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http://indianaquariumhobbyist.com/community/ :: View topic - Suggestions for a low tech Planted Aquarium!
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Suggestions for a low tech Planted Aquarium!

 
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dudam
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Joined: Jul 29, 2013
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Location: PCMC Pune

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2016 10:03 pm Post subject: Suggestions for a low tech Planted Aquarium! Reply with quote

 Hi  All,     Smile  
 
 I  am  planning  to  setup  a  low  tech  planted  aquarium  and  would  love  suggestions  from  you  all  lovely  people.  
 
 I  have  an  Aquarium  cycling  for  atleast  a  month  with  some  aquascape.  
 
 I  am  yet  to  add  fish  in  it  but  let  me  tell  you  how  it  currently  looks.  
 It's  around  20  Gal  long  30x15x12  inches.
 I  have  a  driftwood,   some  hard  lava  rocks,  and  a  couple  coconut  shells.  
 
 It's  well  lit  (atleast  that's  what  I  think   Very Happy  )  with  a  22  W  multicolor  LED  lights.
 The  only  substrate  that  I  could  get  is  a  medium  sized  colorful  gravel.   Sad  
 
 I  have  added  some  duckweed  and  water  lettuce  yesterday  which  I  picked  up  from  a  local  pond.  I  did  sterilize  them  with  KMnO4  before  placing  them  in  my  tank.   Thumb Up  
 
 I  am  planning  to  add  some  java  moss  on  the  driftwood,   some  amazon  sword  behind  the  rocks  and  some  crypts  or  java  fern  or  anubias  in  the  front.  
 
 I  am  not  sure  which  other  plant  won't  mind  the  larger  gravel  substrate  in  my  tank,  but  if  you  know  then  please  suggest  me.  
 
 I  plan  to  put  some  livebearers  or  some  tetras  with  a  pair  of  Kribensis,  or  a  pair  of  Rams!  I  was  considering  rainbows  instead  of  the  Rams  and  Kribs  but  I  wasn't  sure  if  they  would  love  my  20  Gal  or  not.  
 
 I'd  be  also  adding  a  couple  of  Oto  cats  or  Cory  cats  and  some  cherry  shrimps.  And  maybe  a  nerite  snail  if  I  could  get  one.  
 
 I  hope  I  am  overdoing  it  but  suggestions  are  welcome  about  anything.   Smile  
 
 Cheers,  
 Sagar
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jaigu
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 25, 2016 4:38 pm Post subject: Re: Suggestions for a low tech Planted Aquarium! Reply with quote

 Hi,
 
 Welcome  to  the  hobby.
 Going  "Low  tech"  is  the  best  way  to  begin  aquascaping.  From  my  *undocumented*  experience,  you  can  successfully  maintain  a  good  aquascape,  with  simple  things.  
 CO2,  Expensive  Substrates  that  demand  a  hefty  price  per  morsel  etc  are  not  at  all  required  for  this.  There  is  no  need  to  buy  anything  fancy  that  burns  a  hole  in  your  pocket.
 My  2  cents:
 Throw  away  those  dizzying  colored  glass  pebbles,  if  that's  what  you  are  talking  about.  You  are  not  trying  to  hypnotize  the  fish,  and  implant  thoughts  in  their  minds,  are  you?
 
 Natural  substrates,  like  mineralized  top-soil  are  great,  topped  with  river  sand.
 You  could  try  the  following:
 #  Microwave  pieces  of  termite  mounds  (just  take  a  little!  Don't  harm  the  termites!),  just  enought  to  fuse  the  clay  (and  not  make  terracotta  stuff!!.  Usually  20  minutes  would  be  fine  at  max  temperature  (around  700  degrees).  You  can  use  this  method  to  sterilize  top-soil  too.
 #  Mashed  Banana+Coconut  water,  or  any  proper  N-P-K  fertilizer  (if  you  are  chemically  inclined!),  can  be  mixed  with  clay,  and  baked  for  just  under  a  minute.
 #  Calcium  supplementation  can  be  done  by  finely  powdered  egg  shells,  mixed  with  the  substrate.  Make  sure  they  are  fine  enough.  Entrust  your  food  processor  for  this.
 #  Again  don't  throw  away  the  banana  peels.  CUt  and  use  them  albeit  moderately.
 
