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I have to imagine that growing plants need more ferts then just maintaining plants. I want a shrimp only tank but do not want to add ferts or CO2/carbon but I want an established planted tank look.

So, is it possible to setup a tank with low light, plant it with java ferns, anubias, mosses and maybe crypts, fertilize it (including liquid carbon) until I achieve the amount of growth I want then stop fertilizing, add shrimp and the plants just maintain their size, or grow at a slower rate, without dying? Or would it just slowly die back while trying to adjust to new environment?

Pretty much I want a low tech, low maintenance long term tank but don't want to wait 2 years for it to look good. ;)

Thanks in advance.
 

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From my understanding, the primary factor that drives growth is light. Adding liquid carbon and ferts will speed things up a little, but not much if your lights are too low. If you want to grow out your tank using medium light, excel/glut, and ferts you should be fine if you lower all of them when you are done. I've transferred some low light plants (marsilia, java fern, sagittaria) from a high light, CO2 injected tank to a low light tank and didn't have any problems. Just make sure that you lower the light when you stop using your ferts and glutaraldehyde solution otherwise you are asking for algae.
 

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To grow, to add tissue, the plants need more fertilizer.
To maintain, the plants are still growing new leaves and discarding old leaves, but the slow growing plants you list can get by on very little fertilizer, perhaps just the amount they will get from the food you are feeding the shrimp.
As noted, light and carbon also play a role. Dose very low levels of the carbon supplement, adjust the lights correctly, and the plants should grow slowly.
 
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