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What's your favorite foreground plant

This is a discussion on What's your favorite foreground plant within the Beginner Planted Aquarium forums, part of the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium category; --> Originally Posted by fish_4_all I would really like to see a diary of this tank when you get it started. I think that's a ...

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What's your favorite foreground plant
Old 03-17-2007, 01:37 PM   #11
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fish_4_all
I would really like to see a diary of this tank when you get it started.
I think that's a totally great idea! It'd be pretty cool to see it go from "baron wasteland" To "lush aquatic jungle." (knock on wood)

Yeah, the light's 96 Watts. Here's part of the description on the web page: "Freshwater compact fluorescent strip light includes 6,700°K Quad Tube and is great for freshwater planted aquariums. Both are 96 watts and 20" L x 7" W x 2-1/2" H."

Could someone give me a rundown on CO2? Al that I know is that plants "eat" CO2... What would someone look for when purchasing a unit, and do you want all that you can pack into the water, or is there a specific range? I noticed some units that have built in monitors, and shut off at night time and stuff like that. I was thinking about upgrading to one of those if the tank starts to really take off. Andrew's tank is the exact look that I'm going for. I love it when you look at a tank and have no idea what the gravel looks like...It could be pink for all you know!

Musho, maybe the next time you get bored and want to make another guide, you could make a planted tank guide. You seem to have done a really good job with all the ones that you've made so far. They look awesome and I'm really impressed.

-Thanks to everyone for the help so far! I'm looking to order a bunch of stuff in about two weeks or so to get it started.
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Old 03-17-2007, 05:10 PM   #12
 
well research is the key to CO2- i was ripped off on my first purchase, £200 no shut off just bottle reg bubble counter and diffuser, now if you are shrewd you will do the following.
Gas bottle from CO2 supplier- 5lb bottle =£5 you rent the bottle with the price of gas, and refills last longer than aquarium brand size- the bigger the bottle the greater the cost- but 5lb has lasted me nearly 2 years on 180 litres.
Where is your local CO2 supplier? ask your local bar man- bars may even sell you a small bottle- CO2 is how draft beer works, for all the t- totalers out there- only rough description but you get my point :)

ok next you need a valve, make sure it fits the collar of the bottle, you can go for aquarium brand or industrial, really you want a valve with two dials, one will control the pressure the other will control how much CO2 will be let out- aquarium will need to 1/2 bar pressure which is a pain to get with one dial- i know!

Ok next you need a bubble counter and a diffuser, the piping you need should come with both of these items, good pipiing is clear and made of thick pvc 1-2mm thick, poor piping is coloured shiny and paper thin, if it creases your screwed and it will tear or kink.
The best diffusers that i have seen are made by dupla and sera, yes the ADA ones are beautiful but they are so stupidly expensive i would not recommend them.

You want a reaction chamber type diffuser- this mixes the gas and water (taken from the filter outlet) in a recatangular chamber and mixes the 2, this is more successful than using a pollinator- CO2 is harder to mix with water than O2 so you need a chamber to get the most out of your system, not to mention you will waste less gas.

A CO2 indicator is useful, it will change colour depending on the CO2 saturation of the water- combined with the bubble counter youshould pick up the desired levels quickly- and its easier than testing for PPM.

That said you could buy a kit- just make sure you can refill it at your local CO2 dealer.

I hope this is useful - if i am wrong i am sure someone will be quick to correct me, or if i have missed something i am sre someone will help.

I would also recommend you use R/O water or at the very least rain water. It will help control algae.

Good luck if you need anymore advice you know where to ask.

Oh and pink gravel is a big no no! lol :)
Serisously, river gravel (fine) is good stuff, and if its light in colour it will reflect the light more than darker colours, helping plant growth in the early months.

If you like the look of my tank i suggest you google takashi amano- then you will see some amazing tanks.
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Old 03-17-2007, 09:28 PM   #13
 
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Well just a little to add.
First testing is more accurate with a pH and KH liquid regent test kit. This allows you to track what is going on much better and will tell you what is changing that could be causing low levels of CO2 or high ones. If the indicators actually work they are good for a warning but the test kits will help you get to the bottom of the cause.

Gravel color at that light levels won't make a whole lot of difference, lol. The plants are getting a TON of light but in the long run a better substrate will benefit the plants a lot.

I will second this one: Get the stuff that is meant for an aquarium and do not let a gas guy try to sell you a setup for an aquarium. Get the facts from a reputable dealer if one is close to you or go online. Also make sure to get a regulator and/or a needle valve, (not sure if they are one in the same or not).

The next suggestion, get a good pair of shears and be ready to trim massive amounts weekly of whatever you get for plants! List your trimming on here for trade, sale or for shipping.

