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  1. #1

    Join Date
    May 2012
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    Default Planted/Artificial plant setup


    0 Not allowed!
    Been reading into planted vs. non planted tanks, and although I really like the sound of a planted tank, but I don't really want to hook up a CO2 tank at this time, maybe once I get more experience under my belt.

    If I were to pick a few tall background plants, some Java Moss and maybe a few Anubias plants, would I be able to keep them healthy without additional CO2? Also, would 100% nutritional substrate be necessary or could i get away with a mix with normal gravel? (60/40? 75/25?)

    I'm assuming i'd have to add some sort of nutrient tab or something to the plants as feel correct?

  2. #2

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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    you can do a "low tech" planted tank and keep it pretty simple. My first tank had no CO2, no special substrate, no fertilizers, nothing "high tech" except for a reasonably good light. I grew java ferns, anubias, vals, water sprite, and water wisteria all fine. My current tank has a special plant substrate but I'm still not messing with CO2 or fertilizer. Yeah, I have a bit more algae than I'd like but I'm happy with my plants overall.

    High tech planted tanks with injected CO2 and fertilizer dosing tend to look more vibrant and have more options for plant species, but you can definitely start basic and then later on decide if you want to spend the extra money and effort it takes to run a high tech planted tank.
    300 gallon mega tank: sailfin pleco, clown loaches, silver dollars, roseline sharks, congo tetras, new world cichlids
    125 gallon office tank: Africian cichlids, synodontis catfih
    75 gallon community tank: bolivian rams, black skirt tetras, dwarf neon rainbowfish, corys, harlequin rasboras, otos, bristlenose and bulldog plecos, assassin snails, various shrimp
    60 gallon goldfish tank: fancy goldfish

  3. #3

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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    I do fine with the standard lighting my tanks came with and Anubias, java ferns, java moss, marimo moss balls, floating hornwort and floating elodea. I recently got an Amazon Sword, so am using non-copper root tabs for it. I also dose minimally with all-purpose Flourish. The rhizome plants (Anubias and java ferns) need to be attached to something in the tank, or resting on top of the substrate with only their roots buried, but NOT the rhizome. The marimo moss balls just sit on the substrate and look like fuzzy, deep green beanbag cushions. Hornwort and elodea can float at the surface. Amazon Sword needs to have its roots submerged in the substrate.

    I like to combine living plants with artificials for greater visual diversity. The quality silk plants look very natural once they're anchored in the substrate. That way, I can have a greater variety without needing to go high-tech.

    -- mermaidwannabe
    20 gal. high: planted; 7 white cloud minnows, several RCS, 2 blue shrimp, 5 Amano shrimp, several snails; Azoo air. 65 gal: planted; 6 rosy barbs, 6 yellow glofish, 3 red glofish, 3 zebra danios, 5 white cloud minnows, 3 dojo loaches, 6 crimson spot rainbow fish, 12 large Amano Shrimp, several snails; AC110.

  4. #4

    Join Date
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    0 Not allowed!
    Those are both very reassuring posts! Sounds like i'll have no problem having some live plants in there. Would be it be worth it to mix a bag of nutrient rich substrate in with the rest of the substrate before adding to the tank?

  5. #5

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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    I don't see how that could hurt anything, and it will probably give your living plants a boost.

    I have only gravel in my tanks, and even the Amazon Sword seems to be doing okay. Of course, it does get the root tabs with every other water change. I'm a minimal doser with ferts. The plants I mentioned above don't need a lot of feeding, anyway, but if you want them to grow faster and hardier, it helps to feed them.
    20 gal. high: planted; 7 white cloud minnows, several RCS, 2 blue shrimp, 5 Amano shrimp, several snails; Azoo air. 65 gal: planted; 6 rosy barbs, 6 yellow glofish, 3 red glofish, 3 zebra danios, 5 white cloud minnows, 3 dojo loaches, 6 crimson spot rainbow fish, 12 large Amano Shrimp, several snails; AC110.

  6. #6

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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    I'm Dutch. I think I was 16 when I first discovered people run an aquarium without plants.

    Fairly standard setup to me is a layer of nutrient rich substrate covered by a layer of gravel. Plant what you picked and within a few weeks it will have rooted trough the gravel into the nutrients. Use tabs only after several months when you see some plants struggling.

    I now keep a big piece of wood with anubias growing all over it, trickiest part of that was tying them down in the initial phase.

    I've never worked with "real" CO2, occiasionally toyed with liquids. My experience light is the more limiting factor in most standard tanks, there's few species that really benefit from added CO2 int he average setup.

  7. #7

    Join Date
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    0 Not allowed!
    Thanks for all the help. I'll have a layer of the nutrient added substrate below the normal gravel

  8. #8

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    0 Not allowed!
    If you don't have high lighting, like 3-4 watts per gallon of T5HO bulbs, you don't need it but you still have to have something better than stock hood lights.

  9. #9

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    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by Lady Hobbs
    If you don't have high lighting, like 3-4 watts per gallon of T5HO bulbs, you don't need it but you still have to have something better than stock hood lights.
    Sounds good. I'll try to go for 200 watts of lighting approx.

    Also what's T5HO mean? Some type of bulb i'm assuming?

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    Connecticut
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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    yes, a t5HO is a flourescent bulb. t5 is 5/8" in diameter. the HO is high output rather than the NO, which is normal output. i believe you cant use an HO bulb in a NO fixture, but others here can verify that.

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