New planted aquarium setup - The Planted Tank Forum
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-31-2015, 04:39 PM Thread Starter
Planted Tank Obsessed
 
end3r.P's Avatar
 
PTrader: (2/100%)
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 402
New planted aquarium setup

Hello,

Long time lurker, first time poster. I'm taking my 38 gallon aquarium (36" wide, 12" across, 20" tall) out of storage and setting it up this week with the goal of establishing a low-maintenance planted tank that will also, eventually, be home to corys, tetras, and possibly rams down the road. (It was home to a beautiful collection of African cichlids -- yellow labs and P. demasoni -- for several years, but they didn't survive our move :-( ).

Being relatively novice at planted tanks (the cichlid tank just had anubias nana on the rock formations), I was hoping for some advice on lighting, appropriate plants, etc. I plan to use a flourite (or similar) substrate with sand on top, and I'll have a large piece of driftwood somewhere in there. Also, I would prefer to skip any fancy CO2 setups -- I know that limits my options, but I just don't have time for the maintenance of such a system. Oh, and I'm using a Rena XP3 canister filter (now an API XP something or other...).

Finally, I've jumped the gun and purchased a "plant pack" from Live Aquaria that includes the following:

Micro Sword (Lilaeopsis novae-zelandiae) - Potted (1)
Anubias Nana - Bare Root (1)
Chainsword Narrow Leaf (Echinodorus tenellus) - Potted (1)
Balansae Plant (Cryptocoryne crispatula) - Bare Root (1)
Java Fern (Microsorum pteropus) - Bare Root (1)
Undulata Cryptocoryne (Cryptocoryne wendtii) - Potted (1)
Ludwigia Broad Leaf (Ludwigia repens) - Bunch Plant (1)
Rotala Indica - Bunch Plant (1)
Ozelot Sword (Echinodorus ozelot) - Bare root (1)
Chilensis 5 Pc (Sagittaria platyphylla) - Bare Root (1)
Wisteria Potted - Bare Root (1)
Amazon Sword Plant - Bare Root (1)
Myrio Green (Myriophyllum pinnatum) - Bunch Plant (1)
Moneywort (Bacopa monnieri) - Potted (1)

With those parameters in mind, I have a few questions:

(1) What lighting should I use? I've looked at the Marineland Advanced LED Strip Light (36"), which seems like it could be okay for a low-ish light setup. I don't want to introduce so much light that I will have to supplement CO2 (although I could do something like Flourish Excel or similar).

(2) Are any of these plants incompatible with my suggested setup? Many seem to be amenable to low light judging from the plant profiles on the site. Not sure about CO2 requirements.

(3) Any other general comments or suggestions?

Thanks in advance. Once I start setting up, I'll try to do a photojournal post here. Looking forward to it!
end3r.P is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-31-2015, 08:13 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
PTrader: (3/100%)
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Maryland, USA
Posts: 2,339
1) the advanced LED strip light is going to be too powerful for your application.

According to marineland:
http://www.marineland.com/LED-Lighting.aspx

The 36-48" model is 54 PAR at 24". You are going to be even closer, but 54 PAR is just way too high. The non-advanced strip light model on the other hand, isn't powerful enough.

Consider one of the following (roughly in order of brightness)

Finnex Stingray
Beamswork Razor
Current USA Sat+
Finnex Fugeray (original)
Finnex Planted 24/7 (might be a little strong, but should be OK, and can be put on a lamp timer and used as a manually dimmable fixture if need be).


2)
The following jump out as not-really low-light suitable:
Lilaeopsis novae-zelandiae
Rotala indica (assuming it's not mis-labeled rotundifolia)
Echinodorus ozelot

There are some others on the list that are "iffy" and can be done low-tech if you are pushing the upper end of low-light..

New to planted tanks, avid gardener/tinkerer.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Fluval C4 + Quietflow 30, Finnex Planted+ with
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
, low-tech.
10 gallon secondary tank with Finnex stingray with
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
, AC20, low tech
mattinmd is offline  
post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-31-2015, 09:17 PM Thread Starter
Planted Tank Obsessed
 
end3r.P's Avatar
 
PTrader: (2/100%)
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 402
Quote:
Originally Posted by mattinmd View Post
1) the advanced LED strip light is going to be too powerful for your application.

