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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I believe this is my first post here (at least for a long time) but I think your site is great! I am looking to start a low tech planted community aquarium probably about 90 gallons and I would like a nice peaceful tank with a few easy to keep plants such as hygrophila, ludwigia, vallisneria etc. There seems to be a lot of info about how to keep planted tanks and lots about community tanks but not much about a larger low tech planted community. I plan to use a 2x54w t5 fixture by Hagen and a Fluval canister filter but I'm not sure what else. I've setup a number of FW tanks in the past and have no problems keeping fish but plants seem a little intimidating. I'd like to keep this low-tech so preferably no co2 injection but apart from that I'm open to suggestions. Any help would be greatly apprecieated :icon_smil
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'd be afraid that with that much light I'd need to use a pressurized co2 system, which is not preferable as I'm trying to keep initial costs low and I'd like a fairly high bioload. I would also like to use eco-complete as a substrate. If it is felt that I could go with 4x54w than I can pay for that. Any suggestions regarding ferts? I've looked at EI but that seems like a lot of work for what I'm trying to accomplish and I think I'll have a hard time tracking down dry ingredients. Should I dose Excel as a carbon source?
 

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If you have 54watts from a T5 fixture, then thats a diffrent story!
 

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I have 2 x54w T5 HO in my 84g tank. It is 26" high. If your fixture is HO, You should have plenty of light for all but the most demanding plants - especially at just 18inches tall.

With that much light you'll probably need to provide Carbon in some form and fertilizers as well.

Get a good substrate in place. That's one thing that is hard to change downstream. There's plenty of info here on substrates. One thing - ALL of the recommended options will grow plants just fine. There are differences, but choose according to whats important to you and your budget.

HAve fun and start a tank journal so we can all follow along.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
It is a HO T5 fixture with good reflectors. Is this too much for what I am attempting to accomplish? I thought that with the correct planning, substrate choice, plant choice etc. I could avoid using pressurized co2 and a complicated fertilizer system. Would I be better of with a 1x54w HO T5 fixture? As said before because of where I live I have limited access to dry fertilizers can I use products from the Seachem range?
 

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No your fixture should be just fine for what you're trying to accomplish. It's still low light, while not being very low light. Eco-complete is a very good substrate to go with, if it's in your budget. It's no-maintenance, it grows plants well, doesn't cause any ammonia spikes, looks good, etc.

Yes, you will need to do some fertilizing, and the Seachem line should be fine for your needs. Just dose according to the bottles' instructions. Also, unless you plan on having vals, adding some Flourish Excel will be very beneficial to your tank, even though it's low light.

Welcome to the obsession! :biggrin:
 

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I don't know if they will ship to where you live, but aquariumfertilizer.com has all the dry chemicals and they are cheaper than pfertz. That lighting should be fine for the plant species you mention, they are all very hardy. If you ever decide to get more complicated, you can always add more lights and CO2 later on. Any ideas yet on what kind of fish you want to put in it?
 

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I believe this is my first post here (at least for a long time) but I think your site is great! I am looking to start a low tech planted community aquarium probably about 90 gallons and I would like a nice peaceful tank with a few easy to keep plants such as hygrophila, ludwigia, vallisneria etc. There seems to be a lot of info about how to keep planted tanks and lots about community tanks but not much about a larger low tech planted community. I plan to use a 2x54w t5 fixture by Hagen and a Fluval canister filter but I'm not sure what else. I've setup a number of FW tanks in the past and have no problems keeping fish but plants seem a little intimidating. I'd like to keep this low-tech so preferably no co2 injection but apart from that I'm open to suggestions. Any help would be greatly apprecieated :icon_smil
Hello Sam, from my experience (n advice from the pros here), my 55 gallon low tech is doin fine. Checkout tank setup on my signature and I've got detailed list of what I'm using so far. Plants that are doin great are, Wisteria, Java Fern, Vallisneria Spirali (from what I have in my tank) and I'm sure there are many more can be named. as far as lights goes, most here are right, 100+ watts of T5 should be OK on ur 90 gallon NON-CO2 setup (I was using 120w of T12 on my 55 :) ). You do need to use ferts for your plants, as I've seen great deal of change in few days after I started to dose.... good luck man.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Sorry for no replies for a while. From looking around lots of people running low tech plants seem to be dosing Excel and Flourish and tend to disregard dosing macros (i think this is the right term :) Is this the way for me?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Sorry for double posting but I was also wondering what I need to take into account for the planning of this tank if I intend to add a pressurized co2 system later? Obviously cabinet height will be an issue but is their anything else?
 

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not sure exactly what ur asking, but you can make the cabinet height suit your need and store the CO2 tank on the side. and when you start using CO2, you can add more light, if you dont see much progress...
 

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I run 2x 54 watts of T5HO over my own 90gal and it's more than enough light (I have to limit my photoperiod to avoid algae). I am somewhat limited in plant choice- especially stems- but rosette plants especially tend to do quite well.

Dosing ferts depends on your bioload (the heavier the fish load, the less need to dose macros) and plantload (the more fast-growing stems, the more likely you'll need to dose macros). Personally, I just rely on root tabs for big swords and don't incorporate many stems in my tank to begin with, so I never dose much of anything.
 
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