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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)

This is the story of my practically NO tech sorta planted/riparium tank. This tanks has been set up several variations for about a year.

The equipment:
75 Perfecto tank with Black silicone
Custom stand with painted aluminum paneling.
[STRIKE]Standard AGA light hood, 1 tube, 50/50 light[/STRIKE]
[STRIKE]Clip on light for "riparium" with 23w 6700k CF Spiral[/STRIKE]
Odyssea 2x T5HO hung from DIY Conduit hangers.
SunSun Canister filter
Koralia 1 for circulation
Stealth heater

Specs:
75g
Crushed coral Sand(It is what was in there, and my fish are all bread locally in liquid rock!)(my plants are doing just fine in there and I'm not about to tear it down for this no tech tank)
[STRIKE]Driftwood collected on "the ranch"[/STRIKE]
rocks collected from river

Fauna:
Juvenile Midas
Female Convict
4 Giant Danios
1 Pictus Cat
[STRIKE]A few temporary fish(a few FM's and a few Buenos Aires Tetras from another tank that is under repair).[/STRIKE]

Flora:
Java fern
Amazon Sword x6(will thin down as they grow)
Riparium has plants that I'm not even sure will thrive in the Riparium. They are still alive a week out....

This tank is really not a planted tank or riparium. The water level is all the way to the top with no lid, the planters are simple shower suction caddy's.

Forgive the pictures, all taken with my Droid.... The java ferns have been in for one month and despite poor lighting and no ferts or co2(I have had high tech tanks in the past) they are putting out plantlets left and right!





















Considering the things against this tank(PH, Substrate, lighting!, ferts, etc!) this tank is doing well. I will take a pic once a week to show the riparium plants and the java fern. I am considering a Sword in place of the rocks on right.

I am using PMDD(I know it is outdated.) on this tank as an experiment.
 

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That's an interesting solution. Is that a spiral CF in that lamp?

That plant might or might not make it long-term. I think that I recognize it. If you look around here some especially in Hoppy's posts you can find some good choices among houseplant-type tropicals. Peace lilies (Spathiphyllum) are especially good choices.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Hydrophyte. It is a spiral CF in the clamp lamp. I also have a vine cutting, but I forget the name... The very common houseplant that does well with cuttings in water. I actually have two varieties of plants in the "planters". One is one I have seen done here, and the other I do not know for sure. I am looking for a cheap but attractive light I could suspend above the tank from ceiling that would allow me to see the plants better while not losing any tank volume. this being a tank for a Midas Cichlid really limits what I can do and thus the reason for full tank and hardy ferns.

Though, I am switching to a standard bulb later today when I make it to town--I know it will be a bit brighter(still crazy low light) but Do you think my ferns will continue to grow if I were to suspend the light above the tank by 6 inches?

I will get the names of the above plants so it is easier to get advice. I know this is not really a planted tank and not really a riparium, but I have taken bits and pieces of all the beautiful tanks I see here to add some too it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Does anyone have any ideas for DIY legs that work with standard aquarium light fixtures? I know I will lose some light intensity by moving the light up 6 inches, but it would give me more options with my pseudo riparium


What do you think of my overall scape? I can move the wood as a whole to the right some(about 5 inches). Do you think that would look better? Would a sword look better than the rocks in place now?


I have always intended to paint the BG and will prob actually get it done tomorrow. Is black the best color or should I consider somethign else?
 

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you could go VERY basic and use blocks of wood notched out on top and bottom, so they fit snug on the rim of your and and light strip then paint them black. As you can see Im not very good at the whole DIY thing....lol
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Today I put 5 very small swords(knowing I will have to remove some eventually) on the right side in place of most of the rocks that were there. I will have to look for root tabs to feed them, thought I had some from previous ventures, but alas I do not. What are the super cheap subsitutes for root tabs????

Will get a pic as soon as I am back home in the morning from work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I lied, got pics quick before I left using the Droid again.





Pointers would be great. Again, this is NO tech. I have some Aquaticmagic root tabs on the way. Have heard good things about the tabs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I replaced the 50/50 bulb with a 6500k bulb from Menards. God is it yellow(in comparison)... Can I grow these plants with just 40W over my 75g? I am trying to not get too attached to a "planted" tank in this tank since it has two fish that could easily uproot the swords in about 3 seconds.
 

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40w may be too low. i like the ferns on the dirftwood. is that your pictus on the bottom left? how big is it? i considered one for my 40gal.. but yours looks pretty darn big
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
What kind of plant is the one to the left(bulb like root) first post- 6th picture? i think i have the same and couldn't find a name.
Your tank looks good by the way.
I'm not sure what the name is. I got it from Walmart and it has been going for about a week. Thanks.

I'm hoping someone can tell me if a T5HO with 2 bulbs(108W) 50/50 would be too much to keep this low tech. how about PC 130w, 50/50 bulbs,would that be too much light? Or one 50/50 bulb and one 6700.

These would be in poor reflectors.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Well, I'm going with a T5HO fixture. It is the dreaded odyssea(I have a friend who said he can check the fixture for quality prior to firing it and this should rule out some of the bad caps that have been found in the past).

I think this tank is kind of my "cheap crap that isn't supposed to work" tank. We will see.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Well did some research and some plants will have to go, added some more.

The grassy plant is a ponytail palm, they like dry climates so that has to go... The dracena just wilted away. I have added a peace lilly and it is doing fantastic so far. I also added an african violet today, as well as a cyclamen flower plant. There is a creeping fig I'm just trying out(they can get huge...) and a "bush on fire" croton. Trying to get more specific names.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Just finished the 2nd coat of blue paint on the background. While blue isn't a hugely popular color(black is typical around here...) I really like it. It is a nice royal blue. Needs another coat, maybe a 4th... using a roller behind the tank against the wall is NOT easy!
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Ponytail palm have a large base, are you sure thats what it is? i have a picture in my 55 gallon journal post# 34, is that the same grassy plant you have?
Yup, that is what I have. It was labeled ponytail palm at walmart where I bought it. They get rather massive and are from the mexican desert.
 
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