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Old 04-28-2012, 12:28 PM   #1 
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Opinions on live plants

I'm currently in the process of planning my 15 gallon sorority. Currently, I'm planning what plants to get. How do these plants sound? Might also put some in my 10 gallon divided. They are as follows:

http://www.shop.plantedaquariumscent...CIE-anucof.htm

http://www.shop.plantedaquariumscent...s-sgrass10.htm

http://www.shop.plantedaquariumscent...rful-hipp1.htm

http://www.shop.plantedaquariumscent...wisteria05.htm

http://www.shop.plantedaquariumscent...ata-dlil01.htm

http://www.shop.plantedaquariumscent...-babytears.htm

http://www.shop.plantedaquariumscent...FERN-BOL01.htm

http://www.shop.plantedaquariumscent...V-jfernl01.htm

http://www.shop.plantedaquariumscent...ver-rfox10.htm

Both my tanks lighting are florescent and am planning on eventually replacing them with plant growth florescent light bulbs.

Any opinions welcome!!
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Old 04-28-2012, 01:23 PM   #2 
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Looks good to me. I'd be looking for a 7000k fluorescent bulb for the medium light plants. The kelvin rating is what matters for plants. :) Also, with so many in the tank, I'd fertilize every couple weeks. I'd get the tabs since most of them are root feeders.
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Old 04-28-2012, 01:27 PM   #3 
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Some of them come with a lot of stems of the plant....might add some to entertain the boys.
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Old 04-28-2012, 01:31 PM   #4 
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Yea, tanks fill up pretty quick too. But you need that many for a sorority. :D
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Old 04-28-2012, 01:35 PM   #5 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Olympia View Post
Looks good to me. I'd be looking for a 7000k fluorescent bulb for the medium light plants. The kelvin rating is what matters for plants. :) Also, with so many in the tank, I'd fertilize every couple weeks. I'd get the tabs since most of them are root feeders.
Most of them are NOT root/substrate feeders so I would aim for a high quality liquid fertilizer instead for best results. given that you have 1-2 plants in there that require high light for there true red beauty I would recommend heavy fertilization and high lighting, I would also get a Co2 kit If you have the money. they can become quite expensive But I know quite a few DIY ways. I personally add a double dose of seachem prime to my planted tanks for best results. I have no algae from excess nutrients so I wouldnt worry about that, as the plants you have are also, very fast growers that suck up any nutrients in the water

The amount of plants you are receiving will most likely not fill up your tank as soon as you get them, You might have to wait a month or so for your tank to be heavily planted. The amount of plants being recieved is relaitvely low. I would buy a full grown plant instead of a bulb that is just beginning to sprout anyways. the amount of stems you are receiving could be very small given the height of each one. With the wisteria I Only 5 stems could be a very low amount

Last edited by Mo; 04-28-2012 at 01:41 PM.
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Old 04-28-2012, 02:01 PM   #6 
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Was just getting these so I could start cycling and see how many more I would need, then purchase more on a different payday. Sounding like a good plan? And I'm planning on using Seachem Flourish and Seachem Flourish Excel. I already use Seachem Prime.

Last edited by Hopeseeker; 04-28-2012 at 02:03 PM. Reason: Adding stuff
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Old 04-28-2012, 02:06 PM   #7 
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Yes. That should Be fine. I wouldnt recommend cycling with live plants, I remember reading an article on why you shouldnt quite some time ago. I will try and recover it. I think that it was because of the nitrate and ammonia levels, and being considered a silent cycle. It is nearly impossible to identify if you actually have a cycled aquarium because the nitrates, are being eaten up and not much nitrifying bacteria is even being produced and colonized because of the ammonia getting diluted by the plants
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Old 04-28-2012, 02:08 PM   #8 
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I have to See if I can provide you with the source of the information as im sure that i is against the rules to post information from other websites

Quote:
When I first start up a new planted tank, I have a different goal to those that start their tanks with a fishless cycle. My aim is to maximise plant growth from the word go to produce healthy, vibrant plant growth, and create an environment hostile to algae blooms.

The fishless cycle requires the addition of ammonia, which is instantly a no no for planted tanks.

Light + ammonia = algae

If you absolutely have to fishless cycle on a tank that you intend on planting, then I strongly recommend the cycling is carried out in the dark, and the plants are added once the cycle is complete. Personally, I advocate that you don’t bother going down this long path, and save yourself a lot of time and effort by starting your planted tank with the goal mentioned in the first paragraph; “healthy, vibrant plant growth” from the word go. A fishless cycle establishes a large, robust bacteria colony that is suddenly going to be in competition with plants for ammonia, and plants are very efficient at ammonia processing, and get first dibs. The bacteria that you have just spent the last six weeks developing is going to reduce in number once healthy plant growth is established, so why bother in the first place? Certainly it is because fish need to be added to a tank that can process their waste before they reach toxic levels. Well, this can be achieved in a planted tank before the bacteria colony is fully established.

The following is my own preferred method and, while many experienced planted tank people will have variations on my methods, the fundamentals remain the same.

MULM
Firstly, I take the mulm (substrate detritus) from an existing tank, and put it below the new substrate. Obviously, this wasn’t an option on my first ever tank, but it is worth using mulm if it available to you. Why?

There is a popular belief that there is a minimal amount of nitrifying bacteria in the substrate. This may be true in unplanted tanks, and I am not entirely sure, but plants and their roots are covered in nitrifying bacteria. The roots bring a lot of aeration to the substrate and help to make an environment that is beneficial to the types of nitrifying bacteria we nurture in our filters. By adding mulm we are introducing a good sized colony of nitrifying bacteria at root level and creating a healthy environment in which the roots can quickly become established.
Personally, I trim the roots back a fair bit to aid planting (Crypts are a good example), but try to promote new root growth as soon as possible.

