Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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-   -   Totally New To Planted Tanks (http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/beginner-planted-aquarium/totally-new-planted-tanks-305562/)

Squatchmen 11-19-2013 10:56 AM

Totally New To Planted Tanks
 
So let's get this party started - I just started getting into the Aquaria hobby and loved the idea of a planted tank and found out they are REALLY popular, so yup. I'm in the same boat as a lot of other people. I'll probably get a lot of questions regarding something, but I'll just take a hit and name the basics I have, I also have questions regarding to this as well and I'm not just posting my journey or general idea of what I have, so you're not just like "lolwut"

Aqaurium
Right now, I have a 55gal aquarium that's 48"

Lighting - High lighting
Current USA Satellite Freshwater LED Plus Light fixture (times 2)

Co2
I currently have no Co2 setup, but I'm getting one at the end of 2013 - pressurized Co2 with 5lb tank

Fertilizer
API Leaf zone - dose once a week

Flow
The flow, the filter I have is a C-530 marineland canister filter - the outtake hose is default pointing upwards, break the surface

Substrate
50/50 mix of Amazon Cichlid sand + Eco Complete

Plants

Currently

- Nesaea Sp. Red
- Rotala Wallichii
- Alternanthera Reineckii Roseatolia
- Cabomba Palaeformis
- Dwarf Onion

Plan to get

- Anarcharis Egeria Densa
- Anubias Nana Petite
- Dwarf Onion Plant
- Blyxa Auberti
- Nesaea Pedicellata
- Riccia Flutains
- Heteranthera Zosterifolia

Fish

- Severum
- Uaru
- Geophagus
- Ram
- Gourami
- Rainbows
- Cories
- Plecos

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So yeah - that's everything, I'm about to get my Pressurized Co2 system any where between the 21-26th of November - if anyone can help me with any tips and tricks that'd be great.

I had, and still have a problem with one of my plants staying in the substrate, I tied it in a bundle pretty tight, but not enough to cut the stems, then I took that bundle and ties it to a small rock and buried it with my hand, then all of a sudden one, two, 3 stems come popping out like a day or two later...... :C

Also, I have some low light plants like sword and java fern mixed in with high lighting plants - I'm about to get another LED fixture to make it high light with my Co2, I mean, is it good or bad?

Chesh 11-19-2013 11:20 AM

Ahhhh, welcome to the green side, my friend! Looks like you have a lot to learn! Unfortunately, I have NO experience with high light, Co2, OR LED lighting, so I won't be much help to you here, but am subbing in to learn right along with you ^_^

It can be tricky finding the balance in a planted tank between lighting, ferts, and Co2, hope you can get the input you need to get your tank flourishing. :)

ao 11-19-2013 12:52 PM

stems are happier planted as separate stems, and NOT bunched :) They will do better if you plant them stem by stem ^__^ Are you using a tweezers? if you take the bottom of the stem and wiggle it into the substrate. then release the plant slowly by opening up the tweezers without pulling it out. THEN pull the tweezers out :)

Chesh 11-19-2013 01:52 PM

Just a couple of questions:

How long has the tank been set up, have you been using Eco-Complete from the start?
Why are you planning to upgrade lighting and go high-tech? Just to try it - or is there a reason why your current setup isn't working out for you (I/E algae problems, lack of plant growth, etc.)

And just out of curiosity:

What type of Geophagus do you keep? These are 'earth eaters' and are notorious for digging in the substrate, and disturbing the plants that live there, curious if you've had any issues along these lines?
I *think* I remember you mentioning on another thread that you have a German Blue Ram? (these are MIKROgeophagus ramirezi <3 Rams)
Also curious as to what type of Gourami, Plec, Rainbows, and Cory you have?

'course these last are mostly me being curious as to what you're keeping in that tank, and don't have much to do with lighting and plants :P Feel free to ignore me!

catzmuze 11-19-2013 02:22 PM

Where did you get the idea of the mix in your substrate? That seems like a good idea. I have been using aragonite in my filter via a media bag. That is to counter the co2 (diy). So far it has worked to stablize my ph. That seems a great idea except i have heard sand is to small and anerobic. I am new to the planted tank, so i am genuinely curious how your tank goes!

catzmuze 11-19-2013 02:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Squatchmen (Post 3433882)
Also, I have some low light plants like sword and java fern mixed in with high lighting plants - I'm about to get another LED fixture to make it high light with my Co2, I mean, is it good or bad?

Also this is where I am trying to find a balance. The light I got is really bright. I love it! My red sword is so red. You have to have co2 I think with high light. I have had a wonderful growth on the plants I have, but want things to be simple for maintainence. I too have low and high light plants mixed. Some stay smaller than they normally would. The light i found is so bright and cheap! I was really impressed.
http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/&...-cr1-95090.jpghttp://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/m...-cr1-95090.jpg

Please keep us posted on your tank!

