awknits 29 gal starter tank setup - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 75 (permalink) Old 04-04-2018, 10:51 PM Thread Starter
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awknits 29 gal starter tank setup

It's been well over 12 years since I've had a tank set up. Started 30 years ago with a 10 gal and eventually moved to a lovely 75 gal planted, but had to move and let it pass on to someone else.

I've just started with my first purchases for a 29 gal set up. My goal is heavily planted, and then to see where it progresses to.

Current items (I've truly just started):

29 gal tank (will get it this weekend)
glass cover
Aquaclear 50 filter
Fluval Plant 3.0 LED (my splurge)
Fluorite
Fluorite dark
Caribsea Instant Aquarium Peace River gravel (will figure out how to combine them)
Marineland submersible heater 100w and a thermometer
Prime

Still need to pick up a nice piece of wood and some rocks and also a bunch of plants.

My goal at this time is to track, with photos, the progress and changes I make as I go.

As far as fish, it will be easy community, I haven't thought too much about that yet.
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post #2 of 75 (permalink) Old 04-05-2018, 02:11 PM
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Are you planning on running pressurized CO2? And what fertilizers are you considering?

For wood, check out https://www.bloomsandbranches.com/
Their prices are quite reasonable for manzanita and "ghost wood". I purchased a few pieces of the ghost wood for my 29, really liked it while I was using it. For stones, lots of options on e bay, or check out buceplant.com. Pay a little more with buce, I feel like the quality is much better though.
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post #3 of 75 (permalink) Old 04-05-2018, 02:35 PM
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Without CO2 that light is way too powerful, good news is its fully controllable so you can run it at 50% if no CO2

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post #4 of 75 (permalink) Old 04-06-2018, 12:05 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mgeorges View Post
Are you planning on running pressurized CO2? And what fertilizers are you considering?
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Originally Posted by Quagulator View Post
Without CO2 that light is way too powerful, good news is its fully controllable so you can run it at 50% if no CO2
I wasn't planning on starting with CO2, but I definitely want to leave that option open. I really like that the light will be controllable, so will definitely pay attention to the output as I first start. I don't want to limit myself before I'm even set up, hence buying a nice light (plus I can get into fun lighting options also).

Since I see that you, mgeorges, are local to my area, do you have a recommendation as far as fertilizer? I think I'll probably start with a more simple all in one type of formulation and branch off from there. I will check out the link you posted, thank you.

I did just now pick up some rocks from a local stream and will check them for usability. I've been watching so many YouTube videos on tanks and plants and definitely am feeling a bit intimidated, but I did it before and survived, and I do know what is most likely in store for me (eek, algae.) I hope to get started on Saturday with my initial set up.

Thanks for your support, I truly appreciate it.
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post #5 of 75 (permalink) Old 04-06-2018, 12:55 AM
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I wasn't planning on starting with CO2, but I definitely want to leave that option open. I really like that the light will be controllable, so will definitely pay attention to the output as I first start. I don't want to limit myself before I'm even set up, hence buying a nice light (plus I can get into fun lighting options also).



Since I see that you, mgeorges, are local to my area, do you have a recommendation as far as fertilizer? I think I'll probably start with a more simple all in one type of formulation and branch off from there. I will check out the link you posted, thank you.



I did just now pick up some rocks from a local stream and will check them for usability. I've been watching so many YouTube videos on tanks and plants and definitely am feeling a bit intimidated, but I did it before and survived, and I do know what is most likely in store for me (eek, algae.) I hope to get started on Saturday with my initial set up.



Thanks for your support, I truly appreciate it.


Yes, it is a good thing to have a nice light from the get go. Definitely start with it turned down and limit to 6 hours a day to start. As your plants grow on you can slowly increase the intensity and/or the length of time. Much easier to start with too little than start with too much.

For fertilizer look into Thrive, aquarium co-ops ďall in oneĒ or some dry ferts such as KNO3, KH2PO4 and CSM+B. Look into pps-pro dosing, or simply follow the directions for Thrive and aquarium co-opís mix. That should give you a decent start.


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post #6 of 75 (permalink) Old 04-06-2018, 01:14 AM
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http://nilocg.com for fertilizer

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post #7 of 75 (permalink) Old 04-06-2018, 02:34 PM
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@awknits I actually have an extra unopened EI fertilizer pack from GLA I'd be happy to set you up with for $15, that's what I paid for it less shipping. It comes with KNO3(nitrates), KH2PO4(phosphates), K2SO4(sulfates and potassium) and CSM+B(traces). I really like going with powder fertilizers vs an all-in-one because 1) It'll last forever. I've had the same fertilizer pack for my 29 gallon for over two years now. $15 for 2 years sounds pretty good to me haha. 2) If I see a deficiency, I can tweak the individual nutrient I believe to be responsible. All-in-ones are convenient but don't give me the control I like.

For those rocks you collected, you can test them with muriatic acid(aka hydrochloric acid). If they pass, I'd give them a strong-ish bleach bath before adding them. Give them a thorough scrubbing and then put them in a 4-8:1 bleach:water solution for 20 minutes or so, go longer if you like, can't hurt the rocks! Then rinse them and toss them in a bucket with some tap water treated with prime and they'll be ready to go!

