First planted tank, this could get ugly! (29G) - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-13-2011, 09:23 PM Thread Starter
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First planted tank, this could get ugly! (29G)

Hello everyone.

Well a little history about my fish keeping. When I was really little I had a 10 gallon that my dad helped me upkeep (I was like 8). Being a kid, it was usually save my up my quarters, then go to the fish store to buy two or three "zebra fish" or "xray fish" and put them in the tank and wait till they die, lol.

Well I've grown up since then (23 now). A couple of years ago I got back into fish keeping. I bought a 29H tank, filled it with gravel, two fake plants, and a cave and threw a bunch of totally random fish in. Most of which died in the cloud out that happened a week later during the cycling process. Oops. That's what kicked off my research, and inevitably my strange fascination with fish!

I ended up having that setup for quite a while, ran through a bunch of different fish trying to find something I liked. Ended up getting a pair of Fairy Cichlids who killed all of the inhabitants (except for 2 angels) before their first spawn. Que 6 months of constant spawning, lol. However, in October the north east suffered a nasty snowstorm, and combined with leaves on the trees caused long power outages across the area. I was out for 4 days, tank temperature fell to about 35. Needless to say, nothing survived.

So I decided to try my hand at a planted tank and moved it downstairs out of my bedroom. So far, it's been a ton of fun, but still quite the learning curve too.

First of all, basics.
29G High
Fluval Stratum/Miracle Grow Mix w/ playsand cap
Sun Sun canister filter (302? Smallest one)
Basic 6500 T8 from 9am - 10pm
2 T5HOs from 12pm-6pm
Pressurized CO2
Dosing Pfertz w/ root tabs (now that I have the cool bottles, I'll switch to dry afterwards)
Surface skimmer and basic in tank heater

This is what it looked like when I first started.

Lol, awful. Ok, next post will start the updates.

Whoops, forgot the starting plant list.

Amazon Sword
"Red" Amazon Sword (?)
Mermaid Weed x10
ammannia senegalensis x10 (I think)
Narrow Leaf Giant Hygro
Dwarf Hair Grass
Crypt Wendtii x2
One or two unknowns... damn LFS.

(Note, most of these are from the LFS and are likely to be wrong, so feel free to correct me!)

Last edited by SovXietday; 12-18-2011 at 11:01 PM.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-13-2011, 09:31 PM
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good, start, what lights are you running?

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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-13-2011, 10:25 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, I edited the first post with my lighting setup. I plan on revising it though, I want to hang the T5HO fixture (and for the life of me I can't remember which one but it's a good one) about 6" over the water instead of having it sitting right on it like it is now. Just need to get the time.

The first tank inhabitants were
6 Assassin snails
5 Peppered Cories
8 Tiger barbs
7 Green Tiger Barbs


I have gotten rid of that ridiculous twirly plant that I hated so much lol.

I was initially hoping the Barb school would be big enough to keep the aggression amongst themselves and keep the cories out of their mess, and they did... for about 2 weeks. Feeding time was also a problem, more akin to a warzone and the peaceful cories never seemed to fair well. Not to mention, the bigger Tigers started killing off some of the juvi greenies so I decided it was time to change.

In my search for something different, I began to find the depth of this forums knowledge base and the swap and shop area. I'm happy, but my wallet is so not :P

So I bought these from member dewalltheway

(1) 2"x4" DHG Belem Hairgrass
(15) Stems of Pogostemon Stellatus 'Broad Leaf'
(10) Stems of Ludwigia Arcuata
(1) Stem of a Ludwigia species

I rescaped a bit and am not really sure if I liked the Stellatus that much, so I might look into something to replace it with. In the meantime I also chopped the crappy lower ends of the mermaid weed and ammannia that was a result from the poor care that the LFS had given them and replanted the tops (hard to see in the picture, but they will regrow to cover the heater).

Big difference. After a lot of forum lurking and reading, I really have grown to like seeing shrimp in tanks. So I decided I wanted shrimp, which meant that the Tigers absolutely had to go.

Today the biggest change happened. I rounded up all of my Tiger Barbs (which was a PAIN!) and took them back to the LFS. They were replaced with the order which had just arrived from msjinkzd, who was great to order from and I definitely will again!

