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Never done live plants before

This is a discussion on Never done live plants before within the Beginner Planted Aquarium forums, part of the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium category; --> Originally Posted by small fry Looks pretty good. I can't help you with GH/KH levels because I always get them confused. I will say ...

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Never done live plants before
Old 02-09-2011, 06:40 PM   #11
 
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Looks pretty good. I can't help you with GH/KH levels because I always get them confused. I will say your pH is quite abit high. Are you adding anything to your water to raise the pH (pH buffer, material containing calcium, some marine decor, etc), or is that your tap? Many plants prefer a lower pH, but if it is something in the tank or something being added to the water, we can take the pH down abit.
Just got back with a 18" 15 Watt 6700K bulb and through it on. Also took the carbon out of my filter. And tested my tap pH level and it came out to be 7.4. I have NO idea why the tank is reading pH of ~8-8.2.

Also it looks like on my right piece of wood it has some green algae on it? I've only had this tank up for about 3-4 days now. Ugh
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Old 02-09-2011, 07:17 PM   #12
 
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Just got back with a 18" 15 Watt 6700K bulb and through it on. Also took the carbon out of my filter. And tested my tap pH level and it came out to be 7.4. I have NO idea why the tank is reading pH of ~8-8.2.

Also it looks like on my right piece of wood it has some green algae on it? I've only had this tank up for about 3-4 days now. Ugh
Let a glass of tap water sit overnight, then test the pH of the water in the glass. You may find it is higher than 7.4.

If the aquarium water is higher in pH than the source (tap) water, the usual cause is something calcareous in the aquarium. In this case, the substrate. Eco-complete will slightly raise pH initially. This I wouldn't worry about. I can't remember how long this may last, but it is not permanent. When you retest the tap water as suggested above, it may be higher than 7.4 and the gap will narrow between tap and tank pH.

Re the algae, that is natural and unavoidable. Light will cause algae to appear. Heavy plant growth will keep it from becoming a nuisance provided the light is balanced with the nutrients and there are sufficient plants. More plants, lots more, would be helpful.

Byron.
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Old 02-09-2011, 07:26 PM   #13
 
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Let a glass of tap water sit overnight, then test the pH of the water in the glass. You may find it is higher than 7.4.

If the aquarium water is higher in pH than the source (tap) water, the usual cause is something calcareous in the aquarium. In this case, the substrate. Eco-complete will slightly raise pH initially. This I wouldn't worry about. I can't remember how long this may last, but it is not permanent. When you retest the tap water as suggested above, it may be higher than 7.4 and the gap will narrow between tap and tank pH.

Re the algae, that is natural and unavoidable. Light will cause algae to appear. Heavy plant growth will keep it from becoming a nuisance provided the light is balanced with the nutrients and there are sufficient plants. More plants, lots more, would be helpful.

Byron.

Thanks so much Byron! You are so helpful and caring I really appreciate it. Unfortunately my LFS doesn't have much more plants than the ones I currently have in the picture I displayed and they are relatively young. I have been searching for an online plant reseller that is replicable and not have to much luck with it so far.

Byron do you have any suggestions for plants or how many I should buy online? This I'm looking at Dwarf Puffers there need to be lots of plants to keep them happy. Also do you think I should scrap my current plants since I don't exactly know what they are.

I've been considering Java Fern, Java Moss, Dwarf Swords, Pygmy Chain Swords. I would just like a nice full beautiful tank.

Thanks!
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Old 02-09-2011, 07:47 PM   #14
 
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Thanks so much Byron! You are so helpful and caring I really appreciate it. Unfortunately my LFS doesn't have much more plants than the ones I currently have in the picture I displayed and they are relatively young. I have been searching for an online plant reseller that is replicable and not have to much luck with it so far.

Byron do you have any suggestions for plants or how many I should buy online? This I'm looking at Dwarf Puffers there need to be lots of plants to keep them happy. Also do you think I should scrap my current plants since I don't exactly know what they are.

