First Planted Tank: A Journey - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-17-2019, 06:53 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
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First Planted Tank: A Journey

Just getting started, and I’m doing it like I live my life: mostly unprepared and winging it 🤣

Tank: used 36 gallon bowfront
Substrate: playsand (2/3-3/4) and peat moss (1/4-1/3, I didn’t measure) 1-1.5”
Covered with one layer loose weave cheesecloth to help keep the peat down
Cap: sakrete pool filter “sand” (silica and quartz pea gravel) 1-2”

Filter: Aqueon 30

Light: LED bar

Warmer - currently at 80 for cycling

Used bottled water because our tap water is quite chlorinated at times and I didn’t want to risk it. Added some API stresscoat to be safe.

Started with Ammonia 0-0.25 ppm, Nitrite 0, Nitrate 40. pH was 6.4 (because: peat) so I added a handful of bicarbonate and got it to 7.4.

Put in a bottle of beneficial bacteria and a few plants:
Two amazon swords,
One C wendtii
One Anubias (attached to a driftwood, if I didn’t screw it up, with brown cotton thread)
And one I can’t remember the name of 🤭😳

It’s cloudy from the substrate but it’s only been up for an hour.
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"I am no better and neither are you. We are the same whatever we do.
You love me, you hate me, you know me and then, you can't figure out the bag I'm in.
I am everyday people."
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-18-2019, 02:52 AM Thread Starter
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Day Two:

Very cloudy water - I think one of my driftwoods is super full of tannins and it’s still floating. So I swapped it out and changed the water 75%

pH 7.4
Ammonia 1 ppm (added because it was 0)
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate was 5 before the water change (75% replaced)

Was given an old driftwood by a friend which was perfect because I needed something to attach the java fern to.

Moved the C wendtii to the left side because that’s away from the window and will be the darker end of the tank.

Added a little more starter bacteria from a friend’s setup.

Much better clarity (but still cloudy) after the water change.
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"I am no better and neither are you. We are the same whatever we do.
You love me, you hate me, you know me and then, you can't figure out the bag I'm in.
I am everyday people."
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-19-2019, 04:30 AM Thread Starter
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Another water change because I overdosed the ammonia. It dropped by half so I added a little more - but it was much too much more (8ppm) so I changed the water 50% to get down to 4ppm.

The side effect of improved clarity was worth the hassle.

Added Java moss, baby tears, and I thought I got 2 baby tears but the second was a Monte Carlo. I also got moneywort for the brighter window side of the tank. And a tiny grass like plant for which I forgot the name.

Also added a second filter. Tank temp now holding at about 82F for bacterial replication.

"I am no better and neither are you. We are the same whatever we do.
You love me, you hate me, you know me and then, you can't figure out the bag I'm in.
I am everyday people."
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-20-2019, 12:52 AM Thread Starter
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pH problems!

Today we have the Ammonia still at 4 ppm. Nitrites 0.25 ppm and Nitrates 5 ppm. KH 5. pH 8.

My goal is to get the water to 7-7.5, hardness 11-15, based on the fish I want to have. I’m not sure whether those parameters will change at all once it starts cycling.

"I am no better and neither are you. We are the same whatever we do.
You love me, you hate me, you know me and then, you can't figure out the bag I'm in.
I am everyday people."
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-21-2019, 05:49 PM Thread Starter
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I lowered the Ammonia via water changes, because it was very cloudy still. 75% change to an Ammonia of 1 ppm. Our tap water is apparently very alkaline, so I think I'm going to have to use half RO water.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-21-2019, 07:18 PM Thread Starter
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Ok, my rain barrel water was pH 6.6 so I did another 50% change and reduced the filtration rate and now I'm at about 7-7.2. I'm going to give it a day and see if it changes.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-23-2019, 05:05 PM Thread Starter
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Most plants in, ammonia dropping. Going to continue fishless cycle to ensure my water quality is stable before considering livestock. Adding frogbit as soon as it arrives, a few hitchhiking snails found (which is fine by me, they can clean up the tank and maybe my future gourami will help clear up excess baby snails -if not my quarantine tank which is also cycling can become a pufferfish snail disposal center)

"I am no better and neither are you. We are the same whatever we do.
You love me, you hate me, you know me and then, you can't figure out the bag I'm in.
I am everyday people."
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-23-2019, 05:19 PM Thread Starter
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"I am no better and neither are you. We are the same whatever we do.
You love me, you hate me, you know me and then, you can't figure out the bag I'm in.
I am everyday people."
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-24-2019, 02:32 AM Thread Starter
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Ammonia 0.25, Nitrites 0, Nitrates 20. That’s a good sign. Hoping to have 0 within a day and be dosing ammonia and changing water soon.

Lots of plant melt in process which will hopefully end in the next week or so.

"I am no better and neither are you. We are the same whatever we do.
You love me, you hate me, you know me and then, you can't figure out the bag I'm in.
I am everyday people."
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-25-2019, 02:44 AM Thread Starter
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Ammonia continues to drop (near zero) but nitrates are not rising, which is good since it's a planted tank. I have one small translucent pond snail and several tiny dark snails (bladders? baby something elses?) helping maintain the tank.

I hope to start with Amano shrimp in the display tank and then fish in the quarantine tank, and add them over as we go along.

"I am no better and neither are you. We are the same whatever we do.
You love me, you hate me, you know me and then, you can't figure out the bag I'm in.
I am everyday people."
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-26-2019, 01:10 PM Thread Starter
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Cardinal Tetras in last night!
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"I am no better and neither are you. We are the same whatever we do.
You love me, you hate me, you know me and then, you can't figure out the bag I'm in.
I am everyday people."

Last edited by Belethedheliel; 09-26-2019 at 01:11 PM. Reason: wrong photo attached
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-03-2019, 12:05 AM Thread Starter
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There’s now Amano & Blue Neo shrimp. Cardinal tetras (13) and Pygmy cories (10). In quarantine to join them is a flame Dwarf Gourami and a very passive Betta.
varanidguy and aquanerd13 like this.

"I am no better and neither are you. We are the same whatever we do.
You love me, you hate me, you know me and then, you can't figure out the bag I'm in.
I am everyday people."
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-03-2019, 12:24 AM
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Really nice tank!! Great job! Cardinal tetras prefer acidic water, so they may not last long. What is the GH of the water?

75 gallon planted tank. About to stock.
10 gallon QT

"Do not pray for an easy life. Pray for the strength to endure a difficult oneĒ Ė Bruce Lee

75 gallon tank journal
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-03-2019, 01:25 AM
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Tank raised cardinals can handle a much wider range of parameters than their wild caught brethren.

Looks like itís coming along great!


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