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Old 02-28-2007, 12:18 PM   #1
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Newbie on planted tank...

I just bought a glass top with a 65 watt ( 6,700k ) double bulb . I also bought a red sea co2 kit .

My question is how many plants do I need to have before I start using the co2 kit .

What kind of gravel/substrate should I use ? Right now I have your Petsmart cheap colored rocks .

I see " phosphate and nitrogen " removers at fish stores . Should I be using those ?

How can I keep my fish from eating the plants .

I have a 20 gal high fresh water tank . 2 guppies , 1 blueram , 1 black molly , 1 red tailed black variutus , 2 cory catfish , 1 bristlenose pleco .
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Old 02-28-2007, 12:23 PM   #2
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Start CO2 as soon as you start the light and add the plants. I don't think any of the fish in your signature will hurt the plants. You will be adding nitrogen and phosphate not removing it. Please read the stickies at the the top of the forum.
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Old 02-28-2007, 12:44 PM   #3
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Rich is absolutely correct. The need for CO2 is dicated by the amount of light and not the number of plants. You'll want to plant heavily with fast growing stem plants to help get things established and avoid algae. Once the tank is more established you can slowly switch to the plants you actually want to keep.

There are many options that you can choose for your substrate. The main thing is to shoot for a grain size of 2-3mm and make sure that it doesn't have sharp edges that will harm your plants. For more information about your various options, check out the Substrate link in the Read this First sticky.

Also make sure the read the stickies on Lighting, CO2, and Fertilization. If you still have questions after reading them, feel free to ask for clarification.
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Old 02-28-2007, 03:45 PM   #4
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wow....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Purrbox
Rich is absolutely correct. The need for CO2 is dicated by the amount of light and not the number of plants. You'll want to plant heavily with fast growing stem plants to help get things established and avoid algae. Once the tank is more established you can slowly switch to the plants you actually want to keep.

There are many options that you can choose for your substrate. The main thing is to shoot for a grain size of 2-3mm and make sure that it doesn't have sharp edges that will harm your plants. For more information about your various options, check out the Substrate link in the Read this First sticky.

Also make sure the read the stickies on Lighting, CO2, and Fertilization. If you still have questions after reading them, feel free to ask for clarification.
thanxs for the assistance ill check out the stickys on plants/lights/co2 .. im sure ill have a few questions ... but i did read the one about the co2 .. ive had the dbl 65 w bulb for a cpl weeks and the co2 for a cpl weeks but havent been using the co2 cuz i have just a few plants .. but i guess that wud explain most of the gravel is turning brown/copper color..

1 more question then ill read the stuff b4 asking anymore i promise do i " need " a co2 indicator ?? if so , shud i wait on getting the co2 thiing started b4 i get the indicator .. and by having the co2 running with only a cpl java ferns and 1 ancharis and 1 red ludwiga .. wud that be 2 much co2 for the fish and/or plants ??
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Old 02-28-2007, 04:14 PM   #5
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I would turn the CO2 on now. You just need a PH and KH kit to determine your CO2 levels. You would have to get an awful lot of CO2 in your system for it to reach toxic levels for your fish.
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Old 02-28-2007, 04:30 PM   #6
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A CO2 indicator is one of those gadgets that just makes life a little bit easier, but certainly isn't the only way to determine the CO2 level of your tank. The most common way to determine your CO2 levels is to use a chart/calculator/formula that you plug your pH and KH readings into. Under normal circumstances this will give you a good indication of your CO2 levels. Occationally someone will have something in their water that throws off the pH/KH relationship, and that is where a CO2 indicator comes in really handy.

