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new to freshwater plants

This is a discussion on new to freshwater plants within the Beginner Planted Aquarium forums, part of the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium category; --> T8 is fine but as others mentioned, get daylight tubes with a kelvin rating of around 6500K. GE, Phillips, Sylvania all make them, and ...

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new to freshwater plants
Old 02-02-2011, 05:45 PM   #11
 
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T8 is fine but as others mentioned, get daylight tubes with a kelvin rating of around 6500K. GE, Phillips, Sylvania all make them, and hardware, home improvement stores (and I guess Walmart) sell them. They are not very expensive, compared to the "aquarium" tubes in fish stores that are anywhere from 5 to 10 times more expensive.

To your initial question. The appearance of aquarium plants tells you whether or not they are healthy (= growing). If the leaves yellow, develop yellowing or brown patches, develop holes or transparent patches, die back or die completely...then something is likely wrong. It is usually inadequate light or insufficient nutrients; most plants adapt to varying water parameters within reason.

Sometimes yellowing leaves is natural. Swords for example frequently lose the existing leaves when you acquire them, and periodically the outer leaves will die off. Provided new growth from the centre of the crown occurs, the plant is probably fine. And with stem plants, the lower leaves often die off as the stem grows, and these should be trimmed regularly.

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Old 02-02-2011, 06:50 PM   #12
 
soo when will i know if i need co2? jwing

thanks guys for yalls comments
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Old 02-02-2011, 07:37 PM   #13
 
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soo when will i know if i need co2? jwing

thanks guys for yalls comments

The short answer is, you won't need added CO2. But I must explain.

Plants need 17 nutrients to photosynthesize (grow), and carbon is one of those, but it is a critical one. The extent of the plants' growth will depend upon a balance with light and the 17 nutrients. Plants have little control over photosynthesis, they will do it to the max as long as what they need--the light and nutrients--are available. When any one of these is no longer available, growth will slow or may stop--until such time as everything is again available. We term this the limiting factor.

Creating the balance is not really difficult, but the first question an aquarist must answer is to determine what level of growth they want. If light and nutrients are low (minimal) but still balanced, the plants will grow slowly, but they will be healthy. If you want faster growth for some specific reason, light and nutrients must be increased--but still balanced together.

There is a lot more CO2 in the average aquarium than many realize. Fish and bacteria produce CO2 continually, day and night, and the bacteria produce more than the fish. During daylight, plants will use the CO2, provided the other nutrients are available and light is adequate. Increasing the light alone, or the CO2 alone, will have very little effect on improving plant growth and may cause terrible algae problems. Algae is a plant, but one that is able to use any light (unlike plants that need red and blue to photosynthesize) and it can take advantage of shortages in nutrients that would prevent plants from growing.

Many of us here are advocates of what we term natural or low-tech planted aquaria. Light is minimal, and nutrients are the same to balance. For most of us, in fact i would go so far as to say all of us, there is adequate CO2 in the aquarium to balance the minimal light and other nutrients. Our plants grow, perhaps slowly but not always; I have quite remarkable growth from my swords with a very low-tech method.

Hope that explains it a bit.

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Old 02-02-2011, 07:56 PM   #14
 
yea it did man thanks. soo in case i don't need my air-stone in the tank right?
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Old 02-03-2011, 10:57 AM   #15
 
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yea it did man thanks. soo in case i don't need my air-stone in the tank right?
The normal flow from the filter should be sufficient. Provided the fish load is not more than the tank can naturally support. And with live plants, water flow should not be excessive. As I think I explained previously, airstones are detrimental to plants.
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Old 02-03-2011, 01:22 PM   #16
 
ok cool. thanks for your help man =]
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