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Old 02-18-2011, 09:11 PM   #1
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Start of a long relationship (planted tank journal)

Alright guys... The deal with the 75g fell through, the 'perfect, good as new' 75g that I was going to get on CL turned out to be a 75g tank with a cracked center brace. Apparently, it's common to say 'it's as good as new' when it really means 'well, it was this way when I bought it'. As Innovator pointed out, it does make it a 75g bowfront... and bowback... not something I'm interested in. So, with that being said... I went tank shopping tonight. I couldn't find a decent price on a 75g tank. Petsmart upset me greatly, when they refused to sell me a tank that they had marked 50% off because it was recalled or something. I think the heater that came with it was recalled, as the little orange sticker said "50% off, no heater" and the employee and manager just didn't know what to do.

Enough rambling... You'll see some horrible iPhone pictures below of what I bought tonight. A 40g breeder. It's actually going to save me in the long run on filter, lights, etc...

I'm definitely getting an angel, that's the whole point in me setting up this tank. Now, I know nothing about angels, rams, tetras.. really don't know anything about anything lol. Can I keep a pair of angels and a pair of rams? What other fish? I definitely want a bristlenose pleco, maybe a school of cories... Suggestions now that I have a definite plan.

I'm also trying to figure out lighting. I'm ordering a light from fishneedit.com this weekend. As I previously mentioned in my planning stages thread, I want low-medium light, no co2 yet... just simple for now. Should I go with the 2 bulb or 4 bulb 36" T5HO fixture? I'm thinking 2 bulb, but I think a 4 bulb would be cool and I could do either 2 10,000k and 2 actinic, or 3 10,000k and 1 actinic. Thoughts?

Substrate... I could have sworn I had a couple bags of PFS laying around, but apparently they got up and walked away. I can run out tomorrow and get a bag of PFS, or I can use the remainder of the bag of Carib-Sea plant substrate (name escapes me), and get another couple bags. Thoughts?

Heater... I'm thinking Fluval, but I may go with a titanium... That should be taken care of tomorrow as well.

Filter... I'm gonna stick an AC70 on there from my 10g tank that's being taken down... May eventually switch to a Fluval 305. I got that part.

Am I missing anything?
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Old 02-18-2011, 10:00 PM   #2
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Yay! You'll love the 40 breeder footprint. Its got to be easier to work in than a 75g but just as deep so aquascaping is actually fun.

For your lighting, if you go with a 4 bulb fixture, I would definitely use 2 actinic bulbs and 2 10,000K. If you use 3 10K bulbs, you'll for sure need co2. I have co2 and 4 full spectrum bulbs over my 40 breeder and have some bad algae issues at the moment. I've cut back to 2 bulbs and the plants still look great, just need to figure out how to keep the algae down/away. 2 10K bulbs would be medium light IME.

I think you could definitely have a pair of Rams and maybe a pair of Angels in the tank if you plant it dense enough. I might be cautious and just go with one Angel, but if you really want a pair, try it and just have a backup plan in case they become really aggressive. As for other fish the others you mentioned would work...Cories, Bristlenose. I would get some type of schooling fish just because they look nice in planted tanks. You'll want something big enough to not get eaten by the Angels...like Black Neons, Emperor Tetras, Lemon Tetras, or something around that size. Rummynose would be good, but they stay towards the bottom and most of the fish you want are bottom fish.

I'm excited for ya! I've been wanting a new tank for awhile, but just don't have the money or time right now. Hopefully I will be able to redo my 20L soon and that will make me happy. Then I'll be ready for the next $1/gallon sale and score me a 40br.
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Old 02-18-2011, 10:06 PM   #3
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Thanks Kristin!

I will say that my tank was far from $1/gal. I just wanted it tonight, and didn't really care to spend a few extra bucks... It was $275 for the tank, stand, and glass tops. Oh well.... That's more than I paid for my 150g lol.

Anyhoo, I may just go with the 2 bulb fixture. Actually, I will, and am going to order it in about 2 seconds. I'm going to be bumming trimmings from all the plant gurus on here, so hopefully I'll have it planted soon.

I'm definitely going with a school of something. I was thinking cardinals or neons, but I really don't want to just have a snack waiting to happen. Lemon tetras look fun... I'll have to see what I can find locally, or maybe hit HN1 and SM up for some tetras of some sort.

I'm going to plant it pretty heavy, so I think I'll just try a pair of angels, and a pair of rams, and see how it plays out. If all else fails, I'll have a good reason to set up another tank
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Old 02-18-2011, 10:11 PM   #4
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Just ordered the light... I got the 2 bulb T5HO fixture... $84.98 shipped... now if I could only have it overnighted....
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Old 02-18-2011, 10:11 PM   #5
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Following on this sounds interesting!
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Old 02-19-2011, 12:11 AM   #6
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Congrats...Following to see how this progresses!
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Old 02-19-2011, 10:19 AM   #7
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Alright... I'm getting ready to head out to spend even more money. I happened upon a guy on cl who is big in to planted tanks. I'm going over to take a look at some of his plants, may try to snag some dw too. If he doesnt have any dw, this new fish store by my house has some, and it's the branchy stuff that'll let me tie some java moss on to.

