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Results 1 to 10 of 15
  1. Default Starting my first tank with live plants...help please!


    0 Not allowed!
    I have a 29 gallon freshwater tank with 4 neons, 2 cory cats, 3 ghost shrimp, 2 platys and 1 male guppy.
    I have a glass cover and a Coralife light with two bulbs. It was the recommended light for this size tank.
    I started this tank last August and it is doing fine.
    Ammonia, Nitrites are at Zero. Nitrates are at 5-7
    PH is 7.8 to 8.0
    I live in Arizona and we have fairly hard water.
    GH varies from 7-10 depending on the time of year and KH varies from 8-12.
    Phosphates are .25-.50

    I have two HOB filters on this tank. One is a Penguin Power Filter with Bio Wheel and the other is a Whisper power filter with adjustable flow.
    Both for this size tank.
    The reason I have two filters on this tank is because I thought for a while I had a Nitrate problem, but ends up it was a bad batch of API testing chemicals.
    At least that is my determination after having the city test for Nitrates on the tap water and I had a LFS test with a Nutrafin (Hagen) test. The Hagen
    test concurred with the City tests. Anyway I am thinking my Nitrates are OK at 5-7.

    In these filter boxes I have the filter pads that they came with (changed monthly) and in the Whisper filter box I also have a Pura Pad (that was to help reduce
    the nitrate). And in the Penguin filter box I have also added a media bag with Seachem's Matrix Bio Media. That is what helped this tank finally cycle in November.

    I have plastic and silk plants and a couple stump decorations and one live plant so far. The plant is a Anubias nana planted 2-6 in the tank. It
    seems to be doing fine so far. I would like to replace the plastic and silk plants with live plants one at a time. I don't know anything about live plants in a tank and would
    like to learn. Would like to know what plants would do well in my tank and would be easy to grow and maintain and work well with the fish and shrimp I have.
    If you need to know anything else about this tank, just ask....
    Thanks for any help with this.
    Connie

  2. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    #1. Stop changing the filter pads. It's a waste of money and detrimental to your fish. Leave them alone unless they are super gunky; then simply swish them around in a bucket of used tank water from your weekly water changes.

    #2. What is the wattage of the bulbs in your light? It should be printed on the bulb. Write down anything else that's printed on the bulb and post it here.

    #3. Two filters is generally good, but they won't do anything to remove nitrate. Only water changes will do that. (Well a lot of plants would do that, but I don't think you want the high tech tank it takes to remove the majority of the nitrates).
    Last edited by nikelodeon79; 02-23-2013 at 01:45 AM.
    "The Dumpster Tank" 26g flat back hex - Betta albimarginata, corydoras, checker barbs, pork chop rasbora

    "Nano Fish Tank" 20g long - Celestial Pearl Danios, microrasboras, Corydoras habrosus

    "Mbuna Tank" 75g - Ps. saulosi, I. sprengerae, M. pulpican, M. joanjohnsonae

    "Time Out Tank" 29g - dominant male Cynotilapia sp. "hara"

  3. #3

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    What is there to know about planting? Just like any other plant aquatic plants need light and nutrients. Get some root tabs and start with a few simple plants. Hygrophila, bacopa, the cheaper echinodorus and vallisneria are quite simple.

  4. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by nikelodeon79 View Post
    #1. Stop changing the filter pads. It's a waste of money and detrimental to your fish. Leave them alone unless they are super gunky; then simply swish them around in a bucket of used tank water from your weekly water changes.

    #2. What is the wattage of the bulbs in your light? It should be printed on the bulb. Write down anything else that's printed on the bulb and post it here.

    #3. Two filters is generally good, but they won't do anything to remove nitrate. Only water changes will do that. (Well a lot of plants would do that, but I don't think you want the high tech tank it takes to remove the majority of the nitrates).
    Thanks for replying....
    The info on each bulb:
    1 bulb says: Coralife 10,000K
    120V F18-T5-BP then a circle with a Hg in it

    The other bulb has the same thing except instead of the 10,000K it
    says Coralife Actinic.

    There is no wattage on the bulb.

    I originally thought I was having 60 - 80 nitrates in my tank with 40 nitrates in my tap water
    so PWC were not doing much good. But ends up they are only 5-7 because the test kit I was using
    was apparently faulty. I don't think that the nitrates are an issue any longer. The PuraPad was suppose to help remove
    some Nitrate. But I don't think it did much good. I also tried pre-filtering water before PWC with
    a filter using a Poly Filter pad in a HOB filter on a tub of water. They are also suppose to remove some Nitrate. I think the Poly
    filter did a little better than the Pura Pad, but I don't think either one did much about Nitrates at all.

    Good to know about the filter pads.....I usually forget to change them out at 4 weeks and it usually is 5 -6 weeks. But now I will
    only rinse them out every once in a while. Thanks!
    Last edited by ConnieW; 02-23-2013 at 07:48 PM.

  5. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by talldutchie View Post
    What is there to know about planting? Just like any other plant aquatic plants need light and nutrients. Get some root tabs and start with a few simple plants. Hygrophila, bacopa, the cheaper echinodorus and vallisneria are quite simple.
    Thanks for the reply, but I don't think it is as simple as that for me. I know some plants can be submerged fully and others can't. Some need more light than others. Some are easy to grow and others aren't.
    Yes, any plant needs light and food, but I am totally new to aquatic plants. I know nothing about what would be the right choices for my tank. I got a floating plant some said was easy to grow and it "shed" and clogged up my fitlers. And I know nothing about aquatic plants....what are the simple plants that would work in my tank? I am not familiar with the names of plants. There are names the pet store give the plants and the scientific names.....it is confusing to me. That is why I asked for help in this area for my tank.
    I saw an El Nino fern in the store, bought it and planted it. Later found out in is hard to grow and usually shouldn't be fully submerged while the package said it could be fully submerged. This is why I need guidance. I also don't want to harm my fish and shrimp.

