Dave's first tank. 36G - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-14-2010, 05:53 PM Thread Starter
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Dave's first tank. 36G

This thread is intended to be a log for my 36 gallon bow front aquarium. The tank was started on Jan 30, 2010. My general goal is to have a "cool" tank. Unfortunately, the more cool things I see, the more I realize they can't all coexist, nor can I afford them all, nor do I have the heart to chunk out the boring fish I have for cooler ones. And so, this tank will constantly be in flux, but I think if I can get some good plant coverage I'll be happy. So realistic goal #1 is to grow some carpeting foreground plants.

Currently here are the tank stats:
Aqueon 36 gallon bowfront kit.

Lighting description:
replaced Aqueon lighting with a homemade 4x 22" T5 bulbs. Bulbs are 3x 14W 3000k, 1x HO 24W 5000k. (I know it's not enough light for a planted tank. Getting upgraded this week.)

Plants:
Microsword
Anubius Nana
Java Fern
...other junk

Fish:
2 gourami
3 minnows
3 goldfish
1 Chinese Algae Eater
2 ghost shrimp

Substrate:
Eco-Complete (2.5x 20lb bags)
white gravel mixed in.

Maintence:
7 gal/week water changes (planned)
...and of course daily conversations with the fishies.

Levels:
ph 7.8
75F
CO2 .5 bub/min
1.8 W/gal

Last edited by dphanks; 02-14-2010 at 08:00 PM. Reason: added gourami
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post #2 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-14-2010, 05:58 PM Thread Starter
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Valentines Day Arrangement

This is the current conditions of my tank on Feb. 14, 2010. I added some driftwood, attached anubius nana to it, and planted some microsword.
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post #3 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-14-2010, 06:46 PM
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What makes you say it's not enough light for a planted tank? There are those on here that have very lush and successful tanks with well under 2 watts per gallon, and some under 1 watt per gallon. You certainly have more options with a higher light setup, but then you also get into requiring CO2 and a fetilizing regime. I'd replace the background with a black one. Will bring out the plants and fish. I'm not loving the little pagoda and cave myself, but that's just me personally...to me it looks a little cluttered with the cave, then the pagoda and then the wood all in a row. I'd also add some taller background plants...maybe move the pennywort to poke out from behind the wood because right now to me it looks out of place where it is.
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post #4 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-14-2010, 06:57 PM
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I have two T-5 normal output bulbs above my 36 bow front and I have TONS of plants thriving very very well.

as far as fish, do you not like the ones you have listed with a thumbs down? lol There are many many choices out there for your tank. I think your off to a great start.
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post #5 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-14-2010, 07:05 PM
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you have plenty of light,look at my tank on view user tank under my name(i love planted tanks) i have about 1wpg over my tank
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post #6 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-14-2010, 07:23 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Noahma View Post
I have two T-5 normal output bulbs above my 36 bow front and I have TONS of plants thriving very very well. Are you using the stock fixture? or have you upgraded the lighting a bit?

as far as fish, do you not like the ones you have listed with a thumbs down? lol There are many many choices out there for your tank. I think your off to a great start.
I've upgraded the 24" T8 that came with the tank to an DIY lightfixture. It's holding 4x T5 bulbs. They're not all 24W, but I'll be getting those in the mail this week. So, soon to be 96W. I'd like to get some nice carpeting plants going in there and I keep reading about 2-3 W/gal and CO2, so that's what I've been aiming for, but It sound like I'll have to look at your tanks Noahma and i love planted tanks.

And yes, I was a little anxious to get fish in the tank, but at the same time I was cautious to throw a $$ fish in there that would die since the tank had only been setup for 1 day. I ended up with 3 minnows and 3 goldfish for a couple bucks. The idea was to get something cheap and hearty to make sure the tank "worked." So, now the tank works and while I'm semi attached to the fishies, they're not my first choice. I'll just leave them be for now...or put in some bad dude that'll eat them up .
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post #7 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-14-2010, 07:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dphanks View Post
I've upgraded the 24" T8 that came with the tank to an DIY lightfixture. It's holding 4x T5 bulbs. They're not all 24W, but I'll be getting those in the mail this week. So, soon to be 96W. I'd like to get some nice carpeting plants going in there and I keep reading about 2-3 W/gal and CO2, so that's what I've been aiming for, but It sound like I'll have to look at your tanks Noahma and i love planted tanks.

