New to planted tanks and clueless...
I was wondering if someone could take a look at what I'm doing and see if it's sufficient, not even close, hit or miss, etc.
29 Gallon tank
Am running 2 filters until the new one gets a colony - Penguin 150B (the old one) and the new one is a Cascade 200.
I am just now trying my first attempt at planting a tank. The tank has been running for about 4 months with fish in it. I started with a T8 Floramax bulb. I also put Caribsea midnight flormax under my blue gravel.
Today I switched to a glasstop, and I added the Aqueon 30" T5 with the 6700k and Colormax bulbs. I have seen conflicting info on watts needed. On one forum about planted tanks everyone was saying that watts per gallon only applied to T12 bulbs, and in others, it doesn't seem to matter what bulbs they are using for watts per gallon to apply.
I am using Seachem Fourish Excel daily for my carbon since I want to see if I can keep basic plants alive before I go all out (and my husband would kill me if I spent that kinda money after everything else I've spent). I also use Aqueon Aquarium PLant Food and the other day I added the Seachem Flourish Tabs to my substrate just to make sure they had enough yummy plant goodness to grow. I was going to return the T5's that I bought before I set them up and get the T5 HO, but noticed that although some of my plants were getting a bit brown on the edges, I several had definite new growth. I have some umbrella plants, a windelov java fern, a plant that looks like very long blades of grass, and another unknown plant that is a bunch of long stems with a long skinny triangle shape leaf with wavy edges on the end of each stem. That one had a bunch of roots that were not attached to each other, so I broke it up and planted in 4 different locations. It wasn't doing well until I did that. Some of the leaves look a bit sad, but I am happy to report that 3 of the 4 have new growth.
So my question is, with the new lights I added, should I keep the T8 Floramax too, or is that overkill? I do have 2 bubblers that my 4 year old is very attached too. If I add the carbon can I keep them? One uses a small airstone, the other just puts a row of tiny bubbles up, and doesn't cause too much agitation. If I want the bubblers, should I add extra Excel, or just use the dosage recommended (I'm adding 1/2 tsp daily, cause I have about 25 gallons of actual water in the tank after substrate and decor have been added.
Also, if I just say screw it and pull out all of the artifical plants at once and go plant crazy and plant more, will that affect my biological bacteria? I do have a very large (15") arifical plant that is the "focal piece" of my tank right now. I want to obviously replace this with a large real plant of a similar size (my fake one is very bushy, and is about 6" diameter at the widest point) so my fishies have a very nice bush to hide in. What would you recommend that gets biggish that would work with my current parameters and chemicals?
In the tank, I have 4 Cherry Barbs, 5 Glofish, one Red Rainbow, a Paradise Fish (I female, we think) and a Golden Dojo Loach.
Any thoughts would be great!
Welcome to Plantedtank.net :)
Here is a post you should read and find how how much PAR lighting you have. http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...ht=par+ratings
The t5 HO and t5 may have a PAR value on the box or you might be able to contact the manufacture to find out. The PAR value is based on distance from the lighting to the substrate.
Depending on your ligthing will determine how you need to dose fertilizer. Excel is a carbon suppliment, but I don't think it off gases like a Co2 injected tank so the bubbler you have can stay or may have to go if you end up having to do DIY co2 or what not.
Seachem Flourish Root tabs are used to suppliment root feeding plants. An example would be Crypts and Amazon Swords. Stem plants however would not benefit from root tabs because they get their nutrients from the water colum.
I would pull the fakes maybe one at a time per week. You will be having a small effect on the bacterial colonies, but probably not enough to notice on a water parameter test. At the same time, you will be slowly changing the environment instead of all at once.
re: newbie and confused
Thanks for the replies. I think I understand the basic concept of par ratings. But not the exactpractical application. My tank is 18" deep. My lights are directly on top of the glass top so I think it is safe to assume that they are. About 19.5" from the bottom of the tank. That being said my substrate is about 2-4 inches thick front to back so I guess the distance is about 17" in front sloping to 15" towards the back. Most of my plants are small and planted in front half of the tank so well say an average of about 16" from the substrate. I could not find the par rating for any of my lights online or on the box. I found several forum discussions with links saying they had a list of the info but none of them went to the actual info.
Specifically I have a 17 w aqueon floramax t8 and an aqueon t5 ballast running a t5 daylight 6700 bulb and a t5 colormax bulb. Both are supposed to be 18 watts. I will tryto call the manufacturer tomorrow but I'm going out on a limb to suggest that the info night be hard to find? Based on what I've got (I assume these are common bulbs since I got them at pet smart and see them at all the specialty shops) does it sound like I might have some over kill? The light seems very bright to me in the tank and the fishies kinda wigged out for I put the lights on. Or for great plant growth is very bright light needed?
As far as the unknown leafy plant goes maybe stem plant was a wrong choice of words. I don't know if that's what it qualifies as or not. They do have roots. I do give the them liquid plant food as well as I put the flourish tablets in the substrate. The co2 intimidates me, i admit it. It seems that it can be very pricy to do it right and I have kids. That I can see getting into a diy one.
The T8 would be around 30 PAR with no reflector and for 2 Coralife Normal output T5 Looks like 22 PAR. Not sure if thats comparable to yours or not. I think you may add them together to get 52 PAR which is medium-High? I'm thinking. Although, I could be wrong I'm fairly new to PAR values too and not to experienced with mixing various types of lights. Co2 may be required. Although since they are different light strips you can always set some lights on then off and times when all lights are on for a burst.
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