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Old 07-16-2013, 05:02 AM   #1
Kobalt
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New Planted Tank, Need Help!!!


Hi guys, so I'm brand new to the hobby, but I am ready to start a freshwater tank soon and I'm very excited! I have already purchased an Aqueon 40 Gal Breeder. I want to have a planted tank, I'm planning on using Eco-Complete Substrate, with some Angelfish, Pristella Tetras and GBRs. Maybe some Corys or Swordtails. I'll start listing my biggest concerns and questions. I am a TOTAL newbie at this so bear with me and my stupid questions!


CYCLING: I want to do a fishless cycle considering the fish I want to use aren't very hardy (except the Pristellas) but I would prefer to be more humane about the whole situation and not risk hurting any fish. I've heard SEVERAL ways on how to cycle a tank so my questions on cycling are:

1) Can I condition water + add ammonia + dechlorinate a tank with plants already in the tank? I don't want to damage the plants.

2) Is there any way I could cycle the tank without preexisting media? I've heard that I can use Tetra SafeStart to add good bacteria to a tank without having preexisting media but I want to hear from people who have experience using Tetra SafeStart, I've read lots of different things from lots of different people.

3) When and how often should I change the water during a fishless cycle? I'm pretty sure I'm supposed to start doing water changes after nitrates start appearing in the tank.

4) How can I keep track of my PH levels?


EQUIPMENT: I'm not sure what kind of Filter I should get for a 40 Gal Breeder. I know a filter is supposed to be able to filter 3 times the tank per hour so I should aim for a filter that does 120GPH.

1) What brands of filters would you suggest?

2) What kind of heater should I go for? What brands and such?


COMPATIBILITY:
I want the main attraction of my tank to be Angels.

1) What are some good tank mates for Angels?

2) Are German Blue Rams compatible with Angelfish?


PLANTS: I have been considering ludwigia and dwarf baby tears.

1) Do certain fish prefer certain plants? If so what kind of plants should I get for my Angels?

2) What kind of plants are easy to maintain?


WATER CHANGES / WATER CONDITIONING:
I've read a lot of articles and watched a lot of videos and they all tell me to change my water on a regular basis, but I still have a few questions.

1) What kind of water should I put into my tank when changing the water? Should I use straight tap? Or should I condition water before I put it into my tank.

2) When I start my tank and before I cycle it, what are some chemicals that that will dechlorinate my water?

3) How do I balance out the PH levels of the tank?


I've been reading up on a lot of information so I really appreciate any words of advice from new or experienced aquarium owners. Thanks so much!
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Old 07-16-2013, 05:04 PM   #2
creekbottom
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So much info needed! Keep reading, googling, reading, and reading.

Cycling
1)If you have conditioned the water, technically you've already dechlorinated it. You can do this with plants in the tank.

4) Get an API test kit, not the strips but the little bottles. Unless your pH is wildly fluctuating or is at an extreme value don't worry too much about it. Fish will usually adapt given enough time to acclimate, consistency is usually more important.

Equipment
1) Canister filter for sure - Eheim or Fluval
2)Inline Hydor heater. With a canister and an inline heater you suddenly have no junk in your tank.

Plants
1) pretty sure angels are not plant eaters
2)Anubias, Java fern, most crypts

Water
1) You can treat water before you put it in the tank, or you can add the conditioner to the tank and then add the water. On a 40gallon tank it might be easier to use a hose instead of a bucket so add the chemical then add the water.
2) PRIME
3)If you are using municipally treated water and the pH is a reasonable level I wouldn't worry about it. A consistent pH is likely more important than trying to maintain a specific value. Messing with parameters always seems to lead to heartache, you aren't planning on keeping anything with a specific pH neediness like shrimp so I wouldn't worry too much about that. My water sits steady at about 7.5

Hopefully now someone else will join in!!
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Old 07-16-2013, 05:12 PM   #3
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Quick question: What's your budget looking like?
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Old 07-16-2013, 07:31 PM   #4
WallaceGrover
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Angels in a 40 gallon is pushing it just a little, a 55 gallon would probably be a lot better. As far as plants go, dwarf baby tears are hard to grow without CO2, or so I think...
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Old 07-16-2013, 08:56 PM   #5
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I have heard mostly good things about Tetra SafeStart. Plan on using it myself next week when I start cycling my 29 gal.
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Old 07-17-2013, 06:03 AM   #6
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Hey guys thanks for the advice! I really appreciate it, gonna be answering comments individually so it's easier to read
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Old 07-17-2013, 06:04 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WallaceGrover View Post
Angels in a 40 gallon is pushing it just a little, a 55 gallon would probably be a lot better. As far as plants go, dwarf baby tears are hard to grow without CO2, or so I think...
These are all just ideas I have. And I know that I can't just dive right into all this stuff immediately, it's all going to be a process and a project over the next year

I was only planning on having 1 or 2 Angels but if I can't keep them happy and stress-free in a 40 Gal then I will have to settle without them, which is fine by me, although I would love to own some in the future. I was also considering in investing in a CO2 System, also not sure what to look for.

Thanks for the advice!!!
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Old 07-17-2013, 06:08 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xiaoxiy View Post
Quick question: What's your budget looking like?
I would like to keep it low, but I can save up for anything in due time. I want to have quality equipment, but also I don't want to buy anything that will cost a fortune, if that makes any sense :P
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Old 07-18-2013, 01:23 AM   #9
xiaoxiy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kobalt View Post
I would like to keep it low, but I can save up for anything in due time. I want to have quality equipment, but also I don't want to buy anything that will cost a fortune, if that makes any sense :P
Alrighty. As for the filter:

If you don't mind dishing out the $$, I would recommend a eheim 2215 or a eheim 2217 canister filter for your tank. Mine keeps my water sparkling clear.

But if you're on a budget, I've heard good things about the HOB aquaclear filters.
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Old 07-18-2013, 02:46 AM   #10
creekbottom
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Here's an even better option: I have several Eheim's and Fluval canister filters, they all work great and are really quiet. Not a single one of them was bought brand new. Local fishkeepers and kijiji are your friends. Clean thoroughly and you have a great filter on the cheap!!!
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angelfish, cycle, fishless, newbie tank, planted

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