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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone!

I'm new to planted aquaria and I love what it offers so far! So, my stats:

60-gal freshwater aquarium w/livestock & plants:

-2 elephant-nose fish
-3 geophagus (3.5-4")
-4 small congo tetras
-2 small clown loaches
-1 juvenile electric blue jack jempsey (2.5")

-Lots of Cabomba furcata
-1 banana plant
-Just ordered some dwarf tears & Brazilian pennywort! (not in yet)

I've got one of those Marineland LED (36") lights (cost me about $200) and a strong Aquaclear filter & airstone.

So, my question is about Carbon! Is liquid Carbon gonna do the trick? It seems like some folk who are online have fancy setups that involve pressurized Carbon. Is that necessary? I've been putting a capful of liquid Carbon in the tank every other day and the plants seem to be growing.

As far as substrate, an additional questions regards how much rooting I can expect my plants to be doing. Not a day goes by without me having to reach in and re-root a plant (because I guess they're not rooting?). I've got some plant anchors but my geophagus keeps rooting around in the substrate! (My substrate is called "Aquadirt" --- sold especially for the planted aquarium).

Any advice would be wonderful. Thanks!
 

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I have a few questions and some comments, so here goes. What are you using for you carbon source? Also, can you be a little bit more specific on the light you have? Is it the Double Bright or the Aquatic Plant light? My guess is the Geo's are responsible for the plants being uprooted. They aren't called eartheaters for no reason. And in my experience, plants just don't uproot themselves if they have enough to hold them down.
 

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Cabomba will do just fine w/ liquid carbon, but the baby tears will almost certainly not fair to well. I havent kept banana plants before so i dont have much input on that one, but the "bananas" are Rhizomes, so make sure you dont bury them . I use a 1 1/2 (7.5ml) excel in my 29 gal that is a tad more planted then yours, so you may be able to bump it (slowly).

But like Sierra said, how long are you keeping the lights on? which light? What fertz?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you all so much! Gosh, such informative responses.

Let's see, to Sierra's Q about my lights. They are the Marineland Aquatic Plant LED Lighting System w/Timer, About the liquid Carbon, it says "Flourish excel-organic Carbon for the planted aquarium."

To Mirkinator, I've been keeping the lights on as per the timer (8-10am: blue light/10am-8pm: bright lights/8-10pm: blue light). For fertilizer, all I've been doing is one capful of "Flourish comprehensive supplement for the planted aquarium" once a week. I understand Aquadurt (my substrate) has some organic elements in it as well. I'm sorry but I don't know what an "excel" is... Can you explain?

And Tom: you may be right. My geos aren't actually pulling on the plants or even really burrowing. It's more, yes, eating the substrate and then spitting it back out! I think, too, that the Aquadurt may not be heavy enough (big enough pebbles) to hold the roots down.

The baby tears I bought - not in a swatch - but in little bunches. I'm hoping they will root... What else can I do if not liquid Carbon? Is there some sort of automatic Carbon dispenser that isn't off the charts expensive?

Thanks a million. Ceve
 

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Koo, lights seem on a decent schedule, may need to tone it down an hr or two if your algae gets bad. For fertz: comprehensive is good, but will most likely need a source of K+ as well (Seachem makes this as well and is usualy right next to the comprehensive and excel). "Excel" is short Seachems "Flourish Excel" round here, so we are talkin bout the same stuff :D

The next best thing to liq carbon is CO2 injection. A paint ball (as in a paint ball sized CO2 tank and regulator) Co2 setup can be bought for $100 -135, (check the for sale section here, i think nilocg and others sellz em cheap). Yes, CO2 systems can get very expensive, but the paint ball ones do just fine. There is some small systems out there even cheaper (like fluval 88g) but you will blow through the cartridges really fast w/ a 60gal.

Well i tried drawf baby tears in a "low tech" (no CO2) tank and it barely grew/died promptly and my baby tears does worse then my dwarf baby tears in my High light/CO2 tank, so i would assume it doesnt do too well in a low tech tank, but havent tried...
 
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