LBF and lilnaugrim, here are his latest pics. Sorry for the delayed response. His new home is wide with lots of swim room. It holds 7 liters of water. The water change I have been performing is 100% every alternate day. Hope this is fine.
lilnaugrim, could you please help me with starting a planted aquarium. I have a 10G tank.
Oh yay he's looking so much better! I'm really glad that his fins are growing back now! It will take some time but it's worth it to help them heal up
And I can certainly help you! Are you looking to do a NPT (natural planted tank) that would be done with some sort of soil for the base and a sand layer over top, that gives the plants plenty of nutrients or just a regular planted tank, gravel or sand with plants?
If you can PM me with what kind of lights you can and their Kelvin rating that would be good too ^_^
I never knew there were two kinds, an NPT and a regular one. Confused. Which is easier to maintain and what is the difference between the two? Let me google in the interim while you reply. I have a 20Watts helical compact fluorescent lamp (CFL). I am not sure of its Kelvin rating. I did a google and it didn't quite give the result. For my 10G currently I have provision for two bulbs. I have only one now and left the other open for the right fix for the planted tank.
A NPT may or may not be harder/easier to maintain. When you start off generally you need more water changes but once it's fully establish you don't have to do them as often. Also you wouldn't have to do any liquid fertilizer because the plants would get their nutrients from the soil underneath the sand. Every now and then you'll have to churn the sand a little, I do a forth of my 33 gallon each time I do a water change, gasses can get trapped under it and they could become dangerous for your fish if suddenly released after not being churned. But you can do it with your finger, tweezers, chopsticks, anything really that's not dangerous for your water like a pencil lol
And a regular planted tank just has gravel or sand, and then you'd have to do some sort of liquid fertilizer and/or root tabs. Root tabs are nice and easy, you can break them apart and stick one whole one broken into fourths, throughout your 10 gallon. I would do a 4 corner's type of thing with them, but there are directions on the back of the root tab package. And then you just stick a new one in every 3 months or so
Liquid fert's aren't too bad, I used API's LeafZone without a problem but I want to try SeaChem's Flourish as well. Instead of doing one dosage a week as the directions say, I do two small half doses during the week so I just split up the dosage. It's like two small meals during the week or one big one, my plants seem to prefer two small meals
Both will do well with tank cleanings each week since there are other things besides ammonia, nitrite and nitrates that build up in your tank so just easier to do a weekly change to be safe anyway.
And lighting, I don't suggest CFL's for any planted tanks, they're generally too low of a Kelvin rating to grow anything but Java fern/moss and anubias. What you're looking for is a light bulb with a Kelvin rating of 6,500K and/or above. 6,500 is the closest to natural sunlight, and the higher the rating you have, you'll have a "high Light" bulb and can grow any and all plants. If you have under 6,500K then you have "low light" bulbs and can only grow certain plants. Most fluorescent lights are 6,500K and above so if you can find that for your tank it would be the most beneficial.
The watt's don't matter too much, I mean you don't want 1 watt per gallon because it might not be enough power to penetrate to the bottom of your tank. You want a strong light with a good Kelvin rating to grow your plants, both those lights are great and they can clamp onto your tank which is so convenient! You could then just use a Glass canopy instead of a hood so that your fish don't jump out or anything.
Of course I probably wouldn't get the 150 watt becuase you can burn your plants, just like the sun can. So the 75 watt one would be great for you tank and will grow pretty much anything and everything
And of course they're cheaper than buying a whole new hood if you were going to go the fluorescent route lol
lilnaugrim, good news, the spiral CFL has a rating of 6500K. One more would double it. Would two be harmful? I mean, too much heat for the fish to bear? The bulb provision is at the right and left end of the hood. If I were to have only one, as the case now, the heat wouldn't be uniform(am I right/). Infact, the one bulb that I have now is heating the water too much. I am little concerned about it. Is that okay? I haven't checked on the temperature though. Should be around 30 degrees, with the two blue spot gourami. They are doing very well though. They have lasted for more than a month. I had a pair of 2 inch angels and then two female sword and one male sword along with them and they all are RIP now. Is that due to space crunch?