 For  healthy  fish,  make  them  feel  safe  with  companions  that  naturally  school,  just  like  in  the  wild.
 Cichlids  (like  Ram)  are  naturally  territorial,  when  in  spawning  mood.  While  Rams  are  peaceful  enough,  big  cichlids  don't  cut  the  list.  Use  coconut-caves  and  hide-aways  plentily  for  this.
 When  adding  fish,  add  fish  as  naturally  found  in  the  wild.
 Tetras  /  Characins:  Mainly  South  American.  They  do  well  with  South  American  Cichlids  /  Guppies  /  Platies  /  Mollies.  For  shoals/  schools  7  is  the  magic  number  of  the  same  fish.
 Gold  fish  /  Koi:  Best  for  (Oriental)  Chinese-themed  aquarium-  Bear  in  mind  they  can  become  monstrous  in  size.  (if  they  survive  past  their  teens,  that  is!!).
 Zebras  /  Killi  fish:  The  paddy-fields  of  our  India.  Go  with  natural  blue  zebra-fish,  instead  of  the  genetically  modified  pink  &  yellow  Glo-fish.
 
 #  Use  slightly  blanched  Ginger  /  a  small  (very)  piece  of  turmeric  root  to  help  the  fish  get  rid  of  their  parasites.
 Their  bloat  and  bladder  problems  can  be  eased  using  pea  and  garlic.  Cinnamon  barks  can  also  be  used,  but  I  cannot  differentiate  between  the  intended  Cassia  cinnamon  and  to-be-avoided  normal  Cinnamon.
 
 #  Vetiver  /  Khus  roots  are  naturally  anti-bacterial  /  anti-fungal.  You  can  add  them  to  a  darkest  corner  (probably  under  the  shades  of  floating  plants,  or  Vallisenaria  americana.  This  ensures  that  some  eggs  of  scatterers  can  survive,  if  you  are  trying  to  breed  some.  This  also  drives  away  the  fishy  odour  and  gives  a  delicate  fragrance  to  the  water(Need  a  proper  scientific  study  on  this  one-  Ph.d  anyone?).
 
 #  If  the  lights  aren't  high  enough,  the  floating  plants  (especially  water  lettuce  /  Eichornia)  could  wilt  atleast  partially  from  the  heat.
 
 The  list  of  plants  which  I  would  recommend:
 Any  Hygrophila  except  araguia  -  tough  one  to  grow,  pinnatifida  -  an  epiphyte  and  balsamica  -  Poisonous!  emersed  leaves
 Egeria  densa-  Nitrate  slurper  of  the  aquarium
 Vallisenaria  americana  /  gigantea  /  nana  /  tortilla
 Echinodorus  tennellus  /  Sagittaria  subulata  for  the  foreground.
 Amazon  swords
 Potamogeton  gayi  /  octandrus:  take  a  while  to  set  in.  After  that,  they  exhibit  outrageous  growth.
 Crypt  spiralis:  Slow  grower.  But  do-not-disturb  me  kind.  Not  suitable  for  frequently  re-arranging  aquarist.
 Limnophila  indica:  Just  care  for  the  algae  growth  between  their  delicate  leaves.
 
 Ferns  /  Anubias  do  good  as  epiphytes.  Paste  them  slightly  using  just  half-a-drop  of  Fewikwik  (5  Rs.  pack!),  caring  to  expose  a  major  portion  of  their  rhizomes  /  roots.
 
 #  Go  with  7W  /  9W  LED  bulbs  in  parallel  wiring.  Purchase  them  this  festive  season,  to  avail  massive  discounts!
 Give  the  tank  a  2-hours  siesta  time  in-between  two  "4-5  hour"  photo-periods.  This  also  ensures  some  riddance  to  algae  problems.
 
 #  Use  Hang-On-Back  filters  for  a  minimal  flow  and  less  surface  agitation  (which  results  in  CO2  entrapment,  beneficial  to  the  plants).  Use  a  top-filter  occasionally  (or)  
 Length-wise  split  bamboo  poles(-my  favorite!!),  with  compartments  for  different  filter  media.  You  could  put  some  substrate  and  plant  some  dwarfy  /  paludarium  plants  there  as  well.  Get  a  bamboo  with  a  big  girth  for  this.  Wash  them  thoroughly  and  slightly  brown  them  on  your  cooking  gas  stove.  Avoid  charring  them,  which  spoils  the  natural  look.  The  slight  browning  /  carbonation  can  give  it  some  of  the  adsorptive  qualities  of  activated  charcoal.
 Same  way,  bamboo  poles  can  be  slit  across  and  make  good  planters  for  Pothos  /  Peace  lilies.  Tuck  them  up  in  the  top-corner  and  fasten  with  a  knot.
 (Some  might  argue  that  these  might  rot,  lower  the  pH  and  what  not.  That's  exactly  what  is  needed  for  the  fish.  No  fish  was  born  in  crystal-clear  RO  water,  in  the  wild.)
 
 Sorry  if  this  is  long.  but  you  could  try  some  of  them,  for  a  lush  and  stable  aquascape.
 
 Good  luck.
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