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Old 11-14-2012, 05:19 PM   #1
iplants
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Flourite


I was given a bag of flourite (the regular kind i think, looks like brown gravel) from a friend and was wondering what are the precautions I should take? I am just about to start a low tech planted tank. nothing too fancy just a few low light/maintenance plants. How soon should I add fish (betta), snails (what type should I get)? Also how many water changes? and can i add bottom feeders to this? do i need a filter? should i add root tabs and/or liquid plant "stuff". Sorry for all the questions i'm a newbie!

any plant recommendations would be awesome! I have a store credit to my LFS so i want to pick up plants and snails.

Again, sorry for all the questions, if anyone can answer a few or all of them i would be so thankful!!!

Hope everyone has a great day!!
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Old 11-14-2012, 06:30 PM   #2
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Welcome to the forum. Sounds like you have a lot of reading to do before ever considering the addition of fish to your tank.

Flourite merely needs to be rinsed and then you can add it to your tank.

Livestock should not be added to your tank until you have completed an initial cycle. Check out some of the posts about the fishless cycle for details.

The type of filter you need depends upon your tank size and the type of livestock you plan to keep.
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Old 11-14-2012, 06:52 PM   #3
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If you pick up plants and fish before doing massive amounts of research into planted tanks, you're gonna have a bad time.
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Old 11-14-2012, 07:54 PM   #4
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No worries, I have not picked up plants yet. I have a list of what I was adviced to buy:

anubias
anacharis
water sprite
brazil swords
wendtii

thats about it.

I have a few betta fish that i've had for a few months in "fake" tanks. I just got into the whole planted tank look. The tank I'm experimenting with is a 5.5 gallon Marina kit so it does come with a filter. I have already rinsed the flourite and it wasn't that bad honestly the water is a bit cloudy but not as bad as I thought. I know about the nitrogen cycle, but not in regards to real plants. I've heard that it happens on its own and that there isn't much you should do. Is that right? I'm sorry there are so many contradicting things i keep hearing so I'm not sure how to go about this. I would like to get the plants tonight since I'll be around my LFS area and would save me the time and gas lol. If i'm correct these plants are low light/maintenance. I've done a bit of research but like I said there is so much advice.
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Old 11-14-2012, 09:09 PM   #5
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I had lots of luck with anubias and wendtii when I was first starting out and didn't really know what I was doing (and actually, all I was using was flourite). I have also heard good things about water sprite, though it can be a bit messy. Sword is probably workable as well. I would also highly recommend java fern as an easy, low-tech beginner plant. Flourite red provides some important nutrients, like iron, but swords and crypts may benefit from root tabs.

Yes, the nitrogen cycle will happen on its own and there isn't anything you need to do if you are adding live plants. Adding live plants adds bacteria to the system and provides surface area for it to grow on. Careful adding inverts (snails) to a new tank. They are more sensitive to ammonia and nitrite than hardy fish (e.g. betas).

You don't have any info on lighting. Do some research into this. Getting your lights right will avoid algea headaches. Lights are your gas pedal for algea control. On the topic of algea, you may want to look into using Flourish excel. It has algecidal properties and provides an organic source of carbon for the plants (handle with care). I eventually ween my tanks off the stuff, but I like using it during transitions.
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Old 11-14-2012, 10:18 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wheatiesl337 View Post
I had lots of luck with anubias and wendtii when I was first starting out and didn't really know what I was doing (and actually, all I was using was flourite). I have also heard good things about water sprite, though it can be a bit messy. Sword is probably workable as well. I would also highly recommend java fern as an easy, low-tech beginner plant. Flourite red provides some important nutrients, like iron, but swords and crypts may benefit from root tabs.

Yes, the nitrogen cycle will happen on its own and there isn't anything you need to do if you are adding live plants. Adding live plants adds bacteria to the system and provides surface area for it to grow on. Careful adding inverts (snails) to a new tank. They are more sensitive to ammonia and nitrite than hardy fish (e.g. betas).

You don't have any info on lighting. Do some research into this. Getting your lights right will avoid algea headaches. Lights are your gas pedal for algea control. On the topic of algea, you may want to look into using Flourish excel. It has algecidal properties and provides an organic source of carbon for the plants (handle with care). I eventually ween my tanks off the stuff, but I like using it during transitions.
Thank you for your help! I will be getting the plants tonight then! I have a light by Marineland that is 5100K 10watt natural daylight fluorescent for medium light need plants. Is that ok or should i go higher?

