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Soon (or not so soon) to be planted tank owner. Questions!

This is a discussion on Soon (or not so soon) to be planted tank owner. Questions! within the Beginner Planted Aquarium forums, part of the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium category; --> I'm aware of the non-aquatic ones. And the fish-selling, don't me started with the employees ... Okay, so basically they're the same then. Sorry ...

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Soon (or not so soon) to be planted tank owner. Questions!
Old 03-05-2010, 10:40 PM   #21
 
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I'm aware of the non-aquatic ones. And the fish-selling, don't me started with the employees ...

Okay, so basically they're the same then. Sorry for that.

So how about the carbon?
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Old 03-05-2010, 10:41 PM   #22
 
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The reason I'm buying from Petco is because
1) Not allowed to buy online (Parent's rule)
2) It's near me, it's so insanely convenient it's not even funny... lol.
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Old 03-05-2010, 10:51 PM   #23
 
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Carbon in a planted tank is not a good idea. It removes the minerals from the water that the plant needs.
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Old 03-05-2010, 10:55 PM   #24
 
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Hmm :\
I don't plan on actually using anything for the plants. What happens if I do run it with carbon? This may be for two months (I have two left)
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Old 03-05-2010, 11:05 PM   #25
 
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Also, a question regarding the Brazilian Pennywort. How would I trim this plant? And is this the type of plant that I can cut off a leaf and have it re-root itself?
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Old 03-05-2010, 11:11 PM   #26
 
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Pennywort will develop roots along the stems. You can cut it just below the root and replant it. Or leave it floating. I have a bunch floating in my tank. It can help shade the light in a brighter lit tank.
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Old 03-05-2010, 11:54 PM   #27
 
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From this thread two things stand out.

First, light. With CF use the smallest bulb you can find (in watts). Someone, I think redchigh, is doing a 5g planted tank and we had this discussion. Watts between these new bulbs is a useless comparison for intensity since they are intended to produce more light (intensity) with less energy (watts), so theoretically a 13w CF is equal to a 60w incandescent, or something like that. Use the lowest watt size you can find, in a cool white or daylight deluxe.

The light must be on sufficient to allow the plants to use the nutrients and photosynthesize (grow), else they will die. Around 10 hours is normal, too much and algae will overtake the tank, too little and the plants won't live.

Second, nutrients. If you leave carbon in the filter and do not use fertilizers [I'm assuming this is what you mean by saying "I don't plan on actually using anything for the plants..."] you won't have much in the way of plants, as the 17 nutrients they need are unlikely to all be in your tap water and fish food.

There is a 4-part series of stickies at the head of this section on setting up a natural planted aquarium. You may find a lot of useful information on why this and that are mentioned and important.

Byron.
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Old 03-06-2010, 11:51 AM   #28
 
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Mean Harri, many apologies, but I'm still not getting it (my head's not straight yet). Would you: Remove the pennywort until you see the roots, Cut off the roots (or at discoloration?) and safely replant ?

That was only from one guide, so not sure. You say "below the root" - if I had a pennywort with me right now, would it be obvious where the "root" was? Excuse me for stupidity, I really am a beginner at this.

Byron - For lighting, my compact fluorescent should be around 10-15W. I'll have to actually go check though, at the store where they sell it.

For light, would 6 hours suffice? I will be getting some nerite snails to help around with algae. (Should I be this dependent on them seeing as I haven't gotten them yet?). If 6 hours is enough, then it jumps to around 10-12 hours with my schedule of the day.

Correct, I don't plan on using fertilizers or CO2 injections, or anything of the like. And this is why I intend on going for the "easier" plants, that are most likely to survive in less optimal conditions. Once my carbon filters go out, I won't be getting any more.

I've read the 4-part sections, and they were helpful.
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Old 03-06-2010, 03:29 PM   #29
 
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Just get the smallest wattage you can in the daylight or cool white. The light period can be adjusted. And six hours is very limiting, it might work, but I suspect 8 hours is the minimum, and preferably 10. But that is something that can be worked out once everything is running.

Believe me, you will nothave much luck without a liquid fertilizer. Fish mentioned are bettas, Kymmie's question on how many wasn't answered (she is thinking of the aggressiveness issue with more than one betta in a small tank), but one or two bettas will not provide complete nutrients for plants. Liquid ferts are not expensive if you buy the right one. I can suggest the best if asked, there are 3 worth using. The CO2 comes from the fish and biological processes, but the necessary minerals will have to be added. Some but not all may be in the tap water.

Pennywort is a stem plant and roots will appear all along the stem. When trimming, just cut off the upper portion of the stem, as far down as the leaves are good, and stick the cut end in the gravel. When the stems get too long, pull them up, cut off the top portions, and plant those, and so on. Lower leaves on stem plants frequently die off if this is not done regularly, and that is usually when the tops reach the surface.
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Old 03-06-2010, 03:50 PM   #30
 
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Word goes around that anubias (or more specific the anubias var. nana) is practically "indestructible." If it really does require a fertilizer, I may not get it. Perhaps as long as it survives and looks decent (not half dying) it's enough for me - not interested in the most beautiful landscaping, etc.

I may mess around / experiment by buying one plant and see how it goes.

How would I know when to trim at the bottom or the top?
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