What do I really need? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-05-2017, 02:00 PM Thread Starter
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Question What do I really need?

I'm setting up my first tank, a 30 gallon Aqueon, and my initial plant order is coming today. I put 4 20lb bags of black Eco-Complete (yea yea it sucks it's just lava rock bla bla bla) and made a nice slope up from front to back. I'm running an Eheim Classic 350 and I've two Aquaray Grobeam 600 LED lights but I'm not sure if that's considered low or medium light. Currently I'm not running any added Co2.

Following my classic pattern when taking up a new hobby I probably bought too much an some things I didn't need so I'm going to give my plant list and the nutrients I've got and perhaps someone could give me a bit of guidance or point me to a good guide that isn't too technical. After spending a lot more time reading I was wondering if perhaps, for my setup, just the Flourish Tabs and Flourish Excel might be enough but to be honest I'm still pretty clueless. Thank you very much for any help or insight.

Plants

Ludwigia Repens x1
Echinodorus 'Kleiner Bar' x1
Cryptocoryne Undulatus x2
Hydrophila Difformis x1
Egeria Densa x3
Cryptocoryne Petchii x2
Bacopa Caroliniana x1
Marsilea Hirsuta x4


Nutrients and Conditioners (All SeaChem)

Flourish Tabs
Flourish
Flourish Excel
Flourish Iron
Flourish Nitrogen
Flourish Phosphorus
Flourish Potassium
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-05-2017, 02:16 PM
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I would buy a hundred more stem plants from The For Sale forum on this board for your initial planting, to fight the war in algae. Remove gradually and scape over the next 8 weeks.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-05-2017, 02:17 PM
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instead of flourish save hundreds possibly and use NilocG EI dry fertilizers
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-05-2017, 06:21 PM
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Take the substrate out, dirt your tank and skip the ferts altogether

In all seriousness your plant load seems a little light for a 30 and you've got a couple slow growers. I'd consider grabbing a carpet-style plant to add interest down low (if you don't have one, I'm not great with scientific names) as well as stem plants and floaters to be your nutrient sponges.

For carpets I'm partial to Dwarf Saggitaria because it's really undemanding. My favorite floater right now is Water Spangle. I noticed you've got some Water Wisteria, that's an excellent choice for a stem but I'd suggest more unless you get a bunch of stems in the pot.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-05-2017, 06:33 PM
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I agree 100% with BettaBettas. Right now you do not need the tabs at all since you have the eco-complete. That will have plenty of nutrients for the root feeders for at least 6 months. The SeaChem line of products is good however you are paying mostly for water. Once your flourish runs out I would go with the NilocG ferts. If you get the Micro and Macro pre-mixed packets all you do as add one micro packet to the provided 500ml dosing bottle with 500ml of ro water. And same with Macro packet to macro 500ml container with 500ml ro water. Then you simply dose each one 3 times a week on alternating days. SO much easier than the Seachem individual products and SO much cheaper. $22 will get you enough ferts to last your 30 gallon for more than a year. The excel is good though and will help the fight against algae.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-05-2017, 07:03 PM
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I agree 100% with BettaBettas. Right now you do not need the tabs at all since you have the eco-complete. That will have plenty of nutrients for the root feeders for at least 6 months. The SeaChem line of products is good however you are paying mostly for water. Once your flourish runs out I would go with the NilocG ferts. If you get the Micro and Macro pre-mixed packets all you do as add one micro packet to the provided 500ml dosing bottle with 500ml of ro water. And same with Macro packet to macro 500ml container with 500ml ro water. Then you simply dose each one 3 times a week on alternating days. SO much easier than the Seachem individual products and SO much cheaper. $22 will get you enough ferts to last your 30 gallon for more than a year. The excel is good though and will help the fight against algae.
Let's go ahead and stop this Eco nonsense before it starts. Eco-complete is inert, I dont care at all what the packaging states and IMO its a lie. Eco is lava rock, plain and simple. It has a high CEC value which pertains to its ability to soak up and store fertilizers for later use.

