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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I’ve done the research, read 1000’s of posts on various forums, babble fished so much German and Japanese my browser is confused, sought out and joined a local aquatic plant assoc, asked for hardware advice (actually listened too) and now I’m ready to go. Pieces and parts have been ordered and I figure in the next 2 – 3 weeks initial setup will be complete.

That all leads to…

How many plants do I need??

Figuring on fast growing stem plants.

Tank: 120 Gal 48*24*24
Lighting: 4.1WPG MH
CO2 System: Yes, pressurized.
Substrate: Eco-Complete 80%, Tahitian Moon Sand 20%

Experience: 30+ years in hobby, 4+ years working in lfs, 8 years commercial tank maint, 3 years into ichthyology degree (never finished). This is my first FW Planted tank.



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gnatster
 

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You should start with as many plants as you can. I think like 80% coverage at first planting. Just get as many cheap fast growing plants as you can and stuff em in there at first, then, once the tank gets going, you can remove some in favor of more showy plants and slower growers.
 

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Its hard to give a number, but start putting them into the tank. Stem plants about 1.5 inches apart. Keep doing it until you have no more room! Even stuff the front of the tank with extra stuff. You can always remove it later. You can never put enough in. Just make sure that everything that needs light gets it. Don't have one plant shade another.

Just my 2 cents.

You didn't mention nutrients, but with 4.1 W/G, I would go with 10 ppm NO3, 2 ppm PO4, and 2 ppm Fe, all twice per week, with a 50% weekly water change to ultimately limit the nutrients to an absolute maximum.

Steve Pituch
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Its hard to give a number, but start putting them into the tank
I realize it's difficult to say "You need X # of bunches of Y".

Stem plants about 1.5 inches apart
Given a foot print of 48*24 that works out to 16 rows of 32, 512 individual stems. Thats end to end, corner to corner. 30 rows of 14 leaves some space round the edges and is only (lol) 420 stems.

You didn't mention nutrients, but with 4.1 W/G, I would go with 10 ppm NO3, 2 ppm PO4, and 2 ppm Fe, all twice per week, with a 50% weekly water change to ultimately limit the nutrients to an absolute maximum.
Thread drift....

My understanding, and please correct me if incorrect, is that for the first 2-3 weeks I should not add nutrients.

I have been following the thread on clean up crew's, and intend on raiding the lfs's in the area, have some decent ones round these parts, for shrimp and otto's during the first week of operation.

Thanks

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gnatster
 

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Dear gnatster,

Well personally I disagree on holding off on the nutrient additions. I think that will just stunt the plants. If the plants start growing right away there is no such thing as having to cycle the planted tank.

I also meant stem and non-stem plants, but wanted to be sure that you knew to plant the stems plants individually. Sorry.

Steve
 
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