According to marineland:
http://www.marineland.com/LED-Lighting.aspx

The 36-48" model is 54 PAR at 24". You are going to be even closer, but 54 PAR is just way too high. The non-advanced strip light model on the other hand, isn't powerful enough.

Consider one of the following (roughly in order of brightness)

Finnex Stingray
Beamswork Razor
Current USA Sat+
Finnex Fugeray (original)
Finnex Planted 24/7 (might be a little strong, but should be OK, and can be put on a lamp timer and used as a manually dimmable fixture if need be).
Great info, thanks. Looking at the PAR value post in the lighting subforum, it looks like I want to shoot for a PAR no greater than 30-35 if I'm going for a low-light setup. Is that roughly correct? (Also, I assume putting this over a versa top means the PAR value will be reduced somewhat.)

Also, the Finnex Planted 24/7 looks like an interesting choice, since it's dimmable so I could fine-tune the light (and leaves room to go higher in the future if I decide to try something closer to "medium" light). I can't find any PAR values for that light though -- where could I find that information?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mattinmd View Post

2)
The following jump out as not-really low-light suitable:
Lilaeopsis novae-zelandiae
Rotala indica (assuming it's not mis-labeled rotundifolia)
Echinodorus ozelot

There are some others on the list that are "iffy" and can be done low-tech if you are pushing the upper end of low-light..
If I were to go with higher light to accommodate these plants (for example, the >54 Marineland fixture), am I going to have to dose CO2? Could I handle that need with Excel (which seems like it might not be all that effective), or will I need something better?

Quote:
Originally Posted by end3r.P View Post
the Finnex Planted 24/7 looks like an interesting choice, since it's dimmable so I could fine-tune the light (and leaves room to go higher in the future if I decide to try something closer to "medium" light). I can't find any PAR values for that light though -- where could I find that information?
I see now from some other posts on the forum that the PAR values are unclear... unless I'm missing some newer posts that have cleared it up. Still an interesting choice.

Last edited by Darkblade48; 09-02-2015 at 02:42 AM. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts
end3r.P is offline  
 
post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-01-2015, 03:50 AM
Planted Tank Guru
 
PTrader: (3/100%)
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Maryland, USA
Posts: 2,339
Quote:
Originally Posted by end3r.P View Post
I see now from some other posts on the forum that the PAR values are unclear... unless I'm missing some newer posts that have cleared it up. Still an interesting choice.
There's no official par values out for the 24/7...

I did some measurements on mine, using one of Hoppy's DIY meters..

https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...385&highlight=

New to planted tanks, avid gardener/tinkerer.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Fluval C4 + Quietflow 30, Finnex Planted+ with
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
, low-tech.
10 gallon secondary tank with Finnex stingray with
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
, AC20, low tech
mattinmd is offline  
post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-01-2015, 11:27 AM Thread Starter
Planted Tank Obsessed
 
end3r.P's Avatar
 
PTrader: (2/100%)
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 402
Quote:
Originally Posted by mattinmd View Post
There's no official par values out for the 24/7...

I did some measurements on mine, using one of Hoppy's DIY meters..

https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...385&highlight=
Thanks -- I found this yesterday evening. Extremely helpful. I'm going to go with the 24/7. Unfortunately, it's backordered on Amazon. Anywhere else to purchase this light online? (I haven't found a decent aquarium store in Atlanta.) Otherwise, I'll pick up something to use in the meantime and hope it becomes available on the earlier side of the "1 to 4 months."
end3r.P is offline  
post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-02-2015, 06:47 PM Thread Starter
Planted Tank Obsessed
 
end3r.P's Avatar
 
PTrader: (2/100%)
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 402
Okay, for now I'm going with the Current USA Sat+. How long for the light cycle? I've seen anything from 8 to 12 hours...

