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Non-C02, low light aquacapes are they possible?

Discussion in 'General Aquascaping and Planted Tank Discussions' started by John N., Apr 7, 2008.

  1. John N.

    John N. Administrator Staff Member

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    Most of the aquascapes we find in aquascaping competitions are fully loaded, packed with long photo periods, pressurized CO2 setups, and regular fertilizer dosing. If you take a look at the Winning scapes from the ADA competition and look at some of the specs, they'll have all of these components. Obviously having the proper tools (ferts, C02, and light) to growing healthy aquatic plants helps these aquascapers achieve a well done scape. But can it be done with non-CO2, low light or minimal maintenance tanks? Would these aquascapes be able to compete with the tanks that are more "high tech" and be as beautiful?

    My initial thoughts are no. One low light tanks can't bring out the colors from plants that high light aquariums do. Two, having no C02 presents problems that hinder the growth of aquatic plants, or at the very least limits one's plant selection. Lastly, I believe few low light, non-CO2 tanks will be able to be as beautiful as say a Dutch Style Aquascape that usually has all the fancy high tech equipment.

    -John N.
     
  2. BPASCreighton

    BPASCreighton New Member

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    I personally love a tank full of ferns and mosses. Although your plant selection is limited, you still have tons to work with. I think with proper planning and experience it can definitely be done. A lot of the most stunning aquascapes have tons of narrow leaf java fern, crypts. , and aniubius. All of these do great with minimal maintenance. The biggest problem would be the time it takes to complete the scape though. It may be difficult to wait an entire year for a tank to start looking like you envisioned. I definitely couldn't pull it off though :) .
     
  3. Mellonman

    Mellonman New Member

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    I definitely agree with BPASetc... ;)

    Low tech tanks can be beautiful !
    The first that comes to my mind is Norbert Sabat's Rainforest :

    [​IMG]

    Of course the plants choice is limited, but talented aquascaper will make do with it... Low tech tanks often have a special atmosphere due to low light.

    I tried a low-tech lately (even if it doesn't compete with Norbert's one) :

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Guillermo

    Guillermo New Member

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    Beautiful scapes Mellonman, Norbert Sabat and you've found the way to show great low-tech tanks, thanks for sharing.

    Maybe these guys (the contest organizers, that is) should run an "only low tech tanks" contest maybe every 2 years, it would be very interesting.

    I have a 82 gal low-tech planted tank and it has been an eternal trial and error, lol. I have crypts, java fern, bacopa monnieri, hygrophilla siamensis, sagitaria subulata, rotala rotundifolia and ammania gracillis. These last two plants are doing so so despite of the fact they are considered as high light species, surprisingly the upper leaves of the ammania have a tint of pink.

    I have no recent pics, but this is how it looked in Dec, 2006 (now is very different):

    My low tech 82 gal. - The Planted Tank Forum

    I know it's not an aquascape, but I think I can learn to do it better with some help of the members of this website :b.

    My .02
     
  5. landstrykeren

    landstrykeren New Member

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    Perhaps not really a scape but it's low-light.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. John N.

    John N. Administrator Staff Member

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    Great examples Mellonman and Landstrykeren, are these tanks without CO2?

    -John N.
     
  7. plantbrain

    plantbrain Aspiring Aquascaper

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    You might ask Wim for some of the pics from the AGA meeting, the Dutch scapes from the 1940-1960's all.........where non CO2.

    You can do it, but it takes longer, what you can scape in 3-6 months, takes 2 or more years. Also depends on tap water and some filtering options.

    I'll stop by sometime soon to see Alan's 180 gal and get some pics, lots of wood, lots of huge fish and lots of ferns. And daily water changes via automation. I've tried to convert him over.


    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  8. landstrykeren

    landstrykeren New Member

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    I didn't use co2 at all.
     
  9. goalcreas

    goalcreas New Member

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    Oh yes they are.
    I have had two, well one might not have been LOW light, it was 27w over 2.5 gallon, but the other is 9w over 3 gallons.
    Here is a pic of the 2nd one.
    I don't have pics of the first one here at work, I can post later tonight.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Now this tank was put together for my daughters class and so it has not stayed as nice as it would with CONSTANT care, there is some algae on the anubias and it would take a little work, but it is still up and looks pretty sweet just a little dirty and wild now. I don't have pics of it now.
     
    nick.scott likes this.
  10. Mellonman

    Mellonman New Member

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    Yes, no CO2 in this tank...
     
  11. Pat7676

    Pat7676 New Member

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    Thats a good looking tank you have there goal.
     
  12. goalcreas

    goalcreas New Member

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    Thanks Pat
     
  13. Pat7676

    Pat7676 New Member

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    I love the DW that you have on the left side of your tank with the flame moss on it.
     
  14. goalcreas

    goalcreas New Member

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    Thanks Pat, I have to get the 2.5 gallon pics up as promised, just been busy.
     
  15. John N.

    John N. Administrator Staff Member

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    I suppose one of the reason why contest organizers don't have this category is because it's hard to enforce, and based on the honest individual.

    Great looking tanks everyone. You've certainly proved the point that non CO2 and low tech tanks can exist and still have the same beauty as their high tech counterparts.

    It amazes me that these tanks are so nice without the high doses of lights, ferts and CO2. We all recommend to new hobbyists - High light, Pressurized C02, and a Fertilizer regime when it's clear they don't need them to accomplish a nice scape.

    Are non C02, low light tanks harder then the higher tech tanks to create?

    I have a feeling the answer is no. Maybe more new hobbyists would feel less overwhelmed if we recommended low tech stuff more often then confusing and detering them with the high tech recommendations which often make the hobby more expensive.

    -John N.
     
  16. JDowns

    JDowns New Member

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    Great examples everyone.

    Great use of the plants for creative scaping.
     
  17. goalcreas

    goalcreas New Member

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    I think if a person wants to keep easier low light plants, then they should be recommended to do low light and low tech scapes, they are far easier to maintain IMHO and IME.

    Many want to grow the crud out of plants and have exotic high light plants, so the only option to recommend them when they fell in love with Amano's tanks or Dutch aquascapes is the High Tech route
     
  18. waterfaller1

    waterfaller1 New Member

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    13 wts of PC over a 4 gal, no CO2,would this be considered low light?

    [​IMG]
     
  19. waterfaller1

    waterfaller1 New Member

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    I will say that I could not get the reds and colors with low light over this tank, as I did when I increased it.

    with 13 wts of T5
    [​IMG]

    with 48 wts T-5
    [​IMG]
     

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