1st planted tank - Advice needed - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-30-2010, 06:13 PM Thread Starter
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1st planted tank - Advice needed

Hi all,

First off what a great site, i have been reading alot of articles on here and have just registered

Ok background... I have the following:
Fluval Duo Deep 1200 49gl tank (360 degree view in centre of room)
1x 40w Flora Glow, 1x 40w Red Light (10hrs per day)
BioPlast Pressurised co2 with solenoid and a JBL Vario diffuser set to 1b/sec
Drop Checker (not in use as waiting for 4DHK water to arrive)
Eheim 2224 filter
Regular substrate (no fertilising, just small gravel)
Fluval 4plus filter (just acting as a powerhead for flow)
1x Angel, 3x SAE`s, 2x dwarf guarmi`s, 4x red tail botia, 5x bristlenoses, 1x cloan loach, 2x columbian tetras.
1x Anubis, 8x Versalis, 6x pennywort, and about 10-15 other plants that i dont know (yet

Readings:
PH 7.6
KH 140ml/g
Temps 25c
Co2 (as this afternoon, 2 days after installing the full rig) 9.3ppm (ph/kh)

I have had the tank for around 5-6 years but have never had plants before, i purchased about 10-15 plants 3 months ago and used a pair of tetra co2 canisters as i was advised that i had a severe lack of co2 in the tank and serious hair algae issues which have almost gone since the co2 went in.

Up until 2 weeks ago i wasn`t fertilising either so i have been using seachem NPK, Trace and iron with weekly doses as i had what appeared an iron defiency. This has been ok but i have had to purchase a full co2 pressurised kit and this has been in the tank for 48hrs with solenoid turning it off over night.

My Issues:
Plants seem to grow quick (and today i had my first perling on the pennywort which i`m delighted with) but after a couple of weeks the tips of most leaves turn brown and seem to die, not sure if this is normal as i don`t know lifespan of some of the plants.

Should i keep doing what i am now or should i change the fertilizer, co2 or any other aspect. Apologies in advance, i`m a newbie to this but i think i have learned alot already, just need to get an idea on good regimes and get a feel for the tank

Pictures (as it`s probably easier for you guys to see where i`m going wrong (these were before co2 kit went in) and i need to re-aqua scape i think as my placement is probably all wrong)

http://img199.imageshack.us/img199/6448/img3368m.jpg

http://img534.imageshack.us/img534/983/img3371m.jpg

Cheers,
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-30-2010, 09:43 PM
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It looks like your stem plants are all in bunches. You should plant each stem individually so none of them is shaded completely by the others at the bottom.

Those lights seem to be T12 bulbs - if so you have too little light for the plants. Much better would be 2 widely separated T5HO bulbs, or 4 T5NO bulbs, or even 4 PC bulbs in two widely separated rows. All of those would give you high medium to high light.

But, if you don't want the maintenance problems that high light intensity can cause, you could use a single 2 bulb T5NO light, or a single bulb T5HO light.

Hoppy
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-30-2010, 10:38 PM
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I don't know. The plants look pretty good.
Keep your lights for now and keep your tank low to medium lighted. There's less risk of algae with this lighting condition. But keep up with your CO2 & nutrients. You can target 20-30ppm of CO2, and 10ppm of N, 4ppm of P, 10ppm of K, and micronutrients.


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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-30-2010, 10:47 PM Thread Starter
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Hi,

They are both T8 lights in there at the moment, models are
Sun-Glo Fluorescent Lamp -48" T8 and BETTA 42"x 38w T8 FISHRED TUBE ( i cannot post url`s yet until i submit 5 posts into the forum), I`ll look around at costs and see what i can afford (co2 kit etc had to be ahem negotiated with the wife)

Sure, plant wise i need to separate them out but have generally left them when bought from the lfs (apart from pruning), i presume that any aqua-scaping can cause shock to the plants? Are their any tips for doing it with minimal damage?

@mistergreen - using the current Seachem products i`m wondering about reducing the individual iron and phosphate and just using the trace to cover that, since dosing the iron separately i believe that issue has gone and i can just get that from the Seachem Trace moving forwards? Ideally i`d like to switch to dry and make doses for more controlled fertilising.

Cheers,
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-03-2010, 01:23 PM Thread Starter
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I decided to make my own ferts and ordered Trace Mix plus, KNO3 and KH2PO4. This will be dosed daily alternating a trace and macro mix @ 40ml/day.

So just the Aquascaping to do, are their any tips on this? I have aroun 20+ fish aswell in there.

Cheers,
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-03-2010, 02:33 PM
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Since this is a 360* view tank I would put the densest plantings in the middle just as you have done. Use the large leaved plants just because it takes fewer leaves to block the view through the tank. Once you have the middle blocked take the rest of the plants and decide which look nice next to one another and plant in groupings around the center plants. Since you have a lot of stems that will grow tall consider placing some of them on the side of the tank where you sit closest, I love following fish though thickets of plants. More tank views that are uninterrupted further into the tank would be great for people passing through.

Agree, separate the stems in the bunches but keep the plants in a grouping unless you decide it is needed in more than one place.

There is no right or wrong, there is only what appeals to you. A tank full of thriving fish and plants impresses most everybody.
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