Planted Tank and an idiot...

  1. jamesonuk Member Member

    When I setup my tank I thought real plants looked nicer than fake ones and thought they would be more natural with the fish so bought a bunch of plants.

    So a lot of what I have been reading differentiates between well planted, moderately planted and lightly planted tanks. I have a 180L (which I think is ~ 47g) which looks like this:
    IMAG0365.jpg
    The left hand side has about five Amazon Swords planted down the side and across the back.
    The middle has a small crypt in the middle and some small patches of Lilaeopsis Brasiliensis (thought it would be nice to give Squidward Tentacle's house a little lawn :)

    Down the back is then some Rotala Rotunifolia and another stem plant I can't remember the name (Might be Bacopa caroliniana) followed by some Vallisneria behind the wood and down the right hand side.

    Finally I have two Anubias, some Java Fern and Java Moss on the wood.

    How well planted is this?

    I want to keep this low tech and I was planning on a simple routine of root tabs, and a little weekly fertiliser. Any thoughts on what I need to do to keep the plants healthy (Substrate is sand btw)
     
  2. boxtop Member Member

    I am still a novice when it comes to plants so I can't help you there but I wanted to say that I think your tank looks really sharp!
     

  3. Bhuij Member Member

    I'd consider this somewhere in the moderate-to-heavy part of the plants spectrum, although it's kind of a subjective thing.

    I have Swords as well and the root tabs make an amazing difference. I ended up buying some cheap-o ones that are essentially just Osmocote + inside of gelatin pill capsules. I think I paid $7 for 100 of them on Amazon. My swords have grown incredibly quickly in the 2-3 weeks since I added root tabs.

    If you're looking for a simple fertilizer dosing plan, I can recommend PPS Pro. It's way cheaper than buying Seachem or other "aquarium brand" ferts, since you're just mixing up dry chemicals and distilled water and dosing. I dose daily, but you could just easily take the daily dose of ferts, multiply it by 7, and add it once a week. I paid $40 for everything I needed from GreenLeafAquariums.com and it's enough ferts (both macros and micros) to last my 55g tank at least a couple of years, I'm thinking.

    I think most of what you have listed does just fine in low light, low tech aquariums. Depending on your fish load and the nutrient content of your water out of the tap, you may not even need to dose ferts. If I were in your place, I'd get PPS Pro and cheap root tabs, and dose normally until I saw a reason to lower the dose (i.e. algae blooms or something).

    Cool thing is, if you ever decide to go high tech, it's as simple as adding more light, installing a CO2 system, and adjusting your fert dosing as needed to avoid deficiencies, and your plants will start growing WAY faster than they were before.

    I'm by no means an expert, but I'm happy to attempt to answer any other questions you may have about ferts or plants in general. Great looking tank!
     

  4. jamesonuk Member Member

    I think light is a little better than standard starter kits (2x 45W T5) currently on for 3 hours in the morning and 3 hours in the evening (will increase this to 2x4 when the tank is cycled)

    The swords are starting to look a little translucent which makes me think I need to add some fert sooner rather than later but I bought two large plants to start with which spawned three of four small little ones which look a little healthier (presumably as these have only ever grown submerged?)

    Will check out PPS Pro as sounds interesting.

    The other question I have is not directly plant related but I am not sure if this will stop some of the plants getting the nutrients they need (https://www.fishlore.com/fishforum/filters-filtration/229161-spray-bar-position-flow-dead-spots.html)
     

  5. Bhuij Member Member

    Wish I could help regarding your spray bar. I know almost nothing about them, but I will say if you ever do add CO2, beware any form of surface agitation as it will cause your injected CO2 to off-gas and go to waste.

    Your light is low-med light and should be just fine without CO2 injection.

    Root tabs are great! It's possible the issue you're seeing with the existing leaves are exactly that: emersed vs submerged plant growth. I'm guessing it's nothing to worry about, although you may also see it clear up a bit when you get ferts in.

    Best of luck! Excited to see how your tank looks when it's cycled and stocked!