Top products from r/PlantedTank

We found 426 product mentions on r/PlantedTank. We ranked the 1,135 resulting products by number of redditors who mentioned them. Here are the top 20.

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Top comments that mention products on r/PlantedTank:

u/deejaywhy · 2 pointsr/PlantedTank

Fair warning, incoming essay haha

27 gallons is perfectly fine. The first thing you will want to read up on is the nitrogen cycle and fishless cycling. The best way to cycle your tank is to ask a local fish or pet store if they can give you some used filter media to jump start your cycle. If not, buy an API test kit and follow the steps in those guides then your tank will cycle in about a month.

For filters you have two main options Hang off the back (HOB) or canister. HOB are easy to maintain and clean which seems great as a beginner. They need to be cleaned every couple-few weeks. Aquaclear are great HOBs. For your size tank I would get an aquaclear 50 or two of the 20/30s (one for each side).

I prefer canister filters. They give you more options for customization, can hold more media, and don't need to be cleaned as often as HOB. Buuuut they typically come at a steeper price. The most popular brands are eheim, fluval, and sunsun. I have eheims and love them. Reviews for sunsuns can be hit or miss, but they definitely have good value for their price. When picking a filter you generally want a turnover rate of 8-10 times your tank size. So 27 gallon tank, youd want about 216 - 270 gallons per hour (gph), keep this in mind when picking a canister.

If you plan on tropical fish you will definitely need a heater. Aqueon pro and eheim make good heaters. If you go canister, you can get an inline heater which are nice because you don't have to look at it or try to hide it in your aquarium.

For planted tanks you need a substrate. The cheapest option is to use pool filter sand along with some root tabs. Look into the walstad method if you wanna keep it low tech and cheap. The only problem with this method is that if you ever want to move plants or hardscape around it can be a bit messy. The more expensive route is to buy some aquasoil. There are a few types, but the most well known is ADA aquasoil. These substrates are packed with nutrients that last at least a couple years usually. In between is to use a porous substrate like Fluorite or eco-complete. These come with a little nutrients, but will need fertilizers to continue its benefit.

Fertilizers area great way to keep your plants happy and healthy, but for many plants are not really necessary. If you decide to use them you can buy them in liquid or dry form. I suggest buying dry because it is much cheaper, but you will have to figure out how much you need to dose. Luckily there are calculators out there that can do it for us!

Lighting you have many options. My favorite are finnex LEDs. They are middle of the ground pricing wise and do their job very well in my experience. Here is a good guide for lighting. When researching a light you want to use you should do so by finding its PAR value at the level of your substrate. Low is about 0-30 PAR, medium 30-50, and high 50+ PAR. Low you don't need pressurized CO2 to avoid algae, medium it is recommended, but you can get away with a densely planted aquarium and use of seachem excel, and high you need pressurized CO2.

I like to use hardscape in my aquariums. Things like rock and drift wood give a natural appearance to aquariums, provide shelter for livestock and take up space. If you get into aquascpaing, hardscape plays a major role.

Plant selection will depend on your lighting, fertilizer, and CO2. Here is a list of good low light/low tech plants. If you want more demanding plants do your research and ask questions if you have them!

Fish selection depends on you and what you like. See a fish you're interested in? Do NOT automatically trust a sales man at a petshop or fish store. Do your own research on the fish before buying and ask questions about people's experience with the fish and its compatibility with your tank. In a 27 gallon you can fit 1, maybe 2, groups of most smaller schooling fish and then some bottom feeders.

A general stocking plan would be 10-12 of a schooling fish like neon tetra (or something of that size), 10 salt and pepper cories, 6 otocinclus, and some red cherry shrimp.

The most important advice I can give you is to do your research. Doing your research will save you time and money. People are generally friendly and helpful on this subreddit so don't be afraid to ask more questions.

u/Juddston · 6 pointsr/PlantedTank

What size tank do you have?

If you are set on the paintball set up, you can't go wrong with the Aquatek mini regulator. It is the regulator I have set up on my 15 gallon and it has been fantastic. Basically, the parts you will need are:

  • Regulator (Aquatek mini or if you have the $$, the GLA model is likely very nice.
  • CO2 tubing (Aquatek has good stuff).
  • Some kind of diffuser. These can be had for cheap on Ebay or Amazon. I bought a cheap one on Amazon and was disappointed with it, so I ended up buying this one and I love it.
  • A bubble counter. There is a bubble counter included with the Aquatek mini regulator, but it is a cheapo unit. If you want to spend a little more money for a good one, check here for some good examples.
  • Paintball tanks, obviously. I would recommend getting the largest one you can find and maybe getting two of them. That way you can have one on the tank at all times, when it gets low, swap them out and you will have a couple months to get the backup filled.
  • A drop checker. This is used to estimate the levels of CO2 diffused in the water. It is filled with a pH indicator solution that changes color as the pH of the solution changes as the CO2 levels in the water change. It is a handy little device which will prove it's worth quickly. I use this one and have been very happy with it, but there are nicer ones here if you want that classy glassy look.

    Obviously, CO2 setups aren't cheap, but with the paintball route you can do it relatively inexpensively compared to the full scale regulator route. Good luck! I'd be happy to clear anything else up for you if you have questions.

    Edit: Make sure you have a check valve in the system somewhere. This will keep aquarium water from flowing up the line into the regulator. Some of those items I listed (like the GLA diffuser) have them built in, which will solve that problem. However, if you choose products without a check valve built in you will need to add one. Here are some (also more tubing there to choose from).
u/callmebunko · 2 pointsr/PlantedTank

OK, so here's one problem - you are not going to get accurate results with test strips. But, I don't know what your finance situation is, so maybe you need to use them for now and anything is certainly better than nothing. If you have a few bucks to spend, get a test kit like this one, which will test much of what you want to know about except water hardness, but this one does that.

Your nitrates aren't bad. Before we talk about things to try, I have to say the following: if you change more than one thing at a time you will never know what's working and what isn't. Try one change at a time, give each change two or three days to make a difference, keep a written record with dates (and time, if you're obsessive like me), and don't just write down what you change. Try to include things you observe, and try to take cell phone pics so you can accurately measure change. Be patient, observe the tank daily, be patient, and try to be patient.

An 8 hour split may be too much with the Nicrew, but it really isn't way overboard. I do a 7 hour split but I have no experience with Nicrews, I have two Finnex Planteds and a BeamsWork, and I don't know when you changed to the Nicrew and your 8 hour regimen. You could try a blackout for a few days, and then back to your current regimen.

If your light is sitting atop your tank you can try raising it a bit. A 10 gallon is what? 12 inches tall? You can jerry rig something to raise the light, or you can get something like this, or you can hang the light from the ceiling with fishing line. If you have aquascaping tweezers you can pull algae out manually, or you can use a toothbrush; not to brush the leaves, but to grab the algae in the bristles and pull it out. I've tried all of these things in different tanks, with good results. I've also used Seachem Excel, but only once or twice a week, not daily as the directions say. It definitely helps, but it isn't a cure and it only kills the algae, like the Algaefix you are already using. If you use Excel, wash your hands afterward. There are some scary and, to my mind not very scholarly, articles on the web about the chemical used in Excel, which Seachem claims is a different isomer than what it actually uses. But wash your hands afterward anyway - it's a simple precaution. Keep this in mind: if you use either one, it will make it harder to tell if the other things you are doing are having any effect. So, maybe bite the bullet for a couple weeks to try the other things, and if you start making headway you can use just a bit of the Algaefix or Excel to help push things along.

You should also consider how heavily planted your tank is. More plant load is better to out-compete the algae. If you have a lot of plants, you also want to provide them with nutrients or the light is next to useless. A good way to increase the plant load inexpensively and relatively fast is floaters. Check the AquaSwap forum here on reddit - /r/AquaSwap/, but keep in mind that you cannot be certain that you will not get snails with the plants, even if the seller claims the plants are dipped before shipping. Snails are not a bad thing, and would probably be helpful for you. Another inexpensive way to beat algae! And, if they get out of hand you just stick a stainless steel fork in a hunk of cucumber, put it in the tank for about two hours, grab a zip-loc baggie and hold it in the tank, grab the fork, put the cucumber and snails in the bag, pull the fork out of the cucumber, and close the bag. Into the garbage with it. It will be covered with snails.

Getting back to the floaters, they will suck up nitrates, provide shade for your anubias, and you'll be pulling handfuls out of the tank in no time (into the garbage! don't take a chance of letting them into the wild by throwing them in your yard). You can keep the floaters corralled with clear air line tubing and suction cups. Make sure the diameter matches, like these do. Cut a length of hose, heat near one end while holding the end so you can pull it until it comes off, leaving a pointy end that you can now stick into the other end of your length of hose, creating a circle. I use the silicon repair stuff to "glue" it together. This guy shows you a better way to do it, in his second video in the series at 2:45. But if you want to get motivated for your algae war, watch the entire series. You will never be the same. And after that, go learn here.

There are a lot more things you can do, but maybe start with these and keep reading about this stuff whenever you get a chance. Good Luck, and let us know how you make out.

u/jinshifu · 4 pointsr/PlantedTank

I actually just set up a 29g tank recently. I did a bit of research, so there's a few things I would recommend. First and foremost, if you have time, get this book: Ecology of the Planted Aquarium. It goes over all the science, but in a way understandable to laymen, for everything you need to know about the tank: substrate, lighting, to CO2 or not CO2, what plants are best to start with to avoid algae problems, etc. Her methods have become known as the Walstad method.

For cycling, you can do fishless or fish-in. I did fishless, as the fish I wanted to stock my tank with aren't very hardy and wouldn't tolerate cycling. I didn't want to buy a hardy fish just to cycle the tank with. Here's a guide for fishless cycling: here. All you really need is bacteria from your LFS (most give it out for free), and some ammonia (any place that sells cleaning supplies will have it for ~1 dollar/jug). Most people recommend getting the API liquid testing master kit to measure ammonia/nitrates/nitrites. Don't get use strips.

In a planted tank, filter isn't too important. As long as it is rated for your tank size it should be fine. Plants eat up fish poop and left over food as macronutrients.

For substrate, there are several ways to do it. I can't remember exactly offhand, but I think what Walstad recommends is about 1'' of potting soil (organic i.e. no fertilizers in it) and around 0.5'' of sand on top, but not more as it the fine grain can choke off the O2 supply for the soil bacteria underneath.

For fish, it's up to personal preference. I used AqAdvisor. It's not perfect, but it helps tell you determine how many fish your tank can hold and whether there are glaring compatibility issues.

For bottom feeders...I think this is also personal preference. I have 3 otocinclus cats and maybe 7-8 cherry shrimp running around. Just make sure your tank is big enough.

For plants, try a bunch of different species and see what sticks. Fast growing plants like water sprites are good at sucking up nutrients and reducing algae growth. If you're going for a certain look, I would draw out a rough sketch of what type of plants you want where (i.e. foreground carpet, tall background plants, driftwood/rock placement) before you fill the tank up with anything. It's easier to place and plant these things before you fill the tank up with water.

Other things: If you get a lot of plants, you'll want good lighting. Lots of guides on that, lot of choices too. LEDs have gotten pretty good recently, but are pricey. But they need to be replaced less often. As for CO2, again, it depends on how many plants and how often. I know some people that get away with just daily dosing of fluorish excel (liquid carbon), but if you are really going the whole hog with plants, might want to look into DIY CO2, which is what I'm using for my 29g tank or even an expensive pressurized CO2 system.

Tl;dr - Buy/get your hands on Walstad's book before you make any big decisions so you understand why you're doing it, not just because some guy told you to do it. If you really don't want to pay, here's the super spark notes version: here.

u/apistia714 · 2 pointsr/PlantedTank

Definitely read of bottom dwellers being harmed on the sharp pieces that make up flourite. Possibly consider eco complete as a more gentle option.
As for root tabs. If you plan on growing plants like swords and crypts that feed through the roots then you'll need some kind of root fertilization, whether bought or diy.

