Need help stocking my first planted tank.
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Old 07-06-2013, 09:53 PM   #1
Fishmonger859
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Need help stocking my first planted tank.


Hello all, about a month ago I purchased a 45 gal. Tank and stand on Craigslist. After leak testing and sanitation I will soon be ready to begin to stock and plant the tank. My tank is pretty tall and my budget is pretty short so I know I want a low/ med light setup. I'm currently thinking about cycling the tank with a m/f pair of opaline or pearl gorami but beyond that I am at sort of a loss. Any suggestions on mid water and bottom feeders would be appreciated. Also any tips on species of plants that do well in low light ( other than the usual suspects) would be appreciated. Lastly I do not plan on using co2 in the tank.... Unless its absolutely necessary.
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Old 07-06-2013, 10:14 PM   #2
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Welcome to the forum.

First thing - don't use fish to 'cycle' your tank. Utilize the fishless cycle by using an ammonia source to cycle. That way you don't harm any fish.

Most plants will do well in low light setups if they're provided the right amount of nutrients. Some of the hardiest are Anubias, Java Ferns, Crypts, various Bacopa, mosses.

What are the dimensions of the tank?

What specific light fixture will you be using?

What kind of substrate?

As far as bottom feeders go, just about any Corydoras is going to be great. Even some Plecos stay small enough for a tank like that.
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Old 07-06-2013, 11:16 PM   #3
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I agree about the Cory cats...I got a pair of emerald Corys, and have a blast watching them zoom around the tank.
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Link to my first planted tank, 37 gallon tall, topsoil, sand, Eco Complete
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Old 07-07-2013, 12:39 AM   #4
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Another vote for fishless cycling.
Your biological filter will be stronger sooner than using fish to cycle your tank and your plants will benefit too by being able to become established without any fish trying to molest them for the first month. It's the method I'll be using for my daughter's tank.
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Old 07-07-2013, 01:02 AM   #5
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Alrighty so the fish less cycle is the way to go, I've always done fish in myself, but as I said this will be my first planted tank so I'm sure I have alot to Learn. @somewhatshocked. I was actually hoping for advice on lighting my tank is 3ft long by 2 feet tall by one foot deep.
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Old 07-07-2013, 01:56 AM   #6
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What's your budget for lighting?

That will determine whether or not you can go LED or traditional bulbs.
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Old 07-07-2013, 02:53 AM   #7
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I have a tank just like that. I call it my 1-2-3-45 (1' x 2' x 3' = 45 gallons)

This is a very hard tank to light, so go with as much as you can afford, and it will probably be slightly lower light than if you used that light over a tank that is deeper than 1' front to back.

Tall, narrow plants look best in this tank, there is not much room for forground/background, nor rocks. Plants that get wide or massive start filling it too much, and something like some of the Echinodorus are just way too big. No room for their giant leaves. Tall driftwood can be really nice, but nothing too branchy- not enough room.

I am running mine as an emersed set up with carnivorous plants.
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Old 07-07-2013, 04:56 AM   #8
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@diana your carnivorous ant setup sounds amazing, and I already bought a lovely piece of tall driftwood, good to know I made the right choice.
@somewhatshocked as little as possible haha, but given the information on how my tank will be difficult to light I'm looking to spend around 100 us on lighting...hopefully that will be sufficient.
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Old 07-07-2013, 07:43 AM   #9
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maybe look into CFL bulbs.

and I bet 2-3 angelfish (from a breeder), 6 cories and 12 tetras would fill your tank nicely
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Old 07-07-2013, 07:58 AM   #10
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I have thought about getting simple clip on lights and running 6500k bulbs.
However I am worried about the offshed of light into the rest of the house.
Anyone have experience using this lighting method?

Thank you for the stocking suggestion, anyone else have an idea on a community populate my glass garden?
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Old 07-07-2013, 10:01 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fishmonger859 View Post
I have thought about getting simple clip on lights and running 6500k bulbs.
However I am worried about the offshed of light into the rest of the house.
Anyone have experience using this lighting method?

Thank you for the stocking suggestion, anyone else have an idea on a community populate my glass garden?
I use the ss dome type light fixtures and just remove the clamp. the dome sits directly on top of my glass canopy and does not have a lot of spill over. Just be careful on bulb length.
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Old 07-07-2013, 12:52 PM   #12
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If you want something that looks more aesthetically pleasing (though, you can also suspend dome lights above your tank like pendants), you could consider a T5HO fixture of some sort. Should be able to find one to fit your budget.
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Old 07-07-2013, 07:55 PM   #13
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Will the fixture need to extend the full 36 inches on length or will a smaller fixture suffice? I know that if the bulb doesn't go the full length there will be some areas of shade. Also can anyone recommend good fertilizers to dose with? Both brands and specific elements.
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