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Old 05-28-2006, 08:26 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default setting up a 10 gallon

hey there... so i decided to stop lurking:

After reading up a little on planted aquariums early in the morning, I was a little hasty and bought a few plants on aquariumplants.com

I have a 10 gallon with seachem flourite substrate and a HOB filter...

I recently ordered an AH 1x36 watt Bright Kit, and have one of those Hagen CO2 ladders.

Maybe it was a bad move for a newbie who hitherto thought aquatic plants could be grown by just throwing it into the tank as is, but an impulse buy is exactly what it is...an impulse

i got some riccia, java moss, hemianthus micranthemoides, glossostigma, pennywort and alternanthera reineckii.

Granted that I know a little something about water chemistry and have a 40 gallon discus tank, is my set up gonna last or is this a disaster in the making?

I've read up on how to plant the tank and should have enough to plant pretty heavily, but all i'm gonna do is set everything up and add water. I'm a bit iffy on the CO2 injection and fertilization. Should these be introduced from the get-go? Is fertilization with Seachem Flourish enough for this tank?

looking forward to some feedback, bitternut.
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Old 05-28-2006, 09:46 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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Hey Welcome to the Unlurked side of the forum!

Looks like you got your lighting and plants setup. I'm glad you went with the 36 watt kit, you'll be delighted and ppleased when you install it, and your plants respond in the positive.

Those plants and basically any other will last in those lighting conditions. Flourish Excel for CO2 could be used, or you can run the hagen unit, which is good also. Maybe a combo of both for best results...

Flourish won't be enough for fertilzers, you'll need Nitrogen, Potassium and Phosphates too. There's a couple of stickies in the fertilization section that direct you to how to dose, and where to get some of these ferts. Gregwatson.com is basically where I'm telling you where to get them..

Add ferts, co2, and excel from the get go to avoid algae problems. With a 36 watt kit over a 10, you're pumping a lot of light and keeping up ferts is Very necessary or all sorts of algae will occur. I have a 36 watt over my 10 right now and had an algae outbreak because my CO2 levels were low, and I didn't add enough ferts.

-John N.
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Old 05-28-2006, 10:55 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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thanks for replying!
I read your EI sticky in the fertilization section and it seems like more work than I anticipated. Will the 50% water change in the very beginning effect the cycling of the tank? Also, when would it be OK to add fish to the tank, do I just test for nitrates? Iit seems like that would be useless because of the KNO3 nitrogen source.

Would you recommend buying a pound of Greg Watson KNO3 and KH2PO4 and Flourish Excel to cover the essential macro and micro nutrients? Also, do you know if there is a difference between Greg Watson fertilizers and other dry ferts? Because i remember seeing some random powders at my LFS.

Lastly, how does the EI regimen differ from PPS, I had a hard time understanding that one. Does EI also require phosphate testing? I'd rather just dump it in and change the water once a week.

thanks!
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Old 05-28-2006, 11:08 PM   #4 (permalink)
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You should get the chemicals you mentioned from Greg's site but if i were you i would buy CSM+B as well for your micros. It is soooo much cheaper in the long run then buying countless bottles of liquid micros. Also you might want to get some potassium sulfate for the sulfur that your plants need. If your LFS has chemicals that have all the proper elements in them then you can get the ferts from there, but Greg's stuff really is the cheapest around.

As for the 50% WC it won't affect the cycling of your tank b/c planted tanks don't cycle. The bacteria doesn't break down the wastes all the way through the nitrogen cycle because the plants take up the nitrogen before it completes the trip. So basically your tank is stuck in a perpetual half-way-cycled state where the nitrogenous wastes are present but the end product is not (like it is in fish only tanks). Bottom line is it should be fine to change some of the water.

Not totally sure about the diff. between EI and PPS. For me i do exactly what you suggested, add ferts and WC once a week. This method works well since you know your plants are getting enough food b/c you can overdose a little, but you change the water at the end of the week so the nutrients don't build up and cause problems.
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Old 05-28-2006, 11:33 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Excel would be for CO2 supplementation.

