Go Back   Aquarium Advice - Aquarium Forum Community > Freshwater > Freshwater & Brackish - Planted Tanks
Click Here to Login

Join Aquarium Advice Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com
 
Old 02-14-2011, 09:56 AM   #1
Aquarium Advice Apprentice
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: florida
Posts: 25
Talking from artificial to planted.

I have a 38 gal tall with 5 angels and 3 tetras set up just after christmas. I am still having issues with diatoms but the tank is stable and the water is healthy and clear. Right now everything in the tank is artificial but I slowly want to change everything out and make it a little natual amazon eco system, planted and the whole 9. I am relatively new to fish keeping so I plan on talking my time with this process. The one thing I've learned is to research first before doing anything so any tips, tricks, a place to start and any other advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!
__________________

__________________
lildragonflies is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-2011, 11:16 AM   #2
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
Coleallensmom's Avatar


 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 1,943
The type of plants you are able to use really depends on what type of light you have. With a tall tank, the best option might be low light plants because less light from your fixture reaches the bottom of the tank because of the depth of the tank. What are the dimensions of the tank and what type of lighting fixture is on the tank now?
__________________

__________________

Check out my 50 Gallon Build
Coleallensmom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-2011, 12:55 PM   #3
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
BigJim's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Oak Forest, IL
Posts: 4,388
How involved do you want to get?

A 37g is typically 22" deep, a 38g is typically 20" deep. You'll need decent lighting to penetrate to the bottom of the tank. I have two 18W CFLs on my 29g (18" deep) and low-light plants do ok on the bottom, but they don't really grow well until they're a few inches tall and closer to the light.

If you want to stick with low-light plants, a couple of CFL bulbs will probably work. If you want more and are willing to go with pressurized CO2 and a fert regimen, T5HO or LED would be a good way to go.
__________________
A man's errors are his portals of discovery.
Guide to The Fishless Cycle Cycling With Fish
My DIY LED Light Fixture
Feel free to PM me directly with questions.
BigJim is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-2011, 01:13 PM   #4
Aquarium Advice Apprentice
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: florida
Posts: 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigJim
How involved do you want to get?

A 37g is typically 22" deep, a 38g is typically 20" deep. You'll need decent lighting to penetrate to the bottom of the tank. I have two 18W CFLs on my 29g (18" deep) and low-light plants do ok on the bottom, but they don't really grow well until they're a few inches tall and closer to the light.

If you want to stick with low-light plants, a couple of CFL bulbs will probably work. If you want more and are willing to go with pressurized CO2 and a fert regimen, T5HO or LED would be a good way to go.
I believe the tank is 18" deep. So from the sound of it lighting is the first thing I should worry about. How about the substrate? What kind should I be looking for? I would like to be thorough but I don't want to get too high tech. For now it seems best to stay slow.
__________________
lildragonflies is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-2011, 01:38 PM   #5
Aquarium Advice Newbie
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 3
Personally, I would go with eco-complete, or flora-max. Both are great for planted tanks, as they have a lot of nutrients in the substrate. Helps cut down on ferts for awhile. I have 132lbs of flora-max and taihiten moon sand in my 75 gallon tank, along with 3.5 watts per gallon from compact flourescent lighting at 6700k. Anything generally above 6700k gets wasted, and you may end up with algae problems.
__________________
75 gal stocked with 50 cardinals, 6 juli cories, 5 discus, 6 German blue rams.
MelissaMB40 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-2011, 01:57 PM   #6
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
BigJim's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Oak Forest, IL
Posts: 4,388
The plant-specific substrates are nice, but pricey. I use sand or blasting media in all my tanks and the plants grow well.
__________________
A man's errors are his portals of discovery.
Guide to The Fishless Cycle Cycling With Fish
My DIY LED Light Fixture
Feel free to PM me directly with questions.
BigJim is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-2011, 05:39 PM   #7
Dividing by 0
Community Admin
 
fort384's Avatar



POTM Champion
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Illinois
Posts: 13,926
Agree that lighting should be your first concern. What kind of lighting do you currently have?
The factors below will determine if your current fixture can grow plants:
Type of lighting (florescent, incandescent, LED)?
Type of bulb (T5, T8, compact florescent)?
Color Temp of Bulb (you want 6500-10000K)?
Wattage of the system?

The specialty substrates are great... but like BigJim said, pricey. And most likely if you don't intend to delve into the high tech realm with high light, CO2 injection, and complex fertilization, then specialty substrate is probably not necessary. Even in a high tech setup, I have had a ton of success growing plants in plain ol' aquarium gravel. I also have used specialty substrates though, and they are nice... but not a requirement.
fort384 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-2011, 06:45 PM   #8
Aquarium Advice Apprentice
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: florida
Posts: 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by fort384
Agree that lighting should be your first concern. What kind of lighting do you currently have?
The factors below will determine if your current fixture can grow plants:
Type of lighting (florescent, incandescent, LED)?
Type of bulb (T5, T8, compact florescent)?
Color Temp of Bulb (you want 6500-10000K)?
Wattage of the system?

