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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone,

I am planning on setting up my 75 gallon aquarium as a cool water planted tank. I'm trying to keep things low tech. My question was on lighting. Does the lowered temperature (68-70F) cause a corresponding drop in growth rate for cool water plants, and if so, does this impact the lighting requirements at all? I currently have a double strip t8 lamp for a total of 80 watts. I was assuming I need to upgrade to get noticeable growth (I'd like to at least notice that things are growing, not stagnating in dormancy), but if I didn't that would be great and I'd spend the money elsewhere. I'm looking to grow val, java fern, java moss, anacharis, hornwort and maybe crypts.

Thanks in advance.
 

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Fresh Fish Freak
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Welcome to TPT!

I don't know that temperatures will have a huge impact on plant growth rates; lighting, CO2, and available nutrients are usually the most important factors.

You're on the extreme of low with your current lighting. Some options would be to double up your current fixture, or I'd probably add one of these Coralife T5NOs along with your current fixture- http://www.bigalsonline.com/BigAlsU...7/cl0/coralifefwt5aqualightdoublestriplight48 They're only 4" wide so probably both fixtures would fit just fine, and still leave you well in the "low tech" range without needing to add CO2. If you did develop any algae issues, you'd have the option of running them separately and playing with the photoperiods to find a "sweet spot."
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the reply! I was actually looking at those lights. A lot of folks seem to recommend them. Looks like the way to go.

Also, if anyone has any other plant recommendations for cool water that would be great. I did some searching here and could only find a couple of threads. Unheated tanks are unsurprisingly less popular, but I've got some weather loaches that are feeling cramped in their 20gal. long, so it's time to give them some space. I'm also hoping to not run into serious uprooting issues, but we'll see...
 

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Unheated tanks are unsurprisingly less popular,
My tanks are unheated. At least, for about 11 months out of the year. But of course, that doesn't make them any less "tropical" because the water temps never dip below ~74 degrees F.

I wish I could have a cool water tank. It would open new possibilities to me! Why are chillers so expensive? :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I'm not sure what the color temp on the current bulbs is, but I was planning on replacing them as they are quite old. I don't have any plants in my current tank. Just lights for looking at fish :) I just received my NOt5 light strip in the mail today, though!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I currently have 3 dojo loaches in a 20 gallon long that I would like to make the primary residents. I have a single zebra danio, so I was planning on building up a school of these guys, and maybe a school of white cloud minnows. I was thinking of maybe adding an odd ball like a paradise fish or something. Let me know if you have any suggestions. My tank plans are still quite open, since the original resident (oversized lungfish!) is still looking for a new home....
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for the head's up. I was hoping that in such a large tank with lots of viable hiding places that it would be ok. But it doesn't sound like it's worth the risk! Any cool water oddballs that can be kept as singletons, but won't exterminate their neighbors?
 

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Fresh Fish Freak
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Thanks for the head's up. I was hoping that in such a large tank with lots of viable hiding places that it would be ok. But it doesn't sound like it's worth the risk! Any cool water oddballs that can be kept as singletons, but won't exterminate their neighbors?
Have you considered any local native fish? That's what I would look for, since you're setting up a coldwater tank. www.NANFA.com should point you in the right direction.
 
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