The "I have no idea what I'm doing" tank - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 05-19-2017, 06:01 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 8
The "I have no idea what I'm doing" tank

First time keeping fish...even a carnival gold fish, so why not go with a planted tank!?

I wanted to start this journal for anybody that has no idea what they're doing to follow and find out what it's like to have no idea what you're doing but hopefully be successful in starting up their own planted tank.

After spending the first 3 weeks researching things, I've set my tank up with the following equipment:

75G tank
Penn Plax Cascade 1000 (Purigen, bio rings, coarse & fine sponges)
SunSun JVP-101 800 GPH Wavemaker
Koval 156 LED Aquarium Light (which I don't know if it's going to be good enough but we're going to find out)
Eco-Complete & Lava rock for substrate
Aqueon 300W Heater

On The Way:
GLA Regulator to go co2

Nilocg Liquid NPK+M

A little bit of RO
Softened Water and Hard Water
I tested my hard water and had a PH of 8, 9KH, and 17GH
I tested my soft water and the PH went to about 7, 8KH, and 3GH

I did a 50% water change when it was all hard water and put in about 3 gallons of RO (because that's how much my RO tank holds) and the rest soft water. When I retested it was at about 7.3 PH, 9KH, and 14GH.

I have no fish in the tank as I'm just starting and waiting for the cycle, but I'll tweak it a bit more down the road. I think I'll have to dial down the water softener to let a few grains of hardness through and go that way.

One are where I failed to research much in was plants. I just bought whatever wasn't too expensive:

Myrio Green
Cryptocoryne Wendtii
Ludwigia Pervensis
Ludwigia Repens
Java Fern
Hair Grass

Things that I've learned so far:

I saw that adding lava rock under the substrate would help with using massive amounts of the expensive stuff so I threw it in the bottom. The place that recommended this said to keep it in bags. I wanted to be a cheap ass and save $20 so I didn't do it. If you go this route, KEEP IT IN BAGS.

While trying to plant I keep hitting the rocks because they're spread out making it difficult to plant the plants.

I also went a bit crazy with the plant ordering (see the picture). Because I'm having difficulty planting, I've kind of just spread it out all over the place.

So there's that. Let's see if I manage to kill everything in the first week or two. Fingers crossed.

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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 05-19-2017, 06:43 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Huntington Beach, CA, USA
Posts: 9,085
There is no one single way to start nor run a tank so it does get interesting to just jump in. Nothing wrong with sink or swim as long as one is able to come back from getting slammed by things we don't expect.
What's the old saying? It makes us stronger--if it doesn't kill us first!
Best of luck and keep posting.
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old Yesterday, 10:40 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 8
A week or so has come and gone. I've still have just been sitting around waiting for the cycle to complete.

I measured ammonia and nitrates a few days ago. Ammonia is still at 4ppm, but nitrates are at about 2ppm.

I didn't touch the tank for about 4 days since I was out of town. Several plants were uprooted. I think I'm going to have to forego the wave maker. The flow is crazy with it on. Anybody need one or want to trade for a weaker one?

Some of the plants have started to grow a bit, there's definitely growth coming from what I think was the Ludwigia Repens. The anacharis isn't looking too good though...most of it is turning brown and is looking like it's melting.

I found some more rocks over the weekend to throw into the tank. Tonight I'm going to do a 50% water change and change the landscaping around. I also bought some moss because I want to cover the manzanita with it.

Tank today:

Moss is growing after only 2 days:

Ludwigia Repens (I think) already showing some significant new growth in only a week:

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