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Newbies: please read this 1st

Discussion in 'Are you new to aquatic plants? Start here' started by Tom Barr, Apr 27, 2007.

  1. Nuggs

    Nuggs Junior Poster

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    I recently purchased Mono Potassium Phosphate, Potassium Nitrate and the GH booster from Aquariumfertilzer.com and started dosing as of today. I am testing this out on my old plants that look pathetic. These are plants that have been with me since I first began and unfortunately haven't had the best of care due to naivety. As soon as I become comfortable with the EI method, I will change out to ADA Amazonia Soil and purchase new plants. Hopefully I can work out my low, low pH before I solidify my choice of plants and layout. That is my next endeavor on this site... pH issues. So, here I go to learn!

    Thanks again for sharing the knowledge!
     
  2. sgravi2k

    sgravi2k Junior Poster

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    Hello All,

    Am new to this forum and have been with planted tank for about an year. Joining here to gain the maximum knowledge and your guidance on the hobby.
     
  3. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    If you plan to use tap water, supplied by a municipal water company, you shouldn't worry about pH at all. pH is a result of other parameters, not an independent parameter. If you have enough GH, and water safe to drink, the pH will be fine, with or without CO2.

    If you are going to try to breed some species of fish you might need to be more particular about GH and KH, and possibly pH, but for ordinary planted tank use, pH is not a concern.
     
  4. Nuggs

    Nuggs Junior Poster

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    VaughnH, thank you for the reassurance. :)

    Nuggs
     
  5. Canadian007

    Canadian007 Junior Poster

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    1st time poster! A long time lurker of many forums. This one seems most specific to my needs.

    You'd think being green would mean that your thumbs would be too. I quickly found out that it takes a fair bit more of effort then just planting then enjoy.

    My plants started off really well, in my freshly set up aquarium. Although one had a ich cyst, and I didn't know what it was so I didn't pick it off. Now I'm still battling Ich.

    I think my plant florished at the beginning because it was a freshly set up aquarium. There was a lot of extra nourishment from the tank not being cycled. For the last few weeks, my plant growth had been severly stunted. In battling Ich, I added salt to my aquarium, keeping an eye on my plants. Once the plants looked ill, I started water changes. Since then, the plants have still been stunted. Plus there was not enough C02, so I had green beard algae choking everything. I have recently purchased Flourish Excel, and been using it for 5 days. This has greatly reduced algae, and really improved the look of my tank.

    Just yesterday I splerged, and bought the entire line of flourish, excluding Nitrogen (would of bought it too excet the LFS didn't have it in stock). I started testing and dosing yesterday according to the Seachem 'Dose' program. So too soon to tell if they've bounced back.

    Can someone give me advise on what to do about this Ich? Fish have not been showing symptoms, however I keep on seeing the Ich jelly cysts every few days in the tank. I manually pcik them out, but they are hard to spot, and impossible to get them all out.
     
  6. Philosophos

    Philosophos Lifetime Charter Member
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    Does your "plant ich" look a little like this by chance?

    snaileggs2.jpg

    Perhaps with darker centers, maybe of a black, brown, green or pink color?

    -Philosophos
     
  7. Canadian007

    Canadian007 Junior Poster

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    Similar. I would say that it's more of a jelly sack, with 100% clear round eggs. The sack would be 1/2 the size of an eraser tip, and then the eggs would be the size of a pin head.

    Please don't tell me that these are snail eggs or something.
     
  8. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    OK, I'll let someone else tell you they are snail eggs.
     
    Cricket likes this.
  9. Canadian007

    Canadian007 Junior Poster

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    If there is one in a good location for a photo, I'll snap it.
     
  10. Canadian007

    Canadian007 Junior Poster

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    OMG - I feel like the biggest idiot. Does Ich even have a 'jelly' stage?
     
    Mike k likes this.
  11. Canadian007

    Canadian007 Junior Poster

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    1st time poster! A long time lurker of many forums. This one seems most specific to my needs.

    You'd think being green would mean that your thumbs would be too. I quickly found out that it takes a fair bit more of effort then just planting then enjoy.

    My plants started off really well, in my freshly set up aquarium. Although one had a ich cyst, and I didn't know what it was so I didn't pick it off. Now I'm still battling Ich.

