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http://indianaquariumhobbyist.com/community/ :: View topic - Help needed for a sparsely planted low tech set-up
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Help needed for a sparsely planted low tech set-up
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robero
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 18, 2010 6:59 pm Post subject: Help needed for a sparsely planted low tech set-up Reply with quote

 Hello
 I  have  been  keeping  a  fish-only  tank  for  a  long  time.  Recently  thought  going  for  a  low-tech  sparsely  planted  tank  mainly  to  avoid  the  hassle  of  weekly  water  changes.
 
 Coming  straight  to  the  point.  I  need  some  advice  from  everyone  out  here  on  how  to  take  plunge  into  it.
 
 My  20g  tank  receives  diffused  sunlight  from  window  behind  it.  I  am  planning  to  get  a  20  watt  fluorescent  tube  light.
 
 Here  are  a  few  questions  that  have  been  boggling  my  mind  and  any  reply  would  be  helpful.
 
 1)  Should  I  get  one  of  those  hitachi  pink  tubelights  or  a  fluorescent  light  would  equally  serve  the  purpose.
 
 2)  Should  I  keep  my  gravel  substrate  or  go  for  laterite  or  some  soil  substrate(  i  already  have  fish  in  my  tank  then  maybe  i  have  to  keep  my  fish  away  for  sometime  before  the  tank  settles  if  I  opt  for  soil).
 
 3)  How  often  should  I  fertilize  or  change  water.
 
 Well  thats  it..  thanks  for  taking  the  pain  of  reading  it.  I  would  get  my  plant  supplies  by  tuesday  and  your  suggestions  will  really  be  valuable  ..thanks  in  advance


Last edited by robero on Sat Dec 18, 2010 8:13 pm; edited 1 time in total
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justme
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 18, 2010 7:45 pm Post subject: Re: Help needed for a sparsely panted low tech set-up Reply with quote

 your  choice  of  plants  will  influence  your  responses  a  great  deal  -  what's  the  plan  there?
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robero
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 18, 2010 8:10 pm Post subject: Re: Help needed for a sparsely panted low tech set-up Reply with quote

 I  am  mainly  concentrating  on  low-light  plants  like  crypts,  anachris  and  moss.
 Also  want  to  keep  amazon  swords.
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loaches-n-tetras
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 18, 2010 11:10 pm Post subject: Re: Help needed for a sparsely planted low tech set-up Reply with quote

 welcome  to  IAH.   hope  you  find  what  you  are  looking  for.   you  will  if  you  look  long  enough.
 
 
                                                 
Quote:                
avoid  the  hassle  of  weekly  water  changes                  

 
 whatever  you  choose  to  do  it  is  a  good  idea  to  perform  a  weekly  water  change  of  at  least  20%.   this  reduces  the  nitrates,  nitrites  &  ammonia  and  keeps  fish  healthy
 
 
                                                 
Quote:                
tank  receives  diffused  sunlight  from  window  behind  it                

 
 cover  the  back  glass  with  black  or  blue  paper  or  make  it  opaque  somehow.   direct  sunlight  will  pre-dispose  to  algae...  &  you'll  have  to  change  water  more  often  
 
 
                                                 
Quote:                
hitachi  pink  tubelights                

 
 im  not  really  sure  how  effective  these  expensive  lights  are.   i  have  used  CFLs,  common  tubes,  etc.   have  used  a  hitachi  tube  only  recently  and  not  seen  too  much  of  a  significant  improvement.   probably  it  was  too  less.   either  way  i  had  a  decent  growth  of  plants.
 
 substrate:  better  this  is  the  better  the  plant  growth.   presently  im  not  keeping  a  planted  tank  but  i  know  of  people  have  excellent  results  with  "Aquaclay"  from  Germany.   
 
 fertilization  depends  on  the  plant  types  and  tank  size.   various  types  are  available  for  daily  and  weekly  dosing  schedules.
 
 your  choice  of  plants  is  rather  slow  growing  and  will  pre-dispose  to  BBA  (black  brush  algae).   add  a  few  rapid  growing  plants  also  so  nutrients  are  not  left  around  for  the  algae  to  thrive  on.
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robero
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 19, 2010 11:04 am Post subject: Re: Help needed for a sparsely planted low tech set-up Reply with quote

 Firstly  thanks  for  the  advice.
 
