Planted Tank General Questions

bwuller

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Okay so my first tank ever is 29 gallons. It has had quite the life from being resealed after purchase to not cycling for a long time to dealing with a horrendous ich outbreak. Any who I have some general questions about plants and what not. Recently I changed from some garbage rainbow gravel to Fluval Stratum because I wanted plants to thrive. My plants came in today and I got them all planted but I just want to confirm some things about the health and care of the plants. In the tank is a betta, 6 pristella tetras, and 1 long finned platty as his friend succumed to the ich :( and about 14 ghost shrimp, surprisingly my betta wants nothing to do with them. Below are my equipment and questions.

Filter - HOB Aqua Tech
Airstone
and the light the tank came with plus 2 led strips I attached to it hoping its enough for plants. We shall find out.

1. Do I need to use liquid fertilizers in my tank if I am using Fluval Stratum as substrate?
2. Do I need to run c02(I was aiming for a low tech tank but have no issue with trying out c02).
3. If I do not use c02 do I still need an airstone(already in tank)? My thought being the airstone is getting rid of the little amounts of c02 in the tank already.
4. Not a question, I did some research on easy plants for hard water as my tap water is ridiculously hard. I settled on cryptocryne wendtiI red, monte carlo, java fern, amazon sword, and some ludwigia sp repens----> any of that could be misspelled, I dont have the labels with me.


I'm just looking for someone with plant experience to guide me a little bit hahaha thank you for any input as always.
Please excuse the grammar as well as it is late lol

"Just keep swimming"

also there is a heater before someone asks, forgot to mention lol
 

Blueberrybetta

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plants will always thrive better with extra ferts or CO2 but neither are really necessary. IMO ferts and root tabs help a lot but regardless of what substrate you have, you will eventually need ferts. most substrate dont even contain all the right minerals certain plants need to thrive like iron, calcium, and phosphate. so that why they sell separate minerals in bottles. I would look into ferts, they really helped my tank.

Airstones are mainly for looks but they also help break up heavy biofilms that some filter flows cant. if your filter is strong enough providing air bubbles in the tank, then you should be fine without the airstone.

from my experience, amazon sword grows great without ferts or even in substrate at all. every plant is different and all require different lighting, ferts, root tabs, or CO2 setups. for colum plants , ferts do help alot, especially for ludwigia repens, iron helps keep the red pigment but so does very bright lighting
 

AJSFishKeeper

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1. If you are going to use a liquid fertilizers, i’d suggest using Flourish Advance and Excel (Excel if you are going for a low tech, no co2 tank). Since most of your plants will be in the substrate, i’d recommend using root tabs. Using additional ferts can give you tons of algae without CO2.

2. No, you don’t need CO2. CO2 is for speeding up your plant’s growth so that it prevents algae from getting excess nutrients. You just need to find the right balance for your tank so you won't struggle with algae growth.

3. Your fish does produce co2, but remember, the air we breathe has CO2 as well. You can use whatever you have now, but if you want CO2 (without a CO2 system), Flourish Excel is a great alternative. Personally, however, I don’t like airstones. It creates bubble on the surfaces and creates small splashes that dries up and turn into hard water that is a pain to clean. As long as you have a good water agitation from your pump/filter, it’s all that you really need.

4. Most plants are able to adapt to any water conditions you may have so you don't have to worry about that Since your plants are generally pretty easy to grow. Your Monte carlo, however, will take longer to carpet if there’s no CO2 so you’ll have to be patient.
 
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bwuller

bwuller

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Thank you for replies, I do have some root tabs but I will look into Flourish products to help, I am glad I didnt just go about it thinking the substrate was all I needed. I have seen some cool simple DIY c02 systems that I might try with all this time on my hands now
 

MarioDario

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AJSFishKeeper said:
1. If you are going to use a liquid fertilizers, i’d suggest using Flourish Advance and Excel (Excel if you are going for a low tech, no co2 tank). Since most of your plants will be in the substrate, i’d recommend using root tabs. Using additional ferts can give you tons of algae without CO2.

2. No, you don’t need CO2. CO2 is for speeding up your plant’s growth so that it prevents algae from getting excess nutrients. You just need to find the right balance for your tank so you won't struggle with algae growth.

3. Your fish does produce co2, but remember, the air we breathe has CO2 as well. You can use whatever you have now, but if you want CO2 (without a CO2 system), Flourish Excel is a great alternative. Personally, however, I don’t like airstones. It creates bubble on the surfaces and creates small splashes that dries up and turn into hard water that is a pain to clean. As long as you have a good water agitation from your pump/filter, it’s all that you really need.

