Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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-   -   Planted Tank it will be! Is this a good start? (http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/beginner-planted-aquarium/planted-tank-will-good-start-74898/)

kmiceray 07-11-2011 07:14 PM

Planted Tank it will be! Is this a good start?
 
First post here so Hi. Great info on this forum and I would like to thank Byron on the Natural Planted Aquarium series. Really good stuff

Well, I got a 50 gallon tank 36"L x 18"W 21"H. I've gotten tired of the fake looking stuff I got in there plus I enjoy messing around with the tank. So, I figured the planted tank would be the way to go. I got several questions and I thank you for helping out.

Here is what I have planned so far.

Substrate:
Thinking about going with the Florite substrate. Is this a good route?

Lighting: Currently I have a florescent 1 bulb hood which sets on top of a glass cover. I was thinking about switching out the standard bulb and go with a bulb designed for the plants. Maybe a full spectrum bulb. But I am unsure if the one bulb is going to be enough. Will I be severely limited with the type of plants I can go with using this lighting system? Duration of lighting I was thinking of at least 10 hours a day. I want to enjoy the tank as much as I can I guess.

CO2: I was thinking of going with the natural method of not using it. But I have read up on the DIY CO2 and how to diffuse it into the water. If I read right I can expect planets to grow a little more slowly with out CO2 added?

Filtration: I do have a HOB filter and I have read that excess ripples on the water surface creates loss of CO2. So, I have stuffed some fluval foam stuff in my filter where the bio wheel goes. By doing this and making sure the water is right under the lip of the water exit I have really reduced my ripples on the water. Is this good enough because external canister filters seem to be a popular way to go? Also I have an airstone in there but have read to take this out. Should I do that?

Fertilization:
I have not done much reading there because I have no idea what plants I will get. I figured certain plants need certain fertilizers

Activity Level in tank: I dont think I want to make this a tank where it is all plants. I do want to make this a tank where I can still get some fish in it other than just a few neon tetras. So I guess I am looking to make a functional planted tank.

Any plant recommendations for a tank like this would be appreciated.

Kyle

BarbH 07-11-2011 07:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kmiceray (Post 731898)
First post here so Hi. Great info on this forum and I would like to thank Byron on the Natural Planted Aquarium series. Really good stuff

Well, I got a 50 gallon tank 36"L x 18"W 21"H. I've gotten tired of the fake looking stuff I got in there plus I enjoy messing around with the tank. So, I figured the planted tank would be the way to go. I got several questions and I thank you for helping out.

Here is what I have planned so far.

Substrate: Thinking about going with the Florite substrate. Is this a good route?

Lighting: Currently I have a florescent 1 bulb hood which sets on top of a glass cover. I was thinking about switching out the standard bulb and go with a bulb designed for the plants. Maybe a full spectrum bulb. But I am unsure if the one bulb is going to be enough. Will I be severely limited with the type of plants I can go with using this lighting system? Duration of lighting I was thinking of at least 10 hours a day. I want to enjoy the tank as much as I can I guess.

CO2: I was thinking of going with the natural method of not using it. But I have read up on the DIY CO2 and how to diffuse it into the water. If I read right I can expect planets to grow a little more slowly with out CO2 added?

Filtration: I do have a HOB filter and I have read that excess ripples on the water surface creates loss of CO2. So, I have stuffed some fluval foam stuff in my filter where the bio wheel goes. By doing this and making sure the water is right under the lip of the water exit I have really reduced my ripples on the water. Is this good enough because external canister filters seem to be a popular way to go? Also I have an airstone in there but have read to take this out. Should I do that?

Fertilization: I have not done much reading there because I have no idea what plants I will get. I figured certain plants need certain fertilizers

Activity Level in tank: I dont think I want to make this a tank where it is all plants. I do want to make this a tank where I can still get some fish in it other than just a few neon tetras. So I guess I am looking to make a functional planted tank.

Any plant recommendations for a tank like this would be appreciated.

Kyle

Hello and welcome to TFK :-D From the sounds of it your tank is already set up. What type of substrate are you using? From comments that I have seen from others it does not seem as if there is much added benifit with using stuff like the florite substrate. Hopefully someone else who is using it in their tank will be able to comment on it better. In my 50 gallon that is planted I am using basic aquarium gravel and have been having sucess with it. From my understanding things like florite wear out and the nutrients that they supplied can be provided by using fertilizers.

For the bulbs you want something that is rated around 6500 K, which will give you the best spectrum for plant growth. Most plants will be fine with this type of lighting. As for CO2 most do not use it, especially if you are wanting to stay with a low tech natural planted aquarium.

Fertilizers that I would recommend is seachem flourish comprehensive and also root tabs for your substrate rooted plants, like amazon swords.

