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New to plants, heres my setup + question
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JayJay_65
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Joined: 17 Nov 2009

PostPosted: 2011.04.02(Sat)12:14    Post subject: New to plants, heres my setup + question Reply with quote

My setup:

I have a few anubias, and some java fern.. I just recently bought a simple setup for CO2 that allows my tank and its plants to enjoy CO2, and also I bought a "Coralife High Output 36" T5 dual lamp" for my 38G long.. It has 2 lights in it, both 39 watts, one is yellow (I was told this is for the plants), and one is blue (to cancel out the yellow look and to make it more appealing for the viewer).. I also bought fertalizer for my tank substrate...


Now heres my question:

Besides the anubias and the java ferns I mentioned before, I have dwarf hairgrass and http://www.aquahobby.com/garden/e_Hemianthus_callitrichoides.php, now.. how can I help aid the growth in these two plants to carpet my tank?? Thank you for all advice!
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carpalstunna
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Joined: 25 Mar 2011
Location: Canton, OH

PostPosted: 2011.04.02(Sat)20:42    Post subject: Reply with quote

Seachem makes a 3 pack of liquid ferts I have used with success. Flourish, excel and iron. I found that dosing these according to the instructions was very helpfel. Especially excel.
What time of subtrate do you have? If you just have plain gravel and your tank is already set up you can buy flourite and just mix it in to your existing gravel. Rinse it well first though or your water will be very cloudy. If your tank isnt setup yet you can do a first layer laterite as well. I found that plants will be much heartier and grow thicker with a good substrate but you can get buy without it.
don't get carried away with lighting/C02/fertilizers right away or you will have a beautiful tank of algae. Especially with newly actimated plants they won't be able to absorb all of the fertilizers and CO2 right away and the leftovers go to the algae.
I would start with an 8 hr light cycle, do a bubble every 3-5 seconds of C02 and dose fertilizers at 25% of the recommended amount then very gradually increase this over the first few months while carefully monitoring algae. A well established planted tanks takes several months/a year and trying to rush it will just create a mess in your tank. Especially with slow growers like anubius you don't want the leaves to be covered by unsitely algae.
I also highly reccomend some ottocinclus in a planted tank for algae control. They do great and keep my plants leaves clean.
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jsuereth
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Joined: 22 Aug 2010
Location: Pittsburgh, PA USA

PostPosted: 2011.04.03(Sun)10:22    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quick question: Do you have fish in the tank?

Easiest way to get DHG and HC to carpet is to dry-start it (no CO2 injection necessary). Then, once you flood the tank, you'll need to put in co2 (at least, for HC I heard it's very sensitive).

All of my DHG has come from emmersed (out of water) growth and made the transition with flying colors. I have no hands on experience w/ HC. I avoid it because it requires CO2 Smile

Also, what kind of substrate do you have?
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JayJay_65
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Joined: 17 Nov 2009

PostPosted: 2011.04.03(Sun)22:57    Post subject: Reply with quote

my fish:
7 harlequin rasboras (I want to add more)
2 SMALL angels (I'm going to take them out when they get big)
1 Albino bushynose pleco (I'm probably going to take him out once the tank is more planted, but for now I'm keeping him)
1 Bosemani Rainbowfish
3 Dojo Loaches (probably taking them out very soon even though I really don't want to)


my substrate, I'm not sure to be honest, I didn't quite look at the bag.. my buddy at my job (I work at my LFS) who is AMAZING with planted tanks (hes the specialist there) told me that I should get it, so I did. Ill take a look when I go to work next on thursday..

