Day one (first planted tank) Ideas or advise wanted - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 08-31-2017, 03:50 PM Thread Starter
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Day one (first planted tank) Ideas or advise wanted

Just finish setting up my first planted tank, it is a 55 with normal florescent lighting (upgrading to LED next month), substrates are 40 lbs of Carib Sea Eco-Complete and 40 lbs of Carib Sea Tahitian Moon Sand (added 10 crushed root tabs under substrate) and paintball tank CO2 setup with an inline diffuser on the output of the canister. Planted it with 71 freshly cut stems bought from Ebay containing the following,5x rotala rotundifolia, 5x rotala macranda red, 15x limnophila Vietnam, 5x ludwigia sp red, 5x ludwigia, Cuba, 5xpersicaria kawagoeanum, 5x blood star grass, 5x rotala colorata, 5x narrow leaf ludwigia, 5x pogostemon Kimberly, 5x limnophila aromatica mini, 5x rotala nanjenshan, and 1x red tiger lotus (don't ask me which is which yet). I planted these last night and had the CO2 and lights on all night turning it off this morning, have not added anything else to the water. When should I start dosing the water? or am I good with the Eco-complete and root tabs for now? should I run CO2 and lights 12hrs or more a day until they take? bought the Seachem Flourish kit should I use all 3 of them?
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 09-02-2017, 07:09 PM
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I assume you want to start your tank cycling to eventually add fish?

When I was at your progress a few months ago I just added household ammonia up to about 8ppm and CO2 with about 12 hours of light a day and no other ferts (or seachem products). My plants took off, there was so much plant activity I could see many constant streams of oxygen bubbling up to the surface from the plants when the lights were on. After a few weeks of testing for ammonia, nitrites and nitrates it was obvious the tank had cycled.

At this transition period my tank went from a nutrient rich, CO2 rich enviroment with a strong population of beneficial bacteria to an enviroment more hospitable to fish. I stopped dosing ammonia, cut off the CO2 and started dosing Seachem Excel and reduced the light to 8 hours a day. I let the tank run like this for about a week to settle down then introduced our first guppies. During this week the plants growth greatly slowed and I had some plant leaf die off.

When we introduced our first guppies I added water conditioner and a slime enhancer to the water to help the guppies adapt with as little stress as possible. During this period I dosed Seachem Complete and Seachem Iron once plus a cap full of Seachem Excel a week (35 gal tank the reccomended dosing is 3.5 cap full every couple of days I believe). Plant growth was slow but new leaves started to develope.

After that few week period we added six more guppies and continued to dose a cap ful of Excel once a week. Plant growth has been steady and healthy. I pruned many stems removing healthy tops from bare stems with no follage replanting the tops and discarding the bare stems. All of these healthy tops have grown well and not lost any of their leaves. We have not introduced any more guppies but have a healthy poplation of about 18-20 guppies now. Plants are growing well. So far Ihave resisted the urge to dose CO2. The tank is healthy enough that I feel I could slowly start to dose CO2 but I have decided to hold off for now.
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 09-02-2017, 09:06 PM
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I'd skip the led upgrade and use that money to buy more plants. You could plant all of the stems already in your tank in about an 6 inch square.

The biggest mistake I see with new setups is not nearly enough plant mass to begin with. If you don't want to buy more plants, I'd let what you have grow and fill out with the lights you already have. Wait for the stems to double in length then cut and replant the tops. Believe it or not, your tank is barely planted.

The worst thing you can do is have too much light and not enough plants.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 09-11-2017, 03:20 PM Thread Starter
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After the brush and close call from Hurricane Irma here in Northern Puerto Rico, we had 2 days without power, lost 90% of my plants. I am currently running CO2 and lights as much as possible to see if what I have left will survive.

2.5 Nano/10g Low Tech/ 55g Planted Tank/ 29g Planing stage
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