    I think my plant florished at the beginning because it was a freshly set up aquarium. There was a lot of extra nourishment from the tank not being cycled. For the last few weeks, my plant growth had been severly stunted. In battling Ich, I added salt to my aquarium, keeping an eye on my plants. Once the plants looked ill, I started water changes. Since then, the plants have still been stunted. Plus there was not enough C02, so I had green beard algae choking everything. I have recently purchased Flourish Excel, and been using it for 5 days. This has greatly reduced algae, and really improved the look of my tank.

    Just yesterday I splerged, and bought the entire line of flourish, excluding Nitrogen (would of bought it too excet the LFS didn't have it in stock). I started testing and dosing yesterday according to the Seachem 'Dose' program. So too soon to tell if they've bounced back.

    Can someone give me advise on what to do about this Ich? Fish have not been showing symptoms, however I keep on seeing the Ich jelly cysts every few days in the tank. I manually pcik them out, but they are hard to spot, and impossible to get them all out.
     
  12. Philosophos

    Philosophos Lifetime Charter Member
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    No jelly stage, and it doesn't infect plants. ;)

    Don't worry, we've all been here at one point. Screen shot this thread for your self, and look back on it in a few years. It's always good to see how far you've come.

    Until then, keep picking the eggs off, kill any snails you do find. Borrow some dwarf chain loach (a couple other types of botia spp. can work as well, but not all) or assassin snails if that doesn't work. Bait and trap works for some as well. Any methods from there on in start to get ugly.

    Welcome to the forum.

    -Philosophos
     
  13. jmak

    jmak Junior Poster

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    You kan raise temperature to 29-30 Celsus some days and then apply anticm-medication like metylene blue or others.

    !!! But be carfull with temperature not to kill your fish !!!
     
  14. chicago_animal

    chicago_animal Junior Poster

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    Hi everybody! (Hi Dr Nick) My first post here and hopefulkly its many. I post at another plant site but found this one after seeing Toms tanks. I hope to convert my 24G nanocube into a beautifull aquatic garden.
     
  15. uncleddie

    uncleddie Junior Poster

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    Hi everyone, I am also a first time poster... been lurking for a few weeks and soaking it all up. Read all Tom's intro threads and visited the various web resources he also posted. Have been to the Krib before and it got me started about 3 years ago. I have gotten so much out of Barr Report though (more current). Thank you all. I wanted to share some of my big-time mistakes and some positive progress since I started studying Barr Report a few short weeks ago. I was interested in nano set-ups so purchased a 7-gallon mini-bow in the beginning; also got obsessed with tech: 12-in Current light 18w 10K/6K Sunpaq, Hagen HOB Power Filter (the smallest one using all bio-media/no charcoal), underwater heater at 80 F, and Hagen Natural CO2 (the one with the rails). Oh and Red-sea Pro test kit. I had my own plexi hood fabricated to put the light fixture on top. I filled the tank to the max with EcoComplete, shale, pebbles and driftwood and some salt and pepper sand I liked and planted dwarf sags, hairgrass and some HC I bought on aquabid. Way over-analyzed and Amano-esque designed because I like to research. I fired it all up and wham: I had a planted tank. Then it went down hill fast. I bought some fish too large for the tank and they liked to eat plants (eek!). 3 Florida Flag Fish. They were boisterous. Then I added a few salt and pepper corys and some Heterandria formosa. The corys obviosly like to dig a little too. And a dozen olive nerite snails. The native Heterandria formosa colony are no problem and kept me going 3 years: no heart to dump them. I have tried shrimp in the past too but no luck: Ghost and Amano. They died. Anyway, the sags started to take off and took over everything when the hairgrass died and turned brown and the HC must taste good, because the Flag fish like it a lot and it floated a lot and then caused filter problems. I got frustrated. I gave up on the CO2 and knew nothing about dosing and the importance of water changes. I am also lazy. So, algae and foreign snails infested the tank after some Aquabid Hornwort and Guppy Grass (tried going rootless) and wham. Now I have a disaster. The fish died eventually (old age) and the nerites were out competed by an infestation of foreign snails. They were prolific. The disaster continued for the next few years: algae (probably some new species discovered/developed in there!) of every kind and color and general disinterest and complacencey and stagnation on many levels. I restarted 4 times like chemo with complete water changes and clean out. Then I went to low light and NO PLANTS. But there were plants—Algae. Ok. Time to start over again (around this past Christmas): I ordered some Cryptocoryne wendtii, Vesicularia dubyana and Microsorum pteropus, some Amano shrimp and 12 nerites. PlantGeeek.com said they were all easy and low light plants: I was convinced my Current/Sunpaq lighting was the problem and went with the mini-bow stock hood. I redesigned the aquascape and planted using play sand and inserted Flourish tabs, but I hated the look of the mini-bow stock lights and the plants: looked blue and muddy so reintroduced the 10K/6K dual. Then serendipity through Krib PMDD>Aquariumfertilzer.com: found Barr Report. Today I am writing because I had pearling for the first time and excited. No algae (yet) after 1 month. I introduced dosing strategy and the yeast CO2 after finding a great recipe on this site (needed with high/medium light). The DIY on this site is great. Sometimes I want to make stuff and not even need it: internal CO2 reactor for example. Still want to build a 5 gallon wet/dry sump, but that is another story... maybe another post. BUT the plants are thriving and water quality excellent. The crypts melted (50%) but the regrowth is nice (bronze/green) and prolific. I do need more plants (another lesson learned here) and ferts from aquariumfertilizer.com: right now I am using Seachem Excel, Flourish, and Equilibrium. 3X a week and 50% weekly water change (it only takes :30 min on a Sunday morning), and DIY CO2 with the Hagen unit and rail diffuser is running around 40 ppm. pH 6.5 (need better kit/meter though), kH around 5. It is the best start I have had so far, BUT much more to do like refining my NPK with PMDD and more plants. I also tried to created a moss "floor" but considering filling it in with HC... so pics to follow when complete. I will post.

