Im at it again...This time Mission Planted Tank!
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Im at it again...This time Mission Planted Tank!

This is a discussion on Im at it again...This time Mission Planted Tank! within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> Well hey yall! I have been out of the fish scene for about 3 years. Long enough to forget what a pain it was ...

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Im at it again...This time Mission Planted Tank!
Old 09-01-2009, 02:54 PM   #1
 
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Im at it again...This time Mission Planted Tank!

Well hey yall! I have been out of the fish scene for about 3 years. Long enough to forget what a pain it was but long enough to miss it. I started with fresh water so many years ago I dont remember how long ago it was, then I graduated into the salt water reef system, full coral and metal halide lighting, you know all the bells and whistles. I got out when I got divorced and moved. So now Im back and I wanted to get into the beautiful planted tanks I always admired even while I had a wonderful reef system at home.
So right now I am in the process of cycling my new 110 gallon Tall, Cant wait till I can add fish!!

110 gallon tall 48 7/8 x 19 x 30 3/4
2 40 watt sunshine fluorescent bulbs 5000 K
1 40 watt Plant and Aquarium fluorescent bulb 5900 K
2 Hang On cartridge filtration systems pumping 330 gph each
100 lbs playsand

As far as the lighting goes,The tak is so deepI need to make sure I get the right lights to get to the depth off the bottom. I would like to go towards T5 lighting but for now I am going to add 1 more Sunshine and 1 more Plant and Aquarium bulb to what I have now. But as you all know it is always a work in progress when it comes to our little boxes of water. So right now like I said it is cycling so I have time to get some more lights and decide on the T5s.
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Old 09-01-2009, 02:56 PM   #2
 
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And post some pics! Welcome back to the hobby!
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Old 09-01-2009, 03:21 PM   #3
 
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Welcome to the forum and happy planting! Always exciting setting up a new tank!
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Old 09-01-2009, 03:39 PM   #4
 
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Thanks! now I need to start looking into the safe fertilizers I should use for my plants. I have read some people dont and some people do. What is the verdict. I also have seen most people use Flourish for their brands of additives, is this the brand I should look into or are there others just as good?
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Old 09-01-2009, 03:44 PM   #5
 
Bryon has B-E-A-utfiul planted tanks and uses Seachem Flourish.
If you need any help i suggest you ask him. He is a mall of aquarium knowledge.
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Old 09-01-2009, 03:52 PM   #6
 
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OOOoooooo a mall hu? I love the mall Thanks for the info!
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Old 09-01-2009, 03:59 PM   #7
 
yeah bryon gives great info! hope to see pics soon!
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Old 09-01-2009, 04:17 PM   #8
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SumptnFishy View Post
Thanks! now I need to start looking into the safe fertilizers I should use for my plants. I have read some people dont and some people do. What is the verdict. I also have seen most people use Flourish for their brands of additives, is this the brand I should look into or are there others just as good?
I use Seachem's Flourish Comprehensive Plant Supplement with excellent results, as do others here. In the past I've used the Kent line, and there are some others that are recommended but I've not tried. The important thing is to use a comprehensive, one that contains all the nutrients plants require and in the correct porportions. Dosing with several different nutrients (iron, copper, magnesium, zinc...) gets very expensive and you need to know how much of each one. Unbalanced nutrients can be detrimental. The Flourish Comprehensive has everything, you can see the list on their website.

I have a suggestion on your proposed light. You don't mention CO2 so I will assume you don't intend to add it. The present 120 watts of light is in my view more than adequate, and ading another 40 watts I would not recommend. It all depends upon your plants of course; stem plants require more light and if that is your focus and they are not doing well, then an additional tube may help; but at that point I would expect CO2 to be the limiting factor. If on the other hand you have/want mostly rooted plants (swords, crypts, anubias, vallisneria, sagitarria, aponogeton...) I would not add more light, and I would probably remove one tube now. I have a 115g aquarium that is 5 feet in length and 24 iches deep, and two 40w 48-inch tubes is more than enough light; I don't use CO2 and don't intend to. I realize your 30-inch depth is greater, but not enough in my view to warrant another tube. Algae will be easier to control without more light.

A word on T5 tubes. I recently tried one of these and after a week took it back; it was far too bright. Only two 54w tubes, 48-inch, and 108 total watts, but just too much light. They are much more intense in output. You may find it acceptable in the deeper tank, but I am a believer in providing as little light as necessary for the sake of the fish; most of our aquarium fish occur in dark waters, not water in bright sunlight, or water shaded by plants and overhanging vegetation (and frequently devoid of plants as a result). As long as the plants have sufficient for their needs, it is enough.

