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Need some help starting my planted tank.

This is a discussion on Need some help starting my planted tank. within the Beginner Planted Aquarium forums, part of the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium category; --> Originally Posted by tyler16 Update: I got the full spectrum 6500k tube at a local store and just ordered my EcoComplete. When it arrives, ...

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Need some help starting my planted tank.
Old 04-17-2011, 12:52 PM   #21
 
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Originally Posted by tyler16 View Post
Update: I got the full spectrum 6500k tube at a local store and just ordered my EcoComplete. When it arrives, what do you guys suggest I do? The tank is NOT cycled and I do a variety of water cleansers, but I'm under the impression that less is better sometimes. What, exactly, should I add to the water? How should I cycle it? When should I start to plant? What plants should I use to begin?

Thanks again!
There are no fish in this tank, so that's good. When the Eco-Complete arrives, rinse it. I do this is a bucket, a bit at a time. If it is anything like the Flourite that i used, it will take a while. Tedious, but necessary to remove the residual dust. Once the water is relatively clear, the substrate can be put in the empty tank (no water). When you get the substrate all in, arrange it as you want, add your decor (wood, rock, whatever). Then fill the tank about 3/4 full. Add water conditioner to the water. Switch on the filter and heater. Then plant the plants. This will cloud the water somewhat, not a problem.

Once it is planted, let it run a day. The water may still be a bit cloudy; this can last several days to several weeks in new tanks. After a day or two, if everything is working (heater, filter, light), add your first fish. Just a few. With plants you don't have a "cycle" issue. But only a very few fish at a time.

You will need a plant fertilizer, I recommend Seachem's Flourish Comprehensive Supplement.

What other products have you in mind when you say "variety of water cleansers?" They may or may not be advisable.

Byron.
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Old 04-17-2011, 01:32 PM   #22
 
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There are no fish in this tank, so that's good. When the Eco-Complete arrives, rinse it. I do this is a bucket, a bit at a time. If it is anything like the Flourite that i used, it will take a while. Tedious, but necessary to remove the residual dust. Once the water is relatively clear, the substrate can be put in the empty tank (no water). When you get the substrate all in, arrange it as you want, add your decor (wood, rock, whatever). Then fill the tank about 3/4 full. Add water conditioner to the water. Switch on the filter and heater. Then plant the plants. This will cloud the water somewhat, not a problem.

Once it is planted, let it run a day. The water may still be a bit cloudy; this can last several days to several weeks in new tanks. After a day or two, if everything is working (heater, filter, light), add your first fish. Just a few. With plants you don't have a "cycle" issue. But only a very few fish at a time.

You will need a plant fertilizer, I recommend Seachem's Flourish Comprehensive Supplement.

What other products have you in mind when you say "variety of water cleansers?" They may or may not be advisable.

Byron.
Thanks, I'll be sure to pick up the fertilizer. I have the light you recommended, a 6500k, 17w, 24" full spectrum florescent tube for a 40g. What category does this fall under when picking plants? By this I mean, high light/maintenance, low light, etc.

I noticed you said add conditioner, which should I use? I have a Stress-Coat, which is the conditioner I assume you said to add. I have a Stress-Zyme, which speeds up the biological filter.. so it says.
Lastly, I have an ammonia remover. I don't want to overdue it so I plan on just using conditioner.

I've also heard to not run the filter after adding chemicals for about 4 hours as the iron (could be wrong) will absorb and make the chemicals ineffective. Is this true?
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Old 04-17-2011, 03:55 PM   #23
 
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Thanks, I'll be sure to pick up the fertilizer. I have the light you recommended, a 6500k, 17w, 24" full spectrum florescent tube for a 40g. What category does this fall under when picking plants? By this I mean, high light/maintenance, low light, etc.

I noticed you said add conditioner, which should I use? I have a Stress-Coat, which is the conditioner I assume you said to add. I have a Stress-Zyme, which speeds up the biological filter.. so it says.
Lastly, I have an ammonia remover. I don't want to overdue it so I plan on just using conditioner.

I've also heard to not run the filter after adding chemicals for about 4 hours as the iron (could be wrong) will absorb and make the chemicals ineffective. Is this true?
Your light is low to moderate. Stay away from most stem plants which being fast growers usually need higher light. Brazilian Pennywort if you can find it is the exception, and also makes a superb floating plant.

