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lilypilyyy

I am embarking on a planted tank adventure!

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After much thought and deliberation, I have decided to build a planted tank. I have done a lot of reading and research on the topic and have decided to purchase the following products next week:

  • Aqua Manta Xanti 40L (60(L)x26(W)x27.5(H)cm) - I would have loved to get a customer tank built but $$$ is limited.
  • Aqua One Nano Co2 Kit
  • Aqua One Plant Glo (45cm, 18W)

I feel like this will be enough to get me started, however as a planted tank newbie, I'd love to be corrected if I am wrong!

The Mantis has been kind enough to give me some fantastic advice regarding planted tank set ups, particularly HC.

I am hoping to use (assuming I can get my hands on them) the following plants:

  • Mini Rose Moss
  • Bamboo Plant
  • Egleria Fluctuans
  • Dwarf Hairgrass
  • Eriocaulon Cinerum
  • Hemianthus Callitrichoides
  • Water Violet
  • Whorled Pennywort
  • Sulawesi Plant
  • Pogostemon Erectus
  • Crsystalwart

Now I know it'd be ridiculous and adventageous to put all of these plants into ONE planted aquarium, but I don't anticipate being able to find and purchase all of them... so I put it to the people, what do you think would be good combinations? Have any of you used these plants before?

My next question is regarding substrate. I've done a lot of research on the best substrates for planted tanks but I am getting a lot of conflicting information. What would you all recommend as the best substrate/s for a planted tank? I promise you'll all get photos as soon as it all get's going... I also have a sketch/plan I will post ASAP!

I will be keeping Crystal Red and Crystal Black shrimp in the tank... so I am aiming to create a pretty epic landscape for them.

I should probably also add that I have my rocks picked out and ready to go after a trip to the sunshine coast last week. They're black with white 'veins'. Although I cut up my knees, hands and feet... it was so worth it. They're nice rocks. Who knew you could get so excited about rocks?

Happy fish keeping and I hope this post finds you well!

Edited by lilypilyyy
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Sounds exciting..I recently set up first planted tank too ..a 39 Gallon ...but because Iv'e not had one before elected to stay with beginner plants...java fern, wisteria, elodea, penny wort, christmas moss and duck weed...for substrate did a dirted tank. Organic potting mix (1inch) with a cap of 1 inch of fine gravel. Left an area at front of just river sand as I am having corydoras and wanted a softer substrate area for them...will also be housing female bettas, glow light and neon tetras. I know you can buy substrates that are made for shrimp tanks..there are some really good shrimp/planted tanks on youtube - watching some of these might give you some good ideas..

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Donny , I like to go hard or go home when it comes to my projects... I am also a bit of a perfectionist and plan on creating my planted tank over a matter of months using a 'moist soil' method I've been looking into. Hopefully it'll give me a little leeway with the more difficult plants I am hoping to use.

While I know it'd be easier to use beginners plants... I have had them in my other tanks and they just don't appeal to me on an aesthetic level!

Ahhh ORANGEMELLY, a fellow lady! Thank you for your feedback and information on substrates. I've thought long and hard about using a shrimp substrate as part of the levelling however I'm not sure if it'll suit the general mood of the tank. That being said the information you've given me has helped me in forming a rough substrate plan which I'll work on mocking up tomorrow after work! I'd love to see a photograph of your photo tank, if you have one floating around!

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Look into the blue eyes..... some amazing oz and png variants.

Very true. Just be careful with your selection as many Blue Eyes require conditions your plants wont like - in particular referring to salinity. Honeys would be brilliant. They can't be sold but if you join ANGFA I'm sure someone will give you some. Cheers

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whats your substrate plan? If your aiming to keep crs/cbs i presume you have kept them before?

id look in to smaller fish or no fish, even with heaps of hiding spaces, the crs/cbs will be like candy.

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Donny, do you mean these gorgeous fish?

post-16211-14711633883392_thumb.jpg

post-16211-14711633883514_thumb.jpg

Because if so, you've hit the nail on the head! They are absolutely stunning and would compliment the look I am going for but as none so rightly suggested, I'll have to look at the water parameters they require and how they'd interfere with my plant/plant growth!

Buck, I do indeed keep CRS and CBS, as well as red cherries etc. I think at this point I have decided the tank will look a lot better without shrimp. Fish will be far more suitable... and I can't keep both in the same tank. I'd never see my shrimp again!

As far as my substrate goes, I am thinking of having a layer of Fluval Plant and Shrimp Substrate and a layer of Fluorite/Seachem... however please express any personal preferences!

I appreciate the well wishes and can't wait to get some photos up. I finally finished collecting all of the rocks today... photos coming soon!

