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Old 03-03-2013, 02:42 AM   #1
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Hello from Tulsa

New member from here hailing from Tulsa. Found the site while browsing ideas for a new 20g Tall Aquarium. A little (rather long) history...

We started our first Aquarium for our daughter when she was 4. it is a 10 gallon that had a few artificial plants for decoration, 3 White Cloud Minnows, 3 blood fin Tetras, and one (unknown) Pleco which was about 2.5" long. The tank stayed in relatively good health for beginners with everything staying healthy for nearly 6 years! Our first death was our pleco then slowly the rest started passing over a few months. They all looked completely healthy and stayed active until they died.

This tank has stayed empty for several months due to me being away on business etc. A good friend of mine has a 45g and has been having a ton of Dalmatian Molly babies, and got me kicked started to getting back up and running. The 10g was looking like a pond with about 10% of its water remaining. With its filter dried out and not having been running for so long I cleaned it a bit, filled it up, and did 90% water changes over a couple days and changed the substrate to Floramax (suggested by my friend for live planting). The tanks runs a TopFin HOB 20g pump, a whisper 10 pump with a round disk air stone, and we just installed a 100w heater (previously didn't use one as we keep our home at a constant temp year around). Heater added to keep the temp higher than it is without to promote better health for wildlife and the plants. It is currently unplanted but has a few potted plants hanging out until i figure out what to do with it.

The 20g Tall tank is brand new and was just filled last night. It has a AC70 HOB pump (which I think is too much...please advise), a 150w heater, and a whisper 20 airpump (will be installing air wands tomorrow. This tank also has FloraMax as a substrate, which i hate now because it so cloudy even after rinsing. Also doesn't help that i am currently planting it, so i constantly kick up the muck (much like lake diving). Not sure if i like all of the plants we got at petsmart (limited selection).

Not entirely sure how i want to aquascape either of these so i will be asking advice soon. I just wanted to get something planted now, to help with cycling. We also have zero idea on what wildlife we will end up with (other than dalmatian mollies), so look for questions there too.

Look forward to reading the great advice here and seeing what you are all doing.

Cheers!

Whiskey
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Old 03-03-2013, 05:29 AM   #2
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Welcome to AA!
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Old 03-03-2013, 08:00 AM   #3
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Welcome to the forum! An AC70 is a lot for a 20 gallon. Even an AC50 would be high-flow. an AC20 would probably be best.
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Old 03-03-2013, 08:13 AM   #4
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Welcome to our site! I don't know much about FW, so I can't offer much advice on that front.

Have fun here!
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Old 03-03-2013, 09:29 AM   #5
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First, Welcome to AA!! Glad your here!

On your filter. Bud's right about the AC70 having a higher flow but you can usually reduce the effect by raising the water lvl in the tank. I'm a big big fan of filtration. I don't think you can over filter a tank. Plus, being new to the hobby. Chances are high that, at some point your going to find yourself with an over stocked tank. It just happens. To many fish and not enough tank! So the bigger filter can be a life saver!

Now substrate. You learned the hard way about florimax. The number one complaint about it is It's super dirty stuff but now you know! If you
Ever do another tank that's planted. Look online for "Eco-complete" IMO blows florimax out of the water. Forgive the pun. Your plants for going to come in three light classifications. Low, medium, high. I'm guessing you have a stock light fixture which can with the tank so you want to look for low light plants. Java fern and water sprite are two popular ones to look at. Good website to looks at is. www.aquariumplants.com/

Oh! One thing to know about pet stores and plants they sell. More of a buyer beware. Two types of plants are often sold in pet stores. Fully aquatic and bog plants. You want to avoid bog plants they cant live fully submersed in your tank and will die over time. basically making a mess for you. Your big chain stores like petsmart. Petco etc. don't label these plants at all. So, the easiest way for you identify the difference is always have your smart phone in hand but if its in the car.....A basic rule of thumb is. If the plant is growing out of the water then its most Likely a bog plant. Unfortunately pet smart has a terrible practice of displays all their plants, including bog plants fully submersed in water. So watch out for it. If, it kinda looks like a house plant you have seen. Then it probably not fully aquatic.

