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Hi all. I'm a new registered user but not new to the site. I will be setting up my first low tech planted aquarium next week and just wanted to see what suggestions you have for me.

Here is the planned setup.

29g 18" tall tank
304 Fluval canister filter (BioMax and foam filters so far. No carbon)
Odyssea 24" 96W T5 HO Light Fixture (planning only using 2 bulbs for now unless I hear other wise)
Organic Miracle Grow Potting Mix (Mineralized) with Eco-Complete on top.
Tap water is PH=7.2, Hardness = 5, Ammonia and Nitrite=0 and Nitrates=20. No Phosphate kit yet.
No CO2


Plant list (Heavy Planted at the start, at least I hope so)

12 Bunch Plants (6-8 stems each)...
(3) Rotala Indica (Rotala Rotundifolia)
(3) Ludwigia Natans (Ludwigia Repens)
(3) Cabomba Caroliniana (Cabomba, Green)
(3) Water Wisteria (Hygrophila Difformis)

12 Bare Root Crytocorynes...
(4) Cryptocoryne Spiralis
(2) Cryptocoryne Walkeri
(3) Cryptocoryne Wendtii Red
(3) Cryptocoryne Crispatula var. Balansae

2 x Echinodorus Ozelot 'Green' SM
3 x Echinodorus Tenellus (Narrow Leaf Chain Sword)

How long should I wait to add a few fish. I was going going to add some flake food to get the cycling process going?

How will my lighting be be when running only 2 bulbs or 4 bulbs?

Should I use a small powerhead?

Too much light? Should I use floating plants?

Thanks for any suggestions!
 

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Low tech tanks are always low light tanks. T5HO lights will not give you low light on a 18 inch tall tank unless the light hangs above the tank. With a single bulb T5HO, it might have to hang a foot above the top of the tank, assuming that light has very good reflectors. It more likely has only fair reflectors, in which case a single bulb light would need to be about 6 inches above the top of the tank. Only if it has poor reflectors, essentially no reflectors, can a single bulb provide low light with it sitting on top of that tank.

A 2 bulb T8 light would be much better for that tank, for low light.
 
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