start-up lighting/plant ?'s - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-17-2011, 03:50 AM Thread Starter
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start-up lighting/plant ?'s

hello, i'm new to the forum and need to pick your brains a little bit,,i've had one planted tank set up a couple years ago, then changed it out to see how big i could grow my daughters oscar....that said i'm starting up again and have a few
questions i hope you could help me with....
tank is 75/g..flourite sub w/laterite mixed in...6 t-8's (3 flora grow,3 daylights), and pressurized co2
currently magnum 350,,but will have a rena in a week,,had an eheim pro II but what an o-ring disaster,but thats another thread...
my first question is.. whats the proper way to cycle the lighting...partial-all-partial,
to similate dawn and dusk, or just go all on for the 10-12 hrs.

#2..my tank has cycled so i'm ready to add a couple more fish,currently have annacharis with a couple tetras,,do i load the tank with plants to start or introduce them slowly like fish,,,thanks
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-17-2011, 05:00 AM
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You can add all the plants at once. They will actually act as an anti-cycle so to speak. Only issue you might run into is if a bunch die or if you get crypts and they melt. That could cause an ammonia spike. Personally I do a partial(one hour)-all(six hours)-partial(one hour) for 8 hours a day. Not sure if that's the best...perhaps someone will chime in and we can both learn something...lol
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-17-2011, 10:01 AM
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You can add the plants whenever u want, start of the cycle, middle or whenever u want, i prefer to add them at the start since plants are natural filters . Fast growing plants ,most of stem plants will absorb nitrates and ammonia so it kinda promotes your cycle.If u have finished cycling your tank test for nitrates and ammonia to make sure there wont be any problems. You can add fish but make sure not to rush into it. Partially add the fish so u wont have any ammonia spikes and kill them. Hope i helped a bit =)
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-18-2011, 12:00 AM Thread Starter
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thank you for the advice,every bit helps, especially when theres consistency between members...nubster stated he's only lighting for a total of eight hours,,,i realize theres lots of variables, but whats a good rule of thumb for lighting times,and do you have to see pearling
to have a successful planted tank???thanks chuck
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-18-2011, 08:03 AM
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Planted aquariums are like a small eco-system in a box so to say..so it is best if u set your lights on timers for a standard 10 to 12 hours. Plants photosynthesize max in a 12 hour period. Some people have been kept succesful planted tanks with the 8hour photoperiod but this might vary in plant species , lighting type/wpg and fertilization. Personal opinion the 10 hour period should be enough then lights go off ,plants get some rest. The shortening or shutdown of lights during the day could be helpful preventing algae growth in high lighted tanks. I would say go with the 10-12 hours and see how it goes from there.
Now when it comes to pearling.. pearling occurs when the water gets saturated with O2. When your plants are thriving, all photosynthesizing conditions are met, balance of nutrients then you will probably see pearling. Some plants pearl easier than others, some pearl less or more.You mentioned before u have a pressurized CO2 system, make sure your plants get macro/micro nutrients and enough light.If there is a balance of nutrients and enough light u most likely have pearling. Cold water can hold more O2, during photosynthesis your plants produce O2. When the water is saturated with it and it can not dissolve anymore it can be seen in the form of bubbles. Don't get disappointed if you don't have any at the beggining, some have it 30 min after lights on others late afternoon or none at all it doesn't mean that your plants are not doing fine. As long as u have good growth , healthy plants and no algae is all good. =)
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-19-2011, 12:31 AM Thread Starter
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thanks mario,,one more question,,i have an airpump/stone turn on when the timer shuts down the last set of lights,then pump shuts off in morning about an 1hr before the first set of lights turn on, am i doing this correctly or am i going overboard...thanks chuck
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-19-2011, 04:01 AM
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When I set up my tank years ago 12 hours of light was suggested but when I came back to read about planted tanks a couple years ago 8 hours was suggested. I only reduced the period with a lot of grumbling and plant watching. I kept shortening up the light cycle as my Rotala, Myriophyllum and wisteria were closing up while the lights were still on. They seem to only need about 7-8 hours of light a day. I suspect the strength of lighting might make a difference here, I have fairly strong light. Some have good experiences with a split lighting period, some like really short and some like really long lighting periods. Experiment a bit once things are going again, that light timer does adjust! It is best to start out with shorter hours with the lights high or shaded so the plants get started before algae. If I mess around in the tank and take a lot of plant mass out I shade the tank for a couple days with window screening.

Pearling is pretty enough but again things have changed. When I started out 3x the volume of the tank was considered good water flow, now it is 10x!!! With that much water movement O2 might not form those pretty bubbles on plants as it is diffused into the water faster. And they are just nice, not necessary.

Use an airstone at night if you don't have a ripple on the water surface from the filter. I wouldn't turn it off until lights are on otherwise the fish won't have the added O2 for that hour. Since you are using pressurized CO2 just turn up the spraybar so there is a ripple on the water's surface all the time and skip the air pump. Ripples are pretty.

It is old advice and still used - stuff the tank full from the start! That means the bottom of the tank should look nearly completely green from the top. You can use your permanent plants plus easy fast growers like wisteria and hornwort. Get your fertilizer bought and dose lightly as soon as there are plants in there. Some would take out the fish and blast the tank with CO2 as well, turning it off to introduce the fish once plants are grown in some and work it up to a level the fish can tolerate well.


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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-19-2011, 05:00 AM
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I have 8 planted tanks set up, all have 8 hour photo periods.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-21-2011, 12:36 AM Thread Starter
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thanks to everybody for the great advice,,thank you kathyy for helping with all my questions,,,,
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-21-2011, 03:07 AM
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I too just started a 55g tank with pressure CO2 and lots of light. I initially put in the substrate and plants and began cycling my tank with a method where you simply toss 2 dead raw shrimp into the tank and as they rot the nitrogen cycle begins, this cycle I've read is safer than risking live fish to produce "poo" and then be exposed to ammonia and nitrites/nitrates. What this did was establish the beneficial bacteria in the tank and in my canister bio filter. Took roughly 3 weeks for the ammonia to drop to zero after the initial spike. All while my plants got nice and established and ready for my fish.

I can't say I haven't had my problems......half my neon tetras have died after introducing them on week 4. My tap water PH is 7.2 but with CO2 its off the bottom of the tester <6. which I think contributed to half my plants melting..... the massive melt caused a huge green bearded algae attack with all the dead stuff on the bottom...... I dosed Hydrogen peroxide to kill the GBA and killed half my fish and plants........so I'm buying more plants and a really really good water test kit so I know whats going on.
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