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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi there! I'm planning on starting a neocaridina lowtech setup with the Ultum Nature Systems All in one 45A tank (dimensions: 17.71 in x 11.02 in x 11.02 in). I have steady access to RO water which I'm planning to treat using shrimp salt. I was looking to use UN controsoil but I would like to see if there are any better alternatives. I'm looking for a low tech setup, since I travel a lot and can be away from my tank for up to two weeks at times. I am also seeking advice on what plants to get, as I am completely clueless as to what plants would be good. I used to have a 5 gallon iwagumi with a beautiful monte carlo carpet, but I used fluval shrimp stratum and that tank is now as good as dead as its been almost 3 years since I made it and the substrate has disintegrated. But rather than an iwagumi style setup, I want to try to do a more natural looking setup. Thanks for taking the time to read this and perhaps answer!
 

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With Neo's you don't have to use an active soil if you don't want to. I just use Caribsea sand in my wild Neo tank and grow Anubis, java fern, crypts, swords, sagittaria. I feed with an all in one fertilizer weekly and my plants in the tank are doing pretty good.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
With Neo's you don't have to use an active soil if you don't want to. I just use Caribsea sand in my wild Neo tank and grow Anubis, java fern, crypts, swords, sagittaria. I feed with an all in one fertilizer weekly and my plants in the tank are doing pretty good.
Hi there thanks for responding! I was just wondering, if I was planning on stocking caridinas instead, would the active soil make more sense?
 

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I think I might do that then, thank you! For the active soil, would amazonia or controsoil be better? And do you have any reccs for good stones and driftwood that won't mess with the water chemistry?
I am certainly not an expert; but, after listening and reading from the best on here I think Amazonia is your bet bet. It is really a superior soil.
You can use plain old manzanita or Mopani wood- or try some more exciting woods like ghost wood or Horn wood. All are fine. These will not change water chemistry substantially. Just make sure to clean well before adding to aquarium. You may get tannins, but that is not going to hurt water quality. if you are not in love with that look, can soak the wood for a couple weeks ( changing water frequently) to leech some of those tannins off before add wood to aquarium.
With rock, use an inert rock like Dragon stone, Lava Rock, or manten stone.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I am certainly not an expert; but, after listening and reading from the best on here I think Amazonia is your bet bet. It is really a superior soil.
You can use plain old manzanita or Mopani wood- or try some more exciting woods like ghost wood or Horn wood. All are fine. These will not change water chemistry substantially. Just make sure to clean well before adding to aquarium. You may get tannins, but that is not going to hurt water quality. if you are not in love with that look, can soak the wood for a couple weeks ( changing water frequently) to leech some of those tannins off before add wood to aquarium.
With rock, use an inert rock like Dragon stone, Lava Rock, or manten stone.
Thank you so much for your help! sorry for bothering you again, but I was wondering if you have any reccomendations for a light source? And since it's a planted tank, would I need to siphon the aqua soil substrate?
 
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