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New tank planning

GraemeVW

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27 Jun 2022
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81
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Chesterfield
Hello everyone, just joined the forum.
Wasn't sure where to post this.
I've been keeping fish for over 30 years, mainly just community tanks, couple of low tech planted tanks and a mini coral reef tank.
I am at the ordering stuff stage of a new tank though and found this place while searching various things.
I've read various snippets of things here and there that has made me think i may need to learn some more about planted tanks though.
I'm putting together a 980x400x500 tank, eheim classic 600, 72w of LED lighting. Will be sort of amazonian style with some angels, tetras, corys, nothing ground breaking.

Didn't really want to start loads of posts with quick questions about different things so thought I'd put them here.

My last 60l tank I used garden soil under sand and used easy plants. No co2, fertiliser etc, just left it to it.
I planned to do the same but this time with aquatic compost. I'd like to keep it as low tech as I can. I did read a bit on here about this. I didn't put anything between the soil and sand last time though. Should I? I used garden soil and play sand last time.

I have some plum tree branches I was going to use. I cut them from my tree 18 months ago and are dried through. I assume I need to take the bark off? I can't boil them though. I've read hard fruit tree wood should be ok in an aquarium.

My lights have 4 colour channels which can all be ramped up and down individually throughout the day. It's been set to low power on my simple 60l for a while but it's still set to the same balance as when it was growing corals. I figured the sun doesn't know if it's shining on salt water or fresh. But any tips on setting this light up better would be appreciated.

As for plants, I don't really know much about them. But I think I'm looking at
Vallisnetia of some kind
Cabomba of some kind
Echinodorus of some kind
Maybe something floating, but tank will have glass covers so might not be able to.
And maybe some nymphaea rubra, but I might try and make fake ones of these. I like the long stems and mid water leaves look.
I'm not sticking 100% to indigenous plants etc though so whatever will work with what I plan and stay alive in a low tech set up. Any plant suggestions welcome!

This is the kind of feel I'm hoping for, sort of.
Screenshot_20220626-222705_YouTube.jpg


I've never really done this kind of tank properly though, Ive always just chucked loads of plants in the tank and whichever ones didn't die, stayed. So any thought at all on any of what I plan would be appreciated.

These are some more screen shots from a YouTube video I'm sure you have all seen.
Screenshot_20220626-222652_YouTube.jpg

Screenshot_20220626-222654_YouTube.jpg
Screenshot_20220626-222657_YouTube.jpg
Screenshot_20220626-222659_YouTube.jpg


Thanks.
 

tigertim

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11 Jan 2015
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107
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Hull
In regards to the substrate, i use play sand myself and of course sand is the recommended substrate if keeping Corydoras, underneath i always use a layer of JBL Aquabasis plus for nutrients, presume you will be using something like Seachem or Tropica for fertlizing ?
I would definetly try some Salvina floating plants as a good cover of floating plants minimises to some extent any algea problems, particulary as the lighting loooks to be a little on the strong side, duration maybe 7.5 hours but not at full strength ?
 

GraemeVW

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27 Jun 2022
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Chesterfield
I wasn't really planning on dosing anything if I can help it. Was hoping no ferts, no co2, real low maintenance.
Am I going to NEED to get involved with fertiliser?
I've seen aquarium specific soils but any reason not to just use aquatic compost, big bag is £5.

The light is completely adjustable. I can set the level of each colour selerately, from 0% to 100% power, throughout the day. At the moment, on my 60l which only has java fern and anubias, it's set at about 30% power. I also cover half the tank to shade the back.
I'm not sure yet how high above the tank the light will be either. New tank hasn't arrived yet so ill play with it when it does.

I am hoping for some floating plants. My only concern is the cover glass. Might mean i need to lower the water height to give them space, and I want as much depth for the angels as possible.
Any small floating plants with long roots?
 

GraemeVW

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27 Jun 2022
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This is a li k to the video i took the screenshots from, in case anyone hasn't seen it


I'll try and get as close as I can to this look, while keeping it as low tech and low maintenance as possible.
 

tigertim

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11 Jan 2015
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Hull
I would presume Aquatic soil would have a higher nutrient level ? thereby not needing to liquid ferilise ? it sounds like your looking to do a "Walstad " type set up, hopefully some one else will chime in, i just stick to what as worked with me in the past.
 

GraemeVW

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I'll have to look that up. I've seen walstad mentioned, but don't really know what it refers to.

My nano reef was super simple, using the hardscape as the filter and just using powerheads for flow. Basically just means the inhabitants are IN the filter.

Not doing that with this tank obviously, eheim classic 600 should be enough though. But if I can strike a nice balance with little input I'd be very happy. If that means more plant choice restrictions, so be it.
 

GraemeVW

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I would presume Aquatic soil would have a higher nutrient level ? thereby not needing to liquid ferilise ? it sounds like your looking to do a "Walstad " type set up, hopefully some one else will chime in, i just stick to what as worked with me in the past.

Quick read, and yes, I guess that is what I'm aiming for.
I was just going to chuck it all together, adjust lights to deal with algae, remove plants that don't live, add more of the ones that do. Cross my fingers and hope for the best.

Then I found this forum and figured maybe I should learn some more and actually get some idea of what im doing first!
 

GraemeVW

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If I do a walstad method tank, but pretty much just fill it with cabomba, I'm going to just be pruning ALL the time right?
Also, if its mainly cabomba, doesn't that get most of its nutrients from the water? Any need for soil at all? Maybe pockets of it if I put other plants in too?
Will the soil cause issues If there aren't any plants that are actually using it?
 

tam

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5 May 2011
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Frogbit is a floating plant and can grow very long roots. I've had it grow 18" and attempt to root itself in the substrate. I think it does depend on conditions though - I think less ferts in the water column the bigger the roots.
 

dw1305

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7 Apr 2008
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Hi all,
Welcome to UKAPS.
but pretty much just fill it with cabomba, I'm going to just be pruning ALL the time right?
Also, if its mainly cabomba, doesn't that get most of its nutrients from the water? Any need for soil at all? Maybe pockets of it if I put other plants in too?
Will the soil cause issues If there aren't any plants that are actually using it?
Now that you can't sell Cabomba caroliniana, which was pretty bomb proof, all the other Cabomba spp. are a bit more demanding and would benefit from a more nutritious substrate, softer water and more light etc.

You can use either Hornwort (Ceratophyllum demersum) or Floating Fern (Ceratopteris thalictoides) <"as an unattached "stem">, it makes pruning a lot easier.
I wasn't really planning on dosing anything if I can help it. Was hoping no ferts
You will have to dose some fertiliser, personally I use <"play sand as a substrate"> and lightly feed the water column with a <"hydroponics fertiliser">. I don't feed the plants on a regular basis, fertiliser is added based <"on the appearance of a floating plant">, ideally Amazon Frogbit (Limnobium laevigatum).

cheers Darrel
 

GraemeVW

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Thanks Darrel, I'll read and digest all that more later. Some good info there.

I'd assumed I'd have to use cabomba aquatica.
 
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