Aquatic Plant Forum banner
1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
676 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Since I already have a couple of high-tech tanks (see my signature link) I was thinking of doing a low-tech, low-light (read: low maintenance) tank after I was left some Java Moss and Ferns plus a whole bunch of small C wendtiis. I have a 29g tank in the garage that I tore down when I set up my 125 in September. So my first thought was to set up the 29 with a single 65w strip, but the tank won't fit in the spot I'd be setting it up in.

So my fallback plan is to get a 20H from an LFS for $30, but can I do a low maintenance setup with 3.25wpg? I don't want to grow any stem plants except for maybe some 2 leaf Micranthemum. Everything else will be ferns, moss, Anubias, or Crypts.

Substrate would be a thin layer of peat+mulm, covered by a 50-50 mix of Flourite (or maybe Profile) and coarse quartz sand. I'd go all Flourite (or even Eco-Complete) but I still have 100# of sand leftover from my 125 setup. Fish load would be some Endlers, Cherry Shrimp, a few Corys and an oto or two.

Can this be done without injecting CO2, daily dosing, and most importantly, without fighting a never ending battle against algae?

I guess I could always buy the 20H with the NO strip light kit and end up with a 1wpg setup instead :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,035 Posts
How about suspending the light? Distance can help with this problem. I have 110 watts above a 20 US gallon high with the light suspended 12 inches above the surface with CO2. 65 watts at a distance might well be a low maintenance situation.

Andrew Cribb
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
676 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
If I use the AquaLight it would be with the legs so that adds another 3" distance. I don't want to suspend the light any higher as the tank will be in the living room along with my big TV so I need to keep light spillage to a minimum.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,380 Posts
I have one 20 H with a similar set-up, except I have the 55 watt CF lights and no C02.
Being that the 20 H is deeper than something like a 20 long, it doesn't seem to be a problem.
I get a little algae, but no more than any injected tank does, so it's manageable.
I have it pretty heavily planted, so I'm sure that helps.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
676 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
JanS,
What are you using as a filter on your 20H? I was thinking of running a powerhead and quickfilter hidden behind the hardscape. Maybe run some flexible black tubing around the bottom perimiter of the tank and have a spraybar (or sprinkler heads) at substrate level blowing water from one end of the tank to the other.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,380 Posts
I'm just using a Whisper HOB, but your plan sounds great. :)

BTW, I was planning to add C02 to this tank a long time ago, but the Cory's have been going wild spawning in there for some reason, so I decided to leave it as it was. I've since come to like the scape of it with the plants that work well without the C02.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
676 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
JanS said:
…but the Cory's have been going wild spawning in there for some reason, so I decided to leave it as it was. I've since come to like the scape of it with the plants that work well without the C02.
My Cherry shrimp spawing is the reason why I've stopped trying to 'scape my 40. They apparently like the jungle setting. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
353 Posts
I have never tried this in an aquarium setting but I do it all the time with my outdoor grow out tubs... Try a really short photo period, say 4-5 hours or something. I have tubs on my patio that house various ferns, mosses, and anubias that get about 4 hours of direct sunlight in the morning. By once the sun passes, the tub is in the shade. By 2:00, deep shade where I need a flashlight to spot the fry swimming in the tub. I have no problems with algae whatsoever. There is no filter and I do 50% waterchanges every week. I've always wanted to try it in a tank but never got around to it...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
353 Posts
I have never tried this in an aquarium setting but I do it all the time with my outdoor grow out tubs... Try a really short photo period, say 4-5 hours or something. I have tubs on my patio that house various ferns, mosses, and anubias that get about 4 hours of direct sunlight in the morning. By once the sun passes, the tub is in the shade. By 2:00, deep shade where I need a flashlight to spot the fry swimming in the tub. I have no problems with algae whatsoever. There is no filter and I do 50% waterchanges every week. I've always wanted to try it in a tank but never got around to it...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
676 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
So I picked up the 20H today and did my initial layout. I posted a journal of the process (or as much as I took the time to document with pictures :)) on my site. I'm still waiting for a few more Anubias that I ordered from AquaBotanic, but other than that it's just a matter of letting things fill in.

Since I don't want to have to do daily dosings or set this tank up with CO2, I've set the initial lighting period to 6hrs per day. I'll see how things go from there.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,116 Posts
Bill,

Nice personal web site. I particularly like the comments.

This new 20 gal. tank should do well with this light. Please post updates on it!

--Nikolay
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,116 Posts
Bill,

Nice personal web site. I particularly like the comments.

This new 20 gal. tank should do well with this light. Please post updates on it!

The close up pictures of aquatic flora and fauna look very good. What camera are you using to take those pictures? It seems that it can do a very good job. Maybe if you shoot more frames you will have more to choose from and get truly great photos.

--Nikolay
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
676 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
niko said:
...Maybe if you shoot more frames you will have more to choose from and get truly great photos.

--Nikolay
I'm using a Canon S400 which is their small P&S. You wouldn't believe the amount of pics I've shot just to get those few that I've posted :lol:

It's mostly a problem with focus since I can't determine how good it is using the camera's LCD. This is also the reason why there are very few shots of the fast moving fish I have. I'd have to shoot 30-40 pics to get one that's in focus!

I have access to a Nikon D1 (their first gen, 2MP DSLR), but I don't have any macro lens for it. When I finally decide to spring for the lens I'll be able to take a lot more usable pictures.
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top