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Old 03-12-2014, 03:14 PM   #1
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Planted Tank newbie in need of as many advice as he can get...

Ok so ... I live in Lagos , Nigeria , Africa and have always been fascinated by aquariums. However I decided to get one for myself early this year and decided its gonna be DIY all through.
My tank (45 gallon) is set except for few aesthetics(stand, cover n light ) but i decided to try my hands on the plants first.I used normal garden top soil from my back yard since i could not get the artificial topsoil to buy here and also could not get most of the recommended aquatic plants but tried pothos and some other plants i got from a river bank... In two days the water in the tank was clean but the smell of the water was awful. Yeaterday, I noticed most of the plants were decaying already and i removed all of them except for one dat seem to b surviving and water lily and my lucky bamboo and also cleaned n changed the water in the tank and also put some charcoal but at the moment the smell of the water is still awful and the top of the water is scary as well (i have attached a pics)
I just bought 2gold fishes and 2 angel fishes but they are just in my quarantine tank for now... Please people H E L P!!!Click image for larger version

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Old 03-12-2014, 03:50 PM   #2
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i'm sure it's from the garden soil that you used as substrate. in the United States, those of us do dirted tanks usually use Miracle Grow as our soil. but i'm not sure what the garden soil is composed of in Africa. it could contain toxic chemical such as copper and high level of phosphate and ammonia--->hence the decay.

also, it would be nice to know the names of those river plants that you're using. they usually carry unwanted inhabitants and could potentially kill your fish (especially if these inhabitants are parasites or flatworms, etc). furthermore, the river where you got the plants matter. if it's heavily pollute, then it's no wonder things are dying in the tank. this and what i mentioned above will certainly kill anything in the tank. i would clean the tank out and restart it using different substrate and plants.
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Old 03-12-2014, 04:09 PM   #3
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Many thanks @ dragonfisher33
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Old 03-12-2014, 04:38 PM   #4
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What type of filter are you using?

Something needs to move the water about. It looks like it has stagnated.
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Old 03-12-2014, 04:48 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by J.Mcpeak View Post
What type of filter are you using? Something needs to move the water about. It looks like it has stagnated.
+1 on the filter.

If you dont have any plants available to you Research how to kill posible hitchhikers with mild solutions of hydrogen peroxide. The soil, should work but first get the filter setup and clear all the stagnate water out. Hope this helps and keep us posted.
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Old 03-12-2014, 07:00 PM   #6
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I just ordered dis submersible filter but yet to take delivery Click image for larger version

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So i'll just hold on abit till i get the filter to try it out and i'll definitely keep you guys posted ... Thanks alot guys!
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Old 03-12-2014, 07:26 PM   #7
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(That's most likely it, no filter)
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Old 03-13-2014, 11:32 AM   #8
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Hello guys , I went to a local store and found this organic top soil,so am thinking to buy and try it this time instead of the one from my backyardClick image for larger version

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And my filter was also delivered today so am going to re set up by saturday...
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Old 03-13-2014, 11:41 AM   #9
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Great to hear! Best of luck
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Old 03-13-2014, 12:37 PM   #10
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also i should add that when you add the soil and the filter onto the tank, i would like it sit for a day and follow up by a massive water change the next day in order to reduce the possibility of poisoning of the fish/plant (at least that's what i did when i dirted my tank)
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