29g Planted Newb Aquarium - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-10-2011, 04:03 AM Thread Starter
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29g Planted Newb Aquarium

So I finally started a planted tank after a friend of mine got me interested in keeping fish again. I had stopped years ago when I was young and didn’t understand the importance of water chemistry. My fish would always eventually die and it turned me off to the hobby pretty quick, so I sold all my equipment and forgot about it until now.

I was at my local pet shop buying food for my snakes and lizards, and decided to finally buy a 29 gallon aquarium kit that had everything I needed. It came with the usual filter, heater, hood and light, food, water conditioner and a net. I figured I’d pick up some substrate and some plants to help cycle the tank. I ended up buying pacific gravel #5, which was probably not the best choice, as it keeps my pH rather high. I ended up adding peat to my filter to adjust for the higher pH. With the occasional drop or two of pH down I now keep my pH in the 6-7 range.

I brought the tank home, washed the substrate and filled it up with conditioned tap water. I planted the plants still in there bands but realized later I had to take them off. I ran the tank for around a week to let the helpful bacteria build up before I introduced new fish.

Finally the time had come for adding new fish to the tank and I went to another local pet shop and picked up 4 neon rainbowfish and 2 skunk loaches. Brought them home and added them to the tank with no problems at all. I ended up rescaping the tank properly and buying a few more fish. I bought 3 angelfish, 4 cherry barbs and 10 cardinals who are all very happy now.

I bought quite a few plants over the next few weeks. I honestly didn’t know much about them other then I liked the look of them and they looked healthy. The people at my local pet shop really don’t know much about what they sell they couldn’t tell me much. I brought them home and divided my tank up into squares, cut or broke the plants up and planted them all.

I work for a draft beer systems company and have easy access to co2 and have built my own regulator and solenoid. The regulator is a standard regulator used for pop or beer, and I salvaged a solenoid from a liquor gun. Who would have thought alcohol would have helped out so much, but it makes things easier when you have proper materials.

Next I bought a 23” 39w T5 and run it alongside my T8. I’ve added reflective tape to the hood to brighten things up but it didn’t do a whole lot for me.

Anyways enjoy the pictures; I don’t think I did too badly for a newbie. Please let me know what you all think good or bad. All I want to do now is start another lol…

Fish:
Cherry Barb (Puntius titteya)X5
Cardinal Tetra (Paracheirodon axelrodi)X9
Angelfish (Pterophyllum scalare)X3
Neon Rainbowfish(Melanotaenia praecox)X4
Skunk Loach (Yasuhikotakia morleti)X2

Plants:
Hygrophila difformis
Hemigraphis (Unknown)
Ammania sengalensis
Rotala sp. 'Nanjenshan'
Rotala Indica
Eleocharis Vivipara


Co2:
10lbs Co2 Bottle 20g Fluval Diffuser


Lighting:
23" 39W T5 6400k
24" 17W T8 8000k
























Ive got a lot of pictures if anyones interested just let me know ill go nuts haha, im pretty sure I take better pictures then I plant aquariums thats fer sure.
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-10-2011, 07:09 AM
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I think it should look pretty nice when the plants fill in the space in the back, but I hope you know the Angels are gonna eat those neons when they grow a little bigger.
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-10-2011, 07:31 AM
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tank looks awesome, especially for a first time attempt!

Make sure you post more when it fills in some more.
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-10-2011, 01:54 PM
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Tank looks very nice! i second the posting more when it fills in more

what is the 23" 39w T5? I've never seen nor heard of those.. should be 23" 24w T5HO, or 23" 18w t5no..?? I'm definitely interested in finding out about that or if it was possibly a mistake? anyways, nice setup! Are you dosing ferts as well?

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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-10-2011, 02:34 PM
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Very nice. It will look better when the plants come in. In the mean time, you might use a background. I use flat black posterboard from Wal-Mart. Low cost solution - I think it's $.54 per sheet.