The finnex lights are adjustable but only within a couple of inches on either side. You MIGHT find that a 36 inch light includes enough adjustability to mount on your 39.XX long. I know you want finnex lights but you might consider the 36 inch Current Satellite (not the Plus; it's unnecessary as far as I'm concerned). The mounting legs on the Current led lights afford far more adjustability and should easily give you the ability to mount them on your odd-sized tank. Yes, the Current's aren't as bright as the Finnex lights. But because your tank is only 15 inches deep and so long as you only plan to grow low to medium light plants you shouldn't have a problem with the lack of a light as bright as the Finnex. And as a side benefit, you won't have such high likelihood of having to manage algae without that light intensity. Anyway, something to consider.

Consider whether the fish you'll have are messy and prefer extra water movement. Go with the most filtration you can afford that won't stress your type of fish with too much water movement. Some people say 10 times your volume is the desired flow, some say less.
As for media. Depending on how many trays you have in the canister you end up with, I'd go with some kind of filter pad/floss, bio-balls or ceramic rings, and Seachem Matrix. I'm also partial to ChemiPure Elite as well for its ability to keep my water sparkling clear.

GLA has good options

Approximate the recommendations for size of heater to volume of water. Set the heater(s) for desired temperature. Then adjust up or down to achieve that desired temperature.
Another option is to go for a heater from Cobalt Aquatics and others that have more precise temp control and setting. CA's neo-therm heaters allow you to set the temperature and provide a visual led indicator telling you whether water temp is at, above, or below desired. They're also essentially unbreakable, very low profile, and matte black so they blend into the background should your background be black.

Otos are great cleaners and are enjoyable to watch do their thing. As for shrimp, amano shrimp are inexpensive and don't breed uncontrollably the way other shrimp do.

Waiting until ammonia is at zero is only the first step in the cycling process. You're looking to create a bacterial colony that will handle your bio-load. You need at least two types of bacteria: ones that will break down the ammonia from fish waste and uneaten food plus decomposing plant matter, and ones that will break down nitrites. Not to get too deep into the cycle when you can read more elsewhere about it but, the bacteria that consume ammonia break it down into nitrites. Nitrites are slightly less deadly to fish than ammonia but will still kill your fish. You also need a colony of bacteria to break down the nitrites into nitrates to be safe. Nitrates you then manage with water changes. (The Seachem Matrix I suggested earlier also fosters bacteria that break down nitrates so that will help too). Read up on fishless cycling and get the API Master test kit.

u/Always_Daria · 3 pointsr/PlantedTank

For the fertilizer doses, I'm not really an expert, but you should get some good ideas from the Tom Barr website...his website is actually a lot more technically helpful than reddit on some of the more scientific aspects of planted tanks.

You can be much more precise measuring your fertilizers (and its cheaper) to buy dry ferts. I like to buy mine from

Your substrate choice will affect your experiment as far as fertilizing. Some, like organic potting soil, or aquasoil, will contain fertilizers. Some, like sand, are completely inert. It may make your life easier to measure the effects of fertilizer dosing with an inert substrate. Or have a sand as a control tank or something. Some of the special planted tank aquarium substrates don't contain nutrition themselves, (like fluorite, etc) but they bind them easily, and store them for plant use. Again, not sure if that would affect your experiment or not.

You'll need to make sure you take your lighting into account as well. That will affect your plant growth rate a lot.

Fast growing and minimal maintenance can include water sprite, water wisteria, amazon swords, dwarf lilly.


Amazing resource for you to cite for any paper you have to write.

u/Ka0tiK · 2 pointsr/PlantedTank


Some on here we'll advocate buying CO2 parts individually, but I feel that it took too much research to do that myself. In most cases, a kit of some kind will do well. Cheaper kits, such as the aquatek regulator will work, but occasionally you do run into a dud or faulty needle valve.

Personally I have a GLA Regulator kit but they are pricier. In this case, you get what you pay for and they are excellent quality and a no-fuss solution. CO2 gas should be pretty cheap in your area, it costs me only about 15-17 dollars to fill a 5lb.

You noted you want the breeder to be high-tech, so in this case you will need to buy light that fits high light tanks. The two types of light I recommend are T5HO (High Output) or LEDs. I use LEDs on all my tanks now.

Most on this sub highly recommend Finnex lights. For the 40 breeder you would want something from their RAY II line, which is their strongest light. If you are looking more for medium light you can get a Planted+ 24/7. It all depends on ultimately what you want to grow and what your goals are.

A pricier option is something like BuildMyLED, there fixtures have slightly better optics and build quality, and all of there fixtures can be dimmed. They can be purchased at many different light color temps. I have some of these as well and they do well.

If you still like fluorescent T5HO is the way to go for bright tanks. I can't comment too much on recommendations, just be wary that the quality of the fixture (the reflectors) can really make a difference on PAR light intensity. Obviously you'll want to buy daylight bulbs (4500-7000k).

u/AdequateSteve · 5 pointsr/PlantedTank

Two things:

One. That light is made for a refugium. A lot of people will say that it's "harsh" or "cold" - that's because it's not really made for humans to look at - it's not a "display light". It'll work just fine for growing plants (it'll work really well, actually), but it will lack a lot of the "warmer" colors that look good to human eyes. Finnex makes a few others that are comparable: Plantet+ 24/7 (adjustable colors/remote/timer), Ray (bright white light), Ray 2 (very powerful white light).

Ultimately the light you choose will depend on a few factors. What kinds of plants will you grow? How deep is the aquarium (more powerful lights are needed for deeper water columns)? Do you mind if the light is "harsh"?

Of those considerations, I'd put the most weight on the tank dimensions and the plant specifications. Trying to push light through 24 inches of water for a carpeting plant? You'll want a Ray 2. Have an 8-inch deep tank that you want to grow some swords in? Don't waste your money on anything fancy.


Two. That CO2 kit is a money pit and here's why:

  • The regulator is crap and you'll have a VERY hard time dialing it into 2-3 bubbles/second. I know this from experience.
  • CO2 is most useful when it's on a schedule (in sync with your lights). To do that you need a solenoid regulator that can be turned on/off using an outlet timer. This regulator does not have that.
  • That also means that every time you turn this on/off, you'll have to dial in your bubble count AGAIN.
  • Those cartridges are tiny. 20g of CO2 will last you a good two weeks if you're lucky (probably closer to 1 week). The refills are 3-5 bucks each if you go with the Fluval ones. Finding off-brand cartridges is near impossible because of the threadding. They lock you into buying their refill products.

    So let's say you spend 25 bucks on the kit plus 15 bucks for some cartridges. That's an upfront of 40 dollars with a 15 dollars per month in perpetuity. That means that one year of this kit will cost you $220.

    Instead you could go for this paintball setup for the same price:

  • Regulator - $110
  • Atomizer - $20
  • Paintball tank - $21 (probably another $10 to have it filled)
  • CO2 proof tubing
  • Check valve - $7
  • Drop checker kit - $14
  • Outlet timer - $10
  • Bubble counter - $13

    That build adds up to $205, will be WAY less work in the long run, much more stable, and simply easier to run. Also if you ever get sick of it and want your money back - it'll retain a lot of it's value. You could probably re-sell that whole set for 170-ish used. Also, that tank will last you a good few months before needing to be refilled.

    CO2 can really help your tank flourish, but it takes a considerable buy-in. Go all the way or go home. Half-assing it to save money on sub-par equipment will just cause you headaches and a lot more money in the long run. I spent about 250 on my setup two years ago and haven't had to spend a PENNY on it since.


    PS: /u/Elhazar, are you really gonna go around using the little 2 in "CO₂" and pretend like it's nothing? Well aren't you fancy!
u/GaugeFOREVER · 1 pointr/PlantedTank

I am like you, and have done DIY until very recently. Spend the money. You won't regret the purchase. I was only slightly over 100 bucks on mine, but it was worth every penny to be rid of the hassle. The only issue with the valve I'll recommend is that you can't go over 1500 PSI even though the bottle I'll recommend is rated for 1800. Make sure to mention that when you get the bottle filled. The regulator is only rated at 1500. Here is what I bought.

CO2 Regulator
CO2 Tank
CO2 Diffuser

So yea, some tips. Don't fill tank over 1500 PSI. Make sure green knob is all the way in off position and it's not plugged in when you screw on the regulator. Screw on the regulator ALL THE WAY. Plug regulator in, slowly open the green knob. This assumes you have all the tubing hooked up. The bubble counter is super handy :) It only costs me 5 dollars to fill up the tank at Dicks sporting goods store. So after the upfront cost, I can run multiple tanks with a splitter off this, for a 5 dollar every few months fee. Totally worth it for the consistent bubbles and lack of hassle from DIY. If you get a timer, you can plug your regulator and light into it and you can control when the CO2 and light come on. You just need to trust us man, 130 bucks for this is worth it... so worth it. The bubble counter comes in the regulator I linked. The only things you'll need to buy other than what I posted for a 100% system is silicon tubing to link it all up, and maybe some suction cups. I didn't list this because that's a few dollars at most on Amazon. Don't listen to the 300 dollar crowd, my system is sub 150 and works just as well as theirs.

Would highly recommend a system.

u/OMFGitsBob · 1 pointr/PlantedTank

Hi /u/VolkovME! Thanks for the lengthy reply; I really appreciate it.

I've looked at LED setups in the past, as well as a paintball CO2 setup, but I got a bit overwhelmed and wasn't sure what I should go with. Which Finnex LED system would you personally recommend? I visted their site and I'm really unsure of the power needed. I have this Fluval CO2 kit bookmarked as well as this adapter for the paintball canister. Would this be an acceptable setup for CO2, or would you recommend something else? Would I still dose the tank with the "Leaf Zone", or do you recommend a better substitute?

Unfortunately I'm not sure what plants I had; I always just picked the plants I liked at Petco, and they were generally under the "aquatic plant combo" tag. Is there a specific brand of mineralized soil you would recommend?

Thank you again for the helpful comment and advice; it really is appreciated!

u/Encelados242 · 4 pointsr/PlantedTank

Well, if you ask me, T5 and T8 lighting is quickly becoming a thing of the past. LEDs are getting cheaper and cheaper and the quality is getting better and better. I really recommend just going with LEDs. You can get a nice 30 inch fugeray planted plus for less than $100. This should be enough to take care of carpeting the 20 long. You should shop around though, and get familiar with the term photosynthetically active radiation, which is the unit of measure for the effectiveness of grow lights. There are some general guides on what PAR ratings you want for different plants, but I think around 50 is considered high-light, and 30 will take care of most plants. PAR is also measured by the distance from the lights, and is usually shown as a diagram of the aquarium. With your 20g long, being so shallow, you have a lot of inexpensive options that will easily reach the substrate. You should also compare the wavelength charts for each light, which should be available on the manufacturer's websites. With a little google-fu, I found a nice post on the light spectrum and planted aquariums. There are some too-good-to-be-true LED lights on the market that boast their 10k lights, but don't want to show you the spectral analysis, which exposes how crappy the lights actually are.

CO2 definitely as a learning curve. For optimal growth, you want to hit 30 ppm CO2 during the "day", which is indicated by an approximate 1 Ph swing with the shake method (test the water without shaking the CO2 out, then test again after shaking the crap out of the vial). This website explains it all and has a nifty CO2 calculator. If you do a DIY CO2 setup, using yeast in a bottle, you won't have to ever worry about adding too much. This is a great way to get started with CO2, and get your feet wet before buying the equipment. The downside is you have almost no control over the CO2 production, and it gets to become a hassle to deal with the mess and weekly maintenance. Still, do this to start! Eventually you will want a nice big 5 pound (or bigger) canister, and a fancy regulator. Don't bother with those paintball gun things. They cost nearly as much to get set up, and require a lot more maintenance. My 7.5 pound tank lasts me around 4 months before I need to refill it, and that's on a 90g planted tank running around 10 bubbles a second. Most people who get the little paintball setups just end up wanting to upgrade later, and you will have wasted a ton of money.

