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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone,

New to the forum but not new to aquariums or basic planted setups. After a tank leak on my previous 60 gallon I have a freshly setup 75 gallon tank and am looking for some advice on taking it to the next level plant and aquascape wise. I have always kept easy to grow plants in the past with sporadic dosing of Seachem Excel and fertilizers but the planted aspect of the tank wasn't my main focus. I looking to transform this tank to a low tech planted set up with a variety of plants.

I am currently running two lights, a Fluval Aquasky and Satellite Pro but planning on upgrading to something with a bit more power. I've never been happy with these lights as they don't seem to put out enough PAR. I am leaning toward the Fluval 3.0, the reviews seem pretty positive. Substrate is just CaribSea natural sand, nothing special. Tank has some driftwood and rocks scaped right now. Plants include Java Fern, Hygrophila that needs a serious trimming, and a Crypt that is barely hanging on.

Looking for your thoughts on lighting, aquascaping, and plants. Pictures of the tank as it currently is below.

1026669

1026670
 

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I'd drop in a heap more cryptocoryne and maybe some swords near the back. Just remember both are heavy root feeders so you're going to want to be generous with root tabs (which I prefer anyway for low-tech tanks since they keep ferts limited in the water column, so less chances of algae).

You have enough space to make good use of a large vallisnaria grouping in back; leopard val would look awesome. Tall crypts with good texture like retrospiralis would look great too, though since they are less agressive I'd consider planting them more forward as a focal point.

If you are going for a more 'scaped look, I'd consider grouping the driftwood tighter into one or two areas. Of course, it's hard to tell what the hardscape looks like with the hygro being it's fast-growing self on the right, but it looks like the wood continues loosely into the jungle area.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The hygrophila has definitely taken over. This picture was taken after I thinned it out. When I set up this tank after my previous tank leaked in December I had thinned it out even more.

I was starting to search for different crypt and sword options. I have basic sand substrate and probably need to add a bit more to increase the depth. I’ve never had luck with Seachem root tabs so was planning on trying Aquarium Co-Op’s after I got my lighting figured out. Of course that could have been due to many factors. My concern with the Fluval 3.0 is the spread. Tank is 18” front to back. I’m expecting some shading toward the edges but debating on whether one Fluval will cut it.

I do have the inclination to attempt a scaped look. I’ve watched a few videos and love the dimmensions that an elevated substrate with different levels gives a tank. I don’t know if I could pull that off or not, or whether I want to dismantle the tank that much. I do have some more wood on the right side hidden in the hygro. I’ll attach a picture where the wood may be a bit more visible. I like those plant suggestions.
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The fluval 3.0 is not very powerful. Looking at similar par to what you are currently getting. I think around 30 par at substrate on your tank assuming standard dimensions (from memory). Beamswork DA FSPEC is your cheapest option. For an app controlled light a Chihiros WRGB is a good bet at similar pricing to the fluval. Other options include twinstar which is not app controlled, or a couple kessil lights which are app controlled and point source but will set you back more.

If it were my tank I would take it apart and add a lot of hardscape to give it the levels look you are talking about. But I also prefer that look.

Just curious, but what filtration are you using and are you happy with it? I will be setting up a 75 gallon soon and I haven't settled on the filter yet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The Seachem root tabs are sort of "meh" for me too; better than nothing but not amazing. I've had good luck with the clay based root tabs from glosso factory; my cryptocoryne definitely like them.
I always thought maybe it was just my tank so good to see someone else’s experiences.


The fluval 3.0 is not very powerful. Looking at similar par to what you are currently getting. I think around 30 par at substrate on your tank assuming standard dimensions (from memory). Beamswork DA FSPEC is your cheapest option. For an app controlled light a Chihiros WRGB is a good bet at similar pricing to the fluval. Other options include twinstar which is not app controlled, or a couple kessil lights which are app controlled and point source but will set you back more.

If it were my tank I would take it apart and add a lot of hardscape to give it the levels look you are talking about. But I also prefer that look.

Just curious, but what filtration are you using and are you happy with it? I will be setting up a 75 gallon soon and I haven't settled on the filter yet.
Tank is a standard Marineland 75, 48”x18”x19”, if I remember correctly. That’s what I was worried about with the Fluval light. I was looking to avoid the Kessil cost, but I will need multiple lights in the Fluval price range it makes me lean toward the AI Primes. They are the same price as the Fluval and I would need two to get decent spread, but would be more powerful than Fluval. Not quite sure which direction I’m leaning in. If sticking with a single Fluva, how do you think that would handle low light plants? My other concern with Kessil, AI prime lights is the intensity for a low tech, non CO2 set up.

I really like the aquascaped tanks with different levels and substrates. Would give the tank more dimension and depth, just not quite sure how to pull it off. Plus I want to make sure I have my lighting figured out to make sure I can actually grow the plants I’ll put in.

My filtration is definitely overkill for this size tank. I originally bought a 60 gallon used, which came with an FX6. I’ve been running that with an AC110 for my mechanical/chemical filtration, when I do run carbon. FX6 is mainly full of Seachem Matrix for a robust biological filtration and the included ring sponges. It works out pretty well, although the FX6 is a pain to clean. I’ve had to replace the motor and purge valve, but nice thing was parts were available to do so without having to buy an entire new unit. It can definitely build up quite a bit of detritus so I clean it out every two months. I also built a DIY spray bar to reduce the flow- which was absolutely needed for this size tank, unless your aiming for a fast flowing stream setup. Recommend having a utility sink handy if you go that route. The AC110 is nice because it’s convenient enough to add carbon or purigen if needed, and easy to rinse the sponge in a bucket of tank water with each water change. I think if I could do it over again I would opt for a sump, just for ease of maintenance and options for media. But overall I can’t complain about the current filters.
 
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