Aquarium Substrate and CO2

Discussion in 'Aquarium Plants' started by xARIZ0NAx, Mar 28, 2012.

  1. xARIZ0NAxValued MemberMember

    well i was thinking do i need Aquarium Substrate and CO2 . I was told i could get buy with just a good light fixture. liquid comprehensive supplement, and root tabs. what are the pros/experts take on this:;banaman

  2. psalm18.2Fishlore LegendMember

    Depends on the light, type of plants, and tank size.

  3. xARIZ0NAxValued MemberMember

    well i was looking at the web site called   and they have some java ferns, bunch plants, swords, crypts real hardy low light plants:;rocker

  4. psalm18.2Fishlore LegendMember

    Low light plants dont really need CO2. CO2 injection is typically for higher light tanks. You could try some DIY CO2 with a soda bottle and air stone. You could use a little Excel by Seachem instead. What size is your tank?
  5. Lexi03Well Known MemberMember

    Most low light plants won't need co2 unless you have a strong light fixture.

    I wouldn't consider a sword a low light plant. The swords and crypts need root tabs they are root feeders.

    I use a liquid co2 suppliment in my strongly lit tanks.
  6. xARIZ0NAxValued MemberMember

    its a 60 gallon right now im looking at light fixtures. for me personally the lighting has been the hard part to figure out when it comes to aquarium plants.:;swls
  7. psalm18.2Fishlore LegendMember

    I grew amazon swords quite well with a plant grow strip from Walmart in low light. Right now my planted tank has T5s making it high light. Of course with high light using CO2 and fertilizer is mandatory. If you keep the swords in good substrate or use root tabs, they will grow in T8 lighting.
  8. Lexi03Well Known MemberMember

    I have had no luck with T8 lighting (from walmart) couldn't even get java moss to grow in it.
  9. xARIZ0NAxValued MemberMember

    Right I have 2 floramax bulbs from petsmart it looks cool like a cheap version of a black light but not good enough for my plants I was told so I'm think about getting 48" nova extreme 6,500k lights one is white and the other is pink what do you guys think
  10. psalm18.2Fishlore LegendMember

    Mine were actual "plant grow" bulbs.

    Pink isn't really for plants. Try replacing w/ another 6,500k bulb. I love the Odessy T5 I have.
  11. Lexi03Well Known MemberMember

    I am not familar with that fixture. Is it a T5HO fixture? I have a 48inch T5HO that I love on my 75gal. I do dose ferts and liquid co2 on that tank. ( my fixture is made by Aquaticlife)
    Mine has a 6000k bulb and a roseate bulb( it looks pink) for plants.
  12. xARIZ0NAxValued MemberMember

    Yeah its a T5HO 10,000k fixture may I ask how many bulbs you have on your 48inch 75 gallon tank :)
  13. ryanrModeratorModerator Member

    Definitely a good substrate will help with a planted tank - from memory EcoComplete by CaribSea (I think) do a good planted tank substrate. I use Seachem Flourite personally.

    Light, CO2, Nutrients - it's all a balancing act.

    As has been pointed out, supplementing anything (CO2 or Nutrients) kind of starts with the lighting and the type of plants.

    Personally, I run 1 x 6700K and 1 x 18000K T5HO over a 2ft tank. The plants I keep don't need it (my rarer plants did, but my catfish destroyed them).

    But general principles apply, the more light, the faster they'll grow (photosynthesis), the faster they grow, the more CO2 they need to breathe, which adds to metabolism, the higher the metabolism, the more nutrients (supplements such as NPK) [note: this is loose 'laymans' term approach]

    In my signature, there's a link to Fishlore References that includes some good links to keeping live plants.

    Generally speaking, with plants, you want to replicate the sun's spectrum of light for optimum growth. But you may need to dose CO2 into the tank - in small tanks, Seachem's Excel can be economical, larger tanks it may better to do DIY CO2 or a CO2 unit (note: usually these are heavily planted).

    BIG NOTE: It largely depends on the type of plant - there can be low-light low-tech setups, and extremely high-light high-tech setups. You need to understand your plants first.

    You also need to monitor your parameters, and may need to dose Nitrogen/Phosphorous/Potassium (NPK) specifically, although Seachem's Flourish Comprehensive generally gets most plants going.

    You should note how your plants feed, and dose fertilisers accordingly, root tabs for root feeders, and liquid if necessary.

    I hope that helps - it's been a while since I've delved into the chemistry of plants, so my memory is a bit rusty, but the basics remain.

    Feel free to ask more questions, and I'll do my best to jog the memory!

    BTW - is Nutter still around? [user from ages ago that was especially good with plants - older members may remember some of these discussions :)]
  14. Lexi03Well Known MemberMember

    It is a dual bulb fixture. 2 -48inch bulbs, 54watts each.
  15. xARIZ0NAxValued MemberMember

    you wouldn't happen to have pix of your tank would you.
  16. xARIZ0NAxValued MemberMember

    I'm not really look for plants that i would like. I'm thinking more of what the fish want and like. I was looking at getting this for my tank.   take a look if you can and share your experience.:;swls
  17. psalm18.2Fishlore LegendMember

    I had a bad experience from them, but don't go by me.
    If they are low light and you over do the light they can die. Had experience there. If you're buying plants based on the fish then google search their environment. Find out what plants grow naturally in the fish's natural waters.
    My tank is in my signature.
  18. catsma_97504Fishlore LegendMember

    Lighting is definitely the first thing to consider with a planted tank. But you need to decide if you want a low tech or a high tech tank. Do you want a variety of plants or only a couple of plant species? Are you planning on an injected CO2 setup if you go with high tech/high light?

    Plants will grow in any substrate. You do not need the high priced plant substrates. If you can affect it, by all means do so to help your plants get off to a strong start. I have Flourish in my high tech tank, but now that it has been in use for several years, it has become nothing more than a high priced substrate.

    Nutter hasn't been around for quite some time. He is dealing with some personal issues. Hopefully he will be able to return at some point.

    These types of package deals tend to not work with every set up. The reason being that while marketed for low light there will inevitably be plants that need moderate or high light.

    I recommend researching individual plants to find those that are of interest to you. One suggestion would be to put together a biotope tank.

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