View Full Version : Planted tank

05-21-2010, 8:16 AM
I once was told that it is easier to run a nice reef tank, than a successful gorgeous planted tank. Now, whether or not that is true for most people, it certainly has been true for me. :shout:

I've got a 100 gallon (60x18x18) tank, illuminated by 260 watts of (6700/10K) power compact bulbs. I run the photo period for 12 hours a day, and the tank receives a small amount of indirect sunlight. My substrate is entirely black flourite. I do not run C02, but I've recently started dosing Seachem Flourish Excel and Seachem Flourish Iron. It has not appeared to matter. I cannot keep anything alive besides the four following plants: Java moss, Java Fern, Anachronis, and one other broad leafed plant.

Either the plants turn brown and began to wither, or the stems seem to disintegrate. In the tank, I've got a collection of medium to large rainbows, 8 small to medium clown loaches and one 9 inch common plec. The tank receives a weekly 20 gallon water change. In my two Eheim pro II canisters, I run polyfilter to help absorb any phosphates.

Could anyone provide some suggestions? Perhaps even drop by if you're so motivated? I have a kegerator with Kona Pipeline Porter in it :)

05-21-2010, 9:09 AM
i think the 10k bulb may be burning your plants. i believe you just want 6700 or less for a planted tank. you'll also have trouble growing some plants without co2, but the Excel will help a little.

05-21-2010, 9:19 AM
Perhaps. Although, I just recently switched to the dual spectrum bulbs. I used to have straight up 6700k bulbs, and was experiencing the same results.

Here is another good planted tank question. I've always heard that CO2 is needed for most plants to thrive, but not to stay alive. Could my previous lack of CO2/dosing be causing the plants to die? I would expect that they would just grow much slower...

05-21-2010, 9:34 AM
some plants will not stay alive without co2. i'm no expert, but I have some red tiger lotus that I know I couldn't keep alive without co2. same goes for hair grass and glossostigma. then plants like Cryptocoryne's will grow fine without co2 but will really thrive with it.

05-21-2010, 9:34 AM
CO2 is not needed. It will increase plant growth and in the right balance with ferts, keep algae at bay, but it's not a requirement in a non-high light tank. It sounds like what you can keep are water column feeders. Have you tried root tabs?

05-21-2010, 9:55 AM
I tried them when i set the tank up two years ago, but not since then. How are they different/better than liquid fertilizers?

05-21-2010, 10:23 AM
The liquids primarily deliver to the water column. The root tabs put the nutrients in the substrate for the root feeders.

05-21-2010, 11:21 AM
try some soil under the sand, a bit late now if you don't want a mess. Also 12 hours seems a bit much, mine's around 8. Also I use some plant food called Leaf ZOne made by API with every water change

05-21-2010, 11:41 AM
Honestly, my planted tank scares me more than my reef ever did. I am normally awful with plants, but this time I seem to be doing ok. (knock on wood!)

I don't have much that can help you, but I suspect that your photoperiod is a bit long. You didn't list any parameters either.

05-21-2010, 12:11 PM
True. I'll get the parameters this weekend. Why would a long photo period be a bad idea, other than encouraging algal growth?

05-21-2010, 8:51 PM
Like stated there are really two philisophies on how to run a planted tank. There is the low light non co2 and a high light co2 tank. You are going to be severely limited with the low light non-co2 setup of what you can grow. 260 watts of PC over a 100 is kinda limited to a low light situation. I run 150 watts of PC over my 55g and it is definately low light. I used to run a 30g with 130w of PC w/ co2 and it grew fast, though daily dosing was required of phosphates and potassium nitrates. As for root tabs, all the plans listed that you have will pull from the water column so they really aren't root feeders. Crypts, swords, tiger lotus, glosso, stuff like that is what would need the root tabs. What do your parameters look like? Are you attempting to keep your nitrates/phosphates in a 10:1 ratio? I.E. 10ppm Nitrate to 1ppm phosphate? The tank may just be nutrient starved. How is your GH and KH? How are you doing your water changes? What are you buffering your water up with? What do the parameters of the water change water look like?