Balancing CO2 levels with your photoperiod is also important. Be sure to get a regulator with a needle valve for fine adjustments, and a solenoid that will turn on/off the gas for you. I keep my lights and my solenoid plugged into two different lamp timers so the CO2 kicks on an hour before the lights come on and turns off an hour before the lights go out. You can play with the timing yourself by setting up an experimental cycle, and doing periodic Ph tests throughout the day to monitor CO2 levels and Ph swings. Adjusting your CO2 flow is a pain in the but, even with a nice needle valve. It takes most people a full day of tinkering just to get it set right. Basically you turn on the regulator, turn the dials all over the place until you get the pressure where you want (by looking at your bubble counter). Then wait an hour for the airline tube to absorb the pressure, and recalibrate. For a moderately planted 20g, you will probably want to start at around 3 bps. Get it calibrated, let it run, and then check the CO2 levels throughout the photoperiod to see how close to 30 ppm CO2 you get.

Good luck! And hopefully at least some of this information was useful for you!

u/ambery79 · 1 pointr/PlantedTank

One thing I've seen over and over is that Dwarf Hairgrass needs pressurized CO2 in order to get an established carpet so you really might want to consider that. Our set-up consists of an AQUATEK CO2 Mini Regulator, 2 Empire 20oz CO2 Tanks (which are the same as what they use for paintball and very cheap to fill - and they last for months), a Reactor 100 diffuser (our Fluval, a Fluval 88g Bubble Counter, and a Fluval CO2 Indicator Kit. You'll need airline tubing too and a drop checker. It very simple to set up and use, if you'd ever consider it and your hairgrass would love you for it...but it really looks like everything in there is thriving so nicely!

Hairgrass also needs light so maybe cut back on whatever is blocking light from getting down to the hairgrass. If you do go with CO2, make sure you shut it off when your lights aren't on, since the plants can't use it without light and watch the indicator so you don't gas your tank and fauna. CO2 would also help regulate your pH, which your shrimp would love. Mine holds at a steady 6.8.

Maybe you could cut back your sword a bit and plant some of the runners in another tank, or if you don't have one, maybe you have a friend that would like some?

I think your tank looks great, a little jungly, but I bet the shrimp love that! Love your variety of Fauna!

Good luck!

u/Raptorbird · 1 pointr/PlantedTank

Just quickly thinking off the top of my head, the order shouldn't really matter. If you want Eco-Complete though I know it does go on sale on Amazon and Petsmart/Petco from time to time. The only thing is it has live bacteria in it so you want to put it somewhere that's not too hot/cold etc... It actually has quite a bit of water in it to help keep the bacteria alive and it smells like a swamp when you open the bags lol. But here's the link for the EI ferts: You dose your micro nutrients on Tuesday,Thursday (Plantex CSM + B) and dose your macro nutrients (Potassium Nitrate (KNO3), Mono Potassium Phosphate (KH2PO4), and Potassium Sulfate (K2SO4)) on Monday, Wednesday, Friday. Then every Monday you do a 50% water change. You have to calculate how much to put in your tank depending on its size but I can help you with that. Just pm me when the time comes. Also for the CO2 system, I would recommend this regulator:, this adapter, so if/when you decide to upgrade to a larger tank you won't have to buy another regulator and instead can just buy a 5lb or 10lb tank ( That regulator comes with a bubble counter with a built in check valve. The bubble counter is decent enough so you don't have to buy that. Then you're also going to need CO2 proof tubing and teflon tape to use between the threads of the adapter and regulator. You're also going to need an atomizer which you can get cheaply off of Ebay. Lastly you're going to need a drop checker with 4dkh solution which you can also get pretty cheap from Ebay. I know all this information is really overwhelming but if you just take it one piece at a time, it's not too bad. Hopefully I haven't forgotten anything. But feel free to pm me anytime if you ever have any questions in the future. I'd be more than happy to help.

u/RoughRhinos · 2 pointsr/PlantedTank

Hey I just bought the same tank! I fit the same exact heater in the compartment next to the filter intake tube, it fit perfectly. I also used a little over half a bag of eco-complete. I just planted it a couple days ago. I bought a Nutrafin co2 kit but the ladder diffuser/bubble counter took up a whole wall so I ditched it and bought this glass diffuser and this bubble counter, they're still in the mail though so can't comment on how they work.

It looks like you're going with pressurized co2 which I sort of want to too but the replacement tanks seem expensive. Kind of wish I hadn't bought the Nutrafin and just made my own bottle DIY but the cannister is nice and so is the tubing it comes with and I'll just use the ladder diffuser on a bigger tank. There's not much room to work with and the lid seems annoying to fit things under, like tubing so I'm still working on that but overall it's a beautiful tank. Good luck!

u/zenquarium · 2 pointsr/PlantedTank

I use a mix of substrate whatever is onsale. My favorite right now is organic gardening soil capped with sand but takes a lot of time to prep it but its cheap like 50lbs is less then 10 dollars. Here a link to prepping it:

I used ecocomplete which is basically lava gravel. Here a link to it I got it for 3 dollars when my LFS was remodeling.

I use blasting sand its like 8 dollars for 50lbs. Here a link to it

I used fluval stratum. Got it one sale

I used seachem onyx sand. Got it for free during a store raffle.

I used cat litter unscented and natural clay.

I used azoo soil

I never never vacuum, clean, or siphon my substrate in my aquariums just let all the plants and substrate absorb the fish waste as nutrients.

In my opinion you can grow plants with any gravel or substrate just need nutrients. When I using just sand only as a subrate I supply it with plant food. I used Osmocote Plus Outdoor and Indoor Smart-Release Plant Food here is the link:

It was almost 4 dollars at walmart. How you use the garden plant food is just mix it with your substrate or sprinkle it and push it down into the substrate with your finger or chopstick. It sinks inside aquariums. I used the plant food about once every 6 months or when I think its 6 months which could be 4 months. I don't know all my plants are just growing fine.

With that said I recommend ADA Nature Substrate even tho I never used it. Because Amano Takashi, founder of ADA, knows a lot more then me I just never found it onsale or locally otherwise I would had brought it.

What I would do is use the gravel to make slopes and hill interesting landscape then mix or put plant food in it and then cover it with ADA soil.

I never ran into anaerobic zone issues but then again I had trumpet snails to help my substrate breath. Some of my substrate or gravel were 7cm+ tall and plants still grew not sure how far there roots went but they grew.

I have about 6 dirted tanks and one them had issues developing gas in the substrate. I had to poke the substrate every few days to release the gas other wise I think my plants wouldn't had grow. I think that could had been Anaerobic not sure but plants still grew but just slower compare to the other dirted tanks.

Will I hope that helps.

u/o1001o1001o · 3 pointsr/PlantedTank

This looks awesome!

I don't have too much to input, but I do have the same setup (Aquatek Mini) and I can vouch for it. I haven't had any issues, but I have heard that the Customer Care is great. Also, my paintball co2 lasted about 4 months in a 29g.

Adding some references...

u/The_Stoic_One · 2 pointsr/PlantedTank

The fluval CO2 system requires you to use disposable co2 canisters. The system comes in two sizes, 20 gram and 88 gram. Depending on the CO2 requirements of your plants, it could end up getting a tad expensive. You may be able to get away with it on such a small tank, but it the long run it may be cheaper to purchase a larger, refillable system.
Assuming you go with the 20 gram kit, which is recommended for up to 15gal. That's ~$28 + S&H. Assuming you are conservative with your CO2, You'll probably use 1 canister every 2 weeks. A 20 gram 3 pack is $14 + S&H. Over the course of a year you will spend ~$145 + S&H for CO2. Over 2 years, that number will be around ~$250 + a lot of S&H. Plus, if you decide to upgrade your tank, you'll also have to upgrade your CO2 system.
If you have the money to spend up front, you'll save yourself time and money in the long run. Get a 24oz Paintball CO2 tank from Amazon for $21. Get it filled at your local sporting goods store for ~$4. Get a diffuser from Amazon for ~$11. Then get a Paintball CO2 Regulator from GLA for $189. One fill up on your tank is equal to more than 34 20 gram canisters from Fluval and it only costs about $4 to refill, and if you have a Dicks Sporting Goods near you, 5th refill is free. Total cost is $221 + S&H, but that regulator is quality made and will last you years.
This is the set-up I use on my 7.5 gal and I'll be honest, after all other methods of "low cost" CO2 injection failed me and wasted my money, shelling out $200 for a regulator was quite painful, but this was the single best purchase I've ever made in my 20 years of keeping fish. So, if you can afford it, or can wait a bit and save some cash, it's worth it.
The simple fact that Fluval wants to charge you 13.99 for just over 2.1 ounces of CO2 when you can get a 24oz tank filled for $4 should make you question the purchase of their system.

u/bquad · 3 pointsr/PlantedTank

Before I talk about your wishlist I'm curious if you want the CO2 for a 20-30 gallon setup or the 12 gallon setup. Paintball would be great for the latter, but I'd strongly urge you go with a full sized reg and tank for a 20-30 gallon setup. Either way, heres my info.

Regulator-Looks good. Some people like it and others don't. Give it a shot and see how you like it. Make sure to get a timer for the solenoid so you don't have to manually turn it off and on everyday. Home depot has these for ~$5.

Tank- I got this tank and it works great. It is 20% larger than the one you selected and nearly the same price. The 24 oz one has been running on my 10 gallon tank since November 1st and it isn't empty yet.

Check valve- I got this check valve, it didn't work, so I sent it back. I started getting these check valves instead and I prefer them. You'll end up getting a larger amount and spending more over time, but the failure rate is quite low. Unless you sit on it like I did. Since they're so cheap I put two in line between the diffuser and reg just in case one fails.

Drop checker-That one works, but is overly expensive. You can get the same thing on eBay for $2. It ships from out of the country, but is the exact same thing for 1/8 the price. Even if you get the Rhinox one you'll need to get 4DKH solution to calibrate the drop checker and make it functional.

Tubing-Its just some tubing. Theres nothing more to say. You don't really need CO2 resistant tubing though. I use airline tubing and it works fine. Only issue is it gets brittle on the diffuser over time so I need to use more. Maybe CO2 resistant tubing is better for this reason.

Bubble counter/diffuser-You don't actually need two diffusers or a bubble counter. Just get an all in one. I use this one and am quite happy with it. The check valve isn't really that good, but the bubble counter portion and diffusion are solid. If you want to get a bubble counter so you can measure bubble rate right after the reg and right before the diffuser to check for leaks you can do that. Or you can use soapy water to find leaks and not worry about bubble rate.

u/codfos · 1 pointr/PlantedTank

As some others have said, that plant is Anubias. That hairy stuff is algae and the brown crud looks like diatoms which is common in new tanks. The "suckerfish" (on the underside of that leaf) you have looks to be some sort of plecostomas which don't eat really anything but certain types of green algae. They aren't algae scrubbers like the old school of thought suggests. I would suggest getting some nerite snails. They cannot breed in fresh water so you won't have explosion of them.

Also, as others have said, get a timer and start keeping your lights on a schedule. Start at 8 hours on and the rest off. You can set it to be whenever you like if you want to enjoy it so you could start it at Noon and push it to 8 pm or however you like. That will help the plants "out compete" the algae.

Finally, get a filter. I have an Aquaclear filter with a pre-filter sponge to keep shrimp out of it. This will also help disturb the surface to keep surface bacteria managed and increase gas exchange at the surface ensuring you have enough oxygen.

u/Elhazar · 1 pointr/PlantedTank

Well, it does is a hard challenge for a beginner, but doing a properly carpeted nano-Aquascape (~20l <=> ~5g <=> ~2.0 × 10^-2 m^3) with DIY CO2 and a small sponge filter is doable in <150$

A quick, small suggestion:

Tank, ~13l <=> 3.4g, 40$

Soil, 20$

Light, 40$

stones, 25$

Filter, 10$,

1 pot Monte carlo or some other easy carpet plant at your lfs: 8€

We‘re left with 7$ for ~4 RCS, I guess.