I've been considering Java Fern, Java Moss, Dwarf Swords, Pygmy Chain Swords. I would just like a nice full beautiful tank.

Thanks!
You're welcome, and thank you for the kind words.

Good choice of plants. The plants you already have in the photos appear to be crypts (second from the left and the one in the rear) and Vallisneria (two on the right front). The far left plant I originally thought was also a crypt, but it could be Anubias. Does it have a rhizome? Anubias should be attached to wood or rock, not buried.

Crypts are slow, very slow growing; and you can expect them to melt, but leave them alone, new leaves usually appear. They do not like being moved at all.

Vallisneria can be moderate to fast. It does better in harder water, I have grown it in both basic (pH high 7's with hardness, achieved via dolomite substrate) and currently in soft (near zero GH) and pH 6, and it definitely was better in the basic.

If I may, a suggestion on aquascaping. Move both pieces of wood slightly out from the respective tank walls to allow space around them for plants and fish. Puffers are curious explorationists. It will also allow more "privacy" so they can be out of each other's line of sight. Sort of stager the wood so it is not in a line, maybe the larger closer to the front than the other, or vice versa--up to you. We tend to put larger at the back, but at the front with a smaller piece further back creates the illusion of greater depth. Experiment with it.

Byron.
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Old 02-10-2011, 12:04 PM   #15
 
Thanks again Bryon for such well thought advice! I really do appreciate it!

So before work today I took your advice and moved the wood around and thought it looked a little better with the larger piece in front.

I just need to figure out now where the best place for my current plants to be place for a gorgeous aquascape. I do plan I attaching the Anubias to the smaller wood in the near future. And maybe attatching Java Moss to the larger piece?

I'm still on the prowl for some more plants as I mentioned previously to help fill out the tank!


Sorry for a crappy cellphone picture, but here is where it is approximately at.

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Old 02-10-2011, 12:37 PM   #16
 
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I think that arrangement of the wood will provide more opportunities. Those two plants front right that I said might be Valisneria might also be Sagitarria; the species in both genera are frequently confused, and can grow identical under various water conditions just to make it more confusing. If they are Val, they might get tall; if later they do, you can easily move them behind either bit of wood.

The plant in the front right corner is a crypts, and it will remain small, so in the foreground is good as you have it. It would also be good sort of under the left side of that large piece of wood, as crypts do well shaded. You could move the "Vall" at that spot to the right front corner.

Did you test the tap water for pH after it sat out overnight?
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Old 02-10-2011, 03:14 PM   #17
 
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I think that arrangement of the wood will provide more opportunities. Those two plants front right that I said might be Valisneria might also be Sagitarria; the species in both genera are frequently confused, and can grow identical under various water conditions just to make it more confusing. If they are Val, they might get tall; if later they do, you can easily move them behind either bit of wood.

The plant in the front right corner is a crypts, and it will remain small, so in the foreground is good as you have it. It would also be good sort of under the left side of that large piece of wood, as crypts do well shaded. You could move the "Vall" at that spot to the right front corner.

Did you test the tap water for pH after it sat out overnight?
Thanks once again! I haven't tested the water I left overnight yet, but I will once I get out of work in a few hours.

I've been looking into buying some more plants and maybe you can tell me how well they will work as forground/background. It seems hard for me to find some nice larger background plants.

buy Lilaeopsis mauritiana, MICRO SWORD, potted, great prices and quality

ROTALA SP. 'NANJENSHAN'

Pigmy Chain Sword, Echinodorus tenellus

Dwarf SAGITTARIA SUBULATA, very easy, Foreground plant

for sale Java fern, Low light Plant, Live aquarium Plant
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Old 02-10-2011, 04:23 PM   #18
 
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Looks nice. I dont have luck with chain sword, but dwarf sag looks similiar.. Chain sword might work for you.

