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Starting a low tech 20 gallon long tank. What ferts to use?

Discussion in 'General Plant Topics' started by rs18alpha, Nov 12, 2017.

  1. rs18alpha

    rs18alpha Subscriber

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    I'm setting up a 20 gal long low tech tank.
    I'll be using Manzanita wood and the only plants that will be used are Anubias and brown Crypts.

    The fish will be Dario Dario scarlet gem badis, Bumble bee gobie and a few Oto cats and maybe some shrimp? I'm sure what kind of shrimp I'll try??

    I'm going to try the 2 hrs on and 2 hrs off lighting schedule.

    Would using Flourish excel and Flourish Iron be enough for the plants??
     
  2. fablau

    fablau rotalabutterfly.com
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    Nice! For shrimp I'd add some Amanos and maybe cherries?

    Why are you doing the 2 on - 2 off light schedule?

    About ferts, even if the tank is low tech, I'd some some more than Excel and Iron, unless you are using ADA AS or similar. I'd dose at least 7ppm NO3 and 0.7ppm PO4 per week (even just that amount once a week) and on a different way, a trace mix such as Flourish Comprehensive and Flourish Trace at their recommended dose. I have a 20gl low-tech tank and plants are thriving with that.
     
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  3. rs18alpha

    rs18alpha Subscriber

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    Are you saying to dose just once a week NO3 and PO4 at those levels?
    If I get the Comprehensive and the trace should I dose that once a week as well?

    As far as the lights go, I heard that would cut down on algae in a low tech set up.
    But, I have no problem running the lights for 7 or 8 hrs a day.

    I have a high tech tank and that's doing well. I dose EI so I can dose the 20gal with the NO3 and PO4 that I already have mixed up.
    As far as micro, could I just use the CSM+B that I use on my high tech tank?
    If so, what ppm do I need to reach per week?
     
  4. Tim Harrison

    Tim Harrison Lifetime Member
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  5. ForTheHalibut

    ForTheHalibut Member

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    If you are going low tech, you might as well go dirted. Dirt reduces the need to worry about fert regimes and adds a much needed CO2 source that would be sorely lacking in an inert low tech tank.
     
  6. fablau

    fablau rotalabutterfly.com
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    Yes, I'd dose macros and micros once a week, on alternate days (i.e. Monday macros, Tuesday micros). You can of course use CSM instead than the flourish line, I'd dose just the amount to reach a Fe target of 0.02 ppm.
     
  7. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    ADA AS works excellent in low tech methods. In lieu of of garden soil etc. More consistent, less mess and layering required.
    Start up is key with non CO2, then not pestering things there after.
    And minimizing water changes. Light: 8-11 hours works. No need to on/off every 2-4 hours.
     
  8. ForTheHalibut

    ForTheHalibut Member

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    Is aquasoil a true replacement for soil? I've never been able to figure out if plants that are capable of sedimentary CO2 uptake can use aquasoil as a carbon source.
     
  9. Rodgie_III

    Rodgie_III New Member

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    Hi everyone, sorry I'll jump in.
    Regarding ADA AS, which one (specifically) is best for low energy tank? Because there's Amazonia, I see some like light. They have other varieties. It'll be best for me and others to know what you guys prefer. Thank you
     
  10. fablau

    fablau rotalabutterfly.com
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    Amazonia is the best, for any tank type.
     
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  11. Rodgie_III

    Rodgie_III New Member

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    I appreciate it @fablau

    Thank you,
    Rodgie
     
  12. fablau

    fablau rotalabutterfly.com
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    You are very welcome :)
     
  13. hn5624

    hn5624 New Member

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    Be careful with ADA aquasoil, it turned into literally mud when I placed it inside my aquarium also it turns the tank into a mud storm if you move a plant around.
    Try Controsoil instead, It doesnt seem to break down and you can re-use if you ever decide to tear that tank down, also makes replanting much less of a mess.
     
  14. Tim Harrison

    Tim Harrison Lifetime Member
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    Wow, you must have had a bad batch, I've never had any problems with it. And I've dried it and reused it as well, again with out incident.
     
  15. slipfinger

    slipfinger Article Editor
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    Ya, this is not normal. Did you use regular or powder?

    I do know some batches are a little 'dustier' than other but I believe that was corrected a while ago.

    Yes it does get messy when you start moving things around but if you are kicking up a mud storm you probably should be doing a water change after anyways. Water change plus good filtration, tank should be clear within a couple hours.
     
  16. ForTheHalibut

    ForTheHalibut Member

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    Aquasoil seems an excessively expensive option given OP only wants to keep anubias and crypts. After all, these plants would probably do fine in inert gravel with mulm. Using aquasoil seems unnecessary and wasteful.
     
    VaughnH likes this.
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