Would like to upgrade to planted. Possible in this way?
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Old 07-19-2011, 01:45 AM   #1
Plant Madness
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Would like to upgrade to planted. Possible in this way?


Hello all! Fist post on this site. I will be upgrading my Saltwater aquarium lighting to LED's to start growing corals, and I believe that this would be a good chance to upgrade one of my current 55gal. to a planted tank. I just wanted to run it by the experts here and see If they thought it would be possible to convert my tank over.

Fist off the light that I currently have on the saltwater will be going on this tank it is a coralife 4x65watt, which I will be putting the 6500k lights in (believe thats the K). I do not want to run C02 in the tank, so I'm not sure what kind of watt/gallon ratio I should run. I could run from 2 to all 4 of the lights as needed.

I will convert the gravel over to a high grade gravel. Can't think of the name of it but I've read some articles on here about it. I plan to dose Seachem's Flourish Excel (I believe thats the name), not sure how often would be optimal. I have recenlty switched my 2x 55's to use ATI sponge filters, which I love for the bio filtration. I plan to buy a Marineland HOT Magnum 250 filter so that I can polish both of the tanks when I do water changes, and would like to run this full time as mechanical/chemical with running carbon on this tank. Is full time carbon filtering suggested in planted tanks due to leaching of plants? Also, without running C02 would using the airstone type filters be a problem?

And now for the gasp's... I would like to run this in an overstocked Metriaclima Lombardoi (Kenyi cichlid) tank. I believe that this will be my largest issue with everything. I would like to keep the tank set up to be 100% optimal for cichlids, and I believe the PH for alot of the plants is suggested to be lower then in a Malawi tank. Would this limit my choices of plants alot? Would a slow drip acclimation help my chances with the plants? Also, I've heard alot about how cichlids tend to nip at plants, and then also the tend to dig alot so this will uproot some of the plants from time to time.

Major questions:
Do you guys believe that the Kenyi will be a major issue with the plants? Even without the tank being planted I tend to mess with the tanks alot, so if they dig out the plants will it be ok to just "re-plant" the plants? Without running C02, running good gravel, dosing, and these lights would plants have a chance to thrive in a tank like this even with the occasional/frequent abuse from the fish? Anything else that I am missing that will need to be done in the tank (other then large frequent water changes)?

Thanks ahead of time for any advice, I'm currently an open book with planted tanks and would appreciate any and all advice on the topic.
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Old 07-19-2011, 01:49 AM   #2
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One more question I've always heard that adding driftwood will tend to lower the PH in a tank. Is this true? If so I dont think that I would want to add any due to the fact that I would like to keep the tank optimal for the Cichlids, so that I would have a chance to get this set to breed.
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Old 07-19-2011, 02:22 AM   #3
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i'd run only 2 bulbs if you dont want co2 and you may need to raise it or use window screen, not sure on that though. some cichlids are know plant eaters, uprooters. I dont know about these specifically, but I see no issue with just replanting when stuff gets messed up.
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Old 07-19-2011, 01:44 PM   #4
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Agree, just use the 2 bulbs. You will still need a carbon replacement. Cheapest is Cidex which can be bought on Ebay. It needs to be diluted. Mix 44 ml of Metricide (@ 3.4%) and add 56 ml of water.
1 tsp = 5 ml and 1 Tbs = 15 ml

Last edited by Hilde; 07-22-2011 at 02:16 AM..
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Old 07-19-2011, 08:12 PM   #5
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So the cidex is a cheaper version of excel correct? I am not looking for huge growth but rather nice coloring, so how often would you suggest I dose? Daily? Do you think that I would have major algae issues in the tank? Currently have a common pleco that has always worked fine with reg. WC's.

Anyone had any experience with the cichlid side of things? Playing with fire?
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Old 07-19-2011, 08:27 PM   #6
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As far as plants you may want to look into Hydrophytes tank planters if you're worried about them uprooting everything.
If you didn't have that much light I'd say anubias and Java fern as you can tie those to driftwood or rocks and they will grow onto them over time and they really wouldn't have a chance of being torn apart.

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Old 07-19-2011, 08:54 PM   #7
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with the wood i would boil the hell out of i and soak it for a few weeks. If you start with pretty hard water you shouldnt have a problem keeping the PH up at that point.

2 bulbs will be fine for the tank with no CO2.

Plant using ADA soil or one of the other high fert soils. I used half pea gravel with eco complete in my tank. With the cichilds though, they really like rock formations so they can hide, i would consider going that direction rather than the wood. Plus, the right type of rock can mean it helps keep you PH up.

As far as them uprooting, use what was suggested above and maybe keep about 3-4 inches of gravel so you can plant the roots deep
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Old 07-20-2011, 05:34 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Plant Madness View Post
So the cidex is a cheaper version of excel correct?
When cidex is diluted it becomes strength of excel.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Plant Madness View Post
So how often would you suggest I dose?
It has to be dosed daily.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Plant Madness View Post
Currently have a common pleco that has always worked fine with reg. WC's.
Amazed no algae problems. If it works keep it up. Depending on the plants you get you could get by without it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Plant Madness View Post
Anyone had any experience with the cichlid side of things? Playing with fire?
Read that MedRed kept rocks around his plants and kept cichlids

firefiend found that the bottle of cidex is listed as 2% thus Glut would be 3:1. Solution should be 75% metricide/ 25% water.

Last edited by Hilde; 07-22-2011 at 02:16 AM..
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