fishunderpants newly planted aquarium - 29 gal - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-11-2006, 04:50 AM Thread Starter
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fishunderpants newly planted aquarium - 29 gal

I just replanted my 29 gal. Here is some background info on my aquarium and I.

I have had aquariums off and on since I was a kid (I'm 30). My first aquariums were with plastic plants and incandescent bulbs. What got me into the hobby in the first place was winning a goldfish at my school's fall festival. I started off with 10 gal and then a 20 tall my dad bought for the family. I would always try to grow plants but they would do OK for awhile and then just die. Well soon I learned that blue and green pea gravel and 10 watts of incandescent light doesn't grow plants very well.

Thanks to this forum, I finally learned what I need to do to get my plants to stay alive. After a few weeks of research I went ahead and purchased some equipment to turn my low light (20 watts in a 29 gal) into a high light plant grower (more like algae grower, but I'm hoping not).

Here is a list of my equipment.

29 gal aquarium
Flourite substrate
110