Cost of low tech tank - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 4 Old 01-26-2011, 10:15 PM Thread Starter
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Cost of low tech tank

how much will it cost to plant a 36 gallon tank to a medium-low amount of plants using low tech plants. looking for plants that don't need a ton of light (will be OK with a stock light) and without CO2...any suggestions? Thanks!
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post #2 of 4 Old 01-26-2011, 11:26 PM
Well what does the tank have currently as, filter, lights, stock, and substrate?

.... I'm probably drunk.

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post #3 of 4 Old 01-27-2011, 08:24 AM
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Welcome to the forum!

Java Ferns and Java Moss both do well in low light and neither requires special substrate or anything of the sort. They do better with a liquid fertilizer, but they'll grow fine on their own. You can buy more Java Moss than you can arrange in your tank for about 5 bucks at your lfs. Java Ferns are also kinda cheap, 5 to 10 bucks depending on size at my store of preference. I like swords, and common types are about $2-6 per plant. Just to give you an idea. (These prices are from my area, it might be different where you live, but I doubt it)

You should browse our Freshwater Plant Profiles, it has been, and still is, a big help to me. It has pics and all the info you need on many aquatic plants that will help you pic out what plants will work best for you and your tank. (Click on “Tropical Fish Profiles” at the top of the page, then scroll down to browse or you can type a specific plant into the search bar)

If you are going to go the plant route, I'd probably just put a dif bulb in your stock hood. If it’s incandescent, go to the hardware store and buy some "day light" CFL bulbs with a kelvin rating around 6500k, they are really cheap. If its fluorescent, check to see what type of bulb it is (probably t8), the length, and go to the hardware store and get the same bulb but with a color temp of about 6500k. Either of these bulbs is going to be less than $7.

Are you running activated carbon in your filter? I don't have any supporting data, but word on the street, as they say, is that they remove a lot of the nutrients plants need to thrive. So if you did get a lot of plants in your tank, you might consider not running activated carbon in your filter.

Hope some of this info helps you out, and good luck with you tank, plants really add a lot to your tank.
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post #4 of 4 Old 01-27-2011, 10:31 AM
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Welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping forum.

Nothing to add to previous members' responses. The type of bulb is very 8important, and daylight with around 6500K is best whether fluorescent tube or incandescent (using Compact fluorescent bulbs as mentioned).


Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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