I assumed you construct you DIY CO2 from an old bottle with sugar and yeast, so 0$ effetivly.

For cycling and food some free samples of fish food does the job. When food rots it emits ammonia, that could be used for cycling.

So here we go, every thing ready for a nice iwagumi-aquascape. If you do well, it might looks like this (That Tank has HC as carpet, but Monte carlo looks similar)!

Well, if you‘re willing to put up a dozens of hours on studying to to properly keep a planted tank.

edit: Wrong link for tank, this was the one I mistakenly linked to. Still a nice, small tank, tho. Also some additions for clearance.

u/doxlee · 2 pointsr/PlantedTank

I've had good luck so far with the Finnex Fugeray Planted+ I am still pretty new to planted tanks as well, but this light has kept a ton of plants alive in my 55 Gallon, which has been going strong since mid January. Good Luck!

u/jyding · 2 pointsr/PlantedTank

I agree with u/SudoPoke. Sand by itself doesn't have a lot of nutrients for the plants (none actually) and can starve the plants that mainly feed from the soil. If you do not dose fertilizers you're not feeding your plants either, so they don't have any food! You're basically putting them in an empty room and hoping they survive haha. Water parameters for a planted tank with no live stock doesn't matter toooo much but can help to indicate if something is wrong or can point to the source of an algae infestation.

I would invest in an API test kit, some kind of fertilizer (the complete fertilizer by aquarium coop would be a super cheap and easy to use option for you) and a different substrate. I recommend control soil or ADA amazonia. They're a bit expensive but they're worth it if you're really trying to get into plants and planted aquariums with livestock. Amazonia has some cycling issues so you have to do some pre-treatment. Controsoil is a bit easier, and cheaper, but isn't as comprehensive as amazonia. It's a bit of an investment in the beginning but again these items should last you well over a year. 490.00 today can last you for up to 2 years so that'd be about 20 cents a day.

Check out these links:

u/Mirkinator · 1 pointr/PlantedTank

A green tint to your water is usually cyanobacteria. Does the tank get natural sunlight? Try to avoid it if possible. Also long photoperiods can cause this. Some antibiotics can help to clear that up if you can't get rid of it but usually caused by too much light. Also you didn't mention anything about fertilizers or the plants you're using what kind of plants or are you using in the tank? Also go to the planted tank forum (just google it) and read, read, read... Especially on fertz and lighting. I use the EI dosing method.

You also want to light that has a color temperature range around 6000k to 7500k, tho you can get away with a 10000k light often. I like the finnex ray 2 and planted plus light. And i would start with around 7 hrs of light (preceded by 1.5-3 hrs of co2 enrichment.

Here's the link to the adapter not sure if it's available in the UK.

And again go to the planted tank forum there's just too many different aspects to list everything here(water hardness, plant types, fertz regimes, algae types, substrates, etc, etc...) and there's a lot of good information and a whole lot of much smarter people than me on that forum. A great resource..

u/xMcNerdx · 5 pointsr/PlantedTank

This video has some great advice. I used it when I got my DIY system set up. I purchased a kit from amazon for around $15. Totally worth it so far. Citric acid and baking soda lasts two weeks (when I'm doing it correctly) and I've had great growth so far. Be sure to also pick up a bubble counter and diffuser. Baking soda is easily found at any store with groceries, I had to order citric acid online because my Cub foods didn't have any. Overall the system is totally worth it for around $25.

u/Sam1Am0 · 1 pointr/PlantedTank

I actually ordered everything individually from Amazon. I’m sure you could probably find everything locally as well but it was easier for a newbie like me to get it all from the same place.

Aluminum CO2 Paintball Tank - $22 ( + $5 to fill with CO2)

Aquarium CO2 Regulator with... - $53

AQUATEK CO2 Paintball Tank CGA... - $12

aFe Power Magnum FORCE 54-11473... - $18

AQUATEK CO2-Proof Tubing 16 Feet - $8

Century 24 Hour Plug-in... - $9

Aquarium Carbon Dioxide CO2... - $11

Total: $148

Again, total newbie and this is the bare minimum of quality and price I was comfortable with. I plan on upgrading to a bigger tank and a better regulator in a few months. Do your own research too.

u/AngelOfPassion · 2 pointsr/PlantedTank

I was recommended this Beamswork light on here awhile ago and it has been great for me for the last year or so. If you are looking for a budget light this one has been great for me so far.

As far as co2 goes it is super easy to do honestly. It only cost me about $100 to set mine up and it is great knowing I can put almost any plant in and it has a chance. I am currently starting a carpet in my tank since I've had the co2 setup for awhile. Here is my setup:

But here is a copy pasted comment explaining my setup and links to all the parts I used that I gave to someone else:

Ok. I'll try to type out my whole setup.

The biggest parts of the setup are the tank and regulator. I use an Empire/Tippman co2 tank with a Double Sun Hydroponics Regulator.

Now, aquarium regulators aren't made with paintball tanks in mind, but most sporting goods stores won't refill tanks above 24oz due to safety reasons. So instead of buying a 5lb tank that no one can refill, I just use a simple Aquatek Paintball co2 adapter to attach the regulator to the tank I have. So for that part of the setup you just attach the adapter to the regulator and then after you fill your Co2 tank attach the tank to the adapter, done (make sure the regulator is plugged in and everything is tightened if you have already filled the co2 tank). Do not attach the adapter to the Co2 tank first, the adapter opens the tank so you'll just empty your Co2 into the air. So attach everything to the Co2 tank last lol.

I also use teflon tape on the tank threads and adapter threads just to help prevent any loss of co2 through the adapter. It probably wouldn't leak without it but I would rather be sure so I just wrapped up both pieces before the install.

Now that you have your regulator/tank setup we just need to get the co2 into the aquarium. I attach Aquatek co2 tubing to the bubble counter that comes attached to the regulator and attach it to a Rhinox check valve, this prevents any water from getting to the regulator, then run co2 tubing from the check valve to a Rhinox co2 diffuser, this condenses the co2 into tiny bubbles so it absorbs into the water.

Boom, almost done. We have co2, we are getting it into the tank, but now how do we know how much? We need a NilocG co2 drop checker and some Drop Checker Solution to put in it. This will come with a card that says the proper colors. I would suggest starting with low co2, check the next day, if the drop checker is still blue, increase the co2 a tiny bit and check again the next day, repeat until it turns green, yellow is bad and you might gas your fish so don't increase co2 too much at a time to protect the fish.

u/UrstoWhobutt · 1 pointr/PlantedTank

I recommend upgrading your filter. Those whisper filters are pretty crappy IMO mostly due to the cartridge system they use. Pretty much everyone loves aquaclear filters and I'm a fan of my C2.

Unless your Ph is crazy high (8+) I wouldn't mess with it. A stable Ph is more important than a "proper" Ph in most cases.

Good Luck!

u/jickeydo · 3 pointsr/PlantedTank

Are the lights built into the tank cover or are they separate pieces? And why do you want to go to an LED? Aesthetics? Plants?

IF you found a screw-in type bulb as /u/orangeisthebestcolor found, you're going to be stuck with one light, one intensity, one color, on or off. There's no moonlight or sunset with a light like that, only high noon and pitch black midnight.

For the features you are wanting, a light like the Finnex Planted+ 24/7 is what would work best. It's not inexpensive, but it does a pretty ok job of providing a 24 hour light cycle. You can search for a glass top to replace the hood that you're removing, they're really inexpensive - I think I paid around $50 for my 24"x48" glass tops.

u/Peckerdick · 1 pointr/PlantedTank

Very cool write-up, thanks!

Your diffuser is very clever, but even for a DIY system, I personally recommend to buy a diffuser. I tried about half a dozen different DIY diffusers, and eventually decided to just give in and buy one. I am currently using the Fluval Ceramic one, and will never go back:

$20 got me the diffuser, plus 3 replacement ceramic disks. Mine has been running for a month, and makes a ton of tiny micro-bubbles. I placed it at the bottom of my tank under my powerhead, and my plants absolutely love it.

The only drawback to this diffuser is your Co2 system needs a LOT of pressure for it to start working. If you use it, make sure you are using thick bottles and well sealed air lines.

u/Leacim0926 · 2 pointsr/PlantedTank

Hey thanks for taking the time. Are you referring to this Fluval or a different one? You've mentioned a pressurized CO2, can you point me out to a good resource on this? Or something that you would recommend? Although I have a 10 gallon planted tank with DIY CO2, I'm sure that that is totally different from a pressurized one.

Thanks again. Much appreciated.

u/VashTStamp · 1 pointr/PlantedTank

Very cool. I have also been researching co2 setups. Is this the one you used on amazon? I also noticed that aquatek makes a mini regulator. Am I correct in assuming that the only difference in them is that the mini regulator uses a 24 oz paintball co2 tank and the standard size uses the 5 lb tank?

Also, absolutely gorgeous tank you have! I really like the open top style. May I ask also what kind of lights you are using? I really like how they look. Thank you!

u/Allmighty_Milpil · 2 pointsr/PlantedTank

Works really well, but be careful not to leave it on for too long. I had it on for seven hours every day on a timer when I left for vacation for five days and came back to a tank filled with algae. Other than that, it's a great light and I highly recommend it for the price :)

u/TheDopeGodfather · 1 pointr/PlantedTank

I've had a good experience with it, but only for a 5 gallon tank. For a tank as large as yours, you might run out of citric acid quicker than is actually worth it.

For about 120 bucks you can get yourself a legit pressurized CO2 setup. I think you'll thank yourself in the long run to just drop the coin now and be done with it.




Trust me, you'll be happy you went this route. This way you can put it on a timer, you won't have to turn it on and off each day, and you won't have to mess with mixing baking soda and citric acid every week.

u/wistukb · 2 pointsr/PlantedTank

This will be the perfect match for low-light plants.

I personally have this:

It worked very well for my 5g Fluval Chi with Java moss, dwarf hairgrass, micro swords, hornwort, and bladderwort.

I'm currently using it on a 20g long and the growth from my micro swords, anubias nana, Java moss, Java ferns, and wild bacopa is excellent. I keep it about 6" from the surface of the water. Some brown diatoms have formed directly below it on a piece of dead coral, but that's probably from a combination of recently cycling and a long photoperiod.

As long as you have a relatively short photoperiod or break up the photoperiod to "confuse" the algae, you should be fine. Flourish Excel definitely helps, as does hornwort if you don't mind it floating around.

u/madPiero · 1 pointr/PlantedTank

I'm a big fan of these. They're super bright, and my needy plants in small tanks do well with em. Might be worth checking out, their whole Planted+ line is fantastic. :)

u/LETS_TALK_BOUT_ROCKS · 1 pointr/PlantedTank

I have a biocube converted to freshwater. I didn't change any of the filtration, I just removed a bunch of the lighting hardware to make space for a more appropriately-colored LED. I got the aquarium virtually for free and didn't want to shell out a bunch of money on it so I just got some off-market brand of light but it works fine. I've heard good things about the FugeRay Planted+ 24/7 - it's bright enough for high-tech but also dimmable so it should work in a low-tech environment too. The catch is that it's pretty expensive.

Fluorite would be a mess (figuratively and literally) to remove and clean, if it were me I'd just leave it be for now.

u/xXJuanSanXx · 2 pointsr/PlantedTank

Finnex makes a great light. The FugeRay Planted Plus or Planted Plus 24/7 would seem to fulfill your needs. They are a bit pricy, but like you said, LEDs are worth it in the long run.




