Am I going to need CO2? Ferts?
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Old 07-13-2014, 01:39 AM   #1
crazyboy
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Am I going to need CO2? Ferts?


Good evening folks, I have a 55g tank, has 96 watts of t8 lighting. The tank has primarily Barb's in it and a few Black Skirt Tetras. I am also going to be adding some inverts. I ordered a 24 plant variety pack to plant the tank with. I don't want a jungle, or heavily planted tank. I just need to have something more attractive to look at. Should I be looking at getting CO2? I plan on using Total substrate pellets for fertilizer, should I be using something else in addition? How often should I use them?

Thanks, I really appreciate any input.
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Old 07-13-2014, 02:18 AM   #2
Raymond S.
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Three bulbs should work out well on a 55g.
Osmocote capsules are complete ferts and can be bought here on this link or elsewhere if you like.
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...393&highlight=
Tetra's eat shrimp.
Without a list of the plants, it's hard to just guess what they may need.
Co2 is not needed but would help if you would like to try it. Expensive to start though.
Can also be hard on fish till you learn how to regulate it. I'd pass on that till you get experience but still up to you.
Most any plant package is likely to include a Java Fern and this type plant shouldn't be actually planted in the conventional way. Same with another common plant included i these packeages called Anubia.
They work better tied to wood or rocks and get ferts from the water which is why the tabs may not be enough. But if they listed all the plants then putting that list in here would help.
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Old 07-13-2014, 02:29 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raymond S. View Post
Three bulbs should work out well on a 55g.
Osmocote capsules are complete ferts and can be bought here on this link or elsewhere if you like.
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...393&highlight=
Tetra's eat shrimp.
Without a list of the plants, it's hard to just guess what they may need.
Co2 is not needed but would help if you would like to try it. Expensive to start though.
Can also be hard on fish till you learn how to regulate it. I'd pass on that till you get experience but still up to you.
Most any plant package is likely to include a Java Fern and this type plant shouldn't be actually planted in the conventional way. Same with another common plant included i these packeages called Anubia.
They work better tied to wood or rocks and get ferts from the water which is why the tabs may not be enough. But if they listed all the plants then putting that list in here would help.
Thanks for the reply. I'm nervous about algae which is why I was asking about CO2. I won't be sure what plants I'm getting for sure until they arrive, since they vary package to package. How often should I be dosing ferts?
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Old 07-13-2014, 02:52 AM   #4
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They have various types of fert systems. All of them are each a bit different in how they are dosed. I would not use the EI system for that tank as it's mostly designed for tanks with wall to wall plants and injected CO2. I used it on my tanks for a while but discontinued it A because I didn't think it necessary for the few plants that I have.
But B I hate frequent water changes and this system requires weekly water changes.
But also at full doses you need to dose 6 days a week.
And don't forget that fish food/waste gives the tank some nutrients which may only need to be supplimented by dosing considering your low light.
With three bulbs it's actually in the med range BTW.
What is the fixture set up on there ? A one and a two bulb set ? Or three bulbs in one fixture ? I use two individual single bulb fixtures on my 10g tank so I can get better coverage from front to back. Also med light @ 10.5" above the sub.

