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Shopping list for water parameters in a new tank

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Hi guys, I have come back to aquariums after a long while off, and am looking for some help in setting up a new tank.

With the glut of products that seem to all do the same thing, I'm after a shopping list of things I'll need, just so I can order in one go and be done with it.

I live rural, so have the option of rainwater tank, or town bore water. Town bore water has a strong hydrogen sulphide smell, and I guess has added chlorine.

Am unable to test at the moment, as I have been waiting 3 weeks for my test kits to be sent out from Brisbane. Seems some shops don't get the whole "online" context.

I'm thinking of using rainwater in my tank, due to order stuff ups, I have had a whole collection of plants sitting in a rainwater container on my veranda, and they are all growing great guns, quite amazing to see!

Tank is using eco complete as a substrate, a MML RGB LED and a aquel canister with Pure,Matrix, and macropore


Do i just chuck in some fish food and let it go? Heh, what a great song.

Use one of the cycling type products like AquaCulture biostart/bioculture

Seachem Stability

Water condition - Fish will be Tetras

Seachem Equilibrium

Aquasonic Amazon Blackwater water conditioner

Water treatment

Seachem Safe

Seachem Prime



Dino Spit

Dino Pee

I'll be able to give ph and hardness results when the test kits arrive. im hoping with being rural and having no industry around, the water will be rather soft. At this point I have a reg for CO2, but no gas bottle. Probably not much in the way of refilling one either, unless I go with BOC.

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Your bore is not good for tetras. Great for African but. The rain water is good for tetra but it depends on the reserve of rain water you have available for the long term keeping of soft water fish.

Kiss principal applies, what plants do you have? Esp for swords you will want a good 10cm deep spot of gravel for the roots not to mention many other plants. ( maybe planting them in a specific terracotta pot may be an option, depending on aesthetics )

Put ur gravel in to whatever design you want after good cleaning and aquascape with whatever. Half fill plant plants and top up. Treat with prime ( readily known and a good product. Its more concentrated then some of the other rubbish. Tech den has a water tment too ect)as you fill ( if doing 20lt buckets) or wait till the end and do whole tank. The heater doesn't have to be turned on until just before you put fish in. Use hot water if you want but I'd double dose with prime b4 putting in tank.

Get filters going and add something like nitrate down or similar product. Don't be shy with it. Wait 7-10 and add some fish a few at a time depending on size of tank and fish. Wait another week and ad again ect. Don't worry about ferts atm until things r settled. How many watts and length is the led? The light Loveing plants should be under that... various ways to light them up. You haven't said any detail about that.

Have fun and take your time

Edited by thatsright99
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Thanks for the reply mate, plants are mostly low light, anubias, java fern, wendelov, some moss. I have some ambulia and pennywort as well, 1 or 2 clumps of ?hair? grass. The led is from makemyLED, 2 foot RGB with an auto controller, that runs a day/night intensity cycle. It is 12x3W LEDs. In some of the lighting calculators I have used it comes out as medium intensity.

Happy enough to run with those plants as is, or add moss to use as a nutrient sink if need be. I've bought a TDS meter, be interested to see how important adding Seachem equilibrium or the blackwater treatment is.

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