Squatchmen 11-19-2013 04:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by aokashi (Post 3434490)
stems are happier planted as separate stems, and NOT bunched :) They will do better if you plant them stem by stem ^__^ Are you using a tweezers? if you take the bottom of the stem and wiggle it into the substrate. then release the plant slowly by opening up the tweezers without pulling it out. THEN pull the tweezers out :)

@aokashi - No, no, no - That plan sucks 360 degrees all the way around - I tried that right when I got my new plants in - they ALL floated up practically! Also the other plants stems started to get crushed and somewhat cut under the pressure of the tweezers, I just use the most important tool a chef uses - his hands!
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@Chesh - it's been like 9 months from when I did a fishless cycle on it, so it's probably been 6 months with a hardscape and ornamental fish, also, it's funny because I bought a couple of swords and java fern from Petsmart and they were slowly dying, but saved them thanks to the extra lighting, eco-complete, and fertilizer (got all that at the same time)

I've only been using Eco-complete for like a month now, maybe a month and a half, got the substrate JUST before I got the other plants. I want to get the Co2 and extra lighting for my plants that aren't growing, right now my swords and java moss are having a party so I don't need to worry about them so much, it's the others that just won't do anything, they're just stagnant.....

The one geophagus I currently have is a brasiliensis - oh and that's SICK how a ram is basically a micro geophagus, I never thought about that

*Ignoring* hahaha
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@catzmuze - Well I actually wasn't planning on mixing the two at first because I was originally going to do just a hardscape for the more veracious central american cichlids.....it didn't work out, my jewel cichlid almost killed the jack dempsey

So now I'm doing peaceful cichlids that do much, much better in planted tanks and plan to stay on this route

Also, about the sand......yeah, I'm starting to have some funky growth - Aw! And that's another question! About the growth in the sand, how do you manage that or will the plants use it??? IDK

My lights too were are really snazzy and cheap - it had a 4.5 star on Amazon and love it

ao 11-19-2013 04:35 PM

o_O what tweezers did you use? XD


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Chesh 11-19-2013 04:49 PM

HAHA! I never use tweezers on my big tanks, either - but they have proven sooooo handy with smaller setups and dirted tanks, as well as with my terrariums. . . they do take a bit of getting used to, tho >.<

Your swords - are they common swords? They will do well in lower lighting, as will the java ferns, and mosses. . . all of these grow well for me in my low-light 55, but I don't do so well with stems in there - I grew Cambomba very well in a lower tank, but with the taller 55 I can't keep it anymore. . . again, I don't know much about higher light or LED, but this all leads me to believe that your current lighting *may* not be as high as you think?

. . . do you have the exact type of light that you have? I can maybe look into it and see what I can dig up? If you add a 2nd light, it may just bring you up into med/high light, it's hard for me to say, because I have no experience with LED! But you'll want to go slowly. I'd suggest perhaps adding more light, and holding off on the Co2 to see where that gets you first. Adding Co2 without the lights bright enough to balance it can cause you a world of trouble, in and of itself - but again, my experience is in low light tanks. . .

Another thing to consider with the sword plants is that these are heavy root-feeders, and so if you were not adding root tabs as an added fertilizer by the bases of these, they wouldn't have been getting enough nutrients with only the liquid ferts. The addition of eco-complete would be providing them with the nourishment that they need from their roots, so their rebounding makes perfect sense :) Glad to hear they are doing well. . .

Funky growth. . . how??? Do you have a picture you can show, or can you explain it with a bit more detail? If it is brown, it is likely to be diatoms, and may clear up on it's own - this happens often in a newly built tank, or in your case newly re-built ^_^ If it is dark green, it may be cyanobacteria, which is more of a green slime. This is usually caused by excess organics in the tank, try cleaning your filter, cutting down on feeding, upping water changes, and vacuuming the substrate lightly to remove waste. Just keep it as clean as possible in there and see if it clears up. Do the nitrates in this tank run high?

I dunno! Hope you find something in here that helps out, man!

Squatchmen 11-19-2013 05:40 PM

@aokashi - Haha, lol - I made sure I was using the actual tweezers, I made sure the scissors were still in the drawer
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@Chesh - lol, I have no idea if they're common swords, I think they are, ha. See and that's why I need higher lighting, because I'll be much more comfortable and can grow much more plants.

". . . do you have the exact type of light that you have?" lolwut

And yeah, I think you're right, I would be getting medium/high lighting. Oh well, good start though! For me

About the funky growth - it's definitely a rusty looking brown, kind of looks powdery or moldy......ew
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Also! I made 7 steps I'm going to be using to get great success from the get-go and so I'm not monkey F'n around like I just did with my 55gal, this will be for my 120gal upgrade for years down the road:

1) Get tank, than get a 50/50 mix of powder and course plant substrate

2) Fishless cycle

3) Make hardscape - Driftwood and Rocks

4) Create florascape with easy, very hardy, tough hardy plants that are cichlid proof/resistant

5) Equipment hook up for plants, lights, dosing ferts, Co2

6) Let plants grow in, root, fill out

7) Introduce fish


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