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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
So we are going to try to do a first planted. I have been doing lots of research only to find to much information. First I will mention what we have so far.

33 gallon standard tank
95 watt power compact light strip
fluval 304 canister filter

So our plan is to just start low tech for now. I know I messed that up when I made George buy such a high light, but to late now.
We are going to start with a DIY CO2, trying to keep costs down.
we are unsure if we should go with florabase or eco-complete. We are also unsure how to really clean the tank with either of these in there. I have read that when you first start planting they say that you should only be able to see about 15-20% or the bottom. We will not be doing so many plants to start off with though.
We also may look at worm castings as I know Lisa swears by them. We usally cap our eco with black gravel from north american pets but my concern with this tank is the kaluai loach and if it will be to hard on his skin.
So my question is will my light work on a low tech tank for now? I have been told to just cut the lighting time. I also know that there will probably be an imbalance in all the elements. We are concerned about spending the money only to find out it is not the right way to do it. As in the lighting situation.

So to start we will be DIY C02 and substrait. Then later we will move into ei doseing.

Anyways any feed back would be appriciated, sorry if my post is a bit scattered it is 1:20am. Oh and George just picked up a piece of wood today at fraser aquariums only to find out that I think my tank is smaller than I think, but I think we could make it work. Oh yah we only plan to keep somewhat easy plants. Here is a pic of the tank and wood.

Ok I have just seen earth pellets on the tankspiration website and I am now curiuos about them. Has anyone on here tryed them or have any thought on if they work?

 

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So I am going to try to do my first planted. I have been doing lots of research only to find to much information. First I will mention what I have so far.

33 gallon standard tank
95 watt power compact light strip
fluval 304 canister filter

So my plan is to just start low tech for now. I know I messed that up when I bought such a high light, but I have to deal now.
I am going to start with a DIY CO2, I need to keep costs down.
I am unsure if I am going to go florabase or eco-complete. I am also unsure how to really clean the tank with either of these in there. I know that when you first start planting they say that you should only be able to see about 15-20% or the bottem. I will not be doing so many plants to start off with though.
I also may look at worm castings as I know Lisa swears by them. I usally cap my eco with black gravel from north american pets but my concern with this tank is the kaluai loach and if it will be to hard on his skin.
So my question is will my light work on a low tech tank for now? I have been told to just cut the lighting time. I also know that there will probably be an imbalance in all the elements. I am just concerned about spending the money only to find out it is not the right way to do it. As in my lighting situation.

So to start will be DIY C02 and substrait. Then later I will move into ei doseing.

Anyways any feed back would be appriciated, sorry if my post is a bit scattered it is 1:20am. Oh and I just picked up a piece of wood today at fraser aquariums only to find out that I think my tank is smaller than I think, but I think I could make it work. Oh yah I only plan to keep somewhat easy plants. Here is a pic of the tank and wood.

Ok I have just seen earth pellets on the tankspiration website and I am now curiuos about them. Has anyone on here tryed them or have any thought on if they work?

Welcome to the planted scene :)

What i would highly suggest to you as a newbie to plants is to start with no more then 1.5-2 wpg, you wont NEED co2 at that point.

If you go with the light power you currently have you will have algae problems in no time, you will have a low plant biomass (not heavily planted) and fluxuating co2, and not dosing fertz.

As a newbie, substrate such as florabase or eco or flourite is just a matter of preference with color. I have used them all and each have there own benefit. Flourite black i have had good experience with, it didnt cloud and it looks good. With a planted tank you really dont have to do much for cleaning the substrate as waste is used as nutrients for the plants.

As many plants as you can fit in there in the start will help you with the algae battle, even if they are plants you dont care for much at least they can build up my biomass, then you replace them as time goes on.

You should never cut the lighting time, plants need the lighting period of about 8-10 hours a day, if anything cut the lighting watts. OR the other thing you can do is suspend the light from the ceiling or above the tank and that will cut the lighting watts for you, probably a good 12-16 inches to start and monitor plant growth and algae.

You should not dose co2 and go high light if you are not going to dose EI, there is no point, you are limiting the plants from nutrients.

Think of it this way. You need 3 things to live as a person. Food, water, sleep such as plants in the way they need light, co2, nutrients. What happens if we take food away from you, you might live for a while but it will stunt your growth and you will eventually die. What about water... same thing, what about sleep... same thing. If you limit something from plants in regards to co2,fertz,light they will eventually die. You can get away with NOT dosing co2 and fertz in a low tech aquarium because they get the co2 and fertz from the fish.

there are 3 stickies in the planted section, lighting, co2, and fertz, read them ALL that should give you some more insight.
 

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Hi OCDFishies! What a great looking tank! And I think that driftwood will look really nice in there. Are you going to attach moss or ferns to it?