    I still have a long way to go but here are some of my random key lessons:
    • learn a method and learn it well (develop a routine and schedule and get the stuff needed i.e. EI)-Thanks Tom
    • form follows function (high-light, low-light, tech, CO2... etc.). i.e. have goals and research BEFORE set up. Thanks Tom
    • Over plant. Thanks Tom
    • get a vacuum: weekly water changes, weekly water changes, weekly water changes!
    • friendly (meaning non-aggressive) flaura/fauna
    • clean and over clean plants and stuff before introduction
    • learn A LOT about the plants before purchase: habits like crypt melt, coloration, roots, height, spread, other misc needs and idiosyncrasies
    • DIY: I am on a budget
    • Quote I read once about pest control: "The best thing you can introduce to a garden is a gardener"
    • keep searching and stay inquisitive and learn new stuff i.e. Barr Report
    • get inspired (AGA contests, web, youtube, and books like Amano's)
     
    #35 uncleddie, Jan 9, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 17, 2010
  16. fishyjoe24

    fishyjoe24 Junior Poster

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    live and learn is how I learn... I just buy a little at a time and see what grows and what doesn't grow.. I'm on plantedtank.net and aquaticplantcentral.com most of the time.. It's been around a year since I got in to plants.. I remember starting with java fern's, and the petsmart tube plants.. I learn the hard way and wonder why mondo grass, peacock fern etc wouldn't grown in my tank. I also falled for the 2-3wpg with out know about par.(thanks tom and hoppy for the awesome studies). then I went back to discus one last time, and end up wiping out a 7 foot custom build 135 with 20-30 discus in it because i was dumb and didn't QT a wild caught tefe green. / I then bought a 15 cube from a fern I was able to grown water sprite,java fern, rotala rounlitla(spelling?), and dwarf sag. with just seachem ferts and a t5 no 13 bulb.. then moved on to a 55, and fell for the oh yeah the power compacts will give you better lighting. so I spent a lot of money on a power compact ballast with 2 96w bulbs. learned that I had low light. with those bulbs and switch to t5 ho and now I'm able to grown cryptocoryne,jungle val, dwarf sag, anbuis nana,java fern, narrow leaf java fern, and some other type of java fern.

