new to ferts/chemicals/testing, need good recommendations to read up on. - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-03-2006, 05:11 PM Thread Starter
 
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new to ferts/chemicals/testing, need good recommendations to read up on.

I just spent about 30 min browsing this forum and didn't find much to help amatuers.

I'm setting up my 120 gallon. Going low tech first, No Co2, using AHsupplys 4x55watt kit. I do not want fast growing plants.

what is some basic testing equipment i should purchase? I will be getting a ph tester/monitor with calibration solution for ease of testing.

where can i read up on what chemicals to add, and how to test how much is needed for each one?

or does anyone want to give a basic run down on what to start with in a new tank and basic testing.

I will be starting with a few plants at first. unless its good to start with a lot.

fish wise i will have neon tetras, fancy guppies and clown loaches.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-03-2006, 05:19 PM
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Welcome.
Here is a site that helped me out a lot when I first setup my tank.
Rex's Guide
Read it a couple times. Good info in there.

IMO Plant heavy at first (at least 50% of your footprint). Get some low-light fast growers to absorb the excess nutrients You can remove them for other later on. It will help you keep the algae at bay.

Walter

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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-03-2006, 05:36 PM
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Blake; I know how you feel. all this fert stuff can be pretty intimidating at first.

since you're just establishing your 120gal, you should take it slow the first month as your tank cycles. put in a few fast growth plants, and some feeder minnows you get from the LPS 10 for a dollar.
get the Jungle 5 in 1 test strips to start. then later we can talk about what ferts and additional tests to buy. I suggest you review many of the "Low Tech" forum threads, not the ones under "Water Parameters".
just don't rush yourself. the most expensive mistakes are often made in the first Month or two of a new tanks life, so learn from experience and take it slow. no need to buy everything now you may need later.


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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-03-2006, 06:00 PM
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I would not waste a penny on the test strips. IMHO they are worthles. Not very accurate at all.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-03-2006, 06:21 PM Thread Starter
 
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is it not possible to start cycling the tank ASAP, I have a few fancy guppies I'd like to get out of a 40 gallon tank asap as they slowly die off when i keep them with zebra danios and my rainbow shark.

I was hoping to just get the substrate in, fill her up, cycle it with the zebra danios for a few days (I cant kill these fish lol, theyre indestructable) then pull them out and get my guppies in there (only about 20 of them, which isnt much for such a large tank) and slowly start adding plants.

Is this a bad idea?

I mean i dont want to go to a petstore and buy a whole punch of plants at once. Id rather shop around and order stuff from members here. Id imagine id be getting plants in here and there in small quantities at first. local stores charge like $4-5 per plants, I dont want to go out and spend $100 on plants at once that may not grow or i may not like.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-03-2006, 06:38 PM
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Add mulm from the 40 to the new tank to start the cycle, you actually should have added it to the substrate and filter when first setting up the 120.
Personally I would vac as much gunk as I could out of the 40 and just dump it in the 120, that will start the cycle faster than anything.
It may not look pleasent at the moment but that will pass rather quickly.
Also, place the filter from the 40 to the 120 if possible for a day or so, that will help too.

Craig

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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-03-2006, 07:15 PM Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WfxXx View Post
Add mulm from the 40 to the new tank to start the cycle, you actually should have added it to the substrate and filter when first setting up the 120.
Personally I would vac as much gunk as I could out of the 40 and just dump it in the 120, that will start the cycle faster than anything.
It may not look pleasent at the moment but that will pass rather quickly.
Also, place the filter from the 40 to the 120 if possible for a day or so, that will help too.
The 120 is not setup yet. I purchased a used 120/stand/canopy/filter and set it up two weeks ago. Decided I didnt like the tank as it was scratched up. drained it, sold it yesterday, purchased a brand new 120.

When i setup the previous 120 all i did was fill it with tap water, run it for 5 days with zebra danios and my rainbow shark. fish were fine, removed them and put them back into the 40 gallon. i got a bunch of fancy guppies then that were on sale at petco, about 20 of them. put them straight into the 120 and they were in there for about a week, all are doing fine and none have died (which surprised me as petco fish dont always last that long).

so should i just do it again this way, i can vacuum the gravel from the 40 gallon, as its due for a water changed, then just dump that into the 120? and throw the zebra danios back in and run it for a few days before moving the guppies in and starting to plant?
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-03-2006, 07:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlakeA. View Post
so should i just do it again this way, i can vacuum the gravel from the 40 gallon, as its due for a water changed, then just dump that into the 120? and throw the zebra danios back in and run it for a few days before moving the guppies in and starting to plant?
Yes as you are getting ready to setup the 120, do a deep vaccum of the 40 and dump that into the 120, then cover with substrate, add some to the filter too, then fill with water add fish and as many plants as you can get.

Craig

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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-03-2006, 08:02 PM
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Here's an article that you may find useful, many have.

Estimative Index - Barr Report

If that is too techy:

EI light: for those less techy folks - Barr Report

Regards,
Tom Barr




Regards,
Tom Barr
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-03-2006, 11:03 PM
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Read my Guide. I cover the "silent cycle" method of starting a tank. You just load up the tank with fast growing stem plants and add fish.
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