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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just joined the forum, and after some further reading I am more confused, and i dont want to end up like this
" The unfortunate victims (plants) usually die and are replaced again and again until the beginning hobbyist just gives up and resorts to plastic alternatives."

Anyhow here is my situation and plans.
I run a small aqua one 510 tropical fish tank, and i think the idea of sunken ships and old plastic plants is too cliche. I have decided to go for the all natural look now.

My perfect aquarium: moderate to heavily planted aquarium, no fancy plants just some nicely shaped leaves, some taller species for the back, and some short grassy types for the fore ground maybe some kind of moss, some easy to grow things in between and a couple rocks and some driftwood here and there.
I dont want to go out and buy a $300+ CO2 injector, regulator thingo for this small tank.
I was thinking of just buying lots of these tablets, have not read much about them, but will do some more research.
http://cgi.ebay.com.au/ws/eBayISAPI...1632&_trksid=p3907.m32&_trkparms=tab=Watching
EDIT - One box will last a month, now that i have done the maths, not so ecenomical in the long run.
Will do more research on the DIY method

So what do you think? Can it be done? or am i trying to take water out of a stone, so to speak.
I apologize if these noob questions have been asked a thousand times before.
thanks
Peter
 

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Hey Peter, first off, welcome to apc!

First off, let me say I have no experience with that product. However, my gut is telling me forget about it. If you have a small tank, buy Excel which is an excellent proven source for carbon in a tank, plus it has algae killing properties.
 

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Hi Peter16,

First, welcome to APC! Lots of excellent information and helpful members here to help each other with this interesting and exciting hobby.

I agree with Bert H, either DIY CO2 or Flourish Excel with provide the carbon you plants need for growth. I found a good place to start was to go to the "New to Planted Tanks" subforum on this site and read the "Stickys". That's how I learned about the three basics; light, fertilizers, and CO2.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thankyou for the Welcomes.
Ill read more into this excel product.
I have also been told there are a number of plants that will not need the extra carbon and are simple to grow ? ?

thanks again
Peter
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Forgot to mention, I skimmed over a bunch of stickies last night, but will go back and read through them again, now that i know more, it should make more sense to me.

I have been reading about this flourish excel and it sounds perfect. I assume it doesnt harm the fish.

One other thing, i keep a dozen or so small community fish (gourami, tetras, guppies etc) and 2 snails, will these breeds eat the plants ?
 

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Forgot to mention, I skimmed over a bunch of stickies last night, but will go back and read through them again, now that i know more, it should make more sense to me.

I have been reading about this flourish excel and it sounds perfect. I assume it doesnt harm the fish.

One other thing, i keep a dozen or so small community fish (gourami, tetras, guppies etc) and 2 snails, will these breeds eat the plants ?
When used as directed, no harm to the livestock. The fish you mention should not bother plants. What kind of snails do you have? There are some which could damage plants.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
They are called "mystery snails" Large ones, just bought them yesterday.

My lights are both 15 watts and came standard with the tank, will they be powerful enough ?

At the moment i have an artificial mountainous cave structure (plastic?) and I would like to keep it as the fish really enjoy it, is their a species of plant which will grow over it, something about 10 to 30mm tall, I guess like a ground cover plant.

Im still researching all the varieties of plants, I apologize for the vague description.

Would you be able to give me a link to a photo of a planted tank with labels ? I saw one in the gallery and it was good, how ever only one plant caught my attention, it was called -
Hermianthus Callitrichoides “cuba” Would this species grow over the mountain i mentioned ?
 

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Hermianthus Callitrichoides, or more affectionately called HC would grow over objects under the right conditions, but it won't grow with only 15 watts of light and does much better with pressurized CO2 (or excel).

You will need to invest in a good power compact or T5 light. 15 watts of light (probably tungsten light if I'm right) won't be able to grow much of anything. You might even have problems growing the lowest light plants like moss, anubias and java fern. It might seem like a bit of an investment but its worth it to get the right stuff from the beginning.

Pressurized CO2 doesn't have to cost 300$. On average it should cost about 160$ give or take.

But first work on getting a good light (plants can't grow in the dark - or with bad lights). Then worry about the CO2 at some point in the future.

You might want to have a look at the plant finder application on this site, top left of the site, or the link below.

http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/forumapc/plantfinder/all.php
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
(probably tungsten light if I'm right)
The brand is ZAMP (with a triangle for the "A") Well thats what it says on the globe. the fluroscent one is made in the USA, the regular one in Asia somewhere. they only put out 1400K

What sort of Wattage would i be looking at for my tank? and how many Kelvins.
I read on the site you suggested between 5500 and 7800 should do the trick for freshwater planted tanks ?
 

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From what I can tell the 510 tropical fish tank is roughly 20 gallons. You will need 36watts, 55w or 65w of power compact light depending on whether you want low, medium or high light.

I recommend 55w.

Kelvin is simply the color the bulb emits not how much light. Lumens are a measure of the bulb's intensity. In any case you will want either a 6,700 K or a 10,000 K bulb (more blue). 5,500 will be quite red, annoyingly so. 7,800 K bulbs are harder to find.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
When you measure the length of the globe, do you measure from the tip of one pin, to the other end of the globe?
Or from the tip of one pin, to the tip of the pin at the opposite end?
or do you exclude the pins altogether ?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
Okay, so i have deccided to settle with little 15watt globes, with a total of 30watts, should be enough to grow some simple plants.

What would be the best combination colour wise.
2x 10,000k
or
2x 6,500k
or
1 actinic (spelling?) and one 10,000k
or
1 actinic (spelling?) and one 6,500 k
or
1 6,500k and one 10,000 k ?


Also i have seen some products which are "10k" what colour is that? good for plant growth ?
 

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Actinics are not usable at all for plants. The light specrtem is fine tuned for what would be available under 10-15 meters of salt water. Plants don't grow underwater further than about 2 meters so the actinic color is unusable to them.

2x10,000K will appear slightly more blue to your eyes while 2x6,500 or 6,700K will be more orange-red to your eyes.

To the plants, 10,000 or 6,500 will be fine, it is a matter of personal choice, do you want more blue or more red? You can also mix and match, but one side of the tank will be more red and the other side will be more blue, which might look a bit odd.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Going to have a stab at the DIY C02,
I have everything i need, but a diffuser.

I have been searching the site, for diy diffusers but cant find anything.
Anyone have any suggestions.
 

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Hi Peter16,

If you have a HOB or canister filter you can feed the CO2 in through the intake tube until you get a diffuser or a reactor. I did that for several months, it worked well and the plants grew great.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Hi Peter16,

If you have a HOB or canister filter you can feed the CO2 in through the intake tube until you get a diffuser or a reactor. I did that for several month, it worked well and the plants grew great.
Sorry what does HOB stand for?
Looked on the abbreviations list, but is not there.
Im run an aqua clear filter on the tank that will have the c02, pretty sure thats canister?

When you say intake tube, do you mean the submerged pipe that sucks in water? Just shove it up that?

I managed to make a pretty good diffuser see:
http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/forumapc/aquascaping/59074-experimenting-new-2-footer-2.html

Scroll down a bit.

Thanks for your help.
 
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