New to the game
Planted Tank Forums
Your Tanks Image Hosting *Tank Tracker * Plant Profiles Fish Profiles Planted Tank Guide Photo Gallery Articles

Go Back   The Planted Tank Forum > General Planted Tank Forums > Local Pet Stores, Clubs, and Conventions > Illinois


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 07-08-2013, 05:08 PM   #1
Joe_G_Davis
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: IL
Posts: 43
Default

New to the game


I have a 55 aquarium that I kept a long finned tiger oscar in for years. He died about a year and a half ago. I was sad to lose him, but excited at the prospect of being able to add plants to the aquarium. Fido, as we called him, would tear up anything that we tried to put in the tank with him. In fact, my filter intake tube still has his bite marks on it. A few months later, i added a amazon sword plant to the tank. I didnt do much else with the tank after that for about a year. I didnt do anything with the plant, it didnt grow much, but, it did divide into the five small swords I have now. About 8 weeks ago, I was shopping for plants for the yard at the local nursery and found that they had aquatic plants for ponds. I purchased a small bunch of cobumba (carolina fanwort) for two dollars. I also found that the lfs had livebearers on sale for a dollar a piece for the month and decided it would be a good time to start to try to do something with the aquarium and started adding a couple of fish a week for a few weeks. I added some dwarf hair grass about 4 weeks ago, and then found a large argentine sword for what I thought was a deal at seven dollars a couple of weeks ago. I have been trying to research caring for plants, and this site kept coming up in my web searches. I decided having some people to talk about my experience with would be helpful, since my wife seems to be bored of me talking about it. I have had some problems. Our local tap water is very hard and basic. I have been trying to gradually adjust it by using ro water for water changes, but it has been a slow process. I looked at co2 sytems, but they are very expensive. I am trying to use seachem excel organic carbon instead. I have thought about trying to make a homemade co2 reactor, but dont know if it would be effective in a tank this size. I have considered adding an iron supplement, but haven't purchased one yet. the "snail free" argentine sword wasnt and I have a fast growing snail and three more tiny ones. Not sure if they will be beneficial or detrimental to the plants, or what to do to prevent an infestation. I have had issues with algae growing on the amazon sword, but the nitrate has stayed under 40 ppm, so i may just be leaving the light on too long in my anxiousness to make the plants grow. I have trouble cleaning it off without accidentally tearing some of the leaves off. I picked up some Ich with my last purchase, some guppies. I have never had to treat it without chemicals or salt. I adjusted the tempature to 86 degrees and plan on leaving it there for ten days, and that seems to be working. I've decided a quarantine tank will be necesary before anymore fish purchases. Anyway, any tips on keeping aquatic plants, getting the most out of this site, or encouragement would be welcome and greatly appreciated.
Joe_G_Davis is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 07-08-2013, 07:38 PM   #2
devilduck
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
devilduck's Avatar
 
PTrader: (2/100%)
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Chicago,IL
Posts: 590
Default

Start slow. What type of lighting do you have and how long do you keep it on? If your getting algae it may mean you have too much light or keeping it on too long.
devilduck is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-2013, 07:59 PM   #3
Joe_G_Davis
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: IL
Posts: 43
Default

I actually ave been using the same light for about six years, before I had plant. It says F 40T10 natural daylight. It has been on 10 to 16 hours a day, inconsitant because my timer stopped working and needs replaced.
Joe_G_Davis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-2013, 08:06 PM   #4
Jahn
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
Jahn's Avatar
 
PTrader: (3/100%)
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: NYC
Posts: 683
Default

same light for 6 years? time to replace the bulb.

http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...d.php?t=177283

basically, it goes from a spectrum shift, to less high output lighting, to kaput, sometimes within 16 months for that shift and output reduction.
__________________
20 Gallon High Community Tank Journal, Started 4/30/13.
Low-Med Light Plants, Amano Shrimp, Celestial Pearl Danio, Emperor & Neon Tetra, Red Robin Honey Gourami, Longfin Albino Bristlenose Pleco. Sat+ Club
Jahn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-2013, 08:14 PM   #5
devilduck
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
devilduck's Avatar
 
PTrader: (2/100%)
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Chicago,IL
Posts: 590
Default

I'd dial it back to between 6-8 hours of light. For the sword consider fertilizing with a couple of root tabs since they are heavy root feeders.

