Is this ok? Startup advice plz.. - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-05-2012, 10:52 PM Thread Starter
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Question Is this ok? Startup advice plz..

Hey, OK so I just finished buying everything after lots of planning for my first low-tech planted aquarium. I'm worried in-case I screw it up, I really want everything to work-out without too many hitches and headaches. Just want to make sure I've got everything covered.

Before I start my ramble... Thank You for any advice or tips... I'm extremely grateful!

:-)

My setup

Its a 55g (jewel 340),
1.5wpg +3hrs direct sunlight (dunno if that counts or not?)
No co2
9kg/20lb bag eco-complete substrate
Its pricey, so I only got one bag, then bought some unbranded small grain about 5mm black crystal type substrate.

Can I mix the two together?

I'm also planning to use sand separately from gravel for beach/ stream effect in the centre of the tank using plastic dividers

Got a nice piece of driftwood to make a moss tree .
And Some Nice Black and white Aquarium Rocks for the "grassy sides of the tank"

Treatments

API Iron high Root tabs
Prime Startup...
Haven't bought a fertilizer or any kind of algae treatment stuff yet.. What do you use? What are your results?

My plants... I really tried to research my plants before I bought them and these were my decisions.. didn't want to get anything that I thought would die.

Java Moss this is going to be used for the moss tree..

Picked up dwarf sags and And Bacopa Australlis as carpeting plants.

Im wondering how long my dwarf sags are going to grow in my tank 1.5wpg +3hrs sunlight a day?? will they stay short or grow high? I've read mixed reviews... if they get too long can I trim dwarf sags?

I just picked up some Bacopa Australis, I've heard that it's fairly easy to grow in any condition. But I'm wondering can I keep trimming them short and re-planting the stems, is it possible to keep a short carpet by just using trimmings? It's a supposedly a fast grower?

I also bought a few pots of Anubias nana that I'm going to plant around my rocks.... anyone know how long it'll take these to grow?

Also, I'm wondering if there is anything solid I could put under my substrate to Bulk up the height of substrate at the back of the tank? I was thinking polystyrene, I'm not sure though.. It's very buoyant and might float to the top over time? Any other suggestions. or ideas..

I warned you about the rambling... lol.

Thanks again!
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-05-2012, 11:13 PM
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It sounds like you have a pretty good plan. I cant help much on your substrate question. I have a 20lb bag in my tank on the left side then 2 bags of gravel because my wife would only let me do a fun tank but I did want a few plants. Did you consider a dirted tank? That would give you a nice substrate for your plants and not break the bank. I like the idea of using the dividers with the sand. What are you going to use for filtration? Good luck and post some pics if you can.

55 gallon, 48" T5 HO, SunSun HW303A and Emperor 400 filtration
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-05-2012, 11:20 PM
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Here are a few of my suggestions for you:

Give us more info on your light. WPG means nothing to us. A 300w microwave oven will not grow plants

You can mix the eco complete, or layer it. Its up to you.

Since you are going low tech, I'd go for something like seachem equilibrium once per week for fert dosing.

The plants you picked are fine. The anubias nana will be very slow to grow, but are great little plants. Attach them to the rocks or other objects is the best way to plant them.

To build up hills, use foam or something similar, silicone it the glass with aquarium safe silicone (100%).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Racie_Gracy View Post
Hey, OK so I just finished buying everything after lots of planning for my first low-tech planted aquarium. I'm worried in-case I screw it up, I really want everything to work-out without too many hitches and headaches. Just want to make sure I've got everything covered.

Before I start my ramble... Thank You for any advice or tips... I'm extremely grateful!

:-)

My setup

Its a 55g (jewel 340),
1.5wpg +3hrs direct sunlight (dunno if that counts or not?)
No co2
9kg/20lb bag eco-complete substrate
Its pricey, so I only got one bag, then bought some unbranded small grain about 5mm black crystal type substrate.

Can I mix the two together?

I'm also planning to use sand separately from gravel for beach/ stream effect in the centre of the tank using plastic dividers

Got a nice piece of driftwood to make a moss tree .
And Some Nice Black and white Aquarium Rocks for the "grassy sides of the tank"

Treatments

API Iron high Root tabs
Prime Startup...
Haven't bought a fertilizer or any kind of algae treatment stuff yet.. What do you use? What are your results?

My plants... I really tried to research my plants before I bought them and these were my decisions.. didn't want to get anything that I thought would die.

Java Moss this is going to be used for the moss tree..

Picked up dwarf sags and And Bacopa Australlis as carpeting plants.

Im wondering how long my dwarf sags are going to grow in my tank 1.5wpg +3hrs sunlight a day?? will they stay short or grow high? I've read mixed reviews... if they get too long can I trim dwarf sags?

I just picked up some Bacopa Australis, I've heard that it's fairly easy to grow in any condition. But I'm wondering can I keep trimming them short and re-planting the stems, is it possible to keep a short carpet by just using trimmings? It's a supposedly a fast grower?

I also bought a few pots of Anubias nana that I'm going to plant around my rocks.... anyone know how long it'll take these to grow?

Also, I'm wondering if there is anything solid I could put under my substrate to Bulk up the height of substrate at the back of the tank? I was thinking polystyrene, I'm not sure though.. It's very buoyant and might float to the top over time? Any other suggestions. or ideas..

I warned you about the rambling... lol.

Thanks again!
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-05-2012, 11:26 PM
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Just a warning - dwarf sag spreads like crazy and will eventually carpet your whole tank. Mine gets fairly tall, like about 4-5 inches, and my tank has very low light. In my opinion it doesn't make a good foreground plant, but it will creep to the foreground whether you want it to or not. I am constantly ripping dwarf sag out of my substrate.

I mixed eco complete and plain black aquarium gravel. The only issue I have with it is that now 5 years later the color is starting to wear off the gravel and the white beneath it is showing thru. If you have snails or any fish that burrow in the substrate they will mix it all up eventually anyhow.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-05-2012, 11:38 PM Thread Starter
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Duhrrrr.. I have 2x T5 lights 108cm's and its gonna sit in my front room where its gets alot of light... I'm gonna get a few algae eaters fairly quickly so Im hoping I dont get over-run
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-05-2012, 11:45 PM
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Is that 2 t5 bulbs, or 2 t5 fixtures. Most of the time, 2 t5 fixtures means 4 bulbs.

Assuming you give yourself 3" of substrate, you will be around 18 or 19" from the light if its on top of the tanks rim. So, depending on how good the reflectors are, you will receive 10-15 PAR per bulb.

So, for 2 bulbs that will net you 20-30 PAR, good low light.

If thats 4 bulbs, you will be at 40-60 PAR, low-medium light. Add in the direct sunlight and you may be too high with 4 bulbs for a low tech setup. So, you could add some excel and up your fert dosing to fend off algae if it comes to that.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-05-2012, 11:47 PM Thread Starter
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2 t5 bulbs. 40watt i think
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-05-2012, 11:48 PM Thread Starter
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two 40watt t5 bulbs
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-06-2012, 12:53 AM
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You are probably good then. Couple floating plants like duckweed will help you too I think.
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