Impulse buy: 45G tall (36x24x12) - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 31 (permalink) Old 04-09-2020, 03:37 AM Thread Starter
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Impulse buy: 45G tall (36x24x12)

So I was out buying dog food and came across this 45G with not hideous stand on sale at a local pet store a few weeks ago. I've thought of setting up a planted tank in the past, as we used to have them as kids, and given I'm on lock down at home because of the pandemic I decided to buy a new hobby project. I had a brief foray into saltwater but ultimately decided that the upkeep was a little too much. I have a lot more time now and am looking forward to getting into this as a long-term hobby. I stumbled across this forum and have spent a lot of time the last few days reading up; this place is great. I have a lot to learn; I bought the TPT guide book and am still waiting for access. Hopefully I can get some ongoing feedback from the community as I build this out and (likely) make mistakes.

Since I have saltwater experience and Petco was having a $1/gal tank sale, I decided to pick up the largest tank I could fit in the stand, a 29gal, and set up a sump system. I know this is somewhat nontraditional in the freshwater world, but I figured I could build a much higher volume of filtration for much less money, plus I like the idea of having easy access to filter media for maintenance and hiding all the equipment underneath the tank. The particleboard stand that it came with looked alright but I didn't trust it for the long-term, so I built-in a 2x4 frame and attached it to 3/4" plywood underneath to shore the whole thing up. I picked up glass from the local shop for sump baffles and glued them in. I've also drilled out 3 holes for water returns x 2 and an overflow. Today, I masked the whole thing off and spray painted the back glass black for a background; I like the idea of black gravel on a black background ultimately.

I've got a Current USA pump and Aqua Illumination Prime freshwater fixtures coming this week. I probably should have sprung for cheaper lighting but I have not read anything negative about them on the forum, they seem highly reviewed, and I was feeling lazy. I was worried one would not be enough so ordered two; thoughts on this would be helpful. As for filtration, there will be two 200 micron 4" socks followed by a 100 micron polishing pad, followed by biological filtration using Seachem Matrix and Mediapure balls, then carbon.

As for plants, I'm not quite sure what I'm looking for but I know I'd like part of it to have a grass-like quality. I'm not quite sure about stock yet either; I like the idea of some kind of red shrimp and I think discus are fantastic, but I'm not even sure if these are compatible. Thoughts on plants and/or fish would be great.

Plan is to finish the plumbing, install the heater and pump in the sump, set up the lighting, and then at that point I'm a little lost as to how to proceed. I feel like ideally I could buy all my plants, partially fill tank, plant, fill tank, fishless cycle, and then add fish. I'm just not happy with my local aquarium store's selection. Planting in a 24" tall aquarium little by little after filling just seems hard. How do people handle this? Pics of progress so far to follow.

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post #2 of 31 (permalink) Old 04-09-2020, 04:38 AM
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Denns Wong’s website is about the best ref around.

https://www.advancedplantedtank.com/

Anyway don’t approach filtration and circulation same as saltwater, you’ll only need about 400gph max divided up into 3-4 outputs for even dispersion around tank. Don’t worry about bio media in sump to much, plants and substrate in tank are your main biofilters. Quart of matrix should be plenty all by itself. Carbon, not really needed usually except for occasional spot clean up.

24” tanks most plant tank keepers avoid like the plague because of how hard they are to plant. You’ll need some long tools (tweezers, scissors). Here’s some 15” planting tweezers.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07X7VJ29L...ing=UTF8&psc=1

Tall plants like jungle Val and aponogeton longiplumulosus look great in tall tanks.

A. longiplumulosus


Also see if you can get your city water report so you know what your dealing with. Might have some bearing on what plants and fauna you want to try.
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Last edited by DaveKS; 04-09-2020 at 09:09 AM. Reason: Typo
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post #3 of 31 (permalink) Old 04-09-2020, 04:44 AM Thread Starter
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That website looks fantastic, I think I'm about to lose a lot of time reading. Appreciate the suggestions and the link to tweezers! I went with this size because I wanted a decent sized tank but also wanted to stick to 12" depth for room flow reasons; gonna have to make it work.
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post #4 of 31 (permalink) Old 04-09-2020, 05:10 AM
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Welcome to TPT.

Good call on 2 x AI Primes - you will need them on 24" depth and it is one purchase you are unlikely to regret.
A 2-step folding footstool will come in handy, unless you're 6'6"+. And roll up your T-shirt sleeves, like, over shoulders.

Did I miss what you are going to use for substrate? Any plans on using injected CO2?

Tall plants are your friends. Maybe try Blyxa Japonica up front for the grassy look. Check out For Sale part of the forum - the best place to get your plants from. Also check the Journal section, search for 55g tanks to get some ideas. This one is a prime example, imho,
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/1...ngle-mode.html

Discus? Stay away, unless you really want a single one. Your tank is just too small for a shoal + a dozen more reasons.

