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Old 07-09-2010, 04:20 PM   #1
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Cool First Planted Tank (probably doing it wrong)

well first off ill state, i have done plenty of research on the web including this forum site regarding everything from what type of Lighting, to plants to substrates.

But i still need alittle bit more help i guess personalized to my tank:
It is a 20 gallon im trying to make switch from fake plants and pirate ships to grass lawns around a rock feature with swaying vals in the back, i have 6 Tbone rasboras 1 rainbowshark and 4 cory cats and a dwarf flame gourami (i know on high side of stocking i have an extra tank if gets bad) i am running two 20g HOB filters and just purchased an awesome big light! specifically it is a dual bulb T5o fixture 24" i have two 24watt bulbs going right now. I also have for substrate 30pounds of 3mm gravel mixed with alittle bit of sand. ive read over planting is best way to go but i am not sure how many plants is over planting? haha so i have 2 java fern 1 amazon sword this really long razor blade strand looking leaf plant/grass 4 mono grass 1 anubias 1 crypt 2 grass (look like dwarf hair grass) and 2 small ruffely leaf plants (it could maybe be like a baby jave fern).

So now before you tell me how im doing it all wrong (which i probably am) ill give you what id like to see, id love to have a grass "lawn" in the front on like a hill to my centeral focus point a white over hanging rock (there is also a smaller white rock on right side of tank so not just 1 rock) id like the foreground plants to be as small as possible and have mid range plants in range of 4-6" with background plants being 12". But as previously stated i dont know how many plants i should plant or really how to plant them just dig alittle hole in gravel put roots in and cover it with gravel? which leads to my next question should i change substrates to like a dirt or sand? i want the fish to be able to swim around too though and i get concerned that with all plants clustered will fish not be able to swim through them? all and any help is wanted and needed even if it doesnt address my questions anything is helpful. and please please please id love some plant suggestions for a FIRST time planter.

Thank you! man without AA i would be so clueless with my fishtanks

ps i also have ability to turn off 1 bulb so if 50 watts is to much form me A BEGINNER to deal with i can just have 1 24 watt T5o running. and also if you dont think they should be in the tank i have 7 days (so quick response is very helpful) to return the plants for store credit so i can swap for a new plant! Thanks again!
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Old 07-09-2010, 04:42 PM   #2
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I would have to say the best substrate for planted aquariums is sand or
eco complete. If you want a link I can give you one. And you can pretty much keep tons of plants in your aquarium and your fish will still have room but you will have to cut your plants constantly. So if you don't want to cut your plants so much you could do some more research on the plants and see how big they get and see if they would work in you aquarium.
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Old 07-09-2010, 04:43 PM   #3
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Oh ya I forgot to say you can just dig a little hole and bury the roots in it and make sure it doesn't come up. Like get uprooted.
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Old 07-09-2010, 04:46 PM   #4
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Oh and dwarf hair grass would look more like grass but you would have to cut it often with star grass you wouldn't but that doesn't look as good for grass as dwarf hair grass
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Old 07-09-2010, 04:55 PM   #5
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sweet thanks, yea that link would be awesome

i have researched alot of plants made a full list of exactly what i wanted i went to 4 different fish stores (drove like an hour to get to the last one) and between all 4 stores they had 3 of the plants on my list haha. So i had to do some quick in store research and bought the rest of what i now have...do you think i should plant alot more plants or is this good? there is still a lot alot of gravel showing

and finally sorry for the beraiding of questions do you know how to create the "lawn" appearance? how many plants should i get to plant a "lawn"? ive looked at pygmy chainsword microsword dwarfhairgrass and dwarf babytears any suggestions for which type of carpet plant would be good for me?
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Old 07-09-2010, 05:03 PM   #6
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Here is the link this is the gravel I have but they have it in red and in brown.
Eco-Complete Plant Substrate

And then on the lawn do you have a picture of what you want because all those plants are good but it depends how you want it to look.
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Old 07-09-2010, 06:49 PM   #7
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Oh you also can plant some more plants
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Old 07-09-2010, 07:17 PM   #8
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i planted and filled my first "planted aquarium" May 7th of this year. i used ADA Aquasoil for the substrate and absolutely love it, and so do the plants. it costs more up front, and you'd have a cycle either way (new or converted tank) as the Aquasoil leeches ammonia. but the plants love it, and in my experience show some great growth during this time.

the way i went about figuring my layout and number of plants to use, was to simply look at picture after picture. i used a lot of member pics on this site, google'd a bunch, and youtube'd a bunch as well. it allows you to kinda say "well if that was my tank i'd keep this but change that.."; helps you decide what you like and don't like visually. so when the time to plant comes, you already know where everything goes.
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Old 07-14-2010, 04:18 PM   #9
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You mentioned "mono Grass". You don't mean "Mondo Grass" do you? Reason I'm asking is because thatone isn't a true aquatic. Does awesome as a marginal plant in a pond situation, but won't survive fully submerged.
As for your grass lawn feature, your best bet is going to be to find a mat of grass. I *think* sweetaquatics.com sells hairgrass in mats, and also when Severum/HN1 put plants up for sale I think they have grass mats for sale also (microsword pieces if memory serves correctly).
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Old 07-15-2010, 04:49 PM   #10
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yea it was mondo grass and that would explain why its struggling but thats okay i didnt particularly like the look of it that much. how much lighting should i put on the tank 12 hours? (i have 50 watts for 20 gallons). I also have question about planting how deep should i put roots of most plants? i know it varies for each species but like basic tips (i have close to 4" of substrate) i also added a couple more plants and put down some micro sword in the front i hear it covers "mats" the area its in by itself but i havent seen any runners yet nor do i really know how deep to plant it to a) keep it from floating and b) maximize health and reproduction.

thanks and i can put pictures up but honestly im alittle embarrassed all tanks online are goregous and mine is awesome through my own eyes because i love being like wow i created this but doesnt compare to majority of other planted tanks
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