29 Gallon - "Mirkwood" - update 1/14
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Old 09-19-2013, 04:20 AM   #1
WestHaven
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29 Gallon - "Mirkwood" - update 1/14


Well today I finally started up my tank again! I have been planning this for a few months since moving back home. I am going to order more plants in about two weeks. Today I got black sand and a few plants from my LFS.

29 Gallon
Filters - 2 Penguin 200 filters
Lighting - Zoomed T5HO 2x24 watt with 1 6500K bulb and 1 10,000K bulb
Substrate - Miracle Grow Organic Potting Mix capped with Seachem Fluorite and black sand. I have about 2 inches of MGOPM, 1 inch of fluorite and a thin layer of sand.
Hardscape - Mopani from my LFS. There are tunnels under the left and middle pieces. The rocks were taken from my yard.

Plants
3 Crypts
2 "handfuls" of Hornwort (floating)

Parameters
pH - 7.6
High pH - 8.0 or 8.2



I think I will get a big Amazon sword for the left back corner, Wisteria, red Ludwigia, Jungle Val, Dwarf Sag, Java ferns, Java moss, and some other things, I dunno. I'm going to put moss on the wood and let it grow into a tree. I may cut and plant the Hornwort soon. Any plant suggestions?

For fish I want to get a group of tetras or guppies, cory cats, maybe some Oto cats, maybe bristlenose plecos, and a pair of Anglefish or German blue rams. I've also thought about Firemouth cichlids but they get pretty big. Any thoughts?

Last edited by WestHaven; 01-14-2014 at 08:41 PM.. Reason: updated title
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Old 09-19-2013, 04:23 AM   #2
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Another question - I dosed two capfuls of Ace Hardware ammonia into the tank, and it's reading as 8 ppm. I read that when dosing ammonia for your cycle you should dose 4 ppm per day. Will the ammonia levels drop on their own or should I do a 50% water change tomorrow?

I hope I got some good bacteria in with the plants.
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Old 09-19-2013, 06:04 AM   #3
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Not sure about the ammonia part.
As for the amazon sword, I don't suggest that in your 29g. Look at another sword that won't get as big. My largest sword is about 2ft tall, and can spread out over 3ft wide. This is just since it got planted in March. The shooters from it that I've planted are also growing fairly quickly, and huge.
Maybe look at a crypt?
Also, angelfish aren't a good idea for the tank. Within a few months you'd need to get a much much bigger tank even for a just a pair, which again I wouldn't suggest having just a pair. Firemouths I would assume are the same way, get to big, and even not enough area for them to swim around.
GBR are a great idea, they stay small, are pretty, low bioload, and can get other fish in it like tetra's.
1 pair GBR with something like 12-20 tetras (neons? or rummynose?) would look great. also, albino bn pleco's stay small and work around the clock. 1 would be great for your tank
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Old 09-19-2013, 03:06 PM   #4
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An amazon sword would be OK, but it will fill a lot of the aquarium. I have a 29 with 4 swords and they are huge. If you like the jungle look on one side of your aquarium, go ahead.

As for the angels, I sadly have to agree with Nestlé there. I have a pair in each of my 29's for about 18 months now. I had planned to have a 90 for all 4 by now, but that plan hasn't worked out yet. They are getting too big and they may have to go to the LFS if I can't get the 90. Minimum tank size for a pair of angels is 75 Gallons in my opinion. Same can be said for the firemouths.

Stick with the tetras and GBR's. they'll thrive in the 29.

My 29 in February of this year. The swords are much larger now.

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Old 09-20-2013, 02:54 AM   #5
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So I get home from work tonight and test my tank. The ammonia is still at 8.0+, so should I do a huge water change to get it down to manageable levels so the cycle can get started?
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Old 09-20-2013, 03:19 AM   #6
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change out 50-75% and see if you can get it down to 4-5 ppm.
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Old 09-20-2013, 03:22 AM   #7
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Certainly a good idea.
When asking about water changes, especially when asking 'will a water change hurt?' The answer is almost always, no a water change will not hurt the tank. The only exception is doing large changes, like 75%+ back to back. When getting a tank to cycle, I suggest 25% water changes daily.
Once a fully planted tank gets cycled, and the plants are taking off, then MAYBE once a week 30% water change. Depending on how the water looks that is. Sometimes when its heavily planted, and low number of inhabitants, I'll just do a 5 gallon pull out and then add that back plus the topoff that evaporated over the week. This being that I don't want to lose a lot of ferts, or create a huge pH swing which can kill plants just as fast as fish. IMO atleast.