New tank inhabitants
Red Cherry Shrimp - x10
Chili Rasbora - x29
Otocinclus affinis - x4
Peppered Corydoras - x5

Cories are much happier, shrimp are so much fun to watch, and the Oto's and Chili's are beginning to settle in.

Some assorted pics.

PS, anyone know what kind of plant this is that the Oto is laying on? It's the front right one in the full tank pic.

Total running time is about 2 months now, so we'll see where things go.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-13-2011, 11:25 PM
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Looking good! Nice fish selection too.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-14-2011, 12:03 AM
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I'm not a plant expert by all means.. but it looks like some type of amazon sword? Any chance you even have that in your tank? LOL.

But I like the taller plants on either side of your scape. The middle seems pretty empty though. Is that for the fish to swim in?

And shrimp are awesome aren't they? Made me stop putting fish at all into my "fish" tanks

Fish Shrimp tanks are like cups of coffee, one is never enough.

ヽ( ゚ヮ゚)ノ.・゚*。・+☆
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-14-2011, 01:01 AM Thread Starter
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That's what I'm thinking, it looks a lot like the normal broad leaf amazon sword on the other side, just with super long leaves?

The middle will eventually grow in. The first few stem plants that I bought from the LFS grew quite a bit and the NEW growth was very healthy and colorful while the old growth started falling off and whatnot. So I just cut the tops and replanted the new growth behind the driftwood. Right now it's pretty short, about 4" tall. It will eventually grow to fill in the middle, and it's only the background so the fish will have plenty of swimming space up front (which, honestly, they're so small they swim wherever lol).

The shrimp are awesome, once I get all of my trial and error out of the way with these guys I want to do a Fluval Edge shrimp and moss tank.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-18-2011, 10:48 PM Thread Starter
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I pulled out Pogostemen, just didn't look right in my tank. In it's place I put a big bushel of anacharis (I may have to think it out a bit) surrounded by some pennywort (I think, my LFS can't name plants for crap).

SO much better.

Learned the hard way that shrimp are fairly delicate, even the cherries. After putting my first batch of 10 in I had about half of them die off within the next few days. No discoloration, they were still deep red when they went. After a little research, I'm pretty sure I know why.

1) Too much CO2, drop checker was in the yellow. Have since turned it down quite a bit.
2) I did a major water change (50%) soon after putting the shrimp in.

Things seemed to have calmed down, today they were actually really actively seeking food for the first time. Which I have pictures of.

Also added 10 rummynose tetra. Really want to set up a quarantine, because 4 already died. All of the other fish are fine, and a few of them looked battered when I put them in. The remaining six look fine, and are schooling normally. Again, LFS is killin me.

Think I finally have the tank to the way I want it, now it's just a matter of letting everything grow out!

Shrimp braving the chubby cories, hahaha.

Blurry pic of the rummies, they're pretty cool to watch. I may try and return the school to double digits after christmas.

Also learned something else today. Feed only half the algae wafer at a time lol, and need to figure out another food source for the Oto's because they don't seem to notice the wafers?
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-14-2012, 09:47 PM Thread Starter
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Well, it's been about a month since my last update.

The anacharis was too far gone and it all ended up dying out. So I took it out, but the snail infestation remains lol. Honestly I don't mind the snails, but I think I may try to thin the herd here shortly. It's a little insane.


As you can see, my hygro EXPLODED! This is actually the result of a heavy trim that I just did two days ago, it was considerably larger and growing clean out of the water before this!

My Wendtii is doing quite well also, and is a favorite amongst all of the dwellers of the tank.

My nicest shrimp. I found my first juvi in the tank today! He is about half the size of the chili rasbora. Apparantly they have been living in the backside of the driftwood.

One of my cories cleaning up one of the big amazon sword leaves. This plant has also grown quite nicely, but still needs to fill out a bit.

Down to 3 rummies now, don't know why. These guys seem happy though, so no complaints.

Still love these little guys, super colorful and they love living in the dense hygro.

I'm pretty happy with the tank, so now it's just a matter of letting things grow and trimming them back.
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