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Old 07-20-2016, 10:04 PM   #1
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Planted tanks Grrrr.

When I first thought of doing plants in a new deep tank, I thought it would be great. The garden grows OK, just needs water. Now Im bringing the plants to the water. Simple, put plants into tank and job done. Or so I thought.

Ohhh, it turns out they need light. And not just any light but plant lights. Alright go and buy special lights (family asks how lights can be so expensive and if plastic plants would be cheaper). Nah, dont worry - all sorted! Except now Im running the lights too much apparently and growing algae instead (cue family asking why these expensive lights are turned off half the time).

Ok, so now I need to get some tank ferts. Trot out to garage to find it is way more complex than getting lawn fertilizer. So now Im spending lots of time sitting at the computer reading up on different ferts and what element deficiency looks like. (Family ask what is going on so I start explaining about macro and micro ferts snoring sounds and the patter of running feet follow shortly after. Oh, and the usual comment that plastic plants can look pretty nice and they sound cheap!). Anyways so now I have ferts in bottles, little containers and in several drawers along with a complex dosing schedule using software developed by NASA to put man on the moon.

Right everything is ticked except now the plants need a carbon source (darn fussy these plants, but Ive spent so much I cant back out now.). Liquid carbon, DIY carbon, CO2 injection set-ups. More reading and cursing (meanwhile fish write a petition they are feeling ignored).

All done, buy yet more plants and away we go. Except now some plants hardly grow or get eaten (gee, thanks fish!) or even worse they grow like weeds and need trimming. The trimming is fun for a few months and then, and then sigh, time to change plants to something less aggressive / reduce lighting again (dear, explain why the equipment around the tank looks like you bought it off NASA workshops and was how much?!).

And on it goes.

I have learned that every so often it all comes together and you can show off your tank to friends, (well, you dont the family then take ownership of the tank), and that the people in our lives that put up with our hobby are truly great indeed!
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Old 07-20-2016, 11:58 PM   #2
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Learned that when I slapped together a dirted tank with ocmg. Nutty. The learning curve is STEEP!

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Old 07-21-2016, 12:17 AM   #3
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Planted tanks Grrrr.

Lol. Great read.

I take the approach of:
Tank, yep
Water, yep
Lights, yep
Heater, yep
Filter, yep
Fish, yep
Food, yep
Plants, yep

Now the pep talk! Listen up critters...

You wanna live, then live.

You want me to baby your needy little ...? Well then you better just hurry up and die.

So I can discard the body, your weakness offends me.


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Old 07-21-2016, 04:10 AM   #4
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If only plants didn't react so violently to being drowned....

You know something has gone wrong when you start buying fish to make the plants pop.....

'Ok little fishes I am just going to asphyxiate you for a few hours just so that I know my plants are ok'


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Old 07-23-2016, 04:17 PM   #5
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I love. That's how my learning curve was. Start with a 10 gallon doing a fishless cycle. Next thing you know, I'm mineralizing topsoil on garbage bags on the kitchen floor, only to discover that a 36 watt pc lamp doesn't work out to just high light over that tank.
Cue the 55, canister filter, inline co2 reactor, new heater, home done light until I can get a LED fixture, several trips to the hardware store to refit Fluval 88g co2 over to paintball cylinder, and a diy surface skimmer. I know I'm not done yet, but for the moment everyone is happy, or at least the fish are happy.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot about the faily water testing while figuring how much of the nutrients the plants are consuming a day, and adjusting the ferts to match.

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Old 07-24-2016, 11:04 PM   #6
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Planted tanks Grrrr.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Delapool View Post

All done, buy yet more plants and away we go. Except now some plants hardly grow or get eaten (gee, thanks fish!) or even worse they grow like weeds and need trimming. The trimming is fun for a few months and then, and then sigh, time to change plants to something less aggressive / reduce lighting again (dear, explain why the equipment around the tank looks like you bought it off NASA workshops and was how much?!).

In my experience of having two high tech, high light builds, I've found that they look great at first, but don't age well. Algae acclimates, the tank becomes messy, and if one plant does well, the other one suffers. Eventually, one has to do a monumental cleaning to keep things sane. I believe I have found a happy medium between high tech and low tech. Tanks with low light, pressurized CO2, good filtration, and good quality fertilizer are ones where I've found algae to be minimal and growth to be steady (not too slow, not too fast). Although stem plants can very beautiful, I find species such as Crypts and Microsorum to be more rewarding--especially the rare varieties.


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Old 07-25-2016, 07:04 AM   #7
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Planted tanks Grrrr.

Hi, thanks everyone for the replies. I see I missed covering a few things I guess it does annoy me that the best planted tank I ever did was under some really old light with no dosing or measuring. Somehow it all worked and now I have all this high-tech gear chasing that again
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Old 07-25-2016, 11:20 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TMaier View Post
Lol. Great read.

I take the approach of:
Tank, yep
Water, yep
Lights, yep
Heater, yep
Filter, yep
Fish, yep
Food, yep
Plants, yep

Now the pep talk! Listen up critters...

You wanna live, then live.

You want me to baby your needy little ...? Well then you better just hurry up and die.

So I can discard the body, your weakness offends me.
ROFL

I love this. This is how I basically run my tanks. LOL
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Old 07-25-2016, 05:38 PM   #9
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29g fresh with Betta, Kuhli's, Neons, Denison Barbs, ADF, Mystery and Nerite Snails.

Some plants: Anubias, Java Fern, mosses and other misc.
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