First dirted/ heavily planted tank

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Newbiee

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Hi fishlore I am going to be experimenting with plants in a smaller tank, I'm thinking 20-25 gallons so it is not too hard to maintain a proper balance I may even go up to thirty. I haven't had much luck with plants and didn't want to do root tabs because I feel like a dirted tank will grow them better. So my questions are...
- what should I look out for in a dirted tank, will it be unstable will the water parameters be different.

- what fertilizers should I be using, I would like to keep my plants very healthy and have good growth

- what type of fish would you recommend that I put in the tank that will help control the algae

I may add more so bear with me!! Thanks for reading my long boring post!


 
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Newbiee

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Told you I would add more! what is the difference/ benefits to liquid or dry fert and what type of soil should I use for my dirted tank


 

AquaticBrandon

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When dirting your tank make sure you have a good cap over the dirt and Make sure to cover the corners very well. You don't want any dirt leeching all into the tank. I believe you can get a very small ammonia spike in your tank from dirting, but when I dirted my tank I didn't get any spikes. I would recommend a fertilizer like Seachem Flourish. The plants will grow very well with the dirt. Fish that are for eating algae are otocinclus and nerite snails. A couple nerite snails should work in case of any algae. The benefits from dry ferts is that they will last you a long time, I don't know much about them so this is all I can say.


 
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Newbiee

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Thanks you I think I am going to look into dry ferts because they seem more cost effective


 

AquaticBrandon

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Yeah I would go with dry ferts IMO


 
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Newbiee

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Cool I think I will


 
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Newbiee

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Also can anyone explain lighting to me and how much I need I have seen some planted tanks grown very successfully with cfl bulbs in lamps and they have grown plants that need high light amts


 

AquaticBrandon

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You can grow low light plants and a few medium light plants with 6500k CFL bulbs. My plants are growing healthy with these bulbs


 
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Newbiee

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If I'm using a smaller tank like a 20 gallon tank would the light penetrate it enough to grow more high maintenance plants? And if not what brand/ specs should I look for in aquarium lighting that will not be too expensive?


 

AquaticBrandon

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Since this is your first planted tank, I wouldn't really try to grow high light plants. some high light plants require pressurized co2, ferts and high lighting to do well. You can have a heavily planted tank with low light plants and some medium light plants. No need for co2 and expensive lighting.


 
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Newbiee

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If I'm using a smaller tank like a 20 gallon tank would the light penetrate it enough to grow more high maintenance plants? And if not what brand/ specs should I look for in aquarium lighting that will not be too expensive? I am planning on eventually upgrading the lighting in my 55 so when I figure out this whole planted tank thing I can grow them in my 55!


 

AquaticBrandon

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The CFL bulbs will not be enough to grow high light plants. You're gonna want to look into some t5's or LED's, probably a finnex led fixture. But some high light plants won't do well with just high light, they're gonna need a balance of pressurized co2 and ferts.


 
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Newbiee

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Ok just thought I'd ask, what are some plants that will grow well? Is there anything that will carpet


 

AquaticBrandon

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You want high light plants? If you want plants that will carpet you're gonna need pressurized co2


 
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Newbiee

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Not necessarily high light plants I just heard that carpeting plants need high lights. And is co2 a big endeavor/expensive?


 
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Newbiee

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If I were to dial high light plant with co2 and everything would a light like this work?



Sorry is is not a link I'm on my phone right now but it is an odyssea t5


 

AquaticBrandon

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Well with co2, it's kinda a hassle because you have to have a balance of co2, light and ferts. If not balanced you will have algae issues. Co2 can be a little expensive, most setups can run about $90 or so. That light might work, the only downside to the t5 fixtures is that you have to replace the bulbs every few months. I would look into the Finnex LED fixtures.


 
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Newbiee

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Ok thanks!


 

DTurner

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Hey man. Just to put in my input. As it goes worth substrate an organic garden soil is good. You also should have some iron in the substrate. Clay or red flourite work well. Then as others said you want to cap it typically with sand.

As for fertilizers you its dry or liquid. Dry is cheaper and allows you to customize your blend.

Co2 and light go hand in hand. Higher light will need pressurized co2. Lower light can use something such as flourish excel, did co2 or tabs.

As for a cleanup crew nerite snails and shrimp do well.

Sent from my SPH-L720 using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum mobile app
 
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