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Old 04-04-2016, 09:51 PM   #1
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driftwood/ decorating questions

I have always wanted to use driftwood in my aquarium. I have been reading a lot about tannis leaching into the water and avoiding parasite problems. Would driftwood purchased from a store have these problems or have they already been solved by being dried and sold in store?

I also dont have any live plants because I cant afford the special lights, but wanted some opinions on how to arrange some plastic greenery with the driftwood so that it looks sorta real :p

Thanks in advance!
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Old 04-04-2016, 10:08 PM   #2
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As far as driftwood goes; hopefully, the wood sold in stores has no parasites. You could always put it in boiling water. Driftwood (at least mine) leaches tanins. Some like it and some do not. I like it because the brown tint makes my neon's colors pop. it does go away in time with partial water changes.

Plants - what type of light do you have? You may be able to grow Anubias and Java ferns on your driftwood.
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Old 04-05-2016, 09:30 AM   #3
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I have standard flourescent lights that seem to be only good at growing algae :p i tried growing some plants before and they didnt take

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Old 04-05-2016, 01:32 PM   #4
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Hi there. I purchased a small piece of driftwood for my tank to help with the chemistry of the water and I didn't experience and browning of the water. I did make sure to rinse it really good, though.

Do you know the color temp. value (K) of your lights? Or the brand of lights you have?
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Old 04-05-2016, 01:49 PM   #5
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It was a bulb my dad used about 8 years ago or more on his fish tank. I have no idea what kinda it is. All i know is it is a 12" [?] bulb white light

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Old 04-05-2016, 02:01 PM   #6
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That's a bummer. I have low light plants in my tank (banana, wisteria, sword, pink, and a money wart plants) and they all seem to be doing ok with the lights that came with the aquarium start kit (besides the wisteria but that is a whole other issue).

Here is some basic light info. that might help.
http://www.tetra-fish.com/aquarium-i...ng-basics.aspx

If you can save up some money and upgrade your lights to something that is 5500K to 7500K, you should have no issue growing low light plants. The model number of the lights will depend on how deep your tank is, but there are a lot of websites out there that will give ya that info.

Good luck.
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Old 04-05-2016, 06:09 PM   #7
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well you have florescent, thats the best thing, and a 12 inch 15 or t8 will only cost you about $8-$12 and even a small piece of drift wood, will cost you that much, if it came from the it will be fine, you can put it in boiling water for a few mins or pour boiling water on it. and Anubis and java fern will be great, and java moss will grow in the dark. i would invest in an $10 bulb, your tank will look better fish will be happier and healthier. and less work for you.

what is in the tank and how big is it?
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Old 04-05-2016, 06:23 PM   #8
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I have a 46gal bow front with 4 tetras [two glofish two blackra skirt], a dozen neons, 4 male guppies, 3 albino cory cats, 1 bristlenose pleco, 2 zebra snails. I have some plastic decor at the moment with sand substrate

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Old 04-05-2016, 09:40 PM   #9
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If you boil the wood for a few hours before placing it in your tank a lot of, if not most/all, of the tannins will leach out. Also some types of wood don't release very much tannins while others can leach for months. If you don't want to boil, and you don't want tannins in your tank you can soak it in a tub for a few weeks also. Purigen also works pretty well at removing tannins from the water if you don't want to do either of those. Although I would make sure you at least rinse it in hot/warm water.

Also it may float at first but boiling helps it sink faster. Alternatively you could weight it down with rocks or wait for it to sink.


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Old 04-06-2016, 12:49 PM   #10
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well you have florescent, thats the best thing, and a 12 inch 15 or t8 will only cost you about $8-$12 and even a small piece of drift wood, will cost you that much, if it came from the it will be fine, you can put it in boiling water for a few mins or pour boiling water on it. and Anubis and java fern will be great, and java moss will grow in the dark. i would invest in an $10 bulb, your tank will look better fish will be happier and healthier. and less work for you.

what is in the tank and how big is it?
Which is better flourescent or led?