And a last comment, on the type of tubes. Full spectrum are considered the best for planted aquaria. The mid-day sun has a kelvin of approximately 6500K and full spectrum matches this; tubes like Hagen's Life-Glo or Zoo Med's Ultra Sun are 6700K and peak in the blue, red and green colours. Plants require mostly blue, then red; they reflect green but having green balances the blue and red avoiding a purplish spectral tint to the aquarium. Plant and fish colours are natural under this type of light.

I took a photo of my 115g today, here it is so you can see what I'm talking about. The 80 watts of full spectrum light is sufficient for these plants (all sword species plus the stem plant Brazilian Pennywort which does very well in this tank even though not bright), and this has been my practice for more than 12 years. The Echinodorus macrophyllus, the long-stemmed sword with large leaves at the surface on the left side, is 12 years old and from the last flower spike I have 4 young plants started, 2 in this tank. I have one Life-Glo 2 tube 6700K and one Lightning Rod Ultra Daylight 11,000K tube over this tank; the latter is high in blue, the colour plants most require (and it penetrates water better as it happens) but this is balanced by the Life-Glo full spectrum.

Byron.

P.S. While I was getting the photo attached, I see Rohland posted; thanks for the compliment.
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File Type: jpg 115g Sep 1-09.JPG (92.9 KB, 18 views)
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Old 09-01-2009, 04:57 PM   #9
 
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Thank You Byron for the information, you have made my day on the lighting quest. I sooooo did not want to have to run those T5s, I was hoping I could get away with what I have now so you have helped me tremendously! And saved me alot of money! Which is always great!
But my question is about the watts. I was thinking my 120 watts I have now might not be enough. Since I was thinking I needed at least 2.5 watts per gallon. But If you think this amount I have is enough I will run them, and buy some Flourish Comp.
And for your question about CO2, I do not plan on using it. I remember when I had my Reef set up and I hated adding all those different things, it almost made the hobby unbearable, even though it looked great!
Oh one question, When you add the Flourish do you add it at one time by pouring it in after properly measuring it, or do you slowly add it over a period of time? Such as a slow drip method?
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Old 09-01-2009, 07:25 PM   #10
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SumptnFishy View Post
Thank You Byron for the information, you have made my day on the lighting quest. I sooooo did not want to have to run those T5s, I was hoping I could get away with what I have now so you have helped me tremendously! And saved me alot of money! Which is always great!
But my question is about the watts. I was thinking my 120 watts I have now might not be enough. Since I was thinking I needed at least 2.5 watts per gallon. But If you think this amount I have is enough I will run them, and buy some Flourish Comp.
And for your question about CO2, I do not plan on using it. I remember when I had my Reef set up and I hated adding all those different things, it almost made the hobby unbearable, even though it looked great!
Oh one question, When you add the Flourish do you add it at one time by pouring it in after properly measuring it, or do you slowly add it over a period of time? Such as a slow drip method?
I only have 1 watt per gallon on my three larger tanks, actually less than that on the 115g (80 watts). Without added CO2 and regular fertilization, everything is balanced and you can see the results. The lights are on 12 hours every day (use a timer). If I were you I would use two tubes at first and see how it goes. With good tubes this should be OK, but if not, add the third back on and possibly reduce the time down to 9 or 10 hours. The trick is to get the balance between light and nutrients, and sometimes this takes a few weeks observing the plants' response.

I always add the Flourish right after the weekly partial water change. I calculated the dosage recommended on the label out for my aquaria at 1/2 teaspoon per 30 gallons, and I measure it out with a 1/2 teaspoon I keep just for this. For my 115g I use 3 of these plus a half, which is almost 2 teaspoons. I need to dose it twice a week or the leaves on the swords start yellowing, so I add the same amount 3 or 4 days later. I would suggest using it once a week after the pwc, and see how the plants respond. No point in adding it again if not needed, as it will only encourage algae. Wait a few weeks, and if you think the plants are not as green as they should be, add it twice a week and observe for a few weeks. Twice in the past several months I have cut back to once a week wondering if I really needed it twice, and both times after about a week or maybe into the second week the leaves started getting a bit yellowish, so I went back to twice and they improved. You need to find that balance.

I've never wasted my money and time on adding CO2, but I do tend to have a lot of fish in my aquaria and they provide CO2 which must balance the light and fertilizer or the plants would not grow like they do. If you think CO2 becomes the limiting factor, you can use the liquid carbon from Seachem, called "Excel." I haven't used this, but others here do (AuntKymmie is one that does) and they have good luck. But I would start with the Comprehensive first for a few weeks and observe.

Byron.
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