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I have a 56 gallon column that I am setting up as a planted tank. I want to keep it simple. I just broke down my large saltwater tank because of money and time, the daily work on the tank was killing me! So I want to have something on the low tech side at least for now. I would rather not use CO2. I have an xp3 for filtration and a heater already. I also have an in on 3 bags of flourite cheap:icon_cool

Being that this is an odd size tank(30w x 18d x 24h) I was hoping for some suggestions on lighting. I was looking at either 2 of the coralife t-5 setups for 72 watts, or 1 65 watt pc or maybe 2 65 watt pc. I do have a tek 4 bulb 24" fixture I was going to sell to a friend, but I could keep it and only run 2 of the lights for now, but I already told him he could buy it:mad: . The other lights would still be much cheaper then what I could sell it for.

Ok, so rambling off my questions are:
1)what choice of lighting above would everyone suggest for a noob low-tech?

2)Is feeding/dosing required?

3)Are there any good books on the subject that you would suggest? The internet is great, but it is nice to take a book on the road for work!:icon_cool


Thanks for any advice!
 

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well if ur a noob at the fresh water, you want to start off with some low lighting (< 1 watt per gal) and just for some simple stuff like java ferns and and Java moss, anubias also look nice and its low matinence and low cost.
Crypts are good for low lighting but u might need some tabs cuz their heavy rooters.
but if you want some good advice you need to plant around your fish that you want to keep in your tank, or vice versa.

There are plenty on books on freshwater fish but its not really worth it because all the text is outdated, i mean there good starter stuff in them but alot of the good books are printed in teh late 60's early 70's....but if u find a book give me a holler. I think this website should do it thou, its got loads of info on fish and plants in the data base and the people here are nice when u ask stupid noob questions....believe me i know lol
 

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I agree, lower lighting is maybe a better way to start. that is, unless you want to inject co2 from the begining!?!

I think your biggest trouble would be to find a good balance of lighting for that depth of tank. I think a good 65 watt bulb with an efficient reflector would allow you to grow lots of plants, others may have different opinions though.

With that amount of light, substrate fertilization would be a great place to start.
 

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Some excellent info here
http://www.rexgrigg.com
Rex is a regular here at PT. His web site will answer many of your questions
 
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