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 03-17-2007, 12:38 AM   #1
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 2,254
I hate you people...

So I started into the world of aquaria for the fish. I threw in a couple of plants into my tank, which I'm not positive are aquatic yet, but it's been almost four months and they're growing and not rotting.

Anyway, back to my point. I peak into these forums to ask about my not aquatic, non rotting plants and to see pictures of people's planted tanks and now I want to go with more plants. I was at the LFS and I was seriously asking about different CO2 setups. I still have a lot of research to do, but now I have complicated this simple hobby even more by wanting a planted tank now.

That is why I hate you guys. Now onto some of my questions.

I was talking to the store owner and he was telling me about different methods to place CO2 into the water, pressurized tank, electrolysis, yeast kits. He said the tank would be the most cost effective in the long run. Is that true?

I'm planning on more plants, but I don't want to go with a huge amount like some of your tanks I've seen. Is fertilizer absolutely necessary? If my fish are pooping, am I not fertilizing?

I'm way behind on work, so this will be a ways off, but I'd like to learn as much as I can before I jump into this.

PS. I hate you guys.
__________________

__________________
theotheragentm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2007, 01:58 AM   #2
AA Team Emeritus
 
An t-iasg's Avatar


 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Criders Corners, PA
Posts: 9,889
Don't hate me because my tank is beautiful!

The pressurized CO2 cylinder will be easiest, and best, in the long run. The initial cost is high - even after being "warned", I was still surprised that mine cost about $300. I got a package online with the regulator, the pH meter, the solonoid, tubing, and the calibration fluid for the meter. I got the cylinder and got it filled locally. You don't absolutely need a solonoid or a pH meter. I just felt that it would be easier to maintain.

I bought an ADA diffuser, but many people here have made their own diffuser very cheaply. Look in the DIY forum for the threads.

I'm not sure what an electrolysis CO2 method is. A yeast system is often called "DIY CO2". You mix yeast, sugar, and water. The yeast gives off CO2 and you simply feed it into your tank. My small 5 gallon tanks use this method. I have found that wine yeast lasts much longer than bread yeast. One thing to keep in mind that with the DIY CO2 method, it is a bit harder to maintain and keep a stable CO2 level in large (above 30 or so gallons) tanks. It can be done but it will require more work, and diligently changing the yeast-water bottles.

You can also have a very nice tank without CO2.

Fertilizing (how much and what nutrients) depends on many things - how much light you have, your fish load, or the special needs of the plants. Low-light tanks may just need a bit of trace elements, while a high-light tank needs all the macro nutrients - nitrate, phosphate, and potassium. Some plants really grow well with iron supplementation.

A good start would be to read all the stickys at the beginning of this forum. They will guide you through the things that you have to plan before getting the tank - the lighting level that you want, whether CO2 is necessary, what ferts you'll need. It's good that you're doing your research before jumping in!
__________________

__________________







An t-iasg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2007, 08:21 AM   #3
AA Team Emeritus
 
Jchillin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: New York, NY (The Big Apple)
Posts: 14,951
Thanks for the kind words agentm.

As An t-isag says, you can have a very nice planted tank without CO2 injection. I happen to have such a tank. I would suggest reading through all of the stickies at the beginning of the forum to get an idea of what the various methods and needs of planted tank aquaria involve...everything from substrate to lighting is included.

I've heard of the electrolysis method. It's a piece of carbon based material that gets a static charge through it to discharge the CO2 in the water column. It's been out for just a bit but it is uncontrolled dispensing from what I've heard and that is not a good thing (hopefully someone with a bit more info on it will chime in).

Since you are a ways off, you have plenty of time to be assimilated...erm, gain all the steps and info you need.

Welcome aboard (resistance is futile).
__________________
_________________________________
Jchillin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2007, 08:54 AM   #4
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
JDogg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Rapid City, SD
Posts: 2,294
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jchillin

Welcome aboard (resistance is futile).


i know what you mean, i started with an onion plant i grew from one of those walmart bulbs and now i am planing my 5th planted tank

Quote:
Originally Posted by theotheragentm
I'm planning on more plants, but I don't want to go with a huge amount like some of your tanks I've seen. Is fertilizer absolutely necessary? If my fish are pooping, am I not fertilizing?
yes your fish pooping will add some nutrients, but the plants need way more then your will can ever produce. you need even more if you go with CO2 and more light. if you are not sure about ferts i would go with a low light-non CO2 tank for now.
__________________
Just because I am working at Petco does not mean I am a sell out, they are still an evil empire, that I am trying to make better.
75 Gallon: New World Cichlids|26 Gallon Bowfront: Planted Angelfish/Swordtail Tank|20 Gallon Long: "Nano" non-reef|10 Gallon: frog and mosquito fish
JDogg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2007, 09:51 AM   #5
Moderator Emeritus
 
Purrbox's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Iowa USA
Posts: 5,860
The light that you use over your tank determines how fast your plants are being pushed to grow. The faster they grow, the more carbon (CO2) and nutrients they'll need.