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Old 04-06-2016, 12:52 PM   #11
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Not to sure about this one. I know that LED is going to last you longer and is going to run up the electric bill less.
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Old 04-06-2016, 05:44 PM   #12
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that is a great question. with a complex answer. leds are good and bad, they are much more efficient and if you are looking for light, cheaper. leds 10 even 5 years ago were not nearly as good for plants, florescent fixtures are the same (except size), it is the bulb that counts, and you, because there is a bulb can change more things than led, but now even some leds can change colors and simulate weather, i have one of these it is really cool. i can make the light red or blue or green on sun set, lightning storm or partly cloudy and more, and it is all controlled via remote. but it cost me $130 for a 48" light and it will not grow plants well. a good led plant light will cost you around $100-$300 dollars, depending on power size and brand, but you will never have to change the bulb. my led will last me like 23 years, and that is 10-12 hours a day.

to make it simple

led Pro's:
energy efficient
no bulb replacement
more customize able(only some)
Cons:
expensive for plant quality
not as much customization for cheaper modles

florecent Pro's:

more customizeable (for all costs)
cheeper
broder range of costs

Cons
must buy bulbs
lots of power used
makes heat(could be a pro)
can't get wet
fixtures don't last as long(10-15 years)


i personally like florescent, but may need to do led's to bring down power cost.
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Old 04-06-2016, 06:18 PM   #13
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Mopani turns the water tea colored. I soaked mine for about 1 week prior to putting it in my tank and it still turned the water tea colored. It was the coolest my tank has ever looked and I strive to get it back. It's not unhealthy for the fish. I'm actually thinking about getting some fresh Mopani just for that effect.

If you go with a strong light you'll get algae on everything. Finnex 24/7 LED is my favorite. A great investment and so many different low light settings. The 12noon to 3pm settings are too bright in my opinion and create a lot of algae, but every other option is a dream and well worth the investment.

As for fake plants, they are also beautiful and convenient. There are fake plants that are made from some sort of cloth/material and they look real. Mine lasted about 3-4years. The fish seemed to enjoy hanging out in them. Good luck
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Old 04-06-2016, 06:23 PM   #14
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there are 2 ways to kill algae, 1 plants, plants will out compete algae for food and will kill it off. and plecos or other algae eaters, i find a mix of these work the best.
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Old 04-06-2016, 06:55 PM   #15
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1) activated charcoal or purigen in your filter. Tannin problem solved. Purigen is more expensive but lasts for months and can be used a good few times. Carbon is cheap if you buy it loose.

2) light is light. As long as it is in the active radiation range for photosynthesis plants don't care what the supply is. All they care about is if they have enough of it. Enough light depends on the species you choose. There are plants which you may be able to grow under that tube although they will probably grow very slowly. This can work in your favour because this means that the plants will not require as much carbon and get by on less nutrients.

I know how difficult it can be to grow plants in a 46 bowfront without co2 because I have tried and failed many times before I learned which methods work for me.

One method that has worked very well for others is allowing constant gas exchange at the surface. This will allow atmospheric equilibrium levels of co2 and oxygen to constantly enter the water. The plants will adapt to this low but continuous supply of carbon and they should grow fairly well. If you have hard water, the plants may also be able to use the bicarbonates in your tap water as a carbon source.

Failing that. Liquid co2 is a cheap alternative. And this can slowly destroy the algae too.


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Old 04-06-2016, 08:48 PM   #16
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1) activated charcoal or purigen in your filter. Tannin problem solved. Purigen is more expensive but lasts for months and can be used a good few times. Carbon is cheap if you buy it loose.

2) light is light. As long as it is in the active radiation range for photosynthesis plants don't care what the supply is. All they care about is if they have enough of it. Enough light depends on the species you choose. There are plants which you may be able to grow under that tube although they will probably grow very slowly. This can work in your favour because this means that the plants will not require as much carbon and get by on less nutrients.

I know how difficult it can be to grow plants in a 46 bowfront without co2 because I have tried and failed many times before I learned which methods work for me.

