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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So im getting a 45 gallon tank soon and I want to make it live planted. I have had a ten gallon for a while, but with fake plants.

Im going to have a fluval 306 canister filter on it. and an odyssea t5ho 4x 39w light.
I will be using eco complete subtrate.

Just wondering if I will need anything else and some help what to do since it will be my first planted tank.

Thanks for looking
 

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Ferts refers to fertilizers, which are added nutrients to aid in plant growth. Like us, plants need nutrients to grow and sometimes nutrients need to be added to meet the plants' needs. CO2 refers to carbon dioxide, which plants also need to grow. Some aquarists add CO2 to their tanks through pressurized or paintball CO2 systems.

I have 78 watts of T5HO on my 46 bowfront and that's already enough to warrant dosing fertilizer. It all depends on if you want a low tech or high tech setup.

A low tech setup will not require fertilizer or CO2, and will need rather little light, but the rate of growth will be slower and the types of plants you can keep will be limited.

A high tech setup will require ferts and CO2, and will need higher light levels, but the rate of growth will be faster and you can keep more types of plants.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Sorry, I'm new to a lot of this stuff. But by low tech do you mean lower light? I would prefer not to need ferts or co2 for now at least. How would i go about with that approaches?
 

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Low tech setups have low light, yes. Just using one or two of the HO bulbs would be fine. The method I find best for low tech tanks is keeping light levels low (only what the plants need and nothing more) and using plants suited for such tanks like Vallisneria, Cryptocoryne, and moss. For such setups some people use mineralized top soil (MTS) as the substrate. I have no experience with MTS, but there are plenty of people here on the board that do that could give some insight.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
So I read http://www.sudeepmandal.com/hobbies/planted-aquarium/low-tech-planted-tank-guide/

From that I got that the low tech means that I would not need to use co2 for the plants.
I should have about 1.5watt per gallon of light which is about 80ish watts.

It said to add ferts about once a week, and would o be able to buy ferts at a petco,petsmart, or a lfs?

And I should heavily plant at first for better results. am i missing anything?
 

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At the store you'd probably be able to find bottles of liquid ferts. You'd be better off buying dry ferts online; they're much cheaper in the long run. There are several sponsors of the forum that sell them, you can check them out in the sponsors section.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I have a better understanding of this now, I'm gonna keep researching it, but is there anything you recommend me doing, or any certain types of plants? I would at first Probably just get some plants from my local petsmart because of convenience
 

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Watch out for Petsmart plants, because some of the plants they sell are not true aquatic plants and will die if kept underwater (mondo grass is one example). I find that vals are great plants for low tech tanks. They are undemanding, grow fast, and make a good background. Your best source for plants is the for sale section here on the forum. The quality and value of the plants is usually much higher than any store.
 
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