Advice on my planted aquarium?
So I took the plunge and went ahead and planted these plants in my 50 gallons aquarium:
- Elodea Densa
- Cabomba Caroliniana
- Cabomba Aquatica
- Vallisneria Gigantea
- Sagittaria Subulata
These were planted along with an Anubias Nanas, Java Fern and a Cryptocoryne Wendtii.
This is a picture of my aquarium as it was 2 days after it was planted:
I'm hoping that the stem plants at the back will grow taller and that the Sagittaria will form a loose carpet in the foreground.
The lights (a 6,500k 30watt flourescent) are on for 6 hours a day. I'm currently dosing liquid fertilisers once every two days with Giovanni's Trace+ and Giovanni's Ferti+, and once a week with a solid fertiliser called Giovanni's Ferti+.
My main concern is that the plants may not be getting enough CO2. Then I took a look at Byron's tanks and surely enough it was stated that no CO2 system was implemented.
My expectations are a bit more modest, to be honest, but I'd like to have at least enough growth to get a lush background plant and some form of foreground carpet.
Any suggestions will be sincerely appreciated.
PS: One of the Sagittarias has already grown a new shoot, so I'm guessing something good is happening.
I am unfamiliar with the ferts you are using but I would up the lighting to being on at least 9 hours a day and see how it goes the stem plants will really look good when they grow and fill in the back.
CO2 addition is not necessary to have healthy plants, but it is important that the available nutrients (which includes carbon) be balanced for the light.
There is more CO2 in most aquaria than the owner may realize; fish, plants and bacteria give off CO2 continually, day and night, and the largest source is the bacteria. I have maintained plant-only tanks, no fish, for months with healthy plants, though the growth was much slower than in the tanks with fish (and thus more bacteria too).
I also am unfamiliar with the named nutrient products; could you post a link to a their website? I'd be happy to check it out and comment.
And I agree with Amanda to increase the light a bit, although perhaps only to 8 hours from the present 6. I may have more on this after reviewing the nutrients. With rather minimal light you want to ensure things are balanced, otherwise the plants will not respond for the best and algae may take advantage.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank you, ladies and gentlemen, for responding to this thread in such detail. Thank you very much:-)
I'm not sure about upping the lighting period to 8 hours though, my father's already on the verge of a nervous breakdown from 6 hours lighting (he pays the bills, you see).
@Byron. Links to the aforementioned fertilisers:
Giovanni's Trace+: Ocean Nutrition is a manufacturer of premium fish food for marine and fresh water tropical fish
Giovanni's Fertil+ (liquid): Ocean Nutrition is a manufacturer of premium fish food for marine and fresh water tropical fish
Giovanni's Fertil Caps: Ocean Nutrition is a manufacturer of premium fish food for marine and fresh water tropical fish
A few of my Sagittarias melted, but they're sending out new shoots already. I could swear the new shoots are doubling in size every day.
Thanks for the links. From what I can read, the two liquid products seem good. Most of the nutrients plants are said to require are present, comparable to Flourish. I am puzzled by Vanadium though, I've not previously come across this mineral as necessary for plants, though it is believed to be used by ocean algae and has something to do with enzymes. Anyway, I think these two products should produce good results. It would be interesting to compare the cost and dosage with Flourish.
I am not so sure the substrate tabs wilol help much; I note iron is missing which rather surprises me. Some of the best substrate-rooted plants (swords, crypts) need iron. But it is in the liquid which makes its way into the substrate anyway. With the liquid these tabs may be un-necessary, so you can save some money in future.
How often are you dosing the liquid?
I'm currently dosing 2.5ml of each liquid fertiliser every two days, and I was planning on placing a tablet on one side of the aquarium one week and on the other side the next week, and so on.
Good to know the tablets won't be needed though. Definitely saves me some money.
Other than that, I was planning on buying Giovanni's Iron+:
Ocean Nutrition is a manufacturer of premium fish food for marine and fresh water tropical fish
I thought it would have been a waste of money to buy one bottle just for one mineral, so I kept back from buying "Iron+".
Lastly, based on personal experience and opinion, would you recommend any kind of swords for this aquarium with the current lighting levels? My LFS advised against swords in my current setup on account of the low lighting.
There is also the dwarf sword that is a nice contrast with its stiff crinkly dark green leaves. All these are in our plant profiles, click on the shaded name to see the respective profile, or use the second tab from the left in the blue bar across the top of the page to go to the profiles section.
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