Added Some New Plants. Thoughts?

Gersh

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Hey everyone. I have been slowly putting together a 55 gallon freshwater tank. I 'm about 2 weeks into my fishless cycle, and got some plants in today.

This is what I've got so far. I found some needle leaf java fern on sale, so I went with that. It's currently tied to the driftwood in the picture. The guy was also nice enough to to send me a sample of hydrocotyle tripartita. What do you guys think?

Second, I'm new to the planted tank stuff. I've heard hydrocotyle is semi-moderate in difficulty. For planting it, I took the strand and found what looked like roots. I then put those in the sand. I plan on getting some root tabs and burying it near the "roots." Is this the way to get this plant going? Is there anything else I can do to make sure that it survives?
 

bigdreams

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I suggest reading and researching about planted tanks before getting more plants. here's a useful article: How to Setup a Low-tech Planted Tank: Planted Aquarium Guide | Bits and pieces of my digital life

You will likely be fine w/ the java fern... not sure about the hydrocotyle... it may require stronger ("high") light and maybe CO2/Excel to avoid algae growth from the stronger (high) light.

Good luck! Planted tanks are fun, reading up on them before investing a lot of money would be a good idea.
 
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Gersh

Gersh

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bigdreams said:
I suggest reading and researching about planted tanks before getting more plants. here's a useful article: How to Setup a Low-tech Planted Tank: Planted Aquarium Guide | Bits and pieces of my digital life

You will likely be fine w/ the java fern... not sure about the hydrocotyle... it may require stronger ("high") light and maybe CO2/Excel to avoid algae growth from the stronger (high) light.

Good luck! Planted tanks are fun, reading up on them before investing a lot of money would be a good idea.
I actually dosed the tank with a bit of excel before adding that plants. I plan on staying low tech, and keeping the hydrocotyle out of the shade. I went with plain sand since most of the guides I read didn't mention needing anything particular.

How are you suppose to plant the hydrocotyle? I basically took the parts that looked like fuzzy roots and put them in the sand.

I've seen excel mentioned before, but don't really understand how it's different than flourish or other things.
 

bigdreams

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Excel is a CO2 substitute.. it's actually some toxic cleaning agent thing, that helps kill algae, and provides some carbon to the tank. Not as good as CO2, but useful. I don't use it in my tanks but some people swear by it. I decided the smell didn't agree with me so I avoid it.

Flourish Comprehensive has some nutrients (aka liquid fertilizers) that is actual food for plants. Some people use dry ferts instead of liquid ferts b/c its cheaper in the long run. I would start w/ liquid ferts (like Comprehensive) to start out with b/c its simpler and less likely you'll accidentally nuke your tank.

I personally went dirted tank route and have been super successful with it. Very happy. However it's not for everyone, and it's not a "beginner" approach, simply because most beginners don't bother reading and following instructions and are usually not patient enough to wait. My signature has a link to my dirt tank. If interested in that, read Walstad's Ecology of the Planted Aquarium.
 
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Gersh

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bigdreams said:
Excel is a CO2 substitute.. it's actually some toxic cleaning agent thing, that helps kill algae, and provides some carbon to the tank. Not as good as CO2, but useful. I don't use it in my tanks but some people swear by it. I decided the smell didn't agree with me so I avoid it.

Flourish Comprehensive has some nutrients (aka liquid fertilizers) that is actual food for plants. Some people use dry ferts instead of liquid ferts b/c its cheaper in the long run. I would start w/ liquid ferts (like Comprehensive) to start out with b/c its simpler and less likely you'll accidentally nuke your tank.

I personally went dirted tank route and have been super successful with it. Very happy. However it's not for everyone, and it's not a "beginner" approach, simply because most beginners don't bother reading and following instructions and are usually not patient enough to wait. My signature has a link to my dirt tank. If interested in that, read Walstad's Ecology of the Planted Aquarium.
I'll look into excel and flourish.

If I wanted to add a proper substrate, can I do that now or would I have to drain everything?
 

bigdreams

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I don't think you need to change substrate. Java Fern doesn't feed from substrate, it feeds from the water column. Your hydro plant could use a small root tab, you can buy a Seachem root tab, probably good enough. Just use a little to start with and see how plants adjust. And be patient.

