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Plant Clown
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Ferts won't hurt, but that is an incredibly low amount of light for the tank size you have. With a decent fish load, you could probably get by without ferts, but I'd be surprised if you could grow much beyond some mosses, ferns, and crypts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
ty kevmo911 for reply
i been reading lately about adding ferts.
does excel or flourish help me with this?
and will that be all i need?

dont want a Ferrari of planted tanks
just something easy
 

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You need fertilizers when the plants are growing faster than they can get nutrients from other sources in the tank, and conversely, the plants can't grow faster unless they get extra nutrients beyond what is already available in the tank. The thing that drives how fast plants grow is light. So, below a certain light intensity, the substrate and fish poop can supply all the nutrients the plants need, and adding fertilizers won't do anything much for the plants. Above that light intensity, you do need to add some fertilizers or the plants will be stunted - growing slower than the light is driving them to grow. That leads to algae starting to grow.

I'm not sure how much light you have, because I don't know either the dimensions of the tank nor what kind of light you are using - T5HO, T5NO, PC, T8, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
sorry forgot to add that
t8 bulbs
lighting came with the tank
just started this about 2 months
and now i feel i am going backwards

dim
48L--18H-12.5W
 

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You have low light, enough to grow plants, but without CO2 you are limited in what plants will grow. Mosses for sure, Java Ferns for sure, Anubias for sure, some crypts, etc. You don't need fertilizing if you have a lot of fish and feed them generously.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
TY HOPPY
was starting to get nervous when i started reading about the ferts.
everything i read up until about 2-3 days ago never mentioned anything about ferts or maybe i just forgot that part.
but i was only reading about low light tech

pic to far
the river was my daughters idea after seeing some tanks on here
the tank is in the basement so it won't get much viewing and this is why i want it simple
lost the eheim yesterday-not sure why

 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
also did a newbie mistake
purchased from someone on here
30 Vallisneria americana about 15 inches each $13.00 shipping included
hope this is good for my set up
jumped the gun-well i will learn from my mistakes
 

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Vals do well in low light tanks, or they have done so for me. One "mistake" is the expectation that your river will remain that way. Most of the time the substrate will migrate around the tank a bit, enough to begin to mix in with the "river" sand. And, the bright color of the river sand will soon dim from biofilm growing on it, but that will make it look better.

Would it be better to use relatively large fish since the tank isn't where most people can get close to view small fish?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
ty again hoppy
i actually have a piece of plexiglass between the ecocomplete and the rocks
hidden from view to hopefully prevent this or slow the process

wheeeeeee for the vals

was actually hoping for alot of smaller fish
rummy nose -neons -this size

are shrimp out of the question for me--just curious

going to add the manzanita driftwood that arrived yesterday soon
thats will be covered in alot of moss
looking for the tree effect on the branches

i guess i will keep the low light/tech planted tank for now
thanks again
 

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As far as the ferts go, with your setup they shouldn't be necessary just as Hoppy said, as long as the light is kept fairly low. And by the sounds of it you seem to be interested in a higher ratio of fauna to flora so the bio-load, or waste, the fish produce should be more than enough to keep the plants happy. You might even note after the tank is established that you could add a bit more light and really see the plants flourish if you have a decent sized bio-load. But then that also opens the door to c02 and even dosing ferts if you up the light too much.
 

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I had a successful low tech tank for a few years. Sometimes i did ferts sometimes I didnt. My plants didnt need the ferts to survive but when I did fert the tank my plants were brighter and more green and it made the whole tank go from "nice" to "wow that looks great".

I had a 10gallon and got some seachems flourish. just a little every few days was all i needed to make the tank look great :)
 

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