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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My low tech 26 Gallon...

Plants: vallisneria spiralis leopard, ludwigia repens, microsorum pteropus v. 'narrow leaf', sagittaria subulata, cryptocoryne lutea, cabomba piauhyensis, myriophyllum mattogrossense, hemianthus micranthemoides

Fish: Rasbora heteromorpha, Corydoras sterbai, Otocinclus sp., Caridina japonia, Neocaridina denticulata sinensis, Pangio kuhli sumatranus

Substrate: Flourite (regular)

Dosing Regimin:
Flourish Excel (1/2 cap daily)
Flourish Potassium (1/2 cap twice weekly)
Flourish Phosphorus (1/2 cap twice weekly)
Flourish Comprehensive (1/2 cap weekly)
Flourish Iron (1/2 cap weekly)
Equilibrium (1 Tbs weekly after water change)

Lighting:
Coralife Freshwater T-5 Aqualight Double Strip Light-36" (2 x 21 watts)

Filtration:
Aquaclear 50

You can see a version of the photo with the plants tagged here.

Comments are most welcome!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you...This is my first attempt at a planted aquarium. Dimensions are 36" wide x 17" high x 10" deep. As you can see, I'm running about 1.65 watts per gallon but my tank is relatively tall so it is a low-light setup.

Yeah the dosing regimen is a bit complex but once you decide, it is pretty easy. It evolved pretty organically...at first I wasn't dosing anything, then when I started seeing some signs of deficiency, I added Potassium and Excel, then Phosphate, then Flourish Comprehensive, then Iron. I've tried to develop it by feel and always in response to something that I see in the tank.

The only plant that I tried so far that I had trouble with was Bacopa Australis which I was trying to grow as a foreground plant. I think that low in my tank, it just wasn't getting enough light. It didn't completely die but it was pretty sad so I yanked it.

I'm a big fan of simplicity so I'm totally open to cutting my dosing regimen so long my plants continue to thrive. I think I could have delayed the necessity of most of the ferts had I seeded the substrate with laterite, soil, or peat but I wasn't familiar with the Walstad method until after I set my tank up

One thing is that my dosing seems more complex because SeaChem separates things that you would normally dose together if you were doing solid ferts or using another product line. I actually like this because it allows me to make small adjustments of nutrients independently.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yeah, I have always appreciated the dimensions of this tank. My friends hard core aquascaping friends make fun of me because the shallowness and height make it a challenge as a planted aquarium.

It has been an interesting challenging creating a sense of depth in the tank, but the good news is that you definitely have plenty of width to work with!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
New Plant

I added a stem of some gorgeous Hygrophila Siamensis Cherry Leaf that was growing in my girlfriend's high tech 55.

Excited to see if I can retain any of the red color in the leaves in my low tech set up.

Also I have a close up shot of the hemianthus micranthemoides that I am growing out as a carpet plant. I highly recommend this as a low tech carpet plant because it responds so well to trimming and stays healthy at the bottom of my low light tank. It takes some consistent effort to trim and replant but I literally started with like 10 little stems of this stuff at it has grown out to a nice carpet.

I'm thinking about taking out that huge piece of driftwood and the rock. I'm contemplating replacing the rock with a Manzanita branch trimmed to look like a mini tree with some java moss attached to it and replacing the big piece of drift wood with a much smaller piece.

Any thoughts?
 

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Yeah, I can see that maybe the driftwood is a bit thick for your tank but I always like the combination of rocks and wood. Maybe try replacing just the wood first and see how your like it.

The dimensions of you tank are similar to my 38g (36x12x20). It is tough to get depth! I have a large piece of driftwood also with about 1 inch behind it to plant background stems- very hard to work with, but hey, if it was easy how fun would it be?

I agree that HM works very well with low tech, low light which is what I'm running. Just keep an eye on it. I got caught up in a house renovation and didn't trim my tank for almost two months (not as crazy as it sounds with low light, low tech). The HM nearly took over everything! I actually went a little overboard ripping it out and now only have a small patch left.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for the tip about the HM...at this point I'm in my tank every other day making minor adjustments so it is being watched like a hawk.

I have a love/hate relationship with that piece of wood. As big as it looks, there is a significant amount buried under the substrate so it impacts half the tank as far as shading and planting.

I think I've decided to give it to a friend. I think I'll replace it with a smaller piece of Malaysian driftwood or some branches of manzanita.

The growth and the lighting in my tank now is perfect but I work at a fish store and was salivating over those Hagen GLO fixtures as I was putting one together for an in store display tank. Hopefully, I'll have the restraint to wait until I do a 40 breeder with C02.
 

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Wow, beautiful tank! Thanks for sharing it. I know what you mean about the driftwood; I used to have a similar piece in a 40 breeder, and although it looked great, it blocked the light to so much of the tank that it really limited what and how I could plant, so I took it out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Took the rock out...wood is next to go. I love how the rock created sort of a clearing with the surrounding plants.

I put a small amazon sword there and am planning to keep the clearing through trimming.
 
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