29 Gallon Bowfront...What Now?
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Old 06-22-2011, 09:51 PM   #1
FinFan95
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29 Gallon Bowfront...What Now?


I have had a 29 gallon bowfront aquarium for quite some time now. It has been set up as a freshwater tank that is unplanted. I have decided I want to venture into the planted side of the hobby to give my fish the best quality of life, and also to enhance the looks of the aquarium. The tank currently contains 1 angelfish, who I've been fortunate to live with for 3 years now.

I have attained Flourite substrate, and am currently looking for an adequate light. I plan on having a low-light, probably low-tech tank. If DIY CO2 systems are easy enough, I may consider one of those. So, what type of light do I need, and where can I get it?

Thank you all!
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Old 06-22-2011, 10:05 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FinFan95 View Post
I have attained Flourite substrate


You're going to need light, CO2, and fertilization. There are specific forums dedicated to providing all three, so happy reading. Planted aquariums are significantly more complex than they first appear. Be patient and enjoy the ride.

Last edited by sewingalot; 06-24-2011 at 11:42 PM.. Reason: cleaning up
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Old 06-23-2011, 02:58 PM   #3
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you don't need CO2 and fertilization.

if you get low light, undemanding plants they will do fine. you might not see them growing into a jungle quickly, but they will grow and survive.

Check in the light section for advice on low light options for your tank size.
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Old 06-23-2011, 05:39 PM   #4
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I have a 29 gallon tank (30 1/4 x 12 1/2 x 18 3/4). I don't inject Co2. Tried the diy Co2 with yeast and couldn't stand the brewery smell. I have the Coralife dual T5NO light system and a T8 18watt Aqua-glo bulb over it. I would have preferred SolarMax because it has a great reflector. But got the Coralife for got it at an auction for $18.

Have found that some plants listed as needing Co2 can adjust to Excel for carbon. One I found is Stargrass. Plants that are deep red get brighter colors with Co2. Have noticed that other plants have bigger leaves with Co2. With Co2 injected tank growth is faster thus you have to prune more.

Here is Jacobs tank with the SolarMax. I have seen at Pet Blvd for a good price. Pet Blvd has great prices on the T5NO bulbs thus will be getting replacement bulbs there.

Weather you need Co2 depends on your light. Light bulbs that are T5HO usually require Co2 be injected. Hyzer used 1 T5HO and managed without injecting Co2 by raising the light.

If you are on a tight budget I found getting anubias, ferns and mosses is cheaper in the long run. For they grow in a small tank sitting near a sunny window. Also in most cases don't need ferts.
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Old 06-23-2011, 06:38 PM   #5
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None of my tanks have CO2 and they do just fine.. depends on what you want to plant and how much maintenance you have time for plus CO2 whether it is a complete kit or a DIY will have an added expense so if finances can come into factor then consider that now. There are a good variety of plants that are really nice that do not require high light or CO2. Not trying to discourage you on it, but don't think you get a less appealing tank if you choose another route.
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Old 06-23-2011, 06:41 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kamikazi View Post
you don't need CO2 and fertilization.
Really? Are you assuming that I meant pressurized CO2 and EI dosing? I intentionally did not endorse a specific technique.

When someone brand new to the hobby receives a bunch of "DIY CO2, excel, T5, no water change, low tech best, no ferts" advice, they are virtually condemned to fail IMO. Statistically, what happens to 9 out of 10 new hobbyists?

1) Spend "lots" of money on new setup. High hopes for results.
2) Read on internet that fancy lighting, CO2 (OMG CHEMISTRY NOOO!), and fert dosing is crazy expensive, difficult to understand, and a total waste of money. Forget that noise, amirite?
3) Most plants grow slow and ugly. Some not at all.
4) Neglect takes its course. Algae invades.
5) A few dollars are spent in desparation as peak ugly is reached. A couple weeks later, the tank is torn down and parted out on craigslist.

Last edited by sewingalot; 06-24-2011 at 11:39 PM.. Reason: edited to stay on topic
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Old 06-23-2011, 08:52 PM   #7
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The poster even mentioned in the OP that they planned on a low light, low tech tank.

Last edited by sewingalot; 06-24-2011 at 11:40 PM.. Reason: cleaning up
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Old 06-24-2011, 04:25 AM   #8
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Quote:
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None of my tanks have CO2 and they do just fine..
Got a link to your tanks? I am always looking for pics of tanks without Co2. I feel we are a minority.
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Old 06-24-2011, 04:31 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Booger View Post
When someone brand new to the hobby receives a bunch of "DIY CO2, excel, T5, no water change, low tech best, no ferts," advice, they are virtually condemned to fail IMO.
Well this is why I started a planted tank. After 3 months of no water changes BBA took over, thus now do water changes monthly. If I had bought plants after getting the light I wouldn't of had problems. I think if one buys plants suited for the light they have that a low maintenance no ferts tank is possible. For I did it with a 10 gallon tank in a sunny window. Plants were ferns and moss.
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Old 06-24-2011, 02:13 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Booger View Post
Really? Are you assuming that I meant pressurized CO2 and EI dosing? I intentionally did not endorse a specific technique.

