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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi there

I'm new to aquariums still, had my tank set up for about a month now and everythings growing in really nicely :)

It's a 15 gal (of which about 10gal is actually water after the substrates and driftwood) and thus far i've been using an internal power filter and a waterfall filter, but i'm working on a DIY canister filter to eschew any aesthetic unpleasantness. The new filter is 1.3L, ample space for me to add lots of goodies and move past the basic mechanical filtration i've been running thus far. I want to have ceramic rings (about 500ml worth) and a small bag of purigen to help with the tannins from the driftwood. I recently read though that in a planted tank I should avoid biological filtration which removes the nitrates and ammonia that the horticultural inhabitants would otherwise use. Thoughts?

In terms of fertilisation im using a lesser known product called Plantamin by Tetra. I'm not sure of the composition but i know it has macros like potassium along with trace nutrients like iron and manganese, it's been working well so far, but there are no nitrates or phosphates

Finally I'm getting two nano CO2 diffusers in a few days and I want to set up twin DIY injection. Is it safe to leave these diffusers in after lights out? During the day the plants are treated to sunlight in addition to 3900 lumens of 6500K from a compact fluorescent (works out to about 5wpg?) so im assuming the plants squeeze every last drop of CO2 out of the water, maybe the nocturnal buildup wont be so bad, thoughts?

I know it's been wordy, I just wanted to give you the best idea of my situation, thanks!
 

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Read the article reference in the first post in this thread:
http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/forumapc/new-planted-aquariums/8790-basics.html

Also, in the New to Planted Tanks forum read the sticky about Parts 1 and 2 New Set-Up Guide.

You'll need more than potassium and micros. N and P are important.

DIY CO2 may not produce enough pressure to force air through the ceramic disks in the diffusers (maybe I'm thinking of teh wrong diffuser? ) unless you have 2 bottles hooked up to each one. In any case, DIY doesn't usually produce enough CO2 for you to have to worry about leaving it going over-night. Just make sure you have a little surface agitaion.

Bacteria (biological filtration) is not a bad thing in a planted tank. You'll depend on it to some degree. But the plants will carry the bulk of the load of water purifying.

-Dave
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The nano CO2 diffusers work fine, they're tiny :)

But it's 2 bottles and 2 diffusers, also there's a film on the surface that's always there, so i'm guessing regardless of surface agitation there's not much of a gas exchange going on there, hope they'll be okay, it's only 10 gal, i think i'll give it a go anyway

As for the ferts, unfortunately this is it for the local market, most of the shops don't even know there are plants that aren't plastic. I'm hoping they get enough N from loose plant matter and fish waste.

The plants are going NUTS though, and thus far very minimal algae thankfully (there ain't any otos here either), tons of runners and huge growth every day, so i hope i'm at least doing something right.
 
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