Is a planted tank really worth it? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 37 (permalink) Old 08-07-2015, 08:01 PM Thread Starter
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Question Is a planted tank really worth it?

I have been thinking about getting a planted tank, but it seems so hard to figure out if i will be able to keep the plants i want in my tank, i dont have substrate, i dont have super powerful lighting ( 2 18" Floramax Bulbs in a 55 gallon tank), and i have no idea if the plants will survive or not.
I want to get some Java Moss, Java Fern, Crypts, and Anubias, but i can't seem to figure out if these will do well, i want to use some Flourish liquid ferts, and root tabs, but i dont know if that is OK. PLEASE HELP! I just want an honest answer about if this is a good way to set up the tank, if it isnt, and i left out something important that i should have started with, like substrate, just tell me.
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post #2 of 37 (permalink) Old 08-07-2015, 08:12 PM
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Start by reading some articles on how to set up a planted tank: Two examples are:
http://www.fishlore.com/fishforum/co...nted-tank.html
http://www.sudeepmandal.com/hobbies/...ed-tank-guide/

That should be enough to let you figure out what more reading would help you. Most of the information that will help you is here in this forum if you search for it. Look at the first listing in each forum, usually titled "FAQ", for general information that is focussed on specific aspects of keeping planted tanks.

After that you can easily decide for yourself if it is worth the effort. I wouldn't be here if I didn't think it is.

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post #3 of 37 (permalink) Old 08-07-2015, 08:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sohankpatel View Post
I have been thinking about getting a planted tank, but it seems so hard to figure out if i will be able to keep the plants i want in my tank, i dont have substrate, i dont have super powerful lighting ( 2 18" Floramax Bulbs in a 55 gallon tank), and i have no idea if the plants will survive or not.
I want to get some Java Moss, Java Fern, Crypts, and Anubias, but i can't seem to figure out if these will do well, i want to use some Flourish liquid ferts, and root tabs, but i dont know if that is OK. PLEASE HELP! I just want an honest answer about if this is a good way to set up the tank, if it isnt, and i left out something important that i should have started with, like substrate, just tell me.
It is defiantly worth it but you will need better lighting. The anubius may survive but would not thrive. Maybe consider a Finnex or other led. Substrate is not absolutely necessary if you plan to use root tabs and ferts but it will make things easier.
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post #4 of 37 (permalink) Old 08-07-2015, 09:24 PM Thread Starter
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Is a Finnex Stingray a good choice for a lower tech setup?
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post #5 of 37 (permalink) Old 08-07-2015, 09:28 PM
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Different values determine 'worth' . . .

A 'planted tank' can fall anywhere in quite a broad spectrum of expressions of the idea of 'planted' - anything from a betta bowl with some java moss to one of those gazillion gallon living art masterpieces that make us drool.

Speaking for myself, it's the process: the learning, the experimenting, the tinkering, the time on these forums, that make up about 70% of the 'worth' in having a planted tank. The tank itself is the other 30%.

For me (and my family) having these tiny, thriving (usually) ecosystems in our living space makes a huge difference in our outlook and our mood. I find myself more interested in watching the tanks than the TV. If something is out of whack, or not what I expected, I get to interact with a community of enthusiasts who are happy to help and it's great to be a help when I can chime in.

From the question, I'd guess you're a little intimidated, but there's no need to be: check your lfs, ebay or aqua bid for anacharis, java moss, jungle val - pretty easy plants that will do ok in your set up as it is, buy a small (250 ml) bottle of excel and dose your tank for a month - make notes and watch the plants and your fish. Even a little planting can change the fish's behavior. Get excited and check youtube and the boards for the plans to put together your own DIY CO2 - it won't support a mega planting in a 55 but you CAN see the difference and it's FUN.


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post #6 of 37 (permalink) Old 08-07-2015, 09:34 PM Thread Starter
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Is a Finnex Stingray a good choice for a lower tech setup?
Just bumping this so people may see this question
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post #7 of 37 (permalink) Old 08-07-2015, 09:40 PM
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Originally Posted by sohankpatel View Post
Is a Finnex Stingray a good choice for a lower tech setup?
I think that would be a good starter for the low-light plants you mentioned . . . you might want to look at the eLive led lights at Ken's Fish. That's what I have on the 29 in my previous post.

