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What should I upgrade first

freded

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Joined
7 Jan 2009
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12
Hi all

I'm new to the planted tank world, having kept fish for a couple of years now. I've recently acquired a Juwel 125 tank which has only got a 20W single light with reflector.

I've put some JBL Aquaflora substrate in under my gravel and have got two Nutrafin DIY cannisters on the go on the tank. I filled the tank with a collection of plants I got from Java plants last week as well as a couple of really nice plants that Londondragon kindly gave me. The filter on the tank is a Fluval 305. Also got undergravel heater which I bought on recommendation of LFS but before I'd read that they aren't really needed.

I've been using the liquid fertilisers that cam with the JBL Florastart pack but Londondragon's recommended I use TFN+ and Easycarb.

What I was wondering is how best I could upgrade my hardware. I guess the lighting is the most important thing and was thinking about getting a luminaire. Also, would a pump be useful to improve circulation?

Any tips/hints gratefully received. I'll try to post some pics of my first effort soon.

If this is a success, I'm thinking of converting one of my two 4 foot tanks from cichlids to a planted community as I'm already finding my planted tank more fun than my other tanks.

Thanks
 

Garuf

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30 Oct 2007
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Location
Copenhagen
I would be thinking of a total overhaul and update.
Initial outlay costs can be cut down if you buy second hand or go for ebay bargains. Hi-light isn't for everyone but it's the way to go for variety of plants.
I'd be wanting a huge amount of filtration, t5 lighting and inline heating. The biggest outlay would be substrate, ADA is the way to go, If you cut down on the cost of everything else or can justify it's cost, it really is the very best stuff for growing plants with and you can avoid so many problems.
I'd dose dry ferts, nice and cheap and gets those plants really going.
 

freded

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7 Jan 2009
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Garuf said:
I would be thinking of a total overhaul and update.
Initial outlay costs can be cut down if you buy second hand or go for ebay bargains. Hi-light isn't for everyone but it's the way to go for variety of plants.
I'd be wanting a huge amount of filtration, t5 lighting and inline heating. The biggest outlay would be substrate, ADA is the way to go, If you cut down on the cost of everything else or can justify it's cost, it really is the very best stuff for growing plants with and you can avoid so many problems.
I'd dose dry ferts, nice and cheap and gets those plants really going.

Thanks although given I've only just put in the substrate and plants, I'm abit reluctant to start gain with ADA substrate. I have the option of more filtraton as have plenty of internal and external filters in the house and may well do that.

What benefit would inline heating give over the heater I've got hidden away by the plants (and undersoil heater as well).

Lighting is definately something I'm considering.
 

Garuf

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30 Oct 2007
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Location
Copenhagen
That's fair enough, work out how many litres your tank is, x that by 10 then aim to get higher than that number in lph of your filter.
Inline heating has no real benefit than you avoid burnt plants from them touching the plants stems and leaves ( a real problem I found) and look far better.
 

JamesM

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17 Apr 2008
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1,913
Location
The BIG End, South Wales
Pressurised co2 and a large turnover are things to aim for first.

Finding a fertiliser and dosing scheme that suits you is also important.

Lighting isn't so important right away, as you want to start things off slowly with lighting anyway.
 

freded

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Thread starter
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7 Jan 2009
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Garuf said:
That's fair enough, work out how many litres your tank is, x that by 10 then aim to get higher than that number in lph of your filter.
Inline heating has no real benefit than you avoid burnt plants from them touching the plants stems and leaves ( a real problem I found) and look far better.

Thanks. I think my tank is around 125 litres and the Fluval 305 is 1000 lph so not far of x10. I could add a smaller fluval at some point but was thinking of getting one of those hydro nano pumps to increase the flow in the tank.
 

Simon D

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22 Sep 2008
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Location
Leicestershire
Yes 125 ltrs gross though, by the time you allow for substrate,hardscape and hardware you probably have 10x turnover.

Having said that, it's not just turnover but flow that's the important part. You need to get the nutrients (ferts) and CO2 flowing around the tank so that all of the plants benefit from these addatives. In a heavily stocked planted aquarium, without decent flow, there will be dead spots and the plants will not thrive.

i have an internal Eheim Aquaball with a given turnover of 550 lph in a 60ltr (gross) tank, so I should get approx 10x turnover. The flow of the filter does not circulate water adequately so I have a Hydor Koralia 1 (rated at 1500lph) that gives a turnover of 25x on it's own without the filter.

The Koralia 1 is overkill but I don't mind and the fish don't mind. It's only on when the CO2 is on. All the plants flow gently in the flow and the fish aren't pinned up against the glass.
 

freded

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7 Jan 2009
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Thanks for tips-decided to get a Hydor Koralia pump to improve the flow. Just ordered some liquid fertilisers from The Green Machine (TPN, TPN+ and Easycarbo) and also picked up a couple of really nice glass/ceramic diffusers for my DIY C02 set-up.

Can't wait to see the results over the coming weeks-if I can make a success of it, I'll be converting one of my larger cichlid tanks into a planted tank.
 
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