The Planted Tank Forum - View Single Post - Jbrady33's 36 Gal bow (or how many random species can you cram in)
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post #19 of (permalink) Old 11-06-2012, 04:00 PM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Mt Laurel, NJ
Posts: 1,612
I should word that differently - I was saying that you are already starting off with more advanced monitoring than me as you are watching TDS. I don't watch mine as I have very soft well water and do bi-weekly water changes (weekly on the little 3 gallon) - and don't have any really sensitive fish. Your TDS readings will relate to the fish/shrimp you want to raise.

You can run your tank so many ways now - there are 2 extremes to the 'planted' part of a planted tank and you can pick anywhere in between:

- Low tech - lots of plants, low bio-load, lowish lights, No fertilizing, maybe occasional water changes, maybe potting soil capped with sand for a substrate, sometimes not even a filter, just let nature do all the work.

- High Tech - demanding plants, super high lighting, lots of filtration, injected compressed Co2 gas, lots of fertilization (even EI dosing), lots of water changes (because of the high fert levels), LOTS of test kits (all the usual plus every fertilizer level, TDS, and more), Lots of maintenance as the plants grow like mad and need constant trimming and attention.

Both are too extreme for me, so I went with:
- the biggest filter I could afford (a canister rated over 100 Gal on a 39)
- an inert substrate (eco-compete, like crushed lava rock or burnt clay - doesn't add any ferts or anything but can absorb them, never wears out)
- basic test strips (Ammonia, nitrate, nitrite, hardness, that sort of thing). Don't have to use them that often anymore now that my cycle is finished.
- Lots of undemanding plants - makes the tank more stable and is 'jungle' look I wanted anyway
- small amounts of basic liquid ferts only at water changes. I don't have the time or patience to be testing for nutrient levels every day and adjusting with water changes. Also Seachem Equilibrium powder at water changes as my water is too soft (some plants didn't do well without those minerals)
- Low to Medium Fugeray LED light - cool running, low electric usage, bright enough to grow nice, dim enough to not need Co2 injection to battle algae.
- undemanding fish that will accept flake/pellet/wafer foods. Don't want to grow my own bugs or anythign like that
- Cherry shrimp - prolific & hardy enough to breed with fish in the tank (lots of rock and plant hiding places)
- Amano shrimp - for fun and they eat algae
- traditional plastic rimmed tank with full plastic hood - cheap, looks good (my wife approved ) and the full light hood keeps any glare from spilling out. The rimless/topless look is great when you are just looking at the tank, not so great if it is in the family room with the TV - the glare out of the corner of my eye would drive me nuts. (with the hood all the light that spills in the room goes through the water and is very soft. If the light were open air and raised there would be a harsh glare from the space between the light and tank)

Rimless tank - yes, they are quite a bit thicker, the plastic brace across the center of the tank does a lot more than I ever thought, if you take it off a standard tank there is a real possibility of the glass bowing in the middle, cracking/shattering and flooding the room - not good.

your 5 gallon spec stock LED should be ok with moss, java ferns, anubias (I love them), wisteris, etc - all the low light plants. The stock light doesn't have quite enough power for higher light stuff. Some people put a Fugeray on them too, but a 5 is so shallow there is a real risk of out of control algae unless it is raised a bit. Your 29 should do great with the Fugeray!

PS: Once your main tank is going good that spec would be a great shrimp tank
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