New to planted tanks - some questions. - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-15-2015, 09:02 PM Thread Starter
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New to planted tanks - some questions.

Hello, new member here. I am thinking about doing a planted tank but am unsure of where to start, and have lots of questions!

My current equipment:

- 55 gallon tank
- eco complete
- three pieces of driftwood(already boiled the tannins away)

My plan is to have the floor carpeted with dwarf hairgrass, and some java moss growing on the pieces of drift wood. My main concerns are with the filter, light, and chemicals needed(co2, ferts...etc)

1)Would an aqueon power filter(the one that hangs on the edge) be adequate for such a setup? Or would I need to dish out the cash for a canister filter?

2) For the 55 gallon tank, I have the 48" aqueon LED light fixture with one led bulb. Is this enough for a carpeted tank? Or would I need to buy 1 or 2 more bulbs?

3) I am confused on how to supply co2 to these plants. Do I use the liquid form, or some kind of co2 pump/machine?
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-15-2015, 09:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcmv4792 View Post
Hello, new member here. I am thinking about doing a planted tank but am unsure of where to start, and have lots of questions!

My current equipment:

- 55 gallon tank
- eco complete
- three pieces of driftwood(already boiled the tannins away)

My plan is to have the floor carpeted with dwarf hairgrass, and some java moss growing on the pieces of drift wood. My main concerns are with the filter, light, and chemicals needed(co2, ferts...etc)

1)Would an aqueon power filter(the one that hangs on the edge) be adequate for such a setup? Or would I need to dish out the cash for a canister filter?

2) For the 55 gallon tank, I have the 48" aqueon LED light fixture with one led bulb. Is this enough for a carpeted tank? Or would I need to buy 1 or 2 more bulbs?

3) I am confused on how to supply co2 to these plants. Do I use the liquid form, or some kind of co2 pump/machine?
1.an HOB(hang on back) filter is fine as long as it says its filters something like 3-5 times per hour the amount of gallons in your tank. i have the marineland 350.
i just recently bought a canister filter so i can get rid of the HOB and not have to see it.

2.whats the specs on the light?

3. i havent tried liquid co2 but i assume will do the same as diy co2 or from a tank of co2. i do diy co2 with citric acid and baking soda on my 55.

i need to update pics but here goes my tank for now
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...681&highlight=
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-15-2015, 09:19 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by strangewaters View Post
1.an HOB(hang on back) filter is fine as long as it says its filters something like 3-5 times per hour the amount of gallons in your tank. i have the marineland 350.
i just recently bought a canister filter so i can get rid of the HOB and not have to see it.

2.whats the specs on the light?

3. i havent tried liquid co2 but i assume will do the same as diy co2 or from a tank of co2. i do diy co2 with citric acid and baking soda on my 55.

i need to update pics but here goes my tank for now
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...681&highlight=

That tank is looking great. What kind of fish is that?(the one that looks like a pleco/cory catfish)

1)I have the power50(250 gph). I have also read that the carbon cartridges are no good for the plants as they leach the nutrients from the water. If that's the case, what could I use in place of the cartridges?

2) This is the bulb I have. The page seems to imply that this is equivalent to a t8 flourescent. http://www.amazon.com/Aqueon-Aquarium-Lamp-Size-White/dp/B009P63F5W/ref=pd_bxgy_199_text_z

3) You mean you mix citric acid and baking soda, and then pour it in the tank?

Appreciate the reply
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-15-2015, 09:34 PM
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I use a SunSun canister filter and those are under $100 and work great.

Look into purigen instead of carbon.
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-15-2015, 09:41 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FishFan
Look into purigen instead of carbon.
I have heard about purigen. Do I use just the purigen in place of the floss/carbon cartridge? Or do I need to use something else as well?

Not sure if there is enough room for other mediums in the aqueon power filters

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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-15-2015, 09:44 PM
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Your Tank

Hello jcmv...

Filtration is simple. A filter that hangs on the back of the tank and has a gallon per hour (gph) of roughly four times the volume of the tank in gallons is plenty. Hagen makes a good filter. I use an AC70 on my 60 gallon tank and it works fine.

I use standard shop lighting from the local hardware store. A couple of two fixture 48 inch shop lights with T8, 6500K bulbs is all you need. Total cost is less than $50.00 and the lights last well over a year. No need to buy expensive lighting.

A CO2 system isn't needed for keeping most aquatic plants. There's enough carbon dioxide in the air to support them.

Study the nitrogen cycle before you start. I used a few hardy fish to begin, but there are other ways of getting the tank ready to support your fish.

The best advice I can give you is once the tank is up and running, you should remove and replace half the tank water every week to maintain healthy conditions for anything that lives in there.

Keep the set up simple and you'll have success in the "water keeping" hobby.

B

"Fear not my child, just change the tank water."
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-15-2015, 09:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FishFan13 View Post
I use a SunSun canister filter and those are under $100 and work great.

Look into purigen instead of carbon.
this is the same one i have. did you get yours off of ebay to?

Bump: heres a post ive been reading up on for when you do get into co2

https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/showthread.php?t=815241&highlight=

Bump:
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcmv4792 View Post
That tank is looking great. What kind of fish is that?(the one that looks like a pleco/cory catfish)

1)I have the power50(250 gph). I have also read that the carbon cartridges are no good for the plants as they leach the nutrients from the water. If that's the case, what could I use in place of the cartridges?