Tom
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-10-2011, 09:53 PM Thread Starter
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I think it should look pretty nice when the plants fill in the space in the back, but I hope you know the Angels are gonna eat those neons when they grow a little bigger.
I really hope my angelfish dont eat my cardinals. I've never heard of it happening, though I believe my cardinals are a little bigger then neons. The angelfish are very agressive towards each other and the odd fish hear and there though.
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-10-2011, 09:56 PM Thread Starter
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Tank looks very nice! i second the posting more when it fills in more

what is the 23" 39w T5? I've never seen nor heard of those.. should be 23" 24w T5HO, or 23" 18w t5no..?? I'm definitely interested in finding out about that or if it was possibly a mistake? anyways, nice setup! Are you dosing ferts as well?
Ya definatly not a typo, its a sunblaster 39w T5, dont know a lot about it I bought it from a guy I found on the internet. I looked it up on froogle and they are around 20$ for the light and fixture, no hood. Still a nice upgrade from using t8. The guy ripped me off charging me 40$ canadian, but I didnt know at the time... I think they are used as grow lights but I dont know
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-10-2011, 09:58 PM Thread Starter
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Very nice. It will look better when the plants come in. In the mean time, you might use a background. I use flat black posterboard from Wal-Mart. Low cost solution - I think it's $.54 per sheet.

Tom
Ya its next on my todo list, I didnt know where to look but walmart makes sence. I was hoping it might help take better pictures as well.
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-11-2011, 01:05 PM Thread Starter
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Im just curious if anyone has anything to say about the choice of plants I used. They are all from my local pet shop, and I had no clue what most of them were I just like them and they looked healthy. The hair grass and Rotala sp. 'Nanjenshan' I like because I figured I could plant them up front, but later found out hair grass wasnt a good choice for that as it grows like a weed. Anyways just looking for some input on the plant choice if anyone has anything to say.
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-11-2011, 01:15 PM
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I love that you are using Ammania sengalensis. It's not used that much anymore and it is such a lovely plant. As far as pictures, pile them on! Can you get any closeups? Also, I'd be interested in seeing your co2 build. Are you planning on keeping the Rotala sp. 'Nanjenshan' lower than the other stems? That would look awesome. Subscribing to your thread.

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post #11 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-11-2011, 03:14 PM Thread Starter
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I love that you are using Ammania sengalensis. It's not used that much anymore and it is such a lovely plant. As far as pictures, pile them on! Can you get any closeups? Also, I'd be interested in seeing your co2 build. Are you planning on keeping the Rotala sp. 'Nanjenshan' lower than the other stems? That would look awesome. Subscribing to your thread.
Appreciate all the positive feedback, im a total plant forum nerd now my gf hates it. Got a question? consult with the forum muahahaha. But ya i found out that Ammania senegalensis was a semi aquatic plant and breaks the surface of the water? I liked it because it wasnt green like everything else. Glad you like it because I wasnt sure If I did at first haha. As for the Rotala sp. 'Nanjenshan' I plan on trimming it, I didnt realize it grew fairly tall. I actually plan on getting a few foreground plants like a moss or something that grows low to the substrate and moving the rest of my plants to more appropriate places... As for more closeups I'd be delighted to post some more pics, I filled a 1gb sd card up already lol... Most of its crap but theres a few decent shots in there...Check back in a few hours I called in sick today... 24h flu gets me everytime.
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post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-11-2011, 04:15 PM
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I really hope my angelfish dont eat my cardinals. I've never heard of it happening, though I believe my cardinals are a little bigger then neons. The angelfish are very agressive towards each other and the odd fish hear and there though.
Hopefully they won't, but I heard before they would eat any fish if they are small enough to fit in their mouths. Angels will get pretty large eventually so it might be a possibility. I didn't notice they were Cardinals. From a quick glance at the pics I thought they were Neons. That might help for them to be a little bigger, but I've not kept Angels so I'm not sure what size fish they will consider food. Good luck though.
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post #13 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-19-2011, 12:26 AM Thread Starter
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Just a couple of pictures that kind of shows the progression right now. I Think its starting to come in pretty good. I still wished I picked a lot of different kinds of plants now, and used a better substrate. Its too bad all my first tanks wernt like this on turned out. Cant wait to do another, will post more pictures soon...








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post #14 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-06-2011, 08:51 PM
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I am so curious on the status of this tank. I loved the foreground idea. Any news?

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post #15 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-13-2011, 01:21 AM Thread Starter
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Yes there are updates ill have to add a few more closeups but right now you get the idea. Sorry its been a while lol, had a hillstream loach die, but I think I was asking for it in this kind of aquarium. Bought another 33g and it came with a 6 inch pleco and I didnt have anywhere to put him, so I added him to the tank. He ripped up a few plants, but I trimmed a few of my stem plants, and hairgrass and transplanted them into another 33g shrimparium im working on. Its crazy seeing all the before and after pics seeing the plants grow... Im not sure i like some of the plant choices I made... Mainly the red plants lol.

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