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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-02-2017, 08:05 PM Thread Starter
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New Tank Advice

Hello
So I'm not new to tanks or plants but it has been a long time since I had one and my knowledge seems to have leaked out my brain. Especially as always had second hand tanks so equipment tended to be inherited.

I'm likely picking up/ordering my new tank this saturday and it will be a 110cmx45cm footprint.

I've decided on black sand as the substrate (likely from Maidenhead Aquatics).

What I could do assistance with is lighting and plants (and any recommendations in the UK), if there are sellers on here even better.

I'm planning low light/tech beginner no CO2 please. LEDs now seem to be a thing - are these any good?

Plant wise understand beginner plants include anubia, crypts, java, swords and vallis. Preferably want taller plants to create a wall at back of tank.

Moss Balls will feature dotted at front. Decorations will be a statue and possibly mopani wood - no idea if anubia/javas can attach to that?
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-02-2017, 09:45 PM
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Welcome back to the hobby Sound pretty well planed out. What about filtration and fertilizers ?

If low tech I would not be overly picky with light. LED are super and look a lot better than any fluorescent fixture, however at low light levels you pretty much break even in terms of power consumption. If you go with LED, pick a fixture that has "full spectrum" LEDs and not a RGB fixture. RGB fixtures, the kind that have a remote, are more for decoration.

As your substrate will be inert, I would recommend you get a good all-in-one fertilizer for the water column. I was pleased with the product and customer service of the CO2supermarket.co.uk .

The plants you list are good but generally slow growers. Swords will also get too big for the tank in my opinion. Mix in a bunch of fast growers like Egeria /Elodea; Juncus repens, Hygrophila corymbosa. hydrocortyle leucocephala. Oh and by the way look into bucephalandra plants, they are somewhat of a trend nowadays. Some moss will also be nice if you plan on having shrimps.

All the best
duky

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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-02-2017, 10:26 PM
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As you go about picking your light, study up on PAR values here on TPT. Essentially, it is the way to measure how much light you should use and is especially useful when picking LED's. For a low-tech setup, keep your PAR values below about 45. If you go higher, you will constantly be fighting algae and starving your plants for CO2.

I would invest in a good quality LED system that has dimming capability, so you can dial-in your intensity. In the UK, Tropic Marine is big (Planted Aquarium Lighting | Aquaray Lighting). Their AquaRay GroBeam LED's are excellent and you can buy a dimmer for them. However, there are many other options of high quality and you can find them here on TPT.

One of the additives that can help quite a bit in adding carbon for the plants is glutaraldehyde. It is available, in brand form, as Flourish Excel, by Seachem, in the US, but I'm sure you can find a substitute in the UK if you can't get Seachem products.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-05-2017, 03:10 PM Thread Starter
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@dukydaf and @Deanna - thanks both for the really informative replies, the plant species and lighting sources really have been helpful.

Filtration - will have a canister fluval 301 which should give good flow in the tank. Ferts - I've always dosed so the Seachem Flourish sounds perfect perhaps along with fert sticks if needed.

The plant recommendations sound really good - thank you so much!
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-05-2017, 07:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lilacamy View Post
Filtration - will have a canister fluval 301 which should give good flow in the tank. Ferts - I've always dosed so the Seachem Flourish sounds perfect perhaps along with fert sticks if needed.
Want to make sure you understand that I recommended Flourish EXCEL, which is different from Flourish. Both are Seachem products, but they have created great confusion by renaming what used to be called Flourish Comprehensive to just Flourish. In fact most of their products names begin with the Flourish name. For a low-tech setup, I would also recommend that you use Flourish (old comprehensive) as well as Flourish Excel. The first add all of the trace you will need and some of the N-P-K macros, while the seconds adds carbon.

I recommend that you have minimum flow of 10 times the volume of your tank water. Example; if you have a 30 gallon tank, then you should have a minimum of 300 gph flow. The gph of a filter will always be lower than the rated number, so check to see how many gph your filter is actually putting out. I prefer to use at least double that number, adding Koralia-type pumps if necessary. The gph is cumulative.
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