Planting first tank this week, need advice - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-26-2013, 08:03 PM Thread Starter
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Planting first tank this week, need advice

Hey everyone. I am planning on planting my first ever planted tank later this week when my plants arrive. Was hoping to get some advice to help me start off on the right foot. I am mainly curious what I need to do for photo period and fertilizer. It is going to be a non co2 tank.

Tank: 40breeder
Lighting: 2 single bulb solar max HE 21W t5 bulbs
Filter: Eheim classic 600
Heater: 100W eheim jagr
Substrate: Fluorite black sand
I will be planting to start:
Vallisneria Spiralis
Cryptocoryne wendtii Florida sunset
Cryptocoryne wendtii red
cryptocoryne undulata
Cryptocoryne spiralis
Cryptocoryne parva
Echinodorus Kleiner Prinz
Nymphaea stellata
Anubias barteri coffeefolia
Anubias barteri nana
Bacopa Carolina

I am just curious what my photo period should be. I like the idea of using a siesta. I have read that the benefit may be marginal and that it may wear out my bulbs faster, but I am mainly interested in being able to view my tank for more hours while I am home.

For ferts I was planning on using Seachem flourish once a week or once every other week.

Any other advice is welcome, I would like to try and minimize my mistakes from the beginning.
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-26-2013, 09:08 PM
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i would start off on about a 6 hour photoperiod. then as your tank fills in over the next 6 months or so you should bump up your photoperiod accordingly. have you bought fertilizer yet? i would suggest dry ferts ~ you can find them from many of our sponsors and even for sale from some of our members
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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-27-2013, 12:54 AM Thread Starter
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I have a bottle of seachem flourish.
Are dry ferts just cheaper or do they work better as well?
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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-27-2013, 01:45 AM
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Cheaper, last longer, and just as easy to dose.
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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-31-2013, 03:27 AM Thread Starter
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Just planted it tonight. Any suggestions/tips from anyone?
I wasn't sure exactly which crypts were which between the wendtii red, florida sunset, and the undulata.

When should i start using the flourish?

Another newbie question, my fixtures came with 10,000k daylight bulbs. Is that ok or do I need to change?
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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-31-2013, 03:56 AM
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Since you're not going with CO2 you'll definitely want to reduce your light levels. 6500k is more what you want for medium/low tech like you're doing.


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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-31-2013, 04:08 AM
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Read through my journal thread li led in my signature. It's a low tech non co2 setup. You might be able to pick up some valuable information there.

Couple very important tips for a low tech setup:

1. Plant heavily
2. Be Patient
3. Make mistakes

I'm all about getting ducks in a row to minimize mistakes but making mistake is part of the process. Just understand that you will make mistakes along the way. Some big, some little but there is something to learn from each. Low Texh is a good choice for your first tank because the tank is slow motion giving you time to correct things as you go.
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-31-2013, 05:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thelub View Post
Since you're not going with CO2 you'll definitely want to reduce your light levels. 6500k is more what you want for medium/low tech like you're doing.
6500k-10,000k are optimal color temperatures for any type of aquarium.

The light fixture he has should be sufficient for low tech, it is a normal output T5, not high output.


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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-31-2013, 01:35 PM Thread Starter
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Yea they are normal output t5. I got 2 since its a breeder so I can try to evenly distribute the light as best I could.

Did I plant to sparsely? I'm not exactly sure how certain plants will fill in so I didnt want to go crazy. I'm also hoping I can trim and propogate the bacopa carolina to fill in some of the spaces.

How long for a low tech setup like this until I can start to see if they plants will grow or not?

And how long should I wait until I can start to add fishes?
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-31-2013, 07:51 PM
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You have mostly slow growing plants, so it will take time. I usually plant heavier just so there's enough plant biomass in the tank to hopefully cut back on the chance of algae. You can always thin things out.

Have you cycled a tank before? That will determine the timeline for adding fish.
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post #11 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-31-2013, 08:00 PM Thread Starter
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I have had fish only tanks before years ago, but to be honest didn't really know what I was doing. I would just buy a few fish every couple weeks. I have my master test kit now though. Just from what I've read the plants should help cycle correct? So as long as they are showing growth I can add a few fish to start the cycle?
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post #12 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-31-2013, 09:32 PM
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You can, but you need to add slowly and monitor things diligently. Water changes to minimize ammonia and nitrite spikes.

I honestly prefer fishless cycles using pure ammonia. No risk to the fish and you can then build up a bacteria colony for your full stock. It takes longer, but much easier in my opinion and the plants will still help take up some of the N.
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post #13 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-02-2013, 02:37 PM Thread Starter
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So the leaves on some of my crypts are melting, which I guess I expected. But a couple leaves on the lily have holes and one leaf on an anubias is a little brown at the tip. Is this just normal for a new tank and I should just give it time or should i be concerned?
Also, should I remove the dying leaves? Or since there are no fish in there at the moment can I just leave them as a source of ammonia to help cycle?

I have just flourish comp. Is potassium and phosphate something I need to add as well or can I get by with just the flourish?
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post #14 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-02-2013, 10:53 PM
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I suggest waiting about 2 weeks before adding any fish. The plants will have bacteria on them to start the ammonia/nitrite consuming bacteria colony you need, but it takes some time. Add just a few fish at first, less than a half dozen, wait about a week or two, and add a few more, wait a week or two before adding the rest of the fish you want. All of that is contingent on the plants being actively growing, not just sitting in the water slowly rotting.

I'm not sure how much light you have, but I think it is low enough that you won't see really fast growth. If you add Excel to your dosing, that should help the plants quite a bit. And, pushing a few substrate fertilizer tabs under some of the plants would help too.

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post #15 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-03-2013, 04:07 PM Thread Starter
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Would putting tabs under the plants be in addition to flourish or in place of?
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