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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I'm not new to the hobby as I've been in it off and on for 40 years but I am NEW to a planted tank. This tank is over 5 years old. 60g Marineland FW with a pool filter sand substrate. I just got a 48" Finnex Planted+ 24/7 (running in 24/7 mode right now), pulled the plastic plants in favor of real ones. Amazon Swords, Jungle Val, Wisteria, Java Fern, Anubis, Rotala, Dwarf Sag. It's a start.
I quite like the 24/7 mode but with my 24" depth I may not have enough light on long enough, although it sure seems pretty bright from about 9am to 5pm (although I understand that 'max' isn't really achieved until 3pm). I felt it stayed too bright during the night so I put it on a timer to come on at 6am and off at 11pm, which still gives me the sunrise to sunset/moonlight ramp up/down. The beauty is when the power goes off (timer) it starts back up in 6am feature time so that's where I set the on time. It's coming up on a week and the plants look okay, although I don't see any major spurts, I'm seeing hints of growth. Time will tell.
Footnote: I'm using some Flourish root tabs and dosing with Fresh Trace (because I have it) and Flourish Comprehensive following a weekly 10g water change.

Edit: Suggestions Welcomed.
 

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That's going to look very nice once it grows out. I like the plant placement. I'm not a fan of root tabs because they can cause spikes in nitrates unless they are placed very deep in substrate. I have seen good results from their use with heavy root feeders when placed about 5 inches deep in substrate, with well established plants and large root systems. If you have the tabs closer to the surface you can open up a hole over them when cleaning or moving plants around and cause a catastrophe unless they are deeply set. If the nutrients from the tabs and your liquid dosing get into the water column at the same time, it might be deadly to fish and make an algae soup of your tank. I prefer the more calculated liquid dosing, so I always know how much fert is in the water with my fish. Although lately I've killed a few fish by adding too much nitrate ferts! So my credibility may be in question. :} But I have glass bottom tanks currently and can clean up my mistakes with ferts easier than a substrate tank. Substrates scare me.
 
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