New Planted Advice

ruairimcq

New Member
I'm hoping to get a few ideas with regard setting up a planted tank. I've got a 2' Aquaone nano 60. 100 litre. I've tried a planted set up a couple of times with this tank but didn't have all the right equipment. I think I'm set up to get it right this time.

The substrate is tropica aquasoil.

The filter is built into the back of the tank (see pics). I'll be using a wave maker to ensure good circulation. I've kept a couple of plants in from last attempt that have very little or no hair algae growth, in the hope of salvaging them. I don't know what they are called. The floating water lettuce had no algae so intend to keep it, too.
I've ordered plants online that should arrive in a few days. They include
- elocharis parvula hairgrass x 4
- Alternanthera reineckii
- Hygrophila rosae
- Shinnersia rivularis
- Bacopa caroliniana
- Lagenandra meeboldii

Still toying with the idea of getting some decent wood to put moss on but haven't bought anything yet.

I'm using co2 and will set solenoid to switch on only half an hour before lights go on. Off when the lights go out. I'd figured that 10 - 12 bubbles per minute would be good for this 100 litre tank.

I'm using Fluval Planted Light 3.0. I've no idea what colours and strengths to use really so plan to have 30 minute sunrise and sunset with 4 hours at about 65% warm white, cold white with red and yellow slightly lower. Read somewhere to bring blue up to low figure of 20% and gradually decrease during time lights are on. Lights on for 4 hours daily for a week or so then gradually increase up to six hours. Then I can start increasing the % of the various colours from the light once they are on 6 hours a day ensuring to keep the blue level low. Right?

I intend to use Seachem's Flourish with about 1ml every other day. I'll use a syringe so I can be reasonably accurate.

Fish are neon tetra, galaxy raspbora, apistogramma cacatoide and about 6 snails. Going to remove the rocks, give them a clean and give a good thorough clean to tank and filter. Usually I do water change of about 40% every 7 - 10 days.

Am I on a path that sounds like it should be pretty successful?

Thanks for reading. Help around lighting is especially welcome.


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alto

Member
Check your water supplier for an analysis of your tap water, there will likely be seasonal variances (and reports)

I’d remove the fish during the tank rescape as it’s much easier to plant in damp soil than underwater soil - also likely less stressful for fish to be kept quietly elsewhere

Filipe Oliveira shows fish transfer details in this video
(if you add a small internal filter such as Eheim Miniup or low flow pump, fish will be fine overnight etc, though I recommend daily 50% water changes if fish will remain longer)

 

alto

Member
As shown in the video, perspective increases with substrate height ranging from low (front) to back (high); depending on plant species, plan on 3-4cm at front to 10-15cm at back

You don’t need to plant as heavily as shown in some of the aquascaping videos (especially Green Aqua), you do want to plant heavily from the beginning

(note the many small plants with some space between in the back areas - this is close to what you’d like to see, some soil with lots of plants :))

 

alto

Member
I’m not a Fluval light fan so won’t comment on this light, there are quite a few videos and lots of discussion on US forums about its use and settings

I have lights on for minimum 5-6h (not including start up if you’re doing sunrise/sunset effects, just keep these to 15-30min each rather than hours), 4 seems short

I’m more of a Kessil fan, no matter how you adjust their lights, they are set up to deliver suitable plant spectrum (based upon various plant studies), presumably Fluval has included some preset programs that ensure the same, so I suggest beginning there and doing small adjustments
 

alto

Member
CO2 - depending on your water parameters, you may want to begin this 30min to 4hours before lights on, and stop CO2 at least an hour before lights off
Measuring CO2 rates in bps, works well for your own accounting, but tends not to be very comparable between systems (bubble counters, diffuser, surface agitation etc etc), so you may want to include a drop checker or pH profile etc
Note in very soft water, CO2 is much more immediately available and it’s much easier to “gas” your fish, even with relatively low bps


FWIW, using a Tropica diffuser with built in check valve and bubble counter, I ran my 90x45x55h cm aquarium with 2-3bps, my tap water is 0-1KH, 1-2GH, pH ~6.4
Aquarium water pH 6.0-6.4 (no added KH or GH as I keep softwater fish, often wild caught)
I use Tropica aquarium soil and fertilizers (limited water column dosing - watch Filipe Oliveira, Jurijs mit JS videos for dosing level suggestions)
 

alto

Member
I intend to use Seachem's Flourish with about 1ml every other day. I'll use a syringe so I can be reasonably accurate.

This fertilizer contains only micronutrients, so I suggest also using a fertilizer with macronutrients (NPK) such as Tropica Specialized etc

If you’ve good access to Seachem products, check out their Aqua Vitro line for planted Aquariums :)
 
Last edited:

Luketendo

Member
I run a 60p tank with 10 hours per day from ADA Aquasky RGB (40w of light) and CO2 at several bps coming on 1.5 hours before lights. Then I have the CO2 turning off and switching back on for 30 mins per hour at the start of the day, gradually reducing the proportion of each hour for the rest of the day. I have a handheld pH probe and found that this gives me the highest concentration of CO2 the fish can tolerate at the start of the day and then keeps the pH steady (and presumably CO2, but oxygen might influence this) throughout the rest of the day. My water conditions are very similar to what alto said.

