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 05-21-2007, 05:18 PM   #1
Aquarium Advice Newbie
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Illinois
Posts: 5
Hello & my new tank!

Hello everybody,

I finally pulled the trigger and got the equipment to get the 40 gallon tank that has been sitting empty in my room for the past six months going.

I'm shooting for an Amazon river feel. I'll probably stock with two schools of tetras (10-15 each) and a couple of gouramis. I'm also trying live plants for the first time. I don't want to get into the whole CO2 and whatnot quite yet, but we'll see how it goes

Plants so far are Amazon sword, Argentine sword, and White ribbon.

Here are a few pictures of the new setup ->

The equipment:






it really needed a cleaning!


just after adding water:


two days later:


I'm excited, so I just had to share somewhere! 8) :P
__________________

__________________
jedihound is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2007, 05:42 PM   #2
Aquarium Advice FINatic
 
LandGhoti's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Le Midwest
Posts: 935
Great job! Are you planning on getting some hardscape in there too (rocks, driftwood)?

What kind of cycle are you planning, fishless or with fish?

I think all of your equipment selections are perfect. I have a Penguin filter and PH (although PH not in use) and a Stealth. Great selections.
__________________

__________________
29-gallon FW
1 yoyo loach, 2 polkadot loaches, 6 cherry barbs, 2 turquoise rainbows, 1 chinese algae eater, 2 harlequin rasboras; java fern, java moss, hornwort, Asian ambulia
LandGhoti is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2007, 05:57 PM   #3
Aquarium Advice Newbie
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Illinois
Posts: 5
Thanks! I read quite a few reviews before making those choices.

I've got a couple pieces of driftwood already. I definitely plan on finding/buying some more of that and some rocks. The driftwood is floating on top right now - I'm trying to saturate it, but I guess I'll need to tie it down with some rocks.

The eco-complete claims to have live bacteria in it, so I'm planning on getting some tetras in about a week. Does that sound reasonable?
__________________
My 40 gallon freshwater
jedihound is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2007, 07:55 PM   #4
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
severum mama's Avatar


 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: GA
Posts: 10,297
Eco is excellent for plant growth and I'm sure you will be very happy with it. However, I don't really buy the claim that it has live bacteria in it... at least not by the time it sits on the shelf for a while.

Nitrifying bacteria (your biological filter) must have a food source to survive- ammonia. Since there wouldn't be any food source in that bag of Eco for perhaps weeks before you buy it, that sounds like kind of a bogus claim to me. I wouldn't personally add fish a week from now, as your tank has not begun cycling. Some of the planted tank experts can work out a fishy cycle just by using many plants, with minimal stress to the fish. However, I'm not one of the planted tank experts, so I can't recommend it personally.

The good news is, cycling without fish is MUCH easier anyway! You can just drop a raw shrimp into your tank when you are ready to begin cycling, test your water frequently to gauge where you are in the process, and simply follow up with a large water change when you are finished. Or, you can dose pure ammonia for the same effect, although the shrimp is probably easier. Either of these methods work great, and are a lot less work for the aquarist than doing all those massive water changes to keep toxic ammonia and nitrite down to survivable levels.

You do have 2 other options as well, the way I see it. First of all, if you know anyone with an established, disease-free tank, you can borrow an old filter pad or a handful of gravel (it MUST be kept wet in transit), and actually add a small number of fish at the same time. This introduces nitrifying bacteria into your tank, which immediately starts converting ammonia produced by the fish. The bacteria quickly multiply, and as long as you stock slowly you'll see very little reading, if any. Finally, you could take your chances with BioSpira, which is essentially bacteria in a bottle. You add BioSpira and fish at the same time, and this product generally works well if it has been shipped and stored properly (it must be kept refrigerated).

That's really all I have to say about cycling. Your equipment choices are great for the size of tank you have, and it should be a great success!!!

