Go Back   Aquarium Advice - Aquarium Forum Community > Freshwater > Freshwater & Brackish - Planted Tanks
Click Here to Login

Join Aquarium Advice Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com
 
Old 11-18-2011, 06:58 PM   #1
Aquarium Advice Regular
 
aprlshwrs's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 75
Starting a new planted tank...

Hey all!

I'm starting a 29g planted tank that I hope will be a community tank. I'm trying to get it set up quickly as my 2 platy have had 40 fry. Right now...this is what I have and where I'm hoping to go. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

1. Lighting...I have an unimpressive Aqueon deluxe hood. I replaced the bulb with a T8 Floramax bulb from Aqueon. I didn't really have a lot of choices offered to me at PetSmart so I'm hoping this will work. If so, what kind of plants would be good for this lighting. (low, med, high...etc.) How you can tell which plants are which?

2. Cycling...I don't have any plants in the tank yet because I was waiting until I got the correct lighting. My question is...what is the process of cycling in a planted tank? Do I need to add ammonia to the water or fish food. I've been adding fish food to the tank but nothing is changing. I haven't had any lighting until today and I'm assuming that the lighting will help the process along. Will it cycle faster if I add pure ammonia? I don't want to add any media from my 10g tank as it has had so many issues in the past. It's doing fine now but I'd rather start from scratch with this tank, especially since it will be planted.

So...I guess my main question is...what is the cycling process for a planted tank and how does it differ from a non-planted tank? And please...keep this simple...some of the information that has been flying at me has my head spinning. I just want a simple step-by-step process.

3.. I've been running the filter on this tank for a little over a week now but there has been nothing in it except the substrate and the fish food that I've been adding. How long, when you're using fish food, does it take for the cycling process to begin?

4. Also, in my 10g tank I have aquarium salt which has helped tremendously in that tank and so I put a bit in the 29g. After doing so, I was told that it wouldn't be good for the plants so I am planning on doing water changes to get rid of as much of the salt as possible. How bad is salt for the plants and will a small amount bother them too much?

5. Hard water and high pH...I have both. My pH is 8.2. What plants do well in water like this? I wanted to have Java moss or Christmas moss for a backdrop (more the Christmas moss) but I'm thinking that the Christmas moss wouldn't be able to handle this kind of water. What other plants would do well in this environment? I've been looking at the PetSmart plants but no one knows much about them so I haven't bought any of them. The only one that I felt even slightly okay with has been the java fern but I still didn't buy it...I wasn't ready to add plants yet. No one in PetSmart knew anything about the plants they carried. (Not that I'm surprised or anything.)

6. Substrate...I have the FloraMax substrate from PetSmart and I have about 2inches. There is also a bit of leftover neutral colored gravel that I had from my 2.5g tank that I put on top of the FloraMax for something a bit brighter on the bottom.

7. I'm trying to get this tank set up quickly as I have 40 platy fry and 9 guppies that I need to relocate soon...if I can't give a bunch of them away. Otherwise, I'll be spreading them amongst 3 tanks to give them some room.

Any and all advice about this tank would be greatly appreciated.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	RSCN3418.jpg
Views:	94
Size:	233.1 KB
ID:	61853  
__________________

__________________
29g- 10 platy,17 guppies, 3 corycats...want some?
55g - not yet set up...goldfish or cichlids!
http://freshwaterpirate.wordpress.com/
aprlshwrs is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-18-2011, 07:29 PM   #2
Aquarium Advice FINatic
 
adeebm's Avatar

POTM Champion
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Woodbury, MN
Posts: 909
Quote:
Originally Posted by aprlshwrs
Hey all!

I'm starting a 29g planted tank that I hope will be a community tank. I'm trying to get it set up quickly as my 2 platy have had 40 fry. Right now...this is what I have and where I'm hoping to go. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

1. Lighting...I have an unimpressive Aqueon deluxe hood. I replaced the bulb with a T8 Floramax bulb from Aqueon. I didn't really have a lot of choices offered to me at PetSmart so I'm hoping this will work. If so, what kind of plants would be good for this lighting. (low, med, high...etc.) How you can tell which plants are which?

2. Cycling...I don't have any plants in the tank yet because I was waiting until I got the correct lighting. My question is...what is the process of cycling in a planted tank? Do I need to add ammonia to the water or fish food. I've been adding fish food to the tank but nothing is changing. I haven't had any lighting until today and I'm assuming that the lighting will help the process along. Will it cycle faster if I add pure ammonia? I don't want to add any media from my 10g tank as it has had so many issues in the past. It's doing fine now but I'd rather start from scratch with this tank, especially since it will be planted.

So...I guess my main question is...what is the cycling process for a planted tank and how does it differ from a non-planted tank? And please...keep this simple...some of the information that has been flying at me has my head spinning. I just want a simple step-by-step process.

3.. I've been running the filter on this tank for a little over a week now but there has been nothing in it except the substrate and the fish food that I've been adding. How long, when you're using fish food, does it take for the cycling process to begin?

4. Also, in my 10g tank I have aquarium salt which has helped tremendously in that tank and so I put a bit in the 29g. After doing so, I was told that it wouldn't be good for the plants so I am planning on doing water changes to get rid of as much of the salt as possible. How bad is salt for the plants and will a small amount bother them too much?

5. Hard water and high pH...I have both. My pH is 8.2. What plants do well in water like this? I wanted to have Java moss or Christmas moss for a backdrop (more the Christmas moss) but I'm thinking that the Christmas moss wouldn't be able to handle this kind of water. What other plants would do well in this environment? I've been looking at the PetSmart plants but no one knows much about them so I haven't bought any of them. The only one that I felt even slightly okay with has been the java fern but I still didn't buy it...I wasn't ready to add plants yet. No one in PetSmart knew anything about the plants they carried. (Not that I'm surprised or anything.)