Some plants that I would recommend are things like amazon sword, water wisteria, water sprite which is a floating plant, pennywort, java fern which needs to be attached to either driftwood or rocks also does well witha moderate current so could be placed in an area around your filter, anubias which also needs to be attached to either driftwood or rocks, java moss, and there are several types of crypts that would work. Just a note on crypts when added to the tank they often will melt, it may look like the plant is dying off. This is because of the change in water parameters. If you leave the roots undistrubed it will grow new leaves. If you have not come across it yet at the top of the page second tap from the left is a link to the tropical fish profiles. On the profiles is also a section for profiles on freshwater plants, which can give you a lot of information about different types of plants. Also depending on what type of fish you want to keep will also have a determining factor on the type of plants you may want to get.

kmiceray 07-11-2011 08:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BarbH (Post 731942)
Hello and welcome to TFK :-D From the sounds of it your tank is already set up. What type of substrate are you using? From comments that I have seen from others it does not seem as if there is much added benifit with using stuff like the florite substrate. Hopefully someone else who is using it in their tank will be able to comment on it better. In my 50 gallon that is planted I am using basic aquarium gravel and have been having sucess with it. From my understanding things like florite wear out and the nutrients that they supplied can be provided by using fertilizers.

For the bulbs you want something that is rated around 6500 K, which will give you the best spectrum for plant growth. Most plants will be fine with this type of lighting. As for CO2 most do not use it, especially if you are wanting to stay with a low tech natural planted aquarium.

Fertilizers that I would recommend is seachem flourish comprehensive and also root tabs for your substrate rooted plants, like amazon swords.

Some plants that I would recommend are things like amazon sword, water wisteria, water sprite which is a floating plant, pennywort, java fern which needs to be attached to either driftwood or rocks also does well witha moderate current so could be placed in an area around your filter, anubias which also needs to be attached to either driftwood or rocks, java moss, and there are several types of crypts that would work. Just a note on crypts when added to the tank they often will melt, it may look like the plant is dying off. This is because of the change in water parameters. If you leave the roots undistrubed it will grow new leaves. If you have not come across it yet at the top of the page second tap from the left is a link to the tropical fish profiles. On the profiles is also a section for profiles on freshwater plants, which can give you a lot of information about different types of plants. Also depending on what type of fish you want to keep will also have a determining factor on the type of plants you may want to get.

Thanks for the Welcome! I really like your 50 gallon you have. How does those Angels do with aggression? Any problems from them towards others?

Yeah, the tank is about 5 months old. Right now I have regular aquarium gravel but I dont like the color any more. It is that blue color. It looks nice but I just want a little more natural looking type of set up. Also, I liked the darker florite color for it's contrast to the plants and fish I have. That is interesting about the florite and I will have to look into the regular gravel because the cost of it is cheaper. I just figured I would try to get the best substrate for plants but with the fertalizer you mentioned it seems that maybe a specialized substarte is not needed. I will have to read more into it and see what others say. Thanks for the heads up on reading into the types of plants my fish like. Seems I got a bunch of reading to do!
Kyle

kmiceray 07-11-2011 08:27 PM

That Amazon Sword looks pretty awesome! Thanks for the recommendation.

BarbH 07-11-2011 09:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kmiceray (Post 731981)
Thanks for the Welcome! I really like your 50 gallon you have. How does those Angels do with aggression? Any problems from them towards others?

Yeah, the tank is about 5 months old. Right now I have regular aquarium gravel but I dont like the color any more. It is that blue color. It looks nice but I just want a little more natural looking type of set up. Also, I liked the darker florite color for it's contrast to the plants and fish I have. That is interesting about the florite and I will have to look into the regular gravel because the cost of it is cheaper. I just figured I would try to get the best substrate for plants but with the fertalizer you mentioned it seems that maybe a specialized substarte is not needed. I will have to read more into it and see what others say. Thanks for the heads up on reading into the types of plants my fish like. Seems I got a bunch of reading to do!
Kyle

Thank you :-D My angels leave all the other fish in the tank alone so far although once they mature more and if I have any that pair that could change especially when they get ready to spawn. My large marble believes himself to be king of the tank :-D Every once in awhile he will decide to chase the other angels away from what he at that moment decides is his territory. For gravel there are alot of options available for colors if you decide to go that route. One of the things to keep in mind when changing substrate is that a lot of the benificial bacteria is found there. When you remove it you also remove the bacteria. One of the things that you can do is put some of your old gravel into a mesh bag and put that into the tank until the bacteria is able to reestablish itself. Also if you have enough plants in the tank it will help if changing the substrate puts you into another cycle. Definitly keep a close eye on the ammonia nitrite and nitrate levels until things have settled down. Another good floating plant to use is duckweed, it reproduces quickly which means that it will be using the ammonia and nitrates quickly in the water. You can always remove it from the tank once things are stable if you do not like how it looks. Yes there is definitly a lot of things to read up on, still doing so myself :-D Fortunately there is a lot of good information on this site along with a lot of knowledgable people

Your welcome on the amazon sword, it is one of my favorites myself, with adding root tabs into the substrate near my swords they have been growing very well.

