View Full Version : Ok,here goes nothing

03-25-2010, 12:04 AM
Plan to set up the new 16g bow front later this evening,going to have a sand substrate (cannot find the substrate people have recommended to me for plants,my LFS is a dive),ordering the 36w T5 lighting hood (6500k) next week,plan on cycling it before I add the plants as I am going to use seeded media and it shouldn't take very long. Have a few newbie questions:

1) With the 36w lights,can I grow anything from low light plants to high demand lighting plants? Or am I limited? Not sure on this...

2) With just the sand-will I need to mix it with gravel,or will it be okay? It's play sand,the fine sand settles to the bottom and the larger grainy stuff settles on top,so it's a mix of powder fine/coarse and I'm not sure if the roots will like that (actually recycling this sand from being in the 30g previously).

3) If I just have sand,I know I need fertilizer and have some ordered,the liquid kind,will I still need root tabs?

4) How will I know if I need a c02 unit? I have the parts to make my own just in case...

I feel really unsure about this stuff,I've read everything I can find about it. I need reassurance. (blush)

03-25-2010, 12:16 AM
Everything sounds OK except recycled sand.

03-25-2010, 12:19 AM
With 36w of light you won't be able to grow the high light plants. The sand shouldn't be a problem for the plants. I have never used root tabs for my amazon swords so I don't think they're necessary unless the plant is struggling to grow. You won't need CO2 for your tank. Good luck with your planted tank.

03-25-2010, 12:24 AM
Everything sounds OK except recycled sand.

Trust me,it's much cleaner than when I first bought it. I'm going to give it all a good wash again. It should be okay.

03-25-2010, 12:56 AM
You should be fine, though I would recommend you get root tabs if you plan on going with heavy root feeding plants. Sand settles and prevents nutrients from getting to the plant roots and root feeders tend to suffer without the tabs.

With 36 watts on a 16-gallon, you have 2.25 wpg. That's the lower end of the medium lighting spectrum (1-2wpg is low, 2-3 or 4 is medium, 5+ is high). You should be able to grow most plants, but stay away from the high light plants and those that are overly picky.

And wait to use liquid ferts until your plants actually need it. Adding it within the first two weeks of planting is not recommended because the plants aren't as readily able to use the nutrients until they settle in, leaving the ferts available in the water column, which leads to an outbreak of algae. You could even end up "burning" some plants if you fertilize too early. So wait until the plants begin to grow and show signs of needing a boost before adding liquid ferts. Root tabs are not available to the water column, so there's no risk of an algae outbreak with them.

03-25-2010, 03:04 AM
In sand, root tabs often melt and are retained in the sand. When the sand is disturbed, all the melted root tab comes up with it and creates an algified mess.

I would order a bag or two of some flourite or eco-complete... It won't hurt.

You should stick with low-light plants for your first time around... There's plenty of great looking low light plants available online.

As mentioned in the previous posts, dont fertilize right off... and when you do go in half doses for first few times, just to see how the plants/tank accepts it.

03-25-2010, 12:38 PM
Thanks for the fertilizer tips. Glad you guys told me,I would have been growing a tank full of just algae. (blush)

Glad I don't need to C02,got my nano yesterday and it's shattered. What a disappointment. (Get my money back though.)

03-25-2010, 01:02 PM
I wouldn't count my eggs before they hatch using recycled sand.
I thought using well cleaned gravel would be ok,but I have the worse case of diatoms in my tank because of it.IMO if it was me and I had to use recycled substrate make sure it scrubbed real good and then spread out flat and dried extra good twice.
The strong light need plants may not grow to good, but I think they might live well enough for a nice appearance.Not sure bout that though,so don't quote me.

03-25-2010, 06:02 PM
The sand has been dried out a few years. It's been in storage. I kept it because it took me forever and a day to get it tank worthy to begin with. Stuff was muddy as heck. When I took the 30g down,i cleaned it up and left the sand in it,it's been dry for at least 4 years.

I'm actually steering clear of the medium to high light plants. Just going to go low/easy care. I've picked out Java fern,Java moss,Wendtii red,and Anubias nana. Not a very big tank,so that should do me good.

03-25-2010, 06:21 PM
Well, let us know when it's set up.
And how it turned out.