The Planted Tank Forum banner
1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, I am new to planted tanks but not new to aquarium keeping. I recently broke down my saltwater reef tank and decided to try a planted tank.
I have a 90 gallon tank
First questions is what substrate to use. From what I can tell I should shy away from sand and topsoil and go with a commercial planted tank substrate? How deep does the substrate have to be?

Second question is I would like to use my existing light fixture from my reef tank. I will only be using 2 48" VHO bulbs which gives me 220w of light. Will this be enough light? Also the current bulbs are one 10k and one super actinic, is this a good enough light spectrum to grow plants?

Third question is my reef tank was an open top, do i need to have lids for a planted tank to trap CO2? I have a CO2 bottle left over from my reef system that I will use to infuse CO2 into the tank at some point.

Last question is what are some good plants to start with and should I plant as heavy as I can at the begging or bring plants in slowly?

Thanks for your advise in advance.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
12,131 Posts
While a commercial planted substrate such as Flourite, EcoComplete or ADA Amazonia are great products, there is no reason to shy away from sand either. Many people have successful planted tanks with sand as well.

Substrates usually are about 2-3 inches, I would say.

Regarding your light, that is quite a bit that you will have. With that much light, you will definitely need to be injecting CO2 (it is good that you still have your bottle left over). In addition to CO2, you will also need to be dosing macro and micronutrients for your plants (best to look through the forums for this; there are many threads on this). Many people like the estimative index (EI) dosing regime.

You do not absolutely require a lid, but it does help trap in some CO2 and also prevents loss of water due to evaporation. If you do not wish to get a lid, you can simply increase your CO2 to compensate.

You can plant as heavily as you want right from the start; in fact, it is encouraged that you plant heavily from the start. Easy beginner plants include Anubias, Java Fern, Java Moss, Hygrophila spp., Anacharis spp., Egeria spp.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
567 Posts
If you can afford it, going with a commercial plant substrate is going to be the easiest route for a beginner. Sand or regular gravel can also be used, but they don't contain any nutrients for the plants, so you will have to rely more heavily on fertilizers. Soil substrates can be complicated and frustrating, so they aren't usually recommended for beginners--not that it stopped me from trying it on my own without even knowing that anyone else was doing this, and I personally think it is the best method.

Open top or a lid are both fine with a planted tank. I think open top tanks are becoming more popular lately with planted tanks.

Your actinic bulb will be useless as far as the plants go, I would replace it with a 6500K one. With that much light, you might want to set up your CO2 system right away, or just start out with one of the bulbs until you're ready to go CO2.

I find it works best if you load the tank up with plants right from the start. When I first started trying to plant a tank, I would buy one plant here and one there, and was filling it up slowly, and they just never seemed to do well. Then I discovered I could order plants online (I didn't live near a good store for buying them more than one every now and then) and ordered a bunch, filled the tank up with way more than I even wanted, and it began to thrive. I'm not sure why it works, but it does.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
199 Posts
...
Third question is my reef tank was an open top, do i need to have lids for a planted tank to trap CO2? I have a CO2 bottle left over from my reef system that I will use to infuse CO2 into the tank at some point...
the pros here already told u most of the basics u need to know for starter. quick note bout the top, besides from CO2 escaping (wont help much due to holes & gaps for hoses, and pipes that goes in ur tank), u also need it for some fish. Gourami, Beta, n few others... good luck w/ ur setup man. :proud:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
So I put in my first plants in and now have a couple more questions.
When do I need to start fertilizing? How often?
What kind of water change schedule should I run for a 90 gallon? How much, How often?
I will try to get a few pics up this evening.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,838 Posts
Have you decided which fertilization method you're going to use? I generally don't start fertilizing until my tank has been setup for 4-6 weeks. How often/how much you do your water changes will probably vary depending on your chosen method of fertilization but a lot of people, myself included, do 50% water changes, once weekly. I use the EI fertilizing regime, which is described here (and several other places, I'm sure): http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/forumapc/fertilizing/15225-estimative-index-dosing-guide.html

Glad to see another person from Washington! Welcome to Planted tank!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Have you decided which fertilization method you're going to use? I generally don't start fertilizing until my tank has been setup for 4-6 weeks. How often/how much you do your water changes will probably vary depending on your chosen method of fertilization but a lot of people, myself included, do 50% water changes, once weekly. I use the EI fertilizing regime, which is described here (and several other places, I'm sure)
Glad to see another person from Washington! Welcome to Planted tank!
I haven't decided yet which way to go. 50% water change on a 90 gallon is going to be interesting every week. I was a reef guy for a long time and decided to setup a planted tank for a little simpler hobby....I guess I was wrong about that.:smile: Any good suggestions for locals selling plants?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,838 Posts
Unfortunately, it looks like you have at least one non-aquatic plant in your tank. Where did you purchase them? Petsmart, etc are famous for passing off bog plants as aquatics. Also, you are asking for trouble unless you add a ton of plant mass as soon as possible. There are some stem plants in the swap n shop ( I think someone is selling a ton of rotala green stems) that even if you just want to float them in your tank during your cycle, you'll get over through your cycle without a huge algae bloom.

As far as water changes, I change 50% on my 105 every week and while it's a little bit of a pain, having a python makes it a lot faster and doesn't require constant monitoring.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Unfortunately, it looks like you have at least one non-aquatic plant in your tank. Where did you purchase them? Petsmart, etc are famous for passing off bog plants as aquatics. Also, you are asking for trouble unless you add a ton of plant mass as soon as possible. There are some stem plants in the swap n shop ( I think someone is selling a ton of rotala green stems) that even if you just want to float them in your tank during your cycle, you'll get over through your cycle without a huge algae bloom.

As far as water changes, I change 50% on my 105 every week and while it's a little bit of a pain, having a python makes it a lot faster and doesn't require constant monitoring.
Which one is the bog plant? I can take it out. Yes I am trying to find a bunch more plants to combat the upcoming cycle.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
65 Posts
I've used a powerhead before, but just to circulate water in the tank and thus circulate ferts as well, but they are not necessary. If you decide to use one try to get as little surface agitation as possible because it prevents C02 from being dissolved in the water. I add the C02 as soon as I have plants in the tank.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
199 Posts
I haven't decided yet which way to go. 50% water change on a 90 gallon is going to be interesting every week....
you dont HAVE TO do 50% water change. 10-20% WC is good everyweek, but you'll have to adjust the fert level Digsy suggested link to suit your waterchange %.

Any good suggestions for locals selling plants?
ebay is another option... I didn't had much choice for plants locally, and shipping is always an issue when buying any aquarium items online. but this guy "planted_aquariums_central" sells plants for fair price, and charge you shipping for 1 item then add on for $0.69 - $0.89 for each add. items.
list of items he's sellin: http://shop.ebay.com/planted_aquariums_central/m.html?_nkw=&_armrs=1&_from=&_ipg=&_trksid=p3686

couple more questions
Are power heads used or not? At what point do you add CO2?
If you've got a good canister filter, then u should have enough flow in your tank. Powerhead will cause more CO2 escape, & will not recommend 4 ur planted tank. (others correct me if I'm wrong).


g/luck man... :proud:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,838 Posts
Did the pictures disappear? From memory, I'm thinking there was a species of draceana on the far left side and I'm thinking there may have been a couple of questionable ones on the left side. The right side had a few sword plants, right? Anyhow, the best way is to take pictures of each plant and post them in the Plants section of the site to ask for an ID. As far as powerheads, as long your filters are creating enough flow, you shouldn't need them unless you have dead spots in your tank or use them for CO2 diffusion, as I do.
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top