Gonna start a new tank after 2 years of reading - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-19-2012, 08:16 AM Thread Starter
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Gonna start a new tank after 2 years of reading

So, Its been almost 2 years I haven’t made any planted tank. I’ve been keeping bettas in these 2 years. But now I’m in the States and want to start a new planted tank. I’ve been reading alot on TPT and have made an outline of the project. Before ordering anything, I want to let you all know this. So that you can correct me if I’m going wrong anywhere. It’d be my first project in the States so there maybe many things that you’d be aware of and I’m not. Do not hesitate to comment. Here is the outline-

I want to make a colorful garden. I just want very beautiful colorful plants in the tank. Just like plantbrain’s. Here’s a small wishlist of mine. I never got these plants back in India, so these 3 would be on the top in my priority list-
P. Helferi, UG, Cuba. Haven’t decided on the red plants yet. Suggestions welcome.

1.Tank size- It wont be more than 20G. I’ve my eyes on ADA mini-M. It’s in the budget and it’s ADA. Still if you have any suggestions for buying a high quality (extra clear) tank online, you’re most welcome.

2. Substrate- I wont use anything other than ADA. I’m ready to the water changes initially. So, a 3L power sand and a powder type new Amazonia would do I think.

3. Lighting- The shimmering effect of LED lighting has took my heart. I’m so in love with them. So I think LED groupbuy would be the best place to buy the things from. DIY is not a problem. I’m pretty good at it.

4. CO2 regulator- This is a thing that is making me mad. A moment Aquatec of California convinces me and then the very next moment when I see a victor or any other custom made reg, I start thinking about spending $200+ on it. I’m seriously confused about it. I dont know what people use in the States usually !! Should I spend $200 on the reg for a Mini-M ? Or that ADA complete kit would be a better option ? Or maybe GLA !!
I’m confused. HELP !!

5. Hardscape would include some woods. Manzanita or roots still to decide between the two.

Your suggestions are welcome

Last edited by sumer; 11-19-2012 at 08:35 AM. Reason: Typo
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-19-2012, 09:58 PM
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First hello and welcome to TPT!
Great job on researching a lot before buying anything, it is critical you know why are you buying something, how it works, and why it is better than option B or C.

Now some thoughts:

1. The ADA Mini M is a great choice! It is small and has nice dimensions and is easy to scape with and water changes will be easy (you will be doing ALOT the first month). I wish I had started with the Mini M, it is perfect for beginners and not overwhelming. While still giving you plenty of choices.

(My favorite best value ADA tanks: Mini M, 60-P, 75-P and the 120-P. )

2. ADA Powder Amazonia 3L is a good choice as well. Adding the Power Sand Special S 2L underneath will give you more depth and bonus nutrients/bacteria etc.

3. LED are awesome lighting systems indeed. DIY is fine, have you looked at the AQUASKY for the Mini M though? I have the 60-P one and the shimmer/brightness is unreal. It will also match the Mini M nicely and is plug and play with the stand included.

4. I don't think the ADA kit is cost wise as it is about $15 a month on CO2 to run.
I would recommend a GLA Prebuilt Atomic Regulator for a paintball tank or 5lb tank.
For Nano tanks, a lot in the US use 20oz or 24 oz paintball CO2 tanks. They are inexpensive to acquire and refill.

5. Aquascaping materials are your choice.

Some other notes:
- I would recommend a pad or ADA garden mat under the tank.
- I would also highly recommenced investing in a pair of quality pinsettes (the longer the better). I planted by hand once and it was extremely difficult and I do not recommend this for a beginner at all; esp if you are planting foreground plants like you want.
- Filtration I don't see mentioned. Short and sweet an Eheim 2211 and ADA Nano Lily Pipes is what I recommend.

Have fun!
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-19-2012, 10:43 PM
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Hi Sumer welcome to the forums!

