BW plants???

Tain't fresh, and tain't marine! Talk about brackish setups.
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my name is mike
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Post by my name is mike » Fri Feb 16, 2007 1:23 pm

any updates on the brackish planting experiment >?>?

im looking to do the same thing -- and was wondering if there were any other nuggets of wisdom you may have gathered over the last few months??
Mike

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Post by crazy loaches » Sat Mar 17, 2007 7:07 pm

my name is mike wrote:any updates on the brackish planting experiment >?>?

im looking to do the same thing -- and was wondering if there were any other nuggets of wisdom you may have gathered over the last few months??
Sorry Mike, havent been online much lately if you were referring to my brackish plant 'experiment'. Anyhow, its not gone to well. As I was warned, I think I have just too much light. Even with no co2 supplementation just flourish excel I am getting pearling algae in some spots. My biggest problem is what seems to be diatom algae, its brownish and gunky and coating just about all the bottom, plants, and driftwood. It comes of very easy. I also have similar stuff but turning green, possibly BGA though its not spreading like BGA normally does. Its a problem of two much light and not enough plants. I think upping the number of plants I have by about 3X atleast would do good. I am also thinking about trying co2 injection, but that would be another month atleast away. What I might to is remove the reflector and place a piece of sanded acrylic under the lights just to diffuse and reduce the light a little. And I need to add a lot more plants.
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Post by Nick » Sun Mar 18, 2007 9:40 pm

Floating plants will cut off the light quickly, before it really entires the water column, I've found them to be the perfect solution for when algae it outcompeting the plants in my planted tanks. They also look nice, and the light still looks really good forcing through them, but doesn't really nourish algae. Any brackish floating tolerent plants out there?
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Post by my name is mike » Mon Mar 19, 2007 2:52 pm

thanks for the update ---

ive been reading up a bunch on this stuff before i jump into the planting (prob doing it next week)

one thing i read was that vals and flourish excel dont mix - which doesnt make me happy becuase i was hoping for a nice thicket of vals myself (prob. americana) -- but without the excel and without CO2, i might not stand a chance.

Im going to be running one 65w PC 6700 in a 29 gal bowfront, so maybe the excel wont be necessary at 2watts/gal (any opinons?)

Currently im thinking of going with a bunch of java fern and moss (on fake driftwood) - moss balls - Cryptocoryne ciliata -
Crinum calamistratum - and maybe some vals if i think i can go without flourish

im also going to "overplant" as much as possible so that casualties wont be that big of a deal (as long as i remove them quick enough) --

with the exception of the vals, i dont have many "fast" growing plants, so algae may win out (but i wont too much light) -hopefully it will balance --

any one think this plan will work,,, any suggestions ???
Mike

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Post by RTR » Mon Mar 19, 2007 6:03 pm

I use Excel with Val routinely without problems. But I do not use the heavy dose after partials which is suggested by Seachem, nor have I used the very heavy overdoses some use for algae control. At those levels I would have damage, but at normal suggested levels I do not.

At you lighting levels, you will need either CO2 or some other carbon source. PC is not the same as NO, and with decent reflectors you are no longer moderate light IME. At 60W NO over my 29, I need bioavailable carbon supplement.
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Post by my name is mike » Mon Mar 19, 2007 6:12 pm

ahhhh....

Thanks for the insight ---

I dont want to go as far as providing C02 (seems complicated)-- and i am not familiar with carbon supplements, any suggestions on brands, dosing, etc ???
Mike

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Post by my name is mike » Mon Mar 19, 2007 6:40 pm

woops -- just did a quick google on flourish and realized that is a carbon supplement (duh...)
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Post by RTR » Tue Mar 20, 2007 12:41 am

S'OK, the supplements can be massively confusing. We all get confused - Seachem seem to offer just about the entire range.
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Post by my name is mike » Tue Mar 20, 2007 9:41 am

