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brian313313
11-24-2012, 08:45 AM
I am putting together my first planted tank. I have a 65 gallon(36x18x24) aquarium with 4x24w T5 light fixture with 6500K bulbs. I think this would be considered moderate lighting. I am putting in Eco Complete substrate to about 2-2.5". I'm not sure exactly how deep but it's 4 bags and they should get here today. I will also have some driftwood in the tank. I don't plan on any CO2 supplementation.

I like to start this tread to get advice from people who have more experience to help me not make too many mistakes. I have been doing some reading so I'm somewhat prepared but that's just one source. I plan on getting some plants today and use water from my other aquarium so there is some nitrogen in it. I like the Amazon Sword and also want some sort of short grass for ground cover. I haven't decided on that yet but came across some ideas on this forum. Some of it will depend on what's in stock at the store. I also want more plants but I'm not decided yet.

For fish, I have some baby mosquitofish that were born yesterday I'll put in there but haven't decided for sure yet on the permanent occupants. They lucked out. Thier mother hopped into the overflow before having them and I noticed a baby in there and turned off the pump. Fed mom and she seemed too freaked out to eat so the babies are safe. I have about 20 I can notice. I'm going to wait about a month or two before adding fish so the plants can root good.

I'm not sure what to do about fertilizer. I didn't even think about that until reading this forum. Is that necessary or just if the plants are not doing well? I assume there is some aquarium fertilizer that is safe for fish.

Thanks.

AllenIsbell
11-24-2012, 10:56 AM
A really good thing you can do to help hold your plants down are fishing weights. Not just any fishing weights, though. Eagle Claw sells weights that are "Eco Friendly." They are said to be made out of tin. Grab you a couple bags of those, and a small spool of fishing line. If you tie a weight around the bottom of your plant and plant the weight under the substrate... you won't have to worry about coming home to an aquarium full of floating plants. Trust me... It's worth doing.

If you need more details on exactly what weights I am talking about, feel free to send me a PM and I will do all I can to help you!

When you first add your plants, don't be surprised when they lose their color and start to look bad. That is going to happen for a week or two because they are adapting to your lights and lighting schedule. As far as your lighting schedule goes, find out what the requirements of your most sensitive plant is, and go by that.

I will be checking this thread to make sure you've been assisted!

brian313313
11-24-2012, 12:52 PM
Thanks. I'll stop by the fishing store and try to find some of those. I have a tackle box full of the lead weights but since I've heard of lead poisoning I wouldn't want to use those in a closed environment.

ronv
11-24-2012, 02:55 PM
I'm not sure I would put tin in my aquarium either. If Eagle claw says "Eco Friendly" then maybe, but I'm not gonna trust that. Tin is usually mixed with something to make a compound and some of the compounds wouldn't be good in an aquarium. I never put anything made of any metal in my tanks (that I know about).
Seems you could tie a little rock to your plants and it would do the same thing and be safer.

Demonfish
11-24-2012, 03:11 PM
lead weights for plants were industry standard for 20 years, they still sell them in stores. I'm surprised they just don't coat them in plastic. I tried little net bags (like for party favors) full of gravel to hold down plants, but one snagged a pleco. So I do not recommend it. java ferns and plants that don't need substrate can just be tied to piece of driftwood.

AllenIsbell
11-24-2012, 03:41 PM
I'm not sure I would put tin in my aquarium either. If Eagle claw says "Eco Friendly" then maybe, but I'm not gonna trust that. Tin is usually mixed with something to make a compound and some of the compounds wouldn't be good in an aquarium. I never put anything made of any metal in my tanks (that I know about).
Seems you could tie a little rock to your plants and it would do the same thing and be safer.

I got my info from another forum where some lady called Eagle Claw and they told her that they were pure tin. Supposedly it was pretty common among the members of that forum to use the weights I recommended. All I know is that I have used them many times with no issues, and it's a hell of a lot safer than lead.

As far as using rocks or pebbles, it works, but the they don't work nearly as well as the weights do. I had an airstone that loved to float. I stuck a bunch of glass marbles on top of it. It was floating the next day. Tied on a tin weight... hadn't moved until I took the airstone out last week. That was 2 months ago.

nalu86
11-24-2012, 09:20 PM
Just stick your plants in the substrate, will just work fine.

First of, what brand T5 fixture do you have? Depends on brand of fixture, but 4 bulbs will prob put you in high light. Or you will have to hang it high above your tank. Source (http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/showthread.php?t=184368)

If you have high light, you will need co2 and ferts, if you don't want an algae forest.

Check on ferts here (http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/showthread.php?t=21944) and on co2 here (http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/showthread.php?t=107312)

brian313313
11-25-2012, 05:15 PM
I have Sun Systems fixture and Odyssea bulbs. I also have glass tops which will diffuse some of the light. It's hung about 9" above the glass. The tank is 2' deep.


Just stick your plants in the substrate, will just work fine.

First of, what brand T5 fixture do you have? Depends on brand of fixture, but 4 bulbs will prob put you in high light. Or you will have to hang it high above your tank. Source (http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/showthread.php?t=184368)

If you have high light, you will need co2 and ferts, if you don't want an algae forest.

Check on ferts here (http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/showthread.php?t=21944) and on co2 here (http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/showthread.php?t=107312)

brian313313
11-25-2012, 05:45 PM
I have a Sun Systems fixture and Odyssea bulbs. There is also glass on the top which will diffuse the light some. The lights are mounted 9" above the glass and the tank is 2' deep.

I decided to go with the following plants:
Anubias
Java Fern
Moss Ball
Dwarf Sagittaria
Crypt Wendtii
and something else that's dark green. I've forgotten the name now. This is supposed to grow tall and I put it behind the large driftwood and in front of the filter tube.

I bought the Eagles Claw "Eco-friendly" weights. The package says steel. I decided to hold off on that and see if I have problems with rooting. I'd rather not leave steel in the tank because I'd think it will rust. If it's stainless, the package doesn't say so. They could consider it eco friendly because it decomposes but the package doesn't say much.