    Thanks again!

  6. #6

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by ConnieW View Post
    Thanks for replying....
    The info on each bulb:
    1 bulb says: Coralife 10,000K
    120V F18-T5-BP then a circle with a Hg in it

    The other bulb has the same thing except instead of the 10,000K it
    says Coralife Actinic.

    There is no wattage on the bulb.
    Looks like that fixture was orginally meant for a salt water tank which is not the best for a planted tank

    I would suggest replacing the actinic with a bulb in the 6500K to 6700K range. The 10,000K bulb might be OK so I would try it and see before spending any money to replace it. That should be OK for lower light and easier to keep plants
    If you take your time to do the research FIRST, you can successfully set-up and keep ANY type of aquarium with ease.
    "Not using a quarantine tank is like playing Russian roulette. Nobody wins the game, some people just get to play longer than others." - Anthony Calfo
    Fishless Cycle Cycling with Fish Marine Aquarium Info [URL="http://saltwater.aquaticcommunity.com/"]

  7. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by Cliff View Post
    Looks like that fixture was orginally meant for a salt water tank which is not the best for a planted tank

    I would suggest replacing the actinic with a bulb in the 6500K to 6700K range. The 10,000K bulb might be OK so I would try it and see before spending any money to replace it. That should be OK for lower light and easier to keep plants
    I was reading the info that came with the light.
    This is a 30" light fixture so the bulbs are 18 watt.

    I also was reading this combo of lamps is suppose to be for Saltwater reef tanks.
    It suggested the 6700K lamp with the Colormax lamp for freshwater tanks.

    What do you think of that combo for the lamps?

    I also wanted to mention I think I have a brown algae issue. It grows on everything in the tank and makes the silk and plastic plants
    look terrible IMO. I am cutting the time the light is on, but on the other hand I know the live plant needs some light. So I am caught
    between a rock and a hard place with the brown algae problem with a live plant in the tank.

    Thanks!

  8. #8

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by ConnieW View Post
    Thanks for the reply, but I don't think it is as simple as that for me. I know some plants can be submerged fully and others can't. Some need more light than others. Some are easy to grow and others aren't.
    I'm sorry, I gave you some good plant species that are easy for starters. Not much more I can do for you. Looking up some common names for them and a few pictures so you can recognize them is up to you.

  9. #9

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Those bulbs that were suggested to you would also work for easier and low light plants

    Google pics of Diatoms to see if that is the brown algae you are talking about
    If you take your time to do the research FIRST, you can successfully set-up and keep ANY type of aquarium with ease.
    "Not using a quarantine tank is like playing Russian roulette. Nobody wins the game, some people just get to play longer than others." - Anthony Calfo
    Fishless Cycle Cycling with Fish Marine Aquarium Info [URL="http://saltwater.aquaticcommunity.com/"]

  10. #10

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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    I just wanted to throw my Plants 101 on this...

    First... the light:
    You will hear watts/gallon and par readings mentioned a lot if you do research on planted tanks. Also these ratings on the bulbs with different kelvin ratings. What is need-to-know for a begginer in plants is that a photoperiod (time the light is on) should be around 6-8hours in a day. Also, the kelvin rating for a bulb closest to the suns daylight is 6500k. Actinic (10000k) bulbs are used for salt water. They have a lot more blue in them and they are used to grow algae and provide a higher light penetration as the blue spectrum of light travels deepest in the water column. To sum up, daylight exposure of 8 hours, with easy to grow plants allows for the best starter level. Also remember that your light time on the tank, doesnt have to be corrisponding to your time you are at work. You could very easily turn the lights on when you get home and when you go to bed with little issue.

    The plants to start with:
    Most common plants found at a local fish store are easier species to grow. The most common are Amazon Sword Fern, Anubias, Java Moss, Hornwart and Sagittaria. You can also get floating plants like the red root floater, frogbit and duckweed.

    As a side note, with your light, you have enough penetrating light to grow dwarf hair grass without an issue if you are looking for a plant that can be a "carpet" or lawn for the bottom of the tank. You could also, after you get into the plants for a while, get some Vals or Vallisneria. They are prone to melting with shock of new tanks so it can be discouraging for begginers.

    Algae:
    Algae is going to grow for many different reasons. Overexposure to light, excess nutrients in the water that come from not enough water changes, poor overall tank maintenence. Right now with 10k bulbs you have an overabundance of light and its meant for growing the algae in that tank. When you get your photoperiod right and the light right, you will be great.

    Rhyzome plants:
    Be careful with plants that have a rhysome. Anubias and Java Fern have a thich stalklike base that should not be burried. Often times when it is burried in substrate it will rot and kill the plant. You can anchor these plants with fishing line or holocore with little issue.

    Hope this helps!
    FW: 1 45gal, 1 40gal, 3 10gal, 3 30gal all community tanks of different species
    Sw: 1 55gal, 1 30gal show, 1 29gal show, 1 20gal and 2 10's

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