Planted Tank Guru
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Contra Costa CA
3 foot (190Lish) Is the 190 liters? About 50 American gallons.
I've got a small pair of breeding HRPs What?, a pair of keyhole cichlids, a pair of GBRs and a few corydoras. I'm going to add a few more corydoras in eventually and maybe a few more fish when I come up with a plan and when things settle down.
The tank's going to have a sump that I'm hoping to turn into a refuge.
Now here comes the question. I'll be planting the main tank out, with mainly hygrophila + java fern in the background, and when things settle down Why wait- just plant it. I'm hoping to plant some cryptocorynes in the mid/fore ground. I'll also heavily decorate it with chunks of wood and it'll have a fluorite/sand substrate.
I've already got a few hygrophila that I don't think I'll put into the main tank but given their growth rate they seem rather great as refugium plants. I've also got a fair few big chunks of lava rock If you want a place to grow bacteria, more, smaller pieces would be better. Something like 3/8" or so. that I'm planning on sinking into the bottom of the refuge. So I guess, less nitrates What? Do you want it to stay in the form of ammonia or nitrite? Better that it DOES get turned into NO3. Actually, the plants use all 3 forms of nitrogen. and hopefully grow some beneficial bacteria as I'm occasionally getting white algae Algae is not white. It may be any darker color that might hide the green chlorophyll, but fungi are usually white. problems, supposed that the tank is hard to clean especially underneath lots of logs True hard to clean under hardscape material- but good plant growth will help oxygen get under there, so less problems. The extra volume will hopefully contribute to better water quality too. Sure will! I also have a few shrimps that I may add into the refuge.
Does that sound like a sensible plan, or would any of you have anything else you would suggest? I'm hoping to avoid sand in the refugium as that'll make it easier to clean if I have to do it. I'm trying to get together as much ideas from experience as I can!
Plants that grow with leaves in the air are best for nitrogen removal. Under water plants are usually lacking CO2, so grow slower. If you can plant emersed plants in the refugium that would be best.
Any plants in the refugium will need light. Get a high quality light, and it is OK to leave it on long hours. Even run it a reverse schedule to the main tank.