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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-30-2009, 04:58 AM Thread Starter
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Total Noob a Couple Questions

OK so I have 3 tanks, 2 55s and a 29, and I really want to start trying some plants. The tank I'm going to start with is my 55. The substrate I have is playsand. I just bought a 2 bulb t12 fixture so currently I have 2x 40w t12ss with 65k color temp on a cheap shop light. I also have a 40w t8 but am unsure of the color temp. So that bring me to 2.18g/w.

1. I realize that play sand has not benefit for plants but are there any I can keep in it?

2. If I can't are there any that would be OK with root tabs?

3. What is a good product for fertilizer root tabs or liquid stuff?

Thanks for the help in advance.
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-30-2009, 02:25 PM
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Are you planning on going with pressurized CO2 or not? The color temperature of your lights sounds alright as long as the T8 bulb does not have a kelvin rating about 10,000 or so. It really depends on what you find pleasing to the eye. I think having 6500 k color rating is too warm, and my lights are a mix of 6500 k and 10,000 k , which I like a lot.

If you fertilize the water column, you should be okay with most plants. Stem plants in particularly are often heavy water-column feeders, whereas something like a sword plant with a rosette would be a substrate feeder (in general). So if you plant any swordplants or cryptocornes, you might consider putting a root tab below them or near them. As long as you fertilize the water column with N,P,K, and micros, you should be fine.

Seachem makes good root tabs. For macro nutrients (NPK) I would recommend dry ferts, as I find them cheap and very easy to work with. For micros, I use Seachem Flourish, which is a liquid.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-30-2009, 03:12 PM
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welcome to the site!

if you buy dry ferts you can buy some csm+b you can dose your water column and make your own root tabs too. diy root tabs are very cheap.
2.18wpg is pretty good. get yourself a pressurized co2 system and some ferts and you should be good to go.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-30-2009, 03:51 PM Thread Starter
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Sorry but as I said before I have no idea about any of this stuff. I not sure what a water column is. I'd be willing to do co2 but if the pressurized co2 is one of those couple hundred dollar machines I couldn't afford it. I would however be willing to do one of the DIY bottle ones.

Other then that in summary I should be fine as long as I use a combination of root tabs, and water column fertalizers.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-30-2009, 09:33 PM
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pressurized would prob be a total of around $150.

diy co2 is tough for a 55g. you need to run a bunch of bottles and the co2 levels would fluctuate a lot. fluctuating co2 can cause algae.

if you're not gonna go the co2 route i would take one of those bulbs off and do only low light plants

the water column is just the water itself. some plants take in their nutrients from the water. others feed through the roots so you need to put ferts in the substrate (root tabs)
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