I'd reccomend sweetaquatics.com. Sometimes the service is a little slow, sometimes you get it within the week, but their plants are perfect at about half the price of anywhere else.
They're even cheaper than aquabid.com most of the time.

If there's not a lot of plants in the plant profiles, you could try Tropical freshwater aquarium fish: Homepage and click the 'find your aquarium plant'. It's fairly accurate.

Swordplants like Echinodorus Blehiri Var Compacta, Klienar Prinz, Klienar Bar would also work well in the tank with the Eco-Complete I believe.

I enjoy stem plants- hygrophila difformis is a nice one, along with stargrass. Be warned, they grow fast. They also take nutrients out of the water column though, and will help control algae better than rooted plants in my opinion. A couple bunches of both would make cycling unnecessary for 1 or 2 small fish.

May I also reccomend some java moss on the wood to 'soften' the appearence? Just tie it on.


I like the layout, by placing the larger wood in the front it does well to create a sense of depth. nice job. Anubias Barteri var Broadleaf on the large wood and anubias nana (or nana petite) on the smaller one would enhance this too. I see a lot of potential.

Last edited by redchigh; 02-10-2011 at 04:27 PM..
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Old 02-10-2011, 04:59 PM   #19
 
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Looks nice. I dont have luck with chain sword, but dwarf sag looks similiar.. Chain sword might work for you.

I'd reccomend sweetaquatics.com. Sometimes the service is a little slow, sometimes you get it within the week, but their plants are perfect at about half the price of anywhere else.
They're even cheaper than aquabid.com most of the time.

If there's not a lot of plants in the plant profiles, you could try Tropical freshwater aquarium fish: Homepage and click the 'find your aquarium plant'. It's fairly accurate.

Swordplants like Echinodorus Blehiri Var Compacta, Klienar Prinz, Klienar Bar would also work well in the tank with the Eco-Complete I believe.

I enjoy stem plants- hygrophila difformis is a nice one, along with stargrass. Be warned, they grow fast. They also take nutrients out of the water column though, and will help control algae better than rooted plants in my opinion. A couple bunches of both would make cycling unnecessary for 1 or 2 small fish.

May I also reccomend some java moss on the wood to 'soften' the appearence? Just tie it on.


I like the layout, by placing the larger wood in the front it does well to create a sense of depth. nice job. Anubias Barteri var Broadleaf on the large wood and anubias nana (or nana petite) on the smaller one would enhance this too. I see a lot of potential.
Thanks so much! I can't believe how much this community of people are so knowledgeable and willing to put forth the effort to help beginners really feel comfortable here. I'm learning so much from you guys in the last few days and I can't say thanks enough.

I just got back home from work and will be looking more into your suggestions and hopefully have more of a conclusion on more plants that would suit my tank! Also might try to draw a picture of how I would like to see it in the future!

In a few months I'm becoming confident that my soon to be dwarf puffers will love and enjoy themselves in it! Also I would love to keep you guys updated with the progress if wanted.
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Old 02-10-2011, 06:22 PM   #20
 
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Did you test the tap water for pH after it sat out overnight?
I tested the pH of the water I left out overnight and it came to about 8/
Also tested tap water dechlorinated and that came out to be pH ~8.3.
Something about these numbers doesn't make to much sense.


Also I came up with ordering these following plants in the near future.

2x Echinodorus Bleheri Compacta
Aquarium Plants Pond Plants From Sweet Aquatics

2x Java Moss
Aquarium Plants Pond Plants From Sweet Aquatics

2x Stargrass
Aquarium Plants Pond Plants From Sweet Aquatics

3x Sagittaria Subulata (Dwarf)
Aquarium Plants Pond Plants From Sweet Aquatics

1 or 2x Lilaeopsis Mauritiana POT
Aquarium Plants Pond Plants From Sweet Aquatics


I'm still trying to draw up a design that would best suit my tank with these plants. Once I figure out an idea where each could be placed I'll draw it up and see if it looks good.

Once again..Thanks!
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