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40 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,

I recently started (or restarted) a planted tank. It has been awhile since I have had a planted tank so I know that there are new things to learn. I have a 55 gallon tank with a eco complete/ floramax combo substrate; and 1.45wpg.

As far as residents:
2 Otos
3 Harlequins and counting
3 Ghost shrimp
3 Cories
1 Serpae
1 Moonlight gourami

Anubias spp.
Brazilian Sword
Java Fern
Java Moss
Jungle Vals
Compact Hygrophila
and Watersprite?

There is an Emperor Penguin 400 Filter and I am contemplating adding a Eheim 2213 that I recieved.....I figure it can't hurt.

I also have the Nutrafin CO2 system.

As far as fertz is concerned, I heard that Excel will harm my Crypts and Vals, how true is that? What are my alternatives and how often should I fertilize?

Here is my tank so far, and I am planning on updating soon. Any advice would be highly appreciated!!


211 Posts
Sorry, I don't have any answers to your questions as I'm new at a planted tank myself, but I just wanted to say it looks great! Will look especially good once the plants have grown in. I'm trying a similar landscape in my smaller tank.

Fresh Fish Freak
24,403 Posts
Excel will sometimes melt Vals, but I've never heard of it melting Crypts? And a few people have reported success by slowly acclimating Vals to Excel (starting off with a small dose and building up to a full dose over time).

Once you've got the tank fully stocked, you may not need to fertilize at all since you've currently got all slow-growing plants. I'd probably put some root tabs under the Crypts and Swords, though.

If you add more stems you may need to bump up the nutrients. Every tank is a bit of trial and error, since each tank has its own assortment of plants and nutrient needs- but if you start dosing, be sure to put together a regimen that has both micro and macro nutrients. has a good write-up on basic aquarium plant fertilization.
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