New Tank, please help me. - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-22-2011, 03:20 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Alabama
Posts: 1
Question New Tank, please help me.

Hi, I am currently setting up a new freshwater tank and would like some advice.

My family and I have had fish on and off over the years, but untill now I have never really had any of my own. Furthermore, my family members have never had fish for long periods of time. It was usually the classic gold fish in a bowl; once or twice my dad had a 10 gallon with a few neons and plecos. The longest we have ever had a thriving tank was only about 3 years.

I understand that many people have tanks in which the fish thrive for 10+ years.
I have finally gained permission to set up my own tank and I want it to last for a long long time. I would also like to say that I have done reasearch and also have a bit of experience with fish, so I am not completely ignorant to the ways of fish keeping.

So anyway, I currently have a 10 gallon glass tank on a fish stand. It is in my bedroom, so it is away from drafts and such. I have a window nearby so that I can open the shades and allow sunlight into the tank every now and then. I am going to keep the tank around 78 degrees The tank setup currently includes:
-hood with light
-filtration system
-1 and 1/2 inch of gravel
-Bubble Wand
-Cave like fixture (so fish can hide) (don't know what its called)

The tank has had water in it for the past three days. All of the devices inside the tank have been running (so as to filter the water and so on).

Now that I have you up to date on the status of my tank, I would like to ask a few questions.

1) Is everything good so far?

2) Is 78 a good temperature for freshwater fish?

3) I would like to get some plants, are these good?
-Eleocharis parvulus----(dwarf hairgrass)
-Hemianthus callitrichoides----(common name unknown)
-Blyxa aubertii-----(Bamboo plant, Roundfruit Blyxa)

-Microsorium pteropus---(Java Fern)

4) Do I simply plant them in the gravel, or is something more needed?

5) Should I add the plants before I add fish?

6) Is a use of chemicals really needed?

7)Could you make some plant/fish suggestions?

Thanks for the help, and please feel free to comment on any other aspect of my tank. I need all the help I can get.
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-22-2011, 04:25 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: East Bay Area, California
Posts: 299
I'm new in some ways. 78 is a good temp for a community tank. The issue you will run into is using gravel for substrate. You will need to feed the plants constantly to make up for the lack of nutrients in the substrate.

But Java Fern doesn't get "planted". You tie that to driftwood or a rock. So it will be fine.

What kind of lights do you have ? I swapped out my incandescents for compact flourescents and my plants are doing well. Most lights that come with the tank aren't enough for many plants.

BUT I have low light/low tech set ups and that is probably where you should aim to start with ?

The HC plant (baby tears) is a high light plant. It may grow in lower light but will not form the pretty carpet. It will grow tall and weedy.

I'd suggest mosses and ferns. My Amazon Swords are in gravel but I do feed them weekly. I will be redoing that tank soon.

Plants first is good. easier to work in the tank without freaking out the fish. NO Plecos. Most are too big for a 10 and will eat the plants. After you add some fish and it's more cycled. Then get Otos.

I love my planted 10g. Mine has plants, shrimp and Otos. No other fish till the shrimp start overrunning the tank . I have Red Cherry Shrimp. Great starter shrimp.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-22-2011, 04:42 PM
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Location: East Bay Area, California
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You don't need to toss the gravel but you may want to add a layer of plant friendly substrate beneath. I'm using Flourite but many seem to like Eco Complete.

Mine is black Flourite covered with Tahitian Moon Sand (also black).

Fish suggestions? Small Tetras or Rasboras. So you can have a school. I love my Neons and my Harlequin Rasboras. Celestial Pearl Danios are also nice fish. I'd feature a nice group of on fish with some Pygmy Cory cats and Otos. Or try shrimp

But test water before adding fish. Use a good conditioner. I use Prime. Go slow. Start with 2 or 3 fish. Once a week 25% water changes. Wait a week or two. Add a few more. Keep testing water before adding fish. (you probably know this stuff)

My 5g gravel bottom tank

My 10g black sand shrimp tank

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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-22-2011, 06:06 PM
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Location: Chattanooga, TN
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My tank is 78 with a wide variety of plants and fw fish. Your setup seems fine. Look for easy growing plants, the only chemicals u should need are plant fertilizers, and water conditioner, if u have algae there is a problem. Take in mind that even the healthiest planted tanks have a wee little bit of algae. Its natural. If u don't want to buy a new substrate, look into osmocote plus. Stick a few undergravel for the roots and they last a few months. They are far cheaper than flourish tabs. If u plan on getting serious. Research c02 injection, otherwise find low light, low demand plants, this way you won't have leaves turning sickly colors and melting.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-23-2011, 10:30 PM
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Sounds good keep us updated!

"Look again at that Pale Blue Dot. That's us. That's home."
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advice, new tank, plants, setup

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