First planted tank - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 09-13-2017, 03:09 AM Thread Starter
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First planted tank

Brief back story. Last November my 75g reef tank lost a seam. Woke up to a wet floor. Lucky a small leak. Couldn't afford a new drilled tank at the time, so called in sick, broke the tank down and took all the livestock back for store credit. Decided after 15 years in the salt world, it was time to change it up. I got enough in store credit to start a planted tank. The new tank has been sitting since then due to a remodel.
The tank is An Innovative Marine Nuvu fusion 40. 24x16x19h display area. Designed as a reef tank, but figured I would make it work as a planted tank. It has built in filter section in the back, with dual overflows, filter socks, 2 media chambers, and a return pump chamber. I added a ball valve to the return so I can adjust flow down. Used ceramic bio balls in both chambers, with room still if there is anything else I want to add. Heater and pump in center section.
I like the natural approach idea of dirted tanks. So I did about 1" Organic choice potting mix, Capped with 1" fine sand, plus local gravel and sand that I sorted by size, to match my rocks. Driftwood is apple that I cut from my tree, a branch thats been dead on the tree at least 6 years.
Lighting is 2 clamp on desk lamps with 18w(100w equivelant) Screw in LED 5000k daylight bulbs. I think these put me in the medium light area, but not 100% sure. In the future I may salvage the drivers from my DIY reef tank light and build another fixture.
Im planing to stay low tech for the time being, hopefully no CO2. But that may change. High tech doesn't scare me. I even have an unused 4 pump auto doser that never got set up on my reef tank. But for now, Im hoping to keep it more simple.
Starting plants are a Redish Crypt Wendtii, Another unknown crypt, both divided into about 6 plantlets. 4 varieties on Anubias midground, Several stalks Java Fern, and Several Stalks water milfoil background, And Christmas moss on the driftwood. Im still thinking of adding some wisteria and maybe some Glosso for kind of a carpet or low foreground plant.
I love shrimp, so I plan to have lots, snails, and still deciding on small shrimp safe fish.
I'll be doing water changes every few days as things leech out of the wood and soil. Once im sure everything is stable, I'll start adding livestock.
A couple questions.( with im sure many more to follow). Any idea where my light level falls currently? Low light? mid light? Ive used these same bulbs to grow Chaeto and Caulerpa Macro algaes with great results in my reef tank refugium. How much flow? Right now the plants very gently sway in the current.
And open to any advice and Comments. Thanks for reading my looong post!
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 09-20-2017, 01:37 AM Thread Starter
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Sunday, day 7. Moved some plants around a bit. Removed a Big rock I decided was too big. Added some wisteria to the mid ground, some Rotela Indica to the background, and some Staurogyne Repens to the foreground.

A couple of the milfoil I move already have nice long roots forming. So I assume that's good. Lots of yellow water right now as the drift wood and soil seems to be starting to leech good. A bit of melt and die back, but also New leaves on a few things as well.
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 09-20-2017, 02:03 AM
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That's a great setup! I'm sure it's a big change from saltwater. My mom owned a 220 saltwater reef that she adored and babied, I'm hoping you'll enjoy the freshwater scene. You talked about some small shrimp friendly fish. I'd start off by suggesting Chili Rasboras, Celestial Pearl Danios, Harlequin Rasboras, Cardinal Tetras, Green Fire Tetras, a Gold Neon Dwarf Goby would love your sand and rock setup, and honestly anything that you feel would be peaceful. Mini Otos would keep the algae down as well. Just some thoughts. Your lighting seems adequate in the lower medium range maybe higher. I'd stick to water changes till it becomes fully cycled to keep the leeching to a minimum, I know all to well about the pain first time submerged driftwood can cause. For c02, you could honestly find a great setup for under $120 like I did on Amazon, and it is well worth it. Look up some growth and carpeting comparisons if you have the time. Best of luck!

-Mason Michalski
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