But I bought a (not so simple) "simple" CO2 system of which is not working for me... heres what it is

http://www.fosterandsmithaquatics.com/product/prod_display.cfm?pcatid=6318[url]

however, I am looking for a better CO2 system.. anybody have any ideas? I'm hoping for it to be less then 300$[/url]
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carpalstunna
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Joined: 25 Mar 2011
Location: Canton, OH

PostPosted: 2011.04.04(Mon)8:47    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well if you bought it at a LFS and its for plants I bet its flourite. So thats good if you have the proper substrate. Since you already have fish I feel a dry start would be, well, not possible unless you have another tank. No worries though I was in the same situation and introduced plants later and was successful.
As for CO2 if you are willing to drop that kind of money you definitely should go pressurized. I have heard good things about this regulator and its only 70 bucks.
http://www.aquaticeco.com/subcategories/737/AZOO-CO2-Pressure-Regulator
they also sell the tanks there and I think they are around 50 dollars. Its has a selonoid which means you can put it on a timer to only run when your lights are on. Then find a decent diffuser/reactor and I would say you have a pretty nice, automated, CO2 system for around 200 bucks. The nice this about pressurized is you should be able to accurately control your CO2 output starting with few bubbles at first and then gradually increasing as your plants mature. [/url]
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JayJay_65
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Joined: 17 Nov 2009

PostPosted: 2011.04.04(Mon)10:23    Post subject: Reply with quote

okay so now when I buy this regulator, I need the tubing of course, and also the metal bottle of CO2.. what else do I need to buy?
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Darkblade48
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Joined: 21 Jun 2004
Location: Yokohama, Japan

PostPosted: 2011.04.04(Mon)18:55    Post subject: Reply with quote

JayJay_65 wrote:
okay so now when I buy this regulator, I need the tubing of course, and also the metal bottle of CO2.. what else do I need to buy?

You will need some method of diffusing your CO2, such as an inline reactor or a glass diffuser with a ceramic disc.

A solenoid may be helpful as well, if you want to put your CO2 on a timer.

I would also replace the needle valve on that particular regulator setup, if you decide to purchase it.
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carpalstunna
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Joined: 25 Mar 2011
Location: Canton, OH

PostPosted: 2011.04.06(Wed)7:48    Post subject: Reply with quote

Darkblade is right that I have heard the needle valve on that can be a litte touchy, However I feel that is something you could always upgrade later. The needle valve is really what controls how much CO2 is coming out of your tank so a cheaper one may be hard to get dialed in. I think at first it would be adequate and an affordable way to get started. The thing about pressurized CO2 is most systems can be upgraded a piece at a time so you can buy what you need to get running. Find out what works for you and what doesn't and tweak and upgrade from there. All the advice in the world is great but sometimes you need to get your hands on stuff and see what you like and dislike.

The item in the link I sent you has a solenoid included so you are good there. The reason a solenoid is beneficial is that its an electronic way to start and stop the flow of CO2 so as darkblade said you can then put it on a timer. They sell the tanks on that website too. This is a better link, shows tank as well as prices. Both for $103
http://www.aquaticeco.com/subcategories/4280/AZOO-CO2-Pressure-Regulator/CO2%20tank/0

You can get airline pretty much anywhere. A bubble counter is cheap, you can go to drs foster and smith they have a cheap one or you can make your own, just google, DIY bubble counter. The purpose of a bubble counter is so well, you can count the bubbles and see how much CO2 is going into your tank.

Drs foster and smith also has a real cheap glass diffuser that would get you by until you wanted to upgrade or you could use an airstone. The purpose of a diffuser or airstone is basically to break the CO2 bubbles into tiny bubbles so more gets absorbed by your water.
Here is another option on a regulator, this has solenoid and bubble counter
http://www.aquaticeco.com/subcategories/736/CO2-Regulator-with-Bubble-Counter/CO2%20tank/0

I guess my philosophy on this is don't break the bank buying things and then find out it just doesn't work for you. I say buy something that is adequate and upgradeable and decide where to spend your money. Maybe you will find that once you start CO2 injection you need to upgrade you lights. If you spent all your money on your CO2 system you may not really be better off. All of these items can be upgraded and I am sure in a year or so you may feel its worth it.
Also I like the fist link I sent you because its sleek and can easily be put in a cabinet or hidden and at my house, my wife tells me thats important.

I tried to explain why you need each piece and hopefully that helps.
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