My First Fish Tank - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-29-2004, 04:23 AM Thread Starter
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My First Fish Tank

Well, ok it's not my first -- I had one a a kid, but that was back when we were told to take it apart and clean it every month. Needless to say, the fish died.

Below is my first planted tank after about 45 days. As you can see it is not going great, but not too bad either. The water is murky, brown algae is a problem, and some leaves are yellowing. I just haven't quite got the nack of it.





Here's whats going on with it:

29 Gallon Tank
Aquaclear 30 - two sponges and biomax
Stealth 150 heater with water temp of 74
DIY CO2 going into a ladder diffusor
55W A H Supply retrofitted into a PetSmart bought hood.
R/O water but tank readings are 6.6 Ph, 5Kh, and 5Gh
Blackwater extract added, Seachem micro fert added
Fish still alive (for now): 12 Cardinals, 3 Cory Pandas, 2 Sparkling Gouramies, 2 endlers livebearers, and 2 Ottos.
Plants that I can name: Anubias, Riccia, Java moss and fern, Cabomba, mondo grass, Lotus, dwarf hairgrass, two swords and something else.

Ok, so, whats the first thing you would change?
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-29-2004, 10:56 AM
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how often do you do water changes?

_______________________________________________
30 Gal. Community
Flora: Hornwort, Java Fern, Frill
Fauna: Neon Tetras, Black Tetras, Harlequin Rasboras, Guppy
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-29-2004, 12:31 PM
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Well, blackwater extract will make your water murkey alright. I used it a couple times and decided that was just not how I wanted my tank to look. I think fish that like shade are just as happy under a couple of plants as in murky water, and clear water looks much better to people.
As for the yellowing, that is a sure sign of a deficiency of some sort, possibly iron. Do you have flourite or some sort of plant friendly substrate? Also, do you fertilize? Dropping a couple of drops of Kent Grow per the directions on the bottle is a good way to go if you see any yellowing or whitening of the leaves. I got lazy about fertilizing, thinking maybe I was adding too much and the tops of my glosso started turning white. OOPS!!! Back to fertilizing again, lol.
Brown algae slime is only a problem in newer tanks as far as what I've seen. I had the same problem in my 20 gallon when it first got set up. Just clean it off and it will go away like magic when your plants become established.
I really like your layout, though. The only thing I would change if it were my tank is to fill it out with a few more plants of the same type you already have to give it a fulller look. More grass in the front and more tall plants in the right rear. You will also find that more plants means less algae.
-Aphyosemion

Two 1 GA desktops, a 5 gallon, a 2.5 gallon, a 10 gallon, a 20 gallon, a 25 gallon, and two 75 gallon tanks, all planted.
I am an expert on algae, so ask me if you have questions. I know how to grow it, just not how to get rid of it.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-29-2004, 11:19 PM
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Get A Bristlenose Pleco and your Brown Algae will be gone overnight

Trust me on this one
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-30-2004, 12:12 AM
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as far as equipment is concerned-

I think you maybe need more light?
Right now you are @ 1.9 wpg....but some of your plants maybe be okay- Just slow growth.


The Aqua clear- is that a hang on back filter? Maybe to much aggitation- less CO2

I like the layout as well- the tank may just need more frequent water changes/ cleaning


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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-30-2004, 02:56 AM
 
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It hasnt been set up all that long and your plants with the lower lighting that you have are most likely just beginning to settle in. Just keep the water fresh for now and let it take its course. To me , all this tank needs right now is a glass cleaning.
As far as plant yellowing, the only one that I can see from the photo that is yellowing is the sword and that is because it is new substrate, they take a hit the fastest in new tanks because there is no fish waste even to feed on. Seed the entire substrate per box directions with Flourish Tabs and that will take care of that problem.
Now for the plants... plant the mondo grass in a pot and put it in a window because that it all it is good for...its a terrestrial plant and will only get uglier by the week.
And the "other" plant you said you have I believe is Cardamine lyrata, the viny plant on the left that reaches the tank top. There is another plant that I forget the name of right now that it could also be since the leaves appear a bit larger then most of the lyrata I have seen but in any case I really like that plant !

