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Old 04-23-2013, 10:52 PM   #1
maximak2
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Newbie looking for suggestions


Well sort of a newbie. I am in the process of selling off my reef tank inhabitants, and will be doing a planted tank. I have to cut down on the electrical usage, it is getting out of hand. I am going to be looking for quite a few plants in the next couple of weeks, and where is a good place to get them. Is online my best bet?

Next question is substrate. I have been looking over the substrate threads and it seems that all of them have pros and cons. Plus everyone has a different opinion. I have not made heads or tails out of it. I am looking for a substrate that is not going to need additives, and is fairly low maintenance. Any ideas?

Fish? Which locals have healthy fish at a fair price? I know about petsmart and petco and have avoided their fish for the last 10 years. I realize that the brick and mortar stores cost more than online, but they have overhead and it is nice to be able to see what you are getting.

BTW, I am in the Joliet area, and tend to avoid Chicago and Cook County if I can help it.
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Old 04-23-2013, 11:00 PM   #2
Virto
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Check out Aquarium Adventure in Bolingbrook, it's Will County.

Gotta run, my shift is over, but some other folks will come along with more info for you.
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Old 04-23-2013, 11:21 PM   #3
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Isn't that part of Petco?
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Old 04-24-2013, 12:00 AM   #4
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I think you are thinking of petland. The aquarium adventure in Hoffman is connected to a petland. Lots of people dislike petland because of puppy mill puppies.
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Old 04-24-2013, 12:23 AM   #5
maximak2
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Ahh. I thought it was part of another company. Anyways back to the thread, any other suggestions for substrate?
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Old 04-24-2013, 01:04 AM   #6
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I think any substrate you choose will eventually need something added to it. If I recall correctly, even the plant specific ones eventually lose all their fertilizers over time. Personally...I'd go with whatever you think looks the best. I've had planted tanks with just basic gravel and others with sand. I've always been able to grow plants in either. I've never used any plant specific stuff....I just use root tabs.

And for plants...just cruise the swap and shop section. You'll find everything you could ever think of (and then some) for much better prices than any store. Plus the quality will be much better
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Old 04-24-2013, 11:20 AM   #7
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Read up on mineralized top soil and Miracle Grow organic top soil, both covered extensively on this forum. Cover with blasting sand, available at Tactor Supply. There is a store in Carpentersville. As for plants, I have had great success at the GCCA swaps. There will be another one in a couple of months if you can wait. If you cant wait, Aquarium Adventure is a good recource ( also one in Hinsdale) . If you go that route, sign up to be a "Fish Club member". Also check the for sale forum. As for fish, if you are looking for Rams, angels, corys or rainbows, I can give you the info on breeders I have bought from and am extreamly happy with. ANYTIME you buy from a store, you are increasing your chances of death and disease dramatically. You did not ask, but I recommend the Finnex Ray and Fuge Ray for lighting. Good values!
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Old 04-24-2013, 02:31 PM   #8
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My BEST advice is to GO SLOW and do your RESEARCH 1st.


There's been more than one Ex-Reefer on the General Forum boards that wanted a INSTANT Planted version of reef, and each one crashed & burned.

In all aquariums planning is Key, in Planted tanks it's a hobby make or break factor.

I suggest you spend some time on this site: http://showcase.aquatic-gardeners.org/2012/index0c.html and do a Google Image search for "Planted Aquariums". Get and idea of where you want to go. Next go to the Tank Journal Forum here: http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=12 Most of us do some type of Build List on our tanks. That will help you get a feel for how others have put there tanks together.

This site has great Sub-Forums on Lighting, Substrate, Plants etc. to do research on. I feel it's crazy to fight our water, ChicagoLand has Hard water, great fir Reef tanks & African Chiclids, NOT so good for Blackwater South American Plants. This is not to say you can't grow Sword plants, you just need to work harder at it. again this is were your research pays off.