Edit: If you haven't purchased the overpriced Seachem products yet, then don't. As mentioned above a set of dry ferts will go light years further at a fraction of the cost. The excel can also be replaced with a product called Metricide which can be purchased on Amazon or eBay. It's about twenty dollars for a gallon of the stuff and you can make your own Excel solution with it.
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Last edited by Nlewis; 04-05-2017 at 07:08 PM. Reason: Edit
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-05-2017, 07:09 PM
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I would buy a hundred more stem plants from The For Sale forum on this board for your initial planting, to fight the war in algae. Remove gradually and scape over the next 8 weeks.
this is what I do when i start a new tank. stock heavily with plants and then remove the ones you don't want as the ones you DO want grow in. makes things so much easier in the beginning


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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-05-2017, 07:41 PM
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What do I really need?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nlewis View Post
Let's go ahead and stop this Eco nonsense before it starts. Eco-complete is inert, I dont care at all what the packaging states and IMO its a lie. Eco is lava rock, plain and simple. It has a high CEC value which pertains to its ability to soak up and store fertilizers for later use.

Edit: If you haven't purchased the overpriced Seachem products yet, then don't. As mentioned above a set of dry ferts will go light years further at a fraction of the cost. The excel can also be replaced with a product called Metricide which can be purchased on Amazon or eBay. It's about twenty dollars for a gallon of the stuff and you can make your own Excel solution with it.


My bad was going off what it says as far as nutrients. In that case you are right. So would be good to add root tabs but would be cheaper to go with diy osmocote root tabs unless op already bought the seachem tabs.

And agree if did not already buy the seachem products would go with dry ferts. Again huge savings like I already stated. And also agree get the metricide 14. Then simply mix 300ml metricide 14 with 200ml of ro water to get same strength and dose same amount as you would excel.


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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-05-2017, 07:57 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by BigMek View Post
Take the substrate out, dirt your tank and skip the ferts altogether

In all seriousness your plant load seems a little light for a 30 and you've got a couple slow growers. I'd consider grabbing a carpet-style plant to add interest down low (if you don't have one, I'm not great with scientific names) as well as stem plants and floaters to be your nutrient sponges.

For carpets I'm partial to Dwarf Saggitaria because it's really undemanding. My favorite floater right now is Water Spangle. I noticed you've got some Water Wisteria, that's an excellent choice for a stem but I'd suggest more unless you get a bunch of stems in the pot.
BigMek thank you for your reply. I have a large piece of driftwood (well two actually, stacked) in the middle area of my tank so it really reduces my planting space. I'm using Marsilea Hirsuta as my carpet plant. I think the common name is Water Clover. Since I'm new I figured I'd try to get a few plants going to see if my environment is set up properly. I know some folks suggested putting 100 plants in my tank and take them out later but that way, way too much for me to handle right now. If the ones I purchase even live I'll feel a bit more confident with a bigger purchase. I really appreciate the help.

Bump:
Quote:
Originally Posted by clownplanted View Post
I agree 100% with BettaBettas. Right now you do not need the tabs at all since you have the eco-complete. That will have plenty of nutrients for the root feeders for at least 6 months. The SeaChem line of products is good however you are paying mostly for water. Once your flourish runs out I would go with the NilocG ferts. If you get the Micro and Macro pre-mixed packets all you do as add one micro packet to the provided[censored] dosing bottle with[censored] of ro water. And same with Macro packet to macro[censored] container with[censored] ro water. Then you simply dose each one 3 times a week on alternating days. SO much easier than the Seachem individual products and SO much cheaper. $22 will get you enough ferts to last your 30 gallon for more than a year. The excel is good though and will help the fight against algae.
clownplanted I really appreciate the information. Seems to be a consensus that NilocG is superior to the SeaChem products if for no other reason than price. I will be sure to refer to your information when I make my next purchase. I did buy the whole Seachem plant line but they are small bottles so we'll see how it works out. Thank you again.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-05-2017, 08:34 PM
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BigMek thank you for your reply. I have a large piece of driftwood (well two actually, stacked) in the middle area of my tank so it really reduces my planting space. I'm using Marsilea Hirsuta as my carpet plant. I think the common name is Water Clover. Since I'm new I figured I'd try to get a few plants going to see if my environment is set up properly. I know some folks suggested putting 100 plants in my tank and take them out later but that way, way too much for me to handle right now. If the ones I purchase even live I'll feel a bit more confident with a bigger purchase. I really appreciate the help.

