First attempt at a planted tank
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Old 12-19-2011, 10:10 PM   #1
bighollywood
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First attempt at a planted tank


So here goes. I have a 75 gallon tank. I have two aquarium systems hob filters. I like them because they have an air inlet on them that I might use for the co2 a little later. DIY background. Potting soil and blasting sand for a cap. One piece of drift wood (not sure where I will put it). This is day two. It is a little cloudy (when should I expect it to clear up). Light is one 48 inch perfecto strip with a 65k 40W bulb. I have 4 48 inch VHO bulbs I will be adding when I get the hood made.

As this is my first planted tank, I know nothing about scaping, plants etc. I really like some of the tanks you guys have on here. I especially like the ones with lots of color. Obviously, I want taller plants in the back and some foreground plants in the front. I really like those little grass looking things lots of you have in your setups.

Any suggestions about plants would be great.

As for fish, I want easy and low drama. I have kept tetras in the past and the seem to do well.

I hope to chronicle the progress of my tank here. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 12-21-2011, 04:58 AM   #2
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So here are a few pics of tonight. I only have three regular output flo bulbs on there right now. I tried the VHO and they were way too purple for a fresh tank. So, I will not be using them. I got some plants from the tank I maintain at my work. I purchased these plants from members on here and some of them have tripled in size in a short amount of time. So I got the free trimmings and took them home.

Oh, and the plants have bubbles on them... Does that mean they are pearling?
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Old 12-21-2011, 03:29 PM   #3
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Staring at the background, scrolling the pics and full of questions on how you created it / what it's made of until I found the DIY build thread LOL . VERY NICE!

A single 40w T12 is really low light energy so plants will be limited and extremely slow growing. Is the sand/soil sub about 2" total depth? There is a thread on the forum listing low light plants that is a great reference.

The plant you've added from work looks like Blyxa which has done well here low tech surprising me with good (but slower) growth on 2 non CO2 injected tanks.
This is my lowest level of lighting maintained here.
29g tank, 29 3/4" height (75g should be 21"). Single F15T8 plant grow bulb.
This is 3 months growth.
Crypts, Anubis, Java fern, Suesswassertang, Dwarf sag
No algae issues and really slow growth but the tank looks good for my needs requiring almost no maintenance.



More plants are added here right off using soil as a base along with floaters. The cloudy appearance will clear but in an empty tank it takes time.
Could the background be dusting into the water from the first fill on the tank?
With low light and a soil enriched substrate the tank would be near zero on maintenance demand.

I think your off to a great start, just need to decide how much light you will ultimately run on the tank then load it with plants.
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Old 12-21-2011, 04:19 PM   #4
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Yeah, I know about the light thing. I just cant decide. I have the vho's but they are all wrong in color. It looked really purple when I tried to use them last night. So I think I have decided to go with 5X40W t12's. So that would be 200w of light. So that is 2.6w/gal. I just have to get the bulbs now. I went to lowes on monday and got 2 65k. One of them had to go in the kitchen (light was out over the island. Wife was going crazy) and the other one is in the perfecto strip. I will add the other lights when I get the hood put together. I asked about actinics earlier, but I really want to add one just to color the tank up a little. Would that be a problem?

As for state of the water, I am going to do a water change to see if it clears up a bit. I actually think it is not clear because the filters are putting tiny bubbles in the tank. The air intakes are really sucking the air right now. I might turn them off and see what happens.

Thanks for the reply.

So where is the best place to get plants on the net?
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Old 12-21-2011, 04:44 PM   #5
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sell and swap is my one stop shop for plants LOL
Only problem is the winter weather we are heading into but as long as they don't freeze I guess shipping is still doable. Christmas this weekend I'd wait at least a week before trying to do a shipment.

Going DIY on the lights did you consider 32WT8? Better energy use and still box store available. I have a few tanks still either 2 or 4 x32WT8 that grow well. Haven't updated my threads in awhile but will be doing trims to clear growth again end of the month and could easily put together a plant starter box for you. Plenty of low light fast growing plants in my angel tanks so I trim often.
1-2 bucks over shipping to cover tape, bags, paypal fees, yada yada is what I worry about charging nothing per plant.

Actinic doesn't aid the plants but I'm not convinced they cause algae either. If it helps with the color you like viewing the tank I'd add one.
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Old 12-21-2011, 05:09 PM   #6
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Do t8's run in the same fixture as the t12s?
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Old 12-21-2011, 05:16 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bighollywood View Post
Do t8's run in the same fixture as the t12s?
The pin sets are the same on the bulbs but the ballast has to be rated to drive them. Some electronic ballasts will drive both but you would have to read the ID plate to know.
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Old 12-21-2011, 05:47 PM   #8
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Tank is really looking good with your background. I will keep an eye on this one as it progresses.
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Old 12-22-2011, 03:13 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wkndracer View Post
sell and swap is my one stop shop for plants LOL
and could easily put together a plant starter box for you. Plenty of low light fast growing plants in my angel tanks so I trim often.
1-2 bucks over shipping to cover tape, bags, paypal fees, yada yada is what I worry about charging nothing per plant.
I am interested in one of your starter packages...let me know.


I did a 25 gallon water change tonight and turned the filters off for a while. The tank looks a lot more clear. Cant tell much from the pictures. But I can now see all the plants in the tank...lol
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Old 12-27-2011, 02:46 AM   #10
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So I had the water almost clear and I added some goldfish to help things get cycled and the water got cloudy again. Do you guys think I should do another water change?

Also, got some new plants:

Bolbitis heteroclita
Microsorium pteropus
and an unidentified plant. It is the bright green one in the last pic.

Thanks

Richard
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Old 12-27-2011, 05:23 PM   #11
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Do any of you know what kind of plant it is in the last pic?
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Old 12-27-2011, 10:15 PM   #12
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So here is the afternoon. I did an 80% water change and now have all five bulbs on the tank.
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Last edited by bighollywood; 09-29-2012 at 10:18 PM..
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Old 12-27-2011, 10:28 PM   #13
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I don't think cycling a tank with gold fish is a good idea if you are wanting a tropical aquarium as they do not do good in warm water. They are super dirty, can eat your plants, and then what are you going to do with it later? Best to just cycle a tank with fish food, ammonia, or some hardy tropical fish if you're set on cycling with fish. Again, the biggest issue is gold fish need cooler water.

I really dig the back ground though. Can't name the plant in the pic. Looks like mexican oak, but I don't think that is what it is.
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Old 12-27-2011, 10:35 PM   #14
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This is mexican oak leaf. Shinnersia Rivularis.
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Old 12-27-2011, 10:47 PM   #15
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Ha... Goldfish came from the backyard in the pond. And yes they do dig the colder water as the water outside is frozen over in the mornings. I just threw him in there for a while to get things going. And my kids really love finally seeing a fish in the tank. Thanks for the background. I like it and cant wait for the plants to grow in a bit.
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