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lost Hero 04-27-2014 08:51 PM

How to improve my planted tank
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Hey guys I'm running a 8.5 gal tank. I have X2 13 watt. Idk what plant to put in it to make it look more lush. This is how it looks currently. The lights are on 9 hours a day.


FishCr8zy 04-27-2014 10:09 PM

You have 9 neon tetras I believe right? IMO that is a bit overstocked. I would get rid of 2-4 of them. I would lower the light period to about 7 hours because there is algae on the glass. Since you have a piece of driftwood, I would get some moss/anubias to tie to the dw.

Brian_Nano12g 04-27-2014 10:31 PM

Great suggestions from FishCr8zy.

I'd also add some moss, anubias, and java fern. Rehome some neons and maybe get a nerite snail to eat the diatoms/algae all over your glass.

lost Hero 04-28-2014 02:40 AM

I heard that once you add moss there is no going back. I would like to add java fern but I'm afraid they will out grow my tank.

Brian_Nano12g 04-28-2014 03:00 AM

Java fern grows slow and won't get super lush without CO2. Well that's my experience. Java moss can get out of hand as it grows unruly. If you get flame moss, Phoenix, or peacock (or the alike) they grow in a more predictable manner. If you tie moss to stones, DW, or stainless steel mesh you can always pull it out of the tank and easily trim it down. It's very manageable.

lost Hero 04-28-2014 03:02 AM

I have a co2 defuser but they keep breaking on me the suction cup won't stay on the glass

lost Hero 04-28-2014 03:08 AM

I would prefer to stay away from ferns and Anubias

Brian_Nano12g 04-28-2014 03:10 AM

Time for a new diffuser then. And or, clean that glass well. No pun intended but that glass in your picture looks like it can use a little elbow grease. I don't think a nice and new suction would stick to that. Lol

Here's an example of how to use moss. I have peacock and flame in here. Also have narrow leaf micro sword in the back, dhg in the front left, etc. No CO2... Just good light, substrate, and minute fert dosing.

lost Hero 04-28-2014 03:14 AM

You're tank is amazing my gf just said wow. I will give that tank more elbow grease and try again. I use a fert everyone time I change the water, would that be a reason I have some much Alg??

Brian_Nano12g 04-28-2014 03:23 AM

Thanks for the compliment. Just wanted to show what moss can look like.

You don't have to use moss. Especially if you're going to be using CO2. CO2 opens up your options a lot actually. So you can do a foreground like DHG or HC.

As for the algae, it looks more like diatoms. How recent did you set this tank up?

lost Hero 04-28-2014 03:24 AM

lol almost a year ago

Brian_Nano12g 04-28-2014 03:37 AM

Okay.. then it's probably algae. Just need to scrub it, keep lights, ferts, and CO2 balanced. Keep up with weekly or at least biweekly PWC's.

How long is your photoperiod? Are the lights on a timer? CO2 consistent?

lost Hero 04-28-2014 03:41 AM

9 hours yes in a timer and co2 everyday at like 2

Brian_Nano12g 04-28-2014 03:46 AM

What kind of lighting x2 13w of what? Incandescent, CFL, or? 9 hours might be too much.. and CO2 at 2? Is that 2 BPS?

lost Hero 04-28-2014 03:47 AM

Compact lighting and co2 idk it's just that is pumped into a defuser and is slowly released into the water

Brian_Nano12g 04-28-2014 03:57 AM

You don't have a bubble counter or drop checker? You should get them so you have a better estimate of how much CO2 you're actually injecting.

lost Hero 04-28-2014 03:58 AM

Ok i was thinking about upgrading

Brian_Nano12g 04-28-2014 04:09 AM

Well that depends on your goals for this tank. As of right now looks like you have a crypt and vals. If you wanna keep your tank with low light tolerant plants, you can keep low light and CO2 isn't that important. Just research and figure that part out and we can help get it to that point.

lost Hero 04-28-2014 04:10 AM

I want low and mid light plants

Coursair 04-28-2014 07:35 AM

Crypts need root tabs to thrive. Super easy. Once every 3-4 months bury 1 to every 6"x6" square floor space that has Crypts or Swords.

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