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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am new to plant tanks but not to aquariums. I have kept freshwater before (no plants) and have been keeping reef aquariums for the last 6 years.

My parents have a tank with the following:
150g tank 6 ft long
2 emperor 400's with biowheels, carbon and filter floss
3 inches of aquarium plants com substrate
1 Koralia 3 Power Head for extra circulation
8x65 power compacts at 6700k
300w heater

They did not have the lights on a timer and subsequently would have the lights on from 12 to 20 hours a day depending. They got a log of algae and slime (bacteria) in the tank. I did a 25% water change and got the majority of it out. I used RO/DI water with Kent RO Right added back to get the PH up to around 7 or a little less. I also put the lights on a timer for 7 hours a day and cut them back to 4x65. They do not have C02 and are not interested in running it. They would like it to be as low tech as possible.

The tank has been doing much better now with less lighting a monthly 25% water changes. The plants grow slowly with some doing better than others. We have the full line of Seachem plant stuff (Trace, Complete, Iron and Potassium). I don't imagine we need to dose at the recommended dosing levels but perhaps I am wrong. I would really like some advice on that. Not to mention that could get expensive on 150 gallons.

I am hoping for some advice on the things I have done good, and what can be improved. I am not currently dosing but should I be? And should I use the instructions on the bottle? What other things should I add or change to increase the chance of success with this tank?

Currently the water tested as follows:

Ammonia = 0
Nitrites = 0
Nitrates = 0 (did the test twice)
PH = 7.0 as near as I can tell by the color
lights are on 7 hours a day - 4x65 so 260 watts over 150g tank.

Thanks in advance for any and all help. I tried searching low tech tanks of this size but didn't find much. If I missed some good threads please feel free to link them.

Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the welcome. This is a great site!

There are about 10 fish currently in the tank. The biggest ones are 1 inch long, most are 1/2 inch. So the bioload is very small. Got some danios, and some white clouds I believe.

There is some java fern, anubias, a reddish colored crypt, and what looks to maybe be a sword, i'm not sure, I will try to get a picture of it (it has some new leaves though). Maybe 15 plants total, not much in variety however. :)

Do you place dry ferts underneath the substrate?

Can anybody confirm that using carbon will affect dosing?
 

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I think most people take a little aquarium water out, mix the dry ferts in with the aquarium water in a separate container, then pour the water back in. You can just dump the fertz into the tank as well.

Carbon really isn't necessary in a planted tank, although some people use it with success.

Check out Tom Bar's method for a low tech/low light/no c02 tank:
http://www.aquaticquotient.com/forum/showthread.php?t=13623

Might want to reduce the lights to 2X65 as PC lights are pretty intense. Also depends on what reflectors are being used and how far the lights are from the top of the tank.
 

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Sounds like the tank is very lightly planted, and with pretty hardy plants. I agree that you could probably back down the lighting considerably. One bank of bulbs across the tank is probably sufficient.

I'm one of those who usually does run chemical media in my planted tanks, largely b/c there's such a high sulphur content in my well water that my tank water is yellow otherwise. I've switched over to Purigen from carbon, though, since it can be recharged and reused. Purigen also won't absorb ferts.

Check out some of the links on those websites I posted below, there's lots of info there about putting together fertilzation regimes.

I think if you both lower the lighting and beef up the bioload in this tank, you could probably do without dosing the water column... though I'd give the swords and crypts some root tabs every few months.
 
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