Plants and CO2 Question - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-17-2004, 04:26 AM Thread Starter
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Plants and CO2 Question

I have never kept real plants before and i have a few questions. My lfs sells a variety of potted plants but are you supposed to de-pot the plant once you buy it from the store, or is keeping it in the pot ok? How do you get java fern to stick to pieces of drift wood? Also, does anybody know if the Hagen CO2 Natural Plant System is any good or not? How do you control the amount of CO2 that is being injected into the tank? Thanx for any help and please excuse my newbie questions.

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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-17-2004, 11:44 AM
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You should remove potted plants from the pots. Also make sure that the plants you are buying are true aquatic plants. Just because the LFS sells them as aquarium plants doesn't mean they really are. In fact MOST LFS seem to follow this heinous practice.

Use black thread to tie the Java Fern to the wood. By the time the thread rots the JF should have attached to the wood.

The Hagen system is not a bad system for smaller tanks, say under 20 gallons. And you can't control the amount of CO2 much. You can adjust how far the bubbles travel but that's about it. But on most any tank it's going to be very hard to OD with the Hagen system.

Now tell us about the tank you are setting up. How large, how much light to start with.
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-17-2004, 04:07 PM Thread Starter
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I have recently set up a 20 gallon high tank and it is is cycling as i speak. Right now i have the florecsent bulb that the tank came with but before i add any plants i plan on buying an aqua glo florescent bulb because that is all that i can afford right now. (Being a teenager and being in the fish hobby is not always easy to accomplish because of money flow.) But also being a beginner at planted tanks i have no idea as to what is a good bulb to use on a limited amount of money.
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-18-2004, 01:55 AM
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If you mean you are just going to replace the current bulb with the "magic" plant bulb save your money. It's not about "magic" it's about watts. 15 watts of "magic" light is still only 15 watts.

You need more light. I suggest you save your money and get a 55 watt PC upgrade kit from www.ahsupply.com
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-18-2004, 02:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rex Grigg
If you mean you are just going to replace the current bulb with the "magic" plant bulb save your money. It's not about "magic" it's about watts. 15 watts of "magic" light is still only 15 watts.

You need more light. I suggest you save your money and get a 55 watt PC upgrade kit from www.ahsupply.com
I agree 110%. I'm a teen too and yeah planted tanks are not wallet-friendly for us, but you really cannot skimp on the lighting. It is the difference between success and utter failure. I already went down the cheapo way with 15W bulbs on my 20gallon. It only meant wasted money and time. In the end I got a 55W kit from AHS and it's been the best investment ever. Just save the the trouble now, save up, and be happy!
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-18-2004, 02:21 AM
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I'm fixin to be 16 and got a 55 planted "low light" tank going, going to order a lighting system for 200$ off AHsupply, I can't wait
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-18-2004, 02:12 PM
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http://www.tropica.com/article.asp?t...aristic&id=227

Tropica has a very informative article on what to do with potted aguarium plants when you get them to your tank!
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-18-2004, 04:57 PM Thread Starter
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Rolo, did you just modify the light strip that came with your tank with the 55 watt kit or did you have to buy another lit strip? Did the kit come with everything you need and does it come with instrucitons? Thanx!
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-18-2004, 05:15 PM
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Originally Posted by admin_old
Rolo, did you just modify the light strip that came with your tank with the 55 watt kit or did you have to buy another lit strip? Did the kit come with everything you need and does it come with instrucitons? Thanx!
The kit came with everything you need. Of course except the bulb. Insturctions couldn't have been written any better.

I didn't retrofit an existing light strip. The one that came with my 20 gallon was too small, and I bet yours might be too. I just requested their instructions to make your own DIY-enclosure. The top one looks like mine. So if you have an additional $8 for supplies from homedepot, you can do that. Again these instructions were very easy and free when you buy a kit.
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-18-2004, 07:00 PM Thread Starter
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My existing light fixture is L 22.5 on X W 4 in. X H 3 in. Would I have to make my own top fot the 55w kitt?
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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-18-2004, 08:07 PM
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Just measured my kit. With my bulb (other 55W bulbs can be a little longer) in the endcap the length is 22.25, the reflector is a hair under 4 inches wide and 2.5 inches tall with the spacers. It will be a very tight squeeze, and for sure there's no room for the ballast. You will have to mount the ballast on the outside of the fixture which is hazardous - exposed to the water and all. And even if you manage to fit it, it will get very hot.

I just recommend making your own enclousure. Oh, and a power saw would be very nice to have. Without one a regular handsaw might make the enclosure a little more difficult to build.
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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-18-2004, 08:48 PM
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Originally Posted by pufferfreak
I'm fixin to be 16 and got a 55 planted "low light" tank going, going to order a lighting system for 200$ off AHsupply, I can't wait
Wait a second, $200 for lighting kit off AHSupply means either 4X96watt or either 6X55watt. Your putting one of these over a 55 gallon!?
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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-18-2004, 11:07 PM
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It could be a 4 x 55W kit with bulbs.
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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-18-2004, 11:44 PM
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It could be a 4 x 55W kit with bulbs.
Logically, that would be correct.
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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-19-2004, 06:06 PM Thread Starter
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Would the light strip that came with my tank be able to use the 55w T-12 bulb or would I have to buy the whole kit?
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