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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi new guy here, Bri the new guy. Just thougt Id introduce my self and ask some of you gurus if you had any good advise for a reefer setting up a planted tank. All advise is appreciated. Any helpful tips, must have equipment, hard learned lessons of the trade.

Quick background, I have had FW tanks for years, and got into SW a few back, well It pushed my FW to the backburner, I always still had at least one, but nothing fancy.

Now Im back, and want to do it right. Ive learned a lot keeping SW tanks and checking around now for info on planted tanks made me realize that I really new nothing back in the day about FW.

I know the basics but am lost when it comes to plants.

Heres my SW tank, 30 long 2 yrs old and still going



And here is the tank that will become planted, it will be only half full all the time







Some may say, it is a planted. Well like I said before ive been in the hobby awhile and have even had a planted tank before, but I really knew nothing, I treated it like a fish only tank, you know, change the water once in awhile.

This tank will be different, I would like to know what is going on in there.

Tank is a 40 breeder with an overflow box (was SW tank, but not the one in the pic) I reversed the flow through it making it a waterfall.

Light is an Orbit 2 x 65w PC fixture, with one 10,000K and one actinic 420nm, I realize this is a SW bulb and probably needs replacing for plants. But what bulb should I get? Another 10,000K or the 6,700K?

Right now I hooked up 1 2l DIY CO2 bottle, but im sure ill need more. How many do you think is need on say 25g?

1 HOB filter with some carbon and filterfloss.

Live stock, this is a newt tank, we have had the newts 6yrs and theyve upgraded from a 10 to a 20 and now a 40, so theres 5 newts and 2 dwarf frogs, along with a clown pleco, two kuli like loaches, and a white cloud.

Substrate, rocks for now, but im sure that the worst thing I could have for a planted.

Ferts? Ive got them, but don't know what im doing

Where Id like to take this tank is your basic fully planted tank, a variety of plants and inhabitants.

thankx
 

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WB to the FW side, Bri, and welcome to TPT! :biggrin:

I think you got "taken" in by one of the Box Chain stores with most of the plants I see in your tank- they're bog plants and will just die if kept fully submerged. For sure the Pothos and Mondo grass are already looking pretty rough...

You're right you'll need to change out the actinic bulb. Either 6700k or 10k will work, or you may want to take a look at 9235k (I think www.lightbulbsdirect.com might still have them on sale?) It's really just a matter of aesthetics between these bulbs - they'll all grow plants just fine.

www.aquariaplants.com is a great site explaining the basics of setting up a planted tank. www.rexgrigg.com is a good site to read up on balancing out lighting, CO2, and ferts.

I'd personally suggest starting out with a low tech tank for now, sticking with plants from the stickey at the top of the Low Tech forum, until you get a good handle on the basics.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Actually all the plants in there (except the grass on the right) I have had for years, like I said before Im not new to FW or planted, just want to know what im doing this time.

Here is a pic of an older planted I had...


Java fern, java moss, anaubis, and this plant (don't know the name so heres a pic) are all easy for me


but my red ludwiga all died out

I would like more grasses and substrate cover plants, but I know I need to do something with my substrate first

Thank You for the links and advise, much appreciated!
 

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Actually all the plants in there (except the grass on the right) I have had for years, like I said before Im not new to FW or planted, just want to know what im doing this time.
Well that grass on the right was specifically one of the plants Laura was trying to point out to you... it's not an aquatic plant, so if you don't want it to rot and poison your tank in the next few weeks, you should remove it now. Mondo grass is a bog plant. If you want something similar, go with Sagitarria subulata, or Echinodorus tenellus.

That unknown plant you post a pic of is Bacopa monnieri, or "moneywort." And am I correct in assuming that the flower pictured was coming from that plant? If so, WOW, what a beautiful flower! I've never known submerged bacopa to flower before...
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Ok thankx, in the FTS of my planted tank, you can see the top of my frog tank below, which is half water and half land, and only 2" deep water, so maybe ill try it down there.

