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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello! I'm a former cichlid enthusiast who has been out of the hobby since 2001(?), when I sold off my tanks and equipment.

My wife and I are now both interested in setting up a real, actual planted aquarium and have a 27 cube (20" high) tank. I have 40 pounds of eco-complete unopened, and one of those marineland plant LED fixtures in the "small" size coming tomorrow. LEDs are a new thing to me -- I only recall friends doing metal halide for reef tanks and the t5 stuff from when I was doing this 15 years ago. I'm hoping this fixture produces enough PAR to grown some plants.

Anyway, I think we are intending to go without CO2...at least right now.

I know it may be hard to know without seeing our set up, but would you expect algae problems with that lighting system on a 20" high tank? I'm trying to think ahead as much as possible so I'll know how long to set the photoperiod, and whether I'll need to raise the lights up higher than the tank top.

Anyway - Thanks in advance for any help! Oh, one more question -- I formerly bred various mouthbrooders, dwarfs, etc. etc. and was very strict with weekly water changes. What is the general approach when you have a lot of plants sucking up NO3? I assume you still want to restore trace elements via changes once in a while? Is this something you guys generally do less frequently on a planted tank?

After I get it set up and cycled, I'll think more about plant species.

Thanks!:smile2:
 

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Algae issues would be hard to predict without knowing what the plant load of the tank will be.

Water changes would likely depend on how many fish you're going to stock the tank with. Plants will consume nitrate from the water column, but there are other bio wastes that continue to accumulate in the water which require water changes.

How often you'll have to do those water changes will depend on how many plants and fish you go with in the tank.

Welcome back to the hobby!
 

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@BandBclan welcome to the forum. I come from the cichlid world myself, of which I still have hongis and a few altolamps. The fact you are not jumping into co2/high tech is a wise one imo. I went low tech and I am glad I did. This is a lot different than the cichlid world, again imo. I traded my nice Placidochromis milomo (I babied that fish) so I could plant my 75 and while I really miss that fish I must admit the tank with plants is fitting the bill and I really enjoy it. I hope you enjoy planted tanks as much as I do.

I perform 20-30% water changes weekly on my planted tanks. I'm a rookie so I will leave it to others who know much more about the lights to help you there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you both -- I think we'll be going with a very light fish load. We have a desktop betta which we'd transfer over, and I was thinking a school of harlequins or rummy nose tetras. Maybe a few cories, but this is all later. We are both more interested in plants than fish at this point :smile2:. Well, we both still really like fish, but we want to do a tank that is very much like a fun gardening project with lush greenery versus a "fish" tank if that makes sense.

That's a nice hap! I had a 125 with some 7-stripe frontosas, and various other mbuna in 55 gallons, and this one weird 50 gallon oceanic cube...but that's a long, long time ago. None of those tanks had more light than what would grow some occasional brown diatoms which I'd remove with a razor blade. :laugh2:

This sounds like fun -
 

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please help!? i am new to the hobby and really admire these beautiful planted tanks. i went out and got some dirt for under the fluorite substrate. for the plants i have anubius, amazon sword, crypts, dwarf sag, corkscrew val and java moss. heres the problem, i set up my tank about a week ago and dwarf sag and val and the sword are just melting. i am currently using a liquid co2 and I'm wondering if a diy co2 system would improve? also the tank i bought was a kit so it came with an led light.. could that be the problem? the light is not strong enough? or is all of this just something these plants got through trying to adjust to these conditions.. thanks in advance guys!
 

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This sounds like fun -
I love it. Its a challenge. A lot to learn if you want to do it right. I have been lucky thus far and have had good results. You will enjoy the harlequins. I have espei rasboras and the wife and I love them. The main thing I would advise is plan plan plan. Figure out what plants you want and where to place them. The my plants link is a good friend under resources is your friend. Look for plants that will fit your light setup.

I made mistakes with my first two, mostly in plant placement and choice of hardscape materials and placement. I didnt plan well enough, and a lack of experience bit me. A bit of artistic ability is helpful when it comes to scapes, I lack artistic ability, so much, I cant even draw flies.
 
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