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Am planning for my next attempt at planting my tank. My previous attempts resulted in plants that died over 2-3 months and record amounts of algae growth. I have completed a great deal of research since my previous attempts. I have had my fish only tank running for about 10 years, a 50G 20" tall glass tank. Have a HOB filter, water params good, light fish load, a dual element 48" T5HO fixture with 6700K bulbs.

I have just completed changing the substrate to aquariumplants.com substrate. Following that change I had an ammonia spike but three consecutive daily 40% water changes seems to have me back where I started and now I have 0/0/10 for parameters.

I have a pressurized CO2 system which is currently disconnected. I have dry ferts and mixing containers to provide macro and trace food per the PPO method. Not current using ferts.

Plan is to buy a "hardy low light" plant assortment and maybe a few extra fast grow low light plants from aquariumplants.com Now my plan:

1. I will use one of the two T5HO bulbs in my fixture which puts me in the low to mid range Pur/Par charts and close to 1 watt/gallon.
2. I will not use CO2.
3. I will not use ferts for the first 1-2 months.
4. I will follow all of the plant handling and planting instruction I have been able to find.

Currently, I have what I suspect is normal algae, meaning once or twice a month I need to scrape my glass and clean the substrate. Adding plants only to the tank should not increase algae growth, right? And, with reasonable substrate as above, reasonable light as above, most say not to fert for the first month or two, and easy grow low light plants I should be able to grow plants, right?

thanks for any comments,
 

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I had a ton of algae, backed off the ferts and I was good. I have swords, java ferns and anubias, your standard low light fare. I only use a little iron once a week (one cap full of the seachem iron). Sounds about what you were looking to set up?

Hope this helps a little
 
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