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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just recently took the plunge on going high tech with lighting and co2 injection, and I'm looking for all of the suggestions I can get, outside of the stickies at the top of this forum. I just recently put about 4 bags of eco-complete at the bottom of my blue substrate gravel. I attached a few pics of my setup, as far as setup goes, I have:


  • 55 gallon tank
  • Current satellite plus pro lighting
  • Two Emperor 400 HOB filters
  • Complete Ultimate CO2 system from aquariumplants.com (arrives tomorrow).
  • Hydor 425 circulation pump
I'm brand new to CO2, and have heard horror stories about people coming home to dead fish due to a failed needle valve, so I decided to splurge on an electronic one. The system I got has an internal reactor. Any suggestions you can offer a noob like me would be much appreciated! I've been using excel for the last week until I get my CO2 system tomorrow, and only dose seachem flourish about twice a week at the moment. So much information out there as far as what to dose goes. .
 

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What are your goals for the tank? Are you noticing any issues thus far? That might make it easier to give advice.

Typically, I'd say forgo the gravel substrate, but that also depends on your goals for the tank. One of the benefits of high light / CO2 is being able to grow a very large quantity of plants quickly, but it's not a requirement to be heavily planted either. If you were planning to plant much more densely than what you have now, I'd say the gravel substrate may hold you back some what.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
yeah I have been considering ditching the blue gravel, as much as I'd hate to do it. My goal is to have a heavily planted forest with my dwarf hairgrass as the lawn. I have not had any issues so far, but then again I'm just getting started with CO2. I'm very curious about developing a good dosing schedule, and just how much current I need flowing in the tank. At the moment I only have one side of the tank with swaying plants. Didn't want to get a bigger pump to stress out the fish.
 

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The reason everyone is suggesting removal of the blue gravel is because most of us including me are strong believers in dark back ground and substrate because it brings out the color of plants and fish and brightly colored gravel changes the eye site away from the plants but that is a personal choice according to your tastes.You will have to figure in a fertilizer regimen and if you do, go for dry ferts that you mix yourself much cheaper and more control over what you need.Let us know if you need any help and welcome to the crazy world of planted tanks,be prepared to move the couch out to make room for more tanks :laugh2:
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yeah I spent the last two hours replacing what was left of my blue gravel and replacing it with two more bags of eco complete, and I have to admit, I like it better! It truly does highlight the plants more. Thanks for the link for the dosing, this will come in handy. Does anyone have any input on the amount of current flowing in my tank? I thought about getting another small one to put on the other side, I heard this can help with keeping algae from growing on your plants, not sure if that is true or not.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Is there a good dosing regime that uses seachem flourish? I have a big bottle of this stuff, and I'd hate to see it go to waste. I've been dosing flourish twice a week, and iron after each weekly water change. The whole "KNO3" thing is confusing. Also, does it matter where I place my CO2 reactor in the tank? Should it be in the center of the tank, or just put it next to my circulation pump on the side?
 
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