Bump:

clownplanted I really appreciate the information. Seems to be a consensus that NilocG is superior to the SeaChem products if for no other reason than price. I will be sure to refer to your information when I make my next purchase. I did buy the whole Seachem plant line but they are small bottles so we'll see how it works out. Thank you again.


Your welcome. When I first started out I also used the seachem products. But for my 60 gallon would not last as long as I hoped for going off of their dosing schedule. Like I said they are good products but pricey and a pain when having to dose each one. You are in a sense paying mostly for water.


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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-05-2017, 10:16 PM
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There are many plants you can "plant" directly on your driftwood such as Anubias, Java Fern and Bucephalandra (sp?). Though they grow slowly it'll up your plant mass. Buce and Anubias Nana Petite both look stellar on driftwood IMO.
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-05-2017, 11:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Esteban Colberto View Post
BigMek thank you for your reply. I have a large piece of driftwood (well two actually, stacked) in the middle area of my tank so it really reduces my planting space. I'm using Marsilea Hirsuta as my carpet plant. I think the common name is Water Clover. Since I'm new I figured I'd try to get a few plants going to see if my environment is set up properly. I know some folks suggested putting 100 plants in my tank and take them out later but that way, way too much for me to handle right now. If the ones I purchase even live I'll feel a bit more confident with a bigger purchase. I really appreciate the help.

Bump:

clownplanted I really appreciate the information. Seems to be a consensus that NilocG is superior to the SeaChem products if for no other reason than price. I will be sure to refer to your information when I make my next purchase. I did buy the whole Seachem plant line but they are small bottles so we'll see how it works out. Thank you again.


The reason people suggest buying so many stems is because with your low and slow growing plant load, you will likely experience plants and glass getting covered in algae, resulting in frustrating and slow plant growth and/or death. Fast plant growth seems to choke out algae from gaining a foothold.

Here is my 40 tank with 22 dollars worth of 100+ stems. I won't even begin putting in a "scape" for weeks. It's very easy to grow a hundred identical stems, easier than fighting algae.



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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-06-2017, 02:03 PM Thread Starter
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The reason people suggest buying so many stems is because with your low and slow growing plant load, you will likely experience plants and glass getting covered in algae, resulting in frustrating and slow plant growth and/or death. Fast plant growth seems to choke out algae from gaining a foothold.

Here is my 40 tank with 22 dollars worth of 100+ stems. I won't even begin putting in a "scape" for weeks. It's very easy to grow a hundred identical stems, easier than fighting algae.
Doc7 so what happens when you take the 100 stems out? Don't you go back to the same problem? Not trying to challenge you just trying to understand. I was planning on 3 golden apple snails and 3 or so Otocinclus Catfish. Not sure if that is enough to handle algae but it's my first tank so that's where I'm at currently. I really do appreciate you taking the time to pass on the info.
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-06-2017, 02:39 PM
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Doc7 so what happens when you take the 100 stems out? Don't you go back to the same problem? Not trying to challenge you just trying to understand. I was planning on 3 golden apple snails and 3 or so Otocinclus Catfish. Not sure if that is enough to handle algae but it's my first tank so that's where I'm at currently. I really do appreciate you taking the time to pass on the info.
Think the point is when they start taking off you then scape it the way you want. Leave the ones you want in there and trim, etc. By that point they should of grown a good size. You then maybe add additional plants that you want again scaping it the way you want not really reducing the amount just changing up how you more want it.

When I first turned my fish only tank into a planted tank I bought a "package" of plants that was enough to heavily plant my 60 gallon tank. They really started taking off so I had to greatly trim and even took some plants out that I did not want. Gave me a couple weeks to decide how I more wanted the layout to be while at the same time not worrying about algae.
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-06-2017, 06:36 PM
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its like starting seeds for your garden. Throw them in pots in the greenhouse, then when they are big an healthy, put them where you want.
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