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post #1 of 48 (permalink) Old 01-07-2011, 09:54 AM Thread Starter
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Newbie Starting, Pics and questions.

HI, so I've had this 10 gallon that I have had for over 6 years. Stocked it with simple things like Tetras, Guppys, regular Comet goldfish and other types of fish. I just recently heard about Petco's $1 1 Gallon sale and decided to get into the whole planted scene. I plan on picking up a 20L for this area.

Its 8 feet long and around 2.5 feet across. I plan on putting a 20L there or anything you guys suggest? Also for my personal room, I plan on putting my old 10 gallon on my cabinet.

With my old 10 gallon tank. Depending on the condition I may pick up a new tank.

I'm limited to a Petco which is really close to my house and an Asian fish store that is a little sketchy. Not too much time to spend on it as I am a poor college student who just started a waiter job.

I have some questions to ask, forgive me if they seem very basic. 1. So I understand the process of setting up the tank goes like this, Get tank, light, filter, heater and etc. Establish substrate base, put gravel on top. Fill it desired plants and fill with water enough to let them grow and establish themselves.

The questions I have are:
Do I have to ever replace the substrate?
I don't have enough time to start up with Co2 just yet, so is there anyway to maintain the plants with just lights and supplements?
What lighting system should I use That will help with plant growth but won't be too much?
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post #2 of 48 (permalink) Old 01-08-2011, 08:30 AM Thread Starter
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Update

So I got a Aqueon 20 Gallon tank, a Marineland Penguin Power Filter 100 and a put in some old wood we had with an Arrowana tank.



I went to Petco and they didn't have any substrate so I couldn't start my project just yet. I may have to make my own. I plan to just use their standard fluorescent hoods with some bulbs that were made for plant growth, the only thing I have left to ask is which heater I should use and Co2 method
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post #3 of 48 (permalink) Old 01-08-2011, 08:59 AM
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The questions I have are:
Do I have to ever replace the substrate?

Really depends on what you get. Most of the time, no.

I don't have enough time to start up with Co2 just yet, so is there anyway to maintain the plants with just lights and supplements?

Absolutely. You will have slower growth, or you could use excel to supplement.

What lighting system should I use That will help with plant growth but won't be too much?

With or without co2? Without co2, I would still go with what you have planned.

Without Algae, death of mankind would be inevitable.

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post #4 of 48 (permalink) Old 01-08-2011, 10:28 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the info, I would want to incorporate Co2 for optimum plant growth. I was reading about an air filter with a sponge in it.

One question I have to ask is whether the filter I bought for my 20L is any good. I have a Marineland Penguin 100 Biowheel. I have read some reviews saying the Aquaclear was better. Wish this I am puzzled. I haven't used it yet, do you think I can replace if I can?
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post #5 of 48 (permalink) Old 01-08-2011, 11:46 AM Thread Starter
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Oh, and is there anything cheaper I can get at like Home Depot/Lowes as opposed to Petsmart/Petco?
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post #6 of 48 (permalink) Old 01-08-2011, 03:29 PM
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If for plants you just have moss, ferns, and anubias you may not need to do anything. It depends on the minerals in your water. I have found that those plants like phosphates. Many places the city doses with phosphates. If phosphates minimum they will live but not grow. I have had these plants in front of south window with no additional light. Those plants don't even need gravel. Then if you get crypts you can just use gravel with root tabs.

Best place to get plants is at the forum. For most send generous amounts. Wait until spring would be best to get plants shipped.

Also google to see if there is a local aquarium group in your area.

Cheapest substrate is pea pebbles from hardware store. My favorite is river sand. I got a 50lb at landscaper for $3. Then there is the El Natural method.
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post #7 of 48 (permalink) Old 01-08-2011, 07:53 PM
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Usually people take the biowheel off if they're injecting CO2. Otherwise, the main advantage to the aquaclear is media customizing. You can use either one, and they both work. I've never tried running a biowheel in a plant tank, but supposedly they offgas alot of CO2. Worst case scenario is that you have to inject more CO2, so it doesn't last as long. Not that big of a deal really.
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post #8 of 48 (permalink) Old 01-08-2011, 09:04 PM Thread Starter
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Offgas? I can still return the Marineland because I have not used it and only a day old. Wondering if I should get the Hagen. I also read that because I have a 20L and a single filter, that I should get a filter that is rated for a higher amount of gallons for better results
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post #9 of 48 (permalink) Old 01-09-2011, 06:48 AM Thread Starter
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Wanna get the whole mineralized thing started, anyone know if the soil is good?
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post #10 of 48 (permalink) Old 01-09-2011, 08:51 AM
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Quote:
Offgas? I can still return the Marineland because I have not used it and only a day old. Wondering if I should get the Hagen. I also read that because I have a 20L and a single filter, that I should get a filter that is rated for a higher amount of gallons for better results
The high air to water contact area on the biowheel exchanges any extra CO2 with the outside air. I can't attest to how much is lost this way, but it's supposedly significant. Again, if you're not injecting CO2, then I wouldn't worry about it. Some people just remove the biowheel when they start CO2.

I'd shoot for a turnover of about 200 gph in that tank. It's more about water flow than actual filtration, so you could run a smaller filter and powerhead(s). Personally I like getting all of my flow from actual filters if possible. Personally I like canisters over power filters, but powerfilters still work just fine. It's mostly a matter of personal preference unless you have a really large tank.
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post #11 of 48 (permalink) Old 01-09-2011, 09:04 AM Thread Starter
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I just returned the Marineland and got the Hagen AC30, and that one is only good for 150 gph. Should I just return it and move onto a stronger filter?
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post #12 of 48 (permalink) Old 01-09-2011, 09:10 AM Thread Starter
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Status Update

Status Update: <BR>
Current wood I have.
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post #13 of 48 (permalink) Old 01-09-2011, 09:58 AM
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Originally Posted by CK_Beastie View Post
Wanna get the whole mineralized thing started, anyone know if the soil is good?
Not for mineralized soil. You need dirt, not the additives like manure and peat.

Without Algae, death of mankind would be inevitable.

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post #14 of 48 (permalink) Old 01-09-2011, 10:28 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for answering sewingalot! Soooo, what should I do? I was planning on just rinsing the crap out of it and leaving it to dry and after all that to put it into my tank.
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post #15 of 48 (permalink) Old 01-09-2011, 10:47 AM
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It's entirely up to you. There is an El natural style that uses potting soil, but I've personally never done that setup. I have one tank with MTS and it is fantastic. Using that soil would make me think you'd have trouble with algae at best and anaerobic conditions at worst.

Without Algae, death of mankind would be inevitable.

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