    I don't know where I would be with out planted tank aquatic plant central and barrreport
     
  17. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    I've done most of the mistakes of the folks that have posted here, no need to be afraid to post.
    Many of us old timers have done the same things, thought many of the same exact things, even the intermediate stages...........we really argue and doubt cause we have enough background to be dangerous, but still do not quite yet have it.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  18. Cachimbo

    Cachimbo Junior Poster

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    Greetings from Costa Rica Tom,

    I am new at this, have read about planted tanks all over the internet and 8 days ago a set up my tank as follows.

    Setup
    50 Gal
    x2 96 watt 6,700K
    Filter Aquaclear 70 with Aquaclear 20 propeller (to reduce agitation of the water), no carbon
    Adecuate heater
    Temp. 79-82 ºF
    Fert. EXCEL NPK 5cc every day (Localy made formula by an aquarist)
    Used Flora Pride 40ml K2O 3% y Fe 0.19% on day 5
    Light feeding two times a day

    Plants:
    x5 Vallisneria Gigantea
    x7 Elodea
    x6 cabomba piauhyensis
    x5 bacopa lanigera
    x1 echinodorus grandiflora
    x10 Echinodorus cordifolius
    x10 Echinodorus tenellus
    x1 Hydrocleys nymphoides
    x4 ceratopteris cornuta
    x2 alternanthera reineckii

    Fish:
    5 Golden Tetras
    1 Cardinal Tetra (Had 17 originally and they died off)
    3 Amano Shrimp

    Water Parameters:
    Ammonia - 0
    Nitrite - 0.3 ppm
    Nitrate - 0 (have not tested, cannot get a testing kit here)
    Ph - 7.0
    GH - 4.0
    KH - 5.0
    Co2 - 15ppm
    Co2 - 2-3 bubble per sec (diffuser)

    I am aware of the cycling process but actually there is this algae bloom (green algae, string algae, some kind of brown spot algae , etc) and milky water, which I am not sure what to do. I have made 3 water changes in a week, 10%, and have been very tempted to use peroxide to wipe out the algae. What do you suggest I do? Just keep on doing what I have been doing and wait for them to disappear or there is something a have missed? Am I on the right track here?

    Do appreciate

    Regards,
    Cachimbo
     
    #38 Cachimbo, Jun 23, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 23, 2011
  19. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Yuo have a lot of light, too much, one bulb turned on for 3-4 hours each is fine, but never both at the same time.

    CO2 needs to be 2-3x this value.
    Good circulation, just enough to not break the water's surface is a good rule.

    Are you dosing Excel or is this just the name of the NPK stuff?
    Ferts like KNO3/KH2PO4/GH booster etc are available to be shipped to Costa Rica. They do not cost much, shipping will be more than the products.

    Then you can dose any and all you want and we have a much easier way to know and compare nutrients.

    I'd suggest you read this article as it details the light and CO2 issue well.

    http://www.tropica.com/advising/technical-articles/biology-of-aquatic-plants/co2-and-light.aspx

    No est Espanol, lo siento.

    I have some articles in Espanol on EI topicos.

    http://www.barrreport.com/forumdisplay.php/30-Regional-Forums

    There are few forums like some in Mexico that have translated some of these articles as well.
    Chinese?

    I'm certain they have published and translated the entire web site a few times by now:)
     
  20. Cachimbo

    Cachimbo Junior Poster

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    Interesting article on light and CO2. Thanks on the advice as well. I go around fairly well with english and I also need to practice so its ok.
    The Excel is just the name, it is basically NPK as far as I know. Nutrient amount, not sure. I am uncomfortable with this fert. Might as well get another more reliable.

    So if I understand all this interrelations and effects between, light, CO2, and nutrients, the way I am planning to go is:

    6hrs light one bulb and leave at 1.92wpg? (isnt it to little light for a planted tank), increase CO2 to at least 30ppm, control fertilization. So plants compete with algae and gradually make them go away. My mistake is to give too much light, not enough CO2 and maybe not appropriate fertilization. However the plants have grown considerably. But the algae had taken advantage of the light/CO2/nutrient disequilibrium.

    When restored stability and clarity in the water is achieved, should I set the second bulb and go back to 3.84wpg? Will this cause another algae out brake if the tank is cycled?
     
    #40 Cachimbo, Jun 24, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 24, 2011
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