I really need some good help from everyone - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-11-2006, 12:03 AM Thread Starter
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I really need some good help from everyone

hello,
I need aLOT of help from all of you . This is my situation, i got a 90 gallon tank for Christmas. My funds are kinda low and i really want plants. The tank has about 260 watts. I bought some plants for the tank before but most died. My substrate is sand/gravel but im changing the whole thing to sand. The plants that i have now are sagittaries, wendii, jungle vals, and a nana anubius. I really like the plants that i have and would just like to add and i also want some stemed plants and i have a HUGE piece of driftwood that looks liike tree roots that im going to put java ferns on. Now this is were the hard part is, my funds are very limited so i dont have CO2 or fertilizer so could you guys/gals help me pick out some very hardy but awesome plants. I would really appreciate all the help.
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-11-2006, 12:13 AM
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I'm still learning about the plants but CO2 you can do real cheap with yeast and sugar etc.
Joe

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29 & 50 gallon - High Tech C02 enriched.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-11-2006, 12:46 AM
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HM (baby tears) is one of those plants you have to try to kill...
java moss is also an easy plant if you have light.

yeah and diy co2 is pretty cheap. a bag of sugar runs like $1-2, yeast ($1-2), soda bottles, some tubing. you can either run a hagen ladder ($10-15) or build a reactor with a gravel cleaner, pvc and bio balls.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-11-2006, 12:51 AM
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DIY co2 on a 90 gallon tank is pretty much imposible. You mine as well not waste your time, and start saving up for a pressurised system.

260 watts of light is a pretty good starting point. You can probably grow your plants under that without injecting co2 at all. My advice is to not even bother with a DIY co2 setup.

75 gallon, fillstar xp2 with inline reactor, 12 Lb pressurised co2, 4.2 WPG-corallife 3x96 watt PC-, fluorite/silica-sand substright.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-11-2006, 12:54 AM
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You sound like a good candidate for a soil-based setup. Basically, you put a layer of soil under a layer of gravel. The breakdown of the soil, fish food, and fish poop provide nutrients and co2 for the plants. Water changes are only made infrequently (think months). Plant growth will be slow, but that's what most people who go this way are looking for. I've had a 4 gallon tank set up like this at work for a few weeks and so far so good.

Diana Walstad advocates this approach in her excellent book Ecology of the Planted Aquarium. Head to the library and check it out.

~Brian
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-11-2006, 01:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shuks
DIY co2 on a 90 gallon tank is pretty much imposible. You mine as well not waste your time, and start saving up for a pressurised system.

260 watts of light is a pretty good starting point. You can probably grow your plants under that without injecting co2 at all. My advice is to not even bother with a DIY co2 setup.
Although I agree that DIY co2 is a waste of time on a 90G tank, I dont agree that no co2 at all is a good idea. He has almost 3 watts per gallon. I believe that if you are on a tight budget, Cut yer lights down to under 2 wpg if you cant afford co2! Just add a few ferts here an there. You will have to test to keep the nitrates, an P04 in check.

I really think this would be the easiest way for ya. Just dont run 3 wpg without co2! You will open a can of worms for sure!!
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-11-2006, 01:30 AM
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260 watts of light over a 90 gallon tank requires CO2. And it is way to much light IMHO to go with a soil based setup.

And that amount of light is going to require fertilizers.

Take a few minutes and read my Guide.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-11-2006, 02:29 AM
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I agree with Rex. 260/90 is waaaay to much light if you're planning on going without CO2.
Cut that in half and you'll have enough for the low light plants without CO2.
But, I would suggest adding the DIY co2 if only in one corner, put your favorite faster growers in there, and that should work well.

Here is the list of plants I would recommend for your setup:
Bolbitis
C. Lutea, Ciliata, balansae
Sunset Hygro
Nymphaea bulbs
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-11-2006, 01:08 PM
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I think diy co2 would work IF he has soft water. I have done diy co2 on my 75 (before I got pressurized) and it dropped my ph. My water though has a kh of 2. Pressurized is much easier though..even with 2 bottles started at the same time I had to change every week.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-11-2006, 02:36 PM
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3 WPG, no CO2, soil substrate? A recipe for frustration.

I'll back Rex up here. Read his guide, then read through the forums. You'll see that as it is right now, your set up may be difficult to run.

I would consider a lower light system until I was able to get a pressurized CO2 system in place. 3 WPG and no CO2 is just going to cause algae trouble. DIY might work in your 90G (Wasserpest did it) but you are gong to have to set up a few large bottles and be dedicated to maintaining them. Can you do it? Sure! Just be prepared to be replenishing the DIY bottle faithfully!

Mike
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-11-2006, 03:24 PM
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I'm going to agree with everyone else here too (Sarah, Rex, Frog, Mark, et al.)...keep the lights low...learn how to get the tank in balance with fertilizing and your feeding routine before you jump to the higher light-high tech setup. A planted tank with the bells and whistles will cost a lot in the short run...but wise choices and planning will keep costs down in the LONG run. Do read Rex's guide...its chock full of great info that will help you out in both the short and long run.

Start with low light species and work your way up...you will get frustrated with plant deaths, algae, etc. Get a good grasp of your plants' needs now, then the hobby will be much easier and enjoyable for you later.

IMO a 90g needs pressurized co2...again, its another investment you need to plan for...as well as a good canister filter (an Eheim 2028 or a Filstar XP3). Talk with Rex about putting together a beer regulator system which will be cheaper than purchasing a commercial regulator/solenoid. If you choose the latter, I recomend the Azoo.

Good luck and ask some questions if Rex's guide confuses you.

Re-boot!
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-11-2006, 03:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ginnie5
I think diy co2 would work IF he has soft water. I have done diy co2 on my 75 (before I got pressurized) and it dropped my ph. My water though has a kh of 2. Pressurized is much easier though..even with 2 bottles started at the same time I had to change every week.
Soft or hard water doesn't matter. It's as easy to disolve CO2 in one as the other.

I wouldn't try DIY on a 90 gal, personally. Too much water volume.

Regards,
Barry
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-11-2006, 03:31 PM
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Quote:
DIY might work in your 90G (Wasserpest did it) but you are gong to have to set up a few large bottles and be dedicated to maintaining them.
That's Exactly right. You can do DIY C02 on a 90 gal.--just use 1 gal. juice/gatorade jugs. I did 2 on my 55gal and had as much C02 as I needed. Jello method works Great! Just remember to keep Your surface turbulation to a minimum......


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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-11-2006, 04:18 PM Thread Starter
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thanks for all the help. because money is kinda low at the moment i think that i will start off with a diy Co2 for now and save for a pressurized system. I some questions on both of them. I have dial up and it takes along time to navigate around so it would be very helpful if maybe i could get most of the direction posted. How do you set up a diy Co2 system. Also how much does a pressurized system cost? I really appreciate all the help(keep it coming) thanks
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-11-2006, 04:25 PM
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If you want inspiration for what can be done on a budget, look at the large tank winner for AGA's 2004 Aquascaping Contest: http://showcase.aquatic-gardeners.or...0&vol=2&id=112

It's 100 gallons, 100 watts, DIY C02. Had been setup for 3 years at the time of the contest.

You can do very well without pressurized C02. Just do your homework on the different methods available and find the one fits in terms of your goals, money, etc.

~Brian
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