Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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-   -   help setting up a planted tank (http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/beginner-planted-aquarium/help-setting-up-planted-tank-50591/)

reefsahoy 08-31-2010 05:44 PM

help setting up a planted tank
 
i now successfully keep a SPS reef tank and have never had a FW tank. I'm considering starting a planted tank but need some info on how to do this successuflly. so here are a few questions and thanks in advance.

1. what parameters do you actually measure? ph. alk, hardness, etc?
2. how much light is required for a FW planted tank to be successful?
3. does it require Co2?
4. how often do you do a water change in a FW tank?
5. i have a watersoftner in my house, how does this affect water for water changes to fill the tank?
6. do i have to have an air pump in the tanks setup?
7. my entire house has a carbon filter, is that sufficient not have to worry about chlorine in the water?
8. i also have a ro system, is that recommended for use in a planted tank?
9. i would want to use drift wood in my tank, is there a procedure in curing the wood?
10. what is one of the biggest concerns as far as problems in a tank that i need to look out for?
11. what kind of filter would you recommend and why?

i may have more questions but i figure i'd start there. i'm considering at least astandard 90 gallon tank to start my endeavour into the planted tank. i do love my sps reef tank and will probably do both if i go to Planted tanks. i love challenges thus the move to FW planted tanks.

thanks

redchigh 08-31-2010 06:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by reefsahoy (Post 461058)
1. what parameters do you actually measure? ph. alk, hardness, etc?

I, along with other members, only test Kh, Ph, Ammonia, Gh, Nitrite, and nitrate when the tank is first set up.
After Ammonia and Nitrite is 0, I don't really test them anymore.

A couple weeks later, I stop measuring nitrate.


After 6-8 weeks when it's well cycled, I don't really test anything unless I add rocks, driftwood, or find a dead fish.

Quote:

Originally Posted by reefsahoy (Post 461058)
2. how much light is required for a FW planted tank to be successful?

You need to read Byrons stickies on the top of the forum, called : A Basic Approach to the Natural Planted Aquarium. It's a 4 part series.


Quote:

Originally Posted by reefsahoy (Post 461058)
3. does it require Co2?

That can be something of a trick question... Do plants require carbon (in the form of carbon dioxide)? Yes, Absolutely.
Do you need to supplement CO2? No. Bacteria and fish both convert oxygen to CO2. I go the low-tech route, as many of us here do, and I'm happy with it.


Quote:

Originally Posted by reefsahoy (Post 461058)
4. how often do you do a water change in a FW tank?

Many people do 10-20% weekly, or 25-30% every too weeks. There's no rule set in stone. I use soil-based substrates, so I do water changes less often... About once every 2 months.

Quote:

Originally Posted by reefsahoy (Post 461058)
5. i have a watersoftner in my house, how does this affect water for water changes to fill the tank?

Depends on what kind of water softener it is.

Quote:

Originally Posted by reefsahoy (Post 461058)
6. do i have to have an air pump in the tanks setup?

Do you need filtration? Probably. My soil-based tanks don't. An external canister filter is best, but it's mostly just for mechanical filtration... Be sure to get rid of the activated carbon.
Do you need an air stone? No. It drives CO2 out of the water, which is bad.

Quote:

Originally Posted by reefsahoy (Post 461058)
7. my entire house has a carbon filter, is that sufficient not have to worry about chlorine in the water?

Dechlorinator is about $2-3 a bottle... I wouldn't pinch pennies there.

Quote:

Originally Posted by reefsahoy (Post 461058)
8. i also have a ro system, is that recommended for use in a planted tank?

Plants don't care much about Ph (within reason.) Your water should be a good match for your fish. I would reccomend testing some tap water (After agitating it or letting it sit for 12-20 hours) and find fish that like it... ie discus, tetras, cories for acidic water, livebearers, danios, and danionins for slightly harder water...
Much more fish, thos are just examples. ;)

Quote:

Originally Posted by reefsahoy (Post 461058)
9. i would want to use drift wood in my tank, is there a procedure in curing the wood?

I would reccomend just buying driftwood... If you really want to use some wood you've collected, then brush it with a wire brush, boil it for a couple hours, then soak it in water until the water is relatively clear. (Unless you want to mimic the amazon and have tan-light brown water... Which isn't a bad thing if you want it.)

Quote:

Originally Posted by reefsahoy (Post 461058)
10. what is one of the biggest concerns as far as problems in a tank that i need to look out for?


Nothing comes to mind... Don't trust your LFS, and buy plants from trusted places only... Always have the plants in mind and know what they look like before you go buy them.

Oh, and go buy some flourish comprehensive. It's all you need as far as fertiliser.

Byron 09-01-2010 05:03 PM

Can't add to what redchigh has said. After you've read the 4-part series, you may have additional follow-up questions, so ask away.

Byron.


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