Setting Up 30 Gallon Planted Tank


New Member
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4 years

Before I ask my questions here are my tank parameters and my setup so you can read over/refer back to it.

Tank: 30 gallon long [ rough estimates: 36 1/2 (l) x 16 1/2 (h) x 12 1/2 (w)]
Water parameters:
- ph 8.0
- Temp: 76-78
- Hard Water

Lighting set-up:
- Coralife T5 HO fixture (~36inch)
- 6700k HO bulb (36 Watts)
- 10k HO bulb (36 Watts)
* Also have an actinic HO bulb (~16k) that came in fixture originally, which i swapped out for one of the bulbs in it currently
- Have a timer for light fixture so that light time will never been inconsistent
- Light is ~17 inches or so from the TOP of the substrate (NOT bottom of tank)
- about 2.4 Watts/gallon (I'm aware of Par but here is watts per gallon as reference)

Fertilizers I currently have :
- Seachem Flourish (Trace elements)
- Seachem Potassium
- Seachem Iron
- Seachem Excel (* Would prefer NOT to use in the tank)
- Seachem Flourish Root Tabs

~2inches of Ecocomplete across entire tank

- Penguin 350 Powerwheel
- Also have a powerhead that i can throw in the tank if needed, but the penguin makes plenty of surface agitation.

I have everything set up, however I have not dosed anything (besides prime) or planted anything yet either. The tank is not yet cycled, however i have established media from my fish room that i will be pulling from to speed along my fishless cycle with ammonia.

The plants that I am generally interested in growing are:

Cryptocorne Wendtii,
Jungle Valisnera,
Dwarf Sagitarria,
Ludwegia repens,
Amazon sword,

* not all of these plants at once, just some options lol

(Questions) I am curious if any of these plants will thrive in my setup, how should I dose my fertilizers (especially the iron and potassium), how long should i keep my specific light on, and if my light is considered low, moderate, or high lighting. * CO2 is not an option unless it is seachem excel, which I'd rather avoid anyways because I'd like to grow jungle val for sure. I have done so much research that my internet history is full of plant forums and even plant care videos from YouTube. If anyone could help me with my planted tank setup and the schedule for it that would be great....
I have read too much info that i am confused haha.

Thanks for reading through all that!



Well Known Member
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3 years
Hmm, lot of questions. I will try to help you out as much as I can. First off, using Eco complete will allow stem plants, Sword for ex. to grow without additional ferts, for about 2 months. For plants feeding from the water column, like Anubias, I would recommend Flourish comp twice a week, and trace on the off day. Excel is a great product and can be used every day. Because it can be hard on plants like Vals, it needs to be dosed at the minimum level recommended and gradually increased to the level recommended on the bottle. Iron should be dosed twice a week as well as Potassium. If you find at some point that you have no Nitrates you may have to dose Phosphorus. Hope this helps.
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