The specialty substrates are great... but like BigJim said, pricey. And most likely if you don't intend to delve into the high tech realm with high light, CO2 injection, and complex fertilization, then specialty substrate is probably not necessary. Even in a high tech setup, I have had a ton of success growing plants in plain ol' aquarium gravel. I also have used specialty substrates though, and they are nice... but not a requirement.
All of this info is so helpful. I have a lot to look into now. All I kn.ow about my light is that it's the long florescent bulb that came with the tank. :p good to know that I can use plain ol gravel so maybe a combination would be good so the plants get some nutrients? Also in this process, since I'm replacing the gravel in my big tank can I use the "old" stuff in a new 10g? Once I get my lighting and substrate in I'm going to pick your brains some more. Thank you for all the help everyone!!
__________________
lildragonflies is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-2011, 07:12 PM   #9
Dividing by 0
Community Admin
 
fort384's Avatar



POTM Champion
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Illinois
Posts: 13,926
If you just want to grow low light plants, you may not need to spend any dough on extra lighting. If it is florescent, that is good. Can you look on the bulb and see if you see a wattage? I am guessing it is T8 size if it is stock. Also, check and see if the bulb lists a color temp. It would be a 4 or 5 digit number followed by K (for degrees kelvin).

You could use the old substrate. It should be fine. A mix would work too, although sometimes that doesn't look as aesthetically pleasing as using all of the same type.
fort384 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-2011, 07:40 PM   #10
Aquarium Advice Apprentice
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: florida
Posts: 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by fort384
If you just want to grow low light plants, you may not need to spend any dough on extra lighting. If it is florescent, that is good. Can you look on the bulb and see if you see a wattage? I am guessing it is T8 size if it is stock. Also, check and see if the bulb lists a color temp. It would be a 4 or 5 digit number followed by K (for degrees kelvin).

You could use the old substrate. It should be fine. A mix would work too, although sometimes that doesn't look as aesthetically pleasing as using all of the same type.
The bulb says its T8, 17w, 8000K full spectrum daylight. Is that good enough for live plants?
__________________
lildragonflies is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-2011, 07:48 PM   #11
Dividing by 0
Community Admin
 
fort384's Avatar



POTM Champion
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Illinois
Posts: 13,926
Just 1 bulb I take it?

It is the right color temp... but the wattage is a little low. Ideally you would want about twice that wattage to grow low light plants in a 38g tank. Ordinarily I would say give it a try, but you also have a tall tank, which adds a requirement for even a bit stronger than normal lighting. You could try some low light plants like anubias, java moss, java fern, and a few others and see how it works out. You might keep them alive but I doubt you'd see much growth. If it didn't work, you could always upgrade at that point.

If you want to dive in head first, you could invest in an upgraded fixture... a dual T5HO fixture that fits your tank would be a really nice amount of lighting that would sustain low and medium light plants without the necessity to inject CO2 or add a lot of fertilizers (although some basics may be required).
fort384 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-2011, 07:51 PM   #12
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
BigJim's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Oak Forest, IL
Posts: 4,388
17W over 38g might keep java moss alive. You'll want to add at least a second bulb like that to have a shot with most plants.
__________________
A man's errors are his portals of discovery.
Guide to The Fishless Cycle Cycling With Fish
My DIY LED Light Fixture
Feel free to PM me directly with questions.
BigJim is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-2011, 07:57 PM   #13
Aquarium Advice Apprentice
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: florida
Posts: 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by fort384
Just 1 bulb I take it?

It is the right color temp... but the wattage is a little low. Ideally you would want about twice that wattage to grow low light plants in a 38g tank. Ordinarily I would say give it a try, but you also have a tall tank, which adds a requirement for even a bit stronger than normal lighting. You could try some low light plants like anubias, java moss, java fern, and a few others and see how it works out. You might keep them alive but I doubt you'd see much growth. If it didn't work, you could always upgrade at that point.

If you want to dive in head first, you could invest in an upgraded fixture... a dual T5HO fixture that fits your tank would be a really nice amount of lighting that would sustain low and medium light plants without the necessity to inject CO2 or add a lot of fertilizers (although some basics may be required).
This is great. I would like to do it right the first time so investing in a better lighting system seems like the way to go. Thanks so much!
__________________

__________________
lildragonflies is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
plant, planted

Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Artificial Rocks zumzum5150 New Acquisitions 2 06-14-2010 12:39 PM
Artificial Decorations? Yes? No? SWnewby Saltwater & Reef - Getting Started 7 02-22-2010 12:54 PM
cleaning artificial plants spyyro Freshwater & Brackish - General Discussion 3 03-06-2007 10:51 PM
not much one for artificial decor...but MyCatsDrool Freshwater & Brackish - General Discussion 3 01-13-2007 05:17 PM
Artificial coral Mikebaker General Retailers 0 11-28-2005 02:10 PM







» Photo Contest Winners







All times are GMT -4. The time now is 07:17 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.