"Smell of shrimp, they're beginning to boil . . ." Guess the heater needs replaced again (with apologies to Jimmy Buffett from a die hard parrothead)
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post #8 of 37 (permalink) Old 08-07-2015, 09:47 PM
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post #9 of 37 (permalink) Old 08-07-2015, 10:22 PM Thread Starter
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If I am going high tech in the future would it be logical to use a fugeray planted +, or would the par be too low in a 55 gallon aquarium
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post #10 of 37 (permalink) Old 08-07-2015, 11:39 PM
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I think the planted+ would put you in "medium" light. I have asked a similar question in regards to a low tech 55 gallon setup... and people have told me in most cases the planted+ may be too strong for a low-tech.

On my 55 gallon tank, I am running two 4 ft stingrays(over a glass canopy). I will have to check the PAR again, but it's definitely lower than 35 on the substrate.
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post #11 of 37 (permalink) Old 08-08-2015, 04:31 AM
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For lighting my 55's I use two bulb shop lights I get from Lowes. They're the black fixtures and I love them. And they tend to fade into the background since they're black.

I've got anubias, crypts, java fern, tons of stems doing just fine.

I do plant them into net pots with top soil then bury that in the gravel. And I don't dose.

I lay the fixture right on the tank rim.

http://www.lowes.com/pd_420866-43921...%3B+shop+light

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post #12 of 37 (permalink) Old 08-08-2015, 05:01 AM
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The feeling you have of being overwhelmed by the undertaking is normal but don't let it discourage you. Rather, you should allow yourself to be excited by the unknown. Failures are going to happen--its part of the experience--but the success of finally getting an aquascape going that is pleasing to you makes past setbacks fall away. It is best to go with a low-tech setup starting out as any failures you experience will be quite minor relative to the disasters that can occur in high tech tanks. Also, the startup cost is dramatically less and if you decide its not for you the loss will be more easily written off. I find myself staring at my tanks for what seems like ten minutes but is actually half an hour. I never was transfixed like that when I kept fish-only tanks and I never felt quite so invested in the ecosystem as a whole either. If you're going to keep an aquarium there is no reason not to up the ante and produce something that is wholly greater than the sum of its parts by adding carefully arranged plants. I kept single, fish-only tanks for over a decade but since I started planting last August now I'm up to three tanks. Its definitely more than worth it, especially with low-maintenance low-tech tanks.

For Substrate you can just go down to the Home Depot (Lowes doesn't carry it for some reason) and get three 50lb bags of ordinary pool filter sand for under $7.00 each, rinse them, and spread the sand on the bottom until you reach just shy of three inches deep.

You could certainly use a Stingray on a 55 with the plants you are considering. I do and I grow a wide variety of low light plants with no trouble at all. The Planted + is, I have read, a bit too powerful for a true low-tech setup but the Planted + 24/7 is dimmable so you could get the light level you need after a bit of tweaking and asking around. Shop lights would also be a great low-cost lighting solution as would daylight spiral CFLs. Here is an excellent thread by Hoppy you could read up on for more information about lighting intensity:
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...d.php?t=184368

One of the members on this forum sells liquid NPK+M ferts in the "For Sale/Trade" section of this forum that did quite well for me when I had plants that fed from the water column. I do Osmocote root tabs exclusively now and only grow root feeders to cut down on maintenance. Don't waste money on commercial root tabs that are criminally expensive--get the Osmocote root tabs which are priced around 300 tabs for $20.00 and last 3-4 months.
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post #13 of 37 (permalink) Old 08-08-2015, 01:34 PM Thread Starter
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On amazon the Fugeray Planted + is about the same price as a Planted+ 24/7, so what would be a better fixture to get if I want to stick with Low- Medium light plants with minimum ferts and no Co2, i know the 24/7 is dimmable, but i want an opinion from somebody who knows this stuff

Last edited by sohankpatel; 08-08-2015 at 01:50 PM. Reason: adding
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post #14 of 37 (permalink) Old 08-08-2015, 01:56 PM
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2 24 inch planted+ on my 55g



Growing exactly the same plants you want wonderfully


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post #15 of 37 (permalink) Old 08-08-2015, 02:03 PM
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Yes, even a hack like myself can pull it offClick image for larger version

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