new planted tank help - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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post #1 of 17 Old 07-07-2008, 04:35 PM Thread Starter
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new planted tank help

i want to turn my 20 long tank into a planted tank. i don't really have any information and i need some help. i searched online, but its way too confusing for me right now. so can anyone help me? i was wondering if i need to have co2, and what type of substrate i would need and what kinds of plants could fit in my tank. presently, i have black gravel, a heater, a marineland penguin bio-wheel and no fish. can someone inform me on all that i need to start and maintain a planted tank? thanks
-ollecram
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post #2 of 17 Old 07-07-2008, 06:19 PM
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The first thing to pick out here is lighting. You have to decide whether you want this to be a low, medium or high light tank. This will dictate the types of plants you can have. Low light plants tend to be slower growers, and they therefore require less nutrients and co2. In a low to medium light tank you shouldn't need co2 injection, although it will probably be a good idea in a high light tank.

The most important thing is to find a balance between these three items:
-Nutrients
-Light
-CO2

Why don't you look around and see what kind of plants you'd like to keep? Then we can help you pick out a light fixture and any other additions you may need.
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post #3 of 17 Old 07-07-2008, 06:30 PM Thread Starter
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i read the post that fish_for _all wrote about plants that could fit in my tank and i want some anubias nanas and maybe some dwarf hairgrass along the bottom. i dont know what the type of light intensity is needed for those plants though.
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post #4 of 17 Old 07-09-2008, 12:15 AM Thread Starter
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i dont know if this is good for plants or not but i went over to one of my friend's friend's houses today and i told him about my planted tank and that i needed lights for it and he sais he didnt know if a light he had would work or not but he gave me a 17 watt t8 8000k fuorescent bulb. will this light be good enough for growing the plants i want?
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post #5 of 17 Old 07-14-2008, 12:21 AM Thread Starter
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i went to my lfs today and now i have all materials that i think are needed to care for my plants. i still have regular gravel but thats fine in my case because im getting 2 anubias nana and ill just place them on the gravel with the rhizomes above the gravel, java moss which im going to place on my wood, and java fern to be placed on the gravel. i have seachem flourish, and proper lights (i think). is this all i need? Am i ready for my plants? thanks,
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post #6 of 17 Old 07-14-2008, 12:20 PM
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The gravel will work fine, it takes a little more time to support good growth but it works well, is all I use.

As for the lighting, if all you have is the 17W T8 then you have enough for the plants you listed. They will grow slowly but will do okay. Do you know what the total wattage is that you have now?
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post #7 of 17 Old 07-14-2008, 06:24 PM Thread Starter
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i only have one bulb. the one you stated above. is that all i need? can i start getting plants now? or do i need a better light?
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post #8 of 17 Old 07-18-2008, 08:21 AM Thread Starter
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can i get plants now? yesterday i went by my lfs and now i have 7 ghost shrimp living in my tank.
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post #9 of 17 Old 07-18-2008, 09:34 AM
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I don't quite understand the whole lighting thing, But it has something to do with watt of bulb per like... Gallon of water it has to shine through? Ummm I think, lol thats sounds kind of right. I'm going to look it up, because I need to know too I don't even know how many watts my bulb is. But I'll get back to you with any information I find :D

And just before you laid dead weight upon its shores, I stung you in the face for that's the nature of my core.
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post #10 of 17 Old 07-18-2008, 09:45 AM
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I've heard from 1.5 watts to 3-4 watts per gallon. It really depends on the plants. It also depends on how much co2 you have pumping in there. One of those balance things that I have yet to master
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