Saying hi as I start my first tank - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 05-29-2020, 02:16 PM Thread Starter
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Saying hi as I start my first tank

Heya! I'm brand new to this hobby. Been reading posts for a few days now and wanted to make a formal introduction *hand waaaave*

At the beginning of Covid-19 quarantining I was gifted what I believe is a cheapo 2.5 gallon tank, and really it's not so nice. Got big ugly silicone seams and a thick black rim, but even so I'm excited to dive in and learn as I go and try to make something beautiful out of this thing. Low tech methods excite me the most. However having no aquarium experience of any kind, I know I have a lot to figure out. Beware - I'll probably be asking a lot of questions along the way.

The tank has been up for three days now, I did a dirt base with a gravel cap. I'm now realizing that it's highly likely the bagged garden soil compost blend I sieved had some problems (too high nutrient packed, small bits of perlite made it through the sieve, and then I left too much air trapped in the dirt before I capped it). The only thing in the tank apart from the substrate is lobelia cardinalis, and I definitely won't be adding any critters until I know it won't be a death sentence. I haven't done any water changes yet, been reading competing theories on what equals best practice and I'm not sure how to proceed. Cycling is the next big question I need to research furiously, heh.

Are the consequences of what I've done with the substrate such that I should start over? I've accepting the learning process (well, my overly-eager version) will be messy but it's sure to be fun :>
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 05-30-2020, 09:00 AM
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I would consider this as starting point. If you plan to use garden soil blends , this could be learning tank. I personally preffer bought soils from store. But that means extra expense. After many years, I made my piece that I love to enjoy rather expensive hobby XD. So, with long background of having tiny tanks, I would suggest some "clip on" led aquaroum light like orion maybe. THis would provide decent light for all low demanding and some medium plants. Be prepared to spend some cash on plants, since some might die off, or you wanna change scape. Small tanks are usualy nice to practise scape with one centerpiece driftwood at center and smaller plants arround it. There is lot of ideas arround if you google pics. As for soil, garedn one likes to do mess in tanks and I am rather sure that you need a bit of prepping that before putting it into tank. I heared that lot of people likes to use garden sand in tanks (washed), so if you put some small amount of substrate at bottom and sand above you should be fine at start. Water changes are neccesary, this is comming from personal experience, at least every two weeks, but prefferably every week at about 25% more or less. You need alot of plants in low tech tank and no livestock at start, but some kind of light you will need. I tried to go that way once but but for me it ended badly so I put my tank in garage and did not touched for years. It is hard. Basically, to make plants grow I would advise LEd lightning, soil, maybe rinsed with water with low amount of rotting stuff in it and above that maybe sand? Some easy beginner plants that would like low light levels and grow fast so they spend lot of nutrients you will have there. ALso, filters help alot, so I would consider some cheaper sponge one to make your life easier. It is still low tech but it may help with lot of beginner problems. Heck you can even consider diy co2 for plants one day (I have that in my tank).
Also, almost forgot one last most important advice: Make sure you read alot. More informations on aquariums in general will help.
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 07-23-2020, 12:40 PM
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I haven't done any water changes yet, been reading competing theories on what equals best practice and I'm not sure how to proceed. Cycling is the next big question I need to research furiously, heh.
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