Help with maintenance - The Planted Tank Forum
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 07-13-2018, 04:55 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
Jason Curtis's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: Milwaukee, WI
Posts: 8
Help with maintenance

I got a new tank (20 Gallon); new to the hobby. Was going to have fish, but work rules have hit me and I’m not allowed, so just plants it is! Attached (should) be a picture of the few plants I’ve gotten: Dwarf Sagittaria (behind the rocks you can’t see well yet); Moss Balls; Water Sprite; Banana plant; and another one which I forgot what it said it was that’s the green leaves in the back right.

The tank is in my corner office which has windows, but where I have it isn’t exposed to any direct sunlight and the temperature is stable at 68-72 throughout the year, even during offhours/weekends. Have a few questions if you could help:

Since there’s no fish, I assume I’ll need fertilizer/plant food. Any suggestions on which/what to use and how often to use it? Can I get some ECO substrate stuff to spread out over the black sand I currently have? Currently I just have a Flourish Advance which I got with the plants at the store.

How often do I need to do water changes? I got a bottle of Seachem Prime concentrated conditioner I assume I would have to use on new water going in?

Any other plants you’d recommend? Maybe some moss or something over the large middle rock? Or some floating plants? Only went to 1 local fish store and they didn’t have anything floaty or mossy. There’s a few others in town I can look at, but is it even worth considering trying to find online?
Any recommendations as to where?

I’ve got a timer I can use for the light. 12 hours good? 8 hours? Something else? Any change winter/summer?

I’m slightly concerned about Algae. Since I can’t have live animals I won’t have shrimp/snails to clean up. Any suggestions? I might get some shrimp and/or snails and see if no one “complains” or finds them to be a concern; any suggestions if I go that route?

Finally, what are some warning signs for the plants having trouble?


-Jason
Jason Curtis is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 07-13-2018, 10:08 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
PlantedRich's Avatar
 
PTrader: (2/100%)
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: United States
Posts: 12,048
Welcome to a whole new world as it can be a real trip!!
Expect a few knocks but nothing that kills. Algae is one of them but on the other hand, the difficulties of fish are out!
Suggest some reading to help understand the why of things. Read up on "nitrogen cycle" as it helps even when fish are not there. Then for the plants, you normally need what we call a balance of three things. Lights are often overworked as they are only one of the big three. Ferts (food) comes in two major groups. Macros and micros, so look for some easy form of getting both N,P,K for the macros and then the micros to cover the food but also the plants will need some form of carbon to grow. One common item for that is Excel. I do not recommend adding anything to the top layer as it is not easily controlled and winds up too much at first and not enough later. Better to add what is needed in a more controlled way.
Prime is one of many products to deal with the chemical (chlorine or chloramine) which is used to kill bacteria in drinking water. Good product and I do recommend it except in the rare case of using untreated well water.
I like green better than rocks, so I cover the rocks by super gluing on Java fern or Java moss as two easy starter plants. Simple to do with a wet rock as super glue doesn't "dry" but reacts with the water, so a wet rock is easy. A tiny touch and use something besides a finger to hold the roots to the glue for a second. and then they continue and set new roots to the rock.
Water changes vary but definitely change some if it begins to smell anything other than "earthy"?
Suggest choosing one of these charts which makes sense to you and print it off to keep handy as you go along:
https://www.google.com/search?q=aqua...n4aQwqnj0DI2M:
PlantedRich is offline  
post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 07-15-2018, 12:54 PM
Planted Member
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: OHIO
Posts: 182
Help with maintenance

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Curtis View Post
I got a new tank (20 Gallon); new to the hobby. Was going to have fish, but work rules have hit me and Iím not allowed, so just plants it is! Attached (should) be a picture of the few plants Iíve gotten: Dwarf Sagittaria (behind the rocks you canít see well yet); Moss Balls; Water Sprite; Banana plant; and another one which I forgot what it said it was thatís the green leaves in the back right.

The tank is in my corner office which has windows, but where I have it isnít exposed to any direct sunlight and the temperature is stable at 68-72 throughout the year, even during offhours/weekends. Have a few questions if you could help:

Since thereís no fish, I assume Iíll need fertilizer/plant food. Any suggestions on which/what to use and how often to use it? Can I get some ECO substrate stuff to spread out over the black sand I currently have? Currently I just have a Flourish Advance which I got with the plants at the store.

How often do I need to do water changes? I got a bottle of Seachem Prime concentrated conditioner I assume I would have to use on new water going in?

Any other plants youíd recommend? Maybe some moss or something over the large middle rock? Or some floating plants? Only went to 1 local fish store and they didnít have anything floaty or mossy. Thereís a few others in town I can look at, but is it even worth considering trying to find online?
Any recommendations as to where?

Iíve got a timer I can use for the light. 12 hours good? 8 hours? Something else? Any change winter/summer?

Iím slightly concerned about Algae. Since I canít have live animals I wonít have shrimp/snails to clean up. Any suggestions? I might get some shrimp and/or snails and see if no one ďcomplainsĒ or finds them to be a concern; any suggestions if I go that route?

Finally, what are some warning signs for the plants having trouble?


Flourish advance is decent, but also lacking many nutrients plants need. Look into an all in one for ease... Many on this forum use Thrive by nilcog, they also have another 2 bottle product where one bottle is macro nutrients and one is micro. Both are good products. I don't think I'd worry about different substrate, lots of people use black sand with success.

For plants, one of the best places to buy is on the buy/sell section of this forum. You'll probably be able to find anything you want. I've never really had to look anywhere else, and my local fish store doesn't have nearly the quality or selection.

You'll need to measure your nitrates and just monitor your tank for other stuff like excessive algae... That will clue you in as to how often you need to change your water. I currently do mine about every 10 days or so. If you don't have any livestock, the nitrates, TDS, GH, KH just aren't as big of an issue. If you get shrimp though, those things need to be monitored closely.

About your light... Since you don't have any livestock, and it doesn't sound like you're gonna use injected CO2... You're gonna have to really reduce your photoperiod. 5 hours is probably a good place to start. Algae will almost certainly be a big issue, at least at first. A good way to try and control it is through reduction of your photoperiod. Another good way to control it is to have your tank densely planted and thriving, essentially not leaving any excess nutrients for the algae to use. Unfortunately this is not the easiest task for a beginner, esp when not using CO2. So I suggest at least using seachem excel which is a liquid carbon supplement that can't really take the place of injected CO2 but can help.
If you can add snails and shrimp, they'll help with algae a lot. Just make sure your tank is fully cycled first, and make sure your water parameters are stable.

Lastly, you'll know when your plants are struggling. They'll be very slow to grow, they'll be pale or yellow, leaves will die off, etc. This is normal at first, but if they don't rebound within a week or two then there is probably something wrong with either fert, light, CO2 or water quality.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
jaz419 is offline  
Reply

Tags
None

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the The Planted Tank Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome