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Low Light, Slow Grow Tank

Ok, all of the responses to my previous post about non-CO2 injected tanks has inspired me to convert the 72 gallon bowfront at my office, which only has silk plants in it right now, to a slow grow tank. It has a twin tube strip light with two 40 watt bulbs in it. The substrate is plain washed gravel, and is about 2 inches deep (I think I will have to deepen it for plants, right?). pH is on the order of 7.8 out the tap, I can't remember the dKH or total hardness, as it has been almost a year since I last tested it. This tank has very little if any algae in it. I am neglectful in my water changes (maybe twice a month tops - usually only once). I infrequently change filter media in the canister as well. I know, bad bad bad! But, the fish seem to be fine. There is a long bubble wand along the back side of the tank which circulates the water. All of the decoration is plastic of some sort, logs from the local CleverPet [name changed]. I will be changing everything to a natural material along with planting it. Now, for my question...what do I need to do to get HEALTHY looking growth in this tank? Should I use water column and/or substrate fertilization; how long of a photoperiod; what species should I try (please, no Java Fern -- it turns so black in my tanks with no CO2)? My first aquarium (Eclipse 37 gallon) was setup with none of the amenities I have afforded myself in my fast grow tanks (CO2, power compacts, Jobe's plant sticks, Seachem flourish products), and the plants there were a miserable failure. Oh, the fishload is as follows:

6 Otocinculus - maybe fewer now, they are so hard to keep track of.
4 Clown Loaches - all 3" or under
7 Cardinal Tetras
2 Angelfish (they've actually spawned under these conditions!) - about 3-4" from dorsal to anal fin
1 Bleeding Heart Tetra - about 2"
1 BloodFin Tetra - about 1 1/2"
5 Black Skirt Tetras - each about 1 1/2"
1 Blue Gourami - about 2.5"
2 YoYo Botias - about 2.5"
2 Congo Tetras - about 3"

Slow grow would be ideal here, because I don't have a lot of extra time for constant pruning. Please tell me how to get started.



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