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Old 06-01-2018, 10:36 PM   #1
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Light & Plant Recommendations

Hey everyone! Haven't been here in a while. Hope you're all well.

I have a 23G long (30lx12wx15h). I had a nice set-up with gravel and fake plants for quite some time... looking to start a planted aquarium now. Perhaps with soil and the gravel on top.

I have purchased a multipurpose plant food supplement from my LFS... https://www.bigalspets.com/big-al-s-...upplement.html

I am looking to invest a good amount of $$$ in this tank but still save money where possible. I purchased an Aqueon Deluxe LED Full Hood which comes with a standard Daylight bulb (likely T8, not sure of the Kelvin rating).

I wonder if I can replace the bulb with CFLs or something that can provide emit more light to sustain plants better. Not sure where to start with plants either. I have a pretty piece of driftwood I might use with some lava rocks I can buy from local vendors.

I am requesting recommendations for LIGHTING, PLANTS, and SUBSTRATE. Also looking into DIY CO2 injections but not as far as RO/DI water. Thanks!
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Old 06-02-2018, 11:51 AM   #2
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I'm not sure what sort of light you are running, LED cannot be T8, any pictures or links to the hood?
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Old 06-02-2018, 08:30 PM   #3
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I'm not sure about that hood you describe, but I like the Finnex Stingray as a general aquarium LED and, with the tank you describe, I imagine it would be fine with low-light plants: anubias, bucephalandra, java fern, dwarf sag, &c. Those are plants I would recommend to people new to planted tanks. They're hardy and easy to take care of. Any freshwater gravel substrate will do, though root feeders like the sag will want root tabs in plain gravel. For a dedicated plant substrate, I like eco-complete, but I really don't think you *need* it in a low-light situation.
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Old 06-02-2018, 09:36 PM   #4
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I'm not sure what sort of light you are running, LED cannot be T8, any pictures or links to the hood?


Here we are!

https://www.aqueon.com/products/ligh...uxe-full-hoods
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Old 06-02-2018, 09:38 PM   #5
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I'm not sure about that hood you describe, but I like the Finnex Stingray as a general aquarium LED and, with the tank you describe, I imagine it would be fine with low-light plants: anubias, bucephalandra, java fern, dwarf sag, &c. Those are plants I would recommend to people new to planted tanks. They're hardy and easy to take care of. Any freshwater gravel substrate will do, though root feeders like the sag will want root tabs in plain gravel. For a dedicated plant substrate, I like eco-complete, but I really don't think you *need* it in a low-light situation.


Awesome, thanks! I have gravel to use as a cap (?) and I purchased some organic soil for under it. Should I still get root tabs?
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Old 06-02-2018, 11:24 PM   #6
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You can use gravel, sand, or plant specific substrate to cap soil. You wonít need root tabs initially, but at some point the nutrients will be exhausted from the soil (that may be quite a while away).
Some folks swear by capped soil as one of the better plant substrates and I donít doubt it. However, moving/replanting plants can result in quite a mess of not done carefully.
I read the description on the light you mentioned in the previous post and I saw no evidence that it will grow plants. Beamswork has a few suitable and inexpensive models that you may want to consider.
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Old 06-03-2018, 11:24 AM   #7
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You can use gravel, sand, or plant specific substrate to cap soil. You wonít need root tabs initially, but at some point the nutrients will be exhausted from the soil (that may be quite a while away).
Some folks swear by capped soil as one of the better plant substrates and I donít doubt it. However, moving/replanting plants can result in quite a mess of not done carefully.
I read the description on the light you mentioned in the previous post and I saw no evidence that it will grow plants. Beamswork has a few suitable and inexpensive models that you may want to consider.


Ah, I see. Do you think there is a way I can simply add a bulb to my Aqueon hood or replace the existing one?
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Old 06-03-2018, 07:08 PM   #8
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Ah, I see. Do you think there is a way I can simply add a bulb to my Aqueon hood or replace the existing one?


I believe fluval sell aqua sky tubes that can be mounted under your existing hood
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Old 06-07-2018, 11:34 PM   #9
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i use several diy co2 systems. ones ive made that are simple and super cheap and ones i bought like this one. https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon....XL._SX425_.jpg

you can find the premade ones pretty cheap on amazon or ebay. just search diy co2 system. they work well for how cheap they are but do have some drawbacks. first is you cant turn them off... second is depending on your yeast/sugar mix you will have to change them anywhere from every 5 days - 2 weeks.



plants i found easy and good for beginners.
creeping jenny, dwarf sag, bacopa carolinia or monnieri, java fern, different anubias, rotala rotundifolia, myrio filigree, alternanthera reineckii(although this one can be hard to keep a nice red), some crypts ive had have also been very easy.



for lights i was a cfl guy for years until recently i got some finnex planted + 24/7 led lights and they are doing amazing! they are only the 20" versions for a few 10 gallon tanks i have but for $34 you cant beat it.



i do only dirted tanks. my first planted tank i tried liquid ferts( flourish and flourish excel) and all i managed to do was grow algae and watch plants die. turned to potting soil and it was amazing. i use organic potting soil with black diamond sand blasting material as a cap. like fresh said earlier removing plants from a dirted tank can get very messy if not done right. just pull up and wiggle the plants back and forth slowly then snip the roots when exposed.
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Old 06-09-2018, 08:25 PM   #10
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Bert ó I will look into the sky tubes, thanks!

Goat ó This information is extremely helpful to me. Thank you for your perspective! I will additionally look into the Finnex lighting system.
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