Want to Turn Planted
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Want to Turn Planted

This is a discussion on Want to Turn Planted within the Beginner Planted Aquarium forums, part of the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium category; --> Ok so i have a 50g, with 2 18" aqua-glo florescent bulbs, Gravel substrate no more than 1/3" big, Pump is a Rena XP4 ...

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Old 02-24-2011, 05:25 PM   #1
 
Want to Turn Planted

Ok so i have a 50g, with 2 18" aqua-glo florescent bulbs, Gravel substrate no more than 1/3" big, Pump is a Rena XP4 (rated for 250g). Tank is Cycled and established. Known Parameters are PH: 7.6, Ammonia: 0ppm, Nitrite: 0ppm, Nitrate: 0ppm i keep temperature at 77 - 78F. I have a Low Bio-load at the moment with 3 mollies, 2 sword tails, 2 danios and 1 Tetra. There are also tons of MTS in the tank.

Now i would like to have real plants rather than the fake ones. What do i need to know to make this happen successfully? I have been browsing around and seeing things like that the plants replace the cycle and co2 injection and so on, i am getting really confused. I like to keep it simple and it is seeming like plants are not simple which is really discouraging me.

I found at my Chain store Pet Shop they have a Nutra-fin Plant food can i put plants in a cycled tank and add the plant food and have a hope of healthy plants?

Please Help me understand all this :)
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Old 02-25-2011, 11:26 AM   #2
 
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Nothing nicer than a planted tank, IMHO. Byron did a GREAT four part sticky on plants. Were it me I'd have a read of the four stickys, then come back with questions. Everything you need to know are contained in these stickys here, top of the page:

Aquarium Plants
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Old 02-25-2011, 11:37 AM   #3
 
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I normally don't do this, and I hope no one else brings it up...

May I reccomend that your next fish purchase be tetras and danios? They both need at least 6 of their own species to be happy.

Plants aren't as difficult as the average joe assumes, and there are as many ways to go about it as there are species of fish.
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Old 02-25-2011, 07:02 PM   #4
 
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Yes, it can appear a bit daunting at first, but as I frequently say, growing plants is easier than keeping the fish. But there are some basics that have to be provided.

From what you've posted, i think the light is an issue, but easily fixed with new tubes. Inexpensive daylight tubes with a kelvin rating of 6500K are made by Phillips and Sylvania and can be purchased from Home Depot or other hardware stores. Measure the length of your tubes (not including the prongs), that is what you want in a T8 with a kelvin of 6500K, they usually call them "daylight" or "Daylight Deluxe" etc.

Nutra-Fin "Plant-Gro" liquid is OK, but if you can find it i would recommend Seachem's Flourish Comprehensive Supplement. While initially it may cost a bit more, you use considerably less per week so long-term is it actually cheaper to use. And it is the best I have so far found.

On the gravel, do you mean the substrate depth is 2/3 inch, or the individual grains of gravel are 2/3 inch across?

Byron.
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Old 02-26-2011, 05:48 PM   #5
 
Just Bought some new Tetras today and next is Danios :)

Grains of Gravel is 2/3" big and smaller from there. I have it about 2" deep.

i was looking at the hagen site and the aqua-glo says it promotes plant growth i don't know the color temp.

it looks like the one called "life-glo" is what i am looking for?

i will look for a new one.
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Old 02-26-2011, 06:50 PM   #6
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skunkmang View Post
Just Bought some new Tetras today and next is Danios :)

Grains of Gravel is 2/3" big and smaller from there. I have it about 2" deep.

i was looking at the hagen site and the aqua-glo says it promotes plant growth i don't know the color temp.

it looks like the one called "life-glo" is what i am looking for?

i will look for a new one.
If you don't mind spending the extra money, the Life-Glo 2 will be ideal; it is in my view the best tube for a planted tank. But it is expensive (the whole Hagen line are). You can also if you want to save some money get a daylight tube with a kelvin around 6500K made by Phillips or Sylvania, from a hardware store (Home Depot, etc). I use these too, along with the Life-Glo.

The Aqua-Glo is no good. First, it is about half the intensity of the Life-Glo (and others I mentioned) so that means half the light. Second, it casts a purplish hue over everything. It is high in blue and red (hence the purple) but there is no green to balance this. While it is true plants need red and blue, this tube is so weak it defeats the purpose.

If you are inclined to change the gravel, i would, now rather than later. But having said that, it will suffice. I have a tank with this type of "pea" gravel, so named because it is roughly the size of a green pea; the plants do not seem to do as well, I have crypts in this and they are failing rather badly, compared to those in my small-grain gravel tank. If you do want to consider this, i can offer more suggestions about colour and such; plants won;t care about colour--but the fish do.
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Old 02-27-2011, 08:09 PM   #7
 
your right about the aqua-glo it is quite low in light. Today i just ordered 2 life-glo 2s. untill i can get 2 dual light fixtures they are the best i am going to be able to do.

so with the right light and a plant food supplement it is just left to trial and error for me i guess eh?
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Old 02-28-2011, 12:06 PM   #8
 
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Originally Posted by Skunkmang View Post
your right about the aqua-glo it is quite low in light. Today i just ordered 2 life-glo 2s. untill i can get 2 dual light fixtures they are the best i am going to be able to do.

so with the right light and a plant food supplement it is just left to trial and error for me i guess eh?
For plants I would suggest swords, Echinodorus bleherae is commonly available as the "sword" plant [click the shaded name to see our profile info on this species]. Two or three will work in a 50g. For substrate "cover" I would go with pygmy chain sword and dwarf sword. Crypts would work, they are low light, but can be fussy and in larger gravel as I noted previously not so good. Brazilian Pennywort is a good stem plant for low light, it also serves as an excellent floating plant. Other stem pants tend to need more light, so they may or may not work for you. The plants I've mentioned will do fine.
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Old 03-02-2011, 06:10 PM   #9
 
i love the swords! Amazon Sword is going to be my first. and i need a floating one so i will look for the pennywort

i was wondering too what i should look for for some tall ones? my tank is 20" high and i would like to get a couple that will go to the top.

Also i was wondering about the "grass" i see in some peoples tanks what is that? and is it hard to grow?
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Old 03-02-2011, 06:45 PM   #10
 
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I think the grass you refer to is the Brazilian microsword. It prefers high light levels. The higher the tank light level, the more issues you can have with balancing out CO2 demands, fertilizers, algae issues, etc. This is based on my ongoing experiences with all three of these! It's fun, but more maintenance and $.
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