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Low tech, hi flow, long light

Kezzab

Member
Joined
18 Jan 2016
Messages
1,470
Location
Carlisle
Hello all,
About 6 weeks ago I took down my hill stream loach tank that had been neglected running in the garage and relocated the sole remaining inhabitant to a 60l tank in the house.
In scaping the tank i just used some plants that had been part of the previous scape, mainly anubias, and added bits of java fern from my hi-tech tank. The java fern also has scraps of hydrocotyle tripartita attached.

The tank has about 50l of lawyer in it, a 2000lph circulation pump and small filter. Turnover must be 30 to 40 times per hour. It's unheated and the lights are on 12 hours a day. No co2 and I add about 10 'ml of macro ferts once a week.

Now, a kind of hair algae blanket weed is fairly rife, but more surprisingly plant health is good, especially the tripartita which is growing steadily and very compact directly in the pump outflow with.

I'm surpris2d because when I've tried to grow this in a low co2 tank before it was a straggly, weak mess. And a 12hr photo period in a low tech tank is quite unusual.

I'm guessing the very high turnover is beneficial, both perhaps by mechanically forcing the plant to grow compact and by ensuring good gas exchange.

One to ponder.
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MichaelJ

Member
Joined
9 Feb 2021
Messages
1,969
Location
Minnesota, USA
And a 12hr photo period in a low tech tank is quite unusual.
@Kezzab, I've been running the lights in both my densely planted low tech tanks for 12 hours/day for a long time now (including 30 mins of sunrise/sunset ramping). The key is to tune in the intensity of the light - including adding floating plants (which probably will help in your case getting rid of the algae). I also run my tanks at fairly moderate temperatures (23.5-24C) and have very good flow throughout the tank and surface (when its not overgrown with duckweed and frogbit :) ). All to lower the tanks overall metabolism, lower the need for CO2 and maximize the CO2 uptake from the water/air interface - whatever tiny little bit I can squeeze out. Oh, and I dose a lot of NPK weekly with my WC and usually add traces the day after. Growth is slow (compared to an injected tank), but healthy and there are zero algae to speak of in any of the tanks.

Cheers,
Michael
 
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dw1305

Expert
UKAPS Team
Joined
7 Apr 2008
Messages
14,583
Location
nr Bath

dw1305

Expert
UKAPS Team
Joined
7 Apr 2008
Messages
14,583
Location
nr Bath
Hi all,
Turnover must be 30 to 40 times per hour. It's unheated and the lights are on 12 hours a day. No co2 and I add about 10 'ml of macro ferts once a week.
If I have a really bright light I just have more plant mass to form a more effective <"net curtain">
You would need a plant to grow up through the water column, as a floater isn't going to work with the flow. A longer leaved Cryptocoryne spp. would work, (or Vallisneria) but I might give Potamogeton gayii a go, if you can find it.

cheers Darrel
 

MichaelJ

Member
Joined
9 Feb 2021
Messages
1,969
Location
Minnesota, USA
Realistically I always have all the PAR utilized by the plants before it reaches the tank substrate, which is always a <"dark and gloomy place">.
I am surprised how well the runners of my crypts (especially Wendtii) stay alive, let alone growing in what appears, at least in certain areas, to be almost total darkness near the substrate.

Cheers,
Michael
 
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