Thanks --

yeah, this will be my first planted tank, so im new to it all --

wish i could start on a freshwater, but im diving right into brackish --

so other than carbon, from the excel, are there any other necessary supplements that can help boost my chances of success --

i read about using phosphate-absorbing resin when i first plant it, to help give the plants the upperhand on the algae -- any truth to that?

ive also read about trace element supplements (iron, etc) but those seem to be all over the place --
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Post by RTR » Tue Mar 20, 2007 10:30 am

For quite a few years, phosphate limitation was a mantra of plant-keeping, but that has been disproven and went away several years back. Phosphate is a macronutrient (NPK - nitrogen, phosphate, potassium), so if it is not present, you can have algae issues.

Planted tank folk tend to need and to do routine supplements of all the macros plus carbon plus all the traces (micronutrients rather than the marcos plus carbon), but they also tend to run high-light tanks. Under such supplement handling, nitrogen is generally about 7-10x phosphorus and potassium about the same as nitrogen or a bit higher. That would give an NPK ratio of about 10:1:10, but on those figures there is a good bit of wiggle room. At your level of upper moderate lighting, bioavailable carbon is the most likely need - NPK if anything will be in excess in a puffer tank but handled by water changes. The traces are less likley to need supplement - even light BW has a lot of other-than-NPK minerals.
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Post by my name is mike » Tue Mar 20, 2007 10:56 am

Great thanks! ---

so, lets see if i understand -- since im keeping a puffer and keeping it in light brackish, i most likley will NOT need to supplment traces, and since my macros (NPK) may be in excess, I will NOT need to supplement, and will need to keep these in check with regular water changes

i will however need to use a bioavailable carbon because of the mod/high lighting

are there tests out there to monitor these trace and macronutrients ?
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Post by RTR » Tue Mar 20, 2007 6:03 pm

Yes,to most but not all.

N in the form of nitrate you should have test kits and test for periodically - it is our primary water quality test measure. Nitrate itself is harmful, but not at the levels we normally try to operate. Nitrate buildup is used a general pollution measue as it is one of the commonest tank tests, and the kits are widely available and sufficiently accurate for our uses. P as phosphate is also testable, but is not familiar to many hobbyists - testing is less common there than it used to be. Now phosphate is usually only tested when folks are having algae issues, to see if their phosphates are too high in relation to nitrate. Potassium (K) is rarely tested as it have the fewest harmful effects (if any) of all the supplements.

Calcium (Ca) and magnesium (Mg) can be tested together as GH. Separately the testing is much harder and rare in the hobby. Carbonates and bicarbonates are tested as KH or alkalinity (same thing). The real micros are rarely tested. Perhaps Iron (Fe) is the most commonly tested micro/trace, and the test kits are not very good. Iron rarely stays in the water column long at all. Testing the others is quite rare.

If you do 50% partials, traces will never be over 2x any dosage used, and that is within safe limits. Nitrate and phophate may not follow that guideline, as they can still exceed desirable levels from feeding and/or from the water supply itself.
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Post by my name is mike » Wed Mar 21, 2007 10:15 am

thank you so much for the indepth answer --

i do currently test for nitrate on a regular basis to keep it always under 20 (since i have a puff) -- but normally in the 5-10 range

i have KH and GH tests (but only in the quick dip strips, which i know to be quite worthless, so ill plan on getting a liquid test once the planting begins) --

thanks again
Mike

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Post by my name is mike » Mon Apr 02, 2007 12:53 pm

planted the tank 3 days ago with:

java moss
java fern and java fern lace
moss balls
cambomba
vals
crypt ciliata

ordered it all from aquariumplants.com and everything looks great, way better than the sad stock i've seen in the chicago area LFS

im dosing with half a cap of excel daily -- nothing is looking sad yet, and the moss balls are pearling nicely

thanks for all your help! - fingers crossed that everything stays healthy
Mike

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Re: BW plants???

Post by Mad78 » Tue Oct 16, 2007 4:11 pm

what about java moss?

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