2) This is the bulb I have. The page seems to imply that this is equivalent to a t8 flourescent. Amazon.com : Aqueon Day LED Aquarium Lamp, Size 48, White : Aquarium Lights : Pet Supplies


3) You mean you mix citric acid and baking soda, and then pour it in the tank?

Appreciate the reply
the fish is a siamese algae eater. he swins around and eats up algae on the leafs and everything else. cool little guy, i have 2

Bump: "Keep the set up simple and you'll have success in the "water keeping" hobby"
true words
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-15-2015, 10:16 PM
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I have the same type of HOB on my smaller tanks. The cartridges are a waste of money and time. I pulled the white filter cartridge and the blue thingy that holds it. I then placed some filter sponge that I cut to size from a pond replacement filter I picked up ($10) at the hardware store. The purigen can go in a paint strainer bag in front of the foam.

The Dwarf Hairgrass does best with some CO2 addition and higher light. Your light might not be the best for it. You may be able to get by with excel but you might want to look at DIY or tanked CO2.

Dwarf sag is the best foreground plant that I found for lower light conditions and no CO2. It's larger than DHG but it still looks very nice when you have a good carpet.
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-15-2015, 10:35 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BBradbury

A CO2 system isn't needed for keeping most aquatic plants. There's enough carbon dioxide in the air to support them.
Quote:
Originally Posted by THE V

The Dwarf Hairgrass does best with some CO2 addition and higher light. Your light might not be the best for it. You may be able to get by with excel but you might want to look at DIY or tanked CO2. .
I'm confused... lol

Quote:
Originally Posted by THE V View Post
I have the same type of HOB on my smaller tanks. The cartridges are a waste of money and time. I pulled the white filter cartridge and the blue thingy that holds it. I then placed some filter sponge that I cut to size from a pond replacement filter I picked up ($10) at the hardware store. The purigen can go in a paint strainer bag in front of the foam.

The Dwarf Hairgrass does best with some CO2 addition and higher light. Your light might not be the best for it. You may be able to get by with excel but you might want to look at DIY or tanked CO2.

Dwarf sag is the best foreground plant that I found for lower light conditions and no CO2. It's larger than DHG but it still looks very nice when you have a good carpet.
Would you say it would be enough light if I got another bulb or two?(the fixture holds three led bulbs)
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-16-2015, 02:25 PM Thread Starter
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Also how would I plant a carpet of dwarf hairgrass? Do I need to separate all the individual hairs and plant them inside the substrate? Or just rest a mat of it on the ground..etc?
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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-16-2015, 03:13 PM
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In my experience DHG benefits greatly from CO2 and bright light.

Ready with tweezers in a deep tank and a couple of towels to plant the grass.
Maybe not all individual hairs but breaking it apart with little damage as possible.
A 2"x2" mat can provide a lot of hairgrass.
Higher lighting will force it to spread runners and really move out.
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/my...ris_acicularis

If conditions do not allow DHG to grow and spread it's growth is stunted.
It will then collect algae over time due to slow growth.
Many with slow growing plants have seen this.

Growing well DHG will need to be trimmed frequently.
Another job for keeping a towel handy.

Recently saw a planted tank on this site carpeted with regular baby tears.
Looked beautiful too, less demanding plant but trimming still involved.


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Growing is not that difficult.
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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-16-2015, 03:56 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Maryland Guppy View Post
In my experience DHG benefits greatly from CO2 and bright light.

Ready with tweezers in a deep tank and a couple of towels to plant the grass.
Maybe not all individual hairs but breaking it apart with little damage as possible.
A 2"x2" mat can provide a lot of hairgrass.
Higher lighting will force it to spread runners and really move out.
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/my...ris_acicularis

If conditions do not allow DHG to grow and spread it's growth is stunted.
It will then collect algae over time due to slow growth.
Many with slow growing plants have seen this.

Growing well DHG will need to be trimmed frequently.
Another job for keeping a towel handy.

Recently saw a planted tank on this site carpeted with regular baby tears.
Looked beautiful too, less demanding plant but trimming still involved.
Appreciate the input. Where are good sites to buy these plants? I can't find baby tears.

Also would you say the light I have is adequate?(posted above with an amazon link). Or would i need another bulb or two?
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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-16-2015, 03:59 PM
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I agree, for Dwarf Hair Grass, you really need HIGH light, aswell as a decent CO2 along with dry fert regiment.
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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-16-2015, 04:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcmv4792 View Post
Would you say it would be enough light if I got another bulb or two?(the fixture holds three led bulbs)
Or two would be much better. You will also need to add in CO2 for it to grow.

I did a small 10g experimental tank this pass year kindof accidentally. I put DHG under high light on MGO potting soil capped with builders sand. I added a DIY CO2 and let it go. Within 3 months I had a lovely carpet. Then I started traveling too much and didn't have time to mess with the DIY CO2.

Within 3 months all of the DHG died and melted away. I kept the ferts and light the same just stopped adding in CO2.
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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-16-2015, 04:28 PM
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Ya. If you want plants to carpet, you are going to need a minimum of DIY yeast co2. Pressurized is the best though.
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