Until you go beyond medium light, the ambient CO2 levels will be enough for your plants. You could always add CO2 at lower light levels and it will help your plants grow better, but your tank will do fine without it.

Pressurized CO2 will be more of an expense upfront, but in the long run is the easiest to maintain and least expensive. I believe the that the electrolysis method is probably referring to systems like CarboPlus. These are just as expensive (if not more in the long run) as Pressurized CO2 and not as reliable or effective. They rely on an electric current to break down the KH in the water to provide carbon. This means that your KH and pH levels will be fluctuating which isn't good for the fish if you have a high KH out of the tap, or that it won't work at all if you have little to no KH to begin with. For small tanks DIY CO2 (yeast) and Flourish Excel (liquid carbon) are often the easiest solution, but for larger tanks it really is best to go with Pressurized CO2 if you can manage it.

At some point the nutrient needs of your plants will out pace the rate that your fish can supply it. This varies depending on the amount of light, the quantiy and type of plants, and the number and size of fish. Lower light tanks often only need a little bit of Potassium and Trace Fertilizer. At a certain point the Nitrates and Phosphates will start to bottom out, which is the signal that you have to dose these as well.

Now just sit back and absorb the information and relax while we assimilate you. It really is easier that way.
Purrbox is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2007, 11:32 AM   #6
Aquarium Advice Freak
 
squawkbert's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 274
Best lighting & CO2 FAQs: RexGrigg
Best Fert Faqs AquaticPlantCentral
Best Fert Source GreggWatson

Happy Reading!
squawkbert is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2007, 12:37 PM   #7
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 2,254
I definitely need a closer look at all the stickies in this forum. I don't have high lighting on the tank. It's actually very low. I do get natural, non direct sunlight into the room every day pretty much (living along the beach in So Cal). I don't know what amount of light that adds up to at all, but the plants I have in the tank are visibly growing. If I have low light, would I be wasting my time with CO2? Is that something that has to be upgraded with the CO2? I really like my low 15-watt flourescents and the way they glow blue on my tank in the dark room.
__________________
theotheragentm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2007, 02:18 PM   #8
Moderator Emeritus
 
Purrbox's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Iowa USA
Posts: 5,860
You wouldn't be wasting your time with CO2 and you would get some improvements in plant growth as a result. With your lighting you can get away without it if you want though.

Something else to consider is that your fluorescent bulbs should be changed every 6-12 months. If you've had them longer than that, simply replacing the bulbs with fresh ones should get an improvement in growth. The reason is that the spectrum in the bulb shifts over time, so that after a year there has been a significant decrease in the amount of usuable light by the plants.
Purrbox is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2007, 02:50 PM   #9
Aquarium Advice Activist
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 113
From my experience on beginning a planted with an already established tank, you are apt to have some (ok, maybe a lot) of frustration, but in the end it is well worth the effort. Once you get started and get some high output lights, you will need CO2 and definately nutrient dosing. I initially overlooked the nutrients and have had desperate fights with algae.

I would also recommend a pressurized CO2 injection. I works wonderfully. My set up was around $250. I am running 3 watts/gallon of light; 384 watts for a 125 gallon tank. I do weekly PWCs, check water chemistry every week, add nutrients daily, and have added a UV light filter to control the algae. It is really not too difficult once you get going and the plants get established. Just don't give up.

The people here on Aquarium Advice give excellent advice. Purrbox has given me a lot. Just a word caution, I have gotten a lot of really poor advice from my local fish stores, so confirm any advice they you here. Another excellent resource is a book entitled "The Simply Guide to Planted Aquariums" by Barber and Wilson. The book really helped me out and the advice in the book is consistent AA here.