Dont lose faith, the tank is coming along and only needs a bit more time. With only the one 55 watt light on there things will develop more slowly but it will develop . In the future you may want to consider a bit more light if the plants are not responding the way you would like.

But for now, clean the glass, do more frequent water changes and be patient...it will come !
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-30-2004, 07:32 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the suggestions everyone.

I did forget to mention the substrate -- I used Eco complete exclusively, three bags of it.

I dose with seachem's product, but have missed a few doses.

Buck is right on, I really do just need to clean the glass, I haven't yet since I set it up. I change water every week, about 4 gallons. I think one main problem is that the aquaclear 30 HOB power filter -- rated for tanks up to 30 -- is just not getting enough water circulated. I am saving up to get a canister so I can better regulate that water flow.

Also, the pics make the tank look a lot worse than it is, not sure what happened there.

You can't see the yellowing, its in the cabomba, down near the base where less light hits.

I had no idea the mondo grass was terrestrial. I'll be yanking that out, thanks for the tip! I think I identified the stuff in the left corner, it's Pennywort (Hydrocotyle leucocephala) and it is doing great.

I just added some Italian Val and some Ludwigia and will work out a way to clean the glass -- that way may just be a bristelnose.

I'll keep the thread updated!

--> .26 Liter light bulb retrofitted to be a tank <--
--> 5000W of incandesent lighting placed 37 yards away <--
--> Direct pipeline from Rio Negro filtered through a carbon infused peat moss tea<--
--> DIY CO2 (hired help for mouth to straw to tank application) <--
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-30-2004, 11:44 AM
 
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Hydrocotyle leucocephala, thats it !
BTW, even eco-complete needs to be fertilized with tabs for root feeders like swords. The cabomba is yellowing ? That dont surprise me, never did like the stuff... LOL
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-09-2004, 02:55 AM Thread Starter
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Hey -- I thought I'd post an update. I'm really beggining to like this tank and I want to keep a photo record of the changes.

I added a ton more cardinals, 5 juvinile bristle nose plecos, and 3 new plants - 2 ludwigia, and an estrella. I tossed out the mondo grass.

The algea is mostly under control, but I still haven't mastered the photography. Why won't my cardinals school?

Check it out













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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-09-2004, 07:23 AM
 
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Your cardinals probably aren't schooling because they have nothing to shy away from. I added some rams(bigger fish) to my tank and all of my tetras stay in a pretty tight school now.
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-09-2004, 09:14 PM
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I have 36 rasboras in my 55 gallon, and they school like mad, thats the ONLY species of fish in my tank. Very cool. I like your tank, its starting to look good! Your not going to need 5 bushynose placos, once they start to grow some you will prob. only need 1. HTH
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-11-2004, 06:34 AM Thread Starter
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Re the schooling -- That's what I thought -- I may very well add a pair of rams. The water is perfect for them.

Re the bushynose -- I do agree -- you can't beat 5 for $8, so I'll just give a few to my friend, keep one or two, and sell/give the rest to the lfs.

--> .26 Liter light bulb retrofitted to be a tank <--
--> 5000W of incandesent lighting placed 37 yards away <--
--> Direct pipeline from Rio Negro filtered through a carbon infused peat moss tea<--
--> DIY CO2 (hired help for mouth to straw to tank application) <--
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-11-2004, 08:42 PM
 
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That's looking so much better! As disappointing as it is to not have the cardinals schooling, they look very healthy from the pictures! I've seen so many people with dull-looking cardinals, yours are incredible.

The cabomba is looking nice now. Mine always end up a bit pale, though they darkened when the hornwort began to shade them. I find keeping them cut low or slightly shaded has helped them look nice.
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