Looking to upgrade my current tank to a planted tank! where to start?

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by CanadianMade, Aug 8, 2015.

  1. CanadianMade

    CanadianMadeValued MemberMember

    hello everyone, basiclly i want to change my whole setup that i have now to a fully functioning Planted tank. My bottom feeder during the night tends to unbury my fake plants from the gravel i have and i find myself always having to fix it! being the n00b that i am to this hobby i wanted to get your opinion's Ive been doing some research and have come to realize this would be a whole new setup in itself.

    With all that being said, where do i start? I was just at my LFS yesterday and chatted with the guy there. he basiclly told me i cant get away with my single bulb fluroescent light setup i have now but i would need to get some sort of substrate to allow the plants to root onto. he said i would be limited to the plants i could get though because some types of plants obviously need more light then others. Personally if i had to i am willing to upgrade my lighting if thats what needs done.

    also if i do need to get substrate does that mean i am basically ripping everything out of my tank now and putting it back together? if thats the case do i setup a quarantine tank to put my fish in for a certain period of time? will it spike my water levels putting plants in?

    Like i said im totally new to this so any advice on startup would be awesome. I.e plant types, lighting systems, different substrates?
  2. AquaticBrandon

    AquaticBrandonWell Known MemberMember

    Welcome to Fishlore! :)
    Awesome that you want to go planted. Low light plants are the way to go. They don't need any special lighting or substrate. A 6500k CFL bulb or T8 (which every bulb your fixture uses) should work. You don't have to take out all your substrate and put in a "planted" substrate. You can just add root tabs and they will grow the plants fine. To get started, this should help a lot https://www.fishlore.com/aquariumfi...-set-up-a-low-light-low-tech-planted-tank.24/

    Sent from my iPhone using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum
  3. OP

    CanadianMadeValued MemberMember

    wow! that article is awesome! thank you very much! i appreciate that, what about when im planting them do i need to quarantine my fish while i wait for the plants to catch on plant tabs?
  4. Jswin

    JswinWell Known MemberMember

    No you don't have to do that. Just rinse the plants off really well and check for pests ie snails

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  5. AquaticBrandon

    AquaticBrandonWell Known MemberMember

    No need to move the fish to a different tank. :)

    Sent from my iPhone using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum
  6. happygolucky

    happygoluckyWell Known MemberMember

    The plants will only help, but I think if you decide to switch substrates then you may get some spikes.
  7. amydeb

    amydebValued MemberMember

    I've also just started a low light planted tank. I have done a few at a time. On water change day (only because the water is lower and it's easier) I remove a fake plant (or two) and put live in it's place. Add root tabs if the plant needs and finish my usual routine.

    None of my fish are bothered by it. Then again, they are nervy, nosey things! Nothing seems to bother them much. They check out the new plant. Maybe nip it a bit to see if it's good eats and go about their fishy business.

    As a side note: I changed from gravel to pool filter sand without removing my fish. Just be sure to rinse the new substrate really well. I've used the soda bottle trick and it worked great! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ta6ZI5Or814
  8. Kasye

    KasyeValued MemberMember

    If you do change your substrate, I would recommend removing half of your current substrate, putting in half of the new substrate in its place, then change out the other half another day. You'll be less likely to have a spike in your water parameters this way.