I've purchased Cabomba caroliniana twice now, it's a fast grower but always ends up looking lanky/leggy for me, even with medium light and co2 injection. Hope you have better luck with yours.
devilduck is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-2013, 09:22 PM   #6
Joe_G_Davis
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: IL
Posts: 43
Default

I've been thinking about purchasing a led lighting system. From what I read the 40 watt bulb I currently have is inadequate. I have been putting off a purchasing a new bulb because i have been thinking about replacing the fixture. I found the marineland double bright led system for $147 on amazon, but it doesnt say what kind of output it has. Anyone know if its good for a planted tank? The cobomba is doing okay so far. It has only been a couple of months though, and it's not growing as quickly as some people say it should. I will definitely pick up root tabs next time I'm at the fish store. is it one tab under each plant? Do the directions that come with them explain it?
Joe_G_Davis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-2013, 09:57 PM   #7
devilduck
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
devilduck's Avatar
 
PTrader: (2/100%)
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Chicago,IL
Posts: 590
Default

Be frugal with the root tabs. I do no more than 1 or 2 tabs per foot of the tank near the plants. I made the mistake of going crazy with them and battled super high nitrates 80ppm+ for 3-4 months!

Have you decided if your want to say low tech or move to a high tech setup in the near future?
devilduck is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-2013, 10:32 PM   #8
Joe_G_Davis
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: IL
Posts: 43
Default

Lol... I don't really have any idea. Feeling in a bit over my head. What is the difference? What do you prefer? Pros and cons to each?
Joe_G_Davis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-2013, 01:54 AM   #9
CT89
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (2/100%)
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Cornfields, Central Illinois
Posts: 123
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by devilduck View Post
Be frugal with the root tabs. I do no more than 1 or 2 tabs per foot of the tank near the plants. I made the mistake of going crazy with them and battled super high nitrates 80ppm+ for 3-4 months!

Have you decided if your want to say low tech or move to a high tech setup in the near future?
Oh crap.

I did this, a couple weeks ago.

I haven't noticed high nitrates... yet.

To OP:

Good luck! I also just re-entered the hobby recently (started tanks cycling in May, have a couple just about ready for full (over)stocking with heavy planting!
CT89 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-2013, 02:09 PM   #10
devilduck
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
devilduck's Avatar
 
PTrader: (2/100%)
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Chicago,IL
Posts: 590
Default

CT89: Don't disturb the substrate for a few months and monitor your water.

OP: All depends on your goals/budget/time commitment. Check out other's tank journals.

Low Tech
+ low maintenance
+ least expensive, least equipment
- smaller plant selection
- slower growth

High Tech
+ largest plant selection
+ faster growth
- more expensive, requires co2 setup and upgraded lights
- higher maintenance, more fertilizer dosing, trimming
devilduck is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-2013, 04:35 PM   #11
Joe_G_Davis
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: IL
Posts: 43
Default

I guess I"m not sure which direction I will go D.D. I've actually decided to make a career change so that I will have less responsibility for a while. I've been having some issues with anxiety lately. This means I will have more time for a while, and I think caring for plants will be therepeutic. However, it also means less money, so I will probably be limited in what I can do. I am already thinking about upgrading my lighting, and the system I have designed would provide 2.9 watts per a gallon, which I have read will require co2. I have looked and I can not afford a pressurized system, at least any I have seen so far. I thought about diy using yeast, but everything I've read indicates that isn't good enough for anything bigger than 30 gallons. I guess I will just figure it out as I go.
Joe_G_Davis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-2013, 04:13 AM   #12
MichaelMcG
Planted Member
 
MichaelMcG's Avatar
 
PTrader: (8/100%)
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Plainfield, IL
Posts: 212
Default

if you want some good medium light (you dont really want your light too high anyway) you should check out the home depot diamond plate t8s. they are like 35 bucks and for your 55 gallon they are perfect. 48inches and great reflectors. there is even a par chart for it made by hoppy in the lighting sticky.

http://www.homedepot.com/p/Lithonia-...9#.Udze_20UtVI
the site says its not in any stores by me but i seen them in there about 6 months ago.

here is a thread about them
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...d.php?t=157204

hoppy's par t8 chart
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...d.php?t=184368
__________________
MichaelMcG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-2013, 03:56 PM   #13
devilduck
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
devilduck's Avatar
 
PTrader: (2/100%)
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Chicago,IL
Posts: 590
Default

You can also hang your light higher, use window screen to cut down on light, or remove a bulb (if you have more than one) to cut down the amount of light.
devilduck is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 12:18 PM.


Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright Planted Tank LLC 2012