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RE:Mini Dutch tank
>Iīm thinking of setting up a mini dutch tank, maybe without any
>fish at all or maybe with a couple that provide to the tank a nitrogen
A few SAE's and shrimps would do well. I add snails too(little ones like the
MTS's, pond and ramshorn). How big is your tank going to be? How "pure"
Dutch are you going for the tank? Do you want just a nice planted tank etc
>I think is very interesting to be able to mantein red plants with
>2watts per gallon as Tom Barr says, I didnīt know it. I always though
>that those kind of plants require a intense lighting. I suppose at least
>the bulbs in this tank are rich in the blue zone of the spectra and with
Most folks thought this and many still do. There are many folks who have
have some redder plants than I do with less light also. The blue portion is
good and helpful IMO. Best colors seem to hover around 4000-6700. I haven't
tried the FL's 8000K bulbs except the gro-lux's and Mercury
Vapor's but I think the 6700K CP FL's do super overall. A mix of 5000K and
6700K are great.
>Anyway I would like to know the 3 or 4 most importante things to take
>care when you are trying red plants. some points I find important are:
>1.- Lighting, amount of watts and kind of bulb. (blue espectra) itīs
>maybe ok a coral bulb like blue moon?
Generally, stay away from salt stuff. Triton's are great/blue bulbs are not.
You get better growth with the 3000-6700Krange. Maybe the 8000K range with
some of the new bulbs out now but they certainly are not a requirement as
folks have been fine without for many years.
>2.- Substrate, kind of soil, added clay, what kind of substrate
>fertilizer? whatīs first? whatīs upper?....
Check the archives for this one. I prefer Flourite for it's no brain
approach and good results. If you cannot get it, try sand and laterite mix.
Soil will work also. Check Steve's page for this one.
>3.- Fertilizer, whatīs better?, tablets, liquid. Especially Fe rich in?
>or maybe K rich in...?
Depends on how you wish to run your tank. I add K+ in the form of K2SO4
(sulfur of potash found at gardening supply stores). It is not a big issue
in the water column and will not add to algae problems. I add jobes palm
sticks here and there to the gravel deeply about every 2-4 months.
Sea Chem's tabs will work well too. For many years I did water column dosing
only. Both methods work with a combination of both working the best IMO.
Check out what works best for you. the plants themselves will give the best
rule of green thumb for what's best for your tank.
So just look closely at them and be patient.
>4.- Water quality (I suppose kh5 and gh9 as Tom Barr has, must be
I'm worried when folks say I must be correct<g>. There's a range of
parameters that can work well. Some folks do extremely well at lower KH and
GH values & only a few at higher values.
KH of 3-8 is fine and a GH of 3-10 should be also.
>I also have very often disccusions with friends about RFUG, I guess a
>fertilized substrate is better,
For what your doing(low fish loads) generally yes but there's other factors
involved. You can have excellent results with both methods. Flourite with
nothing else has done the best for me- then the RFUG's + Sand. Other tanks
move on down from there.
but I think that filter system moved
>with a pump doesnīt have interference with CO2 addition, mantein warmer
>the roofs and many other advantage (and disadvantages of course) but I
>would like to know what do you think?
For a small tank 20gallons(75 l) or less the yeast CO2 method seems to be
the best choice. After you get the plants going, some folks pull the CO2 off
and the plants still do well.
Actually what **really happens** is that we forget to recharge the yeast
brew mixture :)
but the plants still do well but growth slows down yet no algae appears. You
can keep adding CO2 regularly also and do more trimming etc. A small power
head or very small outside filter will work fine. I add the CO2 into the
filter intake in such a tank. I also don't add water column fertilizer
except for fish food and a little K2SO4 **maybe**.