40 Gallon Journal - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-06-2017, 10:43 PM Thread Starter
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40 Gallon Journal

I am starting this thread to follow my attempts to get back into planted tanks after being out of the hobby for over 20 years (yikes! has it been that long??). I am going to be running a 40 gallon breeder tank and am still deciding where I want to take things. The hobby has changed SO much in 20 years that it is taking a bit of work to catch up.

So far I have the tank a really basic stand (that I will be modifying a bit), a couple of LED light bars, a powerhead for water movement, a new test kit (all my old stuff is fossilized), a heater and a power strip. My filter is on the way as well.

Lots of work to do in the next few weeks and I am in no hurry as I plan on at least trying to do things right the first time. Any and all comments/advice are welcome.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-07-2017, 02:57 AM
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Nice! What kind of subtract are you going to use? The hard route will be cheap mineralized top soil and the easy but $$ route is premade soil.


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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-07-2017, 03:12 AM Thread Starter
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I think I am going to be dosing the water column, so I don't think I will be going with a premade soil setup. I've used peat as well as Laterite in the past and would rather use EI dosing and maybe some plant tabs along with a CO2 setup. I have plenty of light now. So at least I know that I will be using CO2.

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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-18-2017, 08:54 PM Thread Starter
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So, a little bit of progress. Mostly, I am still waiting for stuff to show up. I am still waiting for my driftwood and rocks, but I did get my first load of plants this morning. Anyhow, to catch up with where I was before, I first set the tank up with some river gravel. Not real high tech, but I just din't like the look of black or white sand or even flourite. I have always liked the look of brown gravel.

Bump: Then, after the water was in for a few days, I tossed some poop making machines in. I seeded the tank with some bacteria from another tank.

Bump: Today, my first load of plants showed up. Some Anubias nana, Anubias congensis and Java Fern.

Bump: The driftwood and rock is supposed to show up today and next week I have some Crypt's and more Anubias showing up. Once I have all my plants and stuff, then I will start to scape the tank.

The water is pH7.8-8.0, higher than I like, but unless I feel like trying to change the water chemistry (I don't), I will set the tank up with plants that do better with the higher pH. I want to keep this build as low tech as possible. I probably have too much light for the Anubias, so I will most likely put away one of my LED bars and just run one.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-18-2017, 09:13 PM
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make sure the anubias rhizomes aren't below substrate.. otherwise making progress
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-18-2017, 09:15 PM Thread Starter
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Yep, just the tips of the roots are under the gravel to keep them from floating around. The rhizomes are all above gravel. I love Anubias plants. I have always had several in all my tanks. It is my favorite hard water plant.

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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-18-2017, 09:26 PM
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Yep, just the tips of the roots are under the gravel to keep them from floating around. The rhizomes are all above gravel. I love Anubias plants. I have always had several in all my tanks. It is my favorite hard water plant.
I also am a fan of anubias, but really I have only owned one! they really don't fit into my dutch tanks though so... and I also have high light which they don't really enjoy...
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-18-2017, 09:44 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah, I am thinking two LED light bars will be too much for them. No problem, one will get put away.

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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-20-2017, 03:31 AM Thread Starter
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Put one of the light bars away yesterday and everything seemed fine last night. Woke up this morning and all the neons had died and so had one of the Cherry barbs. So first thing this morning I did a 30 percent water change and checked the ammonia and nitrite levels. The levels were fine, but I noticed the rams were gasping a bit, so I added an airstone and hanging filter to add some top water movement to aid oxygenation a bit. Some of the plants came potted and thinking about it later, I realized I hadn't rinsed any of them before adding them in my haste to get them in the tank. I don't think there was anything on the plants that killed the fish, so I am sticking with low O2 as the reason the fish died.

I'm still waiting on the driftwood and rocks to show as well as some more plants. Hoping to scape the tank sometime next week. I did remove the pots from the plants and tied them to some rocks until then.

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