Good luck and enjoy!
__________________
Rupret is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2007, 06:06 PM   #10
Aquarium Advice Activist
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Nova Scotia, Canada
Posts: 141
Send a message via MSN to SeanMurphy
Below is an example of my planted tank. Just a bunch of livebearers, a trio of corys, a baby pleco and two mystery snails. I don't use CO2 (just the air bubble wand), and I haven't fertilized in months (though I do have 6 root tabs in total, each under a major plant cluster). I've got 88W of 6400K light from CF bulbs in a DIY fixture made from the shell of the one that came with the hood, and a lot of light bulb sockets and glue.

__________________
SeanMurphy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2007, 11:18 PM   #11
Aquarium Advice Activist
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Oregon
Posts: 168
Quote:
I've heard of the electrolysis method. It's a piece of carbon based material that gets a static charge through it to discharge the CO2 in the water column. It's been out for just a bit but it is uncontrolled dispensing from what I've heard and that is not a good thing (hopefully someone with a bit more info on it will chime in).
Actually it has been around for about ten years. Its called the Carbo Plus. Its easy to set up, very un intimadating, but extremely expensive and marginally effective. You have to have hard water in order for it to work. It strips the carbonate out of your water to make C02. It is a black carbon bar inside a chrome metal clip "sandwich" that sits inside your aquarium. A cable runs from the sandwich to a control box outside the aquarium which has different settings. The control box is plugged into an electrical outlet. The blocks are supposed to last three months, but often times only last for as little as 3 or 4 weeks. I think the cost of the blocks is now up to about 40 dollars to replace. The whole metal sandwich with the block is quite a bit more. As it strips the water to make C02, layers of calcium become encrusted on the metal sandwich. You have to clean it off regularly or the unit stops functioning, and then you have to buy the whole new metal sandwich instead of just a replacement block.

The most C02 you can get out of one unit in a 20 to 30 gallon aquarium is about 10ppm and that is only if your KH is fairly high.

The product is made in Germany and exported to this country, and every year keeps getting higher and higher in price. Supposedly there is a Chinese knock off/rip off of this product, but you hardly ever see it any where.

Robert Hudson
www.aquabotanic.com
Read my column in FAMA magazine
"The Planted Tank!"
__________________
Robert H
Robert H is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-2007, 04:01 AM   #12
Aquarium Advice Activist
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 165
Don't hate. Just imagine when you invite friends over and they look at your tank. Absolutely crystal clear water, fish frolicking, and plants growing everywhere.

They probably had a goldfish in a bowl once that died. They can't figure out why. But you'll be the hero because you have this lush, beautiful oasis in your living room that hypnotizes people for hours.

Edit: Oh, and don't underestimate the power of a beautiful fish tank at a party. As long as a drunk doesn't stumble and smash it, a nice tank will provide endless entertainment to inebriated people.
__________________
Prudence is a rich, ugly old maid courted by Incapacity.
--
Blake
Sidi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-2007, 06:38 AM   #13
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 2,254
Actually, my tank is in my bedroom.
__________________
theotheragentm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-21-2007, 10:42 PM   #14
AA Team Emeritus
 
happygirl65's Avatar


 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Flagstaff, AZ
Posts: 1,358
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jchillin
Thanks for the kind words agentm.

As An t-isag says, you can have a very nice planted tank without CO2 injection. I happen to have such a tank. I would suggest reading through all of the stickies at the beginning of the forum to get an idea of what the various methods and needs of planted tank aquaria involve...everything from substrate to lighting is included.

Since you are a ways off, you have plenty of time to be assimilated...erm, gain all the steps and info you need.

Welcome aboard (resistance is futile).
I second that emotion!

This is a pic of my tank. This is a 55 gallon and I dont use any co2. I only had an algae problem before I got enough plants in there to use up the nutrients produced by the fish and the lights. I have 1.7 watts per gallon of light over this tank which gives me many plant options without the need for CO2. I use root tabs mostly for ferts. But each tank is different of course, read the stickies! And then know that you will always need to do your own adjusting in your tank. After a few months now, I have only small traces of algae that is dissapearing more everyday and my plants are thriving.

Best wishes to you, I am sure you will love it.
__________________

__________________
happygirl65 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

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
and you wonder why people some people overstock hackteck Saltwater Reef Aquaria 19 03-29-2006 12:49 PM
i hate it when it happens.... Micro_suds Saltwater Reef Aquaria 4 09-19-2003 12:57 PM







» Photo Contest Winners







All times are GMT -4. The time now is 03:57 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.