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Old 07-05-2014, 03:30 PM   #1
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Arrow 30 gallon long planted build

Hi, my name is Luke, and I recently made a new account on this forum. From what I've seen so far, it seems like there a lot of experienced people with a lot of good advice. With that being said, I would like to introduce my idea and what I have in mind for this thread and my tank.

I am undoubtedly going to need some help as I set up, cycle, and stock this tank, as this is only my second time setting up a tank. My hope is that I will be able to post updates on this thread so that people can notify when I'm doing everything wrong.

As for the tank, I bought it recently off of craigslist and plan to make a freshwater planted tank. I was really intrigued when I saw many peoples' beautiful aquascapes and decided I would try it out myself. I am not a complete newbie, as I have run a 29 gallon freshwater community tank for three years, but I am definitely new to plants and sand.

My progress so far on the tank is basically just cleaning and putting in the sand. My plan is to wait for all the excess water to evaporate so that there is no air trapped underneath the sand. After that, I will fill up the tank and start cycling. I am planning on taking things slow and just getting a feel for things, but I am also extremely anxious to get this thing up and running. I know that I can't set this tank up without outside help, which is where this thread comes in. I would really appreciate any help I can get, and even if it is just encouraging words, I'll take it I know I've been rambling so I'll leave it here, but I will keep updating on my progress as I go.
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Old 07-06-2014, 06:04 AM   #2
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Hello Luke, welcome

I am happy to follow along and give advice as and when its needed.

My first comment will be about your substrate - sand. Sand is a great medium for plants to root in, but it does absolutely nothing for plants
Plants will try and uptake some of their nutrients from the substrate.

Were you aware of this or is this new to you?


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Old 07-06-2014, 09:10 AM   #3
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High cec substrate like a clay substrate (flourite, safe t sorb) will absorb nutrients from the water and feed the roots. I use safe t sorb in my low tech 75g and don't use root tabs at all. All my plants do great.

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Old 07-06-2014, 02:33 PM   #4
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Alright, would two bags of 15.4 lbs of black flourite be enough? I wasn't aware that the substrate played such a big role. I obviously haven't done enough research.
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Old 07-06-2014, 02:58 PM   #5
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Alright, would two bags of 15.4 lbs of black flourite be enough? I wasn't aware that the substrate played such a big role. I obviously haven't done enough research.

Well it depends what type of plants your looking to keep. Generally low light/easy care plants will do ok in sand. High light/harder to keep plants normally need a good source of nutrients both in the substrate and water column. There are exceptions to this, such as: low light crypt plants gain their nutrients almost entirely from the substrate. This is where root tabs are needed.

It all depends what you want from your tank.

I suggest going on www.tropica.com
It breaks down plants into easy, medium and hard categories with pictures and brief descriptions. Might be useful for you to see what plant selections are out there.

By the way what size tank do you have and what lighting? Lighting is the most important part of your setup


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Old 07-06-2014, 03:11 PM   #6
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I have an approximately 30 gallon tank with 36*12*17 dimensions. For lighting I have an Aqueon Floramax 17w 24" bulb. I am not certain what plants I want to have yet, but I think I will probably go for harder plants, just because I'm not likely to get another tank anytime soon.
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Old 07-06-2014, 03:19 PM   #7
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I have an approximately 30 gallon tank with 36*12*17 dimensions. For lighting I have an Aqueon Floramax 17w 24" bulb. I am not certain what plants I want to have yet, but I think I will probably go for harder plants, just because I'm not likely to get another tank anytime soon.

Is the fixture a t8? T5? T5HO?? Very important to know this as it will tell you what lighting category you fall into.

Do a google search on PAR (photosynthetically Active Radiation). In short it means the amount of useable light energy a fixture gives out for the plants to photosynthesise. High light plants (your red plants, purples, oranges and most carpeting plants) require higher PAR levels. The right colour temperature of the bulb is also important. 5000k to 10000k should do you fine.

Higher light requires more expense and more work


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Old 07-06-2014, 06:38 PM   #8
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I agree with everything sk3lly said minus the comment on crypts.

I grow crypt parva and crypt wendtti in my tank no safe t sorb and no root tabs just great.

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