Tips on how to get off to a great start on plants growth/lushness? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-20-2017, 01:48 AM Thread Starter
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Tips on how to get off to a great start on plants growth/lushness?

Hey guys, so I recently set up another dirted tank, paired with some fluval stratum and seachem flourite. It's my 36 gallon bow front. Manzanita and Dragonstone hardscape. Currently I have a Finnex Ray II that is putting off about 50-60 Par at 17", correct me if I am wrong. I have a photo period from 9:30 am- 7:30 pm above some low-medium light plants. It's honestly a great LED that I'd love to pair with another Finnex product down the road, so feel free to throw in some suggestions. I have a 5 lb C02 tank hooked up currently on a timer that starts and ends and hour before my photo period. I dose every Saturday with API leaf zone, I guess it's an Iron and Potassium solution. I know that when you initially plant your plants, they will have a little bit of a melt. Haven't seen that yet, but a tiny bit of Algae has grabbed hold of a very few Rotallas. Should I up my C02 from the current 3 bbps? My goal is to get strong plant start off for a healthy future. I also would like suggestions on good canister filters. I have a Penguin Whisper 200 HOB but its large and I like the aspect of Bio-media. Anyways, that should wrap it up. Feel free to ask questions or give your two cents.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-20-2017, 04:33 AM
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Well to start, I'd highly recommend backing your photoperiod down to 8 hours.

Filter wise, I'd recommend an Eheim classic 2217. Will be plenty for that size tank and they're super quiet.

Dosing Leaf Zone once a week just isn't going to cut it. Pick up a set of dry fertilizers and get yourself on a dosing schedule. Look into the Estimated Index and the PPS Pro methods. Linked below is a set of fertilizers.
EI based NPK + CSM+B - NilocG Aquatics

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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-20-2017, 03:17 PM Thread Starter
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Well to start, I'd highly recommend backing your photoperiod down to 8 hours.

Filter wise, I'd recommend an Eheim classic 2217. Will be plenty for that size tank and they're super quiet.

Dosing Leaf Zone once a week just isn't going to cut it. Pick up a set of dry fertilizers and get yourself on a dosing schedule. Look into the Estimated Index and the PPS Pro methods. Linked below is a set of fertilizers.
EI based NPK + CSM+B - NilocG Aquatics
Would you also suggest root tabs?

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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-20-2017, 03:35 PM
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Would you also suggest root tabs?
Nope, if you're supplying the proper ferts through the water column they shouldn't be necessary. Also your dosing should be lean for awhile since you're using a soil substrate.

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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-20-2017, 03:44 PM Thread Starter
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Would you also suggest root tabs?
Nope, if you're supplying the proper ferts through the water column they shouldn't be necessary. Also your dosing should be lean for awhile since you're using a soil substrate.
So I turned down my photo period from 10 to 8 hours today, but all I did was move the start time to 11:30 instead of 9:30. Does it matter what time the lights shut off? I would like atleast half my photo period to be at a time when I'm home to appreciate the tank.

Also, how many weeks before I notice the plants start to thicken?

Is 3 bps for c02 useable? The finnex is 17" above the substrate and the filters blow the diffused c02 around the tank.

Thanks for answering all my questions

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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-20-2017, 10:57 PM
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So I turned down my photo period from 10 to 8 hours today, but all I did was move the start time to 11:30 instead of 9:30. Does it matter what time the lights shut off? I would like atleast half my photo period to be at a time when I'm home to appreciate the tank.

Also, how many weeks before I notice the plants start to thicken?

Is 3 bps for c02 useable? The finnex is 17" above the substrate and the filters blow the diffused c02 around the tank.

Thanks for answering all my questions
No your photo period time doesn't matter. Make it whatever times you want and especially make it so lights are on when your home so you can enjoy it. Don't forget to adjust the timer for your Co2.

Lushness will come in time, when has a lot to do with the types of plants you have. Looks like you have rotala which is a great plant and is very easy to propagate. Before you know it you'll be giving, selling or throwing the stuff away.

For Co2 I use a drop checker, it's just easier for me. It's good for a quick reference point but in the end the plants will determine if you're injecting enough.

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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-21-2017, 12:50 AM
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I would discard the API leaf zone. It only has iron and potassium. That is only 2 of the 15 nutrients plants need to grow. If you keep using it your soil will probably heavily depleted in nutrients in about a year.

If you instead use CSM+B plus seachem equilibrium (increase GH by 2 degrees above your tap water) and then dose nitrate at between 5 and 20 ppm and keep your phosphates at abou 1ppm you are dosing 13 of the 15 nutrients and those missing 2 are very common in tap water and you shouldn't need to worry about them. the 2 missing in this stratgy is chlorine and nickel. Tap water typically has enough sodium chloride to to provide the chlorine. Nickel is only needed at about 0.0005 parts per million or 0.5 parts per BILLION. It is very unlikely that you will run out of nickel or chloride in a medium light tank with a weekly water change.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-21-2017, 12:56 PM Thread Starter
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I would discard the API leaf zone. It only has iron and potassium. That is only 2 of the 15 nutrients plants need to grow. If you keep using it your soil will probably heavily depleted in nutrients in about a year.

If you instead use CSM+B plus seachem equilibrium (increase GH by 2 degrees above your tap water) and then dose nitrate at between 5 and 20 ppm and keep your phosphates at abou 1ppm you are dosing 13 of the 15 nutrients and those missing 2 are very common in tap water and you shouldn't need to worry about them. the 2 missing in this stratgy is chlorine and nickel. Tap water typically has enough sodium chloride to to provide the chlorine. Nickel is only needed at about 0.0005 parts per million or 0.5 parts per BILLION. It is very unlikely that you will run out of nickel or chloride in a medium light tank with a weekly water change.
I really like that strategy, I threw the Seacham Equilibrium and CSM+B in my Amazon Cart, what brands would you suggest to dose the remaining nutrients? I'd love to tackle everything I need to do now on a mediumish tank, that way when I do the 90 for my living room I'll be ready to handle it. I'm sure I'll be on these forums for that too though.

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So I turned down my photo period from 10 to 8 hours today, but all I did was move the start time to 11:30 instead of 9:30. Does it matter what time the lights shut off? I would like atleast half my photo period to be at a time when I'm home to appreciate the tank.

Also, how many weeks before I notice the plants start to thicken?

Is 3 bps for c02 useable? The finnex is 17" above the substrate and the filters blow the diffused c02 around the tank.

Thanks for answering all my questions
No your photo period time doesn't matter. Make it whatever times you want and especially make it so lights are on when your home so you can enjoy it. Don't forget to adjust the timer for your Co2.

Lushness will come in time, when has a lot to do with the types of plants you have. Looks like you have rotala which is a great plant and is very easy to propagate. Before you know it you'll be giving, selling or throwing the stuff away.

For Co2 I use a drop checker, it's just easier for me. It's good for a quick reference point but in the end the plants will determine if you're injecting enough.
My girlfriend and I noticed a little bit of pearling yesterday, and I'm sure the plants will outcompete the little bit of Algae as soon as everything takes its place. Should I throw a couple of Ottos in for the time being? And is 8 usually a good number of hours for dealing with max light photoperiods? I'd love to pair my Ray II with a Finnex planted plus on 24/7 mode since it only runs max for three hours. But that's a whole different story

-Mason Michalski

Last edited by Darkblade48; 09-22-2017 at 07:17 AM. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts
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