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Old 07-21-2003, 10:06 PM   #1
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new planted tank

I just began plating my tank. I have a few questions so I can maintain the tank properly. I have a 72G bow front with 2 Oscars(about 6-7 inches).
I bought 3 "clumps" of java moss to place on my wood in the tank. How long until it grows/attatches to the wood? Any special treatment for them to grow properly?
I bought 5 swords, not sure what kind. Do they need tablets planted under them? (Can I buy a lot at wholesale prices someplace?)
I also bought some "grass" not sure of the type again, hah. They have a white stripe in them though.
When will they stop floating out of the gravel? 1 or 2 pop up a day. Could be the oscars doing LoL.
The tank looks absolutely marvelous though! Did I over plant? Right now the light I am using came with the tank, can anyone suggest a better light for both my fish and my plants?
Any input would be great!
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Old 07-21-2003, 10:19 PM   #2
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Sorry, I also have a pleco, will he eat any of these plants? Will my O's? Forgot to add, I have a fluval 404(canister filter) Can I put anything in there to help the plants?
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Old 07-21-2003, 10:35 PM   #3
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I was reading a post just now about, Soil in a tank, could I put soil in my tank(with lots of care) and put my gravel on top. How hard is it to maintain soil?
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Old 07-30-2003, 11:34 AM   #4
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The grass you got with the white stripe in it is not an aquatic plant. Might was well pull it out of the tank now. I would guess that the light that came with your tank is a standard 48" strip light with a 40 watt bulb in it. You can either get something like an All-Glass CF strip light which will give you 110 watts or you can head on over to www.ahsupply.com and pick up a 2x55 watt upgrade kit and install it in your current strip light.

What kind of substrate are you using now? If you want to add soil to your tank you are going to have to tear it down and place the soil in the bottom. I have never kept Oscars so I don't know if they like to dig or rearrange the gravel. If they do then stay away from soil. And be very careful of soil. Most types of soil are not good for planted tank usage.
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Old 07-30-2003, 01:03 PM   #5
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Does the light fixture come with two bulbs? If so, I've heard using a regular cool white flourescent light and a Gro-lux is a good plant growing combination. If all you have is gravel on the bottom, it would be best to add a substrate that will hold nutrients for the plants.

There are many opinions and options out there as to what substrate to use. I have a "low-tech" tank meaning I don't use CO2, nor add nutrient supplements and have about 2 wpg lighting (1-2 wpg is recommended for low-tech tanks). My substrate is 1-1/2" regular potting (not garden) soil with 1-1/2" fine gravel on top. You can add soil to an existing tank without tearing it completely apart. I did this just recently when I added plants to a school aquarium a few months ago. The tip came from the book, "The Ecology of a Planted Aquarium" which I would highly recommend if you want to go with the low-tech tank set up. To add the soil, we drained the tank about 1/3-1/2 of its water and moved the fish to a temp home (bucket). We wrapped soil inside a piece of thin-weight packaging paper (it's like unbleached newsprint paper) and taped it to hold closed. For a 75g tank, we made 6 of these 'bricks' to fit along the bottom. Each one was made to fit the width of the tank and fit side by side to fill in the length of it. Then we move half the gravel to one side and sunk one brick at a time, putting gravel on top to hold it down. The paper dissolves in the water after a short time.

If you decide that you'd want to tear down the tank, I found a good tip when I recently moved my tank. Place the fish and plants in a large trash can lined with a couple of trash bags (white one so you can see them) and filled with tank water. Place inside an airstone hooked to a pump. The fish can stay in there for hours while you work on your tank.

I agree that if you have a fish that likes to burrow, soil would not be your best option. But with a good 1-1/2" of gravel, you shouldn't have a problem with a soil substrate and most fish.

Good luck to you! I just set up my tank 10 mos ago based on the book I mentioned above. It's doing great and I don't find it difficult at all to maintain it. In fact, that's kinda the point with the low-tech tanks!
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Old 07-30-2003, 02:07 PM   #6
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First things first, and I'm truly sorry to have to break this to ya.

Oscars in a planted tank, MAYBE the java moss will live, Oscars will destroy all other plants. They dig up everything, or destroy plants just because they feel like it. Really sorry to say that, but I don't think this will succeed with oscars, its their nature to clear out their territory.
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