Planted Aquarium Help - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
 
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post #1 of 10 Old 09-26-2010, 03:01 PM Thread Starter
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Planted Aquarium Help

26 Gallon Bowfront tank, 20 inch deep with 15 W Fullspectrum T5 6800 K bulb, Underwater filtration (Fuval U3 , Sponge Pads only) Custome Gravel mix... API Top Layer Latrite, API root tabs Seachem Flourish Tabs... Seachem Flourish twice a week

Plants are as follow:

-Amazon Sword
-(3) Cryptocoryne Wendtii Green
-Cryptocoryne Parva
-Java Fern on Driftwood
-Few Water Lettice (recieved from a friend)

Inhabitants:

-(4)SwordTails (1 male 3 Female)
-(5) Cherry Barbs (3 Female 2 Male)

My questions

- with the amount of plants do i need a CO2 setup? I have no water disturbances on the surface
- Would seachem flourish Excel be a good idea

Thanks
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post #2 of 10 Old 09-26-2010, 03:24 PM
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co2 systems are usualy rather spendy and utilized for larger systems...i would go with the flourish...i use it and things work out just fine....just follow the directions...there are other products as well ...trace,iron,ect....

...........
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post #3 of 10 Old 09-26-2010, 07:23 PM
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With what you have described, CO2 would not benefit the plants. They will need some nutrients however, and Flourish Comprehensive Supplement for the Planted Aquarium is one of the best. The sword and crypts will benefit from root tabs, but they are not necessary.

I would not use Excel. It is a liquid carbon supplement but there is quite a bit of CO2 produced naturally in an aquarium by fish and biological actions (bacteria) and usually sufficient to balance light and other nutrients. Using Excel creates a higher level of balance. If you want to read more about balance, have a look at the 4-part series "A Basic Approach to the Natural Planted Aquarium" at the head of this section of the forum. I explain all this there.

What exactly is the API laterite? Usually laterite is placed on the very bottom of the aquarium with the gravel/sand layered on top. Is that what you did? Laterite is simply iron enriched clay. Provided you didn't use much, it will do no harm and may help the sword and crypts, making root tabs unnecessary. The danger with this product is getting too much iron in the aquarium. I may have more to say when I know more of what you did.

Byron.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #4 of 10 Old 09-26-2010, 07:42 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the great advice, really appreciate it.
I *%&^ed up a bit for my first go, I got really ancious when my tank was cycled, I had purchased a small amount of fish to cycle.. None died.. I wanted to fill the tank up more so i decided on tryin plants, researched a bit got to know the basics (read your basic approach to a natural planted aquarium) then i added laterite to the top surface of my previouse gravel which was about an inch of 1/8 sized pebbles... i added mmore than i should have.. not byy much tho
What should i doo? my plants are aready anchored, seem to be doin fine.. other than darker crypt leaves.. Would it be a good idea to get more substrate pebbles smaller in size?

What are the effects of high iron?

thanks
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post #5 of 10 Old 09-27-2010, 01:49 PM
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Originally Posted by ForestGupp705 View Post
Thanks for the great advice, really appreciate it.
I *%&^ed up a bit for my first go, I got really ancious when my tank was cycled, I had purchased a small amount of fish to cycle.. None died.. I wanted to fill the tank up more so i decided on tryin plants, researched a bit got to know the basics (read your basic approach to a natural planted aquarium) then i added laterite to the top surface of my previouse gravel which was about an inch of 1/8 sized pebbles... i added mmore than i should have.. not byy much tho
What should i doo? my plants are aready anchored, seem to be doin fine.. other than darker crypt leaves.. Would it be a good idea to get more substrate pebbles smaller in size?

What are the effects of high iron?

thanks
I had a look at API's site for info but didn't get much; I can't zoom in on the photo clear enough to read what is on the box they show. So no way of telling how much actual iron might be in this stuff. Presumably they provide data on how much to put in the aquarium, and if that is not exceeded there should be no issue.

Iron is a micro-nutrient for all plants. It is also a heavy metal; iron, copper, zinc, manganese, nickel are all micro-nutrients but heavy metals, and all heavy metals are toxic to all life--fish, animals, plants, bacteria, etc. Sometimes one or more of these metals occur in our tap water, which is why water conditioners detoxify heavy metals. While water boards monitor the level in tap water, what is "safe" for humans is often not safe for fish. All of these metals are in Flourish because plants need minimal amounts of them for various functions. Care must always be taken not to exceed the amount the plants can utilize.

