04-23-2008, 01:01 PM
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Many rooted plants absorb nutrients both though their roots and through their leaves. A two-headed fertilizing regimen should be instituted. Liquid ferts in a 100g tank is quite expensive. I would recommend dry dosing, much cheaper. Liquid ferts can be used economically in tanks 75g and lower.
The two main problems that need to be addressed in planted tanks are fertilizing and lighting. Lighting is a common nemesis in many planted tanks and arguments rage over how much is needed and what lights to use. I prefer using either compact fluorescents or T5 bulbs. Both are much more efficient in providing needed lighting.
Look for bulbs that are in the 6700K-10000K range, depending upon your plants. Needed lumens will vary depending upon the depth of your tank. Water, being a diffractor of light(ever notice the "rainbow" on your walls when sunlight passes through you tank?), plays havoc with lighting and a constant must be calculated in when running the figures to determine footcandles.
Do not fall for the wattage myth. Wattage is an archaic method use for many years to determine how much light is needed. Wattage just tells one how much power is being consumed. The criteria you must look at are spectrum(use bulbs that are heavy on the red and blue ranges of the spectrum), lumens(light intensity), Kelvins(a number that signifies the lights comparison to sunlight), and footcandles(the intensity, brightness, and effectiveness at a certain distance from the light source. This must be calculated).
CO2 injection is also an option. So, as you can see, keeping plants can be as simple or as intense as the hobbyist wants to make it.