I would use 7.5 hrs of light at first to see how it does on the algae. You can increase it later if you don't get any algae or what may be an acceptable level of it to you. This is a picture of med light level in my tank and the algae it creates at 7.5 hrs. Takes about
a week to see some on the glas but I usually let it go for at least two weeks because if it's very light on ther I usually miss some when scraping it off.
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/pi...ictureid=62562
I have tested many light bulbs in there and the ones I now use produce a controled amount of algae. Using other bulbs would make various levels of more of it.
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Last edited by Darkblade48; 07-13-2014 at 07:26 AM.. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts to keep threads cleaner
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Old 07-13-2014, 03:00 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raymond S. View Post
They have various types of fert systems. All of them are each a bit different in how they are dosed. I would not use the EI system for that tank as it's mostly designed for tanks with wall to wall plants and injected CO2. I used it on my tanks for a while but discontinued it A because I didn't think it necessary for the few plants that I have.
But B I hate frequent water changes and this system requires weekly water changes.
But also at full doses you need to dose 6 days a week.
And don't forget that fish food/waste gives the tank some nutrients which may only need to be supplimented by dosing considering your low light.
With three bulbs it's actually in the med range BTW.
What is the fixture set up on there ? A one and a two bulb set ? Or three bulbs in one fixture ? I use two individual single bulb fixtures on my 10g tank so I can get better coverage from front to back. Also med light @ 10.5" above the sub.
It's just three 4' t8 lamps in lamp holders inside the canopy, seems to give off a pretty even light.
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Old 07-13-2014, 09:49 AM   #6
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Algae can be reduced/controled by other things besides CO2. You obviously can't raise the light off the top as in higher up so that eliminates one of them but using floater plants and shortening the light hrs will still work if need be. You could also use the same hrs if less effective bulbs are used. So I wouldn't concern myself till you actually have reason to. You can go back to this thread whenever you want to in your profile to see it so a Zoo Med Troical sun is one less effective bulb(for plants) but still having a decent amount of visible light. Just in case that in a couple of months from now you may need one.
Let us know what the plants are by picture if need be when they arrive.
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Old 07-13-2014, 12:30 PM   #7
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Thank you for the help guys. Plants should arrive in a couple days so I will be sure to keep you updated.
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Old 07-19-2014, 01:06 AM   #8
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Well plants came, unfortunately none of them were labeled so now comes the fun game of trying to figure out what is what. I have them all in my tank but I am sure I will have to relocate a few after I figure out what the actually are. I took photos of each one, so if anyone is able to assist in ID'ing a few that wold be helpful. I going through photos online and trying to compare them to the ones I have. Anyway, the photos are here http://smg.photobucket.com/user/craz...ary/Plant%20ID. Thanks for any help you can give.
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Old 07-19-2014, 04:17 AM   #9
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Will try to help on this. Some I know I can't name, other are easier if something was in the picture for size perspective but... L to R per row.
1 could be regular hair grass
2 could be Crypt Balanees
3 narrow leaf Java Fern
4 water Onion
5 (floating) Horworth
6 may be a form of Aspongen
7 ?
8 ?
9 Amazon Sword
10 possibly Brazilion Pennywort
11 looks like Bacoba, Carolina I think
12 Wisteria
13 ?
14 looks like Japonica but seems too big for that
15 Jungle Val
16 definite Bacoba but which
17 Water sprite
18 won't try to spell this one but Poly....
19 Rotala indica
20 could be another water sprite but not at all sure
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Old 07-19-2014, 05:29 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raymond S. View Post
Will try to help on this. Some I know I can't name, other are easier if something was in the picture for size perspective but... L to R per row.
1 could be regular hair grass
2 could be Crypt Balanees
3 narrow leaf Java Fern
4 water Onion
5 (floating) Horworth
6 may be a form of Aspongen
7 ?
8 ?
9 Amazon Sword
10 possibly Brazilion Pennywort
11 looks like Bacoba, Carolina I think
12 Wisteria
13 ?
14 looks like Japonica but seems too big for that
15 Jungle Val
16 definite Bacoba but which
17 Water sprite
18 won't try to spell this one but Poly....
19 Rotala indica
20 could be another water sprite but not at all sure
I can't even begin to thank you enough for how much help you have been!

Bump: 22 looks like a banana plant from what I can tell.
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Old 07-19-2014, 06:50 PM   #11
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Not that I'm 100% sure of any but a couple... therare a couple of them that seem unlikely to be included in a "plant package" and I was wondering if you ever had any list of what was supposed to be in there...
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Old 07-20-2014, 07:11 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raymond S. View Post
Not that I'm 100% sure of any but a couple... therare a couple of them that seem unlikely to be included in a "plant package" and I was wondering if you ever had any list of what was supposed to be in there...
No, it was dependent upon what was in stock when it shipped. In after thought it would've been a wiser idea to order individual plants. I will have to double check the packing slip, but I don't think it was specific.
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Old 07-20-2014, 07:30 AM   #13
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No particular reason...just that regular hair grass is not a usual item(or so I think) in a package deal. Still seems like a good way to get a start/w lots of plants at once and a lot more plants for your money.
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