Tropical Fish Keeping banner

1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello,

I've been doing research on planted tanks and just had a few questions that I'm not completely clear on.

I have a 75g Aquarium, with a fluval 406 canister filter, a heater, 2 air lines with air stones, and course gravel. There is decorations and fake plants in the tank. There are about 20 small fish in the tank from different varieties of tetras, to an angel.

I would like to start replacing my fake plants with live plants.

Last week I bought some seachem Flourite, washed it lightly, dug some large 'trenches' in my gravel substrate, put a bunch of flourite in the bottom, then covered it (mostly) back up with my gravel. I planted 3 small plants, 1 Anubias with large leaves, and 2 very small plants which i have no idea what they are.

So my questions are:
1) I vacuum my gravel regularly while doing water changes, but now with root systems under the gravel, do I just avoid those areas? Or should I be uprooting those plants, vacuuming, then re-planting?

2) Should I have the air stones in there still? I know that the air lines/stones add O2 back into the water by breaking the surface, but do they also release CO2 from the water at the same time? As a part 2 to this question, can I just get rid of the air once i have a few more plants in there, i don't really like it anyways.

3) I don't want to add any CO2 to the tank, so how do i know when to stop adding plants? If there isn't enough CO2 in the tank, will the plants die? or just not grow as fast?

Thank you very much for your time!
Gage
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
933 Posts
1) Vacuum around the plants, you can get close to the plant usually just don't dig so deep there. Eventually the plant will root and you can vacuum all around it; the siphon will hit root and you just can't go lower lol but it's not a huge concern to siphon so deep if you do it regularly.

2) You can, plants will appreciate the water movement. Yes, there will be a little CO2 evaporation but it won't be anything hugely significant unless you have like 10 airstones going plus a giant filter lol. You can get rid of the air but just try to make sure there is water flow going through most of the tank; this will help nutrients to get to all the plants.

3) You don't have to add CO2. If you want more plants, add more fish; they take in O2 which the plants breathe and excrete CO2 which the plants use for food! It's all a balance! There are plenty of easy low light plants that you can use that don't need very much CO2 at all which means you can stuff your tank with them with no impact on the fish!

You will want to use some sort of liquid fertilizer eventually. I prefer SeaChem's Flourish Comprehensive (NOT Excel, that's an algalcide, you can use it if you get bad algae blooms and when you have more experience), it's a lovely concentrated dose of liquid ferts with pretty much all you need to start off with. This will provide most of the nutrients your plants need, plus the Fluorite will help the plants root better. You may still need root tabs (dry fert) if you use sword or crypt plants; they suck up a lot by their roots.

Do you have pics of the unknown plant? We can help ID it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Hello,

Thanks for the info, much appreciated.

Would I want to be fertilizing right away? I don't really want to promote any extra Algae growth, I was a bit scared to do that.

I'll get some SeaChem's Flourish Comprehensive.

Oh, I'll post some pics of the plant tonight, it's in rough shape though, right from the store. (it was real cheap. haha)

Gage
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
933 Posts
You don't have to do it right away because there will be enough in the water column. After about a month, then you can start adding some Flourish Comp. It will be a little awkward at first, you'll have to find your right dosage. I do mine twice a week but I also have a ton of plants in my tanks that need it. You will probably only have to do once weekly dosing of the Flourish Comp. But essentially, the more plants you add that are fast growing then the less algae you'll have to deal with. Algae is a natural part of planted tanks but you'll soon find a balance that works for your tank, so it's a bit of trial and error at first.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
381 Posts
Don't dig with the vac around the plants, just a light skimming. Also you want to add as many plants as you can at one time. I can pm a website if you like or you can sorce them locally.

Secondly I would take the charcoal out of the canister, replace that with seachem matrix or simmilar product. Charcoal will take out the ferts you will be adding. Another route is switching to sponge filters gradually. Both work well in my opinion, depends on the canister flow rate, plants won't like too much water movement. So its canister and no air stone or sponge filters.

So you will want to add ferts, seachem flourish and seachem flourish excel. I also use seachem iron and potasium which helps with color development. (excel is a replacement for co2)
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
933 Posts
Excel actually isn't a replacement for CO2. It's an algae-cide, all it does is get rid of and keep algae away so the plants have a better chance at getting the natural CO2 in the water, it's not exactly the liquid carbon it claims itself to be. SeaChem is very bad at it's marketing skills and explaining things simply. But anyway, Excel's ingredient is: glutaraldehyde which is a known algacide. However, I'm not saying Excel is bad, I'm just saying that it's different from what everyone thinks it is :) It does help Iron convert into a more easily obtainable form for the plants!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Hello,

So I think my 406 canister has 4 packs of Carbon in it, is that the charcoal I assume? Should I replace all four packs then with the Matrix stuff?

Thanks!
Gage

Secondly I would take the charcoal out of the canister, replace that with seachem matrix or simmilar product. Charcoal will take out the ferts you will be adding. Another route is switching to sponge filters gradually. Both work well in my opinion, depends on the canister flow rate, plants won't like too much water movement. So its canister and no air stone or sponge filters.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
933 Posts
Ah, that's Valisneria, likely Corkscrew Val. It can be sensitive and is prone to melting when first introduced to a tank. It should come back if it still has some green leaves on it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
https://goo.gl/photos/5V7y1t2F6LPaS8us9

This is my plant that was in rough shape from the store, that i'm not sure what it is. Also, I'm interested if you think it will come back and live. haha.

Thanks!
Gage
Don't use the seachem excel if you want to keep the vallis, excel will kill it. also avoid excel if you have shrimp or snails as it kills those too (unless you dose extremely lightly).
 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
Top