When is a heavily planted tank Heavy?
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Old 10-02-2013, 09:35 AM   #1
stevef
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When is a heavily planted tank Heavy?


I must admit this has puzzled me for a few months (3) since setting up my planted tank.

I use Excel and Flourish trace for ferts. But surely you cannot go by the guide on the bottles for dosing as all Aquariums have different requirements depending on the type of plants quantity, amount of fauna, substrate etc. What I really want to know is, is my tank lightly, medium or heavily planted and how much should I up the dosing of the ferts if at all, I am currently dosing 5ml twice a week of trace and 10ml per day of excel. The plants are pretty healthy apart from that the growth seems to have slowed down. I do have a little bit of SHA but I don't mind, a little makes things look more natural IMO. I did have a massive Diatom break out (new tank) but that has now gone. Please have a look... oh the lighting is 2x40w t8s and 1x40w t5. I can add another t5 if needed. The tank is 240litres, substrate is Fluval Stratum, I do not dose co2. Any advice is more than welcome. Thanks.

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I have 4 Rainbows, 6 Angels Since last week, 4 Danios, 1 Plec

Amazon Sword 3, Echinodorus Rose 3, Dwarf Hair Grass almost a carpet, Java Moss 3 lots, Java Fern loads, Anubias Bonsai 4, And Cryptocoryne Willisii (3 since last week), 1 Sag Flowering at the moment, 3 dwarf sags. and lots of bog wood.
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Old 10-02-2013, 11:08 AM   #2
jeepguy
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I see a lot of people reference percent of substrate visible from above to determine planting fullness. I look at it like this. I normally had to do two water changes a week or one 50% a week to keep my nitrates below 15ppm. If u start testing ur water and it is consistently below 10 or even at 0 without weekly water changes then u r heavily planted. This is easier with stem plants because of the growth speed, but u can see my point.
Also remember with just dosing flourish trace u r still missing macro nutrients that would help your plants grow quicker and process more nutrients.
Anyone can plant a tank heavily, but if the plants aren't growing at all then what's the point.
Nice tank by the way!
Its funny. I started planting my tank to reduce the amount of water changes and maintenence. Wow. Was I wrong. I am adding all types of fertilizers daily, remixing 1 out of 3 co2 bottles every five days, and now drinking wine with the by product. I was way wrong, but my tank is starting to look the way I want it, my plants are growing fast, and my nitrate is usually at 5. I can skip a water change now but if I skip any of my other tasks I have problems.
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Old 10-02-2013, 12:30 PM   #3
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My Nitrates are consistently around 5ppm. Maybe I should dose nitrate. And what did you mean "drinking wine with the by product" If you mention wine you will always get my attention. Thanks for replying!
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Old 10-02-2013, 12:34 PM   #4
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In the DIY section there is a guy who has the ingredients and tells u how to brew wine as a by product of DIY co2. I use frozen fruit instead of concentrate but it can be pretty good. Not great. But good. Check it out.
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Old 10-02-2013, 12:44 PM   #5
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Take away hard scape from photo ,and I would consider the tank medium to lightly planted.
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Old 10-02-2013, 12:47 PM   #6
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interesting. As a side note, I dose DIY CO2. My wife got a good deal last year on baker's yeast and hooked me up. Now at the 1 year + mark I've noticed my yeast only consistently produces for about a week instead of the 2 sometimes 3 weeks production I got when the yeast was fresh.

Any other observations on this phenomenon?
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Old 10-02-2013, 12:55 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roadmaster View Post
Take away hard scape from photo ,and I would consider the tank medium to lightly planted.
Yeah Id say without the hardscape its about 60% planted although my next job is to try and totally cover all the bogwood with anubias bonsai. Or do you think it would look crap?
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Old 10-02-2013, 01:14 PM   #8
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This is what I consider heavily planted.

It also depends on what type of plants you got. Dosing a lot of ferts because you have a tank full of anubias and ferns (just an example) is not recommended. Both of them use little amounts of ferts.

You need to expand your variety of plants so they can take up all nutrients you put in the tank. Some of the plants prefer NO3 or just they grow with this stuff alone. Others need copious amounts of iron. And so on.

I thought Excel is a form of carbon. You say you use it so you're adding that as well.
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Old 10-02-2013, 01:16 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevef View Post
Yeah Id say without the hardscape its about 60% planted although my next job is to try and totally cover all the bogwood with anubias bonsai. Or do you think it would look crap?
I actually think you'll like the anubia attached to wood, the more the merrier.
My tank in avatar is nearly all anubia and crypt species which don't require a lot of light.
To create different look,,I only need to move a few pieces of wood with anubia attached to give tank whole different look.
If I took out all the wood with anubia attached,,my tank in avatar would be lightly planted.
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Old 10-02-2013, 01:45 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danielt View Post
This is what I consider heavily planted.

It also depends on what type of plants you got. Dosing a lot of ferts because you have a tank full of anubias and ferns (just an example) is not recommended. Both of them use little amounts of ferts.

You need to expand your variety of plants so they can take up all nutrients you put in the tank. Some of the plants prefer NO3 or just they grow with this stuff alone. Others need copious amounts of iron. And so on.

I thought Excel is a form of carbon. You say you use it so you're adding that as well.

Yep, thats alot of plants!

Yes I'm using excel at about double the recommended dosage obviously this is not co2 but as you rightly say it's a form of carbon according to seachem if co2 was a 10 for growth, excel would be a 6 or 7. And flourish at the recommended dosage. I suppose I started with many slow growing plants as I had very low lighting 80w of t8, I now have 80w of t8 and 40w of t5, with an option (already have the kit) of another 40w of t5. So should be able to experiment accordingly. co2 is something that I will probably do eventually but as I have a 2 year old son who is into literally everything I didn't want to tempt fate and have a pressurized gas cylinder in my living room. So that is something for the future. Many thanks for all the replies.

Quote:
Originally Posted by roadmaster View Post
I actually think you'll like the anubia attached to wood, the more the merrier.
My tank in avatar is nearly all anubia and crypt species which don't require a lot of light.
To create different look,,I only need to move a few pieces of wood with anubia attached to give tank whole different look.
If I took out all the wood with anubia attached,,my tank in avatar would be lightly planted.
Thats a nice tank

Last edited by Darkblade48; 10-02-2013 at 03:33 PM.. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts to keep threads cleaner
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Old 10-03-2013, 02:01 AM   #11
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Heavily or densely planted:
So many plants you cannot see the back of the tank.
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Old 10-03-2013, 02:33 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeepguy View Post
drinking wine with the by product. I was way wrong, but my tank is starting to look the way I want it, .
maybe these statements are connected
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Old 10-03-2013, 02:54 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dprais1 View Post
maybe these statements are connected
it may be.
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Old 10-03-2013, 10:27 AM   #14
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If you have a kid, a gas tank is not recommended. The tank itself is safe but an accident with the gas in it can kill you fast.

I checked my tank once, thinking is almost empty according to the manometer. A large release left me almost unconscious although I wasn't near the release tube. I instantly got dizzy and knees weak.

Excel is a pretty good alternative but I agree that CO2 is better. You might try a yeast generator.
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