Water conditioner you need to detoxify chlorine and chloramine (all water supplies use chlorine, most now chloramine as well). This is the basic. If you also have ammonia in your tap water, one that also detoxifies ammonia is necessary. If you happen to have nitrite in the tap water, then that has to be included [to my knowledge, only Prime and Ultimate will handle nitrite]. Lastly nitrate, if that is present, then Prime should be the conditioner as it is the only one to handle nitrate. Test your tap water for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate just so you know. If you don't have any of these, then a basic conditioner will suffice. As for those mentioned, StressCoat is fine [it handles ammonia as well as chlorine and chloramine]. I am not a fan of using StressZyme; it interferes with the natural establishment of the biological system and I take the view that nature is best left to handle that. As for speeding up the biological cycle, it may but we are talking about plants so this is irrelevant anyway and in my humble opinion best avoided.

Any ammonia remover (here meaning other than a conditioner) is only in an emergency and should not be necessary in a new planted tank.

On the last question, I will assume this refers to carbon in a filter removing substances like medications or treatments, and including nutrients. I recommend not using carbon in filters, especially in planted tanks, unless it is a temporary measure following a treatment for some disease.

Byron.
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Old 04-17-2011, 05:25 PM   #24
 
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Your light is low to moderate. Stay away from most stem plants which being fast growers usually need higher light. Brazilian Pennywort if you can find it is the exception, and also makes a superb floating plant.

Water conditioner you need to detoxify chlorine and chloramine (all water supplies use chlorine, most now chloramine as well). This is the basic. If you also have ammonia in your tap water, one that also detoxifies ammonia is necessary. If you happen to have nitrite in the tap water, then that has to be included [to my knowledge, only Prime and Ultimate will handle nitrite]. Lastly nitrate, if that is present, then Prime should be the conditioner as it is the only one to handle nitrate. Test your tap water for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate just so you know. If you don't have any of these, then a basic conditioner will suffice. As for those mentioned, StressCoat is fine [it handles ammonia as well as chlorine and chloramine]. I am not a fan of using StressZyme; it interferes with the natural establishment of the biological system and I take the view that nature is best left to handle that. As for speeding up the biological cycle, it may but we are talking about plants so this is irrelevant anyway and in my humble opinion best avoided.

Any ammonia remover (here meaning other than a conditioner) is only in an emergency and should not be necessary in a new planted tank.

On the last question, I will assume this refers to carbon in a filter removing substances like medications or treatments, and including nutrients. I recommend not using carbon in filters, especially in planted tanks, unless it is a temporary measure following a treatment for some disease.

Byron.
What can I use with my filter, then? Is there anything else I can buy for the cartridges?
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Old 04-17-2011, 06:22 PM   #25
 
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What can I use with my filter, then? Is there anything else I can buy for the cartridges?
What type of filter?
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Old 04-17-2011, 07:40 PM   #26
 
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What type of filter?
Top Fin 60.

Probably not the greatest. It has 2 cartridges than are filled with like you said, carbon. I changed (when I had the tank running) these monthly. Is there something else I can put in these cartridges? I don't think a new filter is an option as this hobby has costed me so much already, haha.
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Old 04-17-2011, 07:47 PM   #27
 
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Top Fin 60.

Probably not the greatest. It has 2 cartridges than are filled with like you said, carbon. I changed (when I had the tank running) these monthly. Is there something else I can put in these cartridges? I don't think a new filter is an option as this hobby has costed me so much already, haha.
I may have read comments from others about making foam inserts. And of course you can just leave the existing carbon without replacing it. Carbon adsorbs [not absorbs] "stuff" and eventually can adsorb no more. If left in the filter, it then functions solely as another particulate filter, removing particulate matter but not altering the water chemically.

Some have suggested that stores sell "carbon" filtration because you have to keep buying carbon to replace it as it becomes exhausted. Could be. I never replace the media in my canisters, they are life-long ceramic rings, then there is the bio rock stuff that I leave in because I don't need it anyway, and finally the pads that I rinse and use until they literally fall apart then I replace them. In planted tanks filtration is solely a matter of moving the water sufficiently through media that removes suspended particles, and by moving the water ensures even distribution of nutrients and keeping the suspended matter off plant leaves.
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