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Old 10-10-2017, 02:38 PM   #1
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First planted tank. Need help please.

So below is my first aquascaped small 5 gallon tank. I don't have pressurized co2 system and the LFS guy told me to use Seachem Flourish Excel and told it will serve same purpose. Here are my few questions.

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1) I read the instructions but for a 23 litter (5 Gallon) how much flourish excel shall I pour daily? LFS guy told me to pour half of cap daily but I don't want to go to much or too less so need your advise.

2) Do I need to use any other plant material like fertilizers or anything? LFS guy only told me to put flourish excel but I need to confirm from you guys.

Please help. Thanks.
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Old 10-10-2017, 09:26 PM   #2
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1. I believe the usual rate is 1-2 mL per 10 gallons per day. In your case I would start with 0.5 mL daily and gradually work up to 1.0 mL. I believe each capful is 5 mL.
2. Really depends on the lighting. In general, all plants will benefit from the addition of fertilizers. The amount and duration of lighting will determine how much needs to be added. In low light situations, the plants may do fine without added fertilizers. As the lighting increases, so does the needs for fertilizers AND CO2.
In your setup (which is very lush by the way), what lighting are you using?
Substrate?
What carpet plant is in front? Looks like Monte Carlo. What is the hedge of green along the back?
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Old 10-11-2017, 01:38 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fresh2o View Post
1. I believe the usual rate is 1-2 mL per 10 gallons per day. In your case I would start with 0.5 mL daily and gradually work up to 1.0 mL. I believe each capful is 5 mL.
2. Really depends on the lighting. In general, all plants will benefit from the addition of fertilizers. The amount and duration of lighting will determine how much needs to be added. In low light situations, the plants may do fine without added fertilizers. As the lighting increases, so does the needs for fertilizers AND CO2.
In your setup (which is very lush by the way), what lighting are you using?
Substrate?
What carpet plant is in front? Looks like Monte Carlo. What is the hedge of green along the back?
Thanks a lot for the detailed reply. To be honest I have no idea about anything. My wife went to store and fall for it and bought. That is why I need info. Only info I have is about substrate that it is ADA soil and light is one led which came with the tank.

I tried to upload pictures but not uploading to site and I get error. Please have a look at the videos below. I myself wanna know what carpet it is and what green tall on the back. She said that the back green was taller than this and LFS guy trimmed it to show her how to trim in future at home. For some reasons pictures aren't uploading to this site. So here is a video.

Carpet close video:

https://youtu.be/JIq8BiIyOWE

Back close video from top of tank:

https://youtu.be/VNzbbcBhtvI

Any ideas what plants are these? Thanks.
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Old 10-11-2017, 09:26 PM   #4
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You can upload the pictures to an image hosting site such as Imgur and post the links to the pictures in your post (within the IMG tags).
The carpet looks like dwarf baby tears (HC Cuba - Hemianthus callitrichoides). The stem plant hedge might be a species of Rotala. There appears to be a stem or two of Ludwidia (the red plant). The plant with the curved / clover like leaves looks like Hydrocotyle japan.
Pretty sure that the high nutrient content in the ADA aquasoil is sustaining the plants. However, the amount of nutrients leaching from the soil may become exhausted at some point. Water column ferts are recommended. Liquid fertilizers include Nilocg Thrive, Seachem Flourish Comprehensive, and API Leaf Zone. I'm thinking the lighting is sufficient enough for growth but low enough for Excel to be effective.
How long has the tank been setup?
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Old 10-12-2017, 11:33 AM   #5
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Thanks a lot dear for this comprehensive reply. Very very helpful to me. The tank took four months to setup. The owner of the LFS set his tanks himself and this was done by him. He wa using pressurized co2 but he said he guarantee the flourish excel will do same job if used correctly. However in other thread some guys surprised if I am keeping it all by Seachem Flourish Excel so I am concerned now. So two questions again.

1) We can't afford pressurized co2 system so what you think if I can manage this tank by liquid carbon? I mean flourish excel which I am using. I really don't want this tank to be dead or lose its lush vibrant green. I can spend money on fertilizers and can give as much liquid co2 it requires. On another dedicated planted tank forum guys say thise tank won't look like this with flourish excel and will lose its vibrant green. However Seachem claims if co2 is a 10 than excel is a 6 or 7. I don't want to do DYI pressurized co2. I am not concerned about slow growth of plants. I just want to look them as lush as they look. Is it possible with flourish excel or fertilizers? Or if I need to use pressurized co2 as a must?

