[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: several beginner's questions

Tsuh Yang wrote:

> 1) when you buy potted plants that come in rockwool, is it best to unpot
> them or leave them in that unsightly material?

Take out as much rockwool as you can.

> 2) is it advisable to pot up plants in soil or peat in small clay pots
> and bury it in the substrate, in order to give them something to feed on?
> if not, what's a good fertilizer (tablet or liquid) that folks would
> recommend?
> 3) re: lights, did i understand correctly that some folks use 3 bulbs
> over a 55-gallon tank?  do they make 3-bulb fixtures?

There is no simple answer to 2 and 3.  People have been keeping aquatic
plants in almost any setting you can imagine.  Go through the APD
archieve and you will find tons of info on fertilizer and lighting issues.

As for the light fixture.  I have never seen a 3-bulb fixture either.  To
get the amount of light you want, you can 1) get 2 fixtures, 2) make your
own fixture, or 3) get a specialize lighting fixture (VHO or power compact)
that produces the amount of light you want.

> 4) i'm finally thinking of investing in test kits.  in addition to the
> basic (pH, nitrite, nitrate, hardness), what other tests should i
> consider?

pH and nitrate kits are quite essential.  You probably won't use a nitrite
kit after you cycle the tank except in emergency.  General hardness is nice
to have to test your tap water from time to time, but you probably won't
use it regularly.  Alkalinity (sometimes sold as carbonate hardness) kit
is quite essential as it affects pH level and stability.  Phosphate and
iron kits are nice to have.

As time goes on, you will learn to observe the fish and the plants as
an indicator to your water quality.  I no longer test regularly, and test
pH, nitrate and alkalinity only when I see something irregular happens in my

Louis Lin