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The shotgun approach to planting a tank

This is a discussion on The shotgun approach to planting a tank within the Beginner Planted Aquarium forums, part of the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium category; --> Those root shots were right from the store... the roots look better now. I don't like moving them as they are temperamental when touched. ...

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The shotgun approach to planting a tank
Old 03-21-2013, 10:40 AM   #111
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Those root shots were right from the store... the roots look better now. I don't like moving them as they are temperamental when touched.

I figured that a crypt is a low light plant and may not like lots of light.... not that my tank is anywhere near overdriven anyway. Not sure that I read it anywhere... just an assumption most likely. I have read that some plants definitely don't do well in too much light though... and I cannot recall which those might have been, so a generalization.

Jeff.
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Old 03-21-2013, 11:06 AM   #112
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high light + lack of co2 + lack of nutrients can make a plant fussy in high light. in planted tanks I actually recommend to stock a little heavier to really see the plants thrive.

when I kept my 2.5 gallon without live stock and only a few small snails, it was evident the plants were lacking nutrients. then I temporarily held 6 small cories in there for a week and the plants instantly took off. even now with one small panda garra, one small oto (i used to have 3.... one died coming back from the lfs, another starved to death and the third got stuck behind the filter -_-) and an amano in there (which is overstocking really) the plants are thriving.
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Old 03-21-2013, 11:22 AM   #113
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aokashi View Post
high light + lack of co2 + lack of nutrients can make a plant fussy in high light. in planted tanks I actually recommend to stock a little heavier to really see the plants thrive.

when I kept my 2.5 gallon without live stock and only a few small snails, it was evident the plants were lacking nutrients. then I temporarily held 6 small cories in there for a week and the plants instantly took off. even now with one small panda garra, one small oto (i used to have 3.... one died coming back from the lfs, another starved to death and the third got stuck behind the filter -_-) and an amano in there (which is overstocking really) the plants are thriving.
Yes, this was apparent as the fish levels went up.... although most of the plants did very well in the hard water without the fish too... just that my KH stopped going down as the fish went up. I hope to get back to the point where the KH is dropping again... more plants. If I had anticipated this ahead of time, I might have noted better which plants were doing well without fish, then see which plants did better after fish. Initially I was just happy to have thriving plants (mostly).

Jeff.
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Old 03-21-2013, 11:54 AM   #114
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Lol! sounds exactly like how i got into collectoritis. You know what? While my other plants loved rock hard water, my java fern HATED hard water and high light, so I only keep those in my emmersed setups these days. let me know how yours do. I think I had 8degrees of hardness. I might have to agree with your plants consuming KH, as my MTS and nerite refused to come out of their shells when I dropped them into the fishless tank. water was perfect, but I think it was too soft. after stocking with fish, the MTS I placed in there went about their normal business.
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Old 03-21-2013, 02:57 PM   #115
 
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my KH stopped going down as the fish went up. I hope to get back to the point where the KH is dropping again... more plants.

Jeff.
safe to say when kh starts to drop that your tank is "full" as far as balance goes? then when its stable their is more room for plants since the plants will use the ammonia/ammonium before they start to use the cao3 in the kh? cao3 i think is what its called that the plants convert. since it takes less energy for the plants to use the ammonia/ammonium then the cao3
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Old 03-21-2013, 03:45 PM   #116
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They are two different things.

They are using KH as a substitue for CO2

light +CO2+ nutrients = Oxygen and plant growth

Ammonia fits into the Nutrient category, The bicarbonates and whatever fits into the CO2 category.

Jeff's KH stopped droping because the fish began to provide CO2 which they prefer to use. it's like how plants prefer to use ammonia before they go for the nitrates.
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Old 03-21-2013, 03:56 PM   #117
 
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right, but i guess what im trying to say is once you notice kh no loger decreasing your fish load is balanced with the plant load since there is sufficent natrual co2 coming from the fish right?
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Old 03-21-2013, 04:01 PM   #118
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uh... maybe? lol

I'll let JDM give you the detailed analysis...

but there are alot of factors that can be changed, available lighting, CO2 and nutrients.
the tank will ALWAYS try to achieve a balance. the very reason why plants or fish die off, algae growth bacterial bloom.... it just means that they need to exit the equation for the tank to balance out.
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Old 03-21-2013, 04:06 PM   #119
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Originally Posted by MoneyMitch View Post
safe to say when kh starts to drop that your tank is "full" as far as balance goes? then when its stable their is more room for plants since the plants will use the ammonia/ammonium before they start to use the cao3 in the kh? cao3 i think is what its called that the plants convert. since it takes less energy for the plants to use the ammonia/ammonium then the cao3
Not quite. The ammonia is a source of nitrogen so ammonium, ammonia, nitrite, nitrate... That's the nitrogen order of consumption for plants from easiest to hardest.

The carbon source is primarily CO2, the easiest. Without getting all chemical, the carbon component of the KH constituents, CaCO3 is one but there are other ions involved, becomes the next best source.

KH drops when the plants are using more carbon than the fish are producing with their respiration, CO2. The assumption is that there is enough ammonia being produced to let the plants have enough energy through photosynthesis to pull the harder carbon sources in. There also needs to be enough of the other nutrients and light for this to continue or there will be imbalance. The KH drop indicates that imbalance is pending as, if left alone, carbon becomes scarce and the plants stop taking in ammonia which leads to more nitrite and nitrate due to the nitrifying organisms (NOs for short) picking up the slack with the ammonia consumption.

No big deal, tank stays balanced, water changes look after the higher nitrate production, NOs increase in numbers but the plants may slow down and I suppose this is where algae and other stuff may appear. So either adding more fish, injecting CO2 or increasing KH will serve to rebalance the whole equation more to our liking. Each has its drawback. I like the idea of adding KH if the fish load is already where I might want it.

As mentioned, some plants may not do this, I haven't looked into which do and don't. A good mix of plants might ensure that there are some that do. I think that some just don't do it well but when push comes to shove, carbon is carbon. True soft water plants might have more problems. I happen to have water that is 23dGH so I didn't pick soft water plantsat least not intentionally. That may affect my results.

Jeff.
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Old 03-21-2013, 04:15 PM   #120
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right, but i guess what im trying to say is once you notice kh no loger decreasing your fish load is balanced with the plant load since there is sufficent natrual co2 coming from the fish right?
Shorter answer, yes. As long as your plants are thriving and the nitrates are not climbing. If the nitrates are climbing it means that ammonia is higher than the plants need and they can probably handle more carbon but may need everything else bumped up which gets you into a higher energy tank setup. Even in that case though, the tank is balanced if you are OK ridding the nitrates with water changes.

I start to see the lure of the water changeless tank but still would not do it. Right now mine is well balanced. Little to no new nitrates, nice plant growth, almost no waste build up on the substrate and not due to vacuuming, I try but there is nothing there.

Jeff.
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