Best of Luck.
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Old 04-24-2013, 03:50 PM   #9
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I have a amazon sword plant growing well in my 29g with our insanely hard water. It puts out a new leaf about once a week. I think our water slows the growth of some of these plants, which is kinda of a good thing since swords are known to take over even the largest of tanks eventually.
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Old 04-24-2013, 05:30 PM   #10
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I have carib sea's Floramax capped with carib sea's black sand and plans are growing great, and I didn't add anything like ferts or root tabs just what came out of the bag, and for maintenance just the usual water changes.
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Old 04-24-2013, 05:46 PM   #11
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I suggest ADA Aquasoil wich is the substrate made by Takashi Amano, MAKE SURE TO LET IT CYCLE!
Then for plants I would order online or find local aquarium clubs. I use aquariumplants.com when buying online and my plants were in great condition. There's a lot of variety as well.
Then for fish I would buy online or find local breeders. Be careful and picky.

Goog luck!
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Old 04-24-2013, 06:20 PM   #12
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Default Re: Newbie looking for suggestions

Quote:
Originally Posted by whipif View Post
I suggest ADA Aquasoil wich is the substrate made by Takashi Amano, MAKE SURE TO LET IT CYCLE!
Then for plants I would order online or find local aquarium clubs. I use aquariumplants.com when buying online and my plants were in great condition. There's a lot of variety as well.
Then for fish I would buy online or find local breeders. Be careful and picky.

Goog luck!
Yeah it depends on how much you want to spend, and when you want them.

Sent from my SGH-T999 using Tapatalk 2
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Old 04-24-2013, 11:29 PM   #13
MichaelMcG
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for substrate i use Floramax too, but i add osmocote plus root tabs. the floramax holds in nutrients very good to let the plants soak it up better. petsmart has it and the black is discontinued so if you can find a petsmart that has black its like 10 bucks a bag.

i order plants from the for sale threads and i get my fish from either aquarium adventure or animal island in oak forest/crestwood.

what size tank do you have? do you plan on going with good lighting and co2?
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Old 04-25-2013, 12:03 AM   #14
maximak2
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Thanks for the links and info everyone.

Dogfish, thanks for the Seachem link. Those are some beautiful tanks, and gives me lots of ideas. As far a going slow, my budget dictates that I have to go slow so no worries there. As far as fighting the water, I agree it is hard to fight the supply. Any one use an RO unit for filling their tank? From what I have seen on this site it is not really beneficial, as the minerals have to be added back into the water.

Mojo and Whip, I am going to check those soils out. I have not issue waiting for this to cycle. Nothing good happens fast in an aquarium.

Michael, I probably should have given a little bit of info on my tank and experience. I have been keeping some sort of an aquarium for 30 years, fresh water with no plants, South Americans, Africans, for about 15 years or so. Then I move to salt about 14 years ago. I have had a reef for about 13 of those years. I bought my current tank when I moved here about 8 years ago. It is 230g with a center overflow on the back wall. Tank is 5'x3' by 25" tall. I have the tank on the main floor and the sump in the basement, I plan to keep using the sump. The sump had been very handy for the top offs and water changes. The sump also houses the heaters and my water spills go mostly unnoticed by the better half.

As far as lighting- What I have currently is 2-250 watt metal halide- over kill for this type of tank. I have 4-48 T5 HO. I have 2-96 watt PCs, I also have some regular 48" fluorescents. As far as co2, I have a set up for a calcium reactor that I could convert fairly easily, but I think that the overflow would negate the use of it.
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Old 04-25-2013, 03:59 AM   #15
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I would think your 4-48 T5 HO would work for most anything you want with a 25" Tall tank with the exception of maybe a carpet of HC or E. Belium. If you wanted to grow those in a Japanese style aquascape them you might need your 2-250 watt metal halides & CO2.

I'm envious of the tank upstairs & sump in the basement just for water changes alone it's a great set up.

Last edited by DogFish; 04-25-2013 at 12:29 PM.. Reason: sp
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