Regarding your light. I've only tried the no-tech way to growing plants, so I've never had a powerful lamp like that (though I'd love to give it a try). I think that Nicklfire's idea of suspending the lamp above the tank is a good one. You could experiment with that. Or, can you just remove or disable one of the bulbs in the fixture?

I hope that you keep a tank journal, so that we can see it progress! Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Welcome to the planted scene :)

What i would highly suggest to you as a newbie to plants is to start with no more then 1.5-2 wpg, you wont NEED co2 at that point.

If you go with the light power you currently have you will have algae problems in no time, you will have a low plant biomass (not heavily planted) and fluxuating co2, and not dosing fertz.

As a newbie, substrate such as florabase or eco or flourite is just a matter of preference with color. I have used them all and each have there own benefit. Flourite black i have had good experience with, it didnt cloud and it looks good. With a planted tank you really dont have to do much for cleaning the substrate as waste is used as nutrients for the plants.

As many plants as you can fit in there in the start will help you with the algae battle, even if they are plants you dont care for much at least they can build up my biomass, then you replace them as time goes on.

You should never cut the lighting time, plants need the lighting period of about 8-10 hours a day, if anything cut the lighting watts. OR the other thing you can do is suspend the light from the ceiling or above the tank and that will cut the lighting watts for you, probably a good 12-16 inches to start and monitor plant growth and algae.

You should not dose co2 and go high light if you are not going to dose EI, there is no point, you are limiting the plants from nutrients.

Think of it this way. You need 3 things to live as a person. Food, water, sleep such as plants in the way they need light, co2, nutrients. What happens if we take food away from you, you might live for a while but it will stunt your growth and you will eventually die. What about water... same thing, what about sleep... same thing. If you limit something from plants in regards to co2,fertz,light they will eventually die. You can get away with NOT dosing co2 and fertz in a low tech aquarium because they get the co2 and fertz from the fish.

there are 3 stickies in the planted section, lighting, co2, and fertz, read them ALL that should give you some more insight.
Thank you Nicklfire

I have read over the stickies that you mentioned, thank you for getting them onto the new site so fast. I think our biggest problem was trying to figure out how to work with the current light fixture. It is only one bulb so we can not just take one out. George is going to try and suspend it from higher like you suggested and see how that will work. Since buying a new light is not an option.

As for the C02 I have also read that is you are not diligent about keeping them going they will cause the ph to fluctuate to much and stress your fish. I am not sure if this would be a concern with one or two bottles?

Thank you for all the good information, We are now going to just focus on doing a good low tech and hopefully hanging the light will work. I have much more research to do now, and need to stop thinking I know what I am doing. lol. But the best way to learn is to make mistakes. And on the bright side We will have the high light when I can convince George to buy pressurized CO2 lol

Thank you again
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Hi OCDFishies! What a great looking tank! And I think that driftwood will look really nice in there. Are you going to attach moss or ferns to it?

Regarding your light. I've only tried the no-tech way to growing plants, so I've never had a powerful lamp like that (though I'd love to give it a try). I think that Nicklfire's idea of suspending the lamp above the tank is a good one. You could experiment with that. Or, can you just remove or disable one of the bulbs in the fixture?

I hope that you keep a tank journal, so that we can see it progress! Good luck.
Thank you Maureen

We were abit concerned that the drift wood would be to big, but many have said it will work great. We are thinking of attaching some java moss and ananubous (Sorry I am a horrible speller) to it. I really like the way yours looks. Hey you should come do our's lol. We got the wood cause I read that plecos do better when they can munch on it so hopefully they will be happier. It also has some great hiding spots for George's common guy, he is not a social guy. Our loach also has a ruff go of things trying to hid. He wants the cave the pleco is in but keeps getting kicked out. lol

Yah the light was a bad choice for now. But that is what happens when you get different opinions from different people. We though about suspending it before but I was told that you get the same result with cutting the light period. We are hopeful that this may work and will continue to just do a low light tank till we get some more experience.

We are going to keep a journal not to sure how much fun it will be but you will probably get to know all the don't do's for a planted lol. Since that seems to be our game.
 

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You and I are in vancouver, if you came over I could do a trim and you could start with a full tank, utilizing the light from day one..Just a thought :)

PM me if you like the plants you see in my journal as all would be available. I would say also you could fill with nitrate sponge plants like Hygro and such, even P.stellatus then slowly replace with plants you know you love.

Cheers!! Your gonna have great fun with your planted tank!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
You and I are in vancouver, if you came over I could do a trim and you could start with a full tank, utilizing the light from day one..Just a thought :)

PM me if you like the plants you see in my journal as all would be available. I would say also you could fill with nitrate sponge plants like Hygro and such, even P.stellatus then slowly replace with plants you know you love.