If you like Angels, then a mated pair would be a good choice for the tank of this footprint. Add a ~12 cories (Pandas would be my choice) and a school of 12++ Tetras.

Enjoy!
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post #5 of 31 (permalink) Old 04-10-2020, 04:23 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OVT View Post
Welcome to TPT.

Good call on 2 x AI Primes - you will need them on 24" depth and it is one purchase you are unlikely to regret.
A 2-step folding footstool will come in handy, unless you're 6'6"+. And roll up your T-shirt sleeves, like, over shoulders.

Did I miss what you are going to use for substrate? Any plans on using injected CO2?

Tall plants are your friends. Maybe try Blyxa Japonica up front for the grassy look. Check out For Sale part of the forum - the best place to get your plants from. Also check the Journal section, search for 55g tanks to get some ideas. This one is a prime example, imho,
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/1...ngle-mode.html

Discus? Stay away, unless you really want a single one. Your tank is just too small for a shoal + a dozen more reasons.

If you like Angels, then a mated pair would be a good choice for the tank of this footprint. Add a ~12 cories (Pandas would be my choice) and a school of 12++ Tetras.

Enjoy!
Thanks for the validation on the lighting, I struggled with that a bit.

Substrate was probably going to be Tropica; my understanding that ADA can be difficult for a first-timer. I went back and forth on CO2 a bit and am still not 100% sure; I did spend some time browsing GLA's website. Would I need a single stage or dual stage regulator?

I've seen some great tanks in the journal section, will keep browsing! Thanks for the suggestion on the for sale section for plants. Is there a member or two you especially recommend I reach out to? Ideally they could help me plan out a landscape a bit as well.

I hear you on the Discus. Where does one go about finding mated pairs of fish? I don't think i've seen any at the local fish store.

- Arif
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post #6 of 31 (permalink) Old 04-10-2020, 04:40 AM
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[QUOTE=amnoor;11328631]
Quote:
Originally Posted by OVT View Post
Welcome to TPT.



I hear you on the Discus. Where does one go about finding mated pairs of fish? I don't think i've seen any at the local fish store.

- Arif
I would probably bypass the paired fish as breeding fish require a lot of attention. if the tank is set up well and you have a small group then they'll pair themselves up but ideally it'd better to focus on the overall tank, plants, and landscape first before growing out fish and fry and dealing with aggressive pairs


btw yeah that 29g fits in the bottom but takes up all the room. nice job on the baffles though. I've usually run planted tanks without carbon and have been pretty ok although slightly tinted water does happen sometimes. I prefer purigen to polish the water whenever that happens .

the tall tank is a great place to grow long, non demanding stems though. some rotalas would do great

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post #7 of 31 (permalink) Old 04-10-2020, 04:50 AM
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Spend a little more $$ and get a dual-stage regulator for a peace of mind. If you look around and read up, there are better places then GLA. If you are just a bit handy I'd recommend you put together your own - lots of posts on TPT on the subject and people always happy to point you in the right direction.

You can make a WTB post listing the plants you want and how many. Also watch for RAOK (Random Acts Of Kindness) post where people give away plants for the cost of shipping. If you close your eyes, what kind of tank do you imagine? Tons of pictures and sites on the web. If you can describe the tank of your dreams, people will pitch in with specific plant names.

Most "sellers" on TPT do not make much from selling plants or co2 equipment - they do it for the love of this hobby. More often then not, the hassle is not worth the couple of $ they make. That said, check out sellers' "PTrader" link under their profiles. That way you can also read comments from buyers / sellers.

Anytime you have questions - just post.
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post #8 of 31 (permalink) Old 04-10-2020, 03:08 PM Thread Starter
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[quote=monkeyruler90;11328639]
Quote:
Originally Posted by amnoor View Post

I would probably bypass the paired fish as breeding fish require a lot of attention. if the tank is set up well and you have a small group then they'll pair themselves up but ideally it'd better to focus on the overall tank, plants, and landscape first before growing out fish and fry and dealing with aggressive pairs


btw yeah that 29g fits in the bottom but takes up all the room. nice job on the baffles though. I've usually run planted tanks without carbon and have been pretty ok although slightly tinted water does happen sometimes. I prefer purigen to polish the water whenever that happens .

the tall tank is a great place to grow long, non demanding stems though. some rotalas would do great
I feel so far from livestock decisions; it is a little disheartening. I think I'm ultimately going to start with a school of something and work my way slowly from there; it seems like I need to make plant decisions way sooner than livestock decisions.

Yeah, the sump is probably too big. The only thing (I think) that won't fit in the sump area is going to be the CO2 tank; I think I can either submerge or securely hang everything else. There is also a closet a few feet away I'm going to set up some supply storage. I'll start off with carbon while i'm getting this thing going and look into switching to purigen, it sounds interesting and seems to be rechargeable. Unfortunately I already have 5lbs of carbon sitting here waiting to be used.

