OK, so yes, I am a little new to everything. But I'm doing loads and loads of research. I just have a couple things that are confusing me. I am thinking of moving up to a 29-39 gallon tank. As of now I have a 10g with fake plants. When I get my 29-39g tank, I want to set it up very nice with REAL plants. I am not understanding though some of it though. Here are my questions:
1.) how do I get the plants in the tank and be able to bury them?
2.) What do I bury the plants with and how often do I change the substrate?
2.) What will I need in order to balance everything, so it is perfect for my fish?
3.) How do I keep my tank clean with plants?
4.) Are there testers in my LFS so I can test my waters and will it come with something to tell me what is perfect water for my fish? How often do I test it?
Thanks for your help http://www.aquariumadvice.com/forums...lies/smile.gif hopefully I haven't been too annoying yet haha
for your first question just acclimate them, if you don't know how then I will expand... petsmart isn't right, then put them in the substrate. For test kit get api masters liquid test kit...... may seem spendy but worth it, you will need a filter heater fish and plants and do regular water changes.... not really understanding question second 2 and for first two buy a plant substrate... will expand if you want me to, plans use the waste products of fish ,Co2, and amcro and micro nutrients to keep your tank clean... if you have a perfectly balance tank you will never have to do water changes but this is hard, VERY hard to achieve.... right amount of plants and food, good luck
Have a read of the 4-part series "A Basic Approach to the Natural Planted Aquarium" that is "stickied" at the head of the Aquarium Plants section of this forum. That series will cover the basics. I or others will gladly answer questions from that.
yeah just PM me if any questions
2: Plants will grow in most substrates. However, there are enriched substrates for plants such as florite, eco-compelte and ADA AS. These are clay based substrates that will slowly release nutrients to your plants but they charge a premium. If you choose to go with the common substrates, the finer the grain, the easier it will be to plant. Ultra-fine gravel is my personal favorite, its big enough to prevent compaction and small enough to hold plants in place
2: Balance will be achieved through trial and error. Plants will help absorb nitrates, ammonia, and take up heavy metals. However, this is dependent on plant types, bioload, and filtration capacity. Fertilization may be needed if you do not use an enriched substrate. Balance would be finding the correct dosage and following a fertilization schedule in those cases.
3: Plants will take in nutrients from your water, this keep nitrate levels low which keeps the water healthier and prevents algae. They also take in ammonia/ammonium which will help reduce the cycle time, with enough tanks, you wont even see a cycle
4: As Christople stated, the API test kits are the most commonly used kit, known for accuracy and will last a long time. Test strips should be avoided as they become inaccurate over time and are unreliable. There are other liquid test kits available, some from other reputable brands.
Hope that helps.
why do strips become inaccurate
they get exposed to the air after you open them and the strips absorb mosture and contaminants from the air and then they stop being accurate. Thats why liquid tests are the preferred method for testing, the liquid are sealed and only react when directly mixed with the substance to be tested.
Okay... I have liquid just simply wondering.
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