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First Aquarium, Suggestions/thoughts

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First Aquarium, Suggestions/thoughts
Old 10-06-2010, 05:25 PM   #31
 
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Can you post a picture of the leaf?
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Old 10-06-2010, 05:55 PM   #32
 
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Can you post a picture of the leaf?
Sorry about the bad quality of the pic, its taken with the phone.

photo.JPG

Thanks
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Old 10-06-2010, 07:12 PM   #33
 
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I really can't tell if that is spore development or degeneration of the leaf. No harm in leaving it, but if the entire leaf turns brown, black or yellow, cut if off. I can't see the rhizome--it is not buried in the substrate is it? The rhizome should be attached to rock or wood, but at the least not buried or it may rot.
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Old 10-07-2010, 04:04 AM   #34
 
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I really can't tell if that is spore development or degeneration of the leaf. No harm in leaving it, but if the entire leaf turns brown, black or yellow, cut if off. I can't see the rhizome--it is not buried in the substrate is it? The rhizome should be attached to rock or wood, but at the least not buried or it may rot.
Thanks Byron. Will keep an eye on the leaf. No, it's not buried in the substrate. It is attached to driftwood, as a matter of fact i bought the plant attached to driftwood. Btw, just wanted to know, how do you do plant maintenance. I mean cutting off the leaves and stuff, won't it make a mess in the tank? Wondering what's your method of cleaning your planted tank really.
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Old 10-07-2010, 05:07 AM   #35
 
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Byron, you have been kindly advising me of having plants in the tank in this thread. I have a couple of questions. Is there any rough ratio on plants/fish stocking to get a good balance for an uncycled tank, wherein the NH3, NO2 produced by fish, fish food will be taken care of by plants itself? Also as per your advice, is Seachem Flourish the only product needed in my case, even when i have more plants, or do i need Seachem Flourish Excel as well?

Thanks
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Old 10-07-2010, 06:33 AM   #36
 
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One more question :). I'm looking at buying plants online, but there are three different ways in which plants are sold - individual, potted and leaded. Is there a desired or a recommended way out of those three and what are the advantages over the other?

Thanks
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Old 10-07-2010, 02:42 PM   #37
 
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Thanks Byron. Will keep an eye on the leaf. No, it's not buried in the substrate. It is attached to driftwood, as a matter of fact i bought the plant attached to driftwood. Btw, just wanted to know, how do you do plant maintenance. I mean cutting off the leaves and stuff, won't it make a mess in the tank? Wondering what's your method of cleaning your planted tank really.
I do a water change once every week, about half the tank volume is changed (I have a lot of fish, more than would naturally balance the plants). I vacuum the gravel only in the open areas at the front, never back among the plants. I remove yellowing leaves (they occur now and then naturally) by just pulling/breaking them off. Always during the water change. That's it.
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Old 10-07-2010, 03:09 PM   #38
 
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Byron, you have been kindly advising me of having plants in the tank in this thread. I have a couple of questions. Is there any rough ratio on plants/fish stocking to get a good balance for an uncycled tank, wherein the NH3, NO2 produced by fish, fish food will be taken care of by plants itself? Also as per your advice, is Seachem Flourish the only product needed in my case, even when i have more plants, or do i need Seachem Flourish Excel as well?

Thanks
The "ratio" is not easy to predict, as it depends upon the fish (what they are, size, how many) in relation to plants and water volume; I hope to explain this a bit better in my response below to your other questions.

I consider no difference between "cycled" or "un-cycled" with planted tanks because from the start it is the same: fish and bacteria produce CO2, ammonia, and waste, and plants assimilate the ammonia (as ammonium, their preferred source of nitrogen) and the CO2, and bacteria convert the waste into organics for nutrients assimilated by the plants. We add fertilizer to ensure all nutrients are available, since some likely will not be without. In the presence of adequate light, plants will photosynthesize provided there is a continuous supply of nutrients. Nutrients being carbon (the CO2 primarily), nitrogen (ammonia/ammonium but also some nitrates), and the other essential 15 nutrients (most are added/supplemented via fertilizers). Once the point is reached at which any one of these is no longer available, plants can no longer photosynthesize. The aim is to create a balance; I never worry about too few fish, but it is possible to have too many. Regular partial water changes ensure the health of the fish whether or not this may be necessary in a given planted tank.

Algae is a reliable indicator if the balance is working; if the plants are using the available light and nutrients, algae will be present but minimal. As soon as the plants can no longer photosynthesize due to the lack of something, and if light is still present past this point, algae makes good use of it and increases.

Flourish Comprehensive is the only liquid fertilizer I know of that contains all essential nutrients--except of course for carbon and oxygen. Carbon comes mainly from CO2, although most plants (except for mosses) can also assimilate carbon from the bicarbonates in the water and they do so in varying degrees depending upon the plant and the CO2 available; once the CO2 is basically exhausted, many plants will also turn to bicarbonates if present. There is a lot of carbon present in most aquaria, more than many aquarists might realize. More is produced by the bacteria than the fish. I have had healthy plants growing in fishless tanks for months, with no source of carbon other than from bacteria and water changes; growth was much slower than in my fish aquaria, but the plants remained green and alive.

Excel is a liquid carbon supplement. I do not recommend using it because once you start increasing carbon, the other nutrients need to be increased to balance, along with the light. My method is to use minimal light, then add nutrients to balance. Plants will thrive, and algae will be present but not to excess.

The rate of plant growth can vary, since it is dependent upon the available light and nutrients. The more light and nutrients--provided they balance--the faster most plants will grow. But I see nothing wrong with slower growth; why burn out the plants? There is no advantage to faster growth aside from the appearance. Plants in their natural habitat rarely if ever look as lush as they do in our aquaria.

Byron.
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Old 10-07-2010, 03:15 PM   #39
 
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One more question :). I'm looking at buying plants online, but there are three different ways in which plants are sold - individual, potted and leaded. Is there a desired or a recommended way out of those three and what are the advantages over the other?

Thanks
Potted plants are generally more expensive because they are (sometimes) larger. They should, theoretically, settle in faster when un-potted and planted. Normally only substrate-rooted plants are sold potted; stem plants usually come in a bundle of stems tied together.

I will buy potted plants when it is a plant I want and that is the only way of getting it. Otherwise I tend to buy non-potted because in stores they are less expensive--sometimes half, sometimes 1/3 the cost of potted. And it is the same plant.

If you look at the photos of my Amazonian tanks, almost all of those plants were bought as individual plants tied in a bunch of 2 or 3; only a couple were potted. Remove the tie, whatever it is (lead, elastics, etc) or the pot and as much of the rock wool as possible.
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Old 10-07-2010, 03:17 PM   #40
 
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I would also tank the plant species into account- Java fern (slow grower) and java moss (slow grower until adjusted) can probably handle the waste from 1 or 2 small fish, but I would introduce either a hardy stem plant (Hygrophila species and Ludwigea Repens come to mind) to act as a fast grower... That's just me though.
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