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calebkraft 01-04-2012 04:00 PM

first timer 40gal tall tank setup
I was shopping around for a tank when a friend offered this one up for free. I decided to make it into a planted tank.

I'm VERY flexible on what I'm doing. I have a vague plan, but nothing is set in stone. My original plan is to fill this 3/5ths and have some plants growing at the top with their roots in the water as well as plants on the bottom. I guess that would make this a Riparium (or is that a paludarium)? I can't get all the names strait.

Here is my progress so far:
A base layer of some planted tank substrate from petsmart
a layer of black gravel on top of that
some boiled wood.
currently a single sun-glo 18" bulb (15 watt maybe)

After the water set for a day or two, I picked up some plants and some shrimp from a store I'd never been to. Very nice guy but he had no idea what this stuff was (he was a salt water guru).

So far, I have
-what I think is Nana or petite Nana, the guy didn't know.
-What I think is Jungle Val (again, he didn't know)
-some duck weed
-3 little brown shrimp with a lighter stripe down their back. (again, he didn't know)

calebkraft 01-04-2012 04:04 PM

Todays plan is to get some more plants from a different store as well as a few ghost shrimp and possibly a few fish.

I have several questions:
1. Lighting
I had considered getting a new hood with dual tubes. I'm worried that this one won't give enough light.

2. Temperature
It is freaking cold in there. roughly 23C. All of those plants say that they are fine in that temperature. For some odd reason I was thinking I'd have to heat this tank. (the plant tank at the fish sop was warm to the touch)

trixella 01-04-2012 04:27 PM

It sounds like you bought Amano shrimp. Is your tank cycled? If not, then you'll more than likely loose the shrimp since their sensitive to ammonia and nitrites. The plants are jungle val and anubias, just be sure not to bury the rhizome on the anubias. It would be good to tie it to the driftwood (and tie down the driftwood so it's completely submersed) so its roots can attach to it.

calebkraft 01-04-2012 04:34 PM

Thanks! I will promptly un-bury the rhizome when I get home. I'll keep my fingers crossed on the little shrimpies too.

They are considerably darker than the pictures of Amano I've found. the tank was labelled cherries, but their color is almost the same as a wood shrimp, but with different patterns.

calebkraft 01-04-2012 06:59 PM

I took a quick trip to the pet store to see what they've got.

I'll be picking up some zebra danios, a couple more plants, and possibly an additional light.

I believe I'll be picking up an "aqua-glo" or maybe a "power-glo"(both rated 1800k). Not sure which though.

trixella 01-04-2012 09:29 PM

Something to consider, if you care about the welfare of your fish, would be to do a fish-less cycle with your tank instead of causing their gills to be burned for life.

calebkraft 01-04-2012 09:50 PM

oooh, I certainly don't want to hurt any little fishies. I guess I'll just get some plants and the additional light and filter tonight.

calebkraft 01-04-2012 09:52 PM

I'll probably move the shrimp to my established tank while the big one cycles.

Now I need to research cycling to figure out that whole process I guess. searching for it is near impossible because the term is used so very much.

calebkraft 01-04-2012 10:28 PM

I've read a few guides. I'll put some established gravel into the new tank and buy a kit for testing the water. I'll do a fishless cycle because burnt gills sounds horrible.

trixella 01-05-2012 12:16 AM

How big is your established tank? Something else that's really good to do to speed up the cycling process is to squeeze the filter media from an established filter into the new tank (better yet is to add the filter media itself directly into the new filter, but that's only if you won't be taking that media away from a tank that you're continuing to keep fish in). There's different ways to add an ammonia source for the beneficial bacteria to establish/feed on, you can either put in some flake food and let it decompose or you can use Ace brand pure ammonia. If you're willing to slowly add fish (after cycle is complete add only 1 fish, wait a few days for the bacteria build to handle the ammonia produced by that fish, then add another fish, wait a few days, etc/repeat) in the tank then the flake food method would be a good way to. If you want to add a large fish load right away then the pure ammonia route is the way to go. Just be sure if you go that route that you definitely get pure ammonia with nothing but ammonia in the ingredients... no other chemicals, surfacants, perfumes, dyes, etc.

Oh and the whole "fill the tank with water from an established tank" is not a way to have an instantly cycled tank. There's very very little beneficial bacteria floating around in the water, the bb likes to settle onto things like gravel, plants, filters/filter media... especially filter media... the bb's really like the oxygen flow of a filter/filter media.

calebkraft 01-05-2012 03:42 AM

I'm responding on my phone, so I'll be brief.

Established tank is 10 gallons. The new tank got a rock, a plant, a sprinkling of gravel from the old. I also took the cartridge from the old filter and just dropped that sucker in the new tank.

Don't worry, I'm not using charcoal anymore. I bought some nice filter material and cut new inserts for the old filter and the one I bought tonight. Both are HOB.

My water level wasn't high enough for the new one so it is hanging *inside* the aquarium till tomorrow when I'll have more deck primates water.

I got the additional light and some plants. I'll ask questions about proper planting tommorrow when I can post pictures.

calebkraft 01-05-2012 03:43 AM

Stupid autocorrect. Deck primates = dechlorinated.

Also thanks for the tips.

trixella 01-05-2012 03:58 AM

Did you leave any old filter media in the old filter? If not, then you may throw the 10 gallon into a cycle. If the old cartridge is sitting in the new tank with no filter/oxygen/airstone then a lot, if not all, of the beneficial bacteria will start dying. Don't forget to throw some flake food in the tank so the bb's can feed on it... starving bacteria = dead bacteria.

calebkraft 01-05-2012 04:10 AM

Can't find this in the plant profiles. Roots are completely different than anubias. No idea how it should be planted.

Here's the Whole tank.

calebkraft 01-05-2012 04:18 AM


Originally Posted by trixella (Post 1661521)
Did you leave any old filter media in the old filter? If not, then you may throw the 10 gallon into a cycle. If the old cartridge is sitting in the new tank with no filter/oxygen/airstone then a lot, if not all, of the beneficial bacteria will start dying. Don't forget to throw some flake food in the tank so the bb's can feed on it... starving bacteria = dead bacteria.

There's a sponge and a cartridge in the old tank. I've changed that cartridge 5 or 6 times this year with no problems. Problably due to the fact that theres just a guppy, a pleco, and a shrimp in there... Along with a lot of generic plant. This should basically be the same. The several month old cartridge is now floating in the new tank with the new filter running.

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