Stock lighting that came with the tank works, fishes will not complain about light quality.
Strength and colour spectrum critical for plant growth and coloration.
Relevant measure: Umols of PAR.
Much larger range of products to choose from, with large price variance - with very different outcomes. Potentially expensive.
Fish Tank Dimensions
Planted Tank Dimensions
Dimensions fit size and number of livestock.
Dimensions must fit size /number of livestock, plants as well as hardscape.
Greatly increased scaling of costs & maintenance with tank size.
Cost of hardscape and light often cost much more than tank/filter systems. Newer aquarists always underestimate costs and buy overly large tanks with little budget leftover for proper equipment.
Certain tank dimensions are more suitable for certain aquascaping styles. Tank dimension must match lighting system so that sufficient light can hit substrate level.
Fish Tank Substrate
Planted Tank Substrate
Impact on water parameters important (eg. Alkalinity / Acidity).
Capture point for floating debris.
Impact on water parameters important to plants as well.
Horticulture considerations - ease of planting, nutritional content.
Aesthetic value in aquascaping; does it match the rocks and hardscape ?
Aquasoil/soil is commonly used rather than gravel/sand, and require specific knowledge to clean and maintain in the long term.
Fish Tank Filter
Planted tank Filter
Sufficient filtration capacity important to livestock health.
Sufficient filtration capacity important to livestock health, but may have a little leeway as plants absorb ammonia directly.
Filter is often the main source of water flow in a planted tank. Flow is critical as it provides carbon dioxide and oxygen for plants and circulate nutrients. Dead-spots and poor flow lead to algae issues, which is the number 1 pain of planted tank hobbyists.
Fish tank Maintenance
Planted tank Maintenance
Water changes, substrate vacuuming, servicing of filter.
Feeding of fish.
Plants require regular fertilisation.
Regular trimming and replanting required to prevent over-crowding.
Trimming and removal of old deteriorating growth to prevent algae issues.
Water changes, substrate cleaning, servicing of filter.
Checking and tuning of CO2 injection system if used.
Fish tank WATER PARAMETERS
Planted tank WATER PARAMETERS
pH, KH, GH, TDS impact livestock health.
Water quality impacts livestock.
pH, KH, GH, TDS impact livestock health and plants.
Balance between needs of livestock and needs of plants.
Water quality affects livestock health, plant health and algae.
Fish tank Aeration
Planted tank Aeration
Sufficient levels of oxygen matters to fish/ livestock.
Oxygen levels important for livestock, especially when CO2 levels are elevated.
Carbon dioxide matters a lot to plant growth as 40-50% of plant mass is composed of carbon.
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