Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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cmc29 01-10-2010 10:49 PM

new to forum-some pics of tank...advice?
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This is my tank that i planted one month ago, not sure if i put plants in the optimal places, but most seem to be doing fine, any advice for me about acuascaping, or plant health would be much appreciated. All comments are welcome.:-) I'm new to live plants, but not to keeping fish, i've had my tank for 3 years. I just thought the idea of live plants would make my tank more attractive. I'm always ready to hear some imput from other aquarists.

stephanieleah 01-10-2010 11:17 PM

I love the pictures...nice fish! Regarding plant health, I think our plant people will want to know about your lighting and fert schedule. I notice the little furry algae (the start of blackbeard algae?)...has algae been a problematic area for you?

p.s. welcome to the forum!!!

cmc29 01-10-2010 11:44 PM

My lighting is Solar T5 HO 2x25 watt from catalina...67k 10k. I've been lighting for 12 hours a day. I've had some issues with some spot algae that i posted about earlier ( and recieved some useful advice on). Algae is one of my biggest fears, but i understand that it is almost unavoidable. I have 3 striped otto cinclus as algae eaters. I"m always ready to hear advice on how to prevent algae growth. I hope that my dense population and added CO2 will starve out the algae. I think that i'm about to start using some ferts, i was told flourish excel 1x a week. I have a flourite black substrate topped with estes silicon based marine sand (so as to not raise my ph). Thank you for your encouragement, and welcome. I'm looking forward to hearing what everyone has to say.

Angel079 01-11-2010 09:39 AM

I commented on the alage matter in your other thread again, so I won't repeat it here.
But as I tried to explain over there, IMO what you really need is a comprehensive fert such as this Flourish, Plant Fertilizers/Additives | Pet Solutions
Excel IMO would only help your matter lil to non since you have a well stocked tank (so you're having CO2 from the fish there already).

Otherwise: Nice pictures, give it time to grow in, trim your stem plants (by pinching off and stick back in the ground) when they get too tall and your tank will fill out nicely in no time at all :-)

Byron 01-11-2010 12:58 PM

Likewise, I had some comments in the other thread but will repeat as this is the proper place for discussions on planted tanks.

Stop using Excel, as Angel said it is a carbon supplement and you have enough of that with your fish plus your CO2 diffusion. Although I am not a fan of CO2 diffusion, I can say that using CO2 only increases the need for mineral fertilizers. In a planted tank, there has to be a balance between light and nutrients. Nutrients include carbon (from CO2), nitrogen (as ammonium from the ammonia produced by the fish and biological processes) and 15 minerals in approximate proportion to each other. Plants will grow up to the nutrient (or light) that is in least supply, we call this the limiting factor. So if minerals for example are insufficient to balance the available light and CO2, plants can't grow further. Balance is the key.

You need a good liquid fertilizer. Seachem's Flourish Comprehensive Supplement for the Planted Aquarium works well, as does Kent Freshwater Supplement. I've experience with both these. Others have used Nutrafin's Comprehensive and although I haven't myself the specs seem fine. Hagen's Leaf-Zone I do not recommend, it is too limited.

Last comment on the CO2. With the number of fish you have, and the plant species, I personally don't think it is needed. You can have a look at the photos of my aquaria and Angel's to see what we have without CO2. Removing it would mean less fertilization, and I happen to be a fan of "less" when it comes to interfering or adding things to fish tanks provided the plants grow and the fish are healthy. I also have a series of four articles as stickies at the top of this section that explain my approach to natural planted aquaria. You'll find more info there on balance and ferts.


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