Welcome to AA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
severum mama is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2007, 08:22 PM   #5
Aquarium Advice Newbie
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Illinois
Posts: 5
Good Kung Chant reference!!! I love a good runaway golf cart marathon once in a while.

Thanks for the advice, and the welcome! I've lurked for quite a while, being an enthusiast, but I've never had a tank over 10 gallons before... The possibilities are endless!
__________________
My 40 gallon freshwater
jedihound is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2007, 08:39 PM   #6
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
severum mama's Avatar


 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: GA
Posts: 10,297
HAHAHAHA..... just watch out or you'll end up with 6 tanks and a 7th in the works...

You're going to have a lot more fun with a 40 gallon than the 10 gallon that you're used to. What lighting are you using, just checking to make sure it is adequate for plants. Most of the stock strip lights are not so great for planted tanks. Also, I wanted to make sure you've noticed the Barter/Trade forum, and the Classifieds. Those are both great places to get new plants!

And don't we all love a runaway golf cart marathon from time to time??
severum mama is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2007, 09:59 PM   #7
Aquarium Advice Newbie
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Illinois
Posts: 5
My lighting is extremely inadequate at the moment (1 - 24", about 0.5 wpg). However, I'm getting two 36" fluorescent lights from a friend, which should provide about 2 wpg. From what I've read this is pretty good without having to go into CO2 injection, though in a few months I imagine I'll be ready to take that step
__________________
My 40 gallon freshwater
jedihound is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-22-2007, 09:25 PM   #8
member
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Sterling Heights, Michigan
Posts: 4,219
I'm fairly new to plants, but your swords look to be planted a little deep. From what I have read the should not be buried above the crown, this is a mistake I made with my first three swords and they slowly wasted away. The rule I follow now is the good old gardening rule of thumb: Plant it high it won't die, plant it low it won't grow, this is working very well for my swords now.
__________________
Gillie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-22-2007, 09:25 PM   #9
Aquarium Advice FINatic
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: NJ
Posts: 662
Looks like a good start. Welcome, good luck, and keep the pics coming.
__________________
C/
chase33 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-22-2007, 10:46 PM   #10
Moderator Emeritus
 
Purrbox's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Iowa USA
Posts: 5,860
It's a bit hard to tell from the picture, but it looks like some of the plants might have their leaves edged in white. If so they are unlikely to be true aquatics and will likely start disintegrating soon if left submerged.
Purrbox is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-23-2007, 11:26 AM   #11
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
newfound77951's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: St Petersburg FL
Posts: 2,114
I think Purrbox is correct...the plant with the white edged leaves is not an aquatic plant, it is a Dracaena which will be quite happy in a pot on your windowsill! Almost every LFS I've been to sells these plants as aquatic, along with peace lilies (Spathyphyllum) and that "lucky bamboo" (which might also be a Dracaena). The other sword plants look OK from the pics but if you can get some closer pics of them that might help with a positive ID.

Once you get your lights up and running, you can plant the tank completely, and then use the plants to do a silent cycle. With a lot of plants in there, if you add fish slowly, the plants take up the nutrients the fish give off, preventing a buildup of ammonia and nitrate (plants love both) while allowing the biological filter to get started. This way you have a nice looking tank while you're cycling, and don't have to stare at an empty tank and a rotting shrimp for several weeks!
__________________
newfound77951 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-23-2007, 12:49 PM   #12
Moderator Emeritus
 
Purrbox's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Iowa USA
Posts: 5,860
To add to Newfound's advice about the Silent Cycle. If you do decide to go with a fishless cycle instead, then you DON'T want to plant and upgrade the lighting immediately. Lots of Light + Ammonia = Green Water. Really a Silent Cycle is the easiest way to go, it just requires planting heavily from the start and slowly adding fish like you would with a regular cycle. Since the plants use the Ammonia and Nitrites, a Silent Cycle is much easier on your fish than a regular cycle.
Purrbox is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-23-2007, 02:41 PM   #13
Aquarium Advice Apprentice
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Des Moines, IA
Posts: 12
Great Info, I don't post here much but I love planted tanks I have quite a few, and thought I could help out.

