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Just set up my first planted tank.

749 Views 4 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  regalangelfish
Hello all,

First a bit about me. I had upto a 75 gallon FW tank for about 7 years befor i decided to switch over to Reef. Been at that for the past 16 years. So I do not consider myself a beginner. However, I am very much a beginner with planted aquariums. having said that I have watched many You tube vids and read many articles that explains the basics. However I know depending on where you get the info. it may vary. also know that there is more than one way to skin a cat. Having said that IM HERE TO LEARN FROM ALL OF THE EXPERTS, so please steer me in the right direction. I'm open to any and all suggestions for help. so here goes: and I thank you in advance.

I just set up my first planted tank. Purchased a fluval spec 5. so this is a nano. but has an 8500K LED light and two blue LEDs that come on at night for viewing. This is a 5 gallon but I have high hopes for it. I will take pics and try and upload it here is I can figure out how in the next few days. the pure laterite is messy so I'm hoping it will clear by morning. carbon and filter floss is working to do so. clearing up little by little. ok so I have three rocks and the premise is a canyon looking crevase. with a river channel running through it. one side of river is a higher slope to the back right corner. left side is a milder slope with the smaller rock. 100% of flow is top left side and I'm pointing it to top and back wall as not to cause too much disturbance.

Are you still reading? ok here are more details. :)

all water is RO water as I use this exclusively on my reef tank. except I use water through the last stage DI (deionized water). i decided to use straight Reverse osmosis water without the DI part for the fresh water as DI is too soluble from what I understand for Fresh water fish. Correct?

first layer pure laterite 55 OZ.
second layer mix of the laterite and below
last layer Carib sea: flora max.

5 small neon gobies
2 small fancy guppies
1 small ghost shrimp
1 small blue shrimp
1 small albino cory
1 small black and white striped cory.
2 gold snails
(I have kept the above successfully in this tank but have no idea what the plants will do to the balance? as fish get larger they will need to be given back to the store and I know this and prepared for it. right now though these are tiny fish. cory being the largest at .75" everything else is smaller). if the general concensus here is to get rid of a few fish... please advise as I have no idea what to expect with the plants. from my understanding they should work sybyotically with the bio load of the fish and food waste. food management and bio load is kept very very small.

by topfin- dwarf hairgrass - eleocharis parvula, Telanthera Cardinalis, 4" compacta - hygrophila Corymbosa Stricata, peacock fern - Selaginella willdenowii, also have this tall grass looking plant (sorry dont know the name but was told that its an easy plant by petsmart <oh boy hope thats correct). the above were suggested on line.

Set up:
fish were acclimated and tank was cycled befor starting tonight to do the planted setup part. Laterite went in first then took some and mixed it with the carib sea flora max (black) as direction on the laterite container said. used that for the middle layer and then toped off with a final layer of flora max. (black). Rocks went in with minimal disturbance. then white sand went in for the river through the crevase. filled the tank back up with existing cycled water but kept the fish in small container seperated while I do the planting as not to stress them too much. lost only one ghost shrimp through the whole process as he jumped out of container. ok acclimated and cleaned all gel and substrate on plants as per container directions and let the plants stand in tank water for a couple of hours. began planting and finished it all in about 4 hours. cant imagine doing this on a large tank. I can now see that some things might be easier though in a large tank. However, to fill it must cost some major $$$.

ok i have no idea what I'm talking about. just trying my best to do the right thing by these plants. I have not yet invested in a C02 system but intend to. for now all I have is the following. seacem's flourish excell and API's leaf zone.

short term Goal:
to keep these plants alive. I have no problem doing so with the fish but have absolutely no idea about how in a planted aquarium.

long term Goal:
Automate as much as possible and purchase miniature Co2 system so any suggestions for this sized tank would be appreciated. I currently have an aquarium plants co2 regulator on my calcium rector for my reef so am very very familiar with the apparatus. However my reef is not a nano.

what am I doing wrong?
What have I done right?
What needs to change?
what do I need to do to keep these plants alive?
do they have a chance?
what pruning set should i get?
how often do they need pruning?
and how to prune these plants?
how long will they take to root?
do I need to upgrade lights? if so which? spectrum to get? i want to stick to LED's though due to electric consumption related to reef tank.
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pics will come soon after the laterite clears. can you make any suggestions for now???
suggestions??? advice based on OP...
mods please close this thread I moved it to the proper sub-forum. TY
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