Cheers!! Your gonna have great fun with your planted tank!
Thank you for the offer. I would love to come over just to pick your brain and have a look at your beautiful tank. I am so happy you got that one, it is amazing. As far as utilizing the light do you mean just leaving it on full power and not raising it???

We are first going to work on getting the fish healthy again, then we are going to start on getting our planted going.

Thank you again Lisa.
 

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Get your self situated where you are comfortable to plant and them PM me, There is always lots to cut, doing a 33 (filling it) would be easy. That being said Im not even running 3 watts per gallon, I can sell you a gallon of metricide while you are here and discuss dosage. Its not pressurized CO2 but might be the difference between leaving light where it is and not getting Alage (carbon source for plants plus mild algaicide at the dosage similar to excel)

Id try, If it doesnt work you can look at raising it then. I was gonna toss my Aromatica cause I cant get it red at the depth and wattage I have but I think it would be perfect for your set up!

Im pro plants for fishes I think it contributes to good health. Not just the water quality but the places to make them feel more safe too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
here is our tank now after adding some plants from capturedmoments thank you muchly they seem to be growing good.
front view

back view


The fish seem to be way more happy with all the plants but my betta i know is sick and not to sure how to handle this one.

Sorry mods but could this thread be moved to the tank journals??? Thank you
 

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nice job man, it doesn't take long before you get a handle on scapes and you seem to have definately have started way better than i did.

A couple lil hints.

Stem plants have a much better visual appeal when planted in groupings (3+ stems together)

The driftwood isn't there :eek: if you wish to use it but think its too big, stand it on end, place in center, a bit to the left if you wish to keep the far left bushy. Driftwood is an awesome way to hide things like intakes and outtakes

is that air bubbles i see? if it is you definately need to stop it, its degassing all the dissolved co2 in your tank, the plants will make the fishies happy, and at night time the bulk of your tank will be less active so the surface exchange should suffice for oxygen levels.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Hey Neven thank you for the advice. We don't have any c02 going right now though so not to sure if that wil matter.
As it turns out I am going to be moving within the next month so most of the planted plans will be on hold till then, but in the meantime I had a great and informative visit with Lisa and now our tank is chalked full of fun plants and I think it looks great. We are now doesing Micros and metricide as well. Sorry guys I am not at home so I wil post some pics of after Lisa's awesome job and my ummm job to try clean it up. lol We will see how that turns out. So Pics to come soon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
Ok so here is our tank after Lisa was here. I love it soooooooo much and I think George does.

Here is after we added a few Lotus's and cleaned up the top a bit. Cut down one of the wysteria and took out most the water lettuce. We also got a few pleco caves from Pat (Mykiss) so that we do not have another scratched tiger barb.



We are so pleased with our tank now and our fish are having the time of their lives. When I move we will be switching out the gravel for eco-complete and hopefully putting it on a new stand. We just need to figure out how to dose macros now.
We will also be adding the driftwood when I move, It is going to take up so much room.
 

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very nice, but as for your co2 comment, you dont need to dose co2 for it to be present, at night your plants will absorb oxygen and expell co2, not to mention fish will expel co2 aswell. :) Low tech tanks dont dose co2, but they make sure they have very still surface and no air bubbling in the tank.

Light, Ferts, and co2 are the driving force of plant growth. You need them all in balance to grow, and to fend off algae. pretty much what you are doing now is severely limiting co2 in the tank, stunting growth and giving a means for algae to take a foot hold and use the excess nutrients.

on a side note: took me until now to realise that its a sticker on your tank.... i was wondering where to get a fresh water jelly fish for a while...
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
Ok guys
Yesterday George picked up some macros from Solar.
Thanks to 2wheelsx2 for his advice we got
K2SO4
KNO3
KH2PO4
and a small bottle of chelated micronutrient mix.
Today was the first day that our tank got the macros. So does this mean we have a high tech tank yet? Or does that come after the pressurized CO2 LOL.
I will be moving the tank on the 30th and will hopefully have it set up and running again on the 4thish, with the drift wood. Will post again after the move and the changes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
Ok guys here is our tank, added driftwood and switched out the eco-complete.
I totally forgot to take a pic of the growth, but it was doing really well.
Since moving we have lost lots of the plants and most the leaves are coming off, but this is what we managed to salvage. We also switched the stand to an antique buffet. (I know I know) We also upgraded from the fluval 304 to a 405, I hope there is no such thing as to much filteration. I hope that it will start to do a turn around soon and enjoy.

 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Thank you Gary.
Upon closer inspection most the leaves are falling off, it dosn't look to good to me but i guess i will have to wait and see.
 
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