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Planted tanks 101

Discussion in 'Planted Aquariums' started by shrimparecool, Sep 9, 2018.

  1. shrimparecool

    shrimparecool AC Members

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    Hey everyone!

    If you didn’t see my other post in a different section, I have a new 25 gal tank that I want to plant. I’m a horticulturist (for landscape plants), but I’ve got a few questions as I’m a newbie to aquarium plantings .

    Right now I just have pea gravel with some bigger rocks scattered in there. I don’t really have any growing substrate in there. I know the plants will need soil of some sort to do really well. Can you grow plants in their own little pots in tanks?

    Can someone give me a crash course in co2? Is it absolutely necessary?

    What liquid fertilizer options do I have that are safe for fish and shrimp?

    I bought a finnex planted 24/7 light as I saw it had good reviews for growing. I tried to find LED stripping to put my own lights together but I had no luck. Couldn’t find all the specs on some of the stripping that I found online. My tank is 24” long so I bought a 20” to fit under the hood. If I need to buy a second light I will.

    Thanks!
     
  2. dougall

    dougall ...

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    Yes you can put substrate in pots, and grow from there, depending on if you like the aesthetics.

    CO2 is necessary for photosynthesis, the question is if you need to supplement what will be in the water naturally.


    honestly the question is going to be more driven by the plants you would like to keep, more than anything. For a good all-round fertilizer, try Thrive from NilocG, get the S version if you're worried about shrimp (I am confident the regular is fine for shrimp, and fish, for what that is worth)

    you'll likely need more light, again depending on the plants you are choosing to keep.

    But, my biggest piece of advice would be to find a local aquarium plant group (I'm a member of a couple in NJ and DC) you'll get great advice and always an awful lot of plants.


    But ultimately, just give it all a try, chances are you'll want to change things up after a bit of time, and you get to know what plants work best for you with your water and such.

    but just go for it, it's easy and rewarding, and as long as the plants are helthy and growing, it's great for the water also.
     
  3. the loach

    the loach AC Members

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    Not all plants are root feeders, a lot of them get all the nutrients out of the water. And you can always put some root tabs under a plant. I don't use any soil, it is going to run out of nutrients at some time anyway.

    If you want to supplement with CO2 the easiest way is the CO2 in liquid form. The cheapest is the DIY, just needs sugar and yeast. And then there are plenty of expensive and sometimes complicated systems.
     
  4. fishorama

    fishorama AC Members

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    Can you give us your location in at least a vague way? I belong to a plant club too & it's awesome! Fish clubs are great too.

    I'd say I prefer to unpot plants. I pick/rinse off all the fibrous growing media I can. I'm not sure how safe it is for bottom feeders (my "thing"). & plants roots can wrap around the pot slats & may stunt plants.

    Pea gravel is pretty large for some plants & may crush the roots. It offers no CEC (cation exchange capacity). CEC kind of "holds" the ferts until the plants need it.
     
  5. FreshyFresh

    FreshyFresh Global Moderator
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    Just to add to the great advice above, tell us more about this 25g tank. What is the footprint and height of the tank?

    Finnex lighting is great stuff. What you bought will probably be good for low to medium light plants, so again, like suggested above, you'll need to decide what plants you want to try.

    As you know, you have to be patient with new plants in a new setup. It takes time for them to take off IMO. Low light plants like anubia and java fern can take a painfully long time.
     
  6. TBear

    TBear AC Members

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    I actually bought some wisteria( if that’s how you spell it) and indica plants. The wisteria is growing very well in my low low light aquarium, and the indica is growing more leaves on top and spreading vertically. Just saying, been only a couple week they are in there.
     
  7. shrimparecool

    shrimparecool AC Members

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    I’m in Wilmington NC. Sorry for the delayed response.. been dealing with a little stormy weather haha.

    So I went out and bought some plants the other day at my LFS. They had all livestock on sale for 25% off.. I also got two espies (they only had two, I’ll get more when they restock). I got some Cryptocoryne parva, an amazon sword and something else... it didn’t come with a tag and I can’t remember the name so I’ll attach a picture. Not sure if I have enough light for the sword but it was so pretty and I couldn’t resist. I also took my java moss mat apart and tied it to some of the larger stones with fishing line to get it started. It might look sad in the pictures because they were without light for about a week and it was 83+ degrees since we had no ac (Hurricane Florence knocked out our power).

    I need some suggestions for good fertilizer. I’m not trying to buy 4 different bottles if I can help it. After doing some homework I found that a lot of sites recommended Seachem flourish. Any thoughts?

    6F68E7A8-7373-4EDC-991B-BABD1A594CEE.jpeg

    629B8F68-42BF-42A5-AAE8-F931ED42B16A.jpeg

    3A2B212B-0735-4400-8B0C-D60FD40093BA.jpeg
     
  8. shrimparecool

    shrimparecool AC Members

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    It’s a bowfront. I’ve already heard that it’s hard to get proper lighting in the front of the bow. If the one finnex isn’t enough, I thought I might get a second since you can control the amount of light it gives off.
     
    FreshyFresh likes this.
  9. dougall

    dougall ...

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    For a fertilizer, look into Thrive,

    I think the additional plant is Java Fern Rosanervig / Lace java Fern. I also think I see Java Moss.

    If it's a regular Amazon sword, I would rehome it now if you can, it's gonna get too big for the tank, and even if you plan on trimming leaves, the roots will be too much.
     
  10. DefJ123

    DefJ123 AC Members

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    Ive heard nothing but praise for Thrive. Definitely need to try it.

    Agreed on the amazon sword. I have 2 in my 55g and the leaves are already poking out the top and roots taking over.
     

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