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Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 14
  1. Default Planting a pre-existing tropical community tank


    0 Not allowed!
    Hi everyone,

    I've had my tank for four years, and I think I'm finally ready to start planting it with real plants. As of right now, I only have one real plant - an anubias nana - and it's doing pretty well, so I want to try my hand with some more plants to make my tank look more natural and make my fish feel more at home.

    I've been doing a lot of research and watching a bunch of YouTube videos, and I see that a lot of people layer more than one type of substrate (I've gathered that the bottom layers are special fertilizers/suppleents/etc to help the plants grow) or use ones specifically made to grow plants in. However, since my tank is already set up, I'd really rather not tear it up and re-structure the substrate nor replace it altogether with something like Fluorite or EcoComplete.

    So my question is this: what's the best thing I can do to retrofit this tank so I can grow healthy plants without doing anything too extreme? My current substrate is just regular aquarium gravel.

    Also, I just want to clarify that I'm not doing a fully planted tank yet, I'm just going to start with like three or four(max) beginner plants and see how that goes. Thanks in advance!
    Joseph Granata
    My decommissioned 37gal freshwater community tank journal: http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/aqua...d.php?t=116054
    My current 37gal FOWLR tank journal: http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/aqua...42#post1214342

  2. #2

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    There's no need to replace the gravel with substrate. You can always go the fertilizer tab route. Seachem makes a good comprehensive macro/micro nutrient tab. I've seen the best price at Amazon. Or, you could go the route of AquaFertz, which is available through AquariumPlants.com: http://www.aquariumplants.com/AquaFe...TEM_p/fert.htm. There, you would need to combine Total (w/ or w/out Phosphates) + Trace. It's arguable that they provide a superior tab to Seachem... but I'm not so sure yet. They definitely break it down for you, so you can get the exact combination of nutrients that you really need. I think the costs are fairly equivalent, as Flourish you only dose one tab per 3 months, whereas AquaFertz is dosed one tab per 1 month.

    Other than that, the only thing you'd need to dose would be liquid or dry ferts (which are added directly to the tank/water column). Depending on your lighting and plants, you may or may not need CO2.
    Adventures in Aquaria - The KevinVA Story

    When in doubt, ask yourself... W.W.L.S (What would Lee Say)?

    Have a fish problem? Fill out and post this completed questionnaire in the General Aquarium Forum, when you start a new thread.

  3. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    +1 to Kevin
    Quote Originally Posted by jgranata13 View Post
    what's the best thing I can do to retrofit this tank so I can grow healthy plants without doing anything too extreme?
    Make sure you have good adequate lighting. KevinVA can also give you a lot of information about that.
    Tanks: 30 gal community and 10 gal shrimp/community
    Journals Here

  4. #4

    Red face


    0 Not allowed!
    Have you thought about what species of plants you want to grow? There are lots of beginner varieties which are not too fussy and are therefore fairly easy to take care of.

    I have found the hygrophila species to be extremely easy, probably the easiest plant I've ever grown. It's a fast grower and is easy to cut back and replant the stems to create more plants.

    Some crytocoryne species like Cryptocoryne Beckettii, Cryptocoryne Wendtii, or Cryptocoryne Crispatula Balansae are slow growing but very hardy, and low light tolerant (in my experience).

    Some lobelia species are worth considering. Also easy keepers.

    Moss is also an obvious choice - it'll grow on wood or rockwork if you tie it on with thread.
    "Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known." Carl Sagan
    ~ My 350 Litre Tank Journal ~
    ~ My 30 Litre Tank Journal ~

  5. #5

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Cryptocorne slow growing? I try to tell mine that but they keep ignorning me.

    Right..

    1. lights, 1 watt per gallon at least
    2. nutrients, either take out what's already in there and replace or use root tabs.

    Youtube, various sites, a lot of shops all will lead you to believe you need all sorts of mumbo-jumbo to grow plants. You don't for the simple species.

  6. #6

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by talldutchie View Post
    Cryptocorne slow growing? I try to tell mine that but they keep ignorning me.
    Generally they are considered to be slow growing. You are better than me, I know
    "Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known." Carl Sagan
    ~ My 350 Litre Tank Journal ~
    ~ My 30 Litre Tank Journal ~

  7. #7

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    OTOH, I've never been able to keep vallis alive for longer than 6 months and I'm not too hot on cambomba either.

  8. #8

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Cabomba is very good at shedding and blocking filters in my experience
    "Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known." Carl Sagan
    ~ My 350 Litre Tank Journal ~
    ~ My 30 Litre Tank Journal ~

  9. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    I have another question: I've checked my light, and I realized that I should have a different one (this one is 18,000K and 20W on a 37gal tank). I've been looking for ones that are at least 40W and with a lower colour temperature, but I can't seem to find any that will fit my hood (I just have a regular, single-bulb fluorescent hood). Any suggestions?

    Also, I ended up buying a few "sagittaria eatoni" plants because the livestock manager at my LFS told me that they were easy to take care of. I came home and tried looking for information online, but I can't find any! Is there another name that these are known by and/or do you have any advice for these plants specifically?
    Joseph Granata
    My decommissioned 37gal freshwater community tank journal: http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/aqua...d.php?t=116054
    My current 37gal FOWLR tank journal: http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/aqua...42#post1214342

  10. #10

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Cabomba, if healthy and uncut, won't shed. =/ It's when you start propagating it when you have a problem. At least in my experience.

    18,000k is too much light - depending on the plants you use. You should stay within the 6000-7000k range (6500k is daylight, which is arguably the optimal range you'll want to use). 18,000k (like 10,000k) will be too high for lower light plants, but ok for the more demanding plants. If you go with 6500k spectrum, you'll have all of your bases covered and can support any plants you want, depending on the output (wattage). For a 37gal, 20w is way too low for a planted tank. I mean, you could grow plants at a very slow pace, but if you want any kind of noticeable growth from your plants, you'll want to bump it to at least 1.5-2wpg. So, for your needs, you'd probably be better with a 30" fixture w/ 2 x 24w T5HO bulbs. That'd give you 1.29wpg and should be enough for most plants you'd like to grow.

    That's just the start... you could do less light, more light - partial lighting of the tank, etc. Depends on what you want to do.
    Adventures in Aquaria - The KevinVA Story

    When in doubt, ask yourself... W.W.L.S (What would Lee Say)?

    Have a fish problem? Fill out and post this completed questionnaire in the General Aquarium Forum, when you start a new thread.

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