Oh, and get a good supply of fertilizers, you WILL need them! I suggest going HERE and look around to see if they are something you might want to use. They will save you a ton of money and help you combat algae before it has a chance to start.
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Old 03-18-2007, 09:46 AM   #14
 
adding CO2 has no effect on KH levels, but it will effect your pH.
A kh of 4 with a bubble count of 1 per second is a good place to start- an indicator is easier as it saves endless testing- if you are keeping tropical river fish then they will be happy in pH from 6.4-6.8 so no need to fret about hitting 6.8 bang on.
Anything less than kh4 and as a newbie you arepushing your luck, the ph will become to unstable whils injecting CO2-
lastly scissors are just fine- you dont chop at it weekly, infact you should try and let it be for as long as possible. Break the tank into thirds, only ever chop 1/3 at a time, so as not to unbalance the tank- a fully planted tank is a great filter if you chop out half in one go you are asking for build up in waste and algae.
CO2 bottle and reg are fine from your local dealer- piping bubble counter and reaction chamber you need from an aquatic brand- preferably a leading industry name, dupla sera or ADA.
As for gravel colour google it, i am sure the aqautic journals have this covered.
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Old 03-18-2007, 02:29 PM   #15
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew
lastly scissors are just fine- you dont chop at it weekly, infact you should try and let it be for as long as possible. Break the tank into thirds, only ever chop 1/3 at a time, so as not to unbalance the tank- a fully planted tank is a great filter if you chop out half in one go you are asking for build up in waste and algae.
I can agree and disagree with this. If you don't have a lot of growth and the bottoms of the plants still get light, leave them alone. They don't need to be trimmed and will be healthier without it. If the plants reach the top of the tank every week and block the light then they need to trimmed every week to get light to the lower parts of the plants. I have to trim my Primrose every week or the bottoms start to lose their leaves. I also have to trim my Pearlweed every other week or the uderside starts to turn stringy and the leaves all fall off again.
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Old 03-18-2007, 03:25 PM   #16
 
a plant tht is comfortable in its environment will not grow out of the tank every week- that is ridiculous unless you have a shallow tank- the only time a plant will do that is if it is in need of more light.
If your provide good conditions your plants will be happy- 3 months is a good period to prune in my own opinion.
As for competition for light with smaller plants- wise aquascaping avoids the issue all together.
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Old 03-18-2007, 03:58 PM   #17
 
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What would you suggest to use for algae control? It crossed my mind to put an Otto in the tank, but it looks like they need a little bigger tank than a ten gallon. Are there any snails or something that would eat the algae and not the plants?

FYI-I think that I'm going to stop posting on this thread soon since the subject matter isn't pertinent to foreground plants anymore. Keep an eye open for the journal that should be starting shortly.
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Old 03-18-2007, 05:14 PM   #18
 
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Here's my take on a high light foreground. For one thing, it's not good to start with a foreground in a NEW tank. You will have algae problems. It's best to wait on the foreground til you have all algae issues resolved.

Second, in higher light, you will be trimming alot. Also, you will get some brown spots, and will have to pull all the foreground out and replant the healthy plants. I'm finding out the hard way with my chain sword. They spread fast, and will crowd each other out, and will start getting dead spots. I have to pull all mine in my 75G shortly, as it's starting to look bad.

As for the CO2, for a 10G, the bubble ladder is a good way to do it, but remember, those CO2 systems are very quirky and rarely ever stable. You always have to keep your eye on them. And if you don't, and the CO2 is fluctuating, you will get BBA. DIY is usually more efficient in a small tank than those CO2 setups you can buy.

Well, here's some pics....

Here's the Elotine Tiandra I had. It just grew way too fast, and in 3 weeks, was over 4 inches deep and the undergrowth died off and it started floating to the surface. Was too mych maintenance under my lighting.


Here's what I'm currently using as foreground plants....


Current pics of my 75G:








So the main point, if you are wanting minimal maintenance, don't go high light. It's not going to be as easy as you think. Currently I ran out of CO2 on my 75G, and have cut my lighting in half. Plants aren't suffering much, but BBA is still threatening the tank. I hope to get the bottle refilled in the near future.

And since I don't have jumpers in my planted tanks, I use no glass tops. So there's nothing to keep clean so the plants get plenty of light.
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Old 03-18-2007, 05:26 PM   #19
 
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Basically, in short, 96W over a 10G, you might want to get some velcro or duct tape. If you have other plants besides ground cover, you will need it to hold your glass tops on the aquarium, as the plants will fill the tank fast and will start pushing the tops off. My 29G is doing that right now, and I only have 130W on the 29G, with Pressurized CO2. I cut my Bacopa down to 6 inch stems, and now they are at the surface, some are even starting to grow emerged.

Also, a 10G isn't too small for otos. You can easily have 2 in there. Just make sure you provide an algae wafer so they don't go hungry. When you buy otos at the lfs, only have them net the fattest ones. They are the healthiest ones. Skinny ones could end up being problems, and may die on you.

As for snails, I have pond snails and ramshorns in all my tanks, but some people don't like them. They don't bother me. None of mine touch the live plants, but they do go after the dying and dead plant matter, as well as any excess food.
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Old 03-18-2007, 06:08 PM   #20
 
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One last thing, here is the math equations....

More Light+ferts+CO2=Faster Growth and More Growth.
More Light+ferts+no CO2=Algae
More Light+No Ferts+No CO2=More Algae
Less Light+Ferts+CO2=Decent Growth
Less Light+No Ferts+No CO2=Less Growth and minimal algae issues.
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