Like previous posts the plants look like they have been grown above water, they can adapt if you let them float sometimes, but not likely. The Local Fish stores have been getting this kind of stuff in for awhile not much you can do but shop around for a store that has them in stock for awhile. It seems even the big stores differ so shop around.

Also the Substrate issue nice stuff but I usually use it under a small layer of gravel to prevent the stuff getting stirred up everytime you put a new plant in.

Okay the Deco and useful items to get this thing going. Get a few big rocks natural is best they help the water as well as the appearance they realease natural buffers. The driftwood releases some tannic acid which helps plants grow. Peat pellets in you filter will help.

Also the advice about getting your tanks started with bacteria most small fish stores will give you for free some water and used filter media if you bring your own cantainer. I have had to start over many times over the years because of moving and whatever and so far have gotten lucky everytime I moved from help the the small fish shops. Feeder goldfish for 25c work well for getting going as well.
__________________
125Gal SW-Reef Tank, 125Gal FW-Planted Show Tank, 75Gal FW-Planted Crab and Frog Tank, 29Gal FW-Brackish Puffer Fish and Several 10Gal and 5gal Testing Tanks.
Check Out My Podcast about Aquariums, Live Entertainment, and whatever else. Its real rough right now but getting better, still funnyAquatics Live Podcast
bgcheese is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-23-2007, 04:01 PM   #14
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
newfound77951's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: St Petersburg FL
Posts: 2,114
ALso, once you get to 50 posts you can buy and trade plants on AA, it's a fantastic way to get unusual plants that aren't normally found at the LFS. I've had great luck getting plants on Aquabid from various sellers, and the seller Lowcoaster in particular is a favorite of AA members.

bgcheese, you might find that most folks here frown upon cycling with live animals. It does work, but there are many other options. Also, used filter media is great for cycling but the water doesn't help at all....the good bacteria live on surfaces, not in the water.

Be careful with rocks....any rock that dissolves is going to cause problems in the long run unless you have an African cichlid, brackish or SW tank. In the midwest many of your local rocks are carbonates and should not be put in a normal FW tank unless you are absolutley sure what they are. A local garden store will usually have things like slate (flagstone) or granite, which are fine. Quartz is another common rock that is safe. Things like limestone, marble, dolomite are not.

FWIW I have never had a problem with Eco Complete being messy when I plant plants. That said, there are some people who like how it looks and some that don't. Personally I love the stuff, you certainly can't go wrong with it as far as the health of your plants go.
__________________
newfound77951 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-24-2007, 12:29 PM   #15
Aquarium Advice Apprentice
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Des Moines, IA
Posts: 12
newfound: I guess I need to clarify a bit the water is needed for transport, to get the bacteria home it works best when the media is kept in the same water it came from.

The Rocks I second that motion on watching for carbonates or lime based rocks granite and slate definitely work best bring some Vinegar with you during rock hunting and test if it bubbles move on to another rock. I guess I am lucky I live in Des Moines Iowa and have ton of good rocks in my backyard. So it isn't a Midwest thing, just some area have better rocks than others. I also have gotten used to crusing around in the spring the farmers usually dump a ton of rocks on the edge of the field.
__________________
125Gal SW-Reef Tank, 125Gal FW-Planted Show Tank, 75Gal FW-Planted Crab and Frog Tank, 29Gal FW-Brackish Puffer Fish and Several 10Gal and 5gal Testing Tanks.
Check Out My Podcast about Aquariums, Live Entertainment, and whatever else. Its real rough right now but getting better, still funnyAquatics Live Podcast
bgcheese is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-24-2007, 01:28 PM   #16
Aquarium Advice Apprentice
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Des Moines, IA
Posts: 12
Oh I forgot to mention on the previous post; I don't every use live fish to cycle a tank that would be cruel to kill off fish just to cycle a tank, even goldfish.

