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Low Tech tank setups

795 Views 2 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  neilshieh
Hi, I'm having some trouble with my low tech setup. Currently I have a 20 gallon tall tank with turface as the substrate and for some reason the moss I've put in has all died. The other plants don't seem to be growing very well either.
I don't dose any ferts so the turface is basically inert. I underdose excel once every 2-3 weeks. I have 2 19W daylight CFL's about 15 inches from the substrate. The only thing that's growing well are the anubias and the trident java fern.

Should I even be dosing ferts in a low tech tank? I can start dosing flourish weekly... What do you guys do to get a maintenance free tank that grows moss well? Should i use root tabs? I uprooted some plants the other day and their roots look very sad. Thoughts? I thought this was supposed to be easier :icon_cry:
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There could be so many factors it's hard to say based on the info provided. Im still learning how to keep plants myself, but I will say a couple of things - prefaced by the fact that I know nothing about Turface, or how to use it:

You have enough light to create a need for ferts, so weekly flourish comp would probably help (if that's what you mean by Flourish), and definitely use root tabs under any heavy root feeders, like swords, etc. Dosing Excel every 2-3 weeks is practically useless. It only works for a day or two so if I were you Id do it every day or not at all.

If you would include some pics of the tank showing specific plants, filtration info, water change routine, parameters, etc, that would probably help the experts here give you better info.
Thanks for the reply. I know the growth is supposed to be much slower compared to my mid/high tech tank but this was pretty ridiculous. I will start dosing flourish comp and add a few root tabs. I tried staying away from having to use any sort of additive as much as possible since this is supposed to be a shrimp tank.

Filtration: Magnum 350 with spray bar directed at back wall + sponge filter.
Lights: 2 19 W daylight CFL's in parabolic work lights ~ 17 inches from substrate.
Water changes: once every month, mostly just top offs with tap water treated with prime

I was aiming to have a very low maintenance tank that didn't have algae problems and grow lots of moss.
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