2) Also do you think shall I add another light to it as you said low for the flourish excel to work perfectly? I do have a "Fluval prism underwater spotlight" which will be very bright for the tank and I can put in if required. Please help. My lights remain on for like 12 hours. No Algae or anything. The guy added many snails and a colony of shrimps.

Please help. Thanks.
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Old 10-13-2017, 12:15 AM   #6
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1. It's possible to use just Excel (or equivalent). One member I used to follow a few years back successfully kept a high light, densely planted 220g tank strictly using glutaraldehyde. However, not every tank is the same so there is no absolute guarantee.
I would do a combo of Seachem Flourish Comprehensive plus API Leaf Zone for ferts.
2. I would only add more lighting if the plants either showed little to no growth or became gangly. More light means a higher demand for fertilizers and a carbon source. When the needs of the latter two are not met, then the plants will show deficiencies and algae may become a problem.
12 hours is a long photoperiod. If algae is not a problem, then leave it alone. Else, drop it to 6-8 hours.
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Old 10-13-2017, 04:31 AM   #7
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Iím amazed on that tank. I would also think the substrate is making a huge difference but also the tank is very shallow so good gas exchange and little par drop off. But ime same tank with soil is a big difference to say gravel.

Iíd be happy to get 6 months and then just re-scape with new substrate (think you already had 4 months?). Assuming I could last 6 months without finding a pretty rock or something.

That seachem rating on liquid carbon I disagree with. More like a 2 or 3. Itís a one-off daily dose and under higher lighting will not keep up.
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Old 10-13-2017, 05:38 AM   #8
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First planted tank. Need help please.

Tank looks great although the duck has to go

Light is a obviously ample since it sufficiently grew the lowest and probably the most light demanding plant.

Liquid carbon has obviously been working so why change it? Just up the dose.

Nutrient wise hang fire and add more excel than you currently are. If this does not rectify any loss in colour then you can add nutrients to the water column.

There seems to be a rainbow effect on the top of the water? This Indicates a surface or biofilm than can impede gas transfer at surface level. You could also do more regular water changes. A tank like this creates a lot of Ďunseení organic waste that can induce algae and lower oxygen levels.

I surface skimmer will also help.
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Old 10-13-2017, 08:10 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fresh2o View Post
1. It's possible to use just Excel (or equivalent). One member I used to follow a few years back successfully kept a high light, densely planted 220g tank strictly using glutaraldehyde. However, not every tank is the same so there is no absolute guarantee.
I would do a combo of Seachem Flourish Comprehensive plus API Leaf Zone for ferts.
That member sustained her tank by doing very heavy doses of Glutaraldehyde (Excel) and I had a fair amount of success doing the same thing dosing 1mL / gallon in my tank.

The stated recommendation for excel is 1ml / 10g daily but it's perfectly safe at WAY higher doses than that. The 2.5mL (half cap full) would be a good amount to use.

The Seachem Flourish Comprehensive would probably work for ferts, but tbh I've never really had faith in premixed fertilizers. Instead I go with a PPS Pro fertilizer regimen. It's SUPER cheap and on a tank that size the ferts will last years before needing more.

Take a look here: https://sites.google.com/site/aquati...home/chemicals

Don't bother dosing the KNo3 (Nitrate) unless you're nitrate levels are low.

A few things that you're gonna run into as this tank ages:
1 - That plant wall is gonna start looking ragged before too long. It's packed in pretty tight and there's not much light getting to the lower branches. Cutting off the new growth occasionally and replanting the fresh tips will fix it.


2 - That glossostigma is gonna start growing much like a lawn. You can only trim it for soo long before you will need to replant the plants. A good pair of planting tongs would be highly recommended for this, you won't be able to do it with your hands.

It'll be some work maintaining the scape, but it's definitely doable.

Lastly, that tank is screaming for some Red Cherry Shrimp, definitely need some of those
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Old 10-13-2017, 09:42 AM   #10
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First planted tank. Need help please.

Glutaradehyde is definitely a viable option but the OP must be made aware that the use of glutaradehyde poses extra risks which should at least be considered

Home storage and access, handling, disposal first aid measures etc.

A material safety data sheet would help with this. Here is an example:

http://www.sciencelab.com/msds.php?msdsId=9924161
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