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  2. We are after as many aquarium plant images that we can get, doing so will assist us in completing the aquarium plant database.

    https://barrreport.com/threads/aquatic-plant-images-wanted.14374/
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Plant newbie needs your help...

Discussion in 'General Plant Topics' started by markbethell, Dec 31, 2006.

  1. markbethell

    markbethell Junior Poster

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    Hello everyone, my name is Mark and I have a new 45 gallon that I want to start up. I want live plants in this one, and have seen many wonderful pictures throughout this site.

    I need to know:
    • Should I have undergravel heating?
    • What should I use for substrate?
    • Lighting in layman's terms.
    • CO2-how do you do it?
    • And anything else you think I may need to know.

    I am going to be using a canister filter system with a UV sanitizer. Is that okay?

    Thank you all so much in advance and Happy New Year!

    Mark
     
  2. reiverix

    reiverix Lifetime Members
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    I'd say no. It isn't necessary and roots can tangle in it.



    It depends on what you want to try. The two I have experience with are Seachem Flourite and ADA Aquasoil. Of the two, I prefer Aquasoil. Comes in different colors and doesn't scratch glass. There are other brands like Eco-Complete, even regular soil aquariums.



    The information on lighting is as enormous as the scope of your request. Basically, you have low light tanks, medium light tanks and high light tanks. It depends on what you want to grow, how much pruning work you are willing to do, if you inject Co2 and how good you are at keeping up with fert dosing and dealing with the occassional algae or greenwater problem that may pop up. There are different lighting technologies that you can choose from depending on $$ and what your needs are. This isn't an exact answer but you didn't ask an exact question, which was probably the correct choice in this case. Look at photos of aquariums and pick one you like, then you set up your lighting to match the light needs of those plants and the grow needs of that layout.



    Depends. There's organic carbon which you can dose in a liquid form. There's Co2 gas produced by fermentation of yeasts and sugars. There's pressurized Co2. Those are the sources. Then, there are various methods of diffusion. You have external reactors, internal reactors, glass diffusers, airstones, bells, ladders, letting the filter break it up, etc.



    That's wonderful.


    I see you joined the forum today. Never done a planted tank before? Read the forums, do searches, look at other people's planted aquariums. Get an idea of what you want the inside of the tank to look like, then you'll be able to use the requirements to guide your purchasing decisions. When you ask a very ambiguous question about planted tanks you open yourself up to the likelihood of receiving an information overload and becoming very confused. Better to read as much as you can and then ask the remainder of your questions on a case-by-case basis. I'd be happy to help in the ways that I can.

    One piece of advice I can give you now if this is your first tank...

    When we start reading about planted tanks I think a lot of the "stuff" seems foreign to us. Scientific names, growth patterns, the whole concept around aquascaping and what is a "dutch" layout and what is a "nature aquarium" layout. We don't know a lot about ideal water conditions, nutrients and minerals, animal compatibilities, etc. So, we focus on the choice words, phrases and concepts that do make sense to us, things that we are already familiar with: which brand is better? lights, watts, filters, dirt...a lot of mechanical devices and mathematical values and numbers. Then we tend to focus on those things because the rest is "Greek" and in the end we can end up thinking a high light, high fert, pressurized Co2, fast growing tank that pushes the boundaries of sanity is exactly what we want our first tank to be, even if we like the look of java fern and moss. Different plants have different requirements and some plants work better in certain visual situations than others.

    I'd suggest looking at pictures of the insides of planted aquariums, not specifications or values or equipment, and deciding which "look" you want. Then, tell us or better yet show us pictures and ask how to achieve that look. Then you can get specific advice because you are asking specific questions that are goal-oriented.






     
  3. markbethell

    markbethell Junior Poster

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    Thanks for all your help. I have been taking a look at a lot of pictures, which is making the decision that much more difficult...lol.
     
  4. nursie

    nursie Lifetime Members
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    WHen I started out...I decided to go with low light plants so as not to have to dose CO2 right away, and also to stay with the easier to keep plants at the start.

    You can go about decision-making a couple of ways. Decide what kind of tank you want: low light, med light or hi light and decide what plants and equipment you need from there, or look at plants and see waht their requirements are and pick your tank style from that.

    Personally...I bought a couple of plant books, and researched plants on the internet. I figured out I could find a variety of plants in the lower light/easy to grow end of the spectrum and so that's where I started. A site with an nice searchable plant database is PlantGeek.net - Your Aquatic Plant Resource You can search by light requirements and it will also tell you plants in the same catagory.


    Some choices also depend on where you whant to shop for items. Do you want to pick things up locally, or do you shop the internet? There are a lot of different sites out there, and also Ebay. You need to familiarize yourself with prices and what shipping costs are so you can decide which is the best choice.

    As to your undergravel heating: I've seen books that puch it, but have never seen a "live" person that uses it. And I've seen a lot of nice tanks maintained by those "live" people.

    My personal experience with substrate is using a Fluorite/sand mixture, also soilmaster select, and plain construction sand.

    I prefer the fluorite/sand mix, it's more cost effective than plain flourite, and provides some nutrient value to plants that draw nutrients from their roots. Soilmaster select does somewhat, but I find that it's soft, and have a hard time initially to get the plants to stay down in it. Once they are rooted, they do well thought. Construction sand is messy and the one small tank I have with it I'm considering ripping up. If you use sand at all, use pool filter sand. It's much cleaner.

    Lighting? Whatever the cheapest for the wattage of light I need for the tank.

    CO2? If you start out low light you don't need to go there, you could dose Flourish Excel, which is a liquid form of biovailable carbon. You can dose CO2 into low light tanks...I haven't made that leap myself yet, but plan to. From what I've read, they can benefit from it also.

    Anything else you need to know: Do you know where you plan to get plants? Most LFS's don't have much, at least around where I live. Fellow hobbyists are a great resource, I buy quite a few off Ebay, and aquabid is another online source.

    DO you plan to have fish/inverts in this tank? Those will also have some effect on what you plant. Some fish just root up plants and you cant keep thiem in planted tanks.

    HTH ;)
     
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