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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 36g corner tank with 30w of light (2 15w 6700k bulbs). I have some "charming" blue gravel that my kids picked as substrate. Right now there is an enormous driftwood stump with java moss and java lace fern. Also I have anacharis and an african fern in the tank. Everything is very green and the moss is growing like crazy. The lace fern has plantlets all over it and seems fine. My question is about lighting and fertilizer. The hood that came with the tank takes 18" bulbs. I am pretty sure I could retrofit it to fit 24" bulbs but am wondering if I should do that or start dosing ferts instead. My nitrate is barely readable at best, amm 0, trite0, ph 8 and my water is very hard, can't remember the exact readings. The inhabitants of the tank are 4 neon tetras, 9 cardinal tetras, a mystery snail, and 2 cory cats (soon to 6). It has been recommended to me on another forum to try pps-pro for my ferts. What should I focus on first, lights or ferts? I am on a budget (3 kids will do that to ya) and the lighting retro kit from ahsupply is about $60 bucks for the 2x36w. Is that much light necessary? Any and all advice welcome. Thanks in advance.
 

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Remember this is just one person's opinion.

The answer depends on what you want.

If your plants are growing and you are content with your plant selection (there are stunning tanks based on those plants), there's no need to change anything. As your plant mass increases, your current stocking and feeding may not provide enough nutrients and you may need a (very) small amount of supplemental ferts.

If you want a larger variety of plant choices, then you'll need to increase your light. At 2 wpg, it is still possible to run your tank without CO2 (although it will increase your choices and speed of growth). You may still find that fish waste and excess food meet the needs of the plants, although you probably will find that you need to fertilize. If you choose to add CO2, you will need to fertilize.
 

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welcome to PTF :proud: and why not post a tank picture :confused:

on a budget, I'd leave well enough alone and stay low tech.
once you increase your light, you'll need ferts and DIY Co2.
with low light, you don't even need any ferts at all, accept
maybe Seachem's Flourish Excel for traces and carbon. Do
not use any Kent products which add more macro fertilizers
like Nitrates and Phosphates, then a low light tank could use.

Save your money and take your kids to the aquarium instead,
and dose a capful of Seachem Flourish Excel every few days to
get the most plant growth out of your current low light setup.
I suggest buying it online since the few pet stores that stock
it often charge three times as much.

especially with young children around,
make sure you underfeed your fish by
putting the food away where little hands
can't get at it. over feeding is the surest
way to ruin a planted tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Do I need to worry about traces as well if I stay super low-tech? I don't want to do co2 yet, still new to tanks in general. I guess what I am going for is more plants as a nice accent that are healthyand provide a nice atmosphere for my fish. Eventually I would like to turn my 16g bowfront into a heavily planted tank. I will try and post a pic, dial up can be challenging. As far as my kids go, they know the tanks are mine, the only thing I can call mine, lol, and don't touch. And the food is kept up as well. Please be kind about the gravel, it was my ONE concession to the kids with the tank. :) Can't get the pictures to upload, keep having errors....grr...will try again later.
 

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newbies 36 corner tank

Spypet is exactly right; if its not broke don't fix it.you may want to get a few cryptocorynes to add to the tank and any other low light plant that does not require pruning.thats why its called a low tech tank.excell is a good choice,but follow the instructions.enjoy your tank! cornhusker:icon_smil
 
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