Plants also have the incredible ability to "take up" heavy metals and detoxify them, much the same as the water conditioner does. Plants do this if the level exceeds what they need to assimilate for growth. However, there is a limit to how much they can take up, just as there is a limit to how much heavy metals a water conditioner can detoxify. I had reason to contact Seachem about this issue, and they informed me that the detoxifying property of Prime (their water conditioner, accredited by many aquarists as one of the best on the market) with respect to heavy metals would only work for trace amounts, such as would normally occur (or might occur) in tap water. As I mentioned, water boards ensure (hopefully) that levels of heavy metals in tap water are no greater than what could be termed "trace amounts."

When we start adding individual micro-nutrients like iron to an aquarium, there is always the possibility that we may overload the system. That is why we should never exceed the dose of any fertilizer recommended by the manufacturer. The 17 nutrients plants need are needed in certain proportion to each other, some more and some less; when some are in excess, plants may respond by shutting down assimilation of other nutrients. For example, an excess of potassium causes plants to shut down assimilation of iron, even though iron may be present. So it is important to ensure we maintain a balance and not overload any one nutrient. This is one reason I do not recommend Excel; more CO2 will not necessarily result in increased plant growth if all the other nutrients and light are not balanced.

I tried laterite several years ago in one aquarium and could see no benefit compared to the others. As long as you remained within the recommended amount, there is probably nothing to worry about. But having it on the top of the substrate is something I would not want, especially with substrate feeding fish. I would attempt to mix it in, perhaps using the gravel vacuum.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #6 of 10 Old 09-27-2010, 08:38 PM Thread Starter
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perfect thanks for the help Byron,

If i purchased more 1/8 sized pebbles n layered more on top would this be benefical in your opinion granted there is about a 1/4 inch of pebbles on top already..
I have been using prime n do a water change once a week about 35%, havent noticed any algea outbreaks nor plant defiencies other than the crypts haveing darker leaves (which is in there nature ) I do have a small amount of Diatoms but are deminishing due too the Seachem Flourish supplement im pretty sure (Tank is only 3 months old)...
But one thing, I have noticed merky water almost like a bacteria cloud, could this be due to a high iron level? i have my filter set to a bottem current n top current to prevent stagg water.. What should i do?

Much apperciated
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post #7 of 10 Old 09-28-2010, 11:16 AM
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I think the cloudiness might just be from the laterite... (Assume you mean "First later" rather than "Top layer"?)

Could be a bacterial bloom, I doubt it though. The form of iron in the laterite should not be harmful to fish... It doesn't leach out of the substrate like you imagine. It pretty much stays in until the roots grow into it. I would mix the gravel and laterite together, add an inch of gravel on top (but don't bother the crypt's roots the whole time) and then do lots of water changes.

I'd add some more plants too, but that's just me.

Diatoms are common new tanks, but usually fade away the first year on their own.

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post #8 of 10 Old 09-28-2010, 11:50 AM Thread Starter
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I think the cloudiness might just be from the laterite... (Assume you mean "First later" rather than "Top layer"?)

Could be a bacterial bloom, I doubt it though. The form of iron in the laterite should not be harmful to fish... It doesn't leach out of the substrate like you imagine. It pretty much stays in until the roots grow into it. I would mix the gravel and laterite together, add an inch of gravel on top (but don't bother the crypt's roots the whole time) and then do lots of water changes.

I'd add some more plants too, but that's just me.

Diatoms are common new tanks, but usually fade away the first year on their own.

Lol yes I ment First Layer not top Layer (which i used as a middle layer lol...) I inserted a polishin pad too 1 of the 3 sponge pads to see what would happen (water is much more clear than yesterday.. Not super clear which would be a bonus, but i can live with it =P ) I was thinking about purchasing another Crypto Wendtii but this time a bronze and possibly a Anubas, i havent researched tthe anubass yet, I saw them at the LFS the other day... What has been your most successful and carefree plant u owned? I am a plumber n work 7-7 most days some days longer, weekends are my only time i can study the chemistry of my tank.. winter is aarund the corner n will be spending alot more time at home..
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post #9 of 10 Old 09-28-2010, 11:56 AM
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Plants that I've grown that are relatively fool proof are:

Swordplants (Echinodorus species)
Java fern, Java moss, Hygrophila Difformis (and many other hygrophilas), Ludwigea Repens, Dwarf sagittaria, Crypt (Most species)

Other plants that come to mind are anubias, but I've never grown them.

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post #10 of 10 Old 09-28-2010, 03:50 PM
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Forest, we have plants in the profiles too, second tab from the left in the blue bar at the top. So far, every species included are plants I have cultured at one time if not presently [I tend to include what I know something about, though the info is researched from authorities far more knowledgeable than I am]. Anubias barteri is there (the most commonly seen Anubias). And many other easy plants.

Byron.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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