Jumping into a Planted Tank

Discussion in 'The Planted Tank' started by CupidofCrime, Apr 14, 2013.

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  1. Sea Witch

    Sea Witch Plankton

    Apr 25, 2011
    Courtenay/Comox Valley, Vancouver Island, BC, Cana
    Hi CupidofCrime. I'll offer my 2 cents on a few things.

    Re: driftwood
    Keep in mind that driftwood can cause a yellowing of the water because of the tannins released. It depends. Eventually the tannins are depleted--I don't know how old your driftwood is. So it's something you might have to deal with. The tannins will also make your water slightly "softer" and slightly more acidic. Some fish thrive in that--discus and some cichlids, for example. And plenty of plants love that...like discus in a mangrove...but not necessarily a Japanese "look".

    Re: plant while the tank is cycling. I wouldn't. I would go very slowly and add things very slowly just like with a reef tank, which you're already familiar with.

    Re: 10K or 6700? 6700 or some of both. I recommend HO or VHO lights, and an open top unless you have jumpers (or a cat).

    Re: CO2 If you're going to dose, then dose during the day (lighted) phase and not at night or a smaller amount 24/7.

    For plants, there's one that I really liked called water lettuce or Pistia stratiotes. It floats on the water, the roots hang down, and it propagates readily. Little fish love it....but not necessarily Japanese looking.

    Definitely dip or quarantine plants before they go into your main tank. There are lots of ways to do that. I used to dip in a mild solution of KMnO4 for about 5 minutes. Rinse well, and Bob's your uncle.

    2 last points. Keep in mind that you can have a very successful planted tank that is very low-tech. I'm a dinosaur, but I had a beautiful planted tank for 10 years (and a bunch of other tanks for breeding cichlids). I never once "tested" for anything in any of my tanks. I didn't even own a test kit. I never added CO2. I did invest in very good VHO lights. I changed about 15% of water 1X/week.

    Maybe you already know all this stuff. If not, I hope it's helpful. :)
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  3. Blue Falcon

    Blue Falcon Fire Goby

    Jun 18, 2009
    you said you set it up with RO water? If so you will want to remineralize that water before you put fish in it. Something like seachem equilibrium to put vital salts, electrolytes, magnesium, calcium back into the water. I aim for a TDS of around 250ppm but every species has their own range. I also dose using Tom Barr's Estimative Index. Seachem flourish excel works well if you dont plan on injecting CO2. The hardest thing about planted tanks is getting the ratio of light, CO2 and fertilizers right. Very high light requires higher CO2 and more fertilizers and can be very difficult to keep balanced. Not enough CO2 and algae will take over. Too much CO2 and your fish will gasp at the surface for air (I accidentally gassed my Discus once)
  4. 2in10

    2in10 Super Moderator Staff Member

    Aug 6, 2009
    Sparks, NV
    Do you have an update on your tank? would love to see how it is doing.