Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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-   -   redoing my semi planted tank. (

emkbass 12-24-2011 12:55 AM

redoing my semi planted tank.
I would like your opinion on my thoughts.
I have a 55g (standard) with stock lighting, 405 Fluval canister, Air stones, Gravel (large), Heater.
I would like to redo my tank. It currently has about 8 plants in it now. They are alive but not thriving. I would like to make this a fully planted tank. .I don't think that the substrate that I am using is the best for this set up. I would like to switch to sand or a super small gravel. Keep the heater, and keep the filtration if it is good enough for a planted tank.
I notice that you don't use CO2 on any of the tanks in your profile (at least I didn't notice any) I would like to be able to NOT use it either. I probably should not have the air stones but I'm worried about the fish not getting enough oxygen. I have a 48" power compact that I can use for better lighting or I can upgrade the stock bulbs fir this.
Is the 55 to deep for this? (lighting)
Sorry for all the questions but I need to know where to start.
Also how often (or do you) vaccuum the substrate in your planted tanks?

Any help would be appreciated


Byron 12-24-2011 01:17 PM

There are some members here who have CO2 diffusion in some tanks, but the majority of those of us with planted tanks seem to be natural (low-tech) inclined.

I would agree on changing your substrate; large-sized gravel, such as pea gravel, can work, but in my experience plants didn't do as well. And there are other issues biologically that will be better in a fine grain. Gravel 1-2 mm grain size or sand (coarse) works best.

Filter sounds fine. I would remove the airstones. CO2 is usually the nutrient in least supply and you don't want to be driving off any of it. On this point (CO2), I do not touch the substrate. The majority of CO2 produced naturally in a balanced tank occurs in the substrate from the breaking down of organics. Provided the tank is not overstocked, this will not cause problems. And similarly, there will not be a shortage of oxygen unless there are way too many fish.

Light is the most critical aspect of planted tanks. If by "stock" you means a single T8 tube full length (48-inch), this is workable with a good tube, full spectrum or daylight. I can suggest brands if asked. Or comment further if the light is something else.

My 4-part series "A Basic Approach to the Natural Planted Aquarium" stickied at the head of this section of the forum may provide some background.


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