Here are links to the two lights I mentioned as well as PAR information for the FugeRay Light. Hope this helps! Cheers.

u/RandyHoward · 2 pointsr/PlantedTank

No that's not going to work - the CO2 in the water is going to bubble up and out of your tank in a hurry, much faster than any benefit you'd possibly get from it. This is a relatively inexpensive system that I've had on my 20 gal tank for the better part of a year and it has given me great results. Most people will tell you not to waste your money on these little co2 cartridges, but I've found it a pretty cost effective way to run co2 on a small tank. The little cartridges last a surprisingly long time.

u/Gurneydragger · 5 pointsr/PlantedTank

I would take a deep breath and do some research. This book helped me figure out how to keep a freshwater aquarium with less maintenance and more science.

  • I think you might actually slow down on the water changes. I would hand strip as much algae as you can as often as you can. Every time you get algae out you are effectively removing nutrients from the tank. There might be something in your tap the algae like.

  • Remove any plant parts that are yellowing and not actively growing, as they die they leak nutrients.

  • Change the light and get something in a higher kelvin range. The plant growth ones at Petco or whatever are garbage. They are just based on anecdotes and marketing, more blue is better. Plus a rapid shift like that might slow down the algae. Those yellow plant lights just make plants look greener. Personally I have had great success with 6500K bulbs. The above book has a chapter about CO2 and nutrient uptake with different K bulbs, the higher K bulbs were better for plant growth.

  • The goal here is to help the plants out compete the algae, the algae will always be ready to exploit extra nutrients. Let the algae grow and prune it like crazy, stop feeding the tank at all for now. The fish will find food. Keep the nutrients at the roots, not in the water.

  • Think of this as more like a reef tank than a plant tank, you want to limit the nutrients that the algae like and let the plants use their evolved root system to acquire nutrients from the substrate.

  • What kind of substrate are you using? A $10 bag of potting soil will go a long way to controlling nutrients. Just make sure it doesn't have chemical fertilizers that will dissolve into the water or chicken manure, because thats fuckin gross. They usually have the ingredients listed on the bag.

  • If you are ready to get out the hobby, try those steps first. It will take a little time and some work but it should get you there. Limit your expenditures, start with a higher kelvin bulb and potting soil.
u/filthytagger · 1 pointr/PlantedTank

Well depending on a few factors I don't think anyone here would complain about the finnex planted plus. Amazon has the for a good deal. They are more expensive then a fluorescent tube and a hood, but considering replacements cost the finnex is the way to go. I'd like to get one but, being from Canada likes to gouge the shit out of the Canadian market comparably to the US.

u/slidewithme · 2 pointsr/PlantedTank

I saw the solenoid was listed as "8.99" and I was like WHAT, I WILL TAKE 10.

Typo, I gotcha. $84.99. Yarr.

Setup looks okay.

Two suggestions:

  1. From personal experience is instead of a diffuser, use a reactor.
    I have this one: - I find it disperses the gas a lot better than a diffuser. Also, it's an inline thing, so it's in the cabinet under your tank and doesn't look ugly.

  2. Get actual cO2 tubing. Regular airline tubing will work, but will degrade over time from the gas. You can find it anywhere you can find normal airline tubing. It's usually black or clear.

    I have a 40b too, and a 10 lb tank. I have to fill it about every 6 months or so. Costs about $23 where I am, just to give you a base point.

    Good job, enjoy!

    *Edit: Oh, forgot to mention. If you go the reactor route, you'll need a bubble counter. Also, get a drop checker to ensure levels of cO2 in your tank are good.

    Bubble counter:

    Drop checker:
u/Unum_Lupus · 2 pointsr/PlantedTank

When I first got my 29g it had a light similar to that one. I managed to keep crypts and java moss alive, but anything else died. The plants didn't do well, they were barely surviving and it took months for them to grow even a little bit.

If you are interested in growing plants it is so much nicer to have the proper equipment/supplies and be able to grow whatever you want than to save a few bucks and hardly be able to grow anything.

I'm not sure what your budget is, but for $90 you can get a really nice light like this one:

u/Gredival · 1 pointr/PlantedTank

The cheapest way to do things is much more reliant on Amazon than Petsmart or Petco.

Substrate: Pool Filter Sand from a pool supply store. You can get 20-40lbs of this for under $10 compared to roughly $1 for 1lb that pet store gravel/sand costs. It's also prewashed, which is nice. You can go with a special planted substrate, but for the most part you can get the same benefits by just dosing ferts or using root tabs. The one exception is if you are willing to spend more to get a clay based substrate like ADA Aquasoil or Fluval Stratum, which are much more expensive (the cheap alternative to that is to use the Walstad method of using dirt on the bottom and capping it with sand). A sand layer should be about 3" max. More than that and you could start developing anaerobic pockets.

Filtration: Air Pump Sponge Filters. I'd recommend getting two of these and placing one on each side but you can get by with one. I recommend the Walmart Aqua Culture 60 Gallon Air Pump to run them. It only costs $11 and surprisingly this Wal-Mart brand pump is the quietest air pump I've ever used -- much quieter than anything else I've tried. However you can go with any air pump you can find at Petco or Petsmart but they will cost more. You can rinse sponge filters out with old aquarium water when you do a water change, which saves you money in the long run vs. buying cartridges for a hang-on-back box style filter. However if you want to go with a box filter, I'd recommend AquaClear. They may be available at Petco or Petsmart, but likely at a higher price than amazon.

Heater: Aquatop Heaters from Amazon. For a 10G you only need the 50W, but for only $1.50 more you might as well get the 200W version so that if you ever upgrade you don't have to buy another. Since this line of heater has adjustable temperature and will turn off when the water is heated, it doesn't matter if you overbuy on heating. You can get other brands at Petco or Petsmart, but you'll probably be paying more for less.

Lighting: If you are going low tech, you should probably just buy a tank that comes with a hood and light (but avoid the full kit that comes filter/heater/etc. because you can get all of that cheaper separately). Hoods with matching lighting are really hard to get after the fact. If you go high tech, this sort of lighting is inadequate so you'd want to go a different route.

u/weenie2323 · 2 pointsr/PlantedTank

I can answer a few of your questions. Your ammonia should be zero at all times, keep a close eye on it and do water changes if you see a spike. Getting a better light, like the one you linked to or this one should help your plants out a lot. Bacopa should be rooted, better light will help it thrive. I would not worry about duckweed effecting gas exchange, your HOB is probably providing plenty of agitation for gas exchange. If your HOB is working well there is no need to add a sponge filter I'd just save to use on your next tank:)

u/qrkycuriosity · 1 pointr/PlantedTank

Thanks! I haven't spent too much time searching yet (because I haven't a clue what specs I should be looking for), but my brief search just now I came up with these:

Finnex String Ray

Aquatic Life Reno

VivaGrow, which looks almost identical to my Finnex Planted but the name is different. (I really like my light, I just don't want to spend $100-120 if possible.)

Are there any lights you would recommend that aren't too pricey (I'd love to spend no more than $50 or $60)?

u/angard2012 · 2 pointsr/PlantedTank

I use mainly LED lights on my tanks. I have had the best luck growing plants with these lights on 29g tanks:

finnex planted plus

finnex stingray

current USA LED freshwater

DIY LED flood light

I have also used clamp shop lights from lowes and the great value daylight led bulbs

I have the same marineland light setup on one of my 29g tanks and it is barely enough to keep a ball of hair algae alive.

u/DankPurpleNuggets · 2 pointsr/PlantedTank

Hey, I have a Nicrew, however mine looks a tad less dynamic.

So far (3 months) it's been working fine for LOW light needing plants. I've had to take a few plants out that needed more light, so be sure to research. For the shrimp, they are fine. I have 3 Ghost shrimp that I've had since the cycle was over (2-2 1/2) months with no problems and they are growing great. I'm actually surprised they've co-existed great with my rainbow shark. the 3 plants that are doing great for me with this light is Java Moss, Java Ferns, and Temple Plants. I also have micro-sword growing....however one took, and one didn't. Could be because of the light reaching the bottom. I have a 20G tall so my assumption is you'll be fine.



u/blboppie · 2 pointsr/PlantedTank

I don't have any canister filters -- mine are all HOB (Hang On Back), and my favorite brand by far is Aquaclear. Their smallest is this 20 gallon filter. I like it because it is extremely simple to assemble and clean, and if you're looking to have a planted tank, you can leave out the carbon packet entirely (if you choose). Plus, it's clear acrylic so you can see what's going on in there (and if any fish happen to have swum into it!)

I have upgraded from my standard hoods with crappy lights to glass canopies with Marineland double-bright LEDS. I do NOT recommend having the glass top shipped to you -- they are available at PetSmarts and some Petcos, and are relatively inexpensive. Paired with the LED lights, the effect is just stunning compared with standard fluorescent lighting.

I have these lights on a 20g and 29g and they grow plants quite well (mostly low-light plants). In a 10g, they will be even more effective because you're not trying to get the light to reach into such a deep tank.

One more thing I'd recommend that hasn't been mentioned yet is your substrate. I strongly recommend Eco-Complete planted substrate. It's like potting soil especially for planted aquariums. I don't have to rinse it at all (like another one you'll find in stores called Flourite), and plants love it. You can cap it with sand or gravel, or just plant straight into it.

The great thing about a 10g tank is that it doesn't cost very much to "furnish" it. The challenge is that there is less margin for error, and you'll want to keep a close eye on your water quality as you introduce fish and get things stabilized.

And one last thing, since you're a beginner and I swore I would try to help others avoid my mistakes: DON'T BUY THE PLANTS IN THE PLASTIC TUBES!! There are a few exceptions to this, but you need to know that most of the plants you find in the plastic tubes at Petco or Petsmart or elsewhere are not truly aquatic plants. They will rot away in your tank in a matter of weeks and you will feel like you have done something wrong. Bamboo and dracaena are also NOT aquatic plants (even though they are all over the place in pet store aquariums) and will rot eventually.

When you're ready for plants, come back for ideas and recommendations and plan to do lots of homework if you don't want to lost money killing plants. :-) (Speaking from LOTS of experience on that one...)

u/mollymule · 2 pointsr/PlantedTank

I use CaribSea Eco-complete. It's black, beautiful, and easy to handle. I bought it from Amazon and used it in two new nano tanks and I will use it exclusively moving forward. You can find a lot of information on it here:

Good luck to you.

u/ncsupheo · 1 pointr/PlantedTank

Interesting. With lower intensity light, you probably don't necessarily need a heavy fertilizer regimen. To save a buck, would say that API "Leaf Zone" and Flourish (the base micro mix) would probably be all you'd ever need. But that might not be quite enough phosphate. You can keep an eye out for phosphate deficiency and wait until you know you need to dose. I've been using the GLA ferts, but it's overkill, and i never dose extra nitrate.

With low light, i don't think you really need CO2, but it's a nice addition. It can help to really suppress the majority of algae, but it's really only a necessity with very intense lights. The planted+ would take you up to medium-high light, and you might want to invest in CO2. I'm running the fluval kit with a lot of luck in my 5.5G light light tank. You can upgrade it to a paintball tank and it's more than enough. Probably the cheapest way to get into pressurized CO2, and you don't have to invest in the adapter and paintball cylinder first thing.

u/imposter_oak · 3 pointsr/PlantedTank

I wouldn't recommend DIY. Once you start doing it, you'll get tired of changing the solution every couple of weeks and it's not as consistent as pressurized. It's a good solution in a pinch, but you'll definitely want to look into pressurized eventually.

You could find a decent build for ~$100-200. If you get anything <$100, keep in mind that it's priced that low for a reason (cost vs quality).

I'd look into a paintball setup. A 20 oz tank on Amazon is $20. About $5 per fill at Dicks sporting goods (Buy 5 get 1 free or something like that). $15ish for the adapter (you don't need it if you buy a regulator designed for paintball tanks - see: Aquatek mini regulator

In that scenario, it'd cost slightly over $100 for that setup.

u/Year1939 · 2 pointsr/PlantedTank

With those plants yes you do need c02. And very high lighting. That light probabaly won't be enough. I'd guess you'd need two of those. Personally if you're trying to save money I would just go buy a 48 inch t5-t12 4 bulb shop light and hang it above the tank. For the c02 if you want to save money you could buy a paintball c02 tank, a small adaptor, and then a regulator/solenoid for that. And then you will want to buy and diffuser/atomizer/reactor. Personally I would go with an inline reactor you'll save a ton of c02 and there for more money. All of these things I just mentioned can be bought on amazon.