Yeah, I'm looking forward to some really tall background stuff. So far, the combination of swords + angels seems to resonate right now, but I'm really bad on plant names so it is hard to put together a mental model of what things will look like together. Still need to do some learning.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by OVT View Post
Spend a little more $$ and get a dual-stage regulator for a peace of mind. If you look around and read up, there are better places then GLA. If you are just a bit handy I'd recommend you put together your own - lots of posts on TPT on the subject and people always happy to point you in the right direction.

You can make a WTB post listing the plants you want and how many. Also watch for RAOK (Random Acts Of Kindness) post where people give away plants for the cost of shipping. If you close your eyes, what kind of tank do you imagine? Tons of pictures and sites on the web. If you can describe the tank of your dreams, people will pitch in with specific plant names.

Most "sellers" on TPT do not make much from selling plants or co2 equipment - they do it for the love of this hobby. More often then not, the hassle is not worth the couple of $ they make. That said, check out sellers' "PTrader" link under their profiles. That way you can also read comments from buyers / sellers.

Anytime you have questions - just post.
What are some good non-GLA names I should look into? I am handy and thought about putting it together myself, but honestly after drilling the tank, gluing together a sump, and reinforcing the stand, as well as a failed experiment in cutting acrylic, I'm a little DIY'd out and fine just paying for the privilege of it being done.

I'll look more into the sale area of the forum shortly; seems pretty active. Thanks for the pointer on the PTrader info.

- Arif

Last edited by amnoor; 04-10-2020 at 03:19 PM. Reason: clarity
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post #9 of 31 (permalink) Old 04-10-2020, 09:29 PM
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Check out https://www.diyco2regulator.com/
Look up posts by @Bettatail for starters, especially the links in his signature.
Don't get too stuck in details of different needle valves and other arcana - you will get there soon enough.
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post #10 of 31 (permalink) Old 04-12-2020, 07:08 PM Thread Starter
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So I picked up some hardscaping today; I'm lost. Luckily this is returnable. Suggestions?

Also, how many liters of substrate will the tank take? 1 or 2 9L bags?

Thanks.

Edit - played for a bit and this was what I came up with round one. Are there plants that can grow in grooves of the branches without soil?
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post #11 of 31 (permalink) Old 04-12-2020, 10:32 PM
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To start with, all varieties of Java Fern and Anubius and moss should be grown on driftwood / rocks.

Imho, your driftwood looks too bulky to me (and takes up too much of water volume and will affect water flow). You might like spiderwood or Manzanita better. I got mine from https://www.bloomsandbranches.com/Se...s.asp?Cat=1820
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post #12 of 31 (permalink) Old 04-13-2020, 08:20 PM Thread Starter
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To start with, all varieties of Java Fern and Anubius and moss should be grown on driftwood / rocks.

Imho, your driftwood looks too bulky to me (and takes up too much of water volume and will affect water flow). You might like spiderwood or Manzanita better. I got mine from https://www.bloomsandbranches.com/Se...s.asp?Cat=1820
I agree. I looked at spider wood at a LFS today and couldn't piece together something of sufficient magnitude. Agree there was too much wood in there. Took another shot at it today.

Basically, I'm going to terrace up each corner to give it height, L higher than R. The driftwood has a groove etched into the top where I feel like I could plant some stuff that would grow up and out of the driftwood. Thoughts anyone? This is version two, and I feel like I'm going to be on version 20 before this is done.

edit - found some dragon wood today that I really liked, set up a sample scape with that too.
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post #13 of 31 (permalink) Old 04-13-2020, 11:38 PM
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I actually like what you did in 1 / 2 pictures and that wood is perfect for planting on. I see an Amazon Sword in the left corner, Rotalas / Ludwidgia in the right, and Blyxa Japonica in front of the rocks. If you want a 2-tired look, you can use small lava rocks from hardware store to build up the terrace behind the rocks. The left-most and right-most rocks near the glass are potential problem areas: cannot reach in to clean the glass.

The second "dragon wood" looks suspiciously like grape wine wood for terrariums. If it is, stay away as it rots too quickly.
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post #14 of 31 (permalink) Old 04-16-2020, 09:53 PM Thread Starter
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Found this today...

thoughts about it? Too big? I'm still all over the place with this hardscape.
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post #15 of 31 (permalink) Old 04-16-2020, 10:21 PM
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thoughts about it? Too big? I'm still all over the place with this hardscape.
Oh! I like this wood the best. Cool piece!

This wood reminded me of a beautiful island aquas-cape I saw on Facebook awhile back. The tank is larger, but it could be used as an inspiration.

https://www.facebook.com/AquariumGar...type=1&theater
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