kmiceray 07-11-2011 09:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BarbH (Post 732054)
Thank you :-D My angels leave all the other fish in the tank alone so far although once they mature more and if I have any that pair that could change especially when they get ready to spawn. My large marble believes himself to be king of the tank :-D Every once in awhile he will decide to chase the other angels away from what he at that moment decides is his territory. For gravel there are alot of options available for colors if you decide to go that route. One of the things to keep in mind when changing substrate is that a lot of the benificial bacteria is found there. When you remove it you also remove the bacteria. One of the things that you can do is put some of your old gravel into a mesh bag and put that into the tank until the bacteria is able to reestablish itself. Also if you have enough plants in the tank it will help if changing the substrate puts you into another cycle. Definitly keep a close eye on the ammonia nitrite and nitrate levels until things have settled down. Another good floating plant to use is duckweed, it reproduces quickly which means that it will be using the ammonia and nitrates quickly in the water. You can always remove it from the tank once things are stable if you do not like how it looks. Yes there is definitly a lot of things to read up on, still doing so myself :-D Fortunately there is a lot of good information on this site along with a lot of knowledgable people

Your welcome on the amazon sword, it is one of my favorites myself, with adding root tabs into the substrate near my swords they have been growing very well.

That is pretty funny about the king of the tank. Angels seem so cool to me. They seem plenty happy in your tank right now. You are right for sure about the bacteria. I was thinking of trying to make sure I rinse the removed gravel with the aquarium water through a strainer I have. I would do this right above my aquarium and the water would take the bacteria back in the system....I think haha. Maybe that would keep the bacteria in the tank. Not sure but I will for sure keep an eye on the water parameters.

BarbH 07-11-2011 09:46 PM

Angels are what got me involved in this hobby, there is something about their elegant graceful look that really caught my eye :-D I have also found their personalitys to be great, the king will greet me every time I am near the tank, he sits in the front and starts wagging his tail begging for food like he hasn't been fed for ages. I also have it now that all of my angels along with my platys will eat blood worms from my hand. Now when ever I put my hand in the tank to fiddle with something they all come to see if I have something for them. :lol:

For the gravel, the bacteria that is on it is sticky and rinsing will not remove it from the gravel. From what I have read on the forum with trying to seed with either gravel or filter media that it is best to use some of the item that already have the bacteria on it. Here is a link to a good article the Byron posted today on bacteria in the aquarium. It is a lengthy read, and probably will need to read several times (I know that I am going to have to, to be able to digest all that is in there) but it might help in giving a little more understanding. http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...quarium-74891/

kmiceray 07-11-2011 10:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BarbH (Post 732096)
Angels are what got me involved in this hobby, there is something about their elegant graceful look that really caught my eye :-D I have also found their personalitys to be great, the king will greet me every time I am near the tank, he sits in the front and starts wagging his tail begging for food like he hasn't been fed for ages. I also have it now that all of my angels along with my platys will eat blood worms from my hand. Now when ever I put my hand in the tank to fiddle with something they all come to see if I have something for them. :lol:

For the gravel, the bacteria that is on it is sticky and rinsing will not remove it from the gravel. From what I have read on the forum with trying to seed with either gravel or filter media that it is best to use some of the item that already have the bacteria on it. Here is a link to a good article the Byron posted today on bacteria in the aquarium. It is a lengthy read, and probably will need to read several times (I know that I am going to have to, to be able to digest all that is in there) but it might help in giving a little more understanding. http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...quarium-74891/

That is too funny about the angels. I did not know they had a personality like that. I may have to read into them more. It is amazing how smart they are when it comes to food hahah. On youtube I just watched some full grown angels and they were awesome!

Well that stinks about the bacteria. I will read that article byron wrote. The main reason I am changing is because I am moving this weekend and I figured if I was going to move the substrate I would change the color and maybe a better substrate for plants. I am taking at least half my water with me. Today I went to walmart and bought a bunch of 1 gallon water jugs to carry the water in hahaha

BarbH 07-11-2011 10:40 PM

Keep some of the old substrate and put it into a nylon bag, even pantyhose might work. Add that to the tank, if you make sure to keep your filter media wet and anything else that might be in there like driftwood, hopefully you will be able to keep enough of the bacteria alive, that it will help. I myself am looking at moving in November, not looking forward to that since live in Michigan and more than likely it will be cold, if not even snow on the ground already. Moving will be fun, thinking about changing my substrate also. Thinking about exploring the idea of doing sand, need to do my research still though :-D

kmiceray 07-11-2011 11:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BarbH (Post 732145)
Keep some of the old substrate and put it into a nylon bag, even pantyhose might work. Add that to the tank, if you make sure to keep your filter media wet and anything else that might be in there like driftwood, hopefully you will be able to keep enough of the bacteria alive, that it will help. I myself am looking at moving in November, not looking forward to that since live in Michigan and more than likely it will be cold, if not even snow on the ground already. Moving will be fun, thinking about changing my substrate also. Thinking about exploring the idea of doing sand, need to do my research still though :-D

That is a great idea! Never went pantyhose shopping though hahah. I mean what color should I go with on the panty hose? hahaha :lol: It may not look pretty in the aquarium but it should help keep my tank going into another new cycle. Thanks again! I live in the opposite of you....Im in houston tx so I get to choose hot or hotter for a move hahahah. Hmmmm I must do more substrate research and in a hurry....moving Saturday.


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