(Bulbs for lighting:

C02: (tank)



(sorry for the long link)


^you do need a canister filter for that so if you don't have one of those here's a cheap one

Realistically this is just the beginning of things you'll need to get a tank like that. But that is a cheap and good start. If you have any questions feel free to ask. It can be daunting but it's worth it!

u/SuchAura · 1 pointr/PlantedTank

Ok, thank you. What carpeting plant do you recommend for a beginner? And what plants do you recommend in general for a beginner? Im trying to plant my 10, 20, and 29 gallon tanks, but I just need more ideas for a virgin in planted tanks. I've heard about amazon swords with root tabs (Idk what root tabs are), anubias, and others. But would love your advice.

Edit: I plan on getting this substrate for the planted portions of my tanks.

u/MissingLogic · 1 pointr/PlantedTank

If you lock yourself into only purchasing these "kits" then I would just go head buy fluval as they're pretty much all around that range. Same thing with the replacement CO2 carts.

If you're really looking to save money in the long run, I would buy each part separate, they tend to be cheaper on amazon that way.
What you need is


Co2 Tank (paintball tank is cheapest and easiest to fill locally)

Adaptor (only if you bough a paint ball co2 tank)
bubble counter and check value (pick it up at your LFS)

This is the set up I run at my 10 gallon dutch, I've had it for 2 months now and the PSI on the CO2 tank haven't dipped in the slightest. I'm estimating the CO2 to last me almost three months, (right now I'm about two months 1 week in since filling the co2 tank)

I also didn't fill it all the way.

u/Quesenek · 2 pointsr/PlantedTank

For the light this one looks pretty good for a clip on Lominie Asta 20 Freshwater.

For the filter I will always recommend aquaclear for HOB, the aquaclear 20 would be a good fit.

u/floodingthestreets · 2 pointsr/PlantedTank

Fluval sells this simple kit. It does get expensive replacing their specialized cartridges, but it's a good place to start if you're only ready to get your toes wet.

If you want to go bigger, it'll cost more upfront, but is cheaper to maintain.

Amazon Shopping list for CO2 under $200:

Cheap Regulator. There are better/nicer/higher quality ones out there. This one is cheap and okay.

Drop Checker


Check Valve

CO2 tubing

Thread tape

Adjustable wrench

5lb cylinder less than $15 to fill at gas supply store

u/PsyonixOne · 1 pointr/PlantedTank

Ouch, yeah, I didn't know you were in CAN. I have one I would send you for free (you pay postage) if it's worth it to you, let me know. (this is the one I have :

But yes, my lesson in CO2, spend the money and buy a real setup. budget / DIY on a nice tank just ends up being a waste of time and causing issues/frustration. I ended up buying the Aquatek Mini regulator w/ a Solenoid and a Paintball canister and it's awesome on my 20 gallon.

u/[deleted] · 1 pointr/PlantedTank

Looks good! Nice fluval co2 system, I use the same on my 4.5 gallon. I would recommend investing in this adaptor and a 20+oz co2 bottle. It will save you loads of money in time! I just had to refill my bottle after 3 or so months, and it only cost $6 at my local sporting goods store.

Edit: looking at the pic again, maybe this isn't fluval. Either way, you might want to look into a paintball adaptor, loads cheaper than the pre filled bottles!

u/Zombie_Dog · 1 pointr/PlantedTank

I've ran the CO2 tubing directly into the intake of my HOB filter and it did "ok". I eventually got a fluval ceramic diffuser and it's been terrific. I still keep it below the inlet of the filter but the bubbles are much smaller. I also tried using bamboo chopsticks as a diffuser and that worked pretty well but occasionally it got clogged but very inexpensive and easily hidden.

u/perhapsso · 1 pointr/PlantedTank

You can try to get some filter media from your local fish store. It will have beneficial bacteria in it that can help start your cycle. You can also try adding a bottled bacteria like this. People have mixed results with it. You should test your water before you add fish to make sure the bottled bacteria is actually working. I recommend using API Freshwater Master Test Kit to test your water, the strips are not accurate.

u/rizzledog · 3 pointsr/PlantedTank

Awesome. Thanks for such a comprehensive response. I like the idea of the 6500k bulbs from Amazon, but do you think it is worth spending a bit more and getting something automated like this?

u/pilotak · 1 pointr/PlantedTank

Thank you very much! Should I pair that with this little kit?

Reviews seem iffy, but it'd be a good way to gain experience with CO2 systems for not a lot of money.

u/ChantzNhell · 2 pointsr/PlantedTank

Ferts -
Co2 Regulator -
5lb Co2 tank - Co2 diffuser -
Bubble counter -
Co2 Drop Checker - Co2 tubing and check valve -
Co2 Drop Checker Solution -

That should be everything. I would look into EI dosing too. Especially if you're going with dry ferts. You'll have to find a place near you that can fill the Co2 tank. I get mine filled at Beer Depot. Any home brewery store will have the equipment necessary to refill a 5lb Co2 tank. Welding stores also refill Co2 tanks. If you're really luck, you may have an awesome LFS that refills tanks too. If I missed anything, or if you have any more questions, please let me know. =)

u/Camallanus · 1 pointr/PlantedTank

I am not sure on the PAR of this fixture and I've only used it on emersed growth, so I'm not sure how strong it will be on a 10g. But I love the look of this light and it's done great with my emersed growth:

u/DanIsTheMan23 · 1 pointr/PlantedTank

You put this regulator on a paintball tank itself of any size but here's a 24 oz rather than a full co2 tank, easier to transport, easier to fill, cheaper tank cost, somewhat better for smaller tanks but too small for larger ones.

u/_The_Editor_ · 3 pointsr/PlantedTank

> Please list ALL the basic equipment for pressurized CO2?

  • Cylinder
  • Regulator
  • Solenoid Valve - can be bought separately or as a unit with the reg.
  • Check Valve
  • Bubble Counter
  • Diffuser
  • CO2 resistant tubing
  • Timer plug

    I use a CO2 fire extinguisher rather than a normal cylinder, but it's essentially the same.

    Only real downside is the ongoing cost. Other thing to think about are balancing CO2 levels when the lights go off, but that's easy enough to accomplish with the timer plug.

    Cost for me was about £100 all in, but I got lucky with some cheap CO2..
u/a_gadddis · 1 pointr/PlantedTank

It could be too many plants not enough co2. I'd give it a shot as it should give your plants a boost to health either way. I highly recommend the fluval 20g co2 passive defuser! It's great for 5-10 gallons.

u/PeefSpogdar1 · 1 pointr/PlantedTank

this is mine works great, little on the pricier side, can get them as cheap as 10 bucks on amazon. any 10 gallon filter really. walstad is an awesome concept, just tricky getting to a stable spot

u/enginerd28 · 1 pointr/PlantedTank

Just curious, were you given a Walstad or did you make it, and if so, where are you getting your info? I only ask because using plants as the filter/oxygen supply is kinda the main point. I highly recommend grabbing a copy of Diane Walstad's book, cheaper PDF also available. It's 180 pages of wonderful content from lighting to water and soil chemistry and even chemical reactions between different plants (allelopathy). She gives you simple recommendations of how to start off, lighting, plant types, soil, etc, all the way to the detailed chemical reactions going on. All of your basic questions will be answered straight from the source.

u/herdertree · 2 pointsr/PlantedTank

If you are new, co2 can be one more factor to have to control and adjust. You can have a beautiful tank without it, it will just limit you on what plants you can grow.

If you don’t plan on rearranging, a walstad tank is probably the easiest to start with and get good results. Plenty of online resources to explain it, but Her book is fantastic:

u/the_woot_shoot · 3 pointsr/PlantedTank

Read up on the Walstad Method

If your serious about it I recommend picking up her book as well.

The basics would be:

  1. Buy some Miracle Grow Organic Potting Mix, or similar organic soil with no fertilizers added. Put down 1 inch base layer.

  2. Get some aquarium gravel(preferably not sand, or large stones), and cap the soil with 1 inch of the gravel.

  3. Heavily plant the tank with low light plants, and some floating plants as well to help prevent algae growth, however you may not have a problem depending on how much light it will actually get.

  4. Enjoy having to do minimal water changes and no real need for a filter assuming you follow the method properly and have enough plants in the tank.
u/ButteredScrimp · 2 pointsr/PlantedTank

Yeah that would be enough for low-medium light plants. The planted plus clip on would put you at medium-high light.

I would just do LED lighting. Much more sleek and efficient lighting. They will probably save you money in the long run too. LEDs last close to ten years. Flourescent uses more energy and you have to replace the bulbs routinely.

u/davdev · 7 pointsr/PlantedTank

40 gallons is going to be pushing on what you can accomplish with DIY, so I would avoid going that route, as you wont wind up happy.

As for what you will need, it is really very simple, but not particularly cheap. You need a CO2 tank, a regualtor, bubble counter, diffusor and gas line.

CO2. Go with a 5 or 10 lb tank. If you can find used even better as most places just swap tanks when you fill them, so you get your new shiny aluminum tank, bring it to get filled, they take it and give you a banged up used one back. A 5lb tank should last 3-4 months depending on how many bubbles per second you are pumping

Regulator with Bubble Counter and solenoid, the solenoid is what shuts off flow of CO2 at night, when plugged into a timer. Plants don't utilize CO2 at night, so continuing to pump it into the tank is just wasting gas. Keep it on the same cycle as your lights, or better yet, and hour behind, so it turns on and hour before the lights come on, and off an hour before the lights go off.

Diffuser, you can spend a little or a lot here. I dont really see the need to spend a ton with this part. You do want to see if the unit has a check valve though, and if not, you will need to add one between the bubble counter and diffuser to prevent a back siphoning.

Gas tubing very important you get tubing rated for CO2 gas. Do not use regular air line of the gas will eat right through it

u/Butterbean6 · 1 pointr/PlantedTank

As far as substrate goes, I recommend Eco-Complete. It's a black gravel that works great for plants and won't cloud the tank. The only issue is that it can be a little hard to keep brand new plants, but once their roots start to establish, it's great stuff.

u/aaronts9 · 1 pointr/PlantedTank

Sorry to bog you with questions! I just started checking out GLA and I figured to use a paintball co2 tank you would need to use this regulator?:

with this paintball tank:?

I'm just a little paranoid about whether they'll fit together (i just bought an eheim filter and it's not fitting together well with these custom outflow/intake pipes i bought on ebay) thanks so much again!

u/CalvinFromVietnam · 1 pointr/PlantedTank

Couple of ways. There is the yeast/sugar and baking soda/citric acid. I find the baking soda way to be more reliable. You will need 2 2l liter bottles and i would buy the diy co2 kit that is super awesome. Also diffuser and bubble counter. I run my tank with 2-3 bubs.
DIY CO2 Aquarium Plant System heres a link!

u/freewaytrees · 2 pointsr/PlantedTank

What kind of filter are you running? cansiter or HOB?

I suggest two routes:

  1. aquatek mini paintball reg, which comes with everything you need but a paintball tank

  2. CO2 Art package with a 5lb CO2 bottle

    Good luck and check out my post history for another 22long setup with carpeting monte carlo
u/GreenAdept · 2 pointsr/PlantedTank

What size tank is that? In my experience you have to seriously overdose iron to keep even a reddish color, I use seachem iron added to the minor elements while estimative index dosing. With that light if your tank is less =< 18" tall, you will need some carbon added. You may be able to get away will excel for a bit but long term going with an "estimative index" fert and co2 injection will be cheaper and easier.

