31 December, 2009

Planted Aquarium Basics

Introduction to beginner's Planted tank:
So you are the next one to enter the beautiful world of Planted tank. Here are some useful tips for you to begin your journey. 
Like any other tank the first and most important thing is a tank with good dimension. But this time the bigger is not always the better, because with bigger tank you have to invest on more wattage of light, more fertilizers to add, more substrate, more to spend on CO2(Carbon Di-Oxide) per month for planted tank and obviously to buy more aquatic plants initially. And contrary to fish only tank, where we should not add all the fishes at once, instead add them in a small group, here in planted tank, we must plant almost all the plants in the very first day to prevent algae growth
Guess you have noticed few terms, like fertilizers, substrate, algae, CO2(Carbon Di-Oxide), wattage of light and curious how those terms are related to planted tank. Let us discus:

20 December, 2009

CO2 for Planted Tank

CO2(Carbon Di Oxide)
As all of you know during photosynthesis plants use CO2, and with help of light and some macro/micro elements make food. So CO2 is in the primary importance for plants. You can use DIY Yeast+Sugar method to produce CO2. Alternately, you can spend some money and buy a pressurized CO2 kit.

From my personal experience I have learned that pressurized CO2 kit is a must have for any planted tank to maintain stable rate of CO2 in the tank.

Substrate for Planted Tank

Substrate in Planted Tank
Substrate is the base of the planted aquarium where we have to plant the plants. Most of plants grow roots inside the substrate and take nutrients from the substrate. So a nutrient enriched substrate is highly important for healthy growth of the aquatic plants. As I have mentioned in the Beginner's Planted Set up Guide, the cheapest substrate solution is laterite, freely available at roadside, in West Bengal.

I have also mentioned in that post how to use it as substrate for planted aquarium. 

In this post I will discus some general substrate ideas for planted tankDIY products and also the Commercial subsrate for planted tank like ADA Amazonia/Africana, Seachem flourite, Oceanfree etc. available in the market. including the

Light for planted tank

Light for Planted Tank

There are various options in the light for planted tank, you can use either of the T12, T8, T5, T5HO, PLL, CFL, MH lights. The choice depend on the tank dimension, the choice of plants, the availability of the lights in your place and obviously on your budget. Also you must plan for the reflector of the light along with the light. Reflector of the light is the most important counterpart of light in planted tank.

13 December, 2009

Space saving Aquarium Ideas, the Triangular Aquarium,

Irregular shaped Aquarium:
Do you want to have an aquarium, but have no space in room. Well, you can go for a unique triangular shaped aquarium in the corner of the room, even it can be placed at the corner of the steps.

The triangular aquariums in my home

In today's small 2rooms flat life it is very difficult to house a 2-3' space for aquarium. Atleast here in Kolkata,India we do not have big rooms to keep an aquarium in the middle of the room. So go with this irregular shaped aquariums and start your hobby. The visitors to your home will be amazed by the idea, for sure.

Cycling Aquarium

Introduction to cycling a new tank:
After buying a new tank and filling it with water, what is the first thing you do? Rush to the local fish shop and get hand to some colorful attractive fishes, right? And put them in your new tank. The tank is great to see now, is not it? You are so happy and proud of your new fish tank. Totally wrong, you should regret what you did just few minutes ago.

It is very much important that before putting any fish in the new tank you create an ideal condition for them to live in it comfortably.

Convict Cichlids, the easiest cichlid to breed

Convict Cichlid, the best beginner cichlid:
If you have a 20gallon tank, you can easily think of keeping cichlid fishes, never before kept any of them. Then try Convict cichlids, Amatitlania (Archocentrus) nigrofasciata. Fairly easy fish to take care of, water chemistry is never an issue for this fishes, the pocket sized monsters who can stand against a fish twice of its size. Even there are instances where a mated pair of convicts kill a twice sized oscar fish kept in the same tank. But I will recommend to first time go with a species specific tank, that is a tank with convicts only.

The albino pair of mine, the front one is the male
Classification of Convict Cichlids:
Order: Perciformes
Family: Cichlidae

Genera: Amatitlania (Archocentrus)
Species: nigrofaciata

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