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those are spotted blue eyes from up north, they are avalible through aquagreen. i organised a group by at the end of last year for some of these so you ould try and see if anone wants sto purchace some at the same time to help shipping cost.

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Donny , I like to go hard or go home when it comes to my projects... I am also a bit of a perfectionist and plan on creating my planted tank over a matter of months using a 'moist soil' method I've been looking into. Hopefully it'll give me a little leeway with the more difficult plants I am hoping to use.

While I know it'd be easier to use beginners plants... I have had them in my other tanks and they just don't appeal to me on an aesthetic level!

Ahhh ORANGEMELLY, a fellow lady! Thank you for your feedback and information on substrates. I've thought long and hard about using a shrimp substrate as part of the levelling however I'm not sure if it'll suit the general mood of the tank. That being said the information you've given me has helped me in forming a rough substrate plan which I'll work on mocking up tomorrow after work! I'd love to see a photograph of your photo tank, if you have one floating around!

Yes..us females are a bit rare on here

..I took a photo of my planted tank ..it is a bit rough as I have only a cheap phone for pictures at present (new camera is only 3 weeks away..yeahh)..I have a big rock sitting on the driftwood at the moment as it is not fully waterlogged yet..and lighting is a 6500k led daylight bulb (10.5watt) in a desk lamp..tank is opposite a window which is also providing extra light throughout the daypost-14718-14711633886037_thumb.jpg..tank is filtered by a corner mounted Hamburg Matten Filter..which is the dark area at back on left..

....as a fulltime student I am often struggling to find money for my hobby and so am always keen to try the cheapest and simplest ways to do things....I have firetail gudgeons in my oscar tank...I bought them as feeder fish (not with the intent to use them as feeders) I was curious to see what they would develop into as they grew some...my oscar is too slow to catch them...I bought 15 for $3...post-14718-14711633886253_thumb.jpg..they will be going into planted tank as well as the tetras and beta sorority..

...really nice looking native fish you could try is the pacific blue eye...reminds me of the Lord of the Rings...elvin fish...post-14718-14711633886354_thumb.jpg

Edited by ORANGEMELLY
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Pacifics don't like soft, acidic water. They also like at least a small amount of salt in the water. They lose their colour and - amazingly - over time the extensions on their fins get much smaller when kept in pure fresh water in sub-optimal conditions. Having snorkelled with and photographed many variants of these fish in the wild I am convinced the extensions are there for a couple of reasons (1). To attract mates in poor visability brackish / saltwater habitats (2). To attract mates in extremely fast moving water "rapid like" water conditions. This applies to variants like the Cairns form which occurs in truly white water habitats in the wet season. In the dry season habitats are brackish.

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[MENTION=8516]none[/MENTION] Reading your "rapid like" water conditions reminded me of being told Labidochromis Fuelleborni have the extended upper lip to be able to grip on algae in fast moving water.

Do you know if this is true?

Sorry OP to go off topic.

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[MENTION=8516]none[/MENTION] Reading your "rapid like" water conditions reminded me of being told Labidochromis Fuelleborni have the extended upper lip to be able to grip on algae in fast moving water.

Do you know if this is true?

Sorry OP to go off topic.

Hi Mbunamad I'm honestly not sure on that one sorry. I've spent a large part of my life studying natives in their natural habitat and as much as I am a Malawi enthusiast - I am a native enthusiast first and foremost. I've never been to Africa let alone the rift lakes so I'll defer to someone with first hand knowledge on that one.

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So my lovely partner surprised me with a tank when I got home from work on Thursday evening!

post-16211-14711633896638_thumb.jpg

It's an AquaOne Horizon 65L! A little larger than I had originally planned but the bigger the better I say. It gives me a lot more room to play around with and it looks absolutely fantastic. After some f****** around tonight with the stand we managed to put it all together and it's brilliant! The filter is small enough to be hidden and my partner managed to swap over the lighting, so it has a sunlight tube, not a LED light! Win, win! I am concerned about how I'll hide the heater but I'm sure I'll be able to come up with something clever.

As for the last few weeks, I have been collecting rocks from all over the place and mixing and matching them into different formations. I am very sorry about the quality of the following photos. It was so bright outside and my shadow is pretty darn obvious! I have come to like the following compositions:

post-16211-14711633897005_thumb.jpg

They still need a bit of a wash (in white vinegar, I've read) however they are lovely and will look great when I've managed to clean them up nicely. I have been working a lot more than I'd anticipated so I haven't had as much time as I'd liked to spend on my tank. The next step for me is substrate and figuring out a way to support my rocks in the tank. The last thing I'd want is for them to fall over, a) onto my fish and B) at all.

Any tips on structural tank support? Any composition tips?