Also, swords are heavy root feeders so you definitely need to get some root tabs for them the grow and flourish.

This is my current co2 setup that's easy to put together and only cost a few dollars every few months to fill for my 29g:

Empire Paintball 24oz CO2 Tank -

AQUATEK CO2 Regulator Mini -

Fluval Ceramic 88g-CO2 Diffuser - 3.1 Ounces (Note you can choose a different diffuser if you want)

AQUATEK CO2-Proof Tubing 16 Feet -

Fluval CO2 Indicator Kit -

u/gennzaa · 1 pointr/PlantedTank

Ahh, I see. So something like this would be better? Thanks a lot

EDIT* If I do decide with the rhinox bubble counter, could you link me a coupler or adapter?

u/cosalich · 5 pointsr/PlantedTank

If you already have paintball tanks, you'll need a regulator (I have this one from Aquatek and it's been fine for two years. Nothing spectacular though) as well as a bubble counter and diffuser. I like atomizers as you get excellent diffusion with them.

u/__slamallama__ · 1 pointr/PlantedTank

Here's the regulator I have... there are mixed stories about it. It's been fine for me.

You're looking at around $150 for a full CO2 setup. You'll need a regulator, a tank, a diffuser/reactor/way to get it into the water column, and some air line tube. Overall, it's not hugely difficult, but will make a really big difference on your plant growth if you're OK with spending the $$$.

Edit: You can also always look around for a used setup. There's always people there upgrading.

u/Quin1988 · 1 pointr/PlantedTank

Just to do a little off course I have a planted 10 gallon with this Light. When I first planted my tank I made the mistake and planted them just as I bought them so they rotted from the bottom. Now I planted them individually but on my stem plants I'm still getting stem rot. I recently started using the PPS-pro frets. But I'm trying to figure out what's the cause of the stem rotting. Please look at my older posts to see what my tank looked like when 1st planted.

10 gallon with sunsun canister filter
Couple plants in there not sure of their names
PPS-Pro fertilizer
Flourish excel
Flourish iron

u/duckmargarine · 2 pointsr/PlantedTank

Yeah, I don't know how it'd do with the depth of your tank, but it's definitely a sleek clean look.

u/BassyClastard · 3 pointsr/PlantedTank

I'm having good luck so far with DYI using yeast and jello for my 10gal. But If you're looking for something a little bigger you could start with this kit. It has an adapter to mini CO2 cartridges that you can buy at in a number of places--like at Dicks Sporting Goods with airsoft and paintball equipment, or at kitchen appliance stores with seltzer makers.

If you want bigger than that try to find somewhere nearby that sells beer brewing kits, as they'll have a range of tank sizes for home-brewed kegs, as well as regulator valves for them.

*just saw your comment about the Fluval minis, so just disregard that.

u/F8AL_F3TU5 · 1 pointr/PlantedTank

here’s the product I’m out to dinner but I’ll PM you later a picture if you’d like, it’s a pretty small footprint out side of the tank, the included diffuser is a tad large for my 5 gal but I don’t think it detracts too much.

u/BrilliantNova · 1 pointr/PlantedTank
u/Dreamscarred · 1 pointr/PlantedTank

Thanks for the answer! Think I'll probably be going with this one after I get my lid set up today. $115 isn't too horrible of a punch, since this'll probably be the last big tank set up we'll do [outside of a koi/goldfish pond later on]. ... Well, that's what we keep telling ourselves anyway.

As for CO2, I'm not entirely sure quite yet. I have some root tabs right now, and I'll look into picking up some of the daily applications while I save up money for a pressurized system. The plants I have currently seem to be doing really well outside of the hair grass refusing to carpet... but it definitely has had up-growth since I've bought it. Getting it to carpet seems to be the big reason to go CO2 though.

u/Esperath · 1 pointr/PlantedTank

I would start off with the test kits and watch for a week or two to see what your baseline nitrate/phosphate levels are. If you're already keeping fish, or your tap water already contains phosphates, you may not need to dose as frequently or at all. In particular, if you have a ton of fish and not so many plants, you'll probably have an excess of nutrients that need to be removed through water changes.

Phosphate test kit

Master test kit, which includes nitrate test. Ammonia/nitrite are most useful when first cycling your tank, so if your tank is otherwise stable, you could just buy a single nitrate test kit.

If after testing for a while it looks like you need to supplement, then you can look into alternative means for acquiring ferts in your country.

u/PenPenGuin · 3 pointsr/PlantedTank

Assuming you don't want a full-sized scuba/welding tank, most people seem to go with the paintball canister + regulator setup. You can get the paintball canister from most of your sports stores that sell paintball supplies - they generally come in sizes around 20/24oz, but I think I've seen some larger. They run from $20-40, fills ranging around $5 (these are my local Academy Sports prices). The regulator is probably the priciest up front cost - usually around $90. I'm sure there are cheaper and more expensive versions of both of these.

Most people also add a bubble counter - pretty standard, and usually costing less than $5 - and an aerator/atomizer/diffuser (many different names for something that basically "dissolves" the co2 into the water). I haven't found a perfect solution for this yet - I've used fine airstones, ceramic discs, water ladders, and I'm currently using a powered diffuser.

I run a standard 30g tank at 1.5 bubbles per second. My swords and java moss are going crazy, but I've had problems with getting any sort of carpet going (more an issue with my tank parameters than an issue with the co2). I tried the DIY system for a while, but I have to say that I much prefer the high tech method.

One thing I would suggest is to make sure you've got a reliable source of co2 refills. Luckily all of my Academy Sports seem to do refills, but if they weren't an option, there's not a whole lot else around me. People have suggested wielding supply stores and paintball specific shops, but they're rare and randomly placed by me.

u/BravoTeam127 · 2 pointsr/PlantedTank

I was planning on buying this stuff

Bad idea? Good idea? Maybe do a little organic miracle grow on the bottom?

u/coryking · 2 pointsr/PlantedTank

There is a lot of differing opinions on what makes a good substrate.

This is what I got: CaribSea Eco-Complete

Why did I get that? Because it was available on Amazon Prime and well rated :-) So far, so good.

u/TyrantLizardGuy · 11 pointsr/PlantedTank

Absolutely. DIY CO2 is ridiculously easy. I’m not that technically inclined so if I can do it anyone can. This may seem like a lot but it’s not as bad as it looks. I used to use the Fluval 88g CO2 system but it was ludicrously expensive to but the proprietary refill canisters. This setup is soooo cheap and completely reliable and produces ample CO2. I’m happy to tell you some pitfalls once you get it set up because it would be hard for you to follow me without having it in front of you.

DIY CO2 Aquarium Plant System

Fluval 88g-CO2 Bubble Counter - 3.1 Ounces

Fluval Ceramic 88g-CO2 Diffuser - 3.1 Ounces

Milliard Citric Acid 5 Pound - 100% Pure Food Grade NON-GMO Project VERIFIED (5 Pound)

ARM & HAMMER Pure Baking Soda 8 oz (Pack of 6)

2 x normal 2 liter soda bottles

u/dirmer3 · 1 pointr/PlantedTank

I just bought one of these last week. I haven't hooked it up, yet, but it got amazing reviews on amazon.

u/ZazzieTheBeast · 1 pointr/PlantedTank

I'm using the
Tetra Whisper PF10 Filter and it's absolutely silent.

I was recommended this AquaClear one also! In hindsight, the clear would have looked a lot better.

u/steamboatpilot · 1 pointr/PlantedTank

i used a system like this
then something like this
inline before the bubble counter to get finer control of the gas. its not made for co2 but it worked ok. I had this setup on a 3 gallon so i really had to dial it back. you might be ok with the 1 valve on a 12 gal.

u/saraithegeek · 1 pointr/PlantedTank

The first one you listed looks like a stock hood. It's not going to be powerful enough to grow much- my experience with Java moss is that it can grow in the dark but everything else you want to grow is going to need more light. You might have better luck with the fluorescent tubes but I kind of doubt it.

I'm planning a 10 gallon as well and I think I'm going to spring for the finnex fugeray planted+. What I have read suggests that this light is really good for low to moderate light requiring plants and it's not SO strong that you absolutely need CO2 to prevent algae overgrowth.

u/kabadisha · 1 pointr/PlantedTank

If you go down the DIY route I recommend Citric acid & bicarb instead of yeast. Much, much more reliable and tunable.

I've been using it for ages with great results.

I use this:

With an upgraded needle valve (a must):

u/jynnjynn · 1 pointr/PlantedTank

I use this amazingly tiny HOB on my 2.5 gallon, works very well (although I did replace the media with better junk) has an adjustable flow rate, takes up very very little space inside the tank, and is quiet.

the lighting really depends on what type of plants you want in there I've successfully grown high light requirement plants in a nano tank with This 13w clip light

Ive seen good reviews of this 10inch finnex planted+ LED clip light as well, but don't have any personal experience with it.

u/RobScoots22 · 2 pointsr/PlantedTank

Sounds like a paintball system would be a good fit. I think the aquatek is the cheapest that's actually somewhat reliable.

u/micahkid · 1 pointr/PlantedTank

Yeah I think I'll wait. I haven't moved my plants from my 10g/shrimp tank. What price range do you see the P+2/Elite in? Currently the P+ sits at $135(prime) & the DS2 sits at $165(prime) for the 48". I'm willing to go up to the $200 range, but I want to make sure it's worth it in the long run.

u/00margo · 1 pointr/PlantedTank
You can get your fertilizers here. You want potassium nitrate, potassium sulfate, and some form of phosphorus, I don't remember what type specifically. Then you also want plantex CSM+B.
Here is the CO2 regulator. It's a good deal, and a good way to enter pressurized CO2 for cheap.

u/boyobob · 1 pointr/PlantedTank

I have the 88g fluval kit but I converted it to use paintball co2 canisters. So much cheaper! 20oz refill is 5$ at dicks sporting goods and the actual canister was 30 bucks, but I’m sure you could get a cheaper one if you looked around. 20oz usually lasts me a month and some change. Link below if you’re interested in the adapter. It’s the one I use. There’s some videos on YouTube too.

u/Koch89 · 1 pointr/PlantedTank
u/TrekkieTechie · 2 pointsr/PlantedTank

Creepin' on your other comments -- BioCube guy here. I run a Finnex on a little 2.5 gal planted and it does great, and I've seen lots of folks recommend them for any size. They make one specifically for planted tanks.

u/n1ywb · 5 pointsr/PlantedTank

You can run any size you like from a jar to a pond. Mine is a 20H. Bear in mind that you may need to reduce stocking levels somewhat below a "normal" tank to maintain equilibrium. A properly setup Walstad tank has 0/0/0 levels because the plants absorb the nitrogen as fast as the fish can make it.

She wrote a great book about it

u/clabern · 1 pointr/PlantedTank

Thanks for all the info!

As for lighting - This is what I had settled on as a replacement. Any input on it? I'd like the keep the tank fairly simple and clean looking, so I'd rather have a "clip-on" style fixture (keeping all the clips/mess in the rear of the tank). Another option is this Finnex one, though it looks like the Wave-Point may provide a bit more light?

The higher-tech stuff may be an option down the road, but for now I'd rather keep things somewhat simple. I've got some Seachem Flourish and Seachem Flourish Tabs on my list to start dosing. I'm going to be redoing the 'scape and correcting the nubias and java fern here within the next few days once the tabs arrive to also get them seated in the substrate.

u/hgh327 · 2 pointsr/PlantedTank

>My husband gave me an Amazon gift card for my birthday so that I can upgrade my planted tank.

Is this what married people do?

All joking aside, The light that comes with it isn't too good, but should probably work with low-light plants. If you want something that will grow most plants, you can check out a small clip-on like this.

u/bigyug13 · 1 pointr/PlantedTank

Okay, so the LED is worth the extra $$?

Do you have a recommendation for 35G that is ~30 inches wide?

