The Planted Tank Forum banner
1 - 7 of 7 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
304 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Details:
I am not new to the hobby. My fish are doing just great. But think of me as a newbie so far as plants are concerned :). I think this is a fairly long post, thanks for your patience.

Setup: lo tech
Volume: 42g
Dimensions: 36x 15x 18Tall, all in inches

Plants location:
my live plants are on the right side of the tank because thats the side that receives bright indirect daylight. No direct sunlight.

Light:
Want to depend on natural light as much as possible. My tank is near a window and its right side gets a lot of natural indirect bright light most of the day. I dont mind supplementing that light with artificial light. I have a 36W 6500K Phillips CFL tube (I think its 1 foot long) again on the right side of the tank. Having the tube on the right side creates a great "floodlight/gradual fading" effect when its dark outside. That keeps the left side of the tank slightly low lit and if some of my fish prefer the darker side they have the option to stay there :) .

Fertilizer: I got a liquid fert from an experienced LFS guy who prepared it. So its not branded. I may need to go for a branded one though.

Plants: Since I am experimenting to see which one does best, I have 6 types in there: java fern, java moss, baby amazon sword and there are 3 more whose names I dont know.

Gravel: around 3-5mm size "ground aquarium stone gravel" I guess which my LFS said should be good for my setup

Fish: angels, rams, gouramis

I setup this tank 2 weeks ago. Do I need to wait maybe around 2 months to see whats happening with the plants? I would say they are not growing, they are getting brown leaves. Does the fish waste need to start accumulating near the plant roots at least? The liquid ferts should help the java fern and moss I would think since they derive nutrients from the water column.

Want to keep this as much lo tech as possible. Do I need some fert substrate? Can I do without one? In the 80s I had a tank with thriving plants in stone gravel only - amazons and some others I forget which, ferts were not even available and I wasnt even aware of the CO2 concept much as a kid :)

CO2: Want to avoid getting into that but I could try to add CO2 tabs which an LFS has, they said 1 tab per week is good for the ones they carry


Within these 2 week I am seeing the tank walls getting thin green algae film (which makes me think I dont need to turn on my artificial lights). I dont have any algae cleaners - any suggestions for small cleaner fish that dont grow too large - stay under 2 inches? with due respect to people out there of the opinion to control the algae without using fish/snails/etc.


In this new tank I had to put in white spot treatment: added salt + a medicine (Rid-All) + 28degC temperature+bumped up aeration. Could that have affected the plants? Does salt affect plants? 2-3 days ago I started doing partial water changes to reduce the med+salt concentration and get the water into "normal" condition. The white spot's gone by the way. Temperature is lower. I will do more WCs in coming days to reduce med concentration further.

Thanks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
75 Posts
I would get some excel and get about 4 Oto's.

If you have a couple of pics that would be nice to help diganose how your plants are growing and algae.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,934 Posts
You didn't mention how long the bulb was on each day. 8-9 hrs is enough for the plants...more will encourage algae.
Plants need to acclimate also and dead leaves is part of it. Anubias, Java Ferns, Crypts grow very slow. Crypts typically
look as though they are dieing when you move them just in case it's one of the ones you don't know the name of.
Here's the thing. Until the plants get growing well you may have some algae because the nutrients are there from the fish
waste. Be patient for a while because you may over do it on all these additives before you find out what your amount of
plants can use. I recently put out all the light in my tank for 5 days to rid it of BGA and the plants which were growing fairly
well before I did it took almost three full weeks to begin growing again. These were plants that had already been growing in
there. Your plants need a little time to get acclimated and 2-3 weeks is about normal.
Carbon is a by-product of the fish breathing. It also comes into the water from the atmosphere so an oily film is not good on
top of the water so water movement is what is needed to keep that from being there. For this reason an HOB should be above
the water so the water drops down into it...not like 4 inches or anything like that but just don't fill the tank till it touches
the spout where the water flows from the filter. Doses of Excel won't hurt it and may help keep down on the algae. It hinders
some types of algae but don't exceed the recommended doses. Waiting two months is too long but one month is fine.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
644 Posts
What are c02 tabs? I have never heard of that before. I dont think you NEED those or pressurized c02 for your setup.


Can you post a picture of your tank? Maybe we can ID those plants for you, and give you better advice
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21,012 Posts
Because you have an unusual lighting setup, with more daylight than artificial light, it is hard to know if you have enough light or too much light. If you can borrow a PAR meter you can use it to find out how much light you have. Otherwise, about all we can do is guess. Light is the key parameter. Too little and it will be very hard for any plants to grow. Too much and it can be hard to avoid algae.
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Top