Anyway, if you have reduced light intensity and plant load you won't need so much CO2, it's something you have to really adjust yourself. Most people do it by eye and with a drop checker - my hang on drop checker goes yellow by the end of the day. I tried doing it was API pH test but after getting a handheld pH meter realised that the pH test wasn't precise enough. Most people wouldn't bother with this pH profile across the day but I am a scientist and thought if I can optimise the CO2 like this then why not.
 

dcurzon

Member
Lights, over complicating! use one of the fluval presets. Maybe ramp up and down for 15 minutes either end of a 6 hour light period. You can increase that period after a few weeks. Don't worry about all the micro-adjustments for now.

Co2, doesn't sound like a lot of co2 going in. You probably want to start the co2 an hour or 2 before lights on and finish it an hour or 2 before lights off.
Get a dropchecker to help guage the co2. I'd start at 1 bps and work from there. I run around 2.5bps in my 70liter.

Water changes, I'd aim higher. 25% twice a week initially. No harm on doing more often.

See sponsors apfuk for chemicals to make your own fertilisers 👍

I do like the nice clean look those filters give :) maybe you can drop your co2 diffuser behind there under the pump, just to keep that clean look. Presumably that's where your heater is hidden also
 
I do like the nice clean look those filters give :) maybe you can drop your co2 diffuser behind there under the pump, just to keep that clean look. Presumably that's where your heater is hidden also
This is EXACTLY what I did when I had a tank like this, it was a beautiful rimless 20 gallon frag tank, turn planted. My reactor was right above the pump and it worked seamlessly! Tank was saturated with CO2 within an hour. Smaller tanks like this are so much fun and easy to maintain.
 

ruairimcq

New Member
Thanks.
So I've set the light up to be on for 6 hours with the same pattern on the preset planted tank setting.
With regard to the co2, I'm using the tropica diffuser but it seems the advice is to get a drop checker. I'm going to see if I can get one locally today.
I like the idea of dropping the co2 outlet into the filter. I'd thought of that before so nice to hear it has worked for someone else.

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dcurzon

Member
Put the diffuser somewhere in the filter area if possible, just to keep that nice clean look, preferably straight under the pump.
Place a drop checker inside the aquarium where you can see it. This is to try and monitor how much co2 is in the water, and so you can adjust the amount of co2 accordingly. Be aware the drop checker shows the state from around 2 hours prior.
 

ruairimcq

New Member
Cheers
Got the drop checker and another fertiliser that should have the missing nutrients.

If I don't get it right this time I'mb giving up and changing to blackwater.

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dcurzon

Member
Cheers
Got the drop checker and another fertiliser that should have the missing nutrients.

If I don't get it right this time I'mb giving up and changing to blackwater.

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It seems to be a continual learning, everyone messes up! Myself, today, mid water change realised I'd left my tap conditioner 50 miles away, and co2 had ran out... Had to but more conditioner and a sodastream bottle of co2... Then it took 2 failed efforts to fit the regulator with co2 gassing out before I saw the rubber seal on the floor!

Loads of info on ukaps and have a look through some of the journals to see that were are all learning :) mine isHERE

https://www.ukaps.org/forum/threads/updating-an-old-aquarium.61656/
 

ruairimcq

New Member
Found out I was not using any where near enough co2. I've the (JBL) drop checker to help me. I've had my new plants in a few days. The old plants that I had hoped to salvage are the only ones with any algae so I think I'll take them out and replace with new. I've also got a little stubborn green hair algae that has remained on the rocks. I took them out and scrubbed but the algae is hard to see outside the tank. The few remainingng bits will have to be cleaned off in situ.

I still have to decide on place for the Lagenandra meeboldi and I'll need another piece or two of rock set back. After that it's more green plants at the back and then I'll have to learn how to trim and maintain.

My big American cichlids are very neglected at this stage. Anyways cheers for the help getting set up.


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alto

Member
The old plants that I had hoped to salvage are the only ones with any algae so I think I'll take them out and replace with new
agree, you can always try placing them in an emerse type environment to see if they transition/recover :)

Algae outside the tank lights is very deceptive - you can scrub in tank with an electric toothbrush (George Farmer uses these in his videos)
You can also syringe Seachem Excel close to the rock algae - filter off for 10 min or so, premeasure maximum Excel dose for tank into a small container before you start syringing so you’re not tempted to continue dosing


 

Driftless

Member
I wouldn't necessarily keep your blue light low, blue light helps with photosynthesis and brightness up tanks. I have a few Fluval Plant 3.0s and they are OK and will do the job, I do not count the ramp up and down periods into my photoperiods.

Here is one of my favorite lights, look at the light simulator and the blue light values in the light value/wavelength chart.

https://ultumnaturesystems.com/titan-1/
 

ruairimcq

New Member
Yeah I suppose I should look into that a bit more. Thanks for the heads up. Using a 30 minute sunrise/sunset and 6 hours lights on.


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ruairimcq

New Member
Changed to this.

Next on the agenda is understand the term propogate. Then I'll have to find the wife's electric toothbrush to get three last of the hair algae.


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