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This is a discussion on Newbie alert within the Beginner Planted Aquarium forums, part of the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium category; --> Swords (like your Echinodorus bleherae) will likely grow to the tank size so don't put them too close. I find they look best and ...

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Old 01-09-2012, 05:18 PM   #31
 
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Swords (like your Echinodorus bleherae) will likely grow to the tank size so don't put them too close. I find they look best and do well if they are spread out, 8-10 inches apart minimum. They do well clumped, or unevenly spaced so as not to be "obvious". Spaced equally across the tank for instance--as you are suggesting--will immediately draw attention to the tank size and look contrived (artificial). I would put one root tab maybe 2 inches from each.

Wisteria need good light, so have it where it will get the brightest direct light. It will grow towards the light. It will grow floating, but it looks (to me) best when grown planted. But the light has to be bright.

Anything placed in the centre of the tank will look odd; left or right of centre is better.

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Old 01-09-2012, 06:02 PM   #32
 
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Cool, thanks!

I only had the one root tab in, and one of the swords had really taken off while the other two haven't much changed. So I'm guessing that one guy found it while the others didn't. Well, now they each have their own so hopefully those other two start to go crazy.

Have you had any experience with those two types of crypt I posted?
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Old 01-09-2012, 06:24 PM   #33
 
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Originally Posted by Geomancer View Post
Cool, thanks!

I only had the one root tab in, and one of the swords had really taken off while the other two haven't much changed. So I'm guessing that one guy found it while the others didn't. Well, now they each have their own so hopefully those other two start to go crazy.

Have you had any experience with those two types of crypt I posted?
Yes, but not to boast about. Crypts and I don't get along well.
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Old 01-13-2012, 07:15 AM   #34
 
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So, imagine I have a brand spanking new 120g aquarium that I want to be fully planted. I buy some locally, get the ones I can't get here online, and they all arrive at the house. Everything's planted, tanks filled, water heated, filter running, lights on a timer.

So, one thing I notice about new plants are that they are generally small in size. Some are the emersed form, and have to switch over to the submersed form, some like crypts may melt. So it takes time for everything to grow and fill out.

Is it a good idea to let the plants grow out a bit before adding fish? Would I have to add anything to compensate no fish while they grow? Or is it best to put some fish in straight away?


Now to switch gears for substrate. The current plan is to have angels, they like sand. I hear you can use 'play sand' ... I have 150 lbs of that sitting in my shed right now for my daughters sand box, but if I recall correctly from the times we forgot to cover it before a rain storm, the sand gets pretty compacted when wet. Isn't that a problem? Is there any kind of special maintenance you need to do with sand that you otherwise wouldn't with gravel?

I really appreciate everyone's time in helping =)
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Old 01-13-2012, 12:50 PM   #35
 
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Is it a good idea to let the plants grow out a bit before adding fish? Would I have to add anything to compensate no fish while they grow? Or is it best to put some fish in straight away?
If some of the plants are reasonably fast growing, I would add some fish on the second day. The first day with the tank filled, filter & heater running, and planted allows you to ensure all is working correctly (heater properly adjusted, etc). By fast growing I mean stem plants and floating plants. The latter particularly, as they grab CO2 ffrom the air and thus assimilate lots of ammonia (ammonium) as it becomes available.

Quote:
Now to switch gears for substrate. The current plan is to have angels, they like sand. I hear you can use 'play sand' ... I have 150 lbs of that sitting in my shed right now for my daughters sand box, but if I recall correctly from the times we forgot to cover it before a rain storm, the sand gets pretty compacted when wet. Isn't that a problem? Is there any kind of special maintenance you need to do with sand that you otherwise wouldn't with gravelÉ
I have become very fond of playsand, the gray & tan mix that Home Depot and Lowes sell, probably the same as what you have. You dont want it too deep, I have about 2 inches depth throughout the tank, then I push some up at the back (use rock) for the larger swords. I used two bags, which equates to 50kg or 110 lbs, for my 5-foot 115g. Needs a lot of rinsing to remove all the dirt, but once in the tank it is nice.
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Old 01-14-2012, 06:10 AM   #36
 
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Everything is coming along quite well, growth I would say is 'slow' due to low light but everything is showing signs of it. The Wisteria has grown ~1 inch taller and I've noticed new leaves forming lower down the stems. I'm guessing these will replace the old?



The Java Fern has also started a new leaf ... and a new plant =)


In the background of that last picture you can also see the new growth on the Wisteria.

Would floating plants negatively affect the ones below? I know the Wisteria likes a little more light, I'd be afraid they wouldn't do well if under shade.
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Old 01-14-2012, 01:07 PM   #37
 
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Floating plants will obviously shade the tank somewhat. But Wisteria does need bright light; even floating in my tank it did not last. I don't bother with it. Not all plants will do well with all other plants.
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Old 01-17-2012, 03:21 PM   #38
 
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Swords I'm not thinking are looking that great. In the photo on the left you can see what all the new leaves look like on all three plants. On the right you can see what the 'old' leaves look like, the ones they came with from the store.

Each sword has a Flourish Root Tab about an inch away, and I have API's "Leaf Zone" once a week (which I know isn't as good as Flourish Comprehensive). To recap my tank it's a 20g, with a single 8000K T8 bulb.

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Old 01-17-2012, 05:22 PM   #39
 
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Could you post a photo of the complete plant, top to crown?

While waiting for that: The leaves of most Echinodorus species will be different in your aquarium that they were when the plant was acquired. Often this is because the leaves on the plant when acquired might be emersed, whereas submersed leaves will develop in the aquarium. Other times it is due to the changing environment. Plants of the same species can appear different in different tanks. And sometimes plants of the same species in the same tank will even be different; this can be due to differing light intensity throughout the tank. There is considerable variation among plants in this genus. I'm not saying that is what we see here, but it could be part of it, or all of it. Seeing the entire plant may help to pin this down.
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Old 01-17-2012, 07:12 PM   #40
 
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Here is a full tank shot:



Here is the same photo as before without it cropped, it is my largest sword and is the one in the front right:



Here is my smallest sword which is located behind the driftwood in the rear left:

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