Bump: I'd be happy to walk you through the EI dosing process and how I've started doing it these days with good success. It's a little more time consuming, but not much. It's a lot more precise.
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Last edited by mgeorges; 04-06-2018 at 03:36 PM. Reason: add info
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post #8 of 75 (permalink) Old 04-08-2018, 01:09 AM Thread Starter
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Today was tank set up day. After picking up my tank this morning and purchasing a few plants, I came home to rinse rinse rinse, and rinse some more, the substrate. Then I was lucky to meet with mgeorges and receive many of his clippings. I have a ton more I can put in, but I'm beat for now.

d1-2 by Annette's Emporium, on Flickr
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post #9 of 75 (permalink) Old 04-08-2018, 11:38 PM Thread Starter
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The tank is quite a bit clearer today, but still a bit cloudy. I ended up just "floating" all the extra plants for now, as I know they will help with cycling it all.

I also spent a little time figuring out the lights, playing with the settings, using the bluetooth (super cool) and changing things up. For now I basically set it for a very long (most of the day) sunrise, a couple hours day (at 50%) and a long sunset again, down to no light at all. So much to learn with this light.

I'm just letting it settle in. I do plan on doing a fishless cycle and need to get the correct ammonia tomorrow, did some more reading today.

There's honestly too much to learn. I'm definitely a bit more laid back than so much of what I'm reading about. This is too complex.

I posted an update yesterday, but I guess I did something wrong and didn't actually submit it.

Today I officially started my fishless cycle. I did some testing first, and the pH is through the roof here. I'll have to learn more about that. There is also a bit of ammonia in our water, I assume chloramine. It took 4ml (tiny syringe) of ammonia (from Ace) to bring the tank to the 4ppm range.

I've also gotten to play with the lights now, and the fluval app is pretty darn cool, you really have great control. I set the day time lights at 50% across the board. Started a super long sunrise, short day (at 50%) and long sunset, and no lights at night. I guess I just keep my eye on things and watch for algae, growth, I'm not sure yet all what to watch for.

I have a sponge on the intake now too, and 2 sponges and the bio-rings in the filter. I only got the intake sponge and second filter sponge today. The sponge that has been in the filter for 2 days now already is getting a brownish tinge of crud.

Last edited by Darkblade48; 04-10-2018 at 03:07 AM. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts to keep threads cleaner
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post #10 of 75 (permalink) Old 04-09-2018, 08:51 PM
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@awknits Looks good! You've got a really solid layout there, I look forward to seeing it fill in now! That Blyxa looks really good divided out the way you have it and with the Rotala behind it.
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post #11 of 75 (permalink) Old 04-11-2018, 10:52 PM Thread Starter
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I'm not 100% sure what I should be looking for at this point. I started the fishless cycle a few days ago so I've started testing. No change yet in Ammonia. I do register some nitrates, which I guess is from fertilizer. The plants still all look fine. The rotala in the left back is looking super good, everything else is fairly stable.

I see a film of some sort on my spiderwood piece. I will just ignore it for now.

So far so good, just let it be....don't stress, it will do its thing. I'm so scared I'll wake up to a tank full of algae, but I guess it doesn't matter, it will just do its thing.

Oh, one good thing was that the pH dropped a bunch. Our pH out of the tap is like top of the range 8.8 (or basically the test couldn't tell me what it was.) Today it was 7.4 to 7.6 (I'm on the edge of the two test kits) so it's good to know it is dropping to ranges I will be more comfortable with as far as fish keeping goes.

I will post another photos. It will be boring and dull, but it will be helpful for me to follow.

Bump: d3 by Annette's Emporium, on Flickr

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post #12 of 75 (permalink) Old 04-11-2018, 11:45 PM
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Hey that tank is looking really good, congrats on being patient!

Yes, ammonia levels wont start dropping right away, but they eventually will so don't sweat it. Nitrates will likely be from the fertilizer as you mentioned.

Don't worry about the slim on the wood, it's just a protein biofilm that will go away on it's own, once the tank is cycled and established well an oto cat or two will help keep stuff like that in check.

If your tap water has crazy high pH, it might be better to perform smaller but more frequent water changes to avoid a sudden large swing. Try letting the water sit out for 48 hours and test that (degassed tap water) this will give a true reading of what the pH is.
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post #13 of 75 (permalink) Old 04-12-2018, 09:20 PM Thread Starter
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This might sound silly, but right now I don't know what I'm supposed to do. I know I just wait on the cycling stuff, but do I add more plants, do I play with the lights, do I do anything? It's kind of hard not to do anything.

I'm still reading lots of different things, which is what makes me want to "do" things.

I'm not even sure what to watch for. I don't really see any algae or anything.

This is boring right now.

Which is probably good, right?
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post #14 of 75 (permalink) Old 04-12-2018, 09:40 PM
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Bored is good! Haha. No need to do anything until an issue comes up at this point. You could certainly add more plants if you'd like, can't have too many plants! I just bought a bunch more...whoops! Leave lights alone until your plants put on some solid growth you're well cycled.

I should have some Malaysian Trumpet Snails I can set you up with any day. I saw one of the snails working on eggs yesterday, so only a matter of time!
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post #15 of 75 (permalink) Old 04-13-2018, 02:55 PM
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Have you considered putting a background on the tank, so you don't see the power cords running behind it?

I just tape some black posterboard to the back. It should make you heater stand out less, too, as well as make the plants "pop" .


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