Also what light do you have?
 
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Gersh

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bigdreams said:
I don't think you need to change substrate. Java Fern doesn't feed from substrate, it feeds from the water column. Your hydro plant could use a small root tab, you can buy a Seachem root tab, probably good enough. Just use a little to start with and see how plants adjust. And be patient.

Also what light do you have?
I have a .

In terms of substrate it was more for if I ever decided to upgrade to plants that might need it.
 

bigdreams

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That's the Finnex knockoff light. I have the Finnex 24/7 led and I run it in a siesta mode, 5 hrs on, 4 hrs off, 5 hrs on on a dimmed setting (i.e. not full blast) and not in24/7 mode. You have very few plants so you need to keep an eye on algae. It's easier to start with a lot of plants since they out compete algae if there's enough of them and if they grow fast.
 
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Gersh

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bigdreams said:
That's the Finnex knockoff light. I have the Finnex 24/7 led and I run it in a siesta mode, 5 hrs on, 4 hrs off, 5 hrs on on a dimmed setting (i.e. not full blast) and not in24/7 mode. You have very few plants so you need to keep an eye on algae. It's easier to start with a lot of plants since they out compete algae if there's enough of them and if they grow fast.
I wish I could start with a bunch of plants, but I'm budget limited. I plan on running at most 7-8 hours. It keeps the plants healthy and algae down. I do have some floating plants in a 20 that I could move over to help control levels to keep algae down.

Also, how do you run your light like that. Do you have a timer on top of your normal remote or light?
 

Dolfan

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Gersh said:
I wish I could start with a bunch of plants, but I'm budget limited. I plan on running at most 7-8 hours. It keeps the plants healthy and algae down. I do have some floating plants in a 20 that I could move over to help control levels to keep algae down.

Also, how do you run your light like that. Do you have a timer on top of your normal remote or light?
You can save money buying from fellow aquarists here on fishlore from the buy/sale/trade forum. Give me a shout, as I could easily make you a nice package that could fill a lot of that tank with a variety of easy low light plants.
 
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Gersh

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Dolfan said:
You can save money buying from fellow aquarists here on fishlore from the buy/sale/trade forum. Give me a shout, as I could easily make you a nice package that could fill a lot of that tank with a variety of easy low light plants.
What plants would you recommend? I’d gladly look into some other plants.
ba4956d81f134b8b61b21ae22f947799.jpg
ba4956d81f134b8b61b21ae22f947799.jpg


Here’s the whole setup.
 

Dolfan

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your options are limitless, but I would stick with easier low light plants at first. Here is a link to an article I put together, it's in the members article section at top of page, sometimes links dont' work for mobile folks, so use the regular desktop browser, or just go to members article section and look for it....

How To Set Up a Low Light Low Tech Planted Tank
 

bigdreams

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Gersh said:
Also, how do you run your light like that. Do you have a timer on top of your normal remote or light?
Yes, I use a timer. One of those cheap rotary ones sold at Walmart etc.
 
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Gersh

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bigdreams said:
Yes, I use a timer. One of those cheap rotary ones sold at Walmart etc.
How do you chose the intensity? You said it was max, then off, then dimmed.
 

bigdreams

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Oh no. I don't use max at all. I dI'm the light a bit like 5 or 7 "down" button presses from W setting, then save it to memory button ( press and hold one of the M buttons for several seconds ). that way I can recall the setting in case I switch to 24/7 mode when showing off the tank to people when I saw 5 hr on and hen 4 hr off and 5 hr on , it's all on the same dimmed setting.
 
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Gersh

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bigdreams said:
Oh no. I don't use max at all. I dI'm the light a bit like 5 or 7 "down" button presses from W setting, then save it to memory button ( press and hold one of the M buttons for several seconds ). that way I can recall the setting in case I switch to 24/7 mode when showing off the tank to people when I saw 5 hr on and hen 4 hr off and 5 hr on , it's all on the same dimmed setting.
Ahhhh. That makes much more sense. Was wondering how you were switching it like that. Why the 4 hour break between?
 

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