I have tried plants few times in the past with ZERO success. I am very knowledgeable on the fish keeping side of things but it never occurred to me to research plants until now. And I have caught the bug.
Anyways, the tank is a 120 gallon 4’ X 2’ X 2’ (LxWxH) and has a large “tree trunk” 3D background. I am completely tearing it down and rebuilding it as a planted setup using the information I have gathered from this and a few other sites.
Here is the setup
50-50 mixture of Eco-Complete and black sand blasting sand.
108watts total. Lights sit about 26-27” above the substrate.
4' T5HO 54watt double light fixture with a mirror like reflector that came with it.
FX5 - packed with bio balls, ceramic media, filter floss
XP3 - packed with bio balls, sponges, and filter floss
1.5% DIY glutaraladehyde mixture- Dosed at 10 ml daily
I will need to get a feel for my water parameters as the system matures but plan to dose the following once a week after a 40-50% water change:
KNO3 - Dose to stay with-in 10-20ppm
KH2PO4 - About 1/8 TSP (roughly 1.08ppm)
K2SO4 - 2 TSP (roughly 13.09ppm)
Plantex CSM +Boron - 1/4 tsp (roughly .15ppm Fe)
Below are the parameters of my water here in Fort Worth over the last year.
Nitrate - .75ppm
Nitrite - .4ppm
PH - 8.0 - 8.4
Calcium - 97-110ppm
Magnesium - 4-8ppm
Sulfate - 25-38
Sodium - 14-28ppm
Copper - .51ppm
Total Hardness as CaCO3 - 117 to 133 ppm
Total Hardness in Grains - 7 to 8 grains/gallon
8 – Clown Loaches (ranging from 3” to 10”)
1 – Golden Nugget Pleco (L018)
30 Harley Quinn Rasboras
5-6 Discus (will be growing out in a separate tank until they are over 4")
Sag Subulata (Dwarf Sag)
Green Tiger Lotus
I have attached some pictures of the initial process. The last picture (for some reason it got rearranged when uploaded) is what it looked like a last year (all those plants died off). Once a year I pull the 3d background out to clean behind it. From the pictures you can see the progression of the rebuild. First round of plants I have added (Anubias, Java Fern, Amazon Sword). I will be getting another batch in today and will update with pictures after it is fully planted.