New tank and new to live plants
Hello all I have been on and off this site for a long time and taken the advice of many with great results. I wanted to share my new 56g high tank that I have planted and want to make sure that I am doing it right. I am not sure of the names of the plants because I cant find the paperwork I got when I bought them from my LFS. I also added a picture of my light bulb because even after reading Byrons right up I am still confused. Right now I only have gravel in the tank but I have some substrate on the way it is CARIBSEA ECO-COMPLETE PLANTED AQUARIUM SUBSTRATE . I guess I am looking for some advice on what you all think as my tank sits now. Do I need more light? Will the cloudy water go away? I am using a wet/dry sump filter. Here are some pics. Please let me know what you think. Thanks!
The green on the left is I think Wisteria.
The two on the right are swords, two different species.
You are seeing the big sword switch from emersed (out of water) growth to submerged growth, that's why the old leaves (the ones on the outside of the crown) are starting to turn brown. You can cut those leaves off when the brown reaches the stem (the plant is transferring nutrients from the old leaves, to new leaves in the center of the crown).
The Marineland bulbs are 5100K or 5200K which is on the low side, but should still work. 6500K is better and what you should shoot for in a year (replace florescent lights every year).
Is there only one tube, or two? Your pictures look nice and bright.
White cloudy water is common in new tanks, it's a bacteria bloom. It will go away on its own.
The light fixture is a single bulb. I really want to grow some of the dwarf grass will this light work? If not can you please tell me what to get. Thank you!
What are the tank dimensions? Need this to answer your light questions.
I gather you have ordered the Eco-Complete substrate; do you intend to replace the gravel with it? I would, as the mix will not look the best. Assuming you are getting the black, it will be fine on its own.
Are you using any fertilizers now? If yes, which and how often?
Agree with Geo on the plants. The reddish leaf stem at the left is Ludwigia. The swords are Echinodorus parviflorus "Tropica" (the low one) and the larger is probably Echinodorus bleherae in the emersed form. Both are in our profiles, as are the Wisteria and Ludwigia, so you can read more about them.
I was going to mix the gravel and the substrate but if thats not good then I wont. Thanks Byron!!!
You need some nutrient supplementation for the plants. A liquid complete fert is essential; beyond that depends. Seachem's Flourish Comprehensive Supplement is what I use, and many others here [make sure it is the Comprehensive, they make various products under the Flourish name]. Brightwell Aquatics' FlorinMulti is basically the same. Once or twice a week. This will be necessary with the Eco-complete too; I have Flourite in one tank, which is basically the same as EC, and I still need to dose fertilizers the same as in my sand and gravel tanks.
Light will suffice the swords. Wisteria, maybe. But if the light is not sufficient for Wisteria in the substrate, it will grow fine floating, so you can still use it. Ludwigia maybe, you will have to see. You mentioned dwarf grass, this will be trickiest of all. I use pygmy chain sword as the "dwarf" cover in my tanks, or one of the smaller crypts. If you are thinking the dwarf hairgrass and similar, you can try it but don't expect it to make it. More intense light will probably be necessary, but then you get into other issues with nutrient balancing. And usually CO2 becomes an issue. I have tried many plants over the years; I simply stay with what works in my tanks, given the light and then nutrients. And I rely solely on natural CO2.
Update week 2 and some more plants and new light!
Nova extreme T5H0
Flourish 2x weekly
50% water change
What do I do with the leaves that are transparent? Does my tank look like its doing ok? TYIA!!!
On the dying leaves, I wold leave them a bit longer; some nutrients are moved by the plant from such leaves to aid in new leaf growth. Once the new growth (from the centre of the crown on the swords) is a bit more substantial, the outer dying leaves can be removed. I just bend them back from the crown, they usually come off fairly easily without pulling the plant up (try not to do this as the plants are new and not yet firmly rooted).
I see some algae forming on those low plants. Your light seems to have changed to a T5 HO, and this is quite an increase. What is the duration daily?
I strongly suggest floating plants. This will shade the light a bit, which will help control the algae plus provide some shade for the fish who will appreciate it.
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