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Old 08-21-2005, 10:53 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default What do i need to have a planted aquarium

Most of my plants have died off in aquarium with fishes. I don't like this one bit, i plan to have a small 10G aquairum with plants alone. I have a cover that house a 20W light bulb for the aquarium, what else do i need? there will be no fish or anything like that, just plants. so here's what i have/will have

10G tank/with hood/light
Seachem Flourish Excel (CO2 compound)

that's it, what else would i need? airation? i want this to be very very quiet because i need the room quiet to do my work. thanks, i'm just trying to save the 8 plants i've bought, some have very bad leaf and stuff but i think they haven't died yet.
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Old 08-22-2005, 04:59 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Get some Flourite or Onyx Sand for substrate. Add some mulm from an established tank to the bottom before you add the substrate. Maybe even a little peat too. Filtration doesnt really matter if you are not putting any fish in there. You could use a little HOB, or try no filtration at all. Plant heavily from the start too.
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Old 08-22-2005, 06:28 AM   #3 (permalink)
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what's mulm? and peat? so the plants don't need any air?
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Old 08-22-2005, 06:50 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Plants do not need aeration. What fishes love, plants hate. And vice versa.

Mulm is the black stuff that comes out of your filter when you squeeze the sponges or after you drain the water in your cannistor filter; it collects at the bottom. It contains lots of bacteria.

Peat is a usually dried spaghum moss, you can find this product at hardware or gardening stores. Sprinkle a small layer below your substrate when setting it up. The bacteria in your mulm will feed on the dead organic material in peat and thus proliferate faster and help your tank cycle quicker, along with helping your plants as well.

I suggest you read up http://www.rexgrigg.com before starting out your planted tank. You'll find that the world of planted tanks is a totally different one from fish-only, and some good reading will make it easier for you to get your tank up sucessfully

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Old 08-22-2005, 04:57 PM   #5 (permalink)
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One of the most important aspects of keeping plants is the lighting. Make sure that you have enough light for the type plants you will be keeping. I would recommend a low light/low tech tank to begin with, 1.5 watts per gallon will do the trick. Also make sure to use a plant bulb rated at 5500k-10000k (kelvin), if using one bulb I would use a 5500k-7500k bulb.
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Old 08-23-2005, 02:36 AM   #6 (permalink)
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In addition to the sites and info already mentioned, this is a good starting article: http://www.aquatic-plants.org/articl.../01_intro.html

The best thing you can do now is read, read, read...

The search function on this site is your friend!
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Old 08-23-2005, 04:46 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laith
In addition to the sites and info already mentioned, this is a good starting article: http://www.aquatic-plants.org/articl.../01_intro.html

The best thing you can do now is read, read, read...

The search function on this site is your friend!
Speaking as someone fairly new to the hobby I'd have to add to Laith's advice to verify, verify, verify.......... what you read. There is still a lot of info out there that is unreliable so part of the work is reading and another part is sorting out all the different theories. The article Laith refers to is a fairly good one.

As for me I wish someone had told me to start out as Trena recommended up above - medium light and non CO2. I also wish I had known that most of the plant guides which recommend CO2 and high light for every other plant are dead wrong. Just as examples riccia and glosso are both thriving in my tanks and I've yet to see a guide that doesn't recommend CO2 and high light for both. The one down side to non CO2 for me so far is the limited number of red plants but I'm still working on that one. I'm also hopeful that the non Co2 category of the APC aquascaping contest will be an inspiration.

Good luck, Bill
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Old 08-28-2005, 12:38 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I disagree that plants do not need air. Plants seem to thrive under well oxygenated water, and there has even been some data to suggest that algae is less present in highly oxygenated water, however in a healthy thriving planted tank, the plants are emitting enough oxygen so you should never have to worry about it. Good circulation is much more important than filtration. Circulation helps keep the water oxygenated, carries nutrients across the tank, and helps prevent sedimant from building up on the leaves of the plants. Water changes also bring oxygen to the water.

Mulm is decayed orgaic material from fish waste, fish food and plant leaves. Peat is Peat moss and will provide a source of decaying organic material. It emits an acid that lowers pH and can turn the water a tea or yellow color. People use it in very small amounts buried in the substrate. The acid in the substrate helps break down minerals so plants can better use them, but it does not provide any minerals or nutrients of its own. If you use too much in the substrate it can cause problems. People also use Peat in their filters for the purpose of strictly lowering the pH or making the water softer. It can trigger spawning of some fish that come from a soft water enviornment.

Light is the single most critical issue and the chief reason why plants die off during the first attempt at a plant tank.
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