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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I am trying to get a game plan for a new 75 gallon tank I am setting up. I already have the gravel (fine grain) and a limited budget. No CO2.

This will be a fish tank with plants ie: a large school of Tiger Barbs(20+) with a few more smaller schools with fish compatible with the tigers. The tank will have a high bio load. I am very concerned about creating a nutrient rich environment without enough plants to consume the nutrients.

For the theme, create a mangrove swamp theme using dead branches I collected from the woods behind my house. The branches I collected have not had ground contact and may be 5+ years old.

So my current gameplan, just use java moss for my carpeting plant using the dry start method. Java moss does not require a nutrient rich substrate.

For any root feeding plants, use 3" net pots filled with Eco-complete. When root tabs are needed, just insert them in the pots. This way I can use the gravel I have and just buy one bag of Eco complete.

Filter, DIY wet/dry filter in a sump.

Lighting, TBD. The tank does have a divider so I can use 24" lights create high and low light areas for the tank, the mangrove tree may have low light.

No CO2

Opinions?

Thanks, Mark
 

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You could buy some mangrove propogules and grow a few real mangroves in your mangrove swamp tank, that'd look pretty neat I think! They do pretty well in freshwater as long as the get enough light. Don't need anything major, some 6.5k led spotlight bulbs from the hardware store work fine.

Also I use safetsorb (from tractor supply) with pool filter sand (from ACE) on top as a cheap substrate for my low tech planted tanks. I just push some osmocote plus pellets in the substrate every 4-6 months or so. Check out my 55g in my signature for pics.
 
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