6. Substrate...I have the FloraMax substrate from PetSmart and I have about 2inches. There is also a bit of leftover neutral colored gravel that I had from my 2.5g tank that I put on top of the FloraMax for something a bit brighter on the bottom.

7. I'm trying to get this tank set up quickly as I have 40 platy fry and 9 guppies that I need to relocate soon...if I can't give a bunch of them away. Otherwise, I'll be spreading them amongst 3 tanks to give them some room.

Any and all advice about this tank would be greatly appreciated.
1. A single T8 is low light. You can tell which plants are which by googling them or asking here :P java moss, java fern, some anubias are examples of low light plants.

2. Pretty much the same as regular cycling unless you have a lot of plants. Pure ammonia is ideal, it's more reliable since you don't have to wait for food to decay.

3. The process begins as soon as there's ammonia. It can take a few weeks to finish.

4. It really doesn't help any fish, except with certain parasites and with nitrite levels(which you shouldn't have in a cycled tank). It can be downright detrimental to some fish and will kill some
plants too.

5. Most common plants will do fine. I have similar water to yours and it hasn't affected my plant choices.

6. Floramax, or any plant substrate is fine.

7. You can speed up the cycle by seeding the tank with filter media from another tank.

--Adeeb
__________________

__________________
My tanks: 46gal Amazon - 55gal Crabitat - 28gal SW - 29g Vampire Terrarium
My Fiddler Crab Site
Shave the Whales!
adeebm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-18-2011, 07:48 PM   #3
Aquarium Advice Addict
Community Moderator
 
aqua_chem's Avatar


 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Baltimore, MD
Posts: 6,936
Quote:
Originally Posted by adeebm View Post
1. A single T8 is low light. You can tell which plants are which by googling them or asking here :P java moss, java fern, some anubias are examples of low light plants.

2. Pretty much the same as regular cycling unless you have a lot of plants. Pure ammonia is ideal, it's more reliable since you don't have to wait for food to decay.

3. The process begins as soon as there's ammonia. It can take a few weeks to finish.

4. It really doesn't help any fish, except with certain parasites and with nitrite levels(which you shouldn't have in a cycled tank). It can be downright detrimental to some fish and will kill some
plants too.

5. Most common plants will do fine. I have similar water to yours and it hasn't affected my plant choices.

6. Floramax, or any plant substrate is fine.

7. You can speed up the cycle by seeding the tank with filter media from another tank.

--Adeeb
Agree on all accounts, plus:

3) You might want to have supplemental ammonia. The fish food might not produce much ammonia. Have you measured them yet?

5) Some high light plants are pH/KH picky, but most are not. I have KH12/GH10, everything grows fine.
__________________
Algae creates 75% of the world's oxygen, so really we're all just doing our parts...
aqua_chem is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-18-2011, 08:12 PM   #4
Aquarium Advice Regular
 
aprlshwrs's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 75
Thanks.

With this being my first planted tank...I think I'll start small and make sure I know what I'm doing before I jump in head first. So...low lighting should be fine for my immediate needs. I don't plan on planting a ton at the beginning anyway, so I think I'll have time to upgrade lighting at a later date.

I do have pure ammonia so I will start adding that to the tank. My question is...how? Should I do it with drops? Capfuls? I don't want to overkill here and I've never seen anyone be specific or somewhat specific about that. I got the janitorial ammonia from Ace hardware with the 10% ammonium hydroxide. Is that the correct stuff?

I added salt to my 10g because of some ich and such...it has worked well there. This time, however, I'm hoping I don't have that problem at all so I'll be removing the salt.
__________________
29g- 10 platy,17 guppies, 3 corycats...want some?
55g - not yet set up...goldfish or cichlids!
http://freshwaterpirate.wordpress.com/
aprlshwrs is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-18-2011, 09:31 PM   #5
Aquarium Advice Addict
Community Moderator
 
aqua_chem's Avatar


 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Baltimore, MD
Posts: 6,936
I have a 5 mL syringe that I use for stuff like that. You can probably get them at drugstores and the like. I would first measure your ammonia levels, then add a mil, then measure again. Shoot for 4 ppm.
__________________
Algae creates 75% of the world's oxygen, so really we're all just doing our parts...
aqua_chem is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-18-2011, 10:21 PM   #6
Aquarium Advice Regular
 
aprlshwrs's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 75
I found something that helped me figure out how to add the ammonia. My 10g, I didn't cycle this way, I did it by adding fish. I wasn't too fond of that so I'm hoping this way will work better.

Thanks for all your help and suggestions.
__________________

__________________
29g- 10 platy,17 guppies, 3 corycats...want some?
55g - not yet set up...goldfish or cichlids!
http://freshwaterpirate.wordpress.com/
aprlshwrs is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
plant, planted, planted tank, starting, tan

Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
40 Breeder Planted Tank kriben Freshwater & Brackish - Planted Tanks 3 09-14-2011 10:43 PM
Starting a planted tank. adammorrill Freshwater & Brackish - Planted Tanks 0 09-13-2011 01:53 AM
Starting up a new planted tank, need help mooney4 Freshwater & Brackish - Planted Tanks 2 08-19-2011 12:07 AM
can i do a planted tank? New Freshwater & Brackish - Planted Tanks 20 08-03-2011 02:23 PM
40 gallon planted tank help! pookawolf Freshwater & Brackish - Getting Started 4 06-25-2011 07:49 AM







» Photo Contest Winners








Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 03:39 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.