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55 gal low tech, seeking advise

1428 Views 5 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  aquamoon
This is my first planted tank that i consider to be a real attempt at a planted tank, and also a bit of a experiment on aquarium keeping with as little commercial aquarium products as possible. DIY or Products not meant for aquarium use are what im testing out. If anyone could recomend some better plants pls do so! I definatly want some ground cover preferably a nice green lawn =)

Atm i have a 55 gallon w/
40w x2 shoplight with a fairly decent stanless steel reflector, it reflects but i get the feeling it diffuses also.
Regular 1.00 per 40 lbs topsoil "cured/oxidized" by tom barrs suggested method mixed 1 part soil to 2 parts washed silica playsand.
Emperor 400 bio-wheel * This might be a problem *
Co2: flourish excell intill i can replace the biowheel
Flora: About to be ordered Amazon Sword, Java fern, Java Moss, java fern narrow, microsword, dwarf hairgrass, Crytocoryn wendtii, water sprite and i would like to have some kind of miniture lillypad and keep it trimmed to 2 or 3 pads
8 rasboras
assorted gupies * theres now way you can keep a count on em*
1 clown loach
1-2 angels
12ish shrimp
Malasian Trumpet Snails

Ferts: I really dont know enough about them at this point and have read i need very little in a low tech low light setup.

Anything I should know about my setup or any suggestions you might have are appreciated
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Wow, I had a setup extremely similar that I setup in Jan 2007. 55 gal.,emperor 400, and a twin bulb shop light. I really regret not spending more though because plant growth is very slow and everything is covered in algae. Now I replaced the filter with a filstar xp3 and want to replace the lighting and add diy pressurized co2. Think about it, eventually you will pay. So I would suggest to get better quality stuff. On the other hand though, the fish are doing extremely well.
i plan on adding later. Ill be moving into new house soon and my wife is pretty patient about my hobby and agrees i should use the spare bedroom as a fish room. So im thinking of getting into discuss one nice display tank and a few bare bottom 55s for growouts. For the time being im just learning and experimenting with plants but i dont want a catastrophe ;p
how soon are you moving? Do you want to set up a tank and then have to move it again just as its getting balanced? A few weeks ago I moved and had to move a 120g, 2 20gal, a 29gal and a 10gal. I only moved 6 miles or so but it took over a day to move them all.
For fertilzer I would recommend PMDD (Poor Man's Dosing Drops), The recipe is here: You can get the ingredients at hydoponics shop. It's inexpensive and effective.

Sound like a good plan. I vote for using the flourish excell at frist to help with the plants rooting, but when it runs out stop using it.
Thats a good filter to use on a low tech as long as you not injecting CO2.
I would put peat moss in one side and carbon in the other side.
The peat will help rise the CO2 lvs and the carbon will remove the yellow color from the peat.
Yout plant list looks good, but the Hairgrass will not be the best pick.

This set up will give you the time to learn about the ferts, but your right about needing less ferts.:icon_smil

Here is my 55 gallon non CO2 with 4 by 4 shoplight set up.
I use a filstar xp2 on it but I ran a Emperor for years.
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