You can get by without knowing the CO2 level of your tank. You just have to pay attention to the algae (hopefully minimal), plants, and fish to tell you if you need to increase or decrease your levels. Having either the Test Kits or CO2 Indicator makes it much easier to troubleshoot.
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Old 03-01-2007, 08:15 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Purrbox
A CO2 indicator is one of those gadgets that just makes life a little bit easier, but certainly isn't the only way to determine the CO2 level of your tank. The most common way to determine your CO2 levels is to use a chart/calculator/formula that you plug your pH and KH readings into. Under normal circumstances this will give you a good indication of your CO2 levels. Occationally someone will have something in their water that throws off the pH/KH relationship, and that is where a CO2 indicator comes in really handy.

You can get by without knowing the CO2 level of your tank. You just have to pay attention to the algae (hopefully minimal), plants, and fish to tell you if you need to increase or decrease your levels. Having either the Test Kits or CO2 Indicator makes it much eawhisier to troubleshoot.
which of the following is the most accurate for the co2 levels ..
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Old 03-01-2007, 09:45 PM   #8
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The CO2 indicator takes any uncertainty about extra buffers in the water, so it's probably slightly more accurate in addition to giving you constant indication of the CO2 levels.
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Old 03-03-2007, 01:42 PM   #9
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k

Quote:
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The CO2 indicator takes any uncertainty about extra buffers in the water, so it's probably slightly more accurate in addition to giving you constant indication of the CO2 levels.
ok i finally got the co2 running ... but i dont see any bubbles coming out .. i can feel the air comin out of the ventri hole .. but no bubbles ... when the co2 starts to generate will i see bubbles ?

dop i need a bubble counter ?? i have the red sea co2 kit ..
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Old 03-03-2007, 10:24 PM   #10
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I'm not familiar with that particular setup, so I don't know what you should expect to see. If you've got a good batch of yeast, you should have CO2 within 24hrs.
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Old 03-04-2007, 01:53 AM   #11
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Re: wow....

Quote:
Originally Posted by ikon
.. ive had the dbl 65 w bulb for a cpl weeks and the co2 for a cpl weeks but havent been using the co2 cuz i have just a few plants .. but i guess that wud explain most of the gravel is turning brown/copper color..
Ikon, that brown stuff on the gravel is diatoms, not algae. I am not certain if CO2 affects it at all, but in the grand scheme of things it is not nearly as bad as having green, black or blue-green algae issues. It is usually attributed to new tanks, as the diatoms bloom due to excess silicates from the gravel and glass... it will usually clear up on it's own.
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Old 03-04-2007, 02:44 AM   #12
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I'm on my second try at raising plants in low light no CO2, its actually goign well this time. I'm still saving my pennies for a CO2 kit and a really nice lighting setup!! I'm excited lol anyways, as far as I know you can use the CO2 with as little as 1 plant in the tank
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Old 03-04-2007, 09:59 AM   #13
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Re: wow....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sicklid
Quote:
Originally Posted by ikon
.. ive had the dbl 65 w bulb for a cpl weeks and the co2 for a cpl weeks but havent been using the co2 cuz i have just a few plants .. but i guess that wud explain most of the gravel is turning brown/copper color..
Ikon, that brown stuff on the gravel is diatoms, not algae. I am not certain if CO2 affects it at all, but in the grand scheme of things it is not nearly as bad as having green, black or blue-green algae issues. It is usually attributed to new tanks, as the diatoms bloom due to excess silicates from the gravel and glass... it will usually clear up on it's own.
ive had the tank for about a year now .. well actually i started getting all that brown/copper stuff on the rocks a few days after i got my new light i have a 65 watt dble strip light ..

what is excess silicates..
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Old 03-04-2007, 10:34 AM   #14
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Try this link for better understanding of silicates, diatoms and what is currently occuring in your tank.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diatom

Stirring up the substrate or adding extra light may have caused the diatom bloom you're experiencing. It usually passes in 2-3 weeks.
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Old 03-05-2007, 09:31 PM   #15
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ya i think its the light causing the ditom bloom.. or brown algae ... cuz i always stir up the rocks when i clean the rocks....

thanxs for the link and assistance..
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