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Activated Carbon In A Planted Tank?

This is a discussion on Activated Carbon In A Planted Tank? within the Beginner Planted Aquarium forums, part of the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium category; --> I added an anubias and dwarf sword to my 5 gallon today. I have a 25 watt incandescent bulb over it, will that be ...

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Activated Carbon In A Planted Tank?
Old 06-13-2010, 10:02 PM   #11
 
I added an anubias and dwarf sword to my 5 gallon today. I have a 25 watt incandescent bulb over it, will that be sufficient? I also bought Leaf Zone Aquarium Plant Food.
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Old 06-14-2010, 04:11 AM   #12
 
I would like to use a CFL instead of the incandescent, but under my aquarium hood it says to only use incandescent bulbs rated at 25 watts or less due to risk of electrical shock. Would it be safe to use a CFL rated at 25 watts or less instead of an incandescent?
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Old 06-14-2010, 01:59 PM   #13
 
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A CFL bulb wioll be fine. Get the smallest wattage you can (probably 10 watts) in a natural daylight with a kelvin rating around 6500K. They are very good plant bulbs. Regular incandescent are less good because they produce the wrong kind of light--plants will grow with enough, but it is being wasted as the heat produced is considerable by copmparison to the CFL, and that means energy/electricity is being wasted on heat, not light.

On the API Leaf Zone, it is not my fert of choice because according to the manufacturer's info it only provides iron and potassium, and there are 13 other minerals required. Some may occur in the tap water, some in fish food, some from organics. As you have it, try it and see.

Byron.

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Old 06-14-2010, 02:35 PM   #14
 
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Those incandesent hoods are great.

I have to say- lots of people put them down because they're cheap, but they get the job done perfectly when you stick some CFLs in them. (6500k, as Byron said. Usually called 'cool white', but again make sure it said 6500k.)

You're right in your interpretation of the label.
25W Max of incandescent is the same as 25W of CFL (electrically speaking only. CFLs put out MUCH more usable light)

I would shoot for about 1/4 to 1/2 a watt per gallon, even if just for the sword plant.

Java moss is also a great in a low-light tank, it also anchors to rocks and wood. (although I usually make it anchor to my substrate. It's unique in that, IME, it only grows in the extremely shaded parts of my tank, like under rock overhangs, on the dark side of rocks, etc.)

On the cloudiness thing, I think with a lot of planted tanks it's because of the substrate and/or lack of a filter altogether.
Just about any substrate, (especially ones enriched for plants, which contain a lot of clay and are mostly unneccesary) will create a bit of cloudiness that clears in a day or two.

Some people also don't run a filter in their tanks, and there is a bit of debri floating in the tank. I've noticed this with a couple pictures of my 5 gallon filterless soil substrate tank. In person, the water is crystal clear, but in photos there's a slight haze. I think its from teeny tiny (invisible) specks of organic debri floating around and the flash from the camera reflecting off of them.

Oh, and back to the carbon- I normally just leave it in at first and let it expire/get full/stop working.
If you're dosing ferts however, definately get rid of it. You can take the pads apart and dump the carbon out. If they break in the process, who cares, you were going to make some pads anyway. :)
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Old 06-15-2010, 02:53 AM   #15
 
Yea, I kind of thought that fertilizer might not have been all that good because I've grown outdoor plants and they usually have the N-P-K plus the micro-nutrients on the back. I asked the people at petsmart and they told me to go with that. What kind of fertilizer brand would you suggest Byron? And I have one of those spiral CFL bulbs but on the bulb it cautions to only use in a dry location, and my hood catches evaporated water. Do they all say this on them and I should ignore it, or do I have to get a different type of CFL? I would preferably like to get one of those long U shaped CFL's anyways, you know the ones that are kind of long shaped like an incandescent. I think it would fit better. I kind of sound paranoid but I don't want to get shocked lol. I like the McGyver pic too, it make me laugh.