 
                                                 
Quote:                
substrate:  better  this  is  the  better  the  plant  growth                

 The  fact  is  I'm  not  very  keen  on  changing  my  substrate  because  its  winter  now  and  I  already  have  fish  in  my  tank.  Opting  for  soil  substrate  means  I  have  to  keep  the  fish  away  for  sometime  for  the  tank  to  settle  and  be  free  of  ammonia  and  other  toxic  substances.Correct  me  if  I'm  wrong.
 
 I  was  thinking  if  I  could  just  add  fertilizers  and  keep  the  gravel  as  base.  Is  that  possible??
 
 
                                                 
Quote:                
whatever  you  choose  to  do  it  is  a  good  idea  to  perform  a  weekly  water  change  of  at  least  20%                

 I'm  mainly  concentrating  on  Diana  Walstad  type  tanks  where  water  changes  are  minimum.
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 19, 2010 12:30 pm Post subject: Re: Help needed for a sparsely planted low tech set-up Reply with quote

 robero  for  crypts  and  other  echonodores  family  plants  the  substrate  should  have  some  ferts  your  common  gravel  will  not  work
 but  yes  if  you  dont  want  to  disturb  your  base  than  go  for  anubias  ,  moss,  and  java  fern  you  can  also  tie  water  wysteria  to  the  drift  wood  
 about  lighting  i  suggest  dont  go  for  expensive  lights  try  and  have  only  tube  lights  rather  than  cfl  and  all  these  plants  i  suggested  needs  just  2w/g  lights  with  co2  and  other  nutrition  dosing  
 all  the  best
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 19, 2010 7:33 pm Post subject: Re: Help needed for a sparsely planted low tech set-up Reply with quote

 Thanks  aquariumer  for  your  advice.
 But  I  was  thinking  whether  dosing  liquid  fertilizers  in  gravel  would  substitute  for  fertile  soil  substrate.
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 20, 2010 12:18 am Post subject: Re: Help needed for a sparsely planted low tech set-up Reply with quote

 look  robero  its  a  little  complex  situation,  these  echonodoros  and  crypto's  absorb  nut's  only  from  rizomes  and  roots  and  what  you  provide  in  liqiuid  forms  would  not  be  enough  for   them  to  satisfy  them  you  need  to  over  dose,  if  you  over  dose  you  will  have  algae  bloom
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loaches-n-tetras
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 20, 2010 9:15 am Post subject: Re: Help needed for a sparsely planted low tech set-up Reply with quote

 the  main  problem  here  is  you  want  slow  growing  plants.   if  the  nutrients  in  the  tank  are  not  utilised  and  excess  builds  up  it  triggers  algal  bloom.   most  common  is  BBA  &  this  is  a  pain  to  get  rid  of  once  it  starts.   so  use  little  light  as  "aquariumer"  suggests  and  also  minimise  fertiliser  dosage  if  you  must  use  it.   the  other  option  is  add  some  fast  growing  plants.
 
 if  you  insist  on  crypts  just  add  some  solid  fertiliser  pellets  or  sticks  about  2-3  inches  from  the  roots  of  these  and  you  should  be  good  to  go
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 20, 2010 10:04 am Post subject: Re: Help needed for a sparsely planted low tech set-up Reply with quote

 Thanks  for  the  word  of  caution  loaches-n-tetras.  I  will  surely  keep  that  in  mind.  
 Just  one  question  --if  i  change  my  base  to  soil,  after  how  many  days  can  I  put  fish  back  into  the  tank.  I  hope  I'm  clear  enough.
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 20, 2010 11:51 am Post subject: Re: Help needed for a sparsely planted low tech set-up Reply with quote

                                                   
robero  wrote  (View  Post):                
Thanks  aquariumer  for  your  advice.
 But  I  was  thinking  whether  dosing  liquid  fertilizers  in  gravel  would  substitute  for  fertile  soil  substrate.                

 
 Hi  Robero,
 
 I  have  a  similar  setup  to  what  you  intend  to  have.
 I  have  crypts  in  usual  sand  and  gravel  mix  that  people  use.  The  growth  is  slow  but  the  point  i  want  to  underline  is  that  it  is  certainly  possible.  Additionally,  what  you  could  do  is  to  use  laterite/clay  granules  just  in  the  vicinity  of  the  roots.  
 
 I  too  would  advise  you  to  go  for  java  ferns  and  anubias  as  they  would  do  just  fine  in  a  low  tech  environment.
 
 This  way,  you  could  continue  with  your  existing  setup.
 
 
 Regarding  the  pink  light  you  spoke  of,  they  dont  do  any  good  to  the  plants.  They  seem  to  just  bring  about  the  red  colour  of  the  fish.
 
