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msd17

Help! New to Planted Tanks

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So I have owned goldfish for over a year now and wanted to upgrade tanks. I got a much larger one, 60 gallons, and want to go to a lowish tech planted tank. I just had a few questions. One is when I cycle, do I do it with plants in or do the plants go in afterwards. Also, will plants do ok on fluorescent bulbs? I was hoping to use the ones that came with the tank. Lastly, does liquid CO2 work ok? At the moment I don't want to invest in a system and the plants I am looking at are not very high maintenance. 

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Welcome to Kokos!!!!!

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Hi & welcome! :)

 

Yes, you can have the plants in during the cycle; I can't say about the bulb - if it's new, did it say it was good for plants? I have a fluorescent on one of my tanks, but the bulb is specifically for plants (& needs to be changed annually, as some parts of the lighting spectrum wear out). I have a Marineland LED on my goldfish tank (75 gal.) which is heavily planted with low/med. light plants (anubias, crypts, java fern, hygros, swords), & those are all thriving. I use a bit of Excel in my tank, & Flourish root tabs for the hygros & swords.

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I have GE cheep bulbs on my tanks. Plants do just fine.  I use dirt under my gravel.  You can find several post about that here and on other forums about plants.

Good luck.

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Liquid co2 products like Flourish Excel do work, particularly in lower light. That said, it's not an essential product and not all plants do well with it (vallisneria, for example). Even old fluorescent bulbs should be able to grow less demanding plants like anubias. Cryptocorynes are also very good once they get past any initial melt, but being heavy root feeders they do best in nutrient rich substrate -- you can still grow them in inert substrate provided the water column is nutrient rich. :)

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My light is just a 5 ft "shop light" that lays across the back of the aquarium (the back has permanent glass) & i got "plant" bulbs cheap at HomeDepot!!! My plants are doing great!!

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You've gotten great advice here. You'll also want to consider plants that won't be chewed up by your goldfish. I have various varieties of anubias. My goldfish don't chew on them (for some people this is not true). I also have guppy grass floating in my tank. My older goldfish doesn't chew it up and I'm trying to train my younger goldfish to not chew on it (let's see if that works.)

 

Excel works fine with my plants.

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I agree with Lisa re: goldfish-proof plants, but in my experience, it'll take some experimentation with different kinds to see what they will or will not eat. Some goldfish leave plants alone entirely. My fish seem attracted to certain shapes of plants (long grassy ones, in their case). So I try to avoid those. My older fish went crazy on sagittaria and oddly, java fern, but with my younger fish's naughty encouragement, they've now taken to killing my longer crypts :( even when there are more delicate plants available to them. 

In addition to anubias, it's my understanding that onion-type plants are quite unpalatable to goldfish and can give you some vertical height. Mine don't even think about touching them after some initial samples. They are root feeders, like swords, however. Larger Amazon swords have also proven hardy in my tank. 

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