Some Vital Questions for a Novice - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 07-20-2011, 01:18 PM Thread Starter
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Lightbulb Some Vital Questions for a Novice

A Bunch of Questions from a novice.

Q 1 : Peat moss + Vermiculite + Coco Peat --- is this a good substrate to start with ?

Q 2 : Is too much CO2 bad for a Plant Only tank ?

Q 3 : Should I shut down CO2 with lights out.

Q 4 : My water is yellow (probably due to peat moss) ... can I add some additive which will not mess with my water chemistry but still makes the water clear.

Q 5 : I have stalled a RO water plant. Does the water need to re mineralized after it comes out of the RO plant. If I need to add minerals, what should I use. Any suggestions for a real good Additive.

Q 6 : I am using drop checker for CO2 measurement. What do I use for KH measurement. Is there a KH meter available ?

Q 7 : What other parameters do I have to keep my eye on. Also if those parameters have meters or methods to measure them with

Q 8 : What is the difference between fertilizing water or fertilizing substrate.

Q 9 : What is the best liquid fertilizer to use. A all in one kind of product.

  • Size : 8 Gallon (30 Litres)
  • Substrate : Peat moss + Vermiculite + Coco Peat +[INDENT]
    Gravel (medium)
  • Co2 : DIY Co2 Kit @ 6 bubbles per minute
  • Light : 18 Watts Tube + 8 Watts Tube (Boyu)
  • Temp : 19 - 24 C (66 - 75 F)
  • Plants : Hemianthus Callitrichoides (Dwarf Baby Tears) +Hygrophila Difformis (Water Wisteria)

I would be great full if you could take some time and answer these questions in detail.
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 07-20-2011, 02:34 PM
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2 yes, it can get to a point where its damaging to a plant
3 it can go either way yes or nno depending on how u set up. most will say yes, some will say no. its ur opinion on how u want it setup.
4 adding chemicals is usually a bad idea. ur creating an ecosystem, let it grow and maintain itself for the most part. peat is good for lower ph levels and blackwater conditions. consider and alternative
5 yes, ur tap water however is probably a better solution
6 pick up an api kh test kit, if ur between 4 and 12 ur gravy most people aim for lower numbers though
7 after u get used to ur tank none. especially dosing EI ferts
8 preference, although some plants prefer roots, most happily uptake all nutrients through the leaves, a little of both is a hard combination to beat but not neccessary
9 none, if ur using c02 ur best bet is dry fertilizer. all in ones dont contain proper ratios for good healthy gross and are definitely not cost effective

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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 07-20-2011, 03:08 PM
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I'm not an

1. Seems like a lot of organic material in the substrate breaking down. Not sure of the chemical processes there, but it seems risky. As far as I know, vermiculite is inert and used in terrestrial to prevent soil compaction and improve aeration. With the granular aggregates we typically use in aquatics those trait are already present. I think the vermiculite is redundant.

2. I'm sure there is a limit, but it seems unlikely you would reach it using normal injection methods.

3. Most do. Plants "inhale" oxygen in the dark.

4. Sure. Activated carbon or Purigen

5. Not for topping off, but is preferable during water changes. People seem to like Equilibrium.

6. You'll need a test kit. Most local places have them now.

7. Sky is the limit. You can test and moniter virtually every physical and chemical property in the tank. pH, GH, KH, Fe, N, P, & K are the most common for plants. Test kits are available for all. Some can be done electronically. Check LaMotte. There are also a host of minor nutrients, but I'm not familiar with common testing methods for them.

8. Not sure.

9. A lot of people seem to use the Seachem Flourish line. There are several others, too. Most around here like buying dry bulk chemicals and making custom mixes. Check "PMDD" and "Barr EI"
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