My Low Tech Setup - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-19-2015, 04:45 AM Thread Starter
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My Low Tech Setup

Just wondering what you guys think about my low tech 10 gallon?

Plants that are in it are:

Hygrophilia "Siamensis"
Staurogyne Repens
Echinodorus tenellus "Green"
Pogostemon Erectus
Micranthemum "Monte Carlo"
Alternanthera Reineckii "Mini"
Eleocharis Acicularis "Mini"
Mermaid Weed

Fish and stuff that are in it are:

3 Neon Tetras
4 Glow Light Tetras
4 Cherry Barbs
1 Dwarf Pleco
1 Flower Shrimp
1 Horned type snail
Few Ghost shrimp
(Maybe a little over crowded.. no ones killed each other yet though)

Using API Liquid CO2 Booster daily, Seachem Flourish weekly.
Running on 2, 15 W Aqueon full spectrum lights.

Tanks been running probably 6 - 7 months, notice growth is slow but my lighting system is only 3w/ gallon so im thinking thats the problem.


What do ya all think???
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-19-2015, 05:39 AM
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It looks good although I'd be mildly concerned about cherry barbs in a crowded tank. They can be territorial and aggressive.

As for the lighting, the "watts per gallon" rule is deeply flawed but 3w/g should be adequate. Consider other things, such as your fixture housing.. is there adequate reflection? Are your bulbs appropriate for growing plants? Aqueon "full spectrum" bulbs appear to be general purpose and are probably better at lighting up the aquarium then growing plants.

Also, you may want to consider a slight excess of lighting to go along with your carbon dosing.
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-19-2015, 06:05 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for reply. If you seen what my lighting system looks like on top you'd probably laugh then be concerned lol..

Really should upgrade to something different, was looking at putting something like this up instead:

Lithonia Lighting | 4 Ft. Diamond Plate Work Light | Home Depot Canada

Then I could get rid of the crappy hood on the tank next to it too.
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-19-2015, 06:28 AM
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If things have been without any issues for 6-7 months; it is better to stick with what you have. BTW I do like your tank.

If you have a choice, you have a problem, till you elect your choice. No choice, no problem, only consequences, learn to live with them.
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-19-2015, 06:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Launch View Post
Thanks for reply. If you seen what my lighting system looks like on top you'd probably laugh then be concerned lol..

Really should upgrade to something different, was looking at putting something like this up instead:

Lithonia Lighting | 4 Ft. Diamond Plate Work Light | Home Depot Canada
That's not what you want.

You probably want to look around for something more "plant growth" specific. Personally I would opt for a fixture with a polished aluminum reflector. Although it's not unheard of to find mylar pressed into plastic, those usually work too. You can buy reflectors or reflective material and build your own fixtures as well.

If you don't mind spending a bit more money there is the realm of LED lighting. I don't know a lot about it but from what I've seen many LED fixtures have minimal reflective material if any.. so maybe a good retro fit to your current one?
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-19-2015, 07:17 AM Thread Starter
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This tank actually came with LED grow lights, but they were junk and came off. Biggest issue was they needed to be manually turned on each day with some fancy touch button and I couldnt run them on my timer.. Maybe if I bought some LED flood lights that you'd use on the front a vehicle.. hmmmmm lol.. seems more cost efficient to just rig up some t8s and call it a day.
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-19-2015, 08:01 AM
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+1 for essabee
I had a 10g conventional tank/w two T8 bulbs on it and that was serious overkill.
Yet those bulbs were in very poor reflector type fixtures. The Walmart under-the-counter
strip light that litterally has no reflector in it. Just a white background for the bulb.
Whole tank, plants included got covered/w GSA.
That Diamond Plate shop light is used by many on here for tanks like the 55/75
sizes and is very sufficient for those unless injected CO2 is being used in them.
Only if you used it at or over that same height from the sub would I believe the shop light wouldn't cause excessive algae in your tank.
2WPG is fine for this size tank so if you have 3WPG then 98% likely the reason your plants are growing slowly(other than low tech is slow growth) is that they have no food.
You are using micro ferts, but they have micro AND macro ferts. But adding these in
anything more than a very small amount will likely cause an algae start up.
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-19-2015, 12:17 PM Thread Starter
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Interesting you mention GSA, though I suppose thats probably a common problem in alot of planted tanks.

I constantly have a small amount growing that seems to mainly affect the glass and Alternanthera Reineckii (probably because its red and easier to see).

