Help For A Novice Planted Tank Aquarist Please!

Aclman88

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Hey guys,

So I recently decided to delve into a planted aquarium, and quite honestly it has been a fly by the seat of my pants and hodgepodge attempt thus far. I have a 20 gallon high aquarium stocked with 5 Corys, a dwarf Gourami and 8 Glowlight tetras. I have 7 Marimo balls which have done splendidly for months now and have grown a good amount. The has been minimal algae growth on just the gravel that is taken care of when I vaccuum the gravel and mix it up a bit.

Specs:

- Substrate is regular aquarium gravel.

- Lighting is an 18-24 aqueous optibright plus.

- I just placed root tabs and am using flourish comprehensive as well.

For plants I have the following:

\- Java Moss

\- Java Fern (has started to develop brown spots which I think might be from too much light)

\- Argentine Sword

\- A tale plant with thin leaves (not sure since it grew from a bulb when I had just my standard fluorescent)

\- and a recently acquired reddish tinged plant from the bargain bin at Petco.

I realize now after doing more research the red plant most likely will require much more light than the optibright can supply.

For the rest of the plants, is the optibright + sufficient lighting? If not, would I be able to supplement with the 18" fluorescent or a Beamworks LED? I do not want to try to upgrade the entire lighting system, just supplement the optibright if needed.

I also am wondering how long to light the tank for? I was doing 12 hours but read that it might be way to much, so I was going to try for 7 hours a day a adjust from there.

Lastly, how often should I dose with the flourish? I was planning on doing the recommended dosage (1.5ml) twice a week.

Any advice would be appreciated!
 

86 ssinit

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Welcome to fishlore! Stay with the twice a week dosing. Lighting will depend on what’s happening in your tank. Are the plants growing or is algae growing. Most people leave th3 lights on for 6-8 hrs. On my beamworks light I have it on for 3hrs off for 3 than back on for 4. Seems to keep the algae at bay and has the lights on when I’m home from work .
Most of your plants are low light plants and may do good with your lighting. I don’t know your lighting. Did it come with a kit? Java fern and moss are good low light plants. The sword may need more. In the future put the root tab under the swords roots. It benefits the most from the tabs. Need pics for the other 2. Welcome to the world of plants . What kind of fish?
 
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Aclman88

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Thanks! Aqueon Optibright Plus LED Lighting System 18 to 24 Inches https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01G5UFNPU/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_fiCXCb8JMPBK7

That is the light I’m using and I placed a few root tabs throughout the tank and near the rooted plants. The beamworks allows you to set time periods like that? Or do you use a separate mechanical timer? The lighting system I use allows you to set the lights on a timer but only for one on/off period. I was thinking on from 11-6 and then I have nice blue moonlight led that I run a couple hours at night. It also has RGB lights so I give a soft pink lighting a couple hours in the morning since I like to se the fish before I leave for work.

Fish are a dwarf gourami, right glowlight tetras and five albino Cory’s.
 
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