Aquatic Plant Forum banner
1 - 3 of 3 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
852 Posts
ruuskystar,

First of all, welcome to APC! You're in the right place :)

If you want a low-maintenance tank, you might want to try a non-CO2 setup. They are very stable and easy to maintain. Some of the basic tenets of fishkeeping (specifically water changes) are all but discarded with this method.

For a non-CO2 setup, I personally prefer a mix of peat moss and topsoil under a layer of regular aquarium gravel. The soil/peat mixture for me is usually .5-.75 inches in depth, whereas the gravel is 1-2 inches deep. To create space in a 10 gallon, you might want to keep the total substrate at 2.5 inches or less.

The path of fertilization with a non-CO2 setup is through fish food. Fish food contains all of the nutrients plants need, and with slightly lower light and no injected CO2, the plants will have plenty of nutrients to maintain good growth. Maintenance (i.e., pruning, etc.) is much less with this sort of setup, but growth is slower and your species options are a bit less. This is not to say, however, that a beautiful tank cannot be accomplished with this method.

Alternatively, you can opt for the so-called "high-tech" setup, where you can include injected CO2 (pressurized is best, in my opinion, since maintaining 30+ ppm with a DIY setup is very difficult...and I personally don't use a pH monitor--to me it's an unnecessary and peripheral frill), a specific substrate, weekly water changes, and fertilizers. A little more light than for a non-CO2 tank should be used.

I assume you have a fixture left over from your salt tank. How many watts is it?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
852 Posts
Left over from my salt water setup is a 96watt power compact light
That's 9.6 watts per gallon (wpg). You're not going to need anywhere near that much for a planted tank whether it is CO2 injected or not. Non-CO2 setups do fine in the 1.5-2.5 wpg range. In my opinion, 2-2.25 is best. If you want to inject CO2, 2-4 wpg is typically plenty. I use 5.5 wpg with my current setup and it's swiftly becoming apparent that i have too much light.

Do you have any links of setups of people who are doing the method you suggested to me so I can read up some more?
Tom Barr uses this method with some of his tanks. I'll look into finding links for you, but here is a picture of a setup I had several years ago using the aforementioned method (please pardon the lack of coherent aquascaping):


Also, what are some of the plant species that I could try with my light and no Co2...
Some genera I recommend:

- Anubias
- Echinodorus
- Cryptcoryne
- Hygrophila
- Microsorum
- Vesicularia
- Vallisneria
- Sagittaria
- Bacopa
- Ludwigia

Not all species in these genera will do well with a non-CO2 setup, but that is a substantial palette for a beginning planted tank.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
852 Posts
ruuskystar said:
first off, i'm not opposed to selling my current light to buy something smaller with less watts and getting less k bulbs.
I use 6700K bulbs. They're available and they work. Other people like to use 9325K, which also work but are less available.

I honestly thought by going to live planted tank instead of a marine tank I could have a little easier time maintaining, I suppose I was wrong in my thinking.
You weren't wrong in your thinking :) The major aspects of planted tank maintenance are pruning and fertilizers, both of which are reduced with a non-CO2 system.

so what is the easiest and best way you guys inject co2 in your systems? I mean i've been reading alot on this site, but haven't come across a simple, not high maintanace method yet. the guy from the LFS tried to sell me a 500 dollar unit. Thanks but no thanks I told him. I'm not exactly a super DIY kinda guy either, so any suggestions would be helpful.
The cheapest you'll spend on a pressurized system will be about $150, and it'll be more like $160. I recommend this regulator, it usually runs around $100. You'll want to use it with a 2.5 lb or 5 lb cylinder on a 10 gal. These you can get at welding supply stores or fire extinguisher/equipment stores and run $50-$70, usually. Then all you need is good tubing and, depending on your filtration system, a way to get the CO2 into the tank.

I'm also still interesting in this non co2 method, if all I have to do is get a less watt light that shouldn't be a problem at all.
Soil + gravel + 1.5-2.5 wpg = non-CO2 tank. They're asy to maintain.

ps error...that tank you posted would be something that I want. I might aquascape differently, but that is pretty much what i'm going for. what size is that tank? i really like the small grass like plants in the front...the tanks that look the best to me so far have been the ones that have the entire bottom covered in short, full plants like that...and then designed with caves and rocks and larger plants around..etc...alot of the tanks on AGA Aquascaping site are great for inspiration...
That's a 46 gallon bowfront. The plants in the front are Echinodorus tenellus, commonly known as "Pygmy Chain Sword". This is a species that is easy to maintain.
 
1 - 3 of 3 Posts
Top