Setting up a planted tank Question

  1. kinezumi89 Fishlore VIP Member

    Hello,

    I started up my first planted tank last night. 2.5 gallons, plant to turn it into a shrimp tank. It's one of these http://answers.petco.com/answers/35...ktop-aquarium-questions-answers/questions.htm which has 21 LED lights (and three blue LEDs for "nighttime lighting").

    As per suggestion (and some of my own choosing), I purchased:

    2 dwarf sag
    1 corkscrew val (Italian val was suggested, but the store's stock looked pretty sad, so I went with this instead)
    1 hornwort bunch
    1 banana plant

    In the bunch of hornwort, a sprig of narrow-leaf anacharis snuck in, so I got a free plant! I may not have enough lighting for either the anacharis of the banana plant, but the anacharis was free, and the banana plant was only $3 and I needed a short foreground plant, so we'll see how it works.

    I used Miracle-Gro garden soil (organic was suggested, but the store didn't have any, only potting soil). I filled the tank up about 1.5-2" (maybe a little too much, but I didn't want there to be too little). I planted the plants other than the banana plant, then covered with roughly 0.75" of black aquarium gravel. I nestled the banana plant in the gravel, then used a plate to help disperse the water as I filled the aquarium.

    Unfortunately, the tank turned terribly murky. I siphoned off the larger floating bits of dirt, and turned on the filter to hopefully pick up the smaller particulate. Even more unfortunately, this was obviously a bad idea, as it looked way worse in the morning. (The first picture was from last night, right after I filled it up, the second is from this morning.) You can't even see the plants in there! I turned the filter off right away, but there isn't much of a difference in the last few hours.

    Is the murkiness normal? Does it eventually sink and the water clears up? Should I never use the filter? At this point I'm sure the plants on the bottom aren't getting enough, if any light. Also, there's so much hornwort it blocks out much of the light, but I don't want to transfer it to my fished-tanks until I'm certain there aren't any pesky snails (picked out two already).

    Let me know if there's anything else you think I should do. Thanks!
     

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  2. jerilovesfrogs Fishlore VIP Member

    well you're on the right track i think. i would have gotten a few more sags....it's beneficial to plant it well from the start.

    the water almost looks like a bunch of soil got released. you said you put the soil in, the the plants...then covered with gravel. i would have actually put the soil and gravel in, then planted it. and use plant tweezers, for minimal disturbance.

    try a few water changes...to help get, what i think is soil....out.
     

  3. kinezumi89 Fishlore VIP Member

    It's much clearer now, unfortunately my internet has been down a few days so I can't upload a picture. I thought if I planted first and then added gravel it would mean less dirt escaping, but I guess not! I didn't want to overdo it with the plants, but I can pick up some more sags next weekend.

    I'm not sure if you've had corkscrew Val before, but do the leaves usually turn brown on the tips when they're transplanted? I've read they're super easy to care for, but mine don't look so good near the top.
     
  4. allaboutfish Well Known Member Member

    banana plants are nowhere near short. they'll grow all the way to the top.
     

  5. pirahnah3 Fishlore VIP Member

    a lot of plants have a bit of die off when they get moved. just give them some hertz and root tabs and you will end up with huge plants in no time.
     
  6. bassbonediva Fishlore VIP Member

    Beware the val. It will start small, but will rapidly take over the tank. Not even kidding. My jungle val went from five plants on a runner that I put in my tank last year to now filling almost half my tank.
     
  7. kinezumi89 Fishlore VIP Member

    I know the banana plant leaves reach the surface, but I'm okay with that. I have to be able to see the bananas! :)

    If the corkscrew Val grows a lot, hopefully I can transplant some to other tanks, since this is the only one with live plants so far (besides the sections of hornwort I moved to the other tanks).
     

  8. bassbonediva Fishlore VIP Member

    Val is super easy to transplant. Just snip off a runner and stick it in the substrate of another tank. Ta-da. I put it in my 20gL and most of it has already grown 2-3" in the five days since I put it in there.
     
  9. jerilovesfrogs Fishlore VIP Member

    make sure the vals or sag have at least 3,4 leaves before snipping to transplant. ime jungle val is the craziest! corkscrews are really pretty.. similar to italian val. id do more sags than vals in a 2.5g though

    -j