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Old 02-03-2006, 01:59 AM   #1
vandyll
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OK, I'm hooked


I'm new here, so forgive my lack of technical knowledge. Here's a little background:

I've been keeping aquariums for around 25 years now, starting in my early teens with a 10G tank I received as a gift. Back then the big crazes were Ghost Catfish and Red-tailed Sharks, so I stocked up. Over the years, I have set up many tanks, from 5G freshwater and 10G micro-reefs, to 120G reef tanks. But I've always avoided plants for some reason.

As I got back into the hobby recently, I was again at a loss for plants as I was doing an African Cichlid tank, so I got my fix with placing a couple of plants in my sons 5G Eclipse tank with his goldfish (2 java ferns and a water wisp), and they are doing surprisingly well. Then it dawned on me that I have a 20G long with some supplies sitting in storage.... now, I must do a planted tank.

I'll be doing quite a bit of research and probably asking questions, so get ready for it. My wife and I agree that we want the tank to basically look like a field, with the substrate covered with plush greenery. Just have to figure out what that is.

Anyways, sorry to be long winded, I guess this was just my way of saying hello. I'll be tracking the setup and progress with pictures, and I'll be doing this in conjunction with setting up my 46G cichlid tank. I'll be a busy little bee for a while.

Off to read more, and thanks for all the info I have already extracted from these forums!
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Old 02-03-2006, 02:22 AM   #2
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Welcome and good luck. I've found 95% of what has helped me on this forum and APC's site. There are many people willing to help.

If you want a good read on "the basics" try Rex Grigg's site:

www.rexgrigg.com

It basically comes down to substrate, lighting, CO2, and a fertilizer plan. The more you read before you start the better off you'll be. Also, I'd recommend making any purchases all together, up front, all at once, take the plunge, do it right the first time, etc. etc. You're going to end up with all the stuff anyway. You'll be less frustrated if you get good stuff the first time around.

One warning: Once you have a nice planted tank you'll never go back.
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Old 02-03-2006, 02:36 AM   #3
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We all the same way, first we start with big cichlids like oscars with plastic plants, rocks and move down gradually to the size of tetra with plants and then finally shrimp This hobby gets better everyday.
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Old 02-03-2006, 02:37 AM   #4
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Welcome to the Forum!

I bet in no time you and your wife will have a lovely planted tank. Looking forward to your questions and photo journal.

Best of Luck!
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Old 02-03-2006, 02:46 AM   #5
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Thanks guys. Not too worried about picking up supplies as I work at a pet store. The employee discount doesn't hurt either.

The only thing I am still really trying to absorb is all this CO2 stuff. Can't wrap my head around the cannister/controls. But then I have been up for over 40 hours at this point, so I understand very little right now.

Edit: I found the DIY walkthrough for making a CO2 setup, I think I got it now.

Now, sleep.
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Old 02-03-2006, 05:31 AM   #6
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We know what he's dreaming about.
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Old 02-03-2006, 01:57 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hoffboy
We know what he's dreaming about.
LOL, yeppers. Dreams of a plush green tank with lots of Corys!!!
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Old 02-03-2006, 02:06 PM   #8
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vandyll, regarding CO2: I really, really, really can't express the amount of relief I feel now that I have pressurized co2. Rather than yeast and sugar recipes I worry about turning a nob!!!!
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Old 02-03-2006, 02:15 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by esarkipato
vandyll, regarding CO2: I really, really, really can't express the amount of relief I feel now that I have pressurized co2. Rather than yeast and sugar recipes I worry about turning a nob!!!!
I'm figuring for starters, I may end up with the DIY setup (or maybe even the Hagen CO2 kit) until I get everything the way I want. Both should work fine for my 20G (at least from what I have been reading) and I can graduate to the pressurized.

Of course, I may start off with the pressurized. I know some people around here that can probably get me a free canister.
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Old 02-03-2006, 05:06 PM   #10
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I recommend starting with a pressurized CO2 system. Your best chance of avoiding the "heart break of algae" is to have adequate and stable CO2 from the start. An option, which costs a lot too, is to use Excel instead of CO2, and use only 2 watts per gallon or so. When I set up my 29 gallon tank I made the mistake of trying for minimum cost, with DIY CO2, DIY fluorescent light, and I have regretted it. I now have pressurized CO2 and am planning to use AH Supply lights as soon as I can do it.
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Old 02-06-2006, 02:11 PM   #11
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Hey vandy11 if you are looking for a local group, check out gwapa.org.
Our next meeting is the 25th at my house
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Old 02-07-2006, 11:14 PM   #12
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Default Hagen CO2 Kit

I have seen the Hagen CO2 kit on line as well but a bit confused on how it works. Do you need a CO2 canister to run it? I'm also in the beginning stages of setting up a Planted tank



Quote:
Originally Posted by vandyll
I'm figuring for starters, I may end up with the DIY setup (or maybe even the Hagen CO2 kit) until I get everything the way I want. Both should work fine for my 20G (at least from what I have been reading) and I can graduate to the pressurized.

Of course, I may start off with the pressurized. I know some people around here that can probably get me a free canister.
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Old 02-07-2006, 11:23 PM   #13
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The Hagen system is a sugar/yeast mixture CO2 generator. It isn' pressurized and can't be easily regulated. You basically start it and let it go until it stops working and then redo the mixture of sugar, water and yeast. I did this for about 2 months before I decided having a large needle shoved into my pelvis so bone marrow could be painfully extracted was well worth getting my pressurized CO2 setup. I've had it setup for about 9 months and haven't had to touch it.

Brian
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Old 02-08-2006, 01:41 PM   #14
Ds11375
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Default Hagen kit

That BAD Huh. I don't have the space nor the cash for a pressurized CO2 system at the moment,
I'm just beginning to grasp how the CO2 system works in theory. The pressurized CO2 tank is that the type of CO2 tank they use in hospitals or used by people who have a hard time breathing? I assume the eventually the tanks run out ... where would you take it to get refilled?

Dan

Quote:
Originally Posted by briandmiles
The Hagen system is a sugar/yeast mixture CO2 generator. It isn' pressurized and can't be easily regulated. You basically start it and let it go until it stops working and then redo the mixture of sugar, water and yeast. I did this for about 2 months before I decided having a large needle shoved into my pelvis so bone marrow could be painfully extracted was well worth getting my pressurized CO2 setup. I've had it setup for about 9 months and haven't had to touch it.

Brian
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Old 02-08-2006, 03:41 PM   #15
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I started with DIY CO2 and I thought it was a good learning exercise. However, once you start to realize how much time is saved and how much more control you have with pressurized, it is well worth the investment. But, you can save a few bucks up front with the DIY approach.

Most CO2 is used for soda vending machine, fire extinguishers and the like. Many get canisters refilled at fire extinguisher shops. Here in Orlando, I got to a 'carbonic' shop. So, there's lots of options out there. You just need to call around your local area to find the best fit for you.

Good luck, and welcome to the addiction!
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