Edit: Just looked up the Finnex Planted+24/7, looks good! So do you not have a lid on that tank then or do you still have a lid and it just shines through the cover?

u/Green_Water_Warrior · 2 pointsr/PlantedTank

I bought the fluval mini kit and wasn't happy with it at all. DIY CO2 kits work way better for not a lot more initial cost. Something like this may be better suited to your needs:

u/tbone7 · 1 pointr/PlantedTank

I've never used a ladder, but I think that a ceramic diffuser would be better. I've used a fluval diffuser and it seems to work, plus its cheap. There are plenty of more expensive ones out there, but I haven't used them.

All co2 diffusers work by increasing the time and the surface area over which the co2 comes in contact with the water. The ladder diffusers have a few large bubbles that spend a couple seconds in contact, while the ceramic diffusers create hundreds of tiny bubbles that spend a few seconds floating, much more surface area. You can also position the diffuser beneath the return from your filter; it will blow the bubbles around in the tank increasing the time the bubbles have to dissolve.

u/csmicfool · 2 pointsr/PlantedTank

swords can get bigger, but you can also keep them trimmed. I personally like to take up as much volume as I can with plants.

The DIY kit I bought came with detailed instructions and was quite reasonable to set up.

  • Get the bubble counter, black tubing, and diffuser they recommend with it. I also added a check valve and solenoid, but that's getting fancier.
u/eatenbyagrue · 1 pointr/PlantedTank

I did a paintball cylinder system with this valve

So far it's been great. Really easy to dial in - set it and forget it.

u/HeyNomad · 1 pointr/PlantedTank

I have two 26-watt and two 32-watt 6500k bulbs above my 55g (soil substrate with sand cap, DIY red-clay root tabs, and Excel dosing 3x weekly), in 10.5-inch reflectors pointing downward with a photoperiod of about 10 hours a day. I have swords, vals, hygrophila, and pretty much everything else I've tried have done well with very healthy growth and basically no algae problems. I tried HC, though, and that wasn't such a success; none of it has died, but in about five months, it hasn't spread noticeably. Other light/CO2-hungry carpeting plants (DHG, glosso) have done only slightly better. I assume my poor HC growth is more a matter of inadequate CO2 than of inadequate light.

I bought my bulbs online since I wasn't able to find 6500k bulbs in stores, but they weren't anything special--I think GE brand. From what I've heard, the consensus is that shelling out for specialty CFL bulbs from hydroponics stores, etc., (assuming comparable color temp, watts & lumens, etc.) probably isn't worth it.

I spent maybe $60-70 on the whole lighting set-up (including a bar and chains to hang the lights from), which is pretty good, but with a 48" Finnex Planted+ going for like $140 on Amazon, I really wonder if the CFL route is no longer such a cost-effective way to go.

u/Lucosis · 1 pointr/PlantedTank

It's a finnex planted+ clip on. Definitely a fantastic light, more than enough for this tank.

u/GunsMcBadass · 1 pointr/PlantedTank

That does help immensely. Thanks! Do you have any experience with that regulator versus this one?

u/vally78 · 3 pointsr/PlantedTank

Thank you all so much for your patience! thoothsk is right, i should have given more information. I hate when people call me for tech support and say "my computer isnt working, can you come fix it" when they just need to load paper into their printer or some other equally as frustrating lack of detail. So here goes:

Pic Of Tank

  1. 5 Gallon
  2. It has a regular shop light style fixture that has 2 48" plant bulbs in it. something akin to these
  3. Aqueon Filter 57 GPH
  4. Eco Complete Substrate I think i am going to switch substrate. I do not like the eco complete. I rinsed it and rinsed it, but it still gives off dust particles. BUT the substrate shouldn't really matter, since the java fern are not planted in the substrate, right?
  5. Liquid CO2 -yes, i know this isnt ideal, but i plan on taking this tank to work eventually, and a big rig of co2 stuff isnt going to work
  6. Flourish and Leaf Zone doses weekly based on the guidelines on the bottle for a 5 gallon tank. I alternate days so i am not doing both of these on the same day.
    1.10G Heater so the temp is about 78

    So, i think that is all the answers, and again. Thank you for your patience. I should have given more details.

    My main question is should i throw these 6 java fern plants out, or are they salvageable in the condition they are in, if i give them time? I believe i will not order from this vendor again.

    EDIT: i have no fish in the tank. :) I have a 55G tank that i used to put lots of fake plants in because i love the look of plants, so this 5 gallon is my attempt at starting plants first. Fish when allll is well.

    EDIT 2:
  • pH Level – NORMAL RANGE: but usually a bit on the higher end of normal. IL had hard water
  • Chlorine – NORMAL RESULTS: 0.0 mg/L When i do water changes, i put in Tap Water Conditioner
  • Ammonia – NORMAL RESULTS: 0 mg/L
  • Nitrite – NORMAL RESULTS: about .3 mg/L
  • Nitrate – NORMAL RANGE: about 20 mg/L
  • Hardness – NORMAL RANGE: a little on the high side because IL has hard water.
u/El-Grunto · 2 pointsr/PlantedTank

Same boat. I cancelled my order because I had $40 in change so I thought I'd go to a Coin Star and put the money on an Amazon gift card since there is no 10% fee when made into a gift card rather than cash. Now I have $40 for Amazon which would have nearly paid for my order and now it barely covers 1 bag. I guess I'll be waiting some more.

Here's a price tracker for it and you can set up email alerts for when it gets below a certain price.

u/CptSweetCheeksjr · 2 pointsr/PlantedTank

I really like the way that glass hoods look. I think you can usually get them for a little cheaper at a petco/petsmart.

If you want to go super cheap look up diy cfl aquarium lighting. I have a Finnex planted + and love it, but they are a little pricy.

u/BillHN · 1 pointr/PlantedTank

Howdy, I'd recommend

Finnex Planted+ 24/7 Fully Automated Aquarium LED, Controller, 48 Inch

It's worked well on all of my tanks, and you really gwt what you pay for. It may cost double what you're planning on paying there. But the results are real (depending on how you maintain your tank ofc)

But it (the finnex brand) is really reliable. Here's a youtube of my shabby tank lol

u/StyrofoamsLevitate · 6 pointsr/PlantedTank

An airstone doesn't defuse co2 properly, it's very inefficient, I suggest grabbing a DIY co2 regulator, diffuser, and a bubble counter if you wish on amazon, should cost you twenty-five dollars or so, you'll see a huge difference.

DIY CO2 Aquarium Plant System

Fluval Ceramic 88g-CO2 Diffuser - 3.1 Ounces

Fluval 88g-CO2 Bubble Counter - 3.1 Ounces

u/OGChrisB · 1 pointr/PlantedTank

This is what I've got going on.

I bought this cap/hose system

This diffuser

You don't absolutely need a bubble counter but you could buy one if you want to be more precise. Also, the cap/hose thing allows for an easy and simple set up.

u/ClownLoach2 · 1 pointr/PlantedTank

I would check out the Nicrew LED lights on Amazon. They aren't much more expensive than a T8 bulb and will last much longer. The classicLED is very reasonable at about $28.

I have one of the BrightLED units on my planted 15g and it is great.

u/PinkBuffalo · 1 pointr/PlantedTank

I really like CaribSea. This is what I use in 3 of my tanks. :)

u/coppan · 1 pointr/PlantedTank

I have a pleco, and he does wonders. I already use rodi water. Currently I use this but with a normal diffuser.. Looking to switch to an automatic gla regulated 5lb tank. How is gla's ferts different from flourish?

u/ZombieMayhem · 3 pointsr/PlantedTank

Unless space is an issue, I would suggest getting this regulator with a 5# bottle. For a 40 gal it will save you time and money on refills. Its the same brand and price, only the bottle will cost a little more up front. You can usually get a used one off craigslist for cheap. As far as using a powerhead instead of plumbing through cannister filter plumbing, I believe it goes like this. Vinyl tubing is attached from outlet of powerhead, that runs up and out of the tank onto your reactor or diffuser, then back into your tank thru an outlet/lily pipe etc...Co2 line runs from regulator/bubble counter and into your reactor/diffuser.

u/puromyc1n · 1 pointr/PlantedTank

I'm not OP, but do you know of any cheap reliable dual gauge regulators? I cannot afford to drop 200$ on a regulator :/. What are your thoughts on this or this something like it.

I'm looking to set up the entire system for under 200$, do you think that would be possible? I have a 40g breeder I've been wanting to hook up for so long.

u/HighgardensLady · 1 pointr/PlantedTank

Its a Finnex Planted+ Clip light. I got it off amazon, I like it so far, but i do wish the neck was a little more pliable.

u/Gbobyo · 2 pointsr/PlantedTank

Since I just set up one of these systems, I may have some helpful information:

I purchased and it came with an Aquatek bubble counter and check valve. Considering this option could bring your price down a bit.

Don't forget you will probably need a timer for your solenoid if you are running fish. (may want one for fish-less too)

I was trying to use old paintball co2 tanks that I had laying around, but I was not able to. Be aware that if your tank was not hydrotested within the past 5 years, it will not be filled by any reputable refilling location. A hydrotest is about the price of a new 24oz tank. So an unforeseen cost for me was 2 new paintball tanks.

Hopefully this was helpful! Sorry about format, I'm on my phone.

u/samskyp · 2 pointsr/PlantedTank

I use the adaptor for the paintball setup, I used to play paintball so had a tank, what I forgot was how easy o-rings get damaged and after a weekend of setup needed new ones to run the adaptor, messing and checking for leaks meant putting the tank on and off. Got a 100 pack of o-rings and been using that adaptor and the rather cheap wyn co2 regulator off Amazon of the same colorway.

At the price of the linked kit, I probably saved a little, piece parting only took a little time, assurance of a more expensive regulator may be a comfort, I knew how they should work and researched mechanism to know I could mess with the one I got if I had a problem.

Rhinox Glass Drop Checker

Aquario Neo CO2 Diffuser S


[CO2 Regulator] (

[Indicator Solution ] (

Tubing 16 Feet

[100 o-rings]

u/Jllh123 · 2 pointsr/PlantedTank

I had the current light on a 36 g bow-front. It didn't produce enough light for my swords and anubias. I switched to the finnex planted plus and had better growth. I'm going to add c02 to my setup this weekend. Hopefully the finnex will be sufficient for a high tech, if not I'll add the current and run two fixtures.

Finnex Planted+ 24/7 Fully Automated Aquarium LED, Controller, 30 Inch

u/kaldurak9 · 2 pointsr/PlantedTank

You could grab this diy co2 system

(Apologies, I don't know how to shorten urls)

And run it with citric acid and baking soda (works better than yeast and doesn't have that yeasty odor)

And also look into EI fert dosing.

You could also grab a few floater plants (not duckweed) to compete with the algae for nutrients, and just remember to scoop out extra ones as they grow. I keep ~5 floaters in my 5 gallon and toss extras in the trash on water change day.

Edit: this will keep you way under $100 even after you buy the kit, an atomizer, ferts and a pH drop checker and should help you combat the algae growth until you can purchase a regulator for pressurized co2.

u/cashleyborin · 3 pointsr/PlantedTank

I just set up this regulator on my 5.5 and though it's too early to tell if I'll like it long term, it was easy to set up and run and relatively cheap. (Sorry for the full link, I'm on mobile).

u/slickleg420 · 1 pointr/PlantedTank

Oh, by all means if you can afford it then it is the right choice. I would buy it too haha.

About the filter, I think you should get an aquaclear 20 instead of the whisper

As you can see, it has a higher flow rate and a lot more mechanical as well as biological filtration. You don't have to buy and replace filter cartridges.

u/murpheson · 2 pointsr/PlantedTank

When I was buying a light for my 29g I was torn between the finnex stingray and the one I ended up purchasing which is a nicrew led light. It's done quite well growing my low light plants and the value for the price is pretty killer. For a 28"-36" led that actually grows plants for ~$40, it's not much of a risk. I recommend these every chance I get.