Note to self, research any plants going into this new tank, don't just throw cool looking ones on the plate.

moneywort, I do remember hearing that now, and yes it used to flower quite often underwater, it grew in a 10g with 2 15w bulbs and 1 2l CO2.

Someone noted that the waterfall I have is going to outgas any co2 I put in the tank. Do most planted tanks go with very minimal flow, if so How do you keep the surface clean? W/O agitation I usually get the film on top.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Ah, just looked up the Pothos too, I put that houseplant in the newt tank over 2 yrs ago, it grows great, the reason it looks funny, is I just switched over to this tank a couple of weeks ago, and It didn't like the transformation, but as you can see the tank is only half full, and so was the last one, so it grows out of the water, but still the leaves and plant below grow like mad, I used to prune out 3 foot lengths in a 2 foot tank often.
 

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Yeah, minimal flow is what you should be going for in a planted tank. The film you are talking about is harmless, first of all, so feel free to do nothing about it, quite frankly. But if it is unsightly, or you just don't want it for whatever reason, one thing you could do is hook up a powerhead or an airstone on a timer, and have it come on at night when lights are off. That would "reset" the surface every day for you. I never get the surface film, though, in heavily planted tanks, where the plants are up to the surface level. Another way to get rid of it is put some top-feeding fish in there, like mollies, gouramis, swordtails, etc. It's yummy food to them.
 

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Someone noted that the waterfall I have is going to outgas any co2 I put in the tank. Do most planted tanks go with very minimal flow, if so How do you keep the surface clean? W/O agitation I usually get the film on top.
Minimal flow- absolutely but suface agitation is entirely a different thing. Planted tanks have to have good flow! It is a absolute must, but it is the surface agitation that outgases the Co2. You have have a ripple of flow on the top just don't let it break the water.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Alright things are getting clearer every day, thank you

Now say I only run the waterfall at night, I am going to use DIY CO2 for now, how may 2l's do you think I need for roughly 25g to get a ppm of at least 15

And should I even run the actinic light right now, or wait until I stock with more plants, CO2, substrate and switch to the 6,700K before I run it?
 

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The waterfall at night should be fine. I am using 2 -1 gallon bottles on my 26 gallon.

The 1 gallon juice bottles are great because of the square off shape. Less chance of the bottle tipping over.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Well I pulled the waterfall, and So far everything is going fine, I havn't fully figured out my dosing regimens yet, but im working on it.

Heres an updated shot of my tank...


 

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Welcome. I have been an avid reefer for years. I am chwattscaw on reef central.

i found the planted tanks a bit more difficult, but I am getting it now. It represents a new challenge...you will enjoy. I have a thread here with my 1 year old 72 gallon bowfront.

Chris
 

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Looks very nice Brian!

Is that a dwarf frog in the tank? I had some off and on - big fan.

That neon/cardinal? looks lonely - how many of his kind are in there? Nothing sets off a planted tank like a big school of neons or cardinals. I'd say go for 15 of them as the "centerpiece fish" for a 40.

Kevin
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
So far Ive noticed that FW planted tanks move along much quicker than SW, so change can sneak up on you fast, requiring more care.

Live stock is 5 newts, 1 dwarf frog, 6 neon tetras, one white cloud, 1 kuhli like loach, 1 clown pleco (I was thinking the same and getting a few more neons)
and about 8 different plants, two grasses, java fern, java moss, red ludwiga type, bulb type, moneywort, and the Pothos is still in there.

thankx for the complements everyone!
 

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So far Ive noticed that FW planted tanks move along much quicker than SW, so change can sneak up on you fast, requiring more care.
Depends on amount of light used, which doesn't take as much as reef, and yes
it will "sneak" up on you, if you're not sure what to look for.
So don't over do it with light, it is the driving force of a planted tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I have 1 65w 10,000K PC over a 40 Breeder, but the tank is only 3/4 full.

Is this a good amount of light or too much for having DIY C02?
 
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