How Heavily Planted is Heavily Planted? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-28-2014, 01:28 AM Thread Starter
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How Heavily Planted is Heavily Planted?

Hi:

I read about some of my organisms that I buy or am looking into. Some say they need a heavily planted environment which I am trying to accomplish. I am curious: how heavily planted is heavily planted? How many plants do you need? Like does the tank need to be so full of plants that you can't see the soil?

Sorry... if I am weird.

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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-28-2014, 01:33 AM
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To me I would say 90 percent of the bottom surface covered with plants, moss, etc, is considered heavily planted.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-28-2014, 01:36 AM
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The term heavily planted means something different to everyone usually. To me it usually implies that at least 75% of the surface area of the substrate is used for planting. But there are a ton of factors you have to take into account, denseness of foliage, type of foliage, size of tank etc etc. If you are using taller plants in a taller tank you will need less coverage of your substrate and still have the same amount of plant material.

What kind of fish are you wanting to keep that they say need a heavily planted tank? A lot of places use this description for fish that need ample hiding spots and need to be able to get out of visual range of each other. This can me accomplished in a lightly planted tank with a decent amount of hardscapeing.

You may be able to get a better answer if you say what kind of fish you are wanting to keep and what size tank you have or are planning to get.

Here is a photo of my 75 gallon years ago, I call this the jungle stage which is what happens when you let a heavily planted tank get out of hand, I had nearly 30 fish in the aquarium when this photo was taken and I believe you can see two. So I would say judging by that picture, you could remove around 25% of the plants or more and still have what most would consider a heavily planted.

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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-28-2014, 01:37 AM
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Here is my heavily-planted:

The sight of substrate is an abomination to man!
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-28-2014, 01:56 AM
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Originally Posted by zachawry View Post
Here is my heavily-planted:
Heavily-planted discus aquarium - YouTube

The sight of substrate is an abomination to man!
Your tank is amazing!
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-28-2014, 02:02 AM
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It is pretty ;-)
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-28-2014, 02:06 AM Thread Starter
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Wow I love your tanks!

So funny - sight of substrate is an abomination.

Aquarist: Were not your 30 fish sad not having place to swim around? Love the jungle look btw :-)

Okay, here is what I either have or am looking into:
1) African Dwarf Frog - says prefers broad leaves, floating plants, and heavily planted

2) Red Cherry Shrimp and Amano Shrimp (I would like these, but I have read that if it is not heavily planted the ADF may or may not try to eat them).

3) Rummy Nose Tetra (I have these and understand they want plants).

My issue is that I am a grad student and really really do not want a high tech tank. I am running a low tech tank and although I am doing really great with some plants in there (e.g. water wisteria and anachurus), I cannot figure out for the life of me what to carpet with that can withstand my low light. (the LED hood light) I would love some swords but know I can't have that in my light. Just reading and reading.... Just trying to find some carpeting.

Thanks!

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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-28-2014, 02:42 AM
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I wouldn't mix frogs and shrimp. They will stuff whatever they can in their mouths. The cherries will disappear rather quickly; the amanos, depending on size, will either be eaten right away or slowly dismembered until they're goners.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-28-2014, 03:36 AM Thread Starter
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Awww so sad for me.

I could not resist the cuteness of the frogs, and now no shrimp for me. I wonder what this would do for any prospective algae/leftover food/refuse.

I may one day make a species only tank for them. For now they are communal. They are adorable! They make me crack up.

I understand I need some MTS to aerate my sand and now I have assassin snails which would eat them. Bleah. As a newbie, I think I am like...making interesting choices. How do I avoid anaerobic bacteria build up in my sand now?

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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-28-2014, 04:03 AM
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How Heavily Planted is Heavily Planted?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dbw27 View Post
Awww so sad for me.

I could not resist the cuteness of the frogs, and now no shrimp for me. I wonder what this would do for any prospective algae/leftover food/refuse.
Clean your tank frequently. Good filtration should prevent food and waste build up between your water change cycles. If you see an excess of food waste in your tank, feed less. If there is an excess of waste ( not un-eaten food, fish waste ) you can increase your tank circulation and have a power head run parallel to the substrate to help lift off the waste so it can make it to the filter, or you may need to increase your filtration, or add more physical media to your filter.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dbw27 View Post
I may one day make a species only tank for them. For now they are communal. They are adorable! They make me crack up.

I understand I need some MTS to aerate my sand and now I have assassin snails which would eat them. Bleah. As a newbie, I think I am like...making interesting choices. How do I avoid anaerobic bacteria build up in my sand now?

dbw
As long as you keep your substrate under 3 inches or so you should not have a problem with anaerobic bacteria. But if your substrate is deeper, and is sand as you say, when you are doing your weekly water change you should mix 1/4 of your substrate up, so if your sand substrate is 12" long you will turn 3" of it a week. Just do a light mix, google "how to fold in egg whites" I know that's for cooking but the general idea of the "folding" method works great on sand substrates and does not make a mess of thins, I used to do this in my cichlid tank when I had them.

For the snail, you can still get MTS and pond snails, and it's probably actually an even better idea that you get them since you already got the assassin snails. The assassins will keep their numbers in check, if you have a second tank or are able to even keep a small plastic container with some sand in it with water you can keep some of your MTS on the side so you never completely lose your stock. MTS and pond snails are asexual so they will reproduce on their own, and can do so very rapidly. I have MTS and pond snails in all my aquariums ( probably ) but you hardly ever see any because I keep the numbers in check, by not over feeding and good water change routine. MTS and pond snails are often free , just go to your local big P pet store and ask for some, their aquariums are usually filled with them and if you get a friendly and patient person to help you, you can get a lot of both MTS and pond snails for free, if you don't live next to a store like that you can usually find people on here with them for next to nothing. I sometimes see people RAOKing them for the price of shipping.
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