Also should i follow the steps on the fishless cycle guide? meaning should i buy pure ammonia and cycle the tank or how? I'm so confused lol. I have one baby female betta in a hospital tank for now. She will be the only one in the 5.5 gallon. I don't think she will supply enough ammonia lol. Again, i don't plan on putting her in until the tank is cycled and until she is healthy.

And another question Do I need a heater in the planted tank?
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Old 11-15-2012, 10:19 PM   #7
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I will do my best to answer your questions, though I am far from being an expert.

Light: I have a really difficult time judging whether light will not enough or too much just based on wattage. I haven't used that particular light, and the quality of the fixture will have a big impact on the PAR at your substrate. It depends on how high your light is too. If you grow algea, it's probably too much. You can play with length of photo-period or height of light at that point. If, after some time, it doesn't seem to be enough, I am sure there are many options for lighting a 5.5.

There are many ways to cycle a tank. I have never dosed ammonia to cycle a tank. I have introduced plants first and done dry-start method, both of which introduce bacteria to the tank. I have also used filter media or substrate from existing tanks to introduce bacteria. You could run the tank for a few days with just plants if you don't want to mess with dosing ammonia. Partial and frequent water changes can help keep the ammonia down while cycling.

Where I am located in CA, I only need to heat my tanks during the winter months. Whether your tank needs a heater depends on where it will be kept and your local weather conditions.

Hope this provides some help.
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Old 11-16-2012, 08:16 AM   #8
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Old 11-17-2012, 03:49 AM   #9
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Let me just say now that Flourite is good stuff. I've recently started using Eco-complete on one of my new tanks and I can already tell you that Flourite is 10x better and looks better (in my opinion, of course).
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Old 11-20-2012, 09:19 PM   #10
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Thanks so much for the advice! I have already started seeing plant growth! So i think the lighting is just right. But my lace java ferns aren't doing so well. I think I will be taking those out of the lighten area and into some shade because half of it is in light and browning and the other half is in shade and green. LOL. So far everything seems good. I am receiving contradicting advice on when to put fish and shrimp in. Some say wait a few days and you're good to go. Others say wait till the cycle finishes.

I have enjoyed the flourite! I think next I will try a black version of it if they have it. I wasn't sure what to use because there are so many options but luckily my friend bought the flourite and gave it to me!

There are snails in the tank fromt he plants. and I think they are leaving poop on my plants. I can see these particle on my anubias and swords and have no clue what it is.

Anyone know how to plant baby tears?
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Old 11-21-2012, 07:35 AM   #11
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Do you have dwarf baby tears (hc) or regular baby tear? Dwarf baby tears won't grow without CO2 and regular baby tears are hit and miss sometimes in tanks that I have owned. In order to plant though, you take each little strand of the plant and plant it a little bit away from the others.Also, if I were you I would get a bottle of Seachem Flourish and dose that once in a blue moon for better growth from your ferns, anubias, and swords. DO NOT add any bottom feeders to flourite because of how rough it is. Also, look up fishless cycling because just having some plants in the tank won't cycle it alone you need to add in ammonia in order for the cycle to start. Also, dy start method does not add in beneficial bacteria unless it has an ammonia source. Nitrogen cycle depends on ammonia. I would have a heater to stop major fluctuations in temperture.
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Old 11-21-2012, 08:28 PM   #12
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I assume the sbstrate is in the tank already but if not, RINSE IT. itll make your life so much easier... and the pplants i personally would recondmend for you is anubias, java fern. dwarf sag, jungle val, bacopa. these are just some of the lowlight plants that would make the tank look really good. until you have learned a bit about the plant side of fish keeping. i advise you to stay away from high light plants
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Old 11-21-2012, 11:25 PM   #13
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Thanks guys! I've added the heater and passed up on the baby tears. I did rinse the flourite and it cleared up in a few hours! I added an aquaclear filter with two sponges and the biomedia bag. I will be making all my tanks low tech. i really just want something nice to look at lol with low to none maintenance besides water changes and some liquid ferts.

Also, is flourite one of the better substrates? Should I look for anything else or is there another brand? I hear aquasoil is the "best" there is? Also will flourish by seachem hurt shrimp once i add them in there?
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