Newbie to aquascape 60 gallon - The Planted Tank Forum

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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-01-2013, 02:40 PM Thread Starter
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Newbie to aquascape 60 gallon

I must admit I am in AWE and ADMIRATION of the many beautifully planted tanks and aquascapes on this forum! I've had fish tanks for years (mainly comet or fantail goldfish with rocks and a few plastic plants). I've had disasters with live plants, but now realize, thanks to this forum, that lighting and water conditions were probably to blame. I haven't had tropical fish since the December 2008 severe ice storm and weeklong power outage which dropped the house temperature to 40 degrees and killed the fish in my tropical tank. My goldfish survived and I still have them.

I have an empty 60 gallon. I have driftwood....and I have arranged it in the empty 60 gallon. I think I will leave it like this for a few days...maybe re-arrange it...although I must admit I really like rocks also...so will look for those as well to add to the arrangement. If I decided to go with the driftwood, I'll soak it for a week or so to leach out any tannins or whatever is in them before adding to the tank with substrate and rocks.

Substrate...something natural looking...currently researching. The plants will be easy ones for starters...such as the anubia varieties and java fern that I have in my 20 gallon tropical tank. I want to have some moss...really like the moss...so I have Java moss on order.

Fish will be a few angel fish, some black neons and aenus cory cats and a few ottos.

This is quite a daunting process and a big step for me



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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-01-2013, 02:43 PM
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I want those DW! Looking forward to your tank
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-03-2013, 11:22 AM Thread Starter
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Still Researching...looking at substrates...and lighting fixtures...

"Adopt the pace of nature; her secret is patience." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-03-2013, 11:55 AM Thread Starter
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Still researching...substrate and lighting conditions. Hoppy's PAR light discussion thread is great!

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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-03-2013, 01:09 PM
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Nice driftwood.

110g Tropical Community & Sakura Shrimp
55g BN Breeding Grounds, Peacock Gudgeons, Panda, Pygmies, & Smudge Spot Cories, Rili Shrimp
10g RCS and show guppies

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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-06-2013, 12:39 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks karce87 and GMYukonon24s for your kind comments


I just ordered 60 pounds of Eco-Complete black substrate at Petco...on sale today (1-6-2013) on line at $17.99 per bag with free shipping.

I have a question...I think I have to top dress this with a fine gravel? At least that is what I'm thinking of doing...either a black fine grade or a more natural pebble/river sand color...maybe an inch above the Eco-Complete?

Also ordered a 150W Jaeger heater from Drs. Foster and Smith. They are on sale until 1-7-2013...

Still undecided on the HOB filter...thinking seriously about a Fluvial C-series...would probably have to be a C4 for the 60 gallon tank. Any pros on cons on this model? Is there another brand of HOB filter that you prefer and why?

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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-06-2013, 03:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HybridHerp View Post
To elaborate on this, you need to have surface movement in your tank, and a lot of flow throughout the water column. You also do not want to break the surface of top line of water, only have it constantly ruffling to allow for o2 to be dissolved into the water.

If you break the surface of the water, the co2 gases out of the water, thus being counterproductive towards your goal. But if you have the water only rifling, the co2 still will mostly stay within the water itself while also allowing the o2 to get into the water for the fish.

What I plan on doing as well, is having airstones on a timer, that way I have that running when the lights go off (and the co2) and stop that when the co2 comes on (an hour before the lights is what I've been told is a good idea)
this helped me alot when choosing a new filter

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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-06-2013, 03:57 PM
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Love the wood you have, nice start.

Check the amount of substrate needed by using the handy substrate calculator hidden deep in the Articles section of this site. Articles>calculators>substrate.

You only need a topper if the color doesn't please you. As far as I know the only substrates that need topping are the mineralized soil and potting soil types and there is one person here trying it without topping!
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-07-2013, 11:52 AM Thread Starter
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Kathyy, thank you so much for the pathway link to the info on substrate depth!

Mahlady, thanks for spotting the info from Hybrid Herp on the co2/o2 cycle I had forgotten about night and daylight affecting this. I did not know that too much breaking up of the surface tension of the water would cause "the co2 to gas out." I will keep this info in mind when looking at filters...in the past I have had goldfish tanks with rocks and no live plants, were I wanted to break up the surface tension to increase the o2. The 60G will be a low tech tropical fish set up with low/medium light plants...co2 is going to factor in there...

Lots to think about and off to do more reseach

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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-14-2013, 12:14 PM Thread Starter
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In limbo at the moment as the shipment Eco-Complete has not yet arrived. Taking a serious look at organic soil and maybe a bit of clay for iron under gravel substrate. Lots to think about...will ask a bunch of questions before starting!!

Thinking about putting on 2 HOB filters...and still researching.

The light canopies will have to be replaced. They are not going to be strong enough to grow any plants...other than to light the tank. I have been reading about canopies with two, three and four bulbs...will be sure to ask questions here before starting also!! It is going to be a low tech set up, however, as I have a huge learning curve.

Learning on the 20 gallon and this plant growing stuff isn't easy...but sure is fun! So much to learn!

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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-19-2013, 11:22 AM Thread Starter
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Still considering HOB filters...but also seriously looking at Eheim canister filters...


Eco-complete shipment finally arrived...but...
Re-thinking my substrate choice...I have a radicans sword (echinodorus cordifolius) that was not doing well so after doing some reading (thanks Kathyy!) I decided to put it in a terracotta pot. The pot's bottom layer is organic soil topped with gravel. The sword plant is now growing much better...

So....I'm going to put some of that organic potting soil under the Eco-complete

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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-19-2013, 03:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Saxtonhill View Post

So....I'm going to put some of that organic potting soil under the Eco-complete
What kind?

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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-20-2013, 12:19 PM Thread Starter
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Mahlady, possibly Miracle-Gro Organic choice? That is what was in the garage in a bag and what I used for the sword plant.

Would sure appreciate some input on organic potting soil

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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-20-2013, 02:11 PM
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Not sure, that is why I was asking. I am considering using it also in a new tank with some potted plants. Not sure what kind can be used in an aquarium, there are so many choices...

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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-20-2013, 03:53 PM Thread Starter
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Maybe some folks will chime in and help us out on the potting soil question. You're right there are so many choices...

I did see the list of substrate choices on this forum (link below)...and Miracle Grow Organic was listed...so maybe I lucked out by having some of that in the garage...

Substrate Choices Pros/Cons

All I know is that I used a small amount in the terracotta pot for the sword plant...it was messy so I put some gravel in the bottom of the pot, then the soil, then after potting the plant, I added about an inch and a half of gravel to top the soil. The pot itself is about 5 inches high.

I am researching through the substrate section and also looking at the "Your Tanks" photo display section to see what substrate combinations are listed. It is fascinating to see what people are doing and I don't understand it all yet...just some of the basics...

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