Again, water changes are almost always a good idea. If you have a LFS near you, within a few miles, then see if they have RO water for sale by the gallon. It's usually cheap and will certainly help keep your blackwater acidic, vs adding tapwater that is more than likely very hard and very basic.
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Old 09-20-2013, 03:26 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Icegoalie32 View Post
change out 50-75% and see if you can get it down to 4-5 ppm.
Thank you. I'll update again when I have a change in parameters.
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Old 10-02-2013, 04:29 AM   #9
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Hi everyone, here's any update on my tank. The Hornwort has been going crazy with all of the ammonia. The smaller piece has almost doubled in size! The crypts had a few leaves melt, but they are starting to recover. The tank is still cycling. I ordered some plants from Live Aquaria tonight. They should be here by Friday (I'm off from work ). I'll post pics when I get it planted.
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Old 10-04-2013, 10:53 PM   #10
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The plants have arrived! This was my first order from LiveAquaria and I am very pleased.

I ordered:
Wisteria - Bare Root, Qty:1
Amazon Sword Plant - Medium, Bare Root, Qty:1
Dwarf Sagittaria - Bunch, Qty:2
Ludwigia, Broad - Bunch Plant, Qty:
Spiralis - Bare Root, Qty:2
Rotala Indica - Bunch Plant, Qty:1
Java Fern - Bare Root, Qty:1
Micro Sword- Potted, Qty:1

This ended up being enough to plant my entire tank! They sent more than I thought they would. I also had my LFS order some Purigen to help get rid of tannins. It should be here next week. The tank should be finished cycling by then as well.

I planted the largest Amazon Sword in the back-left corner, the smaller one in the center-left, Rotala, Ludwigia and Wisteria on the left and right sides, Crypt Spiralis in the front-right corner, Dwarf Sag scattered in the front, Microswords in the front, and a Java Fern stuck in the center piece of driftwood.






Last edited by WestHaven; 10-05-2013 at 04:18 AM.. Reason: added pics
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Old 10-06-2013, 02:51 AM   #11
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Any comments?
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Old 10-08-2013, 03:12 AM   #12
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Hopefully you've been doing some water changes to get rid of that brown tint...otherwise, looks nice
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Old 10-08-2013, 03:34 AM   #13
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Looking forward to seeing this fill in! I like the idea of Mirkwood for a theme.
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Old 10-08-2013, 04:02 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by O-D View Post
Hopefully you've been doing some water changes to get rid of that brown tint...otherwise, looks nice
Thank you! The brown tint was from when I added the plants which kicked up some dirt and diatom algae (also they are cell phone pictures). The water is nice and clear now. The tank is finished cycling and I will be picking up a few fish this weekend.

I will update when I get some fish!

Quote:
Originally Posted by JerSaint View Post
Looking forward to seeing this fill in! I like the idea of Mirkwood for a theme.
Thanks! I thought Mirkwood was a good theme since the second Hobbit movie is coming out in December. I like overgrown "jungle" style tanks.
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Old 10-12-2013, 07:15 PM   #15
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I got some fish today! I picked up 6 swordtails and 3 Oto cats. The fish are doing well in their new home. I am starting to see new growth in the plants too. I also got a small bag of Purigen and stuck it in one of my filters. The water started clearing up within minutes. I'll get some pictures later.







This is my favorite female swordtail. There are two black ones, two red and white ones, and this red girl. The male is red/white striped. Two of the red/white females are pregnant, I can't tell if any of the others are.
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Last edited by WestHaven; 10-13-2013 at 04:08 AM.. Reason: Added pictures
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