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Discussion Starter #1
Ok guys looks like a killer forum, I hope to join in the fun with a new build. I've been focusing the last several years reefing and I want to try a fresh water planeted tank. Got some questions hopefully you can steer me in the right direction with a 4g Innovative marine setup.

-Should I use RO/DI water?
-Do I need fist for correct bio-load to grow planets?
-How offen do I need to do water changes?
-Looking to purchase the correct substrate but there seems to be many options, will this work? http://www.marinedepot.com/CaribSea...avel_Substrate-CaribSea-CS0770-FWPCPG-vi.html
-I do not have any light fixture so I'm looking for something cheap, any thoughts.
-Do I need C02 setup?
-Any online web store for planets?
-What planet to recommend for newbies like myself?
-How much water flow do I need?

Thanks again guys, hopefully I can purchase most everything from MarineDepot.

Brad
 

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RO/DI isn't necessary unless the water available to you isn't suitable for the species of fish or invertebrate you plan to keep.

Fish aren't necessary to grow plants.

Water changes depend upon your bioload and whether or not you're dosing the water column heavily with fertilizer. (EI dosing relies upon 50% water changes once per week to "reset" things/make sure you're not overdosing)

Eco-Complete will work but it is completely inert, offering no nutrients to plants. It has the ability to absorb nutrients, however, and release them slowly over time. I like it a lot and use it but it's not one of my top picks.

What are the measurements for your tank and what sort of plants do you want to grow? That will dictate lighting needs.

CO2 is dependent upon lighting and plants you hope to grow, really.

There are several outlets online that sell plants. Your best bet, however, is to browse the Swap & Shop and Power Sellers sections here on the forum. You can find nearly everything you can imagine plant-wise.

Several easy plants for beginners: any anubias variety, mosses, crypts, floating plants. There are tons you could pick and grow with ease in nearly any setup.

Flow depends upon the tank but you won't need the amount of flow you'd typically see in a marine tank.
 

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My Innovative Marine 4g has gone crazy with growth and looks more like a jungle now but that's cool with me................
Crypts, Anubias, and HC in this tank with MGPS and PFS for a top.
Started out with C02 to get the HC going and now just dose 2 drops of Excel every other day to keep things growing. I use the light that comes with it and it is very powerful in my book. Don't get the reef light if your going for fresh water plants. I just bought my plants from guys on the forum...
Have Fun..........>
Pic's of the tank after 3 months start
 

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Prodigious Plant Pundit
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My Innovative Marine 4g has gone crazy with growth and looks more like a jungle now but that's cool with me................
Crypts, Anubias, and HC in this tank with MGPS and PFS for a top.
Started out with C02 to get the HC going and now just dose 2 drops of Excel every other day to keep things growing. I use the light that comes with it and it is very powerful in my book. Don't get the reef light if your going for fresh water plants. I just bought my plants from guys on the forum...
Have Fun..........>
Pic's of the tank after 3 months start
Your HC looks really nice. Great tank!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
WOW major props for responses to my first post guys! And glad to see someone running the same tank and setup with great results:proud:

Now please help me understand the substrate, what should I get, sws you mention the Eco-Complete you don't recommend. What do you guys recommend I use for the substrate? I do like HC on the ground not sure if that helps for what substrate etc. Is there a one stop shopping store on line for everything including plants?

picotank, do you run the stock 3 stage filter sponges?

Here is a picture of my pico 2.5g reef tank, been running for almost a year now, also I included a pic of the 4g IM tank empty just waiting for what substrate;). I'm dieing to jump into a planted tank. Thanks again guys for pointing me in the right direction before I purchase.

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Since your tank is so small, you can easily get some really high-end substrate for cheap.

You could get a bag of Azoo Plant Grower Bed, ADA Aquasoil Amazonia (the Powder or Multi-Type is great for small tanks like this) or something similar. Those soils are great for carpeting plants as they are nutrient rich. Fluval Shrimp Stratum is also nice but isn't nutrient-rich.
 

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For my first and only planted tank I used MGO with sand like I said and so that's all I can tell you about. I think the HC luv's the dirt tank and the roots go all the way into the soil and it grows real healthy like...........as do all my plants..Dirt is a pain to mess with but the results are great in my book.
I use the stock filter but I took out the carbon pad and put a extra foam filter pad in it's place. I also have one in back of the overflow to keep my shrimp from going overboard and it also helps as media filtration....Never can have to much if you ask me.
Good looking reef tank you got there...........>
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks again guys, looks like there are more than one choice for good substrate which is nice to see. I'm really trying to purchase from one online store to make things easier. Ok looks like Marine depot has Azoo Plant Grower Bed Substrate. Sucks they have not plants though, any suggestion on where to purchase some easy nano plants?
 

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To reiterate:

"Your best bet, however, is to browse the Swap & Shop and Power Sellers sections here on the forum. You can find nearly everything you can imagine plant-wise."

That's really the best place to buy plants. Right here on this forum.

Marine Depot has a great price on Azoo. You can also get Aquasoil from AFA and ADG - both site sponsors.

Thanks again guys, looks like there are more than one choice for good substrate which is nice to see. I'm really trying to purchase from one online store to make things easier. Ok looks like Marine depot has Azoo Plant Grower Bed Substrate. Sucks they have not plants though, any suggestion on where to purchase some easy nano plants?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
To reiterate:

"Your best bet, however, is to browse the Swap & Shop and Power Sellers sections here on the forum. You can find nearly everything you can imagine plant-wise."

That's really the best place to buy plants. Right here on this forum.

Marine Depot has a great price on Azoo. You can also get Aquasoil from AFA and ADG - both site sponsors.

Well AFA AGG is out of stock on Aquasoil, if substrate is valued buy price than that stuff looks like the best. So I'm ordering Azoo from Marine depot, fingers crossed its will grow some HC good.

Ok now what is next? How long do I need to let it cycle before adding planets/shrimps/snails etc?

Looking for a power seller to help with with a large planet/critter buy.. Also really would like to find some small drift wood, I'm assuming there is some wood out there than isn't what I should purchase?
 

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It'll grow HC really well! I'm using it in a ton of tanks right now and like it almost as well as Aquasoil. And it looks terrific/holds up really well.

You can add plants before the cycle even begins. They'll help the "cycle" process by using up ammonia and such.

Can add livestock as soon as the cycle is complete. Cherry Shrimp will typically be fine right after a cycle is complete but all shrimp will do better in a tank if it's been established for 3-4 weeks before they move in.

As far as drift wood goes... check the threads in the Power Sellers section. There are at least three different folks with terrific manzanita for sale that could be cut down for any tank and it's really affordable.

With all that reef/marine experience under the belt, I think you're really going to enjoy the planted tank experience and will be great at it.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Sweet and thanks for the props SWS. Reefing can have such great joy at times but also such hell when things turn for the worse.

Glad the substrate will do fine, now its just finding the right vendor/seller here. I'm hoping I can get away with out CO2 setup.

Oh silly question, what temps should I run a planted thank? 78 deg?
 

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One thing I learned I'm looking for is a ground covering plant that requires most of its nutrients from the soil. I'd rather not dose if possible, I'd rather add capsules to the soil form time to time etc.
 

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Well it isn't pretty but I hope Im on the right track.

I want to let the drift wood sink on its own but worst case I can CA glue it to the rock instead of the zip tie:icon_frow
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