing smaller leaves than in CO2 enriched tanks, for example, glosso, r. macrandra, lindernia rotundifolia. Just the effect I like, to make a small tank look bigger. They are otherwise very healthy, the glosso actually has SHINY green leaves.
The internodes are very compact: r. macrandra(compare the top and lower part of the stems), cabomba furcata, sunset hygro, etc. I have to wait a little longer on this one, after all, I let NO3 dropping to zero and it is supposed to compress the internodes.
This is mainly a shrimp tank, with a few small neons:
I will post updates here in the future.