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Old 03-29-2005, 12:39 PM   #1
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Ultimate under 75 gallon planted tank

I know I need a larger tank being I only have 10 gallon tanks set up right now. I have a 55 that could be set up as soon as early next month which will be a new experience even though I have had it set up before.

I really like the look of riccia and the way elodia/anacharis grows tall in the back.

My question to you is what size tank would you have, be specific with tall, long or just the dimensions. I really want a tank that has a good ground cover but has a tall plant backdrop. What plants would you use to get this effect in a less than 75 gallon set up? Also, is a HOB filter the best short of a canister for a planted tank like this or does a sponge filter add needed nutrients and filtration for the fish?

Recommendations that both do and don't require the use of a CO2 injector would be useful for multiple options to more people.

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Old 03-29-2005, 08:01 PM   #2
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Nothings wrong with a 10 gallon! For just starting out, I would recommend a smaller tank. I have a 10 gallon thats doing really well and its not overwhelming in size or maintenance and I think its coming along nicely. (And didn't cost me a fortune )Takeshi Amano's tanks are all under 35 gallons, and hes the undisputed planted tank God. If you can get a long tank. I think a 20 long would be perfect.
I know to grow riccia you need really high lighting and CO2 injection. They are a few other groundcovers that aren't as demanding. One that looks like riccia is monoselenium or pellia. It doesn't require CO2, and can tolerate lower lighting I think around 2/watt per gallon.
There is also marisela or clover which tolerates even lower lighting.
There are also a variety of mosses, so investigate further and I'm sure you'll find something you like and can afford to grow
More people will chime in that have more experience, but HTH

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Old 03-29-2005, 08:22 PM   #3
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A 55 gallon tank would be an excellent size for a planted aquarium. The only real down side would be that if you intend to get plants that require a lot of light (> ~2.5WPG) then the lighting fixtures can be expensive and you will require CO2 injection. In any case I would recommend a HOB filter as your main filter although you can use a sponge filter as a backup. The website below has some excellent information on planted aquariums. You can even choose your plant species based on light requirements, difficulty, region, etc.


I hope this helps.
Gene Heitman - 12 tanks (11 freshwater and 1 saltwater), 206 gallons, 20+ species of fish/shrimp/snails, 52+ species of plants ... 10 years ago I just wanted 1 tank with some fish
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Old 03-29-2005, 08:34 PM   #4
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Every little bit helps. They sound and look like really good plants that will work as well as the java moss will in providing good cover for fry and natural looking caves. All I know about plants right now is that they are a pain to grow and fish like to uproot them any chance they get. I have java moss in both 10 gallon tanks now and I will be making a couple caves that will be covered with plastic canvas for the java moss to take hold of. Will make them out of black plastic elbow pieces for a dark and secure place for my C. trilineatus to hide, sleep and play. Will make it easy to move the java moss also.

The only real reason I want to go bigger is I want to have a lot of places that are natural hiding places and space runs out quickly in a 10 gallon tank! Especially with undergravel filters! Might be a good reason to get rid of them and get a HOB filter. Plenty of oxygen should be provided by the plants and I can use the corners for the caves and java moss.
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Old 03-29-2005, 09:17 PM   #5
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I think most folks with planted tanks are using cannister filters (or internal filters for smaller tanks). A HOB would disturb the surface of the water and you'd lose CO2 faster. You could have a smaller tank with quite a few plants and a filter that doesn't disturb the surface and maybe get away with no CO2.

I think you would probably want a shorter than a taller tank as the light would have to travel down from the surface and wouldn't be as bright near the bottom if you had a tall tank.

I have found that with proper lighting and just a little CO2, live plants aren't difficult at all - the difficulty is in keeping them trimmed
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Old 03-30-2005, 12:01 AM   #6
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A little CO2, meaning a home made jobby with the yeast and sugar trick, right? An airstone on the bottom of the line near or in the plants? That I can deal with without any trouble, I can make almost anything as long as it doesn't include an oven and sugar!

As for a shorter tank, why doesn't anyone back light their tanks to get the light the plants need in taller tanks or ones with floating plants? Once the plants are established and the back is a good wall of plants they will block out most of the light that gets to the tank so it wouldn't bother the fish and they should grow better, shouldn't they? I imagine plants in the middle and front would be hurting if they need a lot of light but for the back and low to medium/low light plants, wouldn't it be enough to have a second flourescent shining into the back?

The big question now is how can you tell if there is enough oxygen in the water? Taking out all sources of surface agitation and no airstones or airation in the tank doesn't leave the tank oxygen deprived? I know plants do a good job of providing dissolved oxygen but what percentage of plants do you need for the fish or does it every really matter as long as you don't have 100 fish in a 10 gallon with one lone java fern?

Exaggerated, I know, but makes the point. 8O
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Old 03-30-2005, 10:42 AM   #7
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oxygen saturation at 70 degrees is only 4.8ppm

If you have lots of plants, light, CO2 and good fert dosing, your water will stay saturated with oxygen...which is when you see pearling.

Also, airstones don't diffuse CO2 well at all. The most basic thing you can do is put a reducer on the airline and put the end into your HOB intake, so the impeller breaks up the bubbles and keeps them in the water long enough to dissolve.
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Old 03-30-2005, 12:05 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by dr_girlfriend
Takeshi Amano's tanks are all under 35 gallons, and hes the undisputed planted tank God.
While I don't disagree that Amano is the Master and that he makes some wonderful displays in smaller tanks, he has tanks of every size from the very small to the very large. Just to illustrate, check out these "eye candy" links.


And then Amano's home aquarium...check our No.5

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Old 03-30-2005, 01:40 PM   #9
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Pearling, when the air bubbles build up on the plants and there are tiny bubbles on the rocks and in the water? Sounds about right. But then again, I have 2 undergravel filter stacks going almost full bore. The plants don't seem to be all that happy but they are growing well. The elodia has grown another 5 inches or so since I cut it off 5 days ago. The java moss isn't growing that fast, not noticeably anyway. I would say the anacharis/elodia is growing much faster and my backdrop will be complete in less than a month with new cuttings.

I am still contemplating removing the undergravel filter but haven't gotten the nerve to work that hard on my tank. Have to buy a descent HOB first also as all I have is that Wally World kit aquaview.

Will the DIY CO2 injector put enough in the tank if I use a bell and airstone?
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Old 03-30-2005, 01:48 PM   #10
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Just and observation on my earlier comment on lighting from more than one direction. In Amano's setup, I noticed there were multiple light hung from quite a distance from the tank they are meant for. While the intensity makes up for the height, don't they also light almost every other tank in room from almost every direction?

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