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-   -   planted my tank, any pointers or tricks to keep the plants healthy? (

jmlampert23 11-14-2009 12:13 PM

planted my tank, any pointers or tricks to keep the plants healthy?
so i just planted my 55 gallon tank, this is what i planted

1 aqua fern
3 golden ribbons
3 white ribbons
and 3 amazon swords

is there anything i should add to the water to help them grow or anything like that? i currently do not have any fish in the tank yet. i am going to get them either tomorrow or monday. let me know if you have any suggestions


Byron 11-14-2009 12:53 PM

We need a bit of information to be able to answer. First is light, what type; I'm assuming fluorescent, but what is the name on the end of the tube and wattage, and how many tubes?

Second, what are your water parameters, temperature, pH and hardness if you know these.

Third, what type of fish are you intending to get, and about how many when finished. This is important because fish produce waste and some acts as nutrients for the plants.

And do you know what "golden ribbons" and "white ribbons" are? Common names are uncertain for identification, and I must confess to never having come across these names before.


jmlampert23 11-14-2009 01:06 PM

well i do not know off the top of my head exactly what their scientific names are, i will get back to you. i do not know what the ph is as of yet, i just filled the tank up, but i do know i have the tep set at 82 might be a little warm and i have an all glass aquarium light rapid start 17w single tube. i am basically looking for some general info i have never had a planted tank before. i am trying something new


Byron 11-14-2009 01:38 PM

I need to know the fish you are intending to have before I can say iof 82F is too warm. For general community fish it is, a temperature around 78F would be ideal. But some fish need warmer temperature, so knowing the fish will be useful.

The All Glass fixture is a good one, I have one on two of my tanks. But the tube that comes with it is not. Before I recommend something, as you only have one tube, can you give me the tank dimensions (length, width and depth)? This has a bearing on the light required.

Also, what is the substrate--gravel, sand, something else?

Planted tanks are not at all difficult, there are just a few basic things needed to ensure success. Be prepared to provide information along the way, starting with the above.


jmlampert23 11-14-2009 01:51 PM

my tank is 3 feet long, 24 inches tall and 24 inches deep approx. it is a 55 gallon tank. i am intersted in putting pictus catfish and fish of that type in there. i turned down the temp to 78 degrees. i had it up high to get it up to temp. i have gravel. larger size graved. like 1/4 inch.

Byron 11-14-2009 02:20 PM

One 17w tube will not be sufficient light for that deep a tank, but there are some possible tubes. How long is the tube itself?


jmlampert23 11-14-2009 02:26 PM

it is a 30 inch

Byron 11-14-2009 03:02 PM


Originally Posted by jmlampert23 (Post 274020)
it is a 30 inch

Good, I was hoping that would be your answer. You can get a suitable tube that will enable you to grow quite a variety of plants including the swords and possibly the ribbon plants depending upon what they actually are. My recommendation would be a Life-Glo tube made by Hagen/Nutrafin; most aquarium stores seem to carry these. There are several types in the "-Glo" series, but the Life-Glo is the best when you have one tube. It is full spectrum, with highlights in the blue and red that plants need and it is balanced with green for a natural appearance of plant and fish colours. There are two types, a Life-Glo and a Life-Glo 2, the former is preferable as it is slightly more intense due to a special coating inside one half of the tube that reflects the light more. Otherwise, they are identical in light colour. At 30 inches I believe it will be a 20 watt, but they are standard so there is only one at that length.

A second suggestion is the Zoo Med Ultra-Sun tube. It provides very similar light, and may be slightly less expensive if cost is an issue. If not, I would recommend the Life-Glo. Both will produce far more intense light than the tube you now have.

Once you have the tube, get a timer so it can be on for 10-12 hours every day, the same time. The fish will provide some nutrients, as will fish food when it breaks down, and some mineral may be in your water (the hardness and pH will tell us that). But almost certainly it will not be sufficient to provide the 17 nutrients that plants require. A good comprehensive fertilizer is the best way. I can recommend Seachem's Flourish Comprehensive Supplement for the Planted Aquarium and also Kent's Freshwater Supplement. I have used both with success. Once a week, after the partial water change, will probably be sufficient; if after 2-3 weeks the swords have yellowing leaves, twice a week with the liquid fertilizer will probably resolve that, since yellowing leaves usually indicates a nutrient deficiency.

This should get you started. If you do track down the name of those other plants, let us know. I'm only guessing, but they might be Vallisneria or Sagitarria, both of which have long ribbon-like leaves.


stephanieleah 11-14-2009 11:16 PM

Byron, or any other plant folks, can you give pointers on how to plant in an aquarium? I often have a hard time with how deep to plant. Sorry to cross-talk your thread, jmlampert23.

jmlampert23 11-15-2009 12:14 AM

no worries thanks though. ill check into that stuff tomorrow . where can i buy that fertilizer?

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