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Flora-based substrate for planted aquariums?

This is a discussion on Flora-based substrate for planted aquariums? within the Beginner Planted Aquarium forums, part of the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium category; --> Originally Posted by Synthisis Thats the recommended doseage. 5ml of iron per 10 gallons. Flourish Excel was used to eliminate the algae I ahd ...

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Flora-based substrate for planted aquariums?
Old 11-09-2009, 01:53 PM   #11
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Synthisis View Post
Thats the recommended doseage. 5ml of iron per 10 gallons. Flourish Excel was used to eliminate the algae I ahd that was cuased by bad water. I still dose with it, but maybe 2x a week.



She bought the plants, thats why she knows what they are lol.



Ill get all teh info on the light and the fixture (if any) when I get home from work. I would be interested in getting a better light though so I'll be looking for recommendations on a what to buy lsit.


And no, my tank isnt over stocked. I have room for another 5 fish if you figure 1gallon per inch of fish.

Charles
Good, I'll keep a lookout for your info and have more to say on lighting then.

Just spotted the iron issue, missed it before...that is what I meant by excess of any one nutrient, I had a problem years ago with overdosing iron. I do not recommend individual nutrients especially in low-tech natural setups like this. We'll sort that out later as well.

I'm not implying any overstocking here, but just for your info, the inch of fish to gallon of water is not reliable; the type of fish has an impact, plus the mature size and the fish's growth requirements, plus other things like behaviours and environment (plants, wood, rocks, caves...).

B.

Last edited by Byron; 11-09-2009 at 01:57 PM..
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Old 11-09-2009, 06:05 PM   #12
 
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Yea when I figure my 1" fish per gallon I figure in the fish's grown size... just so I dont overstock down the road.

Alright, the fixture says BONNIE on it... I think thats the QC tester lol.
ALL-GLASS
AQUARIUM
30" 120v 20w 60hz

Light:
ALL-GLASS
AQUARIUM
17w Aquarium Lamp

RAPID START
Made in Germany -.... ,..... CE

Last edited by Synthisis; 11-09-2009 at 06:07 PM..
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Old 11-09-2009, 07:04 PM   #13
 
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Originally Posted by Synthisis View Post
Yea when I figure my 1" fish per gallon I figure in the fish's grown size... just so I dont overstock down the road.

Alright, the fixture says BONNIE on it... I think thats the QC tester lol.
ALL-GLASS
AQUARIUM
30" 120v 20w 60hz

Light:
ALL-GLASS
AQUARIUM
17w Aquarium Lamp

RAPID START
Made in Germany -.... ,..... CE
Now we've something to go from. Your fixture is a good one, in my view. I had to replace two 48-inch fixtures this year and I bought the All Glass ones, well made from what I can see. The tubes that come with them are less than ideal, although workable. I can see now why your tank is slightly bluish, the tube is probably their 8000K spectrum tube; the higher Kelvin number indicates an emphasis in the blue colour (a lower number is more red, with 6500K about equal to the mid-day sun). This tube will work, but like all tubes it will need replacing every 12 months; the intensity of light diminishes rapidly.

Going back through this thread, I'll pick out a few things. Light on for 11 hours is fine, you could increase it to 12 (if you have a timer that's great, it keeps the same daily schedule which is preferred). You do mention getting a new tube, so here are my recommendations. Hagen/Nutrafin's Life-Glo or Life-Glo 2 which is the same light but slightly less intensity (and therefore cheaper to buy if you're counting pennies). My personal choice on any tank with one tube is the Life-Glo. It has peaks in the blue and red but also green to provide natural appearance and it is considerably more intense (bright) light than what you now have. A comparable tube is Zoo Med's Ultra-Sun. Another is Phillips or Sylvania's Daylight Deluxe (the Sylvania has a different name, forgotten now). These latter you can buy at places like Home Depot for much less, although I don't know if they have every size. You will want the size that fits your fixture so that length (the tube) is all you need to know; the wattages are standard.

Fertilizers: Flourish root tabs are fine, one (only) next to each sword. While crypts do like root feeding, I wouldn't put one there because these are slow growing plants and thinking again of balance, the light and CO2 are probably not intense enough for root fertilization for the crypt.

API Leaf Zone I have not used myself, and in checking their website it doesn't tell me much except that it contains chelated iron and potassium. I'd like to know if other nutrients are included, because if not this is of little practical value. As evidence, the yellowing leaves on the sword is a sign of nutrient deficiency, and obviously not iron in this case, so something is missing. Going with what I have/do use and thus can recommend, I would use Seachem's Flourish Comprehensive Supplement for the Planted Aquarium. My second choice is Kent Freshwater Supplement. Both in my experience work very well. Once a week for liquid should be sufficient to balance the light; there is also the minerals (if any) in the tap water and fish food, so there is a bit of experimenting with this. There is no hard rule as to what works because there are so many variables from aquarium to aquarium.

CO2 from the fish will probably be sufficient with the above. I would stop using the Excel, and monitor the plant growth for 2-3 weeks. Don't hesitate to post a photo or two here for advice if you think the plants are not quite right.

