How deep To Plant Etc, Etc, Etc

Discussion in 'Plant Help' started by phantomfisher, 6 Oct 2009.

  1. phantomfisher

    phantomfisher Member

    Messages:
    56
    I am a complete newcomer to planted aquariums altho I do have some fish keeping experience with chiclids in a plantless environment. I have a new 48"x24"x24" tank which I will be planting shortly but have a few questions to ask.

    My substrate is CaribSea Eco Complete which I have to a depth of 3" on top of this there is a Gravel Tidy then a 2" layer of fine gravel (not sand). My first question is how deep should the plants be planted?

    Once I have planted the plants should I allow time for them to root before adding fish and if yes how long?

    I will be using Co2 injection with plenty of light however will I need to feed the plants after they are planted as you might do in a garden and if yes what should I use?

    All advice will be very much appreciated. :?

    Paul
     
  2. Iliveinazoo

    Iliveinazoo Member

    Messages:
    130
    Location:
    Southampton
    Hello phantomfisher,
    The depth of planting varies depending on what type of plant that you're going for, i.e. a bulb such as Aponogeton Crispus can be planted as far into the substrate as you like but the rhizome of Crinum Natans must be above the substrate.

    There is no need to let our plants root before adding fish; if your fish shift around the substrate then the likelihood is that they will dig some plants up anyway no matter how well established they are.
    Unlike fish your plants can be added before the cycle is finished.

    Check out this topic regarding ferts:
    viewtopic.php?f=34&t=1211

    You don't have to go the dry ferts route but you will need to feed your plants CO2, NPK and trace elements. The additional ferts and CO2 become more important the higher your lighting as the high light means that your plants will demand more food, above and beyond your ambient tank levels.
     
  3. phantomfisher

    phantomfisher Member

    Messages:
    56
    Hi Iliveinazoo,

    Many thanks for the information and advice.

    You mentioned 'rhizome of Crinum Natans' what is rhizome?

    I am planning to put predominently Discus in the tank with a few Rams and Cory's so hopefully the substrate will not get disturbed to much. I had a quick glance through the article on the link you provided and there is more to keeping aquarium plants than meets the eye, I will have a good read through the article again tonight and see how much I can actualy retain :crazy:

    I have a good Co2 system (AquaMedic) and reasonable lighting with 4 x 120mm 54W T5's. You mentioned 'NPK and Trace Elements' what is NPK? Is there a propriotary fertiliser you would recommend and what about trace elements are these in the fertiliser or seperate? :?

    One other question re the Gravel Tidy, will the roots find there own way through this or will I need pierce the material to allow the roots through?

    Sorry for all the questions but you know the old saying 'everything is easy when you know how to do it'

    Cheers,

    Paul
     
  4. Iliveinazoo

    Iliveinazoo Member

    Messages:
    130
    Location:
    Southampton
    Yeah it blew my mind a bit at the beginning (I still don't know half as much as the regulars on here though), but EI is quite crude really; if you have high light then saturate your tank with plenty of ferts so there is never a shortage and provide a stable level of CO2 (during the lights-on period, and the higher the light the higher the CO2 should be) so that your plants can take in the available nutrients. Over time you will be able to judge whether to adjust the dosage up or down to suit your tanks needs.

    The rhizome is where the leaves meet the roots, it is more pronounced on Crinum Natans and other 'onion plants' and with 'onion plants' it is crucial to keep it above the substrate.

    NPK = Nitrate, Phosphate and Potassium. Some fertilisers are trace elements only so you need to look at the ingredients. I've only used 1 type of liquid fertiliser but unfortunately I can't remember the name and I was very sporadic with the dosage so couldn't comment on how good it was, I soon moved onto the dry ferts mentioned in that post and have discovered the benefits of lower dosing more often than higher dosing not so often. I suppose as long as your fertiliser provides NPK and trace elements it will do the job.

    Unfortunately I have never used a gravel tidy so I can't comment on that one either :(
     
  5. baron von bubba

    baron von bubba Member

    Messages:
    333
    Location:
    stroud, glos
    what is a gravel tidy?

    dont get to carried away with the lighting at start up, certainly not a good idea to use any more than 2 of your tubes at the beginning. getting the CO2 levels and flow right are far more important, with this in mind its probably better to wait a little while before you add the fish.
    its hard to not be overwhelmed at first, but it does get easier!
    if i were you i'd definitely look into the dry ferts and mix your own as you have a large tank, altho if money is not a concern then off the shelf ferts are possibly a bit simpler.
    Tropica plant nutrition+ (TPN+) is a very popular brand of ferts around here it seems. its a complete fert so is all thats needed. TPN (without the +) has no nitrates or phosphates.
     
  6. phantomfisher

    phantomfisher Member

    Messages:
    56
    Thanks Iliveinazoo for the other info, I expect I will get there in the end, I just hope not to many plants suffer before I get there :)

    Hi baron von bubba, a gravel tidy is a plastic mesh sheet that is used to seperate different levels of substrate. for example in my tank I have a 3" layer of ecco complete substrate but I wanted a lighter colour for the bottom of the tank so by placing a gravel tidy sheet over the ecco complete layer I was able to add a top layer of fine light coloured gravel. The gravel tidy ensures the two layers do not mix causing an almighty mess. The principle seems sound unfortunately the instructions that come with it are a bit vague :? I suspect that if the roots are above the gravel tidy they will find their own way through the perforations to the ecco complete layer below, I really just wanted confirmation that this would be the case.

    I expect I will go with a proprietary liquid fert initially until things settle a bit then I think I will experiment with the dry option as per the link Iliveinazoo kindly provided.

    If anybody else on the forum knows anything about gravel tidies and there correct use then all advice as usual would be welcomed :thumbup:
     
  7. Iliveinazoo

    Iliveinazoo Member

    Messages:
    130
    Location:
    Southampton
    So the gravel tidy has lots of little holes scattered around? My guess is that the roots will find their way down to the eco complete with the only problem coming when replanting or moving stuff around; the roots will grow quite long and possibly tie themselves around other roots while under the gravel tidy meaning that as you lift a plant out you may either damage the root system and/or pull up the gravel tidy.

    It would probably be best, if you do want to relocate your plants in the future to trim the roots while the plant is still planted so you can move it away easily and avoid any damage, just be sure to watch out for the inevitable ammonia spike while the roots that are left decompose.
     

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