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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-20-2008, 07:01 AM Thread Starter
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New to Planted tank

Hi Everyone,

OK! Finally decided to make one of my 20 gallon into Plant only tank, (maybe some fish in the future). I got some Amazonia 2, Nova Extreme 10k daylight T5HO, SlimPaq T5HO a bright pinkish light hue, 2x 24" 48 Watts.. What else do I need to have a perfect planted tank?

Where is the best place to get some plants and I really like the hair grass to cover the whole bottom/floor.. What is the best dwarf hair grass I can get and how much/many?

I have 5 tanks that's up and running. The tank for the planted just have the soil right now, Do I cycle this like a regular aquarium? can I get some establish water from my other tanks? What is a good filter for the tank? Well, this is it for now, TIA..

Ricky
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-20-2008, 08:25 AM
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Ok its a little late for me but I'll see what I can answer for you. Is that 48 watts total or 48 watts each bulb for 96 total? You need CO2 or a carbon source of some sort if its the latter if its the former not so much but it won't hurt. Same withe the ferts.

Best place I think to get plants is the Swap N Shop forum on this site. Great people, amazing plants and awesome prices. I'm not sure how much or how many you want it would depend on the area you are trying to fill with the hair grass. I don't know if the hair grass would do well under other stuff if that's what you had in mind.

As for cycling I am not sure how it would go with no fish in the future. I don't think it matters so much since plants don't work quite the same way as the fish do. Someone else probably knows more on this. If you want to be safe just use media from the established filters.

Hope this helped
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-20-2008, 09:02 AM Thread Starter
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It's 48 watts total.. What's a good filtration and what media should I be more concerned on, biological, Chemical or Mechanical? So, does it need to be cycled if it's going to be plant only for now? Do I really need a CO2 in most of the plants that I might keep? Sorry for asking to much, just bare with me please, kinda new to this whole planted tank, been wanting to have one.. I been keeping fish for the last 25 years or so.. I currently have Tanganyikan Cichlids, 17 F-1 and 5 Wild Zebra pleco which I'm trying to breed, CRS and CBS, Yellow, Snow Ball, Blue Pearl and i have 3 different kind of Sulawesi Shrimp coming. That's it for now..
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-20-2008, 02:12 PM
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One of my tanks is a 20 with 42 watts of T5. At 48 watts of T5HO you will be at 2.4 wpg and will be pushing the low tech envelope a bit but you may still be able to get away with no CO2 and dose with Excel. I am dosing mine with Excel every couple of days. With no CO2 I use a Marineland Penguin HOB for filtration simple because it is cheap and effecient. I use the standard filter cartridge that comes with it.

Since you are going plant only for now you do not need to do any kind of cycle on the tank but you do need to treat the water just as if it had fish with something like Prime. Plants don't like chlorine either, lol. If you decide later to add livestock your tank will be cycled at that point and there should be no issues.

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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-20-2008, 02:24 PM
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I would get a canister filter for this tank. There is a nice member here named Waterfaller who I believe has the same tank as you do and she set it up the exact same way. I will try to find here tank journal for you and post it up..
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-20-2008, 02:32 PM
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It's a good thing you aren't cycling with fish because that ASII will leach ammonia for a good month. Keep up on the water changes and yull be ok. You could also throw some zeolite in the filter for a few weeks to help with the nastys
I would go with the Eheim 2215 or the Eheim 2234 for filtration both are cheaper than the xp2 I believe.
Are you planning co2 higher light?


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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-20-2008, 02:34 PM
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-20-2008, 03:00 PM
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Get yourself a pressurized CO2 system if you can. I have that exact same light fixture over a 20 gallon tank. I constantly battled algae at first w/out CO2. I got a pressurized system after about 2 months and I have no algae. I wouldn't trade it for anything at this point. With it though, you'll probably want to figure out a fert schedule. Look into the PPS-Pro system over at www.aquaticplantcentral.com, it's what I use and I've had great luck with it.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-21-2008, 07:21 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the replies.. What's the temperature on a planted tank, do I need a heater during the winter in the tank?? So can I go ahead and run the tank and put plants in there while I wait for my filter?
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-21-2008, 10:07 PM
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Plants are less sensitive to temperature changes than fish are, so I'd base your temperature on the fish you plan to stock in the tank. Most tropical fish are good between 76-78 F, and that's probably where most tanks are kept.

A heater is a good piece of equipment b/c it helps keep the temperature stable. Fluctuations in temperature are usually very stressful on fish, and weaken them to disease and parasites if not outright killing them. That being said, I don't usually use heaters on my tanks b/c I live in a very temperate climate and we keep our house between the temperatures I just mentioned with centralized AC during the summer and heating during the winter.

You could go ahead and plant before you get your filter if you already have the plants, but personally I like to get a tank up and fully running with a test run before I start adding plants, since I may change my mind about some of the equipment arrangement and that's easier to do with an empty (not yet 'scaped) tank.





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