Hope this helps ya!
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Old 03-03-2013, 10:32 AM   #6
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Thanks! The lights for both are Aqueon® Fluorescent Deluxe Full Hood - Lighting & Hoods - Fish - PetSmart . We used to have incandescent on the 10g, but the fixtures corroded so I ditched for the hoods that have the light separate.

I did at least check the tags that were in the plant pots and they are full aquatic, though moderate to strong light requirement. I have a feeling they won't thrive with our lights, but gotta make the best of it for now. The plants at the moment are the following: Telanthera, Amazon Sword, Melon Sword, Giant Hairgrass, and Moneywort.

I have always thought the same with filter which is why we have a 20 on the 10g. that 70 though really moves a lot of water. I do have the water level as high as it can be and I can watch the plants moving as if in a river! Perhaps a foam or sponge sleeve on the power head? I am actually afraid of any fish getting too close to this thing! '

Today I am going to get that florimax out of the 20g and rinse it some more. I spent a long time on the stuff in the 10g and it is much clearer. What a mess. I really wanted to go with sand, but the folks at petsmart told me not to use it with live plants as they wouldn't be able to root well.
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Old 03-03-2013, 12:02 PM   #7
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Welcome I am also a new Member to AA. This is a great site and easy to navigate. People are all very friendly! I am also a salt water finatic but have had a few freshwater tanks over time. Good luck and keep us updated on your progress.
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Old 03-03-2013, 12:40 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Whiskey View Post
Thanks! The lights for both are Aqueon® Fluorescent Deluxe Full Hood - Lighting & Hoods - Fish - PetSmart . We used to have incandescent on the 10g, but the fixtures corroded so I ditched for the hoods that have the light separate.

I did at least check the tags that were in the plant pots and they are full aquatic, though moderate to strong light requirement. I have a feeling they won't thrive with our lights, but gotta make the best of it for now. The plants at the moment are the following: Telanthera, Amazon Sword, Melon Sword, Giant Hairgrass, and Moneywort.

I have always thought the same with filter which is why we have a 20 on the 10g. that 70 though really moves a lot of water. I do have the water level as high as it can be and I can watch the plants moving as if in a river! Perhaps a foam or sponge sleeve on the power head? I am actually afraid of any fish getting too close to this thing! '

Today I am going to get that florimax out of the 20g and rinse it some more. I spent a long time on the stuff in the 10g and it is much clearer. What a mess. I really wanted to go with sand, but the folks at petsmart told me not to use it with live plants as they wouldn't be able to root well.
Ok, the flow in the tank is ok. you want to see the plants moving. Just and a bit of pantyhose over or wrap a bit of foam filter around the filter intake and that will protect the fish. Some of your plants are high light but they should die. you can upgrade your bulb to a 6500K and that should help.

I wouldn't trust what your told in LFS. Most of the advise is "off the mark". they are there for one reason to make a sale.

You can use sand in your planted tank. You just need to use root taps for the heavy root feeders like the swords. Which I would recommend even if you kelp the flora. Look for the seachem brand. they last 3 to 4 months. My 75g is almost fully planted and the substrate is sand.

Now, dont go and buy the sand that is 20 bucks a bag at the pet store. If you have a tractor supply store or northern tool. They sell sandblasting sand for 8 buck a 50 lb bag. I use the black diamond brand from there. Very nice black sand that is completely safe. They also carry a white but i don't know the name
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Old 03-03-2013, 03:29 PM   #9
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Thanks again! We pulled the Floramax out today and washed it very thoroughly and put 1 inch back. Thinking to either take it all back out and put only pool filter sand in, or leave it as is and cap it with the sand.

Also, both of the lights are currently 8k. I will replace these in a couple months or so.
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Old 03-03-2013, 04:08 PM   #10
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Welcome to AA! We hope ya enjoy
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