Established tank needs some live plants - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-11-2016, 12:47 AM Thread Starter
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Established tank needs some live plants

Ok so about 6 months ago i cam across a great deal and setup a 265 gallon tank of some beutiful fish. I also planted quite a few plants in the tank but i believe my oxygen levels are way too high for them to grow as they all died within a few weeks.
Java moss
Java fern
Amazon sword
Anubias whatever it is
And some red plants
Those dwarf tear things and all that
I started the plants first with the top of the tank covered in plastic in sunlight and my finnex planted 24/7 lights. Root tabs and planted in small planting pots with large holes for the roots to expand out of as my fish are the digging type and the tank has pool filter sand as the substrate (with some plant substrates in the pots.) So after every plant except a few swords have died off, the algae began to grow. I have since upgraded my filtration a bit and now not even the algae grows, but my fish are the brightest and most active and healthy that they could be. Plenty of driftwood in the tank as well.

Ok heres that question part!

Is it the pool filter sand, high air count and lack of co2? Not established enough to have the good nasty stuff in the sand or some combination of them all? The high amount of biomedia i planned to reduce as the plants started to take?

How do i begin to add plants to this tank now that it is established? And do i absolutely have to get C02? Just need to know where to begin as i like a good aquascaped tank.

Ammonia, nitrites,nitrates all read 0 most of the day.
55gallon diy sump 1200gph
Fluval fx4
Maxspect gyre 150 at 50%
3 kilos of k1 media running and 15 gallons of biomedia.
13 columian tetras
10 geophagus red head tapajo
2 geo winemilleri
11 roseline sharks
2 super red severums
2 chocolate cichlids
2 rubberlip plecos
1 black ghost knife

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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-11-2016, 01:18 AM
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There are some plants you can get away with, but in general if you want a tank to thrive you will either need dirt or pressurized CO2. I personally am a big dirt advocate. Seeing as your tank is already established, however, you might not have that option... or do you?

There are some plants that will do okay with no CO2 + inert substrate.

Java moss, java fern, anubias should all work great.
Amazon sword and "red plants" (ludwigia repens? crypts?) might struggle a bit. If you don't have a lot of accumulated mulm, might need root tabs.

Baby tears will 100% not make it. To avoid waste, you should just grow them emergently, or even just as a terrestrial potted plant, until you have the means.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-11-2016, 01:28 AM Thread Starter
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Yes red ones were the crypts and yes soil is not an option as my main fish do require sand....ok so if im looking at pressurized c02 then what are the main things i need to learn about before making a purchase?

The last time i was browsing i started to get lost somewhere between gas regulators adjusting ur ph and a price tag higher than the tank itself.
I dont want to "half *ss" but i also dont want to buy the best system ever with daily maintenance. Once a month maintenance on the c02 system or so is fine with me as i enjoy the hobby but dont want a second job ;-)

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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-16-2016, 04:39 AM
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Unless we're whitewater rafting, I can't imagine oxygen levels being too high (enough to cause deaths), especially if you're not injecting pure oxygen. Something else likely went wrong. Also, there must be a ton of aquatic plants out there that don't require substrate to grow, like Java Fern and Moss, Hygrophilia Difformis, Anubias, Crypts, heck, I've even done wonders with a Red Tiger Lotus bulb in a brackish tank with sand. Have also grown Bacopa Carolina in sand. Don't feel like you'll need pressurized CO2, although, yeah, that would be nice, lol. Here you go...

Tying aquatic plants to wood or rock ? Aquariadise

Aquarium Plants on Wood | Bogwood | Driftwood

Hey, here's an idea that will soak up a lot of nitrates, set up a pump to send water into something like a window sill planter (or such a planter made from the cross-section of a wide pvc pipe with endcaps) that sits on the top-rear of your aquarium, loaded with emersed bog plants (if you can find a supplier with plants already in that form), would need another light, a few feet above the aquarium, but those bog plants would soak up way more nitrates than most any submerged plant because they are exposed to air, able to process more co2 and light than submerged plants...

Last edited by dmike1975; 10-16-2016 at 05:39 AM. Reason: .
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-16-2016, 11:45 AM Thread Starter
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Yup since my last reply i did make a few changes. I set up my sump with a refugium section with that latherite substrate ive used before. (Still dirty and wet from my last tank) I actually set it up so that the wet dry trickle falls into the refugium and runs through the gravel in order to get to my next baffrled section. I filled that section with java fern, amazon sword, anubias nana(couldn't find normal anubias)bamboo, and a few others with odd names that are hardy. That chamber also received about 2 dozen ghost shrimp and 2 marimo moss balls. I have a blur crayfish in there too but his days are numbered if he gets plant hungry. Root tabs went in there with it too but with the substrate filtering the water as well i know they will only last so long.

I do like the idea of the bog wood growing above the tank in a planter or something but the tank is in the future main living area. So a light 6 1/2' up the wall right behind 2 other lights really wouldnt look good.

Would placing my rmperor 400 hob with the bog plants in it over my sump be the same idea? And should i move the anubias and mess and just go bogwood plants in that refugium?

My nitrates are not an issue at all as my tanks biomedia is really kicking it nicely. But my fish are small and as they grow we sll know so does the feeding and the pooping.

See now i have to search for bog plants! All your fault!!

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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-12-2016, 04:10 PM Thread Starter
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Updated look at tank and half of a sump of plants acting as refugium......funally zeroing in on which co2 seyup i want, so those updates will be coming soon.
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