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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 55 gl. 48x12x18 with 2 pieces of malaysian wood and 3 rainbow rock cobbles. I am waiting for new lighting (2x65 watt 48" light strip) and Aquariumplants.com own substrate (please tell me this is decent substrate) to arrive. Now for all the questions...
Will this lighting be enough for a low light low maintance tank?
Do I need to add anything to the substrate before planting?
I would like to use the following plants:
Anubias nana
Wendtii Crypt brown
Microsorum pteropus "windelov" (on wood)
Microsorum pteropus (on wood)
Hydrocotyle leucocephala
Najas guadalupensis
Potamogeton gayii
(I hope my spelling is correct, I was half asleep when I wrote them down.)
Will these plants work for my set up? and/or any other plant suggestions would be helpful.
Which type of fish should be added first and when after planting? :confused:
 

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I have the same wattage fixture on my 55G tank, mine are power compacts. I can grow all low light to medium plants well and even some plants labled as high light plants. So the plants you have listed should do fine.

I've not used the Aquarium Plants substrate, but I have heard a few people say good things about it. IMO, the substrate is one of the least important things in keeping a healthy planted tank. A regular fertilization routine added directly to the water is important, since the majority of plants take in their nutrients through their leaves. For plants such as crypts/swords, then a fert tab may be needed underneath the substrate.

Also check out our "PlantFinder", which will give you info on different plants requirments.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you both for your help. This site is great, there is a ton of info. I'm still having trouble trying to fiqure out the ferts, I'm just not getting it. I'm not going to add CO2 injection, as I want to keep this low maintenance and have to keep to a low budget. LOL . Can someone lead me to a thread that explains the ferts in very simple terms? :rolleyes:
 

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The basic fertilizing schemes are all tied to how much light intensity you have. You can have low light, moderate light or high light.

Low light means you may not need to fertilize at all, but your plant choices are limited to those that can live with low light.

Moderate light means you will have to fertilize, but may be able to use Excel or DIY CO2 instead of pressurized CO2, and you can grow almost all aquatic plants, some better than others.

High light means you will have to fertilize, following a pretty rigid routine, and use pressurized CO2, but this allows you to grow any aquatic plants, including carpet plants.

For low light, the most widely used technique is the "el natural" system, described and discussed in our el natural forum. Or, you can use Tom Barr's low light method, described here - http://www.barrreport.com/articles/433-non-co2-methods.html.

For high light, you can fertilize per the EI (Estimative Index) method or PPS Pro method, both described in stickies in the fertilizing forum.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you so much Hoppy for breaking down this info into terms I can understand. Now I have a much better understanding of what I need to do and where to go from here. :)
 

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I will be using the same substate this weekend in a 50 gallon tank. I will note that it is lighter than some others in weight, but gives good results. I plan on adding fert tabs within a week for the crypts eventhough it does have some nutrients in the substrate. Good luck with yours. I do have more watts however.
 
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