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Old 03-25-2006, 03:20 AM   #1
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Wanting to Start a Planted Tank ... Dont Know Where to Start

So i know i wanna have some plants in my new 29gal which i just started to do a fishless cycle on 4 days ago. I have many questions regarding this topic so bear with me cause i dont fully understand like i do some other things.

Right now i have black gravel in my tank along with a few decoration things and plan to get a piece or 2 of driftwood in the next couple days cause my ph is around 8.2 plus they look cool. My first question is should i wait for my tank to cycle before i add any plants in? Second is what all do i have to do to prepare my tank to add plants? like do i need dirt or can i plant em on the driftwood or what? also do i need fertilizer and if so how much and the same with CO2? which kind of light will i need? .... i figured id find some plants that i would like to get and some that are good for a begginer like me ... so this is probably the package i will get for a 30 gal

http://www.liveaquaria.com/product/p...fm?pCatId=2146

Is that a good thing to start of with? .... what else will i need to get to help maintain them? and anything else i forgot ... thanks ahead in advance guys

Ray
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Old 03-25-2006, 03:49 AM   #2
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yes, these look like basic aquarium plants that doesnt need extra care. But if you want them to grow, you must remeber to have a gravel, that is not larger that 5 - 6 milimeters in diameter and that doesnt have sharp corners. Its better to wait for cycle to end. You wont need any dirt for these. Dont use CO2 until you really need it. These plants can grow really good without it. add CO2 only if they loose their color or start to look bad. Gravel layer must be about 2.5 - 3 inch deep. Remeber that live plants grow! so when you will be planting them, give some space!

p.s. sorry for my bad english and metric stuff
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Old 03-25-2006, 04:15 AM   #3
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Saying that, when i fishless cycled my tank (first tank), i had plants in it, they didnt seem to mind tha ammonia. Recently i did some rearranging in my tank, one of the things i changed was the layout of the substrate, its always best to start low at the front, say 2inches deep, and slope it up gradually to the back (3 or more inches0 - looks much better!
Sort of along the same lines as martins - dont make the mistake i made and plant plants that grow tall, at the front!! They make look small now, but a few weeks they can soon change! Really in important to get the plant positions correct i IMO.
Hope this helps.
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Old 03-25-2006, 04:35 AM   #4
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thanks guys just what i was looking for ... my black gravel is about 1 in now so ill go get another 25lbs or so and slope it like yall said .... and which of these plants are the big ones and which ones arnt ... im glad to hear that i dont need CO2 yet cause i honestly dont wanna bother with it yet ... also any sort of lighting i need for these ... ill check on the wattage on my light i have tom ... thanks

Ray
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Old 03-25-2006, 08:13 AM   #5
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u probably have a 24" light strip in there as that what most stock lighting is which isnt enough. u may want to look into buying a new light maybe a dualy strip of some kind and only run one light for now untill u decide to go with co2 then run both. also i have always planted my tanks while they were cycleing and it never mad a difference. it is actually better to plant it becasue then the plants absorb your nitrites and nitrates and stuff. why buy mor gravel? buy a bag of eco complete becasue it is full of all the vitamins and basic ferts the plants need and it is also black whic would mix well with your gravel already. one thing that i have noticed makes a huge differents is the layering of your gravel. i made the mistake of not putting enough in my tank and it reallly killed the look of my tank. if u have enough gravel to play with u can put big slopes up behind your driftwood and plant on that. this will gives your tank alot more depth and make it look more 3d. u could but a few trace ferts but with those plants it isnt really neccessary. a common one on this site is floursh trace. also if u dont want to mess with co2 u could always buy flourish ecxell which is basically co2 without the hassle of a do it yourself system. hth
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Old 03-25-2006, 08:30 AM   #6
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I agree that plants can be put in during the cycle.

Actually if heavily planted, you can do a silent cycle. The plants use the ammonia more than you think. The only downside to silent cycle is you can only add a couple of fish at a time every few weeks. The bacteria still needs to grow on the filter media.

A friend of mine had a heavily planted tank, he removed all his plants. His ammonia jumped to 2. The plants were eating 2 ppm of ammonia!
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Old 03-25-2006, 09:01 AM   #7
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Reading through the stickies at the beginning of this forum will certainly aid in your quest to have a nice planted tank. They give input into lighting (very important), substrates (important), CO2, etc.

You will need to upgrade your lighting, it is probably not at the minimum 1wpg level if it is a standard set up as Mrfunktastic mentioned.
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Old 03-25-2006, 12:08 PM   #8
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what light would u guys suggest because it looks like im going to need a new one .... and i do have the 24" fixture ..... i took at look at the eco complete at big als and it does look just like my gravel ... question though .... is it gravel for plants? does it last forever? anything i need to know about it? ..... also is it possible for these plants to survive without ever using CO2 and if not what the best way i can give em CO2 .... thanks guys

Ray
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Old 03-25-2006, 02:03 PM   #9
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Dude, first of all, read the stickies. Second, measure your light...that's what you need. For a 24" I recommend the Coralife T-5 models. It's a high quality light and is low profile so IMO it improves the appearance of the tank. Eco-complete has a lot of sand-like material in it, I assume just from breaking down over time. The larger pieces will eventually migrate to the top. It comes with minerals that are beneficial to plants, but I've read only lasts about 6 months or so b4 fertilizing is recommended. I have low light plants and besides some hair/brush algae that I have to take care of, they are great. Eco-complete is expensive also. (I bought 2 bags though). If you don't want to CO@ right now, but want similar benefits, try Flourish Excel. I'm sure others on here can expand on that...but I've gotta fly!
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Old 03-25-2006, 03:32 PM   #10
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The stickies will help a ton. Add the CO2 right now, it will be much less of a headache. Get the lighting higher so the tank is bright. Get the fertilizers you need now before your plants need them. I have never used Eco-Complete but it lasts forever from what I have read and fertilizers need to be added as soon as the plants need them, maybe less than 6 months, maybe not.

Also, get the best test kit you can afford! And one that tests for everything you will need to test for. Gh, KH, PH, PO4, NO3, Ammonia, NO2. Best DIY passive CO2 system would be the powerhead setup. Other than that, I don't know anything about compressed CO2. Just add it now, you will be much happier.

Best advice I can give you, be patient and don't expect to have lush perfect plants right off the bat. It will happen eventually but you have to have lots of patience.
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