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Planted Or Not

Gav_B_UK

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I've made the decision to now go with sand as a substrate for my tank.

My next decision is to whether go for a planted tank or not.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of having live plants?? If I'm going for live plants, how do I best get a natural look. Does the sand have to be deep? Is there any guides to introduce a beginner to setting up a tank with live plants??

Thanks in advance
 

Snick

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I for a fact know that planted tanks are cleaner, as plants abosorb bad gases inside air bubbles hidden in the sand, and they also reduce heavy metals and produce oxygen for your fish. I use at leat 1.5 inches of sand for my planted aquarium, but some people like to create little hills and stuff that makes it look real cool. I must warn you though, if you want to heavily plant your tank, you must be ready to provide CO2 and alot of light... C02 systems can be bought or made, and simply google or contact your LFS for any plant friendly lights. Good Luck :)
 
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Take a look around the planted tanks section. There are some very informative articles and posts in there for those new to planted tanks. Just be aware, it is a whole other aspect to the hobby, and quite consuming so be ready to think that spending hundreds of dollars on the right light/co2 setup is justified! :D
 
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Gav_B_UK

Gav_B_UK

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Take a look around the planted tanks section. There are some very informative articles and posts in there for those new to planted tanks. Just be aware, it is a whole other aspect to the hobby, and quite consuming so be ready to think that spending hundreds of dollars on the right light/co2 setup is justified! :D

I used to keep corals....with lighting systems and filtration reaching in to 1000's....so a few hundred I don't mind if it helps!

Thanks for the advise....Any more tips/advice anyone?
 

mark.w.jones

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Take a look around the planted tanks section. There are some very informative articles and posts in there for those new to planted tanks. Just be aware, it is a whole other aspect to the hobby, and quite consuming so be ready to think that spending hundreds of dollars on the right light/co2 setup is justified! :D
I have only a 10gallon tank with an 11 watt bulb so around 1 watt per gallon. Miles less than recommended if you looked at the pinned lighting article in the planted tank section. I also don't bother with CO2 injection and as you can see from my signature my plants look fine. All I have is some fertilizer, rod things under the roots and I add liquid fertilizer once a month. IMO if you buy the right plants you can get away with less than perfect growing conditions and even a beginner like me can grow great looking stuff. Clink the link in my sig. for easy to grow plants.

ps Buy plants online from:

http://www.aquaticplants.eu.com/

Great selection, reliable service but rather crap website :rolleyes:
 

riverman444

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Planted tanks are a lot of work but well worth the effort. I have both planted and not-planted and find enjoyment in both. I wouldn't recommend sand for a substrate. I use Eco-Complete with really fine gravel over the top, but, that's just my opinion. Some like sand, some don't.
 

andywg

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I for a fact know that planted tanks are cleaner, as plants abosorb bad gases inside air bubbles hidden in the sand, and they also reduce heavy metals and produce oxygen for your fish. I use at leat 1.5 inches of sand for my planted aquarium, but some people like to create little hills and stuff that makes it look real cool. I must warn you though, if you want to heavily plant your tank, you must be ready to provide CO2 and alot of light... C02 systems can be bought or made, and simply google or contact your LFS for any plant friendly lights. Good Luck :)
Plants absorb bad gases inside air bubbles? There are the fears that hydrogen sulphide can develop in sand, but having snails or just turning the tank over prevents that, and I for one have never heard of a first hand account of a fish dieing from it. I would also be interested to see any evidence of plants taking out heavy metals (something a number of water conditioners handle anyway).

Most plants on the whole do NOT produce a lot of oxygen for the fish. Come night time, with the lights off, plants respire - they consume oxygen and produce CO2, leaving less oxygen at night for the fish. On top of this you have the problem of not wanting any decent gas exchange at the surface to prevent the loss of any CO2, thus preventing a good source of oxygenation.

Basically, with planted tanks:

PRO:

Great to look at if you like gardens or the colour green;
Great environment for smaller fish to cruise around in and you only keep smaller fish.

CON:

No big fish. Big fish need lots of oxygen which means lots of surface movement, which is bad for plants;
No super filtration such as wet/dry or sumps as again, these mean more gas exchange;
No super sensitive fish. All those places for waste to accumulate and break down where you can't get it out can play havoc with a system for sensitive fish.

If you like the look of a planted tank, go for it. If you would rather keep fish, then don't bother, or at the most put in a few hardy ones that aren't fussy (crypts and the like).
 
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Well, yes andy has some good points, but in a new setup it might be nice to have plants help to remove some of the nitrates that build up. They do accomplish that. And if we're talking about waste accumulating under the plants, then why even have any places for the fish to hide? Waste gets stuck under rocks and wood too. Just my opinon though.I just felt like sticking up for the plants! :D
 

andywg

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It's far easier to pick up a piece of bog wood and syphon detritus from under it than it to uproot a plant and take it out that way.

One thing I notice on these forums is that plants are touted as this amazing thing that all aquarists should have in their tanks, when it just isn't the case. This entire thread had been pro plants before I posted, with a fair amount of mis-information.

As I said, if you like plants, try them. I know I did, but I then decided that I had actually just spent a small fortune on a 150 imp gallon tank to put fish in, not plants. So I ditched the planted and started buying interesting fish.
 

piatotsini

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CON:

No big fish. Big fish need lots of oxygen which means lots of surface movement, which is bad for plants;
No super filtration such as wet/dry or sumps as again, these mean more gas exchange;
No super sensitive fish. All those places for waste to accumulate and break down where you can't get it out can play havoc with a system for sensitive fish.

If you like the look of a planted tank, go for it. If you would rather keep fish, then don't bother, or at the most put in a few hardy ones that aren't fussy (crypts and the like).
I've seen lots of planted tanks for discus. Not only is it a big fish, but a sensitive one as well. And crypts are fussy plants --- they have a tendency to melt when moved around too much. If you like hardy plants, look for java fern, java moss and anubias.
 
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