Help a newbie - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-01-2015, 12:42 AM Thread Starter
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Help a newbie

Hello all, I have had a 20 gallon aquarium up and running for about 4 years and recently tore the entire thing down to do my first planted tank.

I have a few questions, with my current set up do you think I should be running c02?

I need a good resource for hardscape materials. Specifically stones as I feel that my hardscape is lacking.

Specs -
Aga 20 gal tank 24x12x18 lwh
Clear for life hob filter rated for 30 gal
2 X 23 watt 6500k light fixtures about 18in above substrate.
Fine gravel substrate .
Dosing excel comprehensive once a week, excel flourish 3 times a week
Aga root tabs.

Inhabitants -
Java fern
Pygmy chainsword
Pellia moss
Plan on adding Anubias nana
2 upside down catfish, 2 red platy, 2 guppy, 4 striped tetras, 2 African dwarf frogs. Getting rid of a cae tomorrow as he is killing off fish!
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-01-2015, 12:54 AM
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First thread of the Low Tech section has plant list for low tech/low light.
With plain gravel sub you most likely will need to add complete ferts to get good
plant growth especially if any plants that use extra potassium are in there.
Excel decomposes in about 24 hrs so daily is where you will get best results from.
A fairly high percent of people on here use it @ 2x the recommended amount.
But just the same amount each day. No "extra" at any time like water changes etc.

The shortest distance between any two points is a straight the opposite direction...
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-01-2015, 03:00 AM
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Pellia Moss AKA Monosolenium tenerum does NOT do well with liquid carbon. In my experience, if you add it at anything like normal dose, it will melt. half dose will cause it to stop growing.

If it does eventually acclimatize to excel I'd like to know though!
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-01-2015, 12:06 PM
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Using CO2 sure isn't going to hurt anything, and can help a great deal. I didn't use it for years, but after installing CO2, it made a beliver out of me.

That being said, you don't need CO2 to have a great planted tank.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-01-2015, 03:07 PM
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For stone I would check out your local gardening and/or landscape supply stores. If you have any stone pits or quarries in your area you can find some interesting specimens snooping around there. With any rock(found or bought) if I don't know what it is I like to look it up and make sure it will not effect anything in the aquarium. I would recommend doing the same. If you have the $$$ your larger LFS probably has a decent selection of various rocks and sizes but in my experience is WAY overpriced. $6/pound gets up there if you are grabbing more that a few rocks.

Hope this helps.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-02-2015, 12:51 AM
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Check what you posted in your first post. Maybe just a typo, but just in case anyone is confused...

Seachem Flourish is a product line of fertilizers.

The first three are single ingredient, and each supplies one of the macro fertilizers.
Seachem Flourish Nitrogen supplies Nitrogen.
Seachem Flourish Phosphorus supplies Phosphorus.
Seachem Flourish Potassium supplies Potassium.

The next two supply minerals that plants use at lower levels and are referred to as trace or micros.
Seachem Flourish Iron supplies Iron.
Seachem Flourish Comprehensive supplies a blend of trace minerals, and small amounts of macros. There is some iron in this, but some people want to dose a bit more.

This one is an alternative to supplying CO2.
Seachem Flourish Excel supplies Carbon.
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