On the planted tank, the fish keeper told me that he has a fertilizer bag of Sechmes' which has to be layered below the substrate and forgot about the maintenance for the next 3 years. How true is that? Am not sure on which one he was talking - NPT or regular one. From what you said, I believe he spoke about the NPT. Could you please elaborate more on the regular planted thing, the root tab and stuff. I didn't git a bit of it. What plants do I start with as a beginner?
You only count for one rating, you don't combine them since combining them won't make the light stronger. So with 6,500K you can grow most medium lights and all low lights. You probably won't be able to do a carpet of much except maybe Java moss but it will do well
Oh, is this the tank you wanted one species from each fish type in there? If so, then yes. Angel fish grow to at least 6 inches long and 6-8 inches high. They need at least 55 gallons with a mating pair, not just any pair because they will kill each other. The Blue spot Gourami get up to about 5-6 inches as well and need about 30-40 gallons for just one, they are extremely aggressive to their own kind like male Betta's. And yes the swords died most likely of too much ammonia, stress and possibly picking on from other fish like the gouramis.
I hope your blue Betta isn't going in with the Gouramis???
And if you want or can, you can do something to make the hood higher off the tank. Being not as close to the surface of the water will help with the heat. But of course if you've got a Betta in there you'd have to lower the level to at least 2 inches below the top line of the tank, otherwise they'll jump out.
And for that fish keeper, he was doing a variation of an NPT. SeaChem has a brand of substrate that is basically like soil, contains all the nutrients and stuff but it's not soil so it doesn't dirty your tank as much. They also do have a soil one as well so he could have been using either one. With NPT's you can forget about them after their initial set up and their first month, however Ammonia and poop in general can still build up and after a while you wouldn't have enough BB to keep it safe (this is after 1-2 years though of no water changes) So yes it is possible, but I wouldn't really recommend doing that. He probably didn't have fish in that tank though, maybe had some shrimp.
And for the planted tank: so you can just use regular gravel or sand. Most of mine have sand now but it's personal choice, some of mine still have gravel and they do just fine! So because you only have gravel/sand, you don't have the nutrients coming from the soil that you'd have in an NPT so instead you have to use regular fertilizers like a liquid fert and/or root tabs.
Root tabs are slow releasing tablets that will feed your plants over the course of about 3 months and then you replace that tab to feed for another 3 months. You could just use root tabs if you've got all planted plants but if you've got some floaters as well then I suggest using both, just at a smaller dosage. I use API's LeafZone and instead of one dose a week, I split that dosage into two and dose once on Saturday/Sunday and dose the other on Wednesday so they get two small meals.
With planted tanks you still need to do a water change each week, 25% will suffice. But it's safer for your fish because your plants eat up the nitrates so they won't get hurt by them. So I do my water change on my 10 gallon on Saturday and give them a small amount of liquid fert after that.
So the main difference between a regular planted tank and an NPT is that a NPT has soil so you don't have to use root tab's and liquid ferts whereas a planted tank doesn't have soil and you need root tabs and/or liquid ferts. It's not completely necessary but it certainly does help them thrive better.
Also something that I've found, plants prefer pH levels above 7.0, in my 33 it's 7.4-7.6 and my plants are absolutely blooming and in my 10 it's 6.5 and they're...doing...okay lol they're growing but just not half as well as in my 33. And then you need a light period of at LEAST 8 hours but I give mine 10 hours (8am-8pm)
I am rephrasing my tank lighting I spoke in my last thread . The 10G tank has provision for two bulbs; one at the right and one at the left atop. Currently I have only one, of 6500K rating. This is heating the water pretty quickly and unevenly. The other slot is void. If I were to add another one of the same rating making 13000K would that be fine for the plants or even the fish for that matter? Does it look too much
When you say combination may not increase the strength, is it that two 6500K would not equal one bulb of 13000K? I am seriously worried about the water heating up. Let me measure and post you next time. What really is the fuss about this 6500K??
