Need advice on a new setup - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 07-04-2016, 05:48 PM Thread Starter
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Need advice on a new setup

Ok so I am new to the forum and I hope I am posting this in the right sub.

I've recently decided to go 'all in' on a new setup and spend the right amount of money to do things correctly. I have tried to do my homework on this setup but I am still confused on a few parts of it. Especially water parameters and the like. So I was originally going to dry start the tank with hair grass and baby tears but I'll be away on vacation for 10 days next week and I was afraid the plants would dry out without someone misting them. So I just filled the tank and hoped the plants would stay down.

Ok so it is a 55 gallon tank with:

Substrate
3 x 9 Liter ADA Aqua Soil Amazonia
1 x 2 Liter Power Sand
1 x Clear Super
1 x Bacter 100

Equipment
2 x 24 inch Finnex Planted +
1 x 48 inch Finnex Planted + (This is new. Too much light?)
1 x Eheim 2215
1 x American Marine Pinpoint pH Controller
1 x Azoo CO2 Regulator

(I have a heater, powerhead, and an airstone. I heard airstones are bad for CO2 systems so we'll see if I keep that in)

Plants
Dwarf Hairgrass
Dwarf Baby Tears
Alternanthera Reineckii Mini
Java Moss

Ok so the questions I have are:

CO2:
Ok so I was gifted a fully automatic CO2 system from Doctors Foster and Smith last year. I have the pH controller shut off the regulator when the pH is at 6.4. The question I have here is that the CO2 is only on maybe once a day. The pH gets to 6.4 fairly quickly with the CO2 on so it shuts off after 30 minutes. The only time the CO2 turns back on is when I do a water change and the pH goes back up. Is that normal? How often should CO2 bubbles be injected into the tank? Is there a specific time to do it? (Like before, during, or after the lights are on?) Also how many bubbles a second should I pump in the tank? I heard dwarf tears and dwarf hair grass need a fairly high level of CO2 to thrive into a carpet.

Lighting:
I've read everything from 6 hrs a day to 10 hrs a day. I am afraid of algae so I'm sticking to around 6 hrs a day.

Planting:
One thing that got me confused were the baby dwarf tears. When I received them from Aquariumplants.com, they came in a nice little cup but they had no roots. So I just pulled them into tiny pieces and put them around the soil. This was fine but some of the floated out once I flooded the tank. I was hoping the plants I received already had some root growth. How long should it take for the roots to grow in?

Ferts:
Someone told me a long time ago at a LFS that if I had CO2 I didn't have to worry about ferts. This seems wrong. I put some root tabs in the soil but I figured that the Amazonia soil should be nutrient rich enough. What other ferts should I purchase?

I tried DHG and baby tears before knowing anything about live plants and I went through a lot of melting and heartache. I hope to do it right this time! Thanks in advance for any advice given!
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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 07-05-2016, 08:40 PM
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Ok sir, for my tank (40 breeder that has a height of 16 inches) my parameters to make an extremely dense carpet are : 8 hrs of light with quad t5s, weekly dosing of nitrogen and phosphorus, biweekly dosing of iron and potassium. Daily dosing of excel. My co2 was bumping around 2.5 bubbles per sec ( rough estimate, i bumped it to the point where my fish and shrimp weren't irritated). I never used used root tabs so dwarf hairgrass is NOT much of a root feeder, just add the right amounts of ferts. Now what is the right amount of ferts? I dont know! Add them slowly in small incraments every week/biweekly until you see SLIGHT algea on the glass. When you reach that point, reduce dosing by a small margine and look at how your plants react. My grass turns slightly white when it needs more nitrogen and my sp.ripens turns brown when it needs potassium/iron.

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Please note that i never mentioned my water parameters. This is because dwarf hair grass and baby tears/monte carlo DO NOT CARE. Give them ferts, high lights, and stable temperature (~76 F) and it will take off on you

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And co2, dont forget butt loads of co2

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Last edited by Darkblade48; 07-06-2016 at 07:11 AM. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts to keep threads cleaner
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