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Confused Newbie wanting to do Plants

This is a discussion on Confused Newbie wanting to do Plants within the Beginner Planted Aquarium forums, part of the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium category; --> Originally Posted by tx246 Byron, Here is a link the bulbs that I am using. 30 Watt CFL Light Bulb - 120 W Equal ...

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Confused Newbie wanting to do Plants
Old 02-25-2010, 10:44 AM   #11
 
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Originally Posted by tx246 View Post
Byron,

Here is a link the bulbs that I am using.

30 Watt CFL Light Bulb - 120 W Equal - Full Spectrum 6400K - Spring Lamp - Energy Miser FE-IIS-30W-64K Light Bulb

Too much eh? Ill pull three for the time being.

I think I will invest in a canister filter as it has to do a much better job pulling particulates. When you say keep the UGF and use air stones, I am not following. Do I run the air stones under the gravel filter? In my local fish store they have a tube in the middle of the tank and there are tiny bubbles coalescing up it. Im assuming there is an air stone in the bottom.

I have some other work projects so it will be next week before I can continue tinkering.
Here's a calculation. Peter Hiscock writes that a standard rectangular aquarium should have 30-50 lumens per litre of water for plant growth. Your 55 US gallon tank is 208 litres. At 30 lumens per litre, that a total of 6240 lumens. I use the lower figure because I know from Hiscock's book that he suggests more light than I and Walstad and Tom Barr use, double in fact, so the lower figure is more accurate. The bulbs you linked are 2000 lumens each, so three of them should be ample. With floating plants to shade the fish a bit, this would probably work.

Re the UGF, the plate under the substrate has air lift tubes, usually at the rear corners, and your powerheads are presumably attached to those. Remove the powerheads, insert a flexible tube with an airstone at the end down until it touches the tank bottom. The air lift will operate the UGF without creating too much movement. I had this type of filter for years before i switched to canisters, which are better on larger tanks. If you do decide to change to canisters, the tank will have to be basically torn down; you cannot just "stop" the UGF because the bacteria now colonizing the substrate will be starved of oxygen and die quickly (within a few hours) and pollute the substrate and the tank and this can kill fish and plants as it is a sudden increase of nitrogen gas. This is my biggest objection to UGF, if they stop (during extensive power outage for instance) it risks the fish's health. With a canister, it can be unplugged and the filter rinsed in such conditions as an extended power outage.

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Old 02-25-2010, 11:09 AM   #12
 
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Like I said before I'd cut the lights in half and give that 2-3 weeks observation.

The "filter" which you see in your LFS with the lil bubbles coming up is very likely a sponge filtration system; works great in small tanks
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Old 03-12-2010, 10:06 PM   #13
 
Ok. I installed the eheim 2117 and ditched the HOB. I took out all of the substrate and rinsed the heck out of it handful at a time. That flourite is some dirty stuff. Drained the tank and rebuilt. The tank has been running for 10 days and the water looks great. I added a few fish. 5 neon tetras 2 Ocoto and 2 guppies They seem happy. I let the two surviving plants just float because Ive been waiting on the LFS to get in a shipment of plants. They have been slow in coming. The plants I have are common but dont remember the name. They rosette and send off a shoot where another plant starts. Anyway, the leaves are getting clear spots in them. More specifically, the centers of the leaves. Diagnosis?

If there is a thread or sticky for plant problems, could somebody point it out? Thanks.
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Old 03-12-2010, 10:46 PM   #14
 
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If you're after a GOOD selection of plants exactly what YOU want and a good quality and more likly then not better $ then your LFS check here www.sweetaquatics.com if you order mon/tue they will have your plants at your house by fri's, can only highly recommend that place!

Is it clear spots like melting/ discoloring or clear as in gone like a pin hole? Do you add any liquid fert if so which one? And what are the plants that are affected?
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Old 03-12-2010, 11:13 PM   #15
 
The leaf structure is intact but it seem like they are made of "glass" as you can see through them. It is a basic beginner plant. anubias? I did pull them from the substrate and they are floating at the moment. There isnt evidence of pearling from the undersides of the leaves. I havent used any type of fertilizer in the water or substrate. Im hesitant as there are only two plants at the moment and dont want to feed the lurking algae. Im just wondering if it is too much light or not enough. I have 3 of the 30W CFLs turned on 8hrs per day and 3 unplugged.

I did check out SweetAquatics and they seem very reasonable. I just need to pick some plants and get it done.
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Old 03-13-2010, 11:18 AM   #16
 
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The sort answser, which is all we can give without further information such as Agnel has asked for, is that there is an imbalance between light and nutrients. A photo of the leaf would help. If it is Anubias, the light may be too strong (Anubias is one of the true shade plants that does not appreciate direct light). But nutrients will obviously be lacking if you are using no fertilizers. And substrate-rooted plants that are floating will not do well either; but if Anubias, it is not a substrate-root plant but should be attached to wood or rock.
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Old 03-16-2010, 05:13 PM   #17
 
OK. The floating plant in question is Echinodorus Parviflourious (Sword). I turned off all the bulbs on one half of the tank and the plants are in the shady side still floating as I am waiting on my order from Sweet Aquatics. They seem to like it in the shade for now. Ill get em grounded when I get all my plants together. Im hoping they made this weeks shipment and should have em by Th or Fr. The fish seem really happy and will add more as soon as the tank gets planted. The guppys stripped my Foxtail but it is growing back out. Water still looks awesome and no sign of algae.

How much food will I have to give the fish? Am I just supplementing once they have access to plants? For right now, I am feeding them sparingly.

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Old 03-16-2010, 06:32 PM   #18
 
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It would be best to stick the rooted plants in the substrate; you can always move them later when the other plants arrive. Echinodorus will do better planted. This could be related to the issue with the spots, as floating the plants are directly under the light and without nutrients being added this can be problematical.

There are two different plants under the name E. parviflorus, the natural wild plant (rare in the hobby) and the cultivar which technically is E. parviflorus Tropica. Both are pictured in our Profile on this plant, you could check it and let us know which plant you have.
http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/p...s/dwarf-sword/

On feeding, to be sure I am understanding you: you will have to feed the fish, plants or no plants, and once a day is plenty for mature fish (tiny fry need more). Plants need food too, some they get from the fish and water, but usually this is inadequate and you will need to add liquid fertilizer probably once a week. Seachem's Flourish Comprehensive Supplement for the Planted Aquarium is in my view the best, but also good is Kent's Freshwater Plant.

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Old 03-17-2010, 07:48 PM   #19
 
Yep, the tropica version is what I have. It has several little plants coming off the stem. The little plants have roots that are already 3+ inches long. How do you separate the small plants from the mother plant? Ill get em in the substrate tonight.

Ok, so Ill feed sparingly and go get something for the incoming plants.

Thanks for the replies.
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Old 03-17-2010, 08:22 PM   #20
 
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Yep, the tropica version is what I have. It has several little plants coming off the stem. The little plants have roots that are already 3+ inches long. How do you separate the small plants from the mother plant? Ill get em in the substrate tonight.

Ok, so Ill feed sparingly and go get something for the incoming plants.

Thanks for the replies.
By stem I am assuming a flower spike, though flowers seldom develop unless grown emersed, but daughter plants do develop from the nodes. Once the daughter plants have several leaves and about 2-3 inches of white roots, they can be gently pulled away from the stem in a downward motion and will easily separate, then just plant them.

Interestingly, I've had several plants of this species for about eight months in my 115g tank, and one of them has finally sent up a flower spike. This species is much slower growing than the larger species like E. bleherae or E. macrophyllus which both send out regular flower spikes very fast in the same tank.
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