When someone brand new to the hobby receives a bunch of "DIY CO2, excel, T5, no water change, low tech best, no ferts" advice, they are virtually condemned to fail IMO. Statistically, what happens to 9 out of 10 new hobbyists?

1) Spend "lots" of money on new setup. High hopes for results.
2) Read on internet that fancy lighting, CO2 (OMG CHEMISTRY NOOO!), and fert dosing is crazy expensive, difficult to understand, and a total waste of money. Forget that noise, amirite?
3) Most plants grow slow and ugly. Some not at all.
4) Neglect takes its course. Algae invades.
5) A few dollars are spent in desparation as peak ugly is reached. A couple weeks later, the tank is torn down and parted out on craigslist.
This is the low-tech forum. This is a community of good people almost all of which have had success with a wide variety of techniques including no co2 and no ferts.

As for the OP, I think he's already been given good advice by some others. I'm personally using a single T5HO (24", 22w) over a 29 gallon and am very happy with the results. If you really want to go low tech, I'd look for a dual bulb T8 or T5NO setup and consider putting a thin layer of soil under the flourite. That way you're pretty much guaranteed a tank that will require no maintenance and can grow plenty of lush, low-light plants like Crypts, Anubias, Moss, Ferns, Vals, Dwarf Lilies, stems...

Last edited by sewingalot; 06-24-2011 at 11:41 PM.. Reason: cleaning up
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Old 06-24-2011, 06:43 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Booger View Post
Really? Are you assuming that I meant pressurized CO2 and EI dosing? I intentionally did not endorse a specific technique.

When someone brand new to the hobby receives a bunch of "DIY CO2, excel, T5, no water change, low tech best, no ferts" advice, they are virtually condemned to fail IMO. Statistically, what happens to 9 out of 10 new hobbyists?

1) Spend "lots" of money on new setup. High hopes for results.
2) Read on internet that fancy lighting, CO2 (OMG CHEMISTRY NOOO!), and fert dosing is crazy expensive, difficult to understand, and a total waste of money. Forget that noise, amirite?
3) Most plants grow slow and ugly. Some not at all.
4) Neglect takes its course. Algae invades.
5) A few dollars are spent in desparation as peak ugly is reached. A couple weeks later, the tank is torn down and parted out on craigslist.
I don't think that's true... I started this hobby with no co2, no ferts, just inert gravel and low lights. My plants grow fine and I have minimal algae. It's not a matter of using tons of equipment and money to get good results, you just need to fine a good balance in the tank and get the right plants. IE, you're not going grow some beautiful HC carpet in my tank.
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Old 06-24-2011, 07:56 PM   #12
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There are plenty of hearty plants that you can start off with that aren't demanding in terms of lighting and additional nutrients. Java Fern, various Annubias plants, and several types of Crypts and Swords are all good plants for a low tech tank. I have a 20G with all of the above plus a few sword plants; no CO2 in being injected into that tank. Right now it is being used as a nursery tank for @15 young White Cloud Mountain Minnows.

A 29G tank is 30"x12"x19" (LxWxH). You could go with a 30" or 24" light fixture, depending upon whether you want 6" of the length of the tank to be a bit less well illuminated. This post by Hoppy on lighting is a good starting point:

http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/li...t5-t12-pc.html

Keep in mind you can raise the height of a light fixture above the tank to reduce the amount of light reaching the substrate. You can also buy a multiple lamp fixture and remove one (or more) of the bulbs to reduce the amount of light. Do you currently have a light for the tank?

If you use Flourite, rinse it out well before adding it to the aquarium. Note that you might want to relocate your Angelfish to another tank/suitable container before adding the new substrate to your 29G. Also, if you aren't capping the Flourite with an additional layer of substrate or if you mix it with other gravel, be sure to place a plastic bowl/container on top before adding water in order to reduce the amount of disturbance. Fine particles of Flourite can cloud the water for up to a few days.
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Old 06-24-2011, 11:26 PM   #13
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Let's tone it down here, you all. Name calling is not needed on the forum and is against policy. Stick to the topic and don't get personal. So for things getting side tracked, OP. Things have been cleaned up now.
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Old 06-25-2011, 01:06 AM   #14
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Realistically, if you're going low light, low tech, you need really only what you have on hand for the most basic of plants. I had a lush 20 gallon filled with java fern, bolbitus, anubias, mosses, and crypts with just a single 18" t8 bulb that was about 2 years old. The gravel was huge river rock, with nothing special, and it was sparsely stocked. Everything was always happy and healthy, and I'm sad I didn't think to snap any pictures of it in it's prime. It grew slower the snot though.

A little more light will speed up the process significantly. If you can find them, and older 24-30" coralife twin t5no fixture could be perfect for what you're looking for. As I'm not seeing any of those readily available, then I'm going to suggest something like this. For what you're trying to achieve, that should do you just fine.

Flourite is an excellent choice, although as others have said, it's extremely dusty. I've found my low light systems get the best growth and seem the most stable if I add about an inch of Miracle Grow Organic Potting Soil underneath the gravel. It really seems to bump up the growth of rooted plants and apart from the first few months, I really have no algae problems to speak of.

Good luck, take lots of pictures, and let us know how it goes!
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