If its too much I'd rather replace the present bulb and have two bulbs(one in each slot, at the right and left so that the heat is uniform through out) that would together rate 6500K or a little higher. What say? There isn't a provision to up the hood. This is a chinese tank I have. It is moulded at the front. Looks very nice though.
In case I drop the idea of planting, is lighting an absolute necessary for aquarium? Some say it is, for the obvious reason of the fishing getting to know when it is day and when it is night. At nights should an aquarium have a dimmer light, say LED moonlight? If at all lighting is a necessity for a non-planted tank, what rating should I use?
Yes this is the 10G I spoke about with the hope of having different species in . My betta is not with the gourami. Scroll up the thread to see the picture of his I posted previously. He is in a separate bowl.
I salute you lilnaugrim. The explanation on NPT and regular planted tank was clear cut. Very nice. What is that BB you said? Sorry I didn't get it.
Right, right! Sorry I thought you had plans to put your Betta in the 10 gallon after it was planted, my bad! There I go assuming things again lol
Okay so the real measurement of lighting that you're looking for is PAR, I'll send you a link so you can read about it. But for now understand that 6,500 Kelvin rating is the closest to the Sun color as you can get in a light bulb of any sort. That's why it's a big deal, you want to imitate the closest you can to the sun to optimally grow your plants.
And no you don't combine them even if you have two slots for the light bulbs, your rating stays at 6,500K. It doesn't get brighter just because you add another bulb, it will look like it but the color stays the same. That's what Kelvin rating is, it's telling you basically the color of your bulb. Plants tend to utilize more of the red light spectrums so blue lights do nothing for them.
If you are worried about it heating too much then you might want to find a different hood situation. I know you said it was molded but if the lights are going to burn your plants then that's not good either. If you've got floaters then yes, those lights will burn your plants. I use LED hoods and LED light strips for my tanks. So that's a possibility is just get a few stripes off line, take the light bulb out and just use the light stripes and that will grow your plants fine.
You don't need moonlighting for your tank, they will do perfectly fine without lights on at all. It's mostly just for cosmetic usage and if you've got say some cichlid's who are breeding and you don't want their egg's stolen in the night by some Cory's, then you keep the moonlights on so they can see and protect their eggs. Otherwise it's useless but they do look nice.
If the tank is not planted you don't need lights, but as you stated it's really beneficial for your fishes health so they can see daylight and know when to sleep. They can get messed up when the "sun" isn't out either like we do. Ever feel just really sleepy on a rainy day? They'll feel like that all the time if they don't have lights.
So that said, there are absolutely no limits to what lights you need if you chose not to do a planted tank. You can use anything from Fluorescents, CFL's, LED's, lamps from Home Depot or a regular desk lamp over the tank will do fine as well. And actually those will grow plants great too. So there's no limit or set rating that you need for a non planted tank.
And for BB that is your Beneficial Bacteria. That is what you are growing during the Nitrogen Cycle. They are what eat up and turn ammonia into nitrites and into nitrates to be taken out in a water change or eaten up by plants. Even if you don't cycle a tank for the month that it needs to grow your BB and you have a filter, it will inadvertently happen over time anyway so it won't make a difference. However it's best to do a cycle before your fish get in there anyway, just makes it easier so you don't have an ammonia spike and kill all your fish
Hello De, should he be fully immersed in water. I am sorry I may sound stupid. It is a water plant yet this came to my mind. Wouldn't he do well with half of him in the water. I am a little worried about him polluting the tank and harming the fishes if he were to be rotting or dead.
What about Osmocote and Jobe sticks as plant food for root tabs? And what is about CO2 reactors? Are they essential for planted aquariums? I had asked previously. It may have slipped off your mind. No worries. I'd bet you'd surely answer this time.