Beginner here, what products should I be using? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 09-27-2015, 07:02 AM Thread Starter
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Beginner here, what products should I be using?

Hi guys. I'm new with the planted tank hobby so bare with me.

I've recently ordered a Finnex Planted+ 24/7 for my 38g tank. It's going through a bit of a redesign, but at the moment I have anubias, a few amazon swords, anacharis and some java moss. All are very limited/small due to the condition my tank was in with it's previous lighting/me being lazy, but it's all trimmed, set up and ready to go now.

According to the official Finnex chart, I should have about 50-60 PAR with this set up, I'm not sure if that's considered low/med/high tech. Other info - no CO2, temp is 78, only a few tetras at the moment, standard TopFin filter, trying to do 20% water change weekly. I believe that covers the basics. :P I don't have a vision for the tank yet, so I understand these questions may depend, just looking for an intro of sorts.

1. What are the must haves for maintaining a planted tank, specifically with my set up? As of now I have API CO2 booster (daily) and Seachem Flourish (weekly). I'm under the impressions these are the "big two" as far as supplements go. Both are close to running out (I tried the planted tank on and off with improper lighting, whoops) so I'm open to new products.

2. Are there any negatives to these products I should be aware of?

3. I use Seachem Prime to condition water before adding to the tank, is that okay?

Any other info would be nice! Like I said, just trying to get my feet wet here. Please let me know if there's any other info I could provide to make answering these questions easier.

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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 09-27-2015, 07:10 AM
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Everyone has their own favorite fertilizer brands so i won't open that can of worms, but i'm pretty sure 80% of members on here use prime, so you're fine there. Seachem is pretty well respected all around. It can never hurt to do a bigger water change. 50% a week is pretty common.

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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 09-27-2015, 09:24 AM
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Just fwiw the Amazon sword can fill 1/3 of a 75g tank when fully mature.
I'm sure there are "brands" of liquid ferts and a couple are complete. So not saying
there all something to avoid. Just need to research each to see if it's a complete fert.
Regular larger water changes bring in new nutrients and fish food/waste provide more.
But the small size of those swords you have, tells you what happens when not enough nutrients are available. Other defects besides just plain lack of growth happen as well.
This site sells a variety of options on ferts:|others.html
Many other options exist also. A little reading on the general subject matter would help.
I can't get the link to work since they changed up the forum a week back. Go to
members list/members search/type in darkblade/clic his name/clic "about me" and
try the link "a primer to planted tanks" and see if it will work for you.
If you choose to use liquid ferts this will be helpful. Be sure to scroll the page down.
If you use low or low/med light and have a few fish in there you may not need all of the ferts. Some nutrients will be there if you are doing the water changes and feeding the fish. You can just watch for deficiencies and dose just for them. But a fairly good percent opt for just dosing all the ferts to get the best possible plant growth.

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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 09-27-2015, 09:57 AM
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For plants to thrive there is a balance of light, CO2, and nutrients needed. Short any one of the three and it will be the limiting factor on plant growth. You get some C02 from fish, bacteria (a large contributor), the water surface, and the plants themselves during the night. The effectiveness of the light will depend on water depth to the plant leaves, but the Finnex 24/7 should be more than enough for the amount of CO2 available.

Are you testing your water for ammonia and nitrates?

I'm using both Floursh and Flourish Tabs. I was just using the liquid for awhile and my Crypts started putting roots up into the water. Evidently they were not getting enough nutrients from the substrate (Eco-complete capped with a little too much CaribSea Peace River Gravel). Some plants, like Anubias nana get most of their nutrients from the water, so Flourish liquid is good for them. Others get it from the substrate.

Last edited by Argus; 09-27-2015 at 09:59 AM. Reason: )
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 09-28-2015, 04:05 AM Thread Starter
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Very helpful, thank you everyone. I'm going to look into the links provided her. Really appreciate it.
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