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Old 11-04-2002, 05:25 PM   #1
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basic planted tank

Can somebody give me just some general/basic info on starting up a planted tank. I have a 5 1/2 gal just sitting around and would like to do something with it. General answers to the following would be helpful:

- Are the necessary water perameters the same as for fish? Can you just throw some plain old water in? Any special temp?

- Type of gravel?

- Just plant them and go?

- Filter needed since tank is so small?

Thanks guys!
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Old 11-04-2002, 08:06 PM   #2
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Re: basic planted tank

Geez, making me earn my keep, aren't ya?

Quote:
Originally Posted by swmmnglessons
- Are the necessary water perameters the same as for fish? Can you just throw some plain old water in? Any special temp?

- Type of gravel?

- Just plant them and go?

- Filter needed since tank is so small?

Thanks guys!
OK, I'll give this a shot, but remeber I'm new to the plant tank too!!

Water parameters, pretty much the same.

Many options with gravel, But seachem makes Flourite, which is supposed to be an excellent pant tank substrate, I'm currently using it, so far so good. Nothing that will raise the hardness of your water, thats for sure.

Filter, something small, like an aquaclear mini would be fine. Heck, a 5 gallon you might not need one at all, be interesting ot try it that way.

LIGHTS!! You need 2-5 watts of light per gallon, I believe this to be extremely important, because with less light your plants wont thrive, and may not even survive. Some people have great luck with sunny window spots, but my situation has not allowed me to try it.

Good luck, let us know how it goes!
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Old 11-04-2002, 11:31 PM   #3
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Hi. Just to add a few things to what corvuscorax said. The Flourite is very good. We have been using it about 1 year now without any problems.
Make your gravel bed at least 2.5 inches deep for the plant roots.
pH we run at 7.0. The Aquaclear mini would be just fine for your 5 gal. tank, Very easy to maintain & reliable. add some fertilizer tabs, we use root tabs with good results and a liquid fertilizer at planting and about once a month from there. Just quarter them and put one or more pieces per plant depending on its size. For this tank I would use the Triton bulbs standard light setup will except them. Your size tank the bulbs will probably be 15 watts per bulb. If you can fit two that will give you 6 watts per gal. plants will love you. Without getting into the many ways of using CO2 thats should take care of your plants just fine.
Good Luck.
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Old 11-05-2002, 11:07 AM   #4
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we're talking flourescent right? the hood i currently have uses incandescent...what should i do about that?
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Old 11-05-2002, 11:17 AM   #5
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You can find cheap "shop" light fixtures in the lighting/hardware section of walmart or home depot. You can probably find them in any size to fit your needs.
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Old 11-05-2002, 12:13 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swmmnglessons
we're talking flourescent right? the hood i currently have uses incandescent...what should i do about that?
Use one of those screw in compact flourescent bulbs. The ones that are meant to replace incandescent bulbs.
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Old 11-05-2002, 03:00 PM   #7
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IMHO you need to add CO2 to a tank that has 2 or more WPG of lighting. The problem is that the plants and algae grow at increased levels with more light. Adding CO2 enables the plants to out compete the alge for the available nutrients. The problem with a high light CO2 tank is that with the increased plant growth comes more maintenance. Once the plants start growing, weekly pruning will be required.
For the filter, I would suggest a whisper. I prefer the whisper over aquaclear because the water return chute is below the water line when the tank is properly filled. Surface disturbance means loss of CO2 which creates a problem since your already adding supplemental CO2 for plant growth. I once used an aquaclear in a 10gal grow out tank and had to glue a piece of acrilic to the return chute to decrease the surface agitation.
Before you make any decisions I would decide what type of plants you like. Do you even like the plants that will require high light and CO2 or would you be happy with some java ferns and moss?
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