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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Greetings folks.

I have a simple little 60L tropical tank at the moment, set up as I imagine many initially are: cheap gravel, a few standard plants and a bunch of fish.


While looking for a decent 'aquarist' forum, I stumbled across TPT here, and have had my eyes opened to what is possible with plants! So that's what I want to have a go at...

I'm in the UK, so need stuff that I can get here, or Amazon/online/etc, as my LFS (Maidenhead Aquatics) is pretty good for fish, but not so much for plants.

I think I'd like to re-work my tank to use a substrate more suitable for plants, so have been looking at getting some Tetra Plant Complete Substrate, perhaps with a covering of something else, but I'm not sure I need it.
Tetra Plant Substrate 5.8kg Specially formulated planting substrate, for long-term fertilisation. Creates ideal environment for aquatic plants, ensuring long-term release of key nutrients Contains high quality mix of sand and black peat, with high iron and trace element content Optimum grain size for rapid development of healthy roots Free of nitrates and phosphates to prevent algae growth Application Add a 2cm deep layer of Complete Substrate to the base of the aquarium, and then cover with 2-3
Next will be some plants - they need to be something pretty hardy and beginner-friendly, as I have no idea really about my light-levels, fertilising, etc.

I've worked out that my light is about 1.5W/Gal, but that's based on the label, so let's assume a 'low-light' 1W/Gal.
My pH is about 7.8 according to my Seneye, but it's currently going down. Free Ammonia is currently on a scary rise (0.017), so I'm doing more frequent 10% water-changes.

I guess I should also identify the plants I already have!

I think this is an Anubias Nana

I think this is some sort of Cabomba?

Not sure what this is

Any other tips or suggestions welcome!

:confused:
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Well here we go. Turns out that replacing substrate in a running tank makes things just a little bit cloudy...


Didn't take long to start settling though, and soon I was able to start planting. I had to start just poking plants in wherever I could as I was running out of visible space, so tomorrow I'll have to readjust things!



Damn, but that wood is floaty. Had to weigh it down with some heavy ballast from an old HDD I dismantled, and a temporary rock on it! Hopefully it'll become less buoyant in time.

Ammonia levels have taken a bit of a hit, but hopefully that will start to settle back down soon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Heh, yeah it got a bit tricky there for a while. I'm nervous about what will show itself in the morning. I just hope there's enough substrate there to shape the back up a bit higher - I used the whole bag that I had, so a trip to the LFS might be required. I am working from home tomorrow, and the LFS is so close...

I usually end up getting the hang of the technical aspects of things, but the artistic side usually eludes me. Too lured in by symmetry, I think.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Some of those are frightening!

Came downstairs this morning to find the dust all settled out (over everything) and a couple of the plants uprooted, although that's not surprising as the last few were just sort of poked in temporarily.



Seems I need a fair bit of foreground yet, and the substrate is definately low at the back, so may need to get a small bag extra.
 
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