I've had my first planted tank for about a year now, and it's been a great learning experience so far. I've learned a lot about lighting, algae, fertilizers, and of course getting plants to grow. On that last item, I've had no trouble - everything I've had has grown extremely well. I've really enjoyed it, but I want to try a slightly different direction. I'd like to do a darker tank for South American fish (tetras/cories) and have slower growing plants.
Here's where my tank is at right now:
- 47 gallon (36x15x20), 2 x 39W T5HO, 9 hour photo period with a 2 hour siesta in the middle;
- Eheim Pro2 filter & Aquaball powerhead;
- Presurized CO2, approx. 5 bps;
- 50% water change weekly;
- EI dry dosing (nothing fancy here - just according to the sticky thread I found on here https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/fe...-regimes_.html
- Have had no serious algae issues for the last 6 or 7 months;
- I've had Glosso, Ludwigia, Pennywort, Pygmy Chain Swords, Aponogetons, Crypts, Java Moss, and Anubias, and everything has grown well. The only issue I've had is that everything seems to grow to monster proportions, and quickly. My fish have done fine too, with no losses.
Now, here's what I'd like to do:
- Drop my lighting down to only one 39W T5HO bulb, still with a 9 hour photo period;
- Change up my plants a bit: one or two large Echinodorus along with some E. tenellus, some Crypts, maybe some Anubias or Java Fern, as well as Java Moss. I'd like to add some floating plants too (maybe Salvinia or Amazon Frogbit).
Now, my questions are:
1. Could I still use pressurized CO2 with low light/slower growing plants? I assume this would fine if I dial it down some, but looking for opinions here.
2. How would I need to fertilize a low light/slow growth tank? Would I just scale back the basic EI method?
3. Would a single 39W T5 bulb be sufficient for my desired plants above?
4. How often would I need to do water changes if I'm no longer doing a strict EI dosing regime? Still once a week, or less since I imagine I wouldn't be using an EI methodology.
Any advice would be great. I'd like to maybe start over with a whole new set-up in October maybe, so between now and then I want to develop a clear plan of action. Any help is greatly appreciated!