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Old 02-13-2010, 12:33 PM   #1
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Converting my tank.

I have a 29g community tank with a few platies, plecos, barbs and a betta, and a red tailed shark. But I've become so bored with my generic ceramic decor. I want people to see my tank and have their jaw drop (no one around here has ever seen aquascaped tanks) and I'd like to redo my tank. I just have a few questions before getting started because I don't want to harm my fish.

My fish require hiding spots and I have these caves, but I do not know if just plants and driftwood will provide the cover for them. Will the wood and plants do the job?

Lighting for a 29g planted tank? Any recommendations?

I want to change the gravel, will this effect the ben. bacteria level in the tank? Would it harm the fish to change the gravel all in one shot?

And Co2??? These systems are expensive, and the DIY systems just look sketchy. Can I get some reviews on these from people with personal experience

Any help would be great thanks!
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Old 02-13-2010, 01:29 PM   #2
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My fish require hiding spots and I have these caves, but I do not know if just plants and driftwood will provide the cover for them. Will the wood and plants do the job?
It really depends on the type of driftwood and plants, but I find that fish like that kind of natural cover better than ceramic castles. Safer too.

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Originally Posted by Ilikefishes View Post
Lighting for a 29g planted tank? Any recommendations?
You want light that will penetrate to the depths of the tank. I have a 29g tank with the stock 14w bulb on top. Plant growth is slow, but it's not a planted tank by any means.

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I want to change the gravel, will this effect the ben. bacteria level in the tank? Would it harm the fish to change the gravel all in one shot?
What I did with my 10g tank when I switched from gravel to sand was this:

Removed fish into temporary tank
Siphoned some water into container
Removed gravel into water-filled container
Added sand (replace with fluorite or w/e you are going to use)
Roughly stirred the gravel
Put some gravel in panty hose (so it doesn't become part of the decor) and put that into the tank
Drained the gravel container water back into the tank
Replaced fish back into the tank

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Originally Posted by Ilikefishes View Post
And Co2??? These systems are expensive, and the DIY systems just look sketchy. Can I get some reviews on these from people with personal experience
What I have is pretty simple, cost me about 30 dollars, but I got some parts for free.

Here's a picture, takes less time



The container was free from a friend, diffuser tube is an old gravel vac, pump cost 30 bucks, already had the airstone

About a week after I got that set up, I had to start treating a disease called columnaris. Part of the treatment is to aerate the water like crazy, since it attacks the gill tissue. I haven't had the diffuser going since then When it was going, my plants were growing like crazy, lots of pearling!

If I were doing a planted tank from scratch, I would choose a 20G long, because the depth of the water really affects how much light reaches the bottom.
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Old 02-13-2010, 01:41 PM   #3
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Thanks alot man this all really helped! Is the gravel in the panty hose to get the bacteria from the gravel in to the new sand? And is the Co2 systen you're using the Nutrafin Natural Plant system?
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Old 02-13-2010, 02:17 PM   #4
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yes, the container is from a Nutrafin CO2 Natural Plant System. I used champagne yeast (more co2 released, higher co2 tolerance), a lot of sugar, and a couple cups of water, I think. I tried a ladder, but it didn't work that well, too much CO2 to diffuse in such a short period of time. My method is great because the CO2 stays in the diffuser until it's diffused.

Yes, the gravel in the pantyhose is to seed your new substrate with bacteria. Also, don't change your filter cartridge for the next month or so to allow the colony there to seed your new substrate.

If you're using sand, I recommend Malaysian Trumpet Snails. There are many folks on this forum with them. They are used in a sandy tank to stir the sand. If you don't have something stirring the sand, anaerobic bacteria colonies can grow and release methane (swamp gas) and some form of sulphur into your water. No good!
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Old 02-13-2010, 02:37 PM   #5
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Yeah I'll look into those snails. I don't need my room smelling like farts. Girlfriend won't appreciate that too much lol. Thanks for the help man.
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Old 02-13-2010, 04:53 PM   #6
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i also have a 29 high andi use red slate,, wood, and live plants, and it looks very natural.my lights are a ho t5 by current that i bought from dr.foster and smith for like 80 bucks.dont have very demanding plants,java fern,swords and crypts but they are growing great!my tank has plenty of nooks and crannies for the fish.they seem happy.
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Old 02-13-2010, 05:04 PM   #7
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You should post a picture. I'd love to see it for ideas. I have swords and kyoto and peacock fern in my tank but they haven't grown. I'm gonna post another thread now about live plants from stores vs. the ones they sell in the tubes with plant gel.
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Old 02-13-2010, 05:22 PM   #8
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Just got some MTS from user WhiteDevil on here. $12 for however many I wanted; ships to anywhere in the U.S. Good luck!
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