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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am providing time lapse photos of my first planted 75g tank which I started 5 years ago. I was new to plants, but not new to aquarium as I have kept cichlid for decades. I started with easy Java fern, anubias, and Bruce but gradually progressed into all anubias. A few stems are placed up high on rock pile on the right rear to catch more light. It's high tech medium light of 30 PAR on the left half, and 70 PAR on the right half at the substrate level. I front load macros, micros, and Glutaldehyde after weekly 75% water change and dose DTPA iron every other day.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
The tank is heavily loaded with 65+ fish, but most are hidden from sight behind rock and plant canopy until feeding time. Pruning is rarely needed as Anubias grow very slowly, but old leaves look dirty from recalcitrant GSA. The large leaf Anubias develop extensive root system that grasp the lace rock strongly into one fabric. CO2 injection rate is slow, about 10 lb a year, and lighting period is split at 4.5 hour each in the morning and evening. Here are highlight of some fish.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
thanks for posting! I am brand new, currently planning my first tank (75g) and hoping for a similar look as yours. Do you mind sharing what kind of lights and substrate you have!
Nice tank!
What filtration are you using? I will be setting up a 75 soon so definitely interested in proven systems.
My set up is not the norm for aquascapers.

Substrate: Since all my plants are either epiphytes or potted, I don’t need any substrate other than a thin layer of gravel barely covering the bottom. My cichlid dig, so no substrate plants last long.

Lights: I use a cocktail of strip and submersible LEDs I bought from eBay. They are no name brand made in China. The strip lights are placed on top of the glass lid, and the submersible are tied to the front, side and central rims inside the tank to broaden the coverage as the glass lid has limited real estate. The light distribution is asymmetrical, providing higher intensity on the right half where I can grow more demanding stems.

Filter: I use multiple HOBs. Since HOBs provide back to front flow, I augment longitudinal cross flow by attaching a wavemaker to the far end. Most aquascapers use canister to drive CO2 reactor. I use German made Tunze reactor which is self powered by a power head. I prefer HOBs because they are easier to clean.
 

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My set up is not the norm for aquascapers.

Substrate: Since all my plants are either epiphytes or potted, I don’t need any substrate other than a thin layer of gravel barely covering the bottom. My cichlid dig, so no substrate plants last long.

Lights: I use a cocktail of strip and submersible LEDs I bought from eBay. They are no name brand made in China. The strip lights are placed on top of the glass lid, and the submersible are tied to the front, side and central rims inside the tank to broaden the coverage as the glass lid has limited real estate. The light distribution is asymmetrical, providing higher intensity on the right half where I can grow more demanding stems.

Filter: I use multiple HOBs. Since HOBs provide back to front flow, I augment longitudinal cross flow by attaching a wavemaker to the far end. Most aquascapers use canister to drive CO2 reactor. I use German made Tunze reactor which is self powered by a power head. I prefer HOBs because they are easier to clean.
Hey and wow! Nice tank! I'm a newbie and someday somehow want to start the same. Tell me pls, isn't noname LED lighting dangerous? They’re not even certified and who knows what can be happen
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
What I meant by no name does not mean nameless, just not recognizable name brand in US. Most aquarium product including big name items are imported from China, as there are few consumer product made domestically today. Any imported items must meet US safety standard as well as Asian standards and there are many more aquarists out in the East. I can’t find one domestically made submersible LEDs, but plenty to choose from Chinese imports. Domestically made product is not always the best quality as I compare my Milwaukee CO2 regulator with Chinese made Ista. The Ista regulator is well made, problem free and easy to adjust. The Milwaukee is poorly designed, difficult to adjust, and is an accident time bomb already gassed out my fish one time.
 
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