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Old 06-15-2010, 12:36 PM   #16
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrWynO14 View Post
Yea, I kind of thought that fertilizer might not have been all that good because I've grown outdoor plants and they usually have the N-P-K plus the micro-nutrients on the back. I asked the people at petsmart and they told me to go with that. What kind of fertilizer brand would you suggest Byron? And I have one of those spiral CFL bulbs but on the bulb it cautions to only use in a dry location, and my hood catches evaporated water. Do they all say this on them and I should ignore it, or do I have to get a different type of CFL? I would preferably like to get one of those long U shaped CFL's anyways, you know the ones that are kind of long shaped like an incandescent. I think it would fit better. I kind of sound paranoid but I don't want to get shocked lol. I like the McGyver pic too, it make me laugh.
Do you have a glass top between the light and the tank water? If yes, that is sufficient. If not, you definitely should; evaporating water will rust any fixture, plus if water should splash on the bulb/tube, it could explode.

For fert the best I have so far used is Seachem's Flourish Comprehensive Supplement for the Planted Aquarium. Get this one, it is a complete nutrient source (only potassium is missing and that doesn't seem a problem), they make other products in the Flourish line but this is all you need in my opinion. And you use very little, it would only be a couple drops in a 5 gallon once a week. Always dose a day after the water change.

Other probably good ferts are Aqueon's Plant Food and Nutrafin's Plant-Gro. I say probably because I have not personally used them and don't like to endorse what I haven't tried, but from the ingredients they seem OK (esp the Aqueon, this is one I would definitely try if I could find it locally).

Byron.
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Old 06-15-2010, 05:07 PM   #17
 
No, this 5 gallon came as a setup at wal-mart, but it didn't come with a glass top, just the plastic hood with a light fixture instead. Theres a rubber ring that lips over the incandescent bulb to sort of keep the water from getting to where it screws in. Water does touch the actual bulb though, through evaporation. This is why I ask if a CFL would be a hazard. If I were to get a glass lid, I don't think this hood would fit into the lip on the tank to close properly, and I would probably need to get a different light fixture because of this. Should I go with a new glass lid and light fixture?

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Old 06-15-2010, 05:16 PM   #18
 
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I can't say if a different type of bulb will or won't shatter/explode, just that they do. Water on the bulb in the morning (from condensation) that heats up with the bulb is a very different thing from cooler water suddenly splashing a hot bulb, and that is the danger. Or a fish jumping up; I wouldn't dare not have glass covers with my fish, they frequently get excited when fed and one or two will jump, and water (if not a fish) splashes out at every feeding. I would want a glass top for safety if it were me. I don't know how the unit is constructed, but it might be possible to get a plain piece of glass cut to fit it somehow (as opposed to a complete glass cover over the tank).
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Old 06-16-2010, 02:42 AM   #19
 
Well, I went with that 10 Watt 6500k CFL today. Figured why not since its been fine with that incandescent bulb. Warning on the back states that the hood is only for freshwater use and not saltwater. I think it didn't come with an evaporation cover since its made for freshwater. Notice how it has a rubber ring to keep water from getting to the socket. One last question though. If I hooked up a 5 gallon air pump, would it benefit the plants or not make much of a difference?
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Old 06-16-2010, 12:35 PM   #20
 
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that hood is still exposed to the water directly, there is no pane of clear plastic or glass to protect from what Byron mentioned above.

You're going to want/need some kind of protection against the bulbs. You can try and find a piece of glass cut to the dimensions of your tank, you could also try and find a cheap picture frame to fit your tank and use the glass from that. Pretty much anything clear that will prevent fish/water for jumping out of the tank....

On the air pump issue, i would not add a air pump to your set-up. While your fish do need air to live, and in a non-planted tank I'd recommend an air pump/stone....this is not needed or wanted in a planted set-up. Your plants will provide enough oxygen for your fish to survive quite well. When you add anything which causes surface distruption ( air pump, water fall of a HOB filter) there is a gas exchange on the surface of your water. When this exchange happens, you tank is losing oxygen. The plants in your tank will give off enough oxygen that an air stone is not necessary.
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