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Old 12-23-2012, 07:18 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Planting New High Tech Tank

If you know how to keep the algae from growing you can start with an almost bare tank. Actually you can start with a bare tank. Not joking.

Yes, it is best to use as many plants as you can from the start, no doubt. But the plants also need to be healthy. Otherwise you will get quite a bit of issues with the plant health and have a hard time controlling the factors which let algae grow (organics in the water, release of nutrients from damaged plants, etc.).

The dry start method seems like a good idea but once you feel good about the plants and fill the tank with water the plants go through a transition period that is as sensitive as starting the tank the normal way. So now you have a tank with plants who have supposedly nicely developed and well established roots. But in a tank full of water you have to know the same thing - how to supress the algae growth.

So how do you keep the algae from growing in a high tech tank?
- ADA's take on this is to use rich substrate, water with just enough fertilizers that the plants can grow but there is no free floating chemicals in the water, controlled CO2 supply, staged light periods, very light fish load, very good flow and flow pattern.

- There is also a popular approach that overloads the water with fertilizers, blasts the tank with a extra light and CO2 and makes the plants grow as fast as they can. The algae will not grow if the plants are growing well. How that works exactly is not clear but it is possible to keep a tank clean that way if you stay on top of the maintenance. Many people do just that. But never forget that your water is full of everything that algae needs, at all times. Noone will be able to give you a good advice what to do if algae actually appears.

See which one of the above two makes more sense to you.
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