Once I get a plan for my pH/kH/gH straightened out, I'll plant all of this, do root tabs, dose ferts and Excel, start cycling the tank with ammonia, and see what happens. Tank journal to come, probably this weekend.
end3r.P is offline  
post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-02-2015, 10:34 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
Raymond S.'s Avatar
 
PTrader: (6/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Hot Springs Ar. 71901
Posts: 5,934
I'd start/w 7 hrs till those plants get started well and then depending on how high you set the fixture you could use 8-9 hrs. The algae(if any) will be kept down on the 7 hrs till the plants can get growing well. At least the first month on the 7 hrs.
Unless the KH is under 3, I would just use the tap water and not try to mess/w the GH or PH. Unless you have the "liquid rock" I sometimes read about on here. That would
require a new strategy. Fish and plants can adapt fairly easily and your local pet shop
is likely on the same tap water you have so the fish/plants are already used to it.

The shortest distance between any two points is a straight line...in the opposite direction...
Raymond S. is offline  
post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-02-2015, 11:17 PM
Wannabe Guru
 
sohankpatel's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Naperville, Illinois
Posts: 1,617
I've heard that flourite is really nasty and dusty, and it has to be rinsed a ton of it will,cloud your water. I want with eco complete because it is no rinse
sohankpatel is offline  
post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-03-2015, 12:53 PM Thread Starter
Planted Tank Obsessed
 
end3r.P's Avatar
 
PTrader: (2/100%)
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 402
Quote:
Originally Posted by Raymond S. View Post
I'd start/w 7 hrs till those plants get started well and then depending on how high you set the fixture you could use 8-9 hrs. The algae(if any) will be kept down on the 7 hrs till the plants can get growing well. At least the first month on the 7 hrs.
Got it, sounds good. The fixture sits about an inch above the top of the tank.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Raymond S. View Post
Unless the KH is under 3, I would just use the tap water and not try to mess/w the GH or PH. Unless you have the "liquid rock" I sometimes read about on here. That would
require a new strategy. Fish and plants can adapt fairly easily and your local pet shop
is likely on the same tap water you have so the fish/plants are already used to it.
The kH is under 3 -- it's at 1-2. If pH using the high range kit measures 7.5 or so, I may leave kH and pH alone, under the assumption that dosing Excel will bring it down a little... though I worry that isn't enough of a carbonate buffer to prevent big pH swings once the plants get going. Which brings me back to the idea of using Acid/Alkaline buffer (to up kH and then bring pH down a little).

Bump:
Quote:
Originally Posted by sohankpatel View Post
I've heard that flourite is really nasty and dusty, and it has to be rinsed a ton of it will,cloud your water. I want with eco complete because it is no rinse
Thanks. I used floramax. I rinsed first in a bucket with a hose for a few minutes. It went fine, and the water stayed clear.
end3r.P is offline  
post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-03-2015, 01:20 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
PTrader: (3/100%)
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Maryland, USA
Posts: 2,339
Quote:
Originally Posted by end3r.P View Post

The kH is under 3 -- it's at 1-2. If pH using the high range kit measures 7.5 or so, I may leave kH and pH alone, under the assumption that dosing Excel will bring it down a little...
Excel should have a completely negligible impact on your KH/pH... Even with double-dosing you are dosing less than 2ppm glutaraldehyde...

New to planted tanks, avid gardener/tinkerer.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Fluval C4 + Quietflow 30, Finnex Planted+ with
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
, low-tech.
10 gallon secondary tank with Finnex stingray with
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
, AC20, low tech
mattinmd is offline  
post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-03-2015, 02:04 PM Thread Starter
Planted Tank Obsessed
 
end3r.P's Avatar
 
PTrader: (2/100%)
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 402
Quote:
Originally Posted by mattinmd View Post
Excel should have a completely negligible impact on your KH/pH... Even with double-dosing you are dosing less than 2ppm glutaraldehyde...
Ah, okay. I'm going to go with the re-mineralized RO water approach, so pH should be fine. In addition to Equilibrium or Replenish for GH, I'll try buffering KH a bit with Alkaline Buffer and see how the pH reacts.

Do you recommend double dosing Excel for a low-tech, low to mid light setup? How often? Probably shooting for weekly water changes (around 1/3 to 1/2).
end3r.P is offline  
post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-03-2015, 02:57 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
PTrader: (3/100%)
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Maryland, USA
Posts: 2,339
Excel should be dosed daily, as it breaks down quickly. Seachem claims it is gone after 24 hours.