It is also known to use carbon in the substrate to absorb any toxins present that may inhibit initial root growth and health.

CO2
I run the CO2 at elevated levels that would be lethal to any fish or shrimp, just to ensure there is no CO2 limitation anywhere in the tank that could start any localised algae blooms. This is backed up with a high flow rate of water via over filtration and/or power heads to transport all nutrients to the four corners of the tank, along with surface disturbance to help keep O2 levels up. Once any fauna is due to be added, the CO2 is throttled back and established 30ppm, but getting the CO2 levels and distribution correct from the start is essential to avoid algae issues.

ZEOLITE
I don’t think a great deal of people in the UK bother with Zeolite a great deal, but it is popular in the US and I swear by it for algae control in immature planted tanks. It will absorb the ammonia being produced and remove a possible trigger for an algae bloom. My latest tank was started without Zeolite as I didn’t have any, and I have witnessed brown diatoms for the first time since I started using Zeolite. People say brown diatoms are inevitable in a new tank, but this is not the case in my experience. Remove the ammonia, remove the diatoms.

This will instantly raise the question in many peoples mind “won’t it starve the bacteria colony?” No, not in my or anyone else’s opinion that use Zeolite, that I have read. The Zeolite provides a large surface area and a large supply of ammonia to nitrosomonas bacteria. Why wouldn’t the bacteria want to move in to this environment? Exhausted Zeolite just becomes filter media.

The other thing to add about using Zeolite I am not aware of anyone having problems with ammonia leeching back in to the water column. Certainly not from those that have used it. People remove the Zeolite, see an ammonia spike, and then blame the Zeolite for having starved their bacteria colony, making it incapable of supporting the fish load. In reality, what they have done is removed a significant percentage of their nitrifying colony when they removed the Zeolite.

DOSING AND WATER CHANGES
I dose at full levels from day one. If the aim is to promote plant growth from the outset, then why would we hold back on the dosing for any given period? Water changes are carried out daily at around 50% water volume for the first week or two to remove algae spores and inhibit unprocessed ammonia levels. This becomes a bit of a chore on larger tanks, and is probably slackened off to just once a week more rapidly than on smaller tanks. Personally, I am usually at my normal water change of 50% once a week after the first month.

PLANTING LEVELS
For the inexperienced, getting planting levels right, along with non limiting CO2 throughout the tank are really key to the early success of the tank. Insufficient plant mass and/or CO2 will limit/inhibit plant growth, and open the door to algae blooms. For the inexperienced I would recommend the advice I was first given, which was to plant 75% of the substrate with fast growing stems. This will provide a large ammonia processing factory, and algae blooms will be suppressed by a healthy mass of fast growing plants. With more experience it is possible to start a tank with a lot less plant mass, but this will also require a lot more knowledge of controlling light intensity and photoperiod duration. Lighting is a whole other subject that is covered elsewhere, as are dosing methods.

MISCELLANEOUS
Other little bits of advice that I think help to establish an immature planted tank are, don’t be afraid to introduce pest snails if you are not too bothered by their appearance. All my tanks have small snail populations that eat rotting vegetation and detritus. A boom in the number of snails is an indication of excessive fish food in the tank. The population is easily managed, simply by not overfeeding your fish. Secondly, remove any apparently poor plant growth/leaves, as they will not get better, and will only contribute to the ammonia levels.

From the above, some of you may come to the conclusion that I came too when I first started reading about EI dosing planted tanks. A newly planted, healthy tank showing positive growth signs will be processing ammonia at a rate that makes it possible to add fish long before it is possible using the fishless cycle. On my first tank I used common sense, and added fish to a 120l tank at the rate of five Cardinal tetras a week. I had no problems at all adding these supposedly sensitive fish, which were the first fish I ever bought, or added to a tank.

Personally, I really concentrate on CO2 levels from the start these days, which means I don’t add fish until a month or two in to the aquascapes life.

To anyone wanting to start a planted tank:

Why bother adding ammonia daily and running all those tests?

Why bother building up a large bacteria colony, only for it to reduce once you stop adding ammonia?

Why bother running the risk of algae?

Why bother waiting all those frustrating weeks before you get any fish?

Not having to cycle a planted tank is a huge benefit IMO, and one we should all use. Fish only people will have to carry on fishless cycling, but we don’t have to. How cool is that?

This article is subject to amendment and further advice.

Dave.
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Old 04-28-2012, 02:45 PM   #9 
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OK, my next question is: Could my 10 gallon already be cycled? I used the old gravel on the bottom and added new gravel on top. It's planted a little bit and I conditioned the boys that I already had and put them in there. Fish-in cycle was the only way for them....I have limited space and didn't want them to live in 16 oz clear cups for too long. The cups were floating in a heated with heater/water 1 gallon aquarium and I had something in between them to keep stress down. They seem ok with it overnight and even made bubble nests. Well, their water tests stay level even after 2 weeks of them being in there. Ammonia has stayed at 0.25 ppm; Nitrite has stayed at 0 ppm; and nitrate has only spiked because we have well water that is currently staying at 40ppm (before, the tank was at 5.0 ppm nitrate and jumped in 2 days due to well water.) Well water was tested and is still at 40ppm and so I bought spring water to change a little bit of their water today. I'm just waiting for the heater to warm up the water in the 5 gallon bucket used for fish water.
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Old 04-28-2012, 05:52 PM   #10 
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I've also been looking at more plants that I might want to add:

http://www.shop.plantedaquariumscent...ides-WATSP.htm

http://www.shop.plantedaquariumscent...t-ovalis05.htm

http://www.shop.plantedaquariumscent...-indicia10.htm
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