Water changes were mentioned, and I agree, at a minimum 40% every week, 50% won't hurt. One can read that water changes are not so critical in planted aquaria and can be all but dispensed with, and there is some truth in that. But, it means very heavily planted tanks with fewer fish than any of us are likely to want in the tank. So keep up with the pwc, the fish will thank you.

If other questions occur to you, ask away.

Byron.
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Old 11-09-2009, 07:51 PM   #14
 
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Pennies aren't necessary for me. Id prefer a healthy green tank then to save a dollar or two.

Going with a Life-Glo light... what wattage/ K would your recommend? Im going to the LFS tomorrow to pickup some more gravel (gave about 5lbs to dr2b from my tank) so I need some more and Id like to pickup a light when Im there.

Ill also look into picking up some new fertilizers... the sell pretty much all the Seachem and Kent products avail.

I love how green and stocked your tanks are. Im going to look into getting some more plants to kill the bare patches in mine once I get this sorted out.

Going to be doing a 50% water change here in a few minutes.

Edit:

Ive also noticed, and you can see this in my photo... the sides of my tank arent getting much light. This wasnt the case when I first had things setup... It appears the lighting area has been narrowing and the tank has been getting dimmer.

Checked my timer and it IS on from 11am to 11pm. So that is 12 hours a day.
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Old 11-09-2009, 08:37 PM   #15
 
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I use Kent fertilizer. That is originally what I wanted to get him. Only problem was I bought the last one at the fish store, and Petsmart doesn't carry it here. I know my plants do very well with it. I was very erie of buying the API Leaf Zone since I had no experience with it (even though API is a good brand from what I've seen so far in other stuff).
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Old 11-10-2009, 10:26 AM   #16
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Synthisis View Post
Pennies aren't necessary for me. Id prefer a healthy green tank then to save a dollar or two.

Going with a Life-Glo light... what wattage/ K would your recommend? Im going to the LFS tomorrow to pickup some more gravel (gave about 5lbs to dr2b from my tank) so I need some more and Id like to pickup a light when Im there.

Ill also look into picking up some new fertilizers... the sell pretty much all the Seachem and Kent products avail.

I love how green and stocked your tanks are. Im going to look into getting some more plants to kill the bare patches in mine once I get this sorted out.

Going to be doing a 50% water change here in a few minutes.

Edit:

Ive also noticed, and you can see this in my photo... the sides of my tank arent getting much light. This wasnt the case when I first had things setup... It appears the lighting area has been narrowing and the tank has been getting dimmer.

Checked my timer and it IS on from 11am to 11pm. So that is 12 hours a day.
The Life-Glo (as with all tubes) comes in specific wattages for the tube size, so just get the correct tube length; measure the tube itself, or take it with you. And if you can, get the Life-Glo rather than the Life-Glo 2 as I explained previously, although I have used both on the same tank and both did the job; it's just that the Life-Glo is a tad more intense light. One can always reduce the light period.

Either Flourish Comprehensive (they make several under this name, be sure it is the Comprehensive Supplement for the Planted Aquarium) or the Kent (which I see your GF uses) work.

Two possible reasons for the narrowing dimming light. The tube does weaken significantly after about 3 months and steady from then on, which is why they need replacing every 12 months minimum. Or, you are more accustommed to the tank light. Or possibly a combination of both. When you put in the new tube it will look much brighter, first because the Life-Glo is much brighter than the All Glass, and second because it is new.

Keep us posted, and if anything else occurs to you, ask.

Byron.
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Old 11-12-2009, 09:52 PM   #17
 
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Well I have been unable to locate a Life-Glo bulb.

dr2b has some around here at local stores, but no one seems tocarry them around here.

So I picked up 1lb of gravel from my LFS (they have some scoop buckets) and brought it home and washed it in hot water several times to clean it up.

But I did find the Seachem Comp Supp. Smells like soup haha. I used a medicine dropper to put it in my tank. Used just a tad bit more then recommended and squirted it around the center of each plant.

I trimmed some of the grasses and planted all of the pieces and they are all growing new roots.

Ive noticed my Sword has alot less brown on it, and the leaves seem to have perked up a bit.

Going to look for a light this weekend.

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Old 11-13-2009, 09:40 AM   #18
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Synthisis View Post
Well I have been unable to locate a Life-Glo bulb.

dr2b has some around here at local stores, but no one seems tocarry them around here.

So I picked up 1lb of gravel from my LFS (they have some scoop buckets) and brought it home and washed it in hot water several times to clean it up.

But I did find the Seachem Comp Supp. Smells like soup haha. I used a medicine dropper to put it in my tank. Used just a tad bit more then recommended and squirted it around the center of each plant.

I trimmed some of the grasses and planted all of the pieces and they are all growing new roots.

Ive noticed my Sword has alot less brown on it, and the leaves seem to have perked up a bit.

Going to look for a light this weekend.

Excellent, you're on the way. When you fertilize, which I would only do once a week after the pwc for a few weeks and observe plant response, just add the Flourish to the water near the filter outflow (where the water enters the tank from the filter). The Flourish will dissipate into the water column. I have large aquaria and worked out that 1/2 tsp contained the ml needed per 30 gallons, so in my 70g for example I put two 1/2 teaspoons in as indicated.

Byron.
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