Noobie here with some questions - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-03-2014, 07:15 PM Thread Starter
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Noobie here with some questions

Hey all just joined the forums. I recently just started up an old 29 gallon tank had lying around for years. I put a new heater in and picked up an aquaclear70 filter. Tank is now fully cycled for about 2 months now with 6 neons and 6 red cherry shrimp for inhabitants. I also picked a few plants from the LFS said to be easy to grow plants. I changed the bulb to a 20 watt t8 power glo bulb. So from spending time looking and researching a little into having a planted tank I have realized my old blue gravel isn't probably going to help grow a a nice planted tankk So my first question would be what type of easy noob friendly substrate is recommended I've read that eco complete seems to be a popular choice or aquasoil oor fluorite seems like a lot of choices. Would changing the substrate this soon into having the tank cycled be detrimental to the tank? Or can I get away with just using this old gravel?
As for plants I think I have narrowed down the species of what I have so far; an amazon sword, cabomba and a valisneria. I also have 2 smaller plants that I am not positive on what they are I attached closeup images. I think the one is a javafern? I've also ordered some java moss as well. I am just looking for any constructed input as for maybe how and where I should plant these for optimal growth. Any responses would be much appreciated thanks.
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-03-2014, 07:46 PM
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First thing, you're going to want to increase your lighting. A single 20 w bulb isn't going to get you anywhere, especially with how tall that 29 gal is. Assuming you take care of that...

The sword and val are indeed easy plants - staying low tech, you shouldn't have any problems keeping them happy, though don't expect the sword to take off. The val will grow like a weed (mainly because it is one :p ).

The first of the other two pictures looks like java fern, and the second looks like a crypt. They're both easy, and will grow slowly in your tank.

You can stick with the gravel as long as you're keeping up on your ferts - I would recommend root tabs, but that's just because I think they're easier and cheaper. At this point, switching out your substrate would be a big messy job.

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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-03-2014, 08:01 PM
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So what is the white thing on the bottom of the plants ?
You could use more gravel in there so the plant roots have more room at least towards the back of the tank. I don't know about aquasoil but the other substrates you mentioned don't give nutrients to the plants. We usually suppliment the nutrients with ferts(fertilizers) and most use dry type instead of those store bought liquids.

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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-03-2014, 10:49 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah the lighting was told by store should be sufficient but makes sense that it wouldn't be. Ill look into maybe trying to convert the hood to 2 T5 bulbs perhaps to increase it or any other suggestions?

As for fertilizer so far only been using Fluval Plant micro nutrients, only thing local store had as I am in a small town in canada selection of stuff is very limited and pricey. I have ordered some seachem root tabs, but ill look into doing my own dry stuff as it looks like best bang for buck.

As for the substrate is there a rule of thumb how many inches you should have? The blue gravel I have is old stuff I took off a family member to get the tank up and going before I did any research into it all. I am thinking if Im going to have to add more I might just wanna replace it all.

As for the white thing around the plants, its a ceramic clay type ring that the plants came with from LFS as a weight holding them together. I've left them in it, I was thinking letting the plants grow a little more before taking out and replanting. Should I remove it sooner or would it make much difference?
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-03-2014, 11:16 PM
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2 1/2-3 inches is a good substrate depth. Need to take the ceramic things off and plant them properly. I would change out that gravel if for no other reason than the blue looks incredibly unnatural, and it clashes with the plants and hard scape materials. But if you like it that's fine, just needs more depth.

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