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starting your 1st planted tank, for newbies!

2056 Views 5 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  trenac
This is not a joke and this is not to offend anyone at all. I myself, am not an expert on planted tanks, but am finding it alittle more easier from all the APC members, and I personally want to take the time and say a big THANK YOU'S :D .
The reason I am writting this topic is, once in a while I get these newbies who always ask a whole lot of questions, but I'm not the expert so I just give'em the basic advice. "what do you plan on growing, in what tank, do you CO2?, etc" And for all the unanswered questions I tell them about APC, AB, MFT, my 3 favorite sites including others.
So I just wanted to add some things for the newbies in aquascaping on what they should buy when starting their own tanks, and I hope other APC member will put their 2 cents in to make it all enjoyable.
First things first:
1) what size tank are you going to do the planting, or should I say start off with a low tech tank and then work your way up. ( their are some who catch on fast and start off at novice levels)
2) lighting, always go for compact fluorescents, never incadescents. And get alittle more than the recommended WPG.
3) I guess cycling (never did this)
4) do you CO2? If you have the money, buy yourself a regulator , cylinder, and diffusor
5)substrate, never plain old gravel, doesn't have any have any nutritional value for plant roots.
Too tired, maybe someone else can take off or fill in the gaps.
And please no criticisms!!!
Thanks :D
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if they got the money i would recommend the ph controller of one kind or another not totally necessary but i found it easier to keep the ph where i want 24 hours a day :lol:
1) Great advice, start out easy with a low light/low tech tank. Then move to a high light/high tech tank if that is your desire.

2) Your right no incandescents, they produce to much heat and little to no beneficial light for plants. Like you I think PC fixtures are the best but for a low light/low tech tank you can go with regular fluorescents plant bulbs (5000k-10000k) with a good reflector.

3) Cycling is not needed for a planted tank, since you have the plants taking the bad stuff out keeping the tank from having ammonia/nitrite spikes, associated with a normal cycle in a non-planted tank. Here is a link on this subject... (look under cycling)

4) With a low light/low tech tank C02 is really not needed. Once you reach 2-3WPG you can do DIY pop bottle C02 in tanks 55G or below. In tanks 55G and larger and/or 3WPG +, pressurized C02 is needed.

5) Again good advice, substrates like Eco-complete/Fluorite are the best to use for a planted tank. However, another option is to use a natural plain gravel with addition of root tabs for the roots or a mixture of plant substrate and regular gravel (50/50).

So glad to hear that APC as helped you out. I can see you have learned a great deal :D
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How Much Flourite to use? a pound per gallon??
I usually go 1lb a gallon or alittle more. So if I have a 10 gallon tank, I would want 10lbs of substrate or alittle more. It depends on what you are planting.
jeffhardy55555 said:
How Much Flourite to use? a pound per gallon??
Here is a link to calculate how much you need to use...
Go for 2-3" of depth.
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