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kane123

Low Tech Planted Set Up

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Hi all,

I am thinking of doing a low tech planted set up, maybe a 3 or 4ft tank. Never done plants, would like it low tech. No C02, expensive lights etc. Don't mind adding a bit of aquarium dirt and ferts though. Ive tried searching for articles on here but to no avail. Would just like advice on how to set it up very basic. Any articles worth a read floating around? Cheers

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To get you started, I've always used a tried & true recipe for substrate in all of my tanks which are planted:

1st layer: About 2cm of peat - try Brunnings brand "Propagation Peat Moss" from Bunnings, which comes in a 5 litre bag for about $6 a bag.

2nd layer: A healthy sprinkle of marble chips, although not so much that you actually create a "layer" - just enough that it comfortably speckles the peat. For this, go to the garden pebble section of Bunnings out near the plants, & look for the small bags of coloured pebbles - pick out the 2kg bag of Tuscan Path Pty Ltd fine (~5mm) white "Colourful Pebble: Ideal for Cactii Gardens, Handicrafts, Vases, Bonsai & Pots."

3rd layer: 1cm layer of laterite, or volcanic soil - any roadside verge with red dirt (not clay) is perfect. If you don't know of any, laterite is available through some of the better pet/aquarium stores.

4th layer: 1 cm layer of course river sand, fine gravel, whatever takes your fancy - this will be the top layer that will be displayed in your tank.

The science behind it is to create a number of bedded layers into which your plants will throw roots & grow, which in turn will continue to feed your plants over the long-term. The peat, once flooded & compressed, will create an acid environment at the base of the substrate...which in turn will eat away at the marble chips producing CO2...below an iron-rich layer of laterite...capped with your display substrate which holds the rest in place.

Once flooded, you'll notice some discolouration to the water (almost like black water) for the first 1-2 weeks, which will readily dissipate with water changes as the tank cycles. Some swear by pouring a bit of blood & bone in during the peat/laterite layers, but I've found this always spikes out your water parameters for longer during the cycling stage, & doesn't seem to provide any noticeable extra benefit in addition to the above recipe (short of lengthening your tank stabilisation period).

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Ah the old 2toned diy co2 generating mix. Some good success has been had with it.

Its not fool proof tho. Prob worth checking out the epic thread on aquariumlife first to cover all bases as its a nightmare to try remove if you want to change it.

A commercial option for root feeding plants is the ada amazonia and eco complete.

Then again its possible to have a tank of plants that feed from the water column. That way you add liquid fertz and can use any gravel/sand you want.

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You want low tech? Do what I do: start with small sized gravel, well washed (Coffs Harbour is ideal),

about 6 to 7 cm deep.

Fill up tank with water, I only use rainwater. Start up your filter, use one that does

not turn your tank into a jacuzzi.

Put in plants. Wait a week or so, then introduce fish. Go for something cheap,

so if they don't survive, it doesn't hurt your wallet to much. Your done!

Depending on where your tank sits regarding daylight, you might have to put up a light, but that's all.

It works, here's a pic of one of my tanks to prove it

post-6434-1471163477275_thumb.jpg

Edited by bluebelle

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That tank is so beautiful [MENTION=6434]bluebelle[/MENTION] what's the pretty lace looking plant in the background on the right? I love heavily planted tanks but my plec digs up everything in my 6ft so I only have a few driftwood with anubias and java fern growing on them. I was thinking of drilling some small holes in the wooden lid near the back and using fishing wire to hang a few small pots of some micranthemum. I am floating some elodea at the top for fry cover.

[MENTION=4260]kane123[/MENTION] I'm only running some blue and white leds and so far all my plants are flourishing. Love to hear about the progress you make as time goes on :egrin:

Edited by sunnyQLD

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So many to choose from. Being the elitist that I am, and always keen for something new, I have been trying out the new continuum range in combination with the Giovanni gel capsules. Doesn't get any more high tech Gucci than that!

Realise thats not really todays topic though.

Low tech?

API leaf zone and dino dung.

Not bad when you also have a good fish load as their waste provides nitrates and phosphates, which helps make the leafzone more complete. Its iron and potasium.

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I run small gravel brought from the landscape 3-4mm, plant tube, flourish and dinosaur dung. but my tanks are packed with rainbows.

I walk that fin line of plants and fish working together in balance.

Easy to do depending on where you live set up a trial tank with local plants you can collect and a cheap Bunnings led.

If it crashes no loss.

550e24e7ab749833664522a316e21a4c.jpg

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