Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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babybetta 02-17-2013 01:18 PM

new to planted tanks advice?
hello Im new to planted tanks and wanted some advice on how to make my tank grow and thrive the best I can. So um I geuss Ill start with the tank specs I know and can think of.:oops:
Its a 5 gal with playsand caped with gravel and houses red cherry shrimp and a few pond snails
the light is a new 13 watt cfl white light in a desk lamp (changed since pic was sucky LED that was standard)
It also gets some sunlight from windows about 7 feet away
heated to around 80
Its about 3 weeks old
soft water
kh of around 50
ph of 6.8
nitrates around 20
seachem florish tabs near roots of rooted plants
plants are:
java fern. windolov fern, frogbit, salvina, amazon sword, java moss, duckweed,
bacopa, Anubias barteri nana Golden, BACOPA AMPLEXICAULIS, Crypt beketti

Byron 02-17-2013 03:34 PM

One suggestion would be to lower the temperature a bit. I'm not very familiar with the shrimp, but I don't expect they need this much warmth, and the plants would benefit from lower temperatures, perhaps low to mid 70'sF.

Second, use a liquid fertilizer, Seachem's Flourish Comprehensive Supplement is what I use. The substrate tabs will provide nutrients for the plants rooted in the substrate, but not the others such as the Java Ferns and floaters. And some nutrients are taken up via the leaves on all plants. Once weekly will probably suffice.

Mention is not made of the GH, but I would suspect it is adequate if the KH is 80ppm but it would worth knowing the GH for the source (tap) water.

The light should be adequate for the plants mentioned. Down the road you might want to consider a fixture for the tank, and an LED would work if bright enough. I've n experience with LED lighting on tanks, so can't say if what you had would be OK or not. But the Marineland Double Bright LED is said to be workable.


babybetta 02-17-2013 04:44 PM

The gh is 75 and the heater cant go any lower would like to add that there is catappa leave in it

Byron 02-17-2013 07:04 PM


Originally Posted by babybetta (Post 1434126)
The gh is 75 and the heater cant go any lower would like to add that there is catappa leave in it

Almond leaves are fine. GH at 74 is 4 dGH, so that is fine. The heater sounds like it is not functioning properly, or perhaps it is due to the small tank?

babybetta 02-17-2013 08:39 PM

small tank it works fine in larger just keeps smaller a little on the warm side used to use it in a betta tank so it being 80 in a small tank was fine as betta very much like their water at 80 in a 10 or 20 it stays around 75 or so unless I turn it up

VerdantGrotto 02-17-2013 09:45 PM

If it were me I would get a Hood that can house a descent bulb. I would stay away from LED's on a tank so small because if you were to get one that would do any good for plants your looking to spend over a Hundred bucks (USD). I recently made a switch from the Standard Kit LED's to a 48" Dual T5 setup and the plants are going nuts right now with so much growth. If you wanted to save a few bucks, I believe Big Box stores and possibly LFS's sell Plant bulbs that you can put into regular fixtures or even cheap clamp on fixtures from say Wal-mart...

On another note, The root tabs you're using IMO work great. I use them as well. I would also try what Byron suggested. You'll be amazed what the plants will do with that stuff and some good lighting.

babybetta 02-17-2013 11:32 PM

yes I will probly change the bulb in the lamp I have on it now to a grow light and I did some research it seems that fertilizer is safe if used correctly and it seems reasonably priced and will last quite a while I think

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