Plantex CSM + B for trace micro elements
The other chemicals for macro elements.

I would recommend what Zapins said, and what you have concluded.

Based on my limited knowledge of PPS, PPS is measuring out the exact fert needs for one's tank in the beginning by testing and measuring the uptake rates of the plants. For example, I dose 1 tsp of Nitrogen compound, and the next day I test and I see that All the nitrogen is consumed according to my test kit. I add more to the dosage until there seems to be more nitrogen addition than I need. Once one establishes how much the plants take of each chemical, it then becomese routine to add X amount of a chemical to meet the plant's uptake rate from the water.

EI is overloading the take with nutrients and doing the 50% waterchange to reset the system. No testing, no measurng specific uptake rates. Idea is to have more nutrients then necessary, and reseting with a waterchange at the end of the week to start over.

-John N.
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Old 05-28-2006, 11:35 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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thanks, that makes a lot more sense.

So should i wait a few weeks before I add any fish or once i get my fert/lighting/co2 schedule down?

Also, last summer i tried to start up a planted tank in the very same 10 gallon tank with the flourite. Because of insufficient lighting, all the plants died and was smothered by green hair algae and Blue green algae. I went to school during the year and the tank was cleared of all debris but was left stagnant for a few months. All algae died. I rinsed the substrate a couple times and left it to dry. Do you think it's still good to use?
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Old 05-28-2006, 11:44 PM   #7 (permalink)
 
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The flourite will be good to use without any further problems given that you tend to the fert and CO2 conditions recommended above.

You can add fish immediately once you have your plants in there. I personally like to give the plants a chance to root and get settled in the tank before adding the fish. Fish tend to make it hard to rescape, and sometimes even pull up a plant before it gets the chance to root. But in terms of cycling and bacteria, the plants should have enough bacteria and will do the bio filtration of the waste to minimize the cycle. It won't hurt to wait a few days before adding fish, but it's not necessary.

Enjoy the setup processes, take it slow with fish, plants and everything else. Good luck

-John N.
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Old 05-29-2006, 06:59 PM   #8 (permalink)
 
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I am going to use a whisper HOB for a 20 gallon for filtration. Is this good enough for my setup? Also, is there any reason i should/shouldn't use carbon in the filter cartridge? I can't afford a canister at this point in time.

Also, my plants may arrive before i get Bright Kit, in which case it may go a few days with a 15watt Powerglo flourescent light. Do you think my plants can last a few days (maybe even a week) before I get proper lighting? If so, should I still fertilize and introduce CO2 before I add the 36 watts?
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Old 05-29-2006, 07:31 PM   #9 (permalink)
 
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The HOB will be fine. Keep the water level high to avoid surface aggitation that outgases whatever CO2 you decided to inject DIY. If you use Excel for CO2 then don't worry about degases Excel since it's not a gas form of carbon.

No carbon in the filter because carbon will suck out the nutrients that plants need to grow. You can use carbon for the first week of start up to clear any unwanted particles, but after that it's better to take it out.

The plants will do okay, until your new light comes. I would add CO2 but no ferts. Extra CO2 doesn't hurt, but extra ferts might let algae get the upper hand before the plants get full established. Reasoning being, the plants under low light won't be using or needing a full nutrient load since their hunger drive isn't being driven by 15w of light. Algae likes all conditions and will take those excess ferts, and thrive. Extra CO2 will help prevent algae in this case and in most cases.

-John N.
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Old 06-07-2006, 01:55 PM   #10 (permalink)
 
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My plants arrived today, and so far, it is a mess. I had not expected the glossostigma to be so hard to plant, and i bought WAY too many bunches of it and don't know what to do with the rest. I tied some riccia and java moss to my drift wood, only to remember that i forgot to soak my driftwood, so its just floating upside down with the plants hanging upside down.

As for my extra glosso, would it be a good idea to try planting it emmersed for the meantime, and if so, how do i go about doing that?
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