Posted: Mon May 14, 2007 3:20 pm Post subject: Re: Help Required - Planted Aquarium
Welcome to the wordl of planted tank 
I am sure this is very much specific to individuals choice but I would prefer a larger tank of size about 30-32 G.
Reason being :
The tank that you are planing to start with holds about 11g and essentially could fall in the category of a Nano tank.
IMO,Planted nano tank requires more expertise for various reasons related to dosing,Co2 and also the plant availability.
I started with a 14g tank (2X1X1) and now moved over to a 66g( 4X1.5X1.5) and now i feel i shud have migrated to a 3 ft.
A 3 ft gives us a decent space to expirement with plants of almost all sizes. Plus leaves you a choice to decide over DIY Presurrised Co2.
Its also easy on the pocket to stick to a 2-3W per Gallon of light for a 3 ft.
Start with fast growing plants like the hygrophila species, hornwort and you could also add couple of amazon swords.They have always done good in my starter tank.
As i mentioned above,setup the lights at 2 to 2.5 W per gallon.For a 1.5 f lenth tank , you may have to use CFLs which adds up lot of heat in the tank.
For a 3 ft you have choice between 2 ft tubelight or even PLLs. I have used Phillips CFLs and PLLS with 6400k color temperature with decent results.
While buying/designing the hood for the tank , keep in mind that the lights heat up the tank and is not good for the plants .So you have to make sure that the heat gets dissipated well. You can do it either by using CPU fans (read thru other posts in the forum) or by keeping it open top and suspending the lights above the tank such that they are 8-10 inches above the top of the tank.
Hope that helps
Posted: Mon May 14, 2007 8:19 pm Post subject: Re: Help Required - Planted Aquarium
I think Rohan has highlighted some very valid points.
A tank 1.5 by 1 by 1 is rather small. Though some people do enjoy their tanks that small, including me, I think it restricts some of your choices.
As Rohan has pointed out, it is difficult for beginners to get lighting that suits such a tank. CFLs (the small fluorescent bulbs in the market) are prone to heat up as their ballast is fixed to them. You need lights that allow the ballast to be set outside the tank where they wont heat it up. Some plants such as java moss and java ferns wont tolerate the heat that CFLs generate, and belive me you will do well to have them around. A 3 feet tank is a good starting point.
Another thing I want to point out is that a high tech tank with CO2 and EI will create such lush growth that with a small tank you will find yourself forever pruning stem plants.
As a starting point as always with aquariums it is best to start with a conveniently big tank before moving on to smaller tanks.
Getting a deeper tank now will see you thanking yourself later. Many great plants are on the taller side. A jungle of vals is a great sight but needs the height to show themselves off. Echinodorus are great plants that look best when they are a little larger. Aponogetons and some crypts too like to stretch their leaves. Given a choice I would opt for something around 18 inches high as it allows some depth for substrate too.
For beginners I think it is best to "go the whole hog" and start directly with a setup with CO2, estimative index and medium/high light. Low tech does not mean easy and high tech does not mean real high tech. They are deceptive terms. The basic principles are same with both setups, however high tech is a more "responsive" sytem and estimative index has made things much easier, therefore my recommendation for starting with it.
Joined: Nov 15, 2006 Posts: 1444 Location: Bangalore
Posted: Mon May 14, 2007 8:50 pm Post subject: Re: Help Required - Planted Aquarium
Agree with Deepesh and Roshan and would only like to strees on there sugesstion i.e you would have to have your co2 system and lighting set up before you could start off. And the only way you can narrow down on this is, by having your mind made on the size of the tank you would start your set up in.
Most of us (including me) dont have these basic things sorted in the begining , resulting to a liitile dissappointment later. I hope you would do the right thing and "I WARMLY WELCOME YOU TO THE BEAUTIFUL WORLD - PLANTED AQUA"
Echinodorus (many species and varieties), aponogetons, larger cryptocorynes: specimen plants/ focal points.
There are some small plants that some people use as foregrounds but these are high maintenance. I think Madan has mentioned somewhere that it is easier to give up such high maintenance foregrounds in favour of hardscaping the foreground with sand. Maybe his new low maintenance tank points to that. You ought to have a look at that.
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