As I am using a much larger tank now I need to rethink my plants because I am going to need foreground, middleground and background plants to balance out the tank. I wish I wasn't so darn picky about which plants I'd like, life would be far easier if I'd just shove elodea in there and be done with it all :blabla::blabla:

All of this being said, I truly feel like I am one step (maybe even two steps) closer to getting my planted tank started. I'll be picking up substrate and some plants this week. Although I may have to fly to Melbourne for work for a few days at the end of the week, and then do a two month stint there. If that is the case, should I get as much done as I can now and then reap the results when I return from my work interstate? I am thinking so...

Lastly... is there anyone out there interested in doing a bulk order on AquaGreen in about 12 weeks time? I have about 12 fish I'd like to purchase but the shipping is $$$ so if anyone lives in the Brisbane region and would like to chip in, please do let me know.

As always, any hints, tips, comments and notes are appreciated!!

Lily out!

post-16211-14711633896848_thumb.jpg

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After collecting bits and pieces for my planted aquarium over the last little while... here's where I'm at. HC is in. Hairgrass is in. Co2 is in... and everything seems to be going smoothy thus far. Tomorrow I'll be popping in a sponge filter from a different tank to speed up the cycling process as I've used ADA Amazonia soil and powder as my substrate (expecting some loveeellyy ammonia spikes)!

As far as composition goes, the more I look at it the more frustrated I seem to feel. I want to move things around but I'm not sure where. Any tips, tricks or hints?

Hopefully my HC matts will grow out while I'm, potentially, away for a few months (don't worry, my partner is going to be watching over the tank).

Lastly we don't have a solenoid so we need to manually turn the Co2 on and off. I've read that it can be better to leave it on 24/7 to avoid spikes? Is this information correct?

(Please see photos below as the internet dislikes me greatly tonight)

Cheers and let me know what you think!

Lily

Edited by lilypilyyy
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[MENTION=16211]lilypilyyy[/MENTION]pillyyy said:

"(Please see photos below as the internet dislikes me greatly tonight)"

It seems lots of people have problems adding pics to qldaf.

It may be a forum problem or the net being slow.

But it shouldn't be an issue for much longer as [MENTION=231]gingerbeer[/MENTION]swanlager has been telling us "changes are coming" for a number of months.

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After collecting bits and pieces for my planted aquarium over the last little while... here's where I'm at. HC is in. Hairgrass is in. Co2 is in... and everything seems to be going smoothy thus far. Tomorrow I'll be popping in a sponge filter from a different tank to speed up the cycling process as I've used ADA Amazonia soil and powder as my substrate (expecting some loveeellyy ammonia spikes)! As far as composition goes' date=' the more I look at it the more frustrated I seem to feel. I want to move things around but I'm not sure where. Any tips, tricks or hints? Hopefully my HC matts will grow out while I'm, potentially, away for a few months (don't worry, my partner is going to be watching over the tank). Lastly we don't have a solenoid so we need to manually turn the Co2 on and off. I've read that it can be better to leave it on 24/7 to avoid spikes? Is this information correct? (Please see photos below as the internet dislikes me greatly tonight) Cheers and let me know what you think! Lily[/quote']

Nice pics!

When stocked, most will turn co2 off when lights go off and at night. This is so co2 doesn't build up (naturally as well as injected) and possibly gas your fish.

Here I have co2 come on an hour before lights on and turn off a little before hand. Running lights around 7 hrs.

I use a ph controller but a bubble counter / drop checker / ph,kh,co2 chart does most of it.

I've found plants need to adjust so it takes a little time. And the theory is that stable co2 dosing means less chance of BBA so you want the same routine every day.

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Nice pics!

When stocked, most will turn co2 off when lights go off and at night. This is so co2 doesn't build up (naturally as well as injected) and possibly gas your fish.

Here I have co2 come on an hour before lights on and turn off a little before hand. Running lights around 7 hrs.

I use a ph controller but a bubble counter / drop checker / ph,kh,co2 chart does most of it.

I've found plants need to adjust so it takes a little time. And the theory is that stable co2 dosing means less chance of BBA so you want the same routine every day.

Thanks for the information! I am somewhat regretting not getting a solenoid however I am going to make do with what I have. Everything seems to be going swell so far as far as co2/ph/kh goes. No signs of BBA (yet)! I am hopeful that it won't appear.

Ended up taking out the background plants today and replaced them with tall hairgrass, I'll post a few pictures when the tank clears up. On a completely unrelated note my partner and I picked up 3 discus and 4 angels today for another tank we have and while looking at other fish I saw a few I'd like to stock my planted aquarium with... although my CRS is berried so it may very well become a CRS planted aquarium!

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