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Old 07-24-2012, 01:29 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Planted Tank Noob here!

Hello Everyone,

I have had freshwater and reef tanks for years. Had a couple plants in the past but few survived. Over the last year I have been making LED systems for Reef Tanks and about 6 months ago someone asked if I could put together a system for a freshwater planted tank. Since I didn't understand plants I started to do a bit of internet mining on the subject and ran across Takashi Amano. I then started to pay attention more to local dealers here in Houston that deal with planted tanks such as ADG. My reef community friends would kill me for saying this but the Planted tanks are more peaceful than reef tanks. So I decided to setup a 75g planted tank. I got some decent substrate, a few plants and some fish. After 6 months of plant fails (But fish spawning like crazy) and algae issues, I decided I needed to do more internet mining. It appears that my problem was 1) Too few plants (so I ordered more) 2) Not enough water changes ( I thought that just topping off with DI water would suffice) 3) Not enough fertilizer (I suppose fish guano isn't enough).
So I am working on correcting these 3 issues. I am also going to invest in a CO2 system (any suggestions?) I have been using LED lighting that is intended for Reef tanks, I am changing that this weekend as well.

Anyway, I would love some advice and I hope to turn from noob to contributor soon!

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Old 07-25-2012, 07:24 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Planted Tank Noob here!

Hi Robert,

Welcome to APC. I am fairly new to the forum as well, but have found it very helpful.

There are several basic planted tank guides listed on this forum you might want to read if you haven't already. Located here: They have some good information.

Also, an external blog that I found informative was In particular check out: This planted aquarium guide provides some basic information. Plus it goes a little further presenting what the author uses in their setup. Included is easy to understand information on nutrient dosing, and CO2 systems. Also, they have a good section on algae.

Could you provide more information on your current configuration? Information such as substrate, filtration, light parameters, water parameters, current plants, and how heavy you planted, like 75% etc? This would make it easier for others to offer advice. Perhaps a picture of your setup?

A lot of people talk about balance, but I personally think a better word is consistency. Maintaining a STABLE environment, i.e. not changing everything all the time goes a long ways towards success. Light is the driving factor in the planted tank, so matching nutrients (CO2 and fertilizers), and filtration to work in harmony with the light you have is key. In other words you dont want a ton of nutrients if you have low light, or vice versa. You want to match the light to the nutrients, to the filtration etc.

In regards to the CO2 systems, I'm sure others can provide better information. However, I have heard very nice things about the systems at They have complete systems, and components to put your own together.

You mention building your own LED systems. Have you proceeded in building a planted tank LED system? If so would you mind providing some information on it here? There are others on this forum working on the same thing. You can find their post in the Lighting section.

Good luck.
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