Seachem suggests a 5ml/10 gallon starter dose, and a 1ml/10 gallon daily dose.

Most here suggest skipping the starter dose, as it makes no sense if Seachem's 24 hour breakdown claims are true. Instead just do 1-2ml per 10 gallons daily.

edit:

For seachem's side, there's a pretty good post #3 in this thread:
http://www.seachem.com/support/forum...ead.php?t=3543

Looks like from their perspective, 5ml/10 gallons every day is the ideal dose, but moderate or sparsely planted tanks end up with slower breakdown, i.e.: beyond 24 hours, and over-accumulate if you do that. Thus they suggest this dose once, followed by smaller maintenance doses.

That said, several here have found the 5ml dose causes more severe plant melting in sensitive species.

New to planted tanks, avid gardener/tinkerer.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Fluval C4 + Quietflow 30, Finnex Planted+ with
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
, low-tech.
10 gallon secondary tank with Finnex stingray with
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
, AC20, low tech

Last edited by mattinmd; 09-03-2015 at 04:48 PM. Reason: seachem side
mattinmd is offline  
post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-06-2015, 02:38 PM Thread Starter
Planted Tank Obsessed
 
end3r.P's Avatar
 
PTrader: (2/100%)
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 402
Quote:
Originally Posted by mattinmd View Post
Excel should be dosed daily, as it breaks down quickly. Seachem claims it is gone after 24 hours.

Seachem suggests a 5ml/10 gallon starter dose, and a 1ml/10 gallon daily dose.

Most here suggest skipping the starter dose, as it makes no sense if Seachem's 24 hour breakdown claims are true. Instead just do 1-2ml per 10 gallons daily.

edit:

For seachem's side, there's a pretty good post #3 in this thread:
http://www.seachem.com/support/forum...ead.php?t=3543

Looks like from their perspective, 5ml/10 gallons every day is the ideal dose, but moderate or sparsely planted tanks end up with slower breakdown, i.e.: beyond 24 hours, and over-accumulate if you do that. Thus they suggest this dose once, followed by smaller maintenance doses.

That said, several here have found the 5ml dose causes more severe plant melting in sensitive species.
Hm... so probably 5ml/10 gallons would be fine with (1) weekly water changes and (2) no "sensitive" species in the tank. Judging from how quickly it died in my tank, I'm guessing Rotala indica is one such species. Crypts probably another?
end3r.P is offline  
post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-06-2015, 02:58 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
PTrader: (3/100%)
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Maryland, USA
Posts: 2,339
I have not heard of any rotalas being excel sensitive. That said, true rotala indica is hard to grow without real co2 injection from what I have read. This gets murky with many sites confusing rotundafolia (ok without co2) with indica (needs co2). Regardless, I would suspect lack of co2 is more of a problem here..

I have heard some claim that crypts are sensitive, but my c. Wenditii seem to not mind it.

Your most sensitive ones are anacharis and vals.

New to planted tanks, avid gardener/tinkerer.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Fluval C4 + Quietflow 30, Finnex Planted+ with
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
, low-tech.
10 gallon secondary tank with Finnex stingray with
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
, AC20, low tech
mattinmd is offline  
post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-06-2015, 03:47 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
PTrader: (84/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 21,012
The disadvantage of using something to raise the KH of the tap water is that you will then have to adjust the KH of the water you use when you change the water, so it doesn't cause big changes in KH. And, KH doesn't buffer the water against pH changes. KH plus dissolved CO2 (carbonic acid) form a buffer against pH changes caused by things other than CO2. More KH just adjusts the pH that is buffered to to a higher value. With low KH the pH it is buffered to is lower, but it is still buffered. Since you don't plan to use CO2, the only CO2 in the water will come from the atmosphere and the substrate, so the pH should not be too low under any circumstance. If you were using pressurized CO2, you would probably want to raise the KH to keep the pH closer to the range the fish are acclimated to.

Hoppy
Hoppy is offline  
Reply

Tags
None

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the The Planted Tank Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome