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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-19-2014, 02:55 AM Thread Starter
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New to planted tanks and have questions.

Hello everyone! I wasn't sure where to post this and thought here looked as good as any other place. So I tried doing a planted tank back in the 90's and it was a colossal failure. I didn't know what I was doing and didn't have anyone to turn to for advice. Then recently I've gotten back into the hobby and currently have a 75g which is a discus tank, a 36g bowfront that's pretty much the kids tank that I maintain, then a 29g that started out a bb tank for a pair of angels. Turns out the male angel does everything with the female a pair should do except for fertilize the eggs. He did once that I know of in the 36g but the eggs didn't last the night but since then he hasn't been interested. So this tank has now received pool filter sand, some driftwood, community fish and recently some live plants. For filtration I have a sponge filter and a Penguin 50 bio-wheel, which I'm not a fan of and want to replace with an AC. In the lighting department just replaced the old T12 for a Finnex Planted+ which is awesome. For plants I have 2 smaller Amazon swords that I've had for a month or so and I got from the LFS. Then yesterday I added 2 larger Amazon swords, 7 Blyxa japonica, and a dozen or so stems of Limnophila aromatica, all of which came from Planted Aquarium Central. I've also been using Flourish Excel each morning when I turn the lights on.
So that back story took longer than I thought but I thought most of it was pertinent information for the questions I was going to ask. So first I've heard in a planted tank you don't need or shouldn't have and air stone. Is there any truth to this? If so should I remove the sponge filter? Second is there something I should use along with the Flourish Excel? Third I guess as a catch all question am I missing anything important? Any help will greatly be appreciated!
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-19-2014, 04:44 AM
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Hi Jason! Welcome to the Planted Tank

I, myself, am still re-learning about planted tanks. There are some great links on this forum about ferts and basic guidelines.

If I remember correctly - the airstone is something you may want to consider if you are injecting CO2 or if you have low air flow from your filter. Hopefully someone will clarify this more...

Are you using any type of ferts or root tabs? Flourish is a great all-around fert. FLourish Excel is more like co2 and not so much a fertilizer. I'm moving to dose individually - just waiting on my order to get here. http://greenleafaquariums.com/aquarium-fertilizer.html Has great calculators, breakdowns of what ferts you need, and scheduling guidelines.

Hope this helps some and lots of luck on your planted tank
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-19-2014, 05:44 AM
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I don't know if this is an issue, but some people remove the wheel from the bio-wheel. I would recommend ACs highly, except the water coming out creates surface agitation. I use an internal Fluval U2.

I personally would never use an airstone as I think it drives off CO2 at night when it builds up.

Fertilizers - the sand substrate is inert so IMO you need fertilizers. I am starting fertilizers now. I think the Estimative Index method makes sense. The plants will take up more fertilizers because of that great lighting you have now.

MY TANK: Planted 10g; 2 x 10W CFL; Fluval U2 internal filter; MGOCPM/black sand cap

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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-19-2014, 06:08 AM Thread Starter
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So I've been doing a bit more research and have a few things to ask. I've been looking at the GLA web site and was going through their PPS-Pro package. It looks rather simple and something I could start doing rather quickly. Does anyone use or have experience with this? Would it be a good fert system for my tank?
Also I've been tossing around this idea and want to know what else I would need to get it running. I've been a home brewer for about 6 or 7 years now but haven't been active with it for just over a year. My kegerator went down and I haven't replaced it. So I have a CO2 tank and a dual gauge regulator sitting with my brewing equipment collecting dust right now. What would I need to finish a system and start injecting CO2? And would this increase my need for either light or ferts, or both?
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-19-2014, 06:22 AM Thread Starter
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I don't know if this is an issue, but some people remove the wheel from the bio-wheel. I would recommend ACs highly, except the water coming out creates surface agitation.
I've heard of taking the wheel out also but then whats the point of buying these filters? I sold all my aquarium gear in 2001 when I joined the navy and didn't have a tank again till around 2009 when I got a 55g and put a canister under it. Then I sold that one in 2012 just before I moved to where I am now. About a year ago I started collecting aquariums again and decided to go with the penguin bio-wheel cause I had seen so many good reviews. When I stated up my 75g I had learned of the AC's and got a AC110 and absolutely love it. It returns water the same way as the bio-wheel just flows more so I don't think surface agitation is much different if they were equal sizes. That's why I want to dump the bio-wheels and go strictly AC's.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-19-2014, 06:48 AM
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Jason

First let me say that excel isn't a fert persay, it is a source of liquid carbon. here is a very educational thread on ferts and what is called the EI concept of fertilization; https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...d.php?t=517945

Also one on dosing recipes by the same poster as the first; https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...d.php?t=647697

Given that your not injecting CO2 gas I would suggest starting with 1/2 the recomended EI dosing suggestion, one can always adjust from there.

Personally I've read often enough that the PPS method often lacks in areas and through that lack sets the stage for nusiance algae and IMHO the EI concept is the way to go.


Green Leaf Aquariums is a good source for ferts, that's where I got mine from, however this poster has a better deal for the same ferts, wish I would have gone with them myself; https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...d.php?t=690881

For those swords your going to want to get some kind of root tabs as they are heavy root feeders. The posted I linked above also carries those, or you could get the Flourish root tabs, either will work but the osmocote+ capsules are more cost effective in the long run.

Also there are people who run sponge filters on their planted tanks. Things like air stones and such only come into serious consideration if your injecting CO2, then the concern is for off gassing the CO2 your trying to inject. Actually in the absence of CO2 injection it is said to help balance CO2 in the aquarium as surface agitation can cause gas exchange for both O2 and CO2.

The bio-wheel isn't hurting anything, and maybe my brain is sleeping but I'm unsure as to what your post is refering to as AC as it relates to a filter. A hang on the back type filter or in your case what's called a power filter can be adquate for filtration, however I have found that they lack in providing adquate flow throughout the tank. One could suppelment this by adding a second filter such as a canister filter with a spray bar or jet discharge and project the flow length ways down the tank, or one could add just a powerhead. Either way the goal is to avoid dead spots in the tank as it is in these dead spots that not only can algae grow, but nutrents from the ferts are not being adquatily distributed.

Hope that helps
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-19-2014, 06:35 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by FatherLandDescendant View Post
Personally I've read often enough that the PPS method often lacks in areas and through that lack sets the stage for nusiance algae and IMHO the EI concept is the way to go.
I was just looking at the GLA site and their EI and PPS packages are almost identical. Only difference is the PPS has MgSO4 whereas the EI system doesn't. So how does the PPS lack something the EI doesn't?

Quote:
The bio-wheel isn't hurting anything, and maybe my brain is sleeping but I'm unsure as to what your post is refering to as AC as it relates to a filter.
The filter system I was talking about are AquaClears. Easily the best HOB filter I've ever used.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-19-2014, 09:43 PM
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I was just looking at the GLA site and their EI and PPS packages are almost identical. Only difference is the PPS has MgSO4 whereas the EI system doesn't. So how does the PPS lack something the EI doesn't?
The difference is in the amounts you dose, as I stated earlier I've read several instances where people employing the PPS method find themselves dealing with not only algae, but plant deficiencies as well. Most often those having these issues tend to switch to the EI method of dosing which is a non-limiting provision of nutrients for your plants. Also MgSO4 is just Epsom salt, IF you find that you needed it, and you may not, that could be bought cheap from the grocery store in the health and beauty isle.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason F View Post
The filter system I was talking about are AquaClears. Easily the best HOB filter I've ever used.
Ah I see. Never used those that I can recall, there have been so many different tanks over the years, my current tank is the first I've had since I've recovered from drug and alcohol abuse

Thus far I've been a Marineland man myself, just seemed to work out that way. Why don't you try a canister filter? Also as I stated earlier power filters and HOBs (hang on back) while they have great flow front to back, often leave dead spots off to the sides of the tank. Just something to consider.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-19-2014, 10:11 PM Thread Starter
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Ok, good to know. So what would I need to set up a CO2 injection system. As I mentioned earlier I already have a tank and dual gauge regulator that's been used in kegerator but the kegerator is broken right now.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-19-2014, 11:21 PM
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Ok, good to know. So what would I need to set up a CO2 injection system. As I mentioned earlier I already have a tank and dual gauge regulator that's been used in kegerator but the kegerator is broken right now.
That is a question I can not answer, I haven't made it past considering it myself, I don't even know if I can get a CO2 bottle refiled locally so I haven't really looked into it myself.

Tom Barr (Plant Brain here on TPT) has a CO2 sub-section on his site that has a lot of info; http://www.barrreport.com/

There's also a lot of other good info on there as well
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