One suggestion I have for a nice red plant is L.Aromatica, it is definitely one of my favorite plants because of how easy it is to grow and how exotic it looks, it also will sprout out of the water and flower if you don't trim it, giving your tank a really cool look.

As for the tank I would recommend a ADA 60-P. You said your limit would be 20 gallons and the 60-P is 18. I think the Mini-M will be too small for you and you will want to upgrade to something larger. Especially if you have two betas in there I feel the Mini-M will be too small.

As for the substrate ADA is great, if you are planning on growing H.Cuba though I would recommend using the powder type on top because the stems will grow MUCH faster through a finer grain than the huge normal amazonia grains.

LED lighting is good, I use the Finnex RAY II on my 60P, cost about 80 US on eBay. I am not sure if 1 will be enough to grow HC well though, I have had no troubles growing it and spreading but the growth seems very slow to me, so I might have some other factors at work or it might be not enough light. Maybe someone else can confirm whether its enough light?

CO2 is one of the most important things for the tank, make sure you don't get a cheap regulator or it might fail and gas your tank, I invested in one of GLA's regulators for around 200 US and also bought a 5 lb canister online. If money is not a factor for you however you can never go wrong with ADA.

One thing I did not see you mention is the ferts, I think the easiest way is to go to GLA and buy their plantex CSM+b + macro pack, has all the ferts you will need.

Good luck!
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-20-2012, 03:46 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you very much for your valued comments.

I’ve kept L. Aromatica in my tank and would definitely keep them in this setup.
I checked 60-P and found it better than mini-m according to my needs. I think I’d get a 60-p.

CO2 Reg- I’m still confused. Atomic Reg for paintball cylinder or For 5lb CGA 320 OR a custom made reg. The reason behind my worries is the needle valve adjustment. The reg I had earlier was a single stage reg. When I used to set it at some BPS, after 10-15 minutes, the BPS would reduce automatically. I just dont want to deal with such problems this time.

I forgot to mention about filter and ferts.
Now when I’m going for 60-P, I’ve selected these 2 models- Eheim 2215(164 GPH) or Ecco comfort 2236(185 GPH). Suggestions needed to choose one.

What about Pfertz ? They’re going pretty cheap right now. And I’ve heard good reviews about them too. I want to go hassle free this time. And the Pfertz bottles look cool. LOL.

Pinsettes and scissors I have. Straights, curved I’ve both.
What to do about the CO2 regs :/
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-21-2012, 12:18 AM
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Good luck with the tank!
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-21-2012, 01:01 AM
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Hi sumer, for the co2 i think you would be best off going with a 5lb canister with this http://greenleafaquariums.com/co2-re...regulator.html regulator. Add in a bubble counter if you need.

For the filter fluval or the eheims you mentioned are all great. For convenience I would make sure that the one you get has trays for each type of substrate. I know the fluvals do but never owned a eheim but heard they are also great filters. For my first 60p i bought a fluval 206 and for my second a fluval 406. I would say get the largest filter you have room for as its always useful to have more water in the setup, also for the 206 the water flow eventually slowed down a bit either due to my sponge intake or just dirt inside the filter. However since I was running it at max there was nothing I could do to bring it back up, with the 406 though I usually run it at less than a third of the power so I can always crank it up a bit
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-21-2012, 04:43 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks xdestry for the regulator link. I'm convinced now. No EOTD problem, 12 rounds from off to on.
I've a question about filters. I'll be using a 60-P tank which would be around 18 gallons. So is there any maximum limit for the size of the filter that I can use !
I mean like we know about the minimum limit that the output of filter should be atleast double to the tank's capacity. So is there any maximum limit also ? or I can use the biggest filter that I can afford ?
Can I use a filter with an output of 300 GPH ?

And we haven't talked about my fav part yet. Livestock
I want to keep Kryptopterus bicirrhis (or minor, whatever I can get), and some whiptail catfish and some bristlenose catfish(not the albino ones), and some amano shrimps. Can anyone comment on their availability online ?
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