Any Advice? Help

Discussion in 'Aquarium Plants' started by allieleap101, Aug 23, 2019.

  1. allieleap101

    allieleap101New MemberMember

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    Hello I’m new to fresh aquariums and I’m finally feeling confident enough to start phasing into planted aquariums. Right now I have a Anubias and java fern that I’m about to put in on some drift wood and lava rock. I’m trying to use plants that do not require me to have a co2 canister or fertilizer tabs. But any advice would be great for a beginner that I should know about. Or is there anything that I should know that you wish to have known before starting planted aquariums?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Crispii

    CrispiiWell Known MemberMember

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  3. OP
    OP
    allieleap101

    allieleap101New MemberMember

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  4. CastleGrayskull

    CastleGrayskullValued MemberMember

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    I have a lot of experience with plants and have found that, often enough, CO2 isn't necessary, especially if you're using an air pump. As for fertilizer tabs, have you considered using potting soil as a first layer for your substrate with gravel over top? Soil will fertilize your plants plenty.
     
  5. altwitch

    altwitchNew MemberMember

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    We've been running our 120g planted for about a year now and the plants have not been high maintenance. I asked my LFS aquarium guru about CO2 and ferts and his advice was "add it if looks like it's becoming necessary but wait to see evidence of issues." So far so good. There are a couple species I've had issues with like Ludwigia Peruensis due to needing a bit more attention/light, but have 17 species in the tank that are thriving now. The top three things I think are contributing factors to our relative success:
    1. Lighting - Have 2x Finnex Planted+ 24/7 lights that cycle through light states to simulate natural light; very pleased with them but can't compare/contrast as I liked it well enough I got them for all 3 tanks
    2. Substrate - Have tried EcoComplete and Fluval Stratum, not had a problem with either but Eco is more a mineralized gravel (cleaner to use but recommend introduce slowly as suspect it was a bit too strong leeching something into tank). Stratum is messier and tends to break up, but softer and I think a bit easier to work with when planting.
    3. Plant Choices - This can make a big difference. Light preference, speed of growth, typical 'max' growth height and plant difficulty can all be factors. I used Peter Hiscock's 'Encyclopedia of Aquarium Plants' to educate myself and guide my choices and feel it was well worth it.

    Love having a planted tank as it takes up extra nitrates and helps with tank chemistry as well as aiding in oxygenating the water some, plus IMHO looks much more attractive. The planting is a real pain at times depending on plant, but once they're in and rooted very few problems.

    About every 6 months depending on the plant I do have to prune and sometimes this is easier done by removing and replacing the plants after. Upside is that I'm able to take excess plants raised to my LFS and either donate to support business (small loads) or work a trade for store credit (more desired species.)

    Hope that helps.
     
  6. OP
    OP
    allieleap101

    allieleap101New MemberMember

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    My substrate I use is sand and I have one little section gravel my Corys love the sand and so do my shrimp my tank is a 20gallon long version so idk where I should put the potting soil. Thank you guys so much for the advice!
     
  7. altwitch

    altwitchNew MemberMember

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    I have a sand section in our tank and a substrate section. They are separated by 2" lexan (plexiglass) strips shaped to intent with a blowtorch. Most but not all of the plants grow in the substrate while a handful of hardy smaller varieties I choose are planted in pool sand from a local pool store. It does create a bit of a pain to maintain sometimes, but meaning to complete building a sifting net to make things easier. No need to do things that way, as most will grow fine in just sandy bottom; I chose to do so to maximize plant growth.
     
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