I'm getting really excited about this tank
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Old 02-19-2011, 10:35 AM   #8
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Congratulations

Bottom feeders I recommend you julii corys, 5 or 6 will school great, they are active all the time, a lot of fun to watch.
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Old 02-19-2011, 10:38 AM   #9
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I'll probably go with panda cories if I even get cories. I've always wanted them... I've had juliis and didn't really care for them.
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Old 02-19-2011, 11:33 AM   #10
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I never have panda corys, ottos could be another option.
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Old 02-19-2011, 12:01 PM   #11
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I 2nd the ottos. I never really cared for the look of cories but ottos always interested me. I just recently added four ottos to my 37 gal and I love watching them...Very interesting little fish! Good luck with your plant search today!
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Old 02-19-2011, 12:37 PM   #12
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Nice purchase. That heater that Petsmart wouldn't sell you is the Marineland Stealth Pro which is known to explode. Marineland finally put a recall on it. It's a good thing you didn't pick that tank up.
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Old 02-19-2011, 01:41 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChizerBunoi View Post
Nice purchase. That heater that Petsmart wouldn't sell you is the Marineland Stealth Pro which is known to explode. Marineland finally put a recall on it. It's a good thing you didn't pick that tank up.
No, it wasn't a Marineland (I have one... thinking about digging it out of my 150g).. This was an aqueon tank combo, so it would have been an aqueon heater. My guess is they recalled those heaters, because there were about 10 tanks of different sizes that were all missing the heaters from the 'starter' kit.
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Old 02-19-2011, 01:55 PM   #14
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Alright... so after a very successful trip to meet this guy from cl for some plants, a trip to leslies pool supply for some more sand, and lots of rinsing, Ive got a start... Lemme know what you think so far. (ignore the 4' light.. just making due until I get my new fixture).






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Old 02-19-2011, 03:08 PM   #15
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Very good start!

I would say you will be able to grow about any medium light plants under a 2XT5HO fixture.

Since you went with PFS, I would get some root tabs pronto... at least for under the sword. It will keep them healthy.

I think some more hardscape would look really nice... I am a big fan of mopani or similar driftwood with Java Fern tied to it.

If you can find them, 3 SAEs would do really well... They really keep the plants cleaned up well and would work nicely would the fish you have picked out.

The other suggestion I have are some more stem plants in the back. The medium light species of rotala would all do well with your light, and I think mayaca could work as well. If you can find some, there a few species of pogostemon that look really unique, and I think they would do ok with your T5HOs... although that might need to wait for a bit.

I would also really encourage you to look into adding a pressurized CO2 system down the road... they require almost 0 maintenance once setup, and in my opinion even medium light tanks would benefit heavily from co2 injection... both for certain types of a algae control and overall plant health.

For now, I would also look at dosing some combination of a trace, iron, and potassium... with PFS as substrate, there won't be much in the way of nutrients available for uptake.

I would also consider some kind of fine leafed plant for the foreground... HC and glosso may be out with your lighting and lack of CO2. I think dwarf hairgrass might do ok... or you can propagate some of the smaller crypts and spread them out in one corner or the other towards the front (should they be the smaller compact species... it is hard to tell one crypt from another a lot of times).

I am sure this will turn out beautiful, especially if you end up with a pair of angels. Will be following!
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Old 02-19-2011, 03:35 PM   #16
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I can't remember what the plants are (im horrible with plant names), but I do know I have some that the guy said are very similar to micro sword... then there are some cryps, ludwigia, water sprite, the sword, java fern, java moss, anubias, HM, and a few other things.

I just now got back from the store where I bought a pair of angels. He said if they don't pair up, I can bring one back and exchange it and try again... I really don't want to get 5-6 angels at this point... I have a hard time getting rid of fish lol. I think at this point, I"m going to get a pair of bristlenose plecos, maybe some lemon tetras, and a school of cories. I'm actually considering going back and looking more thoroughly at the fish. I also got a new hunk of driftwood.
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Old 02-19-2011, 05:44 PM   #17
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Wow...looks like you hit the jackpot with plants! Very cool!
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Old 02-19-2011, 06:16 PM   #18
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Did some re-arranging, also went down to the new store and picked up yet another piece of driftwood... here are the pictures.








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Old 02-19-2011, 06:17 PM   #19
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and some more...







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Old 02-19-2011, 06:42 PM   #20
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Much better imo. I like the triangular composition.

What plant is this:
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