Aquatic Plant Forum banner

1 - 8 of 8 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I'm going to be attempting to plant my 28 gallon aquarium soon. I say attempting because I've tried many times before without any success. Here's a little info on my tank to start out:
28 gallons; soft water; ph is around 8
Light is a Hagen GLO T5 HO, 2x24 watts.
Substrate is just natural gravel.
No CO2 in the past, but I know that's been one of my problems - too much light and not enough CO2. I'll be doing DIY when I start planting this time. I have dabbled around with ferts before, but I'm going to do a regular fert routine this time.

So here's my couple questions:
What are the best fertilizers to use? I was thinking Seachem Flourish and Flourish Excel.
Should I change my substrate to EcoComplete? Will it really benefit me any, or is it worth the $50? My tank is about a year old, so the substrate I have has a lot of bacteria already.
If I were to change the substrate to EcoComplete, would I need to recycle the tank, since I would lose all the bacterial growth in my old substrate?
Should I be testing for anything else in my water beside ammonia, trates, trites, and ph? Things like GH and KH?

Any other advice is very appreciated.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
7,429 Posts
Soft water with a pH of 8 means something isn't right, unless by soft you mean just low in calcium and magnesium. That is where a GH test kit would be useful. A pH of 8 would normally mean your KH is about 10 degrees of KH, and that is very hard water. So, measuring KH would be useful too.

You can grow plants with almost any substrate if it has 2-3 mm size particles. Eco Complete is good, and you could probably see a difference with it, but it isn't essential.

The light you have is pretty close to high light intensity, if it isn't high light. That means you really need CO2 to keep the plants growing at the rate the light is driving them to grow. If you use DIY CO2, be sure to use two bottles, alternating the changing days so one bottle is always pretty fresh.

Fertilizers will be essential for that much light. That means nitrates, potassium, phosphates and a trace element mix. Just Flourish and Excel won't work for that. Flourish is a good trace element mix, and Excel helps provide a steady source of carbon to supplement the CO2. For the other fertilizers, you can use Flourish nitrogen, F. potassiuim, and F. phosphorous, or you can buy dry fertilzers, KNO3 and KH2PO4.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Well, I must say that I'm about to give up and just sell my tanks. I've gotton so much conflicting advice, spent so many dollars on useless stuff, and have spent way too long looking at a bare tank.

I really appreciate the help hoppycalif, so don't take this like I've not taken your suggestions.

Right now, I just want to be able to get some simple plants to grow. Some swords, wysteria, java ferns. I've had such terrible luck. What are the essential things I should buy this time? Are all those ferts necessary? I'm a high school student without a job, and I simply don't have the money to go buy a hundred dollars of ferts right now. What do I need to just get some plants growing - I can worry about more complex stuff later, once I can at least grow some basic stuff.

Shouldn't I be able to grow some simple plants with the light I have and the substrate I have? Is some of the problem possibly in my water? I looked for a test kit for GH and KH today, but Petco didn't have it (I didn't really expect them too, but it was the only place I could go). I have some Plantabs ferts and some Kent liquid fert (I'm not sure exactly what it is). If my water is "correct", could I get some stuff growing with the lights I have, my substrate, some DIY CO2, and those ferts, or is it absolutely necessary to buy all new ferts and things to get things to even survive in my tank?

I know this all sounds like I'm being uncoroperative, but I simply cannot understand why I can't even get simple plants to survive. I really don't want to spend any more money than is necessary, at least for right now.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
151 Posts
Ferts are cheap if you go the dry fert route i got mine from www.AquariumFertilizers.com I learned how to dose the ferts to my tank by reading this thread. http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/forumapc/fertilizing/15225-estimative-index-dosing-guide.html
From the little that i do know the more light you have the more problems you run into without the proper setup. co2 and ferts is everything without that and with a gravel sub straight you wont get much to grow under high light. This site has helped me a great deal in just getting plants to grow. Take your time and read everything.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
348 Posts
The simple answer would be to just do something, use what you have and learn from it.
Have you tried anything yet? If so what plants? Anubias and Java Fern is pretty bullet
proof so stick with them along with some water sprite maybe.

Your substrate won't grow anything but then most of them won't (ADA/Echo isn't part of this
conversation) so you will need some ferts. You said you have plant-tabs so get some rooted
plants in your tank with those and dose with whatever you have as long as you use the correct
amounts. You can keep plants alive and healthy but they won't grow fast (if any) but the object
here is just to do it.

I would recommend getting $25.00 worth of ferts from aquariumfertilizer.com

CSM+B Plantex.................$12.00
Potassium Sulfate...............$3.00
Potassium Nitrate ..............$3.00
Mono Potassium Phosphate..$5.00
Magnesium Sulfate.............$2.50

But you don't have to do that before you get your plants in the tank. Hopefully you're not buying
your plants from Petco correct? 99% of there plants are not aquatic plants and will die off for 50%
of us.

Try getting small amounts of plants from here on the 'For Sale/Trade' as they are very cheap and of
great quality if you need a big bulk order then e-mail Mark at anubiasdesign.com who is the best
importer I've met for plants and fish he's fair priced, have good products and has a ton of knowledge.

- Brad

Well, I must say that I'm about to give up and just sell my tanks. I've gotton so much conflicting advice, spent so many dollars on useless stuff, and have spent way too long looking at a bare tank.

I really appreciate the help hoppycalif, so don't take this like I've not taken your suggestions.

Right now, I just want to be able to get some simple plants to grow. Some swords, wysteria, java ferns. I've had such terrible luck. What are the essential things I should buy this time? Are all those ferts necessary? I'm a high school student without a job, and I simply don't have the money to go buy a hundred dollars of ferts right now. What do I need to just get some plants growing - I can worry about more complex stuff later, once I can at least grow some basic stuff.

Shouldn't I be able to grow some simple plants with the light I have and the substrate I have? Is some of the problem possibly in my water? I looked for a test kit for GH and KH today, but Petco didn't have it (I didn't really expect them too, but it was the only place I could go). I have some Plantabs ferts and some Kent liquid fert (I'm not sure exactly what it is). If my water is "correct", could I get some stuff growing with the lights I have, my substrate, some DIY CO2, and those ferts, or is it absolutely necessary to buy all new ferts and things to get things to even survive in my tank?

I know this all sounds like I'm being uncoroperative, but I simply cannot understand why I can't even get simple plants to survive. I really don't want to spend any more money than is necessary, at least for right now.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
I dont think your Co2 is enough in the water. If you have bacteria than you should have plenty of nitrates being produce for your plants ... I wouldnt go with plants that need alot of lights Co2, etc... I go with hardy plants that barely need any lights there for dont need much Co2 and will stay very green looking for you. I have a 60 gallon tank lots of fish to produce the waist needed for my plants, a filter to move the nutrients around and nitrates,, etc. Doesnt have carbon in the filter i took that out. Because my plants and do all that. Really you only need Fish,Co2tank,and light. Thats it... Dont waist your money on other stuff.... unless you got the basic down
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
Btw way if you want lots of nutrients cycle your tank once are 2twice a week with tap water... Its got lots of chemical on that list. Or my favorite Rainwater... BUt you have to quarantine the rainwater first...
 
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
Top