What is a planted tank? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-25-2002, 02:33 PM Thread Starter
 
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Okay, i know a few of the basics...well, nevermind, i know nothing. I don't understand it at all.

1) You don't need a filter since the plants do your filtration?

2) What substrate do I need? Is it goign to cost me a fortune.

3) How often would I have to do water changes?

4) Is a CO2 system necesarry?

5) What do you do at night when CO2 goes up and 02 goes down?

I'm sure there is plenty i missed, so brace yourselves
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-25-2002, 03:34 PM
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Well I never have thought of it before but I guess a planted tank is a tank that has any live plants in it.

Okay now to the questions:

Quote:
1) You don't need a filter since the plants do your filtration?
Yes plant do act as a filter however to keep your tank healthily maintained you will have to keep a small bio-load. By this I mean not many fish. So if you would like a larger bio load it is good to have extra filtration. Also filters help to get rid of any floating debris in the water making the water clearer.


Quote:
2) What substrate do I need? Is it goign to cost me a fortune.
You don't really need any special substrate at all. You can just use plain pea gravel. Especially if you plan on keeping a low tech tank. What is a low tech tank??? It is a planted tank that has minimal lighting, most of the time: no CO2 and is hardly fertilized. From what it sounds like this is what you are going for. However you could just buy a small bag of flourite and mix it in your gravel.


Quote:
3) How often would I have to do water changes?
It is generally recommended to do about 10% weekly. Some people like to do about 15% bi-weekly as well.


Quote:
4) Is a CO2 system necesarry?
As mentioned above not if you plan on a low tech tank. However CO2 is a great addition and you will see healtier and faster growing plants after the addition of CO2.


Quote:
5) What do you do at night when CO2 goes up and 02 goes down?
That really isn't a problem. there is plenty of O2 left in the water after a full day of photosynthesis for the fish.


Hope this helps!!! Kyle

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-26-2002, 12:40 AM Thread Starter
 
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What would you consider a small bioload for a 58 gallon tank? I was thinking maybe a few zebra danios & a few white cloud minnows...
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-26-2002, 12:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by vfrex
What would you consider a small bioload for a 58 gallon tank? I was thinking maybe a few zebra danios & a few white cloud minnows...
That should be very good. Right now in my tank I have
2 giant danios
2 cobalt gouramis
3 black phantom tetras
2 paradise gouramis
1 sailfin pleco
1 Red Tail Catfish
3 ottos

I would consider that a medium to heavy bio load but I aslo have a filter which pumps 6 times my tank in an hour.

That should give you an idea. Hopefully!!

Kyle

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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-26-2002, 03:17 AM Thread Starter
 
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ummmmmmmm....."1 Red Tail Catfish"

As in the RTC that gets 5 feet long? or Red Tailed Shark?

RTC is heavy bioload alone!
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-26-2002, 03:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by vfrex
ummmmmmmm....."1 Red Tail Catfish"

As in the RTC that gets 5 feet long? or Red Tailed Shark?

RTC is heavy bioload alone!
Oops I meant to say red tailed shark!!! My mistake!

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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-26-2002, 02:03 PM
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Those are all excellent recommendations for a beginner. Definitely go with a filter, though. Plants consume fish byproducts such as ammonia, nitrite and nitrates, but not 100% of the time. It's good to have a filter to keep things steady - and for the aforementioned water clarity benefits.

A light fish load is 1" per 3 gallons. You could still have a nice variety of fish in that tank with that kind of fish load. In a high tech planted tank (CO2, intense light, supplementation) a higher fish load is allowable since the plants will quickly consume the ammonia and other nitrogen-based byproducts fairly quickly.

- Sam P -
plantedtanker in limbo - all tanks currently in storage
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-26-2002, 10:27 PM Thread Starter
 
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What do you mean by not 100% of the time? And is it plants that eat the ammonia/nitrite/nitrate or is there bacteria in the plants that do the work? (sounds like another lesson in biology i didn't pay attention to)

100% of the time as in during the day, they eat. During the night they don't?
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-27-2002, 02:24 PM
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It's a lesson in biology that I paid only enough attention to be dangerous but not adequately informative. Plants do not respire all day, as you guessed, at night, the process is different. Regardless, I wouldn't want to rely on plants as a sole biological filter in my tank. In case the plants fall ill, the filter could keep the tank from crashing.

- Sam P -
plantedtanker in limbo - all tanks currently in storage
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-27-2002, 03:12 PM
 
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Hello vfrex, IMO the first planted tank for a beginner should be very simple and low tech. I feel it's important to begin with some solid basics, then as you develop your "green thumb" you can increase the compexity of your setup.

First, start with 100% Flourite. Having a easy, no problem, nutrient rich substrate will do more to increase your chance of success than anything else.

While filtration isn't needed in a planted tank, good circulation is critical. That's why we have filters on planted tanks, although powerheads can accomplish the same thing, they tend to create too much concentrated current. Plants are not only great consumers of ammonia/ammonium and nitrate, they also serve to provide the best location (their leaf surfaces) for nitrifier's to grow. Nitrifier's require food and O2 in order to flourish...the plants leaves offer a better sopt for this than any filter.

IMO you should aim for lighting in the 1.5 to 2.0 wpg range. While your plants won't grow at warp speed, you'll also not have to battle algae as much at the beginning like you would with higher lighting levels.

Choose hardy low to medium light plants and plant very heavily with fast growing stem plants at the beginning. After the plants are growing well and about a month after startup you should consider adding DIY Yeast CO2. While CO2 will not make you plants grow that much quicker at these lower lighting levels it will make your plant more healthy and robust. Remember plants are over 40% carbon by dry weight, it only makes common sense to provide them with abundant levels of carbon.

In a well run planted tank there is never a shortage of O2, especially in a tank that gets CO2 injection. Making sure that the water has good circulation and that CO2 levels are maintained will insure that O2 levels will remain at or above saturation. (Evidenced by pearling during photosynthesis).

HTH,
Steve H.
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-29-2002, 05:37 PM
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http://pub120.ezboard.com/fgoldfishm...picID=69.topic

i think that if u follow this link it should lead u to our missing biology lesson:P
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