 
 Hope  that  helps.
 
 -  Ashish
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 20, 2010 6:52 pm Post subject: Re: Help needed for a sparsely planted low tech set-up Reply with quote

 Thanks  a  lot  Ashish  for  showing  the  way.  I  was  starting  to  think  that  there  is  no  way  I  could  have  a  planted  tank  with  just  gravel.
 
 
                                                 
Quote:                
The  growth  is  slow  but  the  point  i  want  to  underline  is  that  it  is  certainly  possible                

 
 I  really  do  not  want  heavy  growth.  I  am  keen  on  planted  tank  tank  because  I  read  somewhere  that  plants  are  responsible  for  good  water  conditions  by  acting  as  buffers.
 
 
                                                 
Quote:                
Additionally,  what  you  could  do  is  to  use  laterite/clay  granules  just  in  the  vicinity  of  the  roots.                  

 
 What  are  clay  granules  and  where  can  I  find  it?  Can  I  have  normal  laterite  from  plant  nursery  or  are  there  any  special  ones  for  fish  tanks.  Should  I  treat  them  with  some  chemicals  before  adding  them  to  the  tank??
 
 Sorry  to  be  so  abrupt  and  stupid.  But  these  questions  are  really  bugging  my  mind.
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 22, 2010 12:06 pm Post subject: Re: Help needed for a sparsely planted low tech set-up Reply with quote

 simple  gravel  is  very  good  and  i  have  used  it  a  lot  -  acually  i  have  only  used  that  and  not  gone  the  expensive  substrate  way  at  all.   but  i  have  enriched  it  with  substrate  pellets  and  sticks  to  add  fertiliser.   also  i  dose  very  irregularly  if  at  all.
 
 the  substrate  may  be  changed  and  since  you  have  a  set  up  that  is  already  up  and  running  you  should  be  able  to  add  fish  right  away.   substrate  does  not  really  interfere  with  fish  unless  it  is  very  fine  or  totally  chemically  unsuitable  for  the  fish.   
 
 granular  substrate  is  made  by  various  companies,  ADA,  Aquaclay,  etc.   you  can  find  it  at  the  better  high  end  aquarium  shops  in  your  city,  region.   personally  with  your  intent  of  slow  growing  plants  mainly,  i  would  not  go  for  it.   your  existing  substrate  with  additives  are  what  i'd  go  with  at  most.
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 22, 2010 7:35 pm Post subject: Re: Help needed for a sparsely planted low tech set-up Reply with quote

 Thanks  again  Dinesh  for  taking  the  time  of  reading  my  posts.
 
 I  was  initially  at  my  wits  ends  as  to  how  to  get  a  planted  tank  done.  No  doubt  there  is  a  wealth  of  information  on  the  net  but  it  was  making  things  more  confusing  for  me.  Anyways  now  I  can  can  see  some  light.
 
 Just  another  question  --  Do  laterite  have  any  disadvantages  (not  from  the  nutrition  point  of  view)  like  compacting  or  forming  gas  pockets?  Do  I  have  to  change  the  substrate  year  after  year  or  so?
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 25, 2010 10:17 pm Post subject: Re: Help needed for a sparsely planted low tech set-up Reply with quote

 that's  what  a  forum  is  all  about  i  think.   read  what  interests  you  and  leave  the  rest.     Very Happy  
 so  its  not  an  issue  at  all.   hope  my  2  cents  helps.   i  do  agree  the  internet  can  be  confusing  at  times.   but  you  need  to  filter  a  lot  and  choose  what  you  use  best.   
 
 whatever  your  substrate  you  need  to  poke  it  around  (just  like  normal  garden  soil  in  an  outdoor  garden)  to  aerate  it  every  once  in  a  a  while.   i  used  to  do  this  every  month  or  two  and  at  one  time  i  even  kept  peacock  eels  that  dig  into  the  substrate  and  i  never  had  to  dig  around  any  more.   only  issue  was  plant  growth  was  poor  because  they  dislodged  the  substrate  too  much.
 
 i've  had  substrate  in  my  tanks  at  times  for  over  4  years  without  doing  anything  to  it  except  adding  fertiliser  pellets  and  sticks.   by  that  time  i  guess  you  might  get  bored  with  the  set  up  and  want  a  change  as  well  so  it  would  not  hurt  to  change  the  type  of  biotope  and  also  the  substrate  along  with  that
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