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Discussion Starter · #1 ·


This is my first planted tank. As you can see not overly crowded or anything how ever since its my first I'm unsure of the cycle of leaves dying regrowing etc...
Sorry I don't know the names of the plants but ok the big leafy ones near the back maybe anubias... they seem to get brown tips and slowly disintegrate into nothing. They do have other leaves however that regro.
So basically all i do to maintain is add a plant gro liquid to the tank once a week. I also run my bubbler 24 hours a day I'm not sure on how long I'm supposed to run that. but yeah someone told me since I don't have that many plants i shouldn't need to add CO2. Any insight on things I should be doing?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
some good points in there. Thanks. Now need some insight on the bubbler. Also should i be trimming the leaves at the stem beforethey completely die or once they die? What kind of snips should I use? I imagine scissors aren't too healthy
 

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The use of CO2 will vary depending on such things as lighting, nutrients and type of plants. Judging by what I see in your pic, you shouldn't have to worry about the CO2. The Repens would do much better with it though.

As for the bubbler, again with your setup...it will be a personal preference when and how long to run it. However, at night, plants use O2 instead of CO2. Just something to keep in the back of your mind. If you do decide at some point to go with CO2 injection, then leave the air pump off during the day and only turn it on at night.

You can snip the leaves off with your finger nails if you want. Just saves ya having to put something extra in the tank. Again, a preference thing for when, but don't let them completely die off before removing. I usually will wait until the stem starts turning to a translucent state (white - yellow in color) and then snip it off as close as I can to the base. It's a look thing. I know some people will snip at first signs a leave is starting to shed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Great information James. Thanks alot. I was thinking of maybe getting some plants that might not push me to a limit to need CO2, something that spreads out over the bottom. Any suggestions? Also when you do have plants that bush out over the bottom how do you keep the tank maintained since I imagine you can't use the gravel cleaner without somehow affecting the plants. (My Pleco can make a hell of a mess over time if not cleaned)
 

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1.) Before you try CO2, try changing your gravel. Try a new substrate like eco-complete or flourite or even clay cat litter. You can either add it to the gravel you have now or "start" over. Except cat litter, that needs to be added under the rock gravel. If you add it, be sure to rinse it before adding and add it during a ~50% water change so you don't stir up things too much.

You will see much bigger changes in your plants by changing the substrate than by adding CO2 (for most plants). They roots will grow stronger, and you will see more leaves and less wilting. You could also try root tabs, but they are somewhat less effective.

2.) Bubblers are completely unnessary if you have a HOB and have some good surface tension from the return. Bubblers remove CO2 so if you ever go that route, turn them off during the day like James mentioned. From the look of your tank, this should not be a problem.

3.) In a planted tank you really don't need to vacuum the gravel, just change some water weekly. The junk on the bottom act as nutrients for your plants. Just don't let too much food and dying leaves decay. The gravel should still look fairly clean without much mulm build up.

Your bigger leafed plants are a type of sword plant (probably a melon), not anubia.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks Dmaaax. Sorry for the stupid question but whats a HOB? Also since I'm new to the live plants. With those swordtails or actually any of the other plants I have in there. How do I get more of the plants? As in can I just clip a stem and plant that stem and they will grow?
 

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HOB = Hang On Back filter

As for progagating the plants...the stem plants you can just snip a few inches off the top and replant. The swords will either send out runners or will split.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Great I will be attending to that soon.
Since everyone is so knowledgeable. Another question to add.
What is the balance of pumping C02 into the tank with fish breathing the oxygen? Why is the C02 not a danger to the fish? I got a bubbler for the simple reason of thinking there was not enough oxygen already. Although this was on my 20gal at first I can't see how adding C02 would help that cause lol. Great for the plants not so great for the fish. Or is it something like a 12 hour cycle. C02 during the day for the plants and oxygen at night for the fish and plants.
 

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Ideally you want your CO2 running when the lights are on and off when the lights are off but this cant be done with a DIY CO2 I dont think only with pressurized.
 

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During the day when CO2 is on plants in your tank release oxygen. You also have surface tension and water circulation with the surface that will allow more oxygen in and will dissipate some of the CO2 being made. The warmer the tank is the less oxygen it holds.

At night people typically turn off the CO2 if they can. If not they have bubblers turn on to help with more aeration, but what it really is doing is gassing off more of the CO2. The reason this is important is that at night your plants reverse. Now they too are taking in oxygen and are giving off CO2.

Keep in mind that with the addition of CO2 you will see shifts in your pH. You may see daily changes of 0.5 to 1. If it changes more than that you are probably adding too much CO2 or need more aeration/surface movement.
 
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