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Hi guys!

Little old Aussie here, searching for some advice.

I've been in the aquarium hobby for about a year and a half. I began with a little 90 litre community aquarium which was fully planted - mainly amazon swords, anubias, crypts, vallisneria, java moss. It went exceptionally well, I never used C02 and the only real problem I experienced was algae on the plants.

Anyway, that's aside the point because I now have a 111 US gallon/ 422 litre tank which is 5 foot long. I cycled it without fish but with a good helping of seeded media and I am now keeping two Oscars in it. However, water restrictions are getting tighter where I live and I just don't think I'll be able to keep up with the weekly, to twice weekly 50-75% water changes required with Oscars to keep the nitrates below 20ppm. They're messy buggers! That and the fact that I love a planted tank and I cannot have this with Oscars.
SO, what I am wanting to do is take the Oscars to the LFS (as much as it kills me, I hope they go to a better home who can keep up with their water requirements) and begin a planted tank.

I am going for an Amazon biotope. I am looking for suggestions on what fish and how many to include and most of all, what plants!

I am not going to be using C02 which I know makes a difference to what would be suitable. My lights are two, tank length lights one is a tri phosphorus 37W and the other is a lite glo 40w. I don't know the brands as the stickers have worn off. This was previously a salt water tank (I brought it second hand and don't worry, I cleaned it)

My heating is a Jager 300w and my filtration is a Fluval FX5.

Current decos I am keeping are the light coloured pea gravel, washed small and large riverstones and 2 large pieces of driftwood.

I am after a suitable set up that only requires small weekly water changes or larger fortnightly ones. I like fish that are eye catching and different and I don't want anything huge 3-4 inches at most. I am looking more so for activity and vibrancy. The plants - I am not fussed on except I want it heavily planted and I want something to carpet the gravel.

I plan on deciding on what I am going to do and then I will move in and trade the Oscars in, buy the plants and get them going (I will give them a couple of weeks) and then start adding the fish.

Thanks so much for taking the time to read this. I really appreciate any help that's given!

Casey:smile:
 

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Your lights might be a tad on the low side for your tank and if the bulbs are old you may want to replace them with bulb with a spectrum more suitable for growing plants. You may want to either supplement your substrate with laterite or go with a richer substrate. I recently started using ADA Amazonian substrate and I really like it not sure if its available where you are.
 

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You'll need 111x2 = 222 watts of lights. Search the forums for brand recommandations. Since you are going low tech, you might get away with a slightly lower wattage. I've heard of people going as low as 1.5watts per gallon
 

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Yeah, definitely stay on the low side. You might investigate some tek lighting? The 4 bulb t5 setup, but only run 3 bulbs. That would put you at about 160 watts. But those watts are a little misleading, its significantly brighter per watt than your average fluorescent bulb.
 
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