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Old 02-19-2020, 10:53 PM   #1
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New tank 72 hrs

Hello,
I Just came back to the hobby after a 11 year hiatis and my last tank was a reef. I had about 15yrs fresh water experience prior to that which included breeding and plants. So I have experience, but much of my info is dated.

Living in a small condo so I decided to go with a nano system to get my feet wet again so to speak until I get someplace where I can go bigger.

Decided on the Fluval Flex 9 with plants. Used sand substrate seeded with flourish plant tabs and flourish excel fertilizer (told this could be harsh on Vals) and Prime conditioner. Added a Marineland 50w heater and working to get temp up to stable 79-80.

Started with new drift wood and variety of plants: corkscrew val, sword, mint Charlie, Red Ludwiga and java ferns.

Sole fish is a Betta for the cycle

I have R.O. water and used 50/50 R.O. and tap for intial set up. Been doing daily 20% water change with just R.O. After 72hrs water is clear, but does have a tannin tint due to wood.

Betta is healthy and eating.

Need to acquire a water test kit, but LFS will test for free which I will do this weekend.

Have not decided if Betta will be a permanent resident or be moved after full cycle in a month or so. Kinda depends if want other residents and they are compatible.

Do plan to get a few more plants and would like to get something for more ground cover. May add DiY CO2 depending how initial plants do. LEDs are new to me and not sure if I need more although set up at LFS seems to be doing well.

As for fish stocking if I remove the betta I would like to conside some dwarf cichlids like a pair of blue rams or apisograma. Realize tank may be a bit small, but have seen it done before in a nano with a mature system.

Otherwise considering a small school of tetras (5) and maybe a cory. I like a S. American theme although someone pointed out pea puffers which could be fun. Know nothing about them at this point. For tetras I considering rummy nose, lemon, or cardinals.

Open to stocking ideas for fish and plants as well as pointers on new methods of fish husbandry that may be newer.

I did move the heater into the pump compartment and plan to add more bio media to the empty compartment where the water flows into. Kinda drawing from my experience with marine tanks relying solely on bio filtration. Cureently running the carbon pouch that came with the set up, but just heard that carbon is not as popular as it used to be and some consider it optional these days.

Open to thoughts and critique.

TIA,

Aaron
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Old 02-20-2020, 01:32 PM   #2
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Welcome back!

I think a pair would be pushing it stocking wise... and then if they breed it would definitely be overstocked. Personally I think I would do a small betta community with some micro rasbora or something (if your betta will tolerate tankmates) or pea puffers. I’ve read they have a lot of personality and I’ve considered doing that myself in a nano tank.

I haven’t run carbon in my tanks in 10 years. I use a Prefilter, a mechanical sponge and stuff the rest with biomedia. I keep carbon around in case I ever need to remove medicine from the tank but have never needed it.

If you want a little extra polishing that will remove some organics from the water you could look into purigen.
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Old 02-20-2020, 06:34 PM   #3
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Thanks, I certainly would not be looking for a breeding pair of Rams, but nature does happen.

For the time being it will just be a planted betta tank to get the hobby going again. Betta is very active and kind of growing on us. If all continues to go well may look to add some tetras.

I did see the pea puffers. These are new ro me, but are neat looking and could be an option, but batta would have to go. Was going for S. American theme, but anything can go in a tropical I guess.

Going to focus on the plant husbandry for awhile before deciding on any other fish. I found an affordable CO2 option. These use to be very cost prohibitive last time I did plants which is why I was considering DIY option.
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Old 02-20-2020, 06:51 PM   #4
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Looking good afilter.
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Old 02-20-2020, 10:50 PM   #5
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Post updates as you plant, love seeing great planted tanks!

I love me an aquagarden with fish :P

(My dad once came and looked at my tank and said and I quote “that’s a lot of plants, you gunna ... like trim that back?” Me: nope. Him: ... oh)
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Old 02-21-2020, 12:27 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by libertybelle View Post
Post updates as you plant, love seeing great planted tanks!

I love me an aquagarden with fish :P

(My dad once came and looked at my tank and said and I quote ďthatís a lot of plants, you gunna ... like trim that back?Ē Me: nope. Him: ... oh)
Lol, last time I did plants it was in a 75gal 25yrs ago. I made my own CO2 generator. My plants took off so quick I started trimming 2x month and selling to LFS. Funded my hobby for a year until we moved.
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Old 02-21-2020, 10:08 AM   #7
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I wish I had a lfs that would give store credit for cuttings. Mine will take them and give you a coupon which is better than nothing if youíd just throw out cuttings anyway...

Maybe when the weather is nicer Iíll start ďsellingĒ them online for the price of shipping.

Iíve never messed with CO2, the diy systems seemed like the inherent instability might cause more trouble then its worth for the kinds of plants I grow. What system are you using now?
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Old 02-21-2020, 12:33 PM   #8
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Iíve never messed with CO2, the diy systems seemed like the inherent instability might cause more trouble then its worth for the kinds of plants I grow. What system are you using now?
The system I used had a diffusion bell, so I controlled when the CO2 went in. This new system has a aerator stone so the CO2 just bubbles into the tank. Not sure I am keen on that. The difussikn bell seemed more efficient to me. Need to get into storage as I know I have a couple tubes of old stuff. Hoping I saved the diffusion bells I had. Will save on CO2 cartridges I am thinking.
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