help needed to set up 1st planted tank

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help needed to set up 1st planted tank

Postby jiko » Thu Aug 17, 2017 6:32 pm

I am planning to build my 1st planted tank. It will be a 2ftx1ftx1ft tank. I need some suggestions about this tank.
1. Substrate : 1”garden soil and on top of it 2” river sand. (both will be baked at 200 c for 20 min)
2. Light: 2x9 watt led (branded). Total 1800 lumen(as per spec printed on bulb). My tank will be 50 litre. So approx. 36 lumen/litre.
3. Filter: suggestion needed. ( I think air driven sponge filter should not be installed in planted tank.)
4. Plant+fish: not decided (except a water lilly). suggestion needed.
5. Co2: not planned till now. Will add if needed.
Please correct me if I am doing anything wrong or missing anything.
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Re: help needed to set up 1st planted tank

Postby kmandal » Fri Aug 18, 2017 4:45 am

Comments Inline ------

I am planning to build my 1st planted tank. It will be a 2ftx1ftx1ft tank. I need some suggestions about this tank.
1. Substrate : 1”garden soil and on top of it 2” river sand. (both will be baked at 200 c for 20 min)

No need to bake, just keep caution that the sand layer is thick enough, that no soil comes out (preferably 2 inch top sand layer)

2. Light: 2x9 watt led (branded). Total 1800 lumen(as per spec printed on bulb). My tank will be 50 litre. So approx. 36 lumen/litre.

Kelvin Rating should be between 6000 - 7000K (best 6500K), to grow plants well.

3. Filter: suggestion needed. ( I think air driven sponge filter should not be installed in planted tank.)

Sponge filter is not recommended for planted tank. Reason-1) dissolved co2 will escape 2) take up much space 3) will not look good.
Go for IPF (internal power filter of 300-450 liter/ph) or an HOB filter or a small canister filter (IPF of the same rating will cost you approx Rs.200, HOB will be approx Rs.450 and canister will be approx Rs.1200-1500)

4. Plant+fish: not decided (except a water lilly). suggestion needed.

Water lily will grow tall, mine has already reached more than 2 feet (in 4X2X2 tank), so it's not suggested for a 1 foot tank. Go for small plants like HairGrass, HC, Glosso, along with some mini Christmas moss maybe.

5. Co2: not planned till now. Will add if needed.

You can either go for home made co2 system (sugar+yeast or citric acid+baking soda) or a commercial one (co2 cylinder). Adding co2 from the beginning will benefit you with the plant growth.

Please correct me if I am doing anything wrong or missing anything.

Also you need to dose liquid fertilizers to grow the plants healthy.
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Re: help needed to set up 1st planted tank

Postby jiko » Fri Aug 18, 2017 1:28 pm

thanks for commenting.
i want to bake the substrate in order to kill any incest or snails. if ipf can do same job as hob then i will go with ipf as it is cheaper. both the lights have rating 6500k, do i need to add blue+red light with them. one of my friends telling me to do so. i will add diy co2. should i add fertilizer right from the beginning or it should be added later? is the substrate and light i choose is right?
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Re: help needed to set up 1st planted tank

Postby Dipankar » Sat Aug 19, 2017 12:30 pm

jiko wrote:I am planning to build my 1st planted tank. It will be a 2ftx1ftx1ft tank. I need some suggestions about this tank.
1. Substrate : 1”garden soil and on top of it 2” river sand. (both will be baked at 200 c for 20 min)
2. Light: 2x9 watt led (branded). Total 1800 lumen(as per spec printed on bulb). My tank will be 50 litre. So approx. 36 lumen/litre.
3. Filter: suggestion needed. ( I think air driven sponge filter should not be installed in planted tank.)
4. Plant+fish: not decided (except a water lilly). suggestion needed.
5. Co2: not planned till now. Will add if needed.
Please correct me if I am doing anything wrong or missing anything.



1. Try to avoid garden soil absolutely. you can use 2mm coarse sand, because later any scape change, plants pull out and re plantation will spoil your tank completely.
2. Lumen should me measured according to your tank base. tank length - 24" X breadth - 12" = 288sq" then 1800 lm divided by 288sq" = 6.25lm/sq" which is not enough.
3. No air driven sponge filter nor top filter and no chemical media in filter.
4. You can keep water lily its a good addition in low tech, but you have to maintain regularly by cutting floating leaves.
5. Without CO2 is very difficult to maintain tank in long term. use DIY CO2
6. Use fert both micro and macro. Otherwise in few days lots of issues will demoralize you. How can plants survive without food, because your substrate will not going to provide any nutrition.
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Re: help needed to set up 1st planted tank

Postby jiko » Sat Aug 19, 2017 7:34 pm

thanks dipankar da for commenting.
1. i wanted to use garden soil for natural nutrition, but did not think about rescapeing . thanks a lot. coarse sand means river sand, which is used for construction, right?
2. how many of those led bulb should i use? my tank is only 12 inch tall.
3. why not top filter?
5. will use diy co2.
6. please suggest some cost effective fertilizer...
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Re: help needed to set up 1st planted tank

Postby Dipankar » Sat Aug 19, 2017 8:00 pm

1. Use the sand with larger grains
2. Calculate the lumen about 10 to 12 per sq" base but if want to do matting then 14 to 15 min per sq" base.
3. Top filter will agitate the surface vigorously and your CO2 will escape.
6. Lab grade for micro and rexolin for macro.

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Re: help needed to set up 1st planted tank

Postby jiko » Sun Aug 20, 2017 10:05 am

ok dada. i'll then install 4 of those light and install a power filter. what capacity of filter i should use for a 24" tank?. please guide me about fertilizer. lab grade means different salts for different elements, right? in that case which salts should i buy?
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Re: help needed to set up 1st planted tank

Postby kmandal » Mon Aug 21, 2017 4:29 am

IPF of 300-450 liter/ph would be enough. About fertilizer, use NPK lab grade, or the commercial one, which states Micro and Macro. The dose will be given on the bottle itself for commercial one. Dose micro and macro on an alternate day (do not dose both in a single day).
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Re: help needed to set up 1st planted tank

Postby jiko » Tue Aug 22, 2017 1:33 pm

thanks for your advice.
now comes my doubts about fertilizer. after reading threads in this forum i understand that i need KNO3, K2SO4 and KH2PO4 for macro and Rexolin CXK or CSM+B for micro. now my confusions are
1. KH2PO4 will be needed in very small amount, but chemical store sells only 500gm packet. which will last me about 5 years if i donot make any other tank. ( dosing calculator reference http://www.theaquatools.com/fertilization-calculator ). is there any alternative?
2. what are Rexolin CXK and CSM+B ? where to find them? nursery or chemical shop? which one is better if want to add some fish later. ( confused as i have read this thread viewtopic.php?f=17&t=7246 )
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Re: help needed to set up 1st planted tank

Postby Dipankar » Tue Aug 22, 2017 1:42 pm

jiko wrote:thanks for your advice.
now comes my doubts about fertilizer. after reading threads in this forum i understand that i need KNO3, K2SO4 and KH2PO4 for macro and Rexolin CXK or CSM+B for micro. now my confusions are
1. KH2PO4 will be needed in very small amount, but chemical store sells only 500gm packet. which will last me about 5 years if i donot make any other tank. ( dosing calculator reference http://www.theaquatools.com/fertilization-calculator ). is there any alternative?
2. what are Rexolin CXK and CSM+B ? where to find them? nursery or chemical shop? which one is better if want to add some fish later. ( confused as i have read this thread viewtopic.php?f=17&t=7246 )
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