Ive played with various things like upping water changes, adding and reducing amounts of daily co2 (which i thought was going to be my cure), adding and reducing amount of flourish fert, using small pressurized bottles of co2 (pain in the ***).. changed the light bulbs to some 50/50 ones at one point... never could figure out whats out of balance.

Will have to investigate into macro ferts.
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-19-2015, 12:57 PM
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Actually the Alternanthera Reineckii gives more people a harder time than most.
People will refer to it from time to time, but usually as if they aren't quite convinced
about it, that certain plants give of a chemical that hinders algae growth. But A link was given by one member that showed a scientific study which confirms that.
They listed those plants tested in scientific names of course.
Since the Alternanthera Reineckii was not on the list it explains why it usually only is algae free when surrounded by faster growing type plants. Usually when someone puts a picture in here of a tank that has some in it, the majority of other plants in that tank are stemmed plants which tend to grow faster than other types of plants.
Actually I'll bet your tank is one of just a few that have both red plants and DHG in
it without either DIY or injected CO2. High enough light to cause that red is usually over the amount needed for algae if not offset by that CO2.
You likely might ask yourself if you really want faster growth as long as the plants are healthy looking. Because I see nothing in there which seems to be showing any deficiency symptoms.

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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-19-2015, 05:21 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the info! Your right maybe it should just remain as is. If its not broken, why fix it right!?
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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-19-2015, 06:34 PM
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At least a few members on here refer to low-tech as SLOW-tech. It's just the nature of the beast. Fast growth is generally relegated to high light CO2 enriched tanks that dose macros/micros on alternating days. I'd personally be happy that the only algae you have is GSA, lol! Tank looks great BTW.

Stock lightly and carry a big filter. - I don't have aquariums. I have ecosystems in a glass box. - Hygrophilaholic and hoarder of Anubias.
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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-19-2015, 07:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HDBenson View Post
At least a few members on here refer to low-tech as SLOW-tech. It's just the nature of the beast. Fast growth is generally relegated to high light CO2 enriched tanks that dose macros/micros on alternating days. I'd personally be happy that the only algae you have is GSA, lol! Tank looks great BTW.
Yeah, I do like the SLOW tech.
I find that once the plants get as full as I like then it's a lot less hassle to just trim a tiny bit every other water change or so (a stem here, a couple there, a leaf here etc). Then the tank doesn't look like it just had a major haircut.
Plus no crazy amount of trimmings floating in the water.

Hey @Launch, nice tank. I like the combo of hardscape that you have.
If you don't have a preferred source for ferts already, the Plant Guy in Winnipeg has pretty inexpensive macro/micro PPS dry ferts.

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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-19-2015, 07:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mootay View Post
That's not what you want.

You probably want to look around for something more "plant growth" specific. Personally I would opt for a fixture with a polished aluminum reflector. Although it's not unheard of to find mylar pressed into plastic, those usually work too. You can buy reflectors or reflective material and build your own fixtures as well.

If you don't mind spending a bit more money there is the realm of LED lighting. I don't know a lot about it but from what I've seen many LED fixtures have minimal reflective material if any.. so maybe a good retro fit to your current one?
There is nothing wrong with that fixture if you want to go that route. Plenty of people use that or something very similar (possibly a t5HO shop light of some sort might be a better choice for what we need) with good results. Might need to modify and/or come up with a better reflector; but mirror like chrome finish usually does a good job of reflecting! Looking for something "plant growth" specific as you say really comes more into play when choosing bulbs but not the fixture.


I dig the tank; and have to agree that if it aint broke dont fix it! That is unless you're looking for a different outcome with this tank?

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Curator of an ever growing fishroom that currently houses 30 different tanks. Most full of at least water....some even have fish!
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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-19-2015, 11:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lksdrinker View Post
There is nothing wrong with that fixture if you want to go that route. Plenty of people use that or something very similar (possibly a t5HO shop light of some sort might be a better choice for what we need) with good results. Might need to modify and/or come up with a better reflector; but mirror like chrome finish usually does a good job of reflecting! Looking for something "plant growth" specific as you say really comes more into play when choosing bulbs but not the fixture.
There's nothing wrong with the fixture itself per se, I just don't think it fits the application of improving a lackluster fixture (that I assume came with the tank) of a 10 gallon. I'm sure that 4' shop lights can be made to work for larger tanks.

As for the tank being fine as it is, it looks healthy from the photos.. but if Launch is looking for faster plant growth, the lighting is a good place to start.

-mootay
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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-20-2015, 11:08 PM
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Love the tank. Amazing.

I was wondering what the red plant was behind on the middle left.
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