4. Most plants are able to adapt to any water conditions you may have so you don't have to worry about that Since your plants are generally pretty easy to grow. Your Monte carlo, however, will take longer to carpet if there’s no CO2 so you’ll have to be patient.
Not to hijack the thread here or anything but I had a quick question, I’ve also bought some plants and would you recommend root tabs or liquid? I’ve heard horror stories where people think the liquid fert killed their fish in their tanks :eek: . I would prefer that not happen so just a quick question, thank you :)
 

AJSFishKeeper

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MarioDario said:
Not to hijack the thread here or anything but I had a quick question, I’ve also bought some plants and would you recommend root tabs or liquid? I’ve heard horror stories where people think the liquid fert killed their fish in their tanks :eek: . I would prefer that not happen so just a quick question, thank you :)
The only reason I can think of where ferts kill fish is if they overdose or use it too often. Liquid ferts are best used with aquarium soil since it helps absorb the nutrients in the water so that I can be used by your plants. If you want to be safe, i’d recommend root tabs so that it will be readily available for your plants. It’s safer to use less than what you need for liquid fert If you are unsure. I use both in my planted aquarium with no ill-effect.
 

Debbie1986

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I used liquid fertilizer ( Flourish) , but my plants were only so-so ( I am a novice though, only 1 year into fish.) Once I switched to the fert tabs last fall, dramatic difference.

I currently use API leaf zone as a liquid and only treat tanks every 2 weeks after a water change.

'what goes into tank, stays in the tank...' so yes read packaging carefully when dosing.
 

cmid21

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bwuller said:
Okay so my first tank ever is 29 gallons. It has had quite the life from being resealed after purchase to not cycling for a long time to dealing with a horrendous ich outbreak. Any who I have some general questions about plants and what not. Recently I changed from some garbage rainbow gravel to Fluval Stratum because I wanted plants to thrive. My plants came in today and I got them all planted but I just want to confirm some things about the health and care of the plants. In the tank is a betta, 6 pristella tetras, and 1 long finned platty as his friend succumed to the ich :( and about 14 ghost shrimp, surprisingly my betta wants nothing to do with them. Below are my equipment and questions.

Filter - HOB Aqua Tech
Airstone
and the light the tank came with plus 2 led strips I attached to it hoping its enough for plants. We shall find out.

1. Do I need to use liquid fertilizers in my tank if I am using Fluval Stratum as substrate?
2. Do I need to run c02(I was aiming for a low tech tank but have no issue with trying out c02).
3. If I do not use c02 do I still need an airstone(already in tank)? My thought being the airstone is getting rid of the little amounts of c02 in the tank already.
4. Not a question, I did some research on easy plants for hard water as my tap water is ridiculously hard. I settled on cryptocryne wendtiI red, monte carlo, java fern, amazon sword, and some ludwigia sp repens----> any of that could be misspelled, I dont have the labels with me.


I'm just looking for someone with plant experience to guide me a little bit hahaha thank you for any input as always.
Please excuse the grammar as well as it is late lol

"Just keep swimming"

also there is a heater before someone asks, forgot to mention lol
1. I have never used Fluval Stratum but I am aware of it as it is a very popular choice for a substrate. Fluval Stratum is basically inert so yes you need to use fertilizers as it won't provide any nutrients for plants. Based on how the plant receives its nutrients, is how you should provide fertilizer to them. For example Amazon Swords are heavy root feeders. They need root tabs. Other plants like hornwort are column feeders so liquid fertilizer is most appropriate. Most people use a combination of liquid fertilizer and root tabs as they have a combination of root feeders and water column feeders.
2. You do not need to run CO2. (depending on the plants being kept) For most tanks CO2 is the limiting factor. For plant growth you need light+nutrients+CO2 (simplified equation). Most of the time light and nutrients are abundant while CO2 is limited. That is why some people add CO2. Fish give off very little CO2 and won't sustain very many plants. So again, CO2 is definitely not needed, but it can help depending on the plants being kept.
3. If you are running a filter, then this is probably enough and an air stone is not needed. Air stones are used to help with the gaseous exchange at the surface of the water. I use an air stone, but that is because I don't use a filter. It helps with the gas exchange.
4. My source water is also very high. 8.2+. I would not be concerned about the ph measurement and plants. Plants will adjust. The very frustrating thing regarding plants is that some plants thrive in one individual's aquarium while others can't keep that same plant alive at all with the perceivable same measurements. There is just too many variables to accurately compare different aquariums. That is why it is often recommended to try several types of plants out and see which one likes your set-up. You will inevitably have some plants melt while others will thrive. You just have to find out what works for you.
 

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