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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

I want to set up a 30 gallon (36x12x16) in my office as a dirted bottom planted tank. Something that will be long term low maintenance; small water changes and infrequent trimming would be ideal.

I really like Anubias and Crypt wendtii 'bronze'. I would like some kind of corskcrew val. or crypt, and I would like something in red or pink (like a Rotala sp.) for accent, but realize my options will be limited at lower light levels. Maybe a smaller sword plant, and some green stem plants of different hues and leaf textures.

I would like to keep a school of threadfin rainbowfish, and have cherry shrimp and snails for algae munching. Once the tank is well established and has a good micro-fauna population, I would like to add 3 chocolate gouramis.

I have:
Cobalt Neotherm 150w heater
Eheim 2215
40lbs 1-2mm natural river gravel for capping the dirt

I am planning on picking up some cheap topsoil at Home Depot tomorrow to start mineralizing it. I'll see if anyone carries potting clay locally, or if I need to order it online.

I am on well water: pH 7.5, 170mg/l Alkalinity, and 160mg/l Hardness. I do have an RO/DI filter I will be hooking up with a tank under my sink for drinking water, so I can use that to hit whatever pH and hardness is ideal for setup and water changes, and I can use it for top off.

That is my rough plan/idea. I'd appreciate any suggestions, ideas, warnings people may have, and I'll post questions I have as it develops.

Thanks,
pg
 

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Be careful about adding clay. If the mix gets too playdough like add sand. The consistency should spring back when you clump it up when damp. If it falls apart it's too sandy. If it doesn't spring back there's too much clay.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Be careful about adding clay. If the mix gets too playdough like add sand. The consistency should spring back when you clump it up when damp. If it falls apart it's too sandy. If it doesn't spring back there's too much clay.
Good to know, thanks!

Any suggestions for a light for this tank?

My first thought is to get a 36" Finnex LED fixture with adjustable brightness so I can dial it in for my setup, but they make a ton of different fixtures and don't have much info on their site about what differentiates them from one another.

Any other lighting suggestions would be welcome as well.
 

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Sorry I've missed this post until now. I have a finnex on my low tech, dialed back to about 50%. Depending. My model number on my finnex is KL-C36A: 36 inch. It's programmable rgbw with 24/7 mode. I like it a lot. For the price it fit my needs perfectly. On 100% it's waaaaaay too bright. There's better more programmable and phone app controlled lights out there but, honestly, when I've done walstads and dirted tanks I've only used supplemental clamp lights and indirect sunlight. I've never tried to grow red (other than nymphea) or stems in those settings though.
 
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