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Old 08-19-2008, 06:26 PM   #1
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Smile Changes in Tanks

Hi everyone - I am new around here, so be nice to me...LOL

Looking for suggestions of changing over my FW tank to contain all live plants. Looking to remove the old "fishtank" stones into a finer gravel or sand. My tank has been up for over 5 years (torn down completely once three years ago due to a leak but rebuilt with all the same stone, attractions, fish and most of the same water). Im nervous about messing with something that is not broken...LOL BUT I started a new SW tank and I love the sand bottom and living "things". I would like to switch out the artifical plants to live ones. BUT I know things need to be in place...lighting and nutrients for the plants. WHERE DO I START?????

PS pictures of the tank on my profile.
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Old 08-19-2008, 06:33 PM   #2
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Start by telling the size of your tank and what kind of plants you want to have. You prob need a new light fixture of some kind or stick with low light plants.

For sand, pool filter sand is what many use as its cheap and works good.
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Old 08-19-2008, 06:47 PM   #3
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50 gallon tank ((4 foot long)
2- waterflow filters
2 - Auqa ray florecent light
1 - bubbler
1 - fine mist water flow


I'm not sure what type of plants - simple and hardy type to start with. I'm not much of a gambler and don't like change very well. Looking for suggestions on hardy - easy growing plants? Pet stores always give their recomendations but I feel its tarnished by what they sell the most of.
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Old 08-19-2008, 07:15 PM   #4
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Low-light plants like java moss, java fern, anubias, and crypts are good beginner plants. PlantGeek.net is a good place to look up plants.
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Old 08-19-2008, 07:44 PM   #5
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Definately checkout the "Read this First" Sticky at the top of the Planted Tank forum. There's lots of great information on planted tank topics in the threads and articles the sticky provides links to. Posting any planted aquarium specific questions there will also get more attension from those that focus solely on planted aquariums.
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Old 08-20-2008, 10:52 AM   #6
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Well - after reading "ziggy953 upgrade" I decided to not change my tank in any dramatic ways...LOL. I have decided to start a new tank creating all natural plants with sand. I figured once I got the "Live" system growing well and satisfied that I can do it, I will slowly transfer things over to my 55 g FW Tank.

Here is my plan:
Open a 10 g using the filter and water change from my 55 g.
sand with java moss & ferns
Aqualighting for live plants (15 w light OK?)
AND watch it grow.

I thought about throwing some guppies in there just for entertainment. They are hardy fish and the ONLY new supplies will be the sand. I thought then when I change the 55g to sand I will use the sand from the 10g as a medium. I'm concerned that my 55g wont handle a large change over. I have 4 bala sharks, 3 silver dollars, 2 clown louchs, and Mr. Agae. (He is my prize......about 8 years old and measures about 6")
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Old 08-20-2008, 12:33 PM   #7
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I think that's a smart idea. 15 watts on a 10g should be fine to grow those plants (if it's a 15 watt fluorescent). It will grow, but Java fern is certainly not going to win any prizes for growth rate. But take a pic of the tank when you set it up and then take another a few months later and you'll be surprised at the difference.

The guppies will be good as the fish food will provide some nutrients for the plants. A few snails might also be helpful for algae patrol.

If you do ever plan on switching your 55 over, though, the silver dollars will most definitely not be compatible with live plants. They are herbivores and will make salad out of any live plant you put in with them.
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Old 08-20-2008, 12:35 PM   #8
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Sounds like a good plan for the 10 gallon, except that there's no benefit to using water from the 55 gallon to start it out. Beneficial bacteria live primarily on surfaces and the filter from the 55 gallon would have sufficient numbers to get you jump started.

Also if you're planning on eventually planting the 55 gallon the Silver Dollars will need a new home since they are very good at munching on live plants.
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Old 08-20-2008, 01:55 PM   #9
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I think that's a smart idea. 15 watts on a 10g should be fine to grow those plants (if it's a 15 watt fluorescent). It will grow, but Java fern is certainly not going to win any prizes for growth rate. But take a pic of the tank when you set it up and then take another a few months later and you'll be surprised at the difference.

The guppies will be good as the fish food will provide some nutrients for the plants. A few snails might also be helpful for algae patrol.

If you do ever plan on switching your 55 over, though, the silver dollars will most definitely not be compatible with live plants. They are herbivores and will make salad out of any live plant you put in with them.

Thanks both of yea for the imput on the silver dollars! I will keep that in mind when the time is right.
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Old 08-21-2008, 06:07 AM   #10
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The other thing you might want to do is read this. When I started my planted tank (low-light/low tech) it was a really good starting point.

http://www.aquariumadvice.com/articl...um-/Page1.html

I suggest start low/light and low tech. Get to the point of "oh my goodness my plants actually grow and don't just die" - get used to dosing macro fertilisers (Seachem Comprehensive is a good one). If you then have algae or plant deficiencies, learn how to diagnose them and manage the issues via adjustments to Potassium, Phosphate and Nitrate levels.

Then, once you get over that learning curve, consider medium-light which will mean a greater variety of plants to choose from, but will require more effort, and possibly introducing a CO2 injection system.
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