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Paul's ADA 45 H Low tech - Pre setup discussion

PM

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15 Dec 2007
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628
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London
Hi all, :)

Not sure if anyone here will remember me, I've been out of the hobby for a good few years now.

I would like to get back into having a tank, and feel the need for discussion as I believe there may have been some developments in certain areas whilst I've been away. Please bare with me!

Goal:

The pleasure in this hobby for me comes from observation of an aquarium, long term. Watching it tick over peacefully for years. Rescaping, maintainence, pruning, water changes etc are for just a massive pain in my opinion.

I have chosen the 45 h (45h x 30d x 45w) as it's the largest tank I can accommodate space wise, the idea being that the 56 litre tank should be more stable than my previous 19 litre ADA Mini M tank, which frankly was a complete nightmare (algae, plants dying).

So I want a super low tech (read as little maintainence as possible) tank that can slowly mature with the aim to keep the same scape for years. Which leads me to:

Method:

This is an area which I would like to learn whether there have been recent developments. Previously I used the Tom Barr method for low tech which was sort of a lean EI dosing scheme if I recall correctly. I still have quite a bit KNO3, K2PO4 and Trace elements mix all bought from Aqua Essentials before. Is there a new school of thought for low tech? Dosing? Lighting? Water changes? I do not plan on C02 at all, or any carbon addition, though discussion around the latter regarding new methods could be interesting.

Plants:

Firstly, I have had what I would call 'success' previously for periods of several months with a 12 litre tank, and a 54 litre tank, (amongst the years of frustration I might add), success meaning hardly any algae, healthy plants and no need for much maintainence. What both of these tanks had in common was that they were both pretty overgrown and that seemed to put them 'in balance' or something. So this time I will plant as densely as I can from the start.

I have a love for Bolbitis (mini and normal) it's my favourite plant by a mile bar none. However, I have never been able to sustain it for long. Even so I am determined that I will have a beautiful tank full of it! Please any advice with regards to bolbitis would really be appreciated. London tap water by the way.

I plan on mosses, ferns (java types etc), bolbitis, Anubius petite. Any other suggestions welcome for low tech long term tank. Undecided on crypts, would probably rather have more mosses!

Substrate:

Would it be better to use a nourished substrate as well as sand or just sand if all plants are attached to wood / rocks and not planted in the substrate? I'm thinking it might be nice to use substrate as this would allow me to just pop a new plant in in future should I want to try it. Thoughts?

Hardscape:

Planning on a large island of rocks and protruding branches coming out, covered in mosses and ferns.

Lighting:

I am considering the Dennerle Power 5watt LED. Previously I had a Plantedbox 9w fluorescent light on my ADA Mini M, which many people said could be too much light, so I think think might be a good place to start. Any other suggestions welcome baring in mind my goal.

Filtration:

This is an area I need some advice. I do have a 200 watt hydor heater that I bought and never used, but I sold my old Eheim. I want something good quality and well designed for easy maintenance. And as quiet as possible as this tank will be in a bedroom. Price for any equipment isn't an issue, I'm less poor now :lol:

I have an old lily pipe outlet by 'power men' looks about 10mm ish. Though I need an inlet safe for baby shrimp. And thoughts on the best inlet and outlet for this setup?

Also any tips on making water changes easier through the design of the initial setup would be great.

Inhabitants:

The tank will predominantly be a shrimp tank. I may add ottos, and possibly other fish later, but that's really not the focus. I will probably go with Sakura Cherry shrimp. Had them previously and they were fantastic.

To those who help me make this successful, I'll send you free shrimp and plants when it is! :happy:
 

MrHidley

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13 Jan 2014
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Ipswich, United Kingdom
Substrate:

Would it be better to use a nourished substrate as well as sand or just sand if all plants are attached to wood / rocks and not planted in the substrate? I'm thinking it might be nice to use substrate as this would allow me to just pop a new plant in in future should I want to try it. Thoughts?

If you're not actually planting into the substrate i wouldn't bother, i think sand or gravel is more aesthetically pleasing unless you're carpeting it.

Lighting:

I am considering the Dennerle Power 5watt LED. Previously I had a Plantedbox 9w fluorescent light on my ADA Mini M, which many people said could be too much light, so I think think might be a good place to start. Any other suggestions welcome baring in mind my goal.

I used one of these, not a particularly big fan (considering the price), struggled to grow plants well at the substrate because the angle wasn't very wide at all, I had a massive thick patch of healthy rotala in the middle and everything else looked terrible. If you'd like an LED i'd look into Chihiros A-Series, they're cheap and dimmable. If money isn't an issue then Kessils are beautiful, but you'd probably need to dim them a lot in your setup, although the new a80 is only 15w.
 

Zeus.

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If you're not actually planting into the substrate i wouldn't bother, i think sand or gravel is more aesthetically pleasing unless you're carpeting it.



I used one of these, not a particularly big fan (considering the price), struggled to grow plants well at the substrate because the angle wasn't very wide at all, I had a massive thick patch of healthy rotala in the middle and everything else looked terrible. If you'd like an LED i'd look into Chihiros A-Series, they're cheap and dimmable. If money isn't an issue then Kessils are beautiful, but you'd probably need to dim them a lot in your setup, although the new a80 is only 15w.
But if you do use an AS maintaining the ferts in the Water column will be much easier. Then your fert regime doesn't have to be as spot on.

Sent from Mountolympus via neural interface
 

MrHidley

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Joined
13 Jan 2014
Messages
352
Location
Ipswich, United Kingdom
But if you do use an AS maintaining the ferts in the Water column will be much easier. Then your fert regime doesn't have to be as spot on.

Sent from Mountolympus via neural interface

This is true, but if you're happy to dose EI then it's not really an issue, it's personal choice really.
 

Zeus.

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This is true, but if you're happy to dose EI then it's not really an issue, it's personal choice really.

True its not an issue. Your just not able to take advantage of the High CEC properties of AS which in turn make growing plants easier, as not only does its buffering properties work for the nutrients it also buffers the waste too. A choice yes and if you good with maintenance/ferts not an issue, but why make life harder. Then if you miss a EI dose or two no problem and if the EI dose is in excess of the plants requirements the AS mops it up. Same if you miss a WC the AS will render the water less toxic.

If you dont like the look of the AS just bag it up in a permeable membrane and cover it with sand/gravel its CEC properties will still work dependant on particle size of what you cover it with.
 

PM

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Thread starter
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15 Dec 2007
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628
Location
London
@MrHidley Thanks for the light tips. I think I will go with the Kessil A80 Tuna Sun. Very handy having a dimmable light. Would be nice if they provided more technical info on it but it looks like a good option.

@Zeus. I was thinking something similar. I'll probably decide on sand or both depending on the layout in the end and just dose accordingly.
 

MrHidley

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Messages
352
Location
Ipswich, United Kingdom
@MrHidley Thanks for the light tips. I think I will go with the Kessil A80 Tuna Sun. Very handy having a dimmable light. Would be nice if they provided more technical info on it but it looks like a good option.

Yes, it gives you the option to go high light in the future. Plus they look really nice, they also have adjustable colour temperature.
 

Eduard18

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Joined
24 Dec 2015
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235
Location
France
Well, the new trend in low tech , in my opinion, seems to be blackwater; Nelson has one, me too - Tint the world, 5 weeks old, Tropica start up method ; we both drew inspiration from Scott Fellman and his Tannin Aquatics website and blog; have a look
 
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