I guess I screwed up and didn't say it right, anyhow after you believe that the tank has cycled get a cheaper fish to start off to get it going. I usually use a goldfish because they are cheap, and I have a little pond that I set-up in the summer. I just see alot of people buy several expensive fish right away after cycling the tank and find out the the test they did was only at the half cycle lull.

Get a test kit or the strips and monitor the levels, if you plan on really getting into the hobby the full test kits are worth it. The electric test kits are pretty cool as well it is neat to see the O2 levels during different times of day. Alot of people don't monitor much and it works out fine as well.
__________________
125Gal SW-Reef Tank, 125Gal FW-Planted Show Tank, 75Gal FW-Planted Crab and Frog Tank, 29Gal FW-Brackish Puffer Fish and Several 10Gal and 5gal Testing Tanks.
Check Out My Podcast about Aquariums, Live Entertainment, and whatever else. Its real rough right now but getting better, still funnyAquatics Live Podcast
bgcheese is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-24-2007, 03:28 PM   #17
Moderator Emeritus
 
Purrbox's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Iowa USA
Posts: 5,860
Generally it's not a good idea to buy feeder fish since they are much more likely to be carrying diseases. They aren't intended to live for a long time, so they are just heavily medicated to ensure they make it long enough to become a meal.

Go with liquid test kits over the strip test kits. The strip test kits are notriously inaccurate, especially if exposed to water before being used for testing. If both the Ammonia and Nitrite have peaked and gone back to zero and your Nitrates are rising, then the cycle is complete. Pretty hard to mistake this as long as you monitor it properly.

It is still possible to cause a mini cycle by either damaging your bio filter with lack of food, medications, etc or by adding too many fish too quickly. Being prepared to do lots of water changes is the best option in this situation.
Purrbox is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-25-2007, 03:10 PM   #18
Aquarium Advice Apprentice
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Des Moines, IA
Posts: 12
Yep purrbox I wouldn't suggest a feader goldfish I guess I should have specified what type of goldfish anyhow, but I am just saying buy inexpensive fish to start off with, save youself the heartache of loosing a really neat fish right away, which you have to admit is common with beginners.

My LFS sells some nice ornamental goldfish for less than a dollar (25c right now) no meds breed in house, they do this is the spring commonly because of a lot of people starting ponds.

Man it seems like I am getting slammed on everything I say, but anyhow the half cycle or mini cyle just make sure you test it more than once check it two days in a row to ensure your testing is correct. A common mistake is when you see the Ammonia go down and you don't know how to read the other tests correctly yet; the beginner can easily think it is ready to go. You can take a water sample into a good LFS and they can confirm your results for free if you are unsure.
__________________
125Gal SW-Reef Tank, 125Gal FW-Planted Show Tank, 75Gal FW-Planted Crab and Frog Tank, 29Gal FW-Brackish Puffer Fish and Several 10Gal and 5gal Testing Tanks.
Check Out My Podcast about Aquariums, Live Entertainment, and whatever else. Its real rough right now but getting better, still funnyAquatics Live Podcast
bgcheese is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-25-2007, 09:44 PM   #19
Moderator Emeritus
 
Purrbox's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Iowa USA
Posts: 5,860
bgcheese - We're not trying to slam you (I'm certainly not anyways) just want to make sure that the finer points are clarified to prevent confusion. You seem to have a solid foundation of knowledge, and each response to your posts has prompted even more information from you. The members of this board do tend to have certain preferences/biases that we believe and recommend. You've managed to run into several of these in a single thread, which I'm sure hasn't help. We do appreciate your presence and look forward to future contributions. Also, just incase you haven't already gotten one... Welcome to AA!

Ah yes, jedihound Welcome to you as well! How's your tank progressing?
__________________

Purrbox is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
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








» Photo Contest Winners







All times are GMT -4. The time now is 03:30 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.