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Help me create my planted tank setup in detail

976 Views 1 Reply 2 Participants Last post by  cs_gardener
Here's what I have to work with:

pH 6.5
KH 2 - 3
GH 2 - 3

29gallon - Fluval 1 Plus - 100% fluorite substrate - 65watt Coralife Lighting
The plants I have now:
Anubis Nana
Brazilian pennywart
Italian Vallisneria
Water sprite
Life in my aquarium:
Malaysian Trumpet Snails
5 Badis
4 gold Tetra
2 Otocinclus Catfish

The goal is to fit as many healthy plants in my tank as I can with NO CO2

Please list names of plants I should get for my setup

Should I add more fish to balance my plant to fish ratio for nutrients? If so, how many more fish?
What should I add to my tank for nutrients?
The less amount of fertilizers the better to keep cost low, but I need to know what I would need to add with my setup I have going on.
If I do need to add Excel I have heard that some plants do not do well with Excel, does anyone know what plants do not do well with Excel?

How long of light cycle? 8 - 10 - 12 hours ?

I will post pictures of my progress as this thread gets going.

I have read threads on this and that, but it always come down to certain things not working with certain setups, so I figure I would ask for step by step help here and see what I can do with the help of the knowledgeable people who come to this forum.

Maybe this will work and maybe it wont, I would like to try this and see what me and you can create :)

This will also help me learn the nature of the planted aquarium by researching the plant types that are recommended and the additives needed.
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Have you checked out the El Natural forum since you want to keep it low cost? A soil layer is a great nutrient sink. I've used it under Eco Complete with good results and I only dose gluteraldehyde (Excel substitute). I've never used fluorite, but I think having soil under it would help keep you from needing to dose ferts.

I've heard that vals and some mosses are sensitive to Excel but I haven't had that problem as long as I don't overdose or dose directly on the plant.

In my 29 with soil under Eco Complete, 65w CF plus some bright indirect sunlight I have very good luck growing Ludwigia repens, L arcuata, L glanduloso, Bacopa australis, Cyperus helferi (wait until the tank is mature or it attracts algae), Blyxa japonica, Myriophyllum mattogrossense, all java ferns, Bolbitis heudelotii, Sagittaria subulata, Ranunculus inundates, Potomogeton gayii (had to remove it because it kept sending runners everywhere, ditto with Italian val), and various Anubias and mosses. There are a lot of plants that could do well in your tank, and as your water seems similar to mine (soft and slightly acidic) I think the plants I've listed have a good chance of doing well for you as long as you provide the nutrients they need either through dosing ferts or using a soil underlayer and feeding your fish. You can check the plantfinder to see what else would work for you. A lot depends on what you like the look of and what you want to do with your tank.

You have a relatively low fish load so you could do with increasing your number of gold tetra to at about 8 - they will behave more naturally in a larger group.
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