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Low-tech 90P with old Tropica aqua soil

RanchDressing

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Hello!

Im planning to setup new planted tank after 7 years.
Tank will be low tech (no added Co2).
Tank dimensions are 90x45x45 cm, 180l.
I have several questions about tech, substrate etc.


1.) I have an old Tropica aqua soil that have been used only for a few months and after that it was sitting in empty dry tank.
My question is, as tropical aqua soil is not cheap, can I use it in my new tank?
I have read that after a good wash and bake in the oven on highest temp, it should be OK.
Maybe I should add some nutrition bottom, like tropics substrate at the bottom, under the soil?


2.) Lighning, I would like to go with LED light.. around 40W, I think that will be enough.

3.) Filtration - I choose the Fluval hagen 307, will be enough with its 1150l/h flow rate?
Or should I look for higher flow rate?

Ill be happy for your advice..

Thanks!
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
Welcome to UKAPS.
Im planning to setup new planted tank after 7 years.
You don't need to cycle it with ammonia, just plant it up and let the plants grow in. After ~ six weeks it is fish safe. If you have time look through all of <"Dr Timothy Hovanec's comments about Bacterial supplements">.
I have an old Tropica aqua soil that have been used only for a few months and after that it was sitting in empty dry tank.
My question is, as tropical aqua soil is not cheap, can I use it in my new tank?
Yes, it should be fine. I wouldn't worry about washing or baking it, I would use it in its present state.
Maybe I should add some nutrition bottom, like tropics substrate at the bottom, under the soil?
You can, but you don't need to, you can <"just feed the water column">.
Lighning, I would like to go with LED light.. around 40W, I think that will be enough.
That should be plenty. You may need some way of dimming it. I like a <"net curtain" of floating plants">, others will just use a dimmer.
Filtration - I choose the Fluval hagen 307, will be enough with its 1150l/h flow rate?
Or should I look for higher flow rate?
You don't need huge flow for a low tech tank, the "x10" rule is really just to ensure CO2 distribution in a high-tech tanks.

cheers Darrel
 

CJM70

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You can, but you don't need to, you can <"just feed the water column">.
cheers Darrel
Hi Darrel, can you use this method for low tech? Also, would a nutrient sparse substrate cause plant root structures to take longer to take hold, thus allowing a higher chance of algae? I was under the (probably wrong lol) idea you need to get growth going ASAP? Im about to start up a tank after a void of several years and have forgotten what I thought I knew. Thanks.
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
Hi Darrel, can you use this method for low tech?
Yes you can, you don't have to dose at <"full EI levels">, you can use a <"fraction of EI"> on a regular basis or you can use the <"Duckweed Index">. Plants can only take up nutrients <"as ions from solution">, this is true of all all plants including cacti etc.
Also, would a nutrient sparse substrate cause plant root structures to take longer to take hold, thus allowing a higher chance of algae?
No, not necessarily. I usually have a <"90% inert substrate">, I just leave it <"undisturbed once it is in place">. Once you know that every <"aquarium plant">, <"tomato, cucumber or pepper"> that you purchase has been grown hydroponically in an inert medium it tells you that <"the substrate may have all sorts of important functions">, but that not having one doesn't preclude plant growth.

I like quick growing plants during the establishment phase, but I don't tend to use planted stems, <"I use floating "stems"> and floating plants, along with the permanent planting of <"slower growing Ferns, mosses and Aroids">.
I was under the (probably wrong lol) idea you need to get growth going ASAP?
You do, but while you don't have any fish you can use a complete terrestrial fertiliser (ideally one with more urea than ammonia content) like <"Miracle Gro or Solufeed 2 : 1 : 4">.

All you need to do then is remove dead leaves etc, change some water and <"wait until the plants have grown in">. <"No test kits, no adding ammonia, no magic bullets">, just watch the plants, they can't lie.

cheers Darrel
 

shangman

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Personally I've been using old ADA soil (which I assume is similar), and I didn't have much growth at all in it until I LOADED it with root tabs. While my ephiphytes were growing great, my soil/rooted plants hardly grew at all. I recently added loads of root tabs and things are going much much better now, a real noticable load of new growth has appeared. I also noticed this in my first lowtech, which was sand and soil. After a year, even with water fertilisation the soil was depleted and the rooted plant just didn't grow as well any more. This is something I've just recently realised seems to help a lot though so I can't say for certain, but I do recommend it.

So if possible use the soil and add loads of root tabs, and keep adding them every few months and it'll be totally fine. I recommend loking for them for much much cheaper on ebay, the branded ones are exactly the same but a million times more expensive. I still recommend adding ferts to the water as well, but this is an easy thing to do and your plants will thank you. If you're growing epiphytes then it doesn't matter.

I also wouldn't bother to wash it before putting it in the tank, what's it gonna have in it that washing will solve? Makes more sense to put it in and do a few extra water changes in the first few weeks to wash the whole tank instead.
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
While my ephiphytes were growing great, my soil/rooted plants hardly grew at all. I recently added loads of root tabs and things are going much much better now, a real noticable load of new growth has appeared. I also noticed this in my first lowtech, which was sand and soil. After a year, even with water fertilisation the soil was depleted and the rooted plant just didn't grow as well any more. This is something I've just recently realised seems to help a lot though so I can't say for certain, but I do recommend it.
I probably should have said that I'm <"not after optimal growth">, in fact quite the opposite I want the plants to <"grow fairly slowly">.
I also wouldn't bother to wash it before putting it in the tank, what's it gonna have in it that washing will solve? Makes more sense to put it in and do a few extra water changes in the first few weeks to wash the whole tank instead.
My advice as well.

cheers Darrel
 

RanchDressing

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Hello! Thanks everybody for your advice.. I set up my tank 2 weeks ago, so far so good, here is a result..
Im adding Co2 by DIY - 2 bottle set, and fertilize with seachem flourish.
Filtration is tetratec 1200 plus, which is a bit noisy after a few days of use..
Light is 55W LED - I use it at 60%

cheers
 

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Konsa

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Lostock Hall
Hi
look into different fertilizer.Florish is not complete fertilizer and doesn't have sufficient levels of N and P so you will run into difficulties along the line. with CO2.Tropica specialised,TCN complete... or mix your own(cheapest option) depending on what is available where you are.
Regards Konstantin
 
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