And yes, I was a little anxious to get fish in the tank, but at the same time I was cautious to throw a $$ fish in there that would die since the tank had only been setup for 1 day. I ended up with 3 minnows and 3 goldfish for a couple bucks. The idea was to get something cheap and hearty to make sure the tank "worked." So, now the tank works and while I'm semi attached to the fishies, they're not my first choice. I'll just leave them be for now...or put in some bad dude that'll eat them up .
Your probably going to have algae issues unless you either tone down the light a tad. or add CO2. The old wat/gal calculation is obsolete when it comes to T-5 bulbs. With my two 30" T-5 bulbs I have managed to be able to grow low / med light plants, pretty darn well. I gave up on carpet plants, they really never seem to grow the way I want them to lol. I did however keep my 4-leaf clover in the tank, and it is very very very slowly spreading in the area I planted it. I know what you mean about the fish. I started my tank with a few Zebra Danio's and have grown attached to them. The only thing I would be worried about is your gold fish. They tend to munch on plants in the tank. The minnows are a "cold water" fish, although there might be a temp. in which you can get some more tropical at their lower end of temp. that would work in the tank Most LFS's will take your current fish if you decide you do not want them. If the fish are a little less common, they will even offer you store credit. But with goldfish and minnows, they will most likely just take them off your hands for you.
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post #8 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-17-2010, 02:55 AM Thread Starter
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Browning leaves

I've got browning leaves on one of my plants. What kind of plant is this and what would cause this?

CO2 is 0.5 bub/sec
pH = 7.8
66W of T5 lighting
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post #9 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-19-2010, 02:10 AM Thread Starter
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Browning leaves

My plants are looking like this. What's wrong?
...and what kind of plants are these?
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post #10 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-19-2010, 04:33 AM
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looks like peacock fern. did you get it in one of the tubes from petsmart? if you did its not a true aquatic plant and will eventually rot away. it'll look decent for a little while, but i'd take it out now just to be on the safe side.
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post #11 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-19-2010, 04:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nickcamp12345 View Post
looks like peacock fern. did you get it in one of the tubes from petsmart? if you did its not a true aquatic plant and will eventually rot away. it'll look decent for a little while, but i'd take it out now just to be on the safe side.
+1

If you want something with a similar leaf structure Water Wisteria might be a good choice. Depending on the light it is provided, it grows different leaf structure. Lower light the leaves get very broad, high light very fern like.
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post #12 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-19-2010, 06:02 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nickcamp12345 View Post
looks like peacock fern. did you get it in one of the tubes from petsmart? if you did its not a true aquatic plant and will eventually rot away. it'll look decent for a little while, but i'd take it out now just to be on the safe side.
yes
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post #13 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-20-2010, 09:05 PM Thread Starter
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Update: new fish, new plants

I like to change this thing up pretty often...way too often, so here's what's ups this week.

added 5 neon tetras, removed 3 minnows, added SAE, added some sort of Liguida (maybe Ludwigia palustris)

removed the non-aquatic plant mentioned before. removed weights from driftwood, moved the stone hut to lookers-right.

Fish:
2 gourami
5 neon Tetras
3 goldfish
1 Chinese Algae Eater
1 Siamese Algae Eater
2 ghost shrimp

Levels:

ph 7.2
Ammonia < .02 ppm
76F
CO2 .5 bub/min
2.6 W/gal (4x 24W T5 = 2x 6500k + 2x 5000k)

Other notes: The CAE is very territorial, he has claimed the entire tank. My orange gourami keeps dominating the blue one. Basically if the orange one (Duke) can see the other (Arch-Bishop, "ARCHIE") that's way too close for comfort and he attack. Although scared to swim in the open, Archie's fins still look good so I'm allowing this "play" for the time being.

The Micro sword had some brownish algae maybe on the tips of all it's leaves. I'm wondering if this is just because it was planted a week ago and hope this disappears when it gets established.

Also, I'll be leaving for work next week, not sure how I should handle the feeding scenario. How long can these guys go w/o food? a week?
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post #14 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-20-2010, 09:26 PM
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If you plant some taller stem plants within the tank to disrupt the line of sight from one Gourami to the other, it might help settle the aggression.
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post #15 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-25-2010, 03:49 AM Thread Starter
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I started to get what looks like brown algae or Black Brush Algae in my tank. It's visible on the white gravel, tank glass, and leaves of plants.

I've changed up the lighting to as follows until I can find other solutions:
4x T5 bulbs (3x 14W 3000k + 1x 24W 6500k)
run for 6 hrs.
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36 gallon, beginner, goldfish, microsword, minnows

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