One method that has worked very well for others is allowing constant gas exchange at the surface. This will allow atmospheric equilibrium levels of co2 and oxygen to constantly enter the water. The plants will adapt to this low but continuous supply of carbon and they should grow fairly well. If you have hard water, the plants may also be able to use the bicarbonates in your tap water as a carbon source.

Failing that. Liquid co2 is a cheap alternative. And this can slowly destroy the algae too.


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+1 on the liquid fert.

and i disagree on your opinion of light, light is very complex.
every light is different. white light is not just white is a complex array of every color, plants use all colors but green, mostly red and blue, a white light bulb for your house, may not grow plants as well as a white plant bulb, because the white plant bulb will have more red and blue. lucky for you if you get a plant bulb from the lfs it will be good for plants.



you have a few good options, get a good plant bulb, but a 18 bulb will not be enougf light for a 46 gallon.

you could get an led fixture. this will be the most expensive.

and if i were you i would get a 36 inch t5 florescent light bulb, a 2 or 4 bulb system.


and don't feel you must get new lighting, while i love plants and highly recommend it, do not spend your money you don't want better light. i recommend it but i want you to know, you don't have to get it because we said it.
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Old 04-06-2016, 10:08 PM   #17
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Just passing this along...on Amazon there is a new led fixture that appears to be a Finnex Planted+ 24/7 clone. Even the remote control looks the same. It's listed as Vivagrow DN RGB LED light fixture. It appears to do everything the the 24/7 does. The 36" model is listed at $64 (free shipping).
Here is a link to a thread discussing this item.


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Old 04-06-2016, 10:21 PM   #18
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Thank you all for your input. I will have to look into them both more to see which I want and whether or not I decide to grow plants. If I do, any advice on co2 systems? Expense, setup etc

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Old 04-06-2016, 11:52 PM   #19
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Thank you all for your input. I will have to look into them both more to see which I want and whether or not I decide to grow plants. If I do, any advice on co2 systems? Expense, setup etc

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I initially bought the 24/7 for my planted tank but it ended up in my shrimp tank. Tank as primarily moss, not ferts or CO2. Has hair algae in it (it is only 12" tall so it is quite shallow). But the subtle changes in intensities make it ideal for a bedroom (no sudden ON/OFF).
Here is a recent thread regarding CO2 systems.



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Old 04-07-2016, 09:43 AM   #20
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+1 on the liquid fert.



and i disagree on your opinion of light, light is very complex.

every light is different. white light is not just white is a complex array of every color, plants use all colors but green, mostly red and blue, a white light bulb for your house, may not grow plants as well as a white plant bulb, because the white plant bulb will have more red and blue. lucky for you if you get a plant bulb from the lfs it will be good for plants.







you have a few good options, get a good plant bulb, but a 18 bulb will not be enougf light for a 46 gallon.



you could get an led fixture. this will be the most expensive.



and if i were you i would get a 36 inch t5 florescent light bulb, a 2 or 4 bulb system.





and don't feel you must get new lighting, while i love plants and highly recommend it, do not spend your money you don't want better light. i recommend it but i want you to know, you don't have to get it because we said it.

Don't really want to get in to a debate over this but I just don't want people to read this and think they must strive for a particular wavelength when selecting tubes or LEDs. For the purpose of this discussion, fluorescent tubes emit enough energy in all of the photosynthetically active spectrum to grow plants in our aquarium be it a 'special tube' sold at the local fish store or a shop light fluorescent from the general hardware store. I have never come across any plants showing blue or red wavelength deficiencies or any data to suggest that this may even be possible. Even if it were, who's going to stare at a red or blue tank? Plants do just fine using 'ordinary' bulbs. I've used them myself. Much better to focus your attention on light intensity, carbon and nutrients than worry about wavelengths.

When Tom Barr and co pencilled the EI method their focus was on light intensity, not the wavelength.

Too many people worry about light and so end up pummelling the plants with photons only to end up in a mess because they didn't stop to think about the importance of co2 and nutrients. Keep light low, carbon good and nutrients sufficient and you will find even some of the 'high light' plants will grow just find albeit a little more slowly. Use higher light intensity, keep carbon and nutrients sufficient and the same plant will grow without any problems except it will grow much quicker.


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