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Old 06-02-2007, 01:16 PM   #1
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Noob planter.. some advice?

hey guys.. i'm fairly new to the whole planting scene but i've been reading a lot about the topic... i wanted to do something small and nice, so this is what i have planned for my tank....

12G jbj nano cube
DIY CO2 soda bottle
flourite substrate
and this tank has 24 watts of lighting.. so itll be 2 watts per gallon...and i believe it mite be a 50/50 bulb so i mite have to change that to a daytime bulb...

in the future when everything is settle im planning on to add like 8-10 cardinals.... do you think the bio load is too much? with some cherry shrimp...what plants do you recommend for me to start of with?

i was planning on getting http://www.aquabid.com/cgi-bin/aucti...nts&1180855804
does the tank have to set up and cycled before you add plants in..?

sorry for all the questions... but id rather do it right once than learn from my mistakes

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Old 06-02-2007, 01:44 PM   #2
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Your setup looks fine except for the light. Definitely get the daylight bulb. Without it, you'll be severly limited in plant selection. Even with the 24w daylight bulb, you still have lower light and will be limited in selection.

Your fish/shrimp selection looks fine to me. Its on the higher side of a bioload, but it will be fine, especially with the tank planted.

I don't recommend that plant package mainly because you won't know what you are getting. Most of the plants look like they'd be fine for your tank, but some like the red plants most likely wouldn't do well. Reddish colored plants almost always need high light (there are some exceptions of course). I also see some swords in there and if they are any of the larger swords, they would quickly outgrow your tank. I think it would be better for us to recommend plants for you to get. Then you wouldn't have a ton of plants that you can't use.

Good starting plants would be Java fern, Anubias, Cryptocorynes, Anacharis, Bacopa, Rotala rotundifolia, Moneywort, and Dwarf Sag. There are others, but that list would be a good start I think to see what you can find.

You can have the plant in the tank during cycling. Stem plants like Anacharis, Bacopa, Rotala, and Moneywort would help with the ammonia levels and may even speed up the cycle a bit. With a pretty well planted tank, you could add fish pretty soon.

2 planted tanks: 40g, 20g ; 38g Reef tank
My links to pics: 40g breeder planted build, 40g breeder planted update, My 38g Reef Build

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Old 06-02-2007, 02:51 PM   #3
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For your DIY CO2, I would recommend a pair of 1L bottles. This will allow you to rotate when you change out the mix and help to maintain steadier CO2 levels.

Plantgeek.net is a good place to research plants for your aquarium. With a full daylight bulb instead of a 50/50 you would probably have low to medium low light. Check out the plants in those two categories to get an idea of the types of plants that will likely work for you, but make sure to pay attention to size, as many plants will grow much too large for your tank.

With a planted tank your best bet is to plant heavily from the start. Focus on the easy stem plants at first. These will help with the breakin period of your tank. After a couple of months you can start focusing more on the plants that you actually want to have long term and reducing the number of stem plants if desired. This allows you to do something called a Silent Cycle. Plants are a great growing surface for beneficial bacteria not to mention that they will help to consume Ammonia and Nitrites. This means that if you plant heavily from the beginning, making sure that the plants are settling in and growing well, you can slowly stock the aquarium without ever seeing an Ammonia or Nitrite spike.

Personally I think that your stocking sounds like too much for the aquarium. I'd probably skip the Cardinals altogether and just focus on the shrimp. Stocking both would greatly reduce the likelihood of ever seeing a baby shrimp as the Cardinals will eat them, and possibly the adult shrimp as well. If you do decide to go with both, start with the shrimp and let them get established before adding the fish. This will improve the chances of survival for the shrimp.
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Old 06-02-2007, 03:01 PM   #4
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o0o great tips from the both of you...i was thinking about getting the 20 plants because my brother has another tank, and also another friend has a 55 community... so i def have homes for the extras....

i forgot to mention i was going to dose with some sort of essential supplement for the plants... so that should help too...

do any of you know how to plant java moss to make it look like a carpet on the floor? do they need trimming?
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Old 06-02-2007, 03:21 PM   #5
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The best bet with java moss as a carpet would probably be to use some sort of mesh (plastic or wire) and tie the java moss to the mesh using twist ties. Once the java moss has adhered to the mesh you should be able to remove the wire ties with no problem.

If you don't want to do that you could always try to place long thin patches of the moss on the bottom, weighted on both ends with gravel. The moss will attach itself to almost anything. Have you thought about adding one or two small pieces of driftwood to your setup? This would be good for the java moss to grow on and you could also tie plants like the suggested anubias and crypts to it. I believe most anubias do better with their roots not planted but I will let others confirm that for sure.
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Old 06-02-2007, 08:36 PM   #6
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Congrats for jumping into the planted tank (no pun intended).

I believe most anubias do better with their roots not planted but I will let others confirm that for sure.
bs6749 is correct, anubias draw nutrients from the water column so they are best used by tying the rhizome (thick modified stump looking thing on bottom) to a rock or driftwood. Since you have a 12g, I would suggest anubias nana v. petite. Other anubias can get pretty huge.

Good luck.
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Old 06-03-2007, 12:10 AM   #7
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Do keep in mind that Java Moss under lower light conditions can end up looking a bit raggedy. You may decide that you don't like it and will then find out what a pain it is to remove since it attaches to everything. Further it can be a bit of an algae and detris magnet. It will require regular cleaning and periodic trimming to keep it looking nice and prevent it from detaching from where you want it from growing too thick. While you could attach it directly to the gravel, you may want to attach to some plastic canvas so that you can remove it from the tankfor maintenance and trimming. This will help prevent getting tiny bits floating around and attching where you don't want it. Using cotton thread is a great way to attach moss and other plants to a variety of surfaces. It will eventually rot away on it's own generally after the plant has attached and isn't harmful to your aquarium. You may also want to start with a smaller patch to ensure that you like the looks in your tank, so you don't have as much to fight with removing if you don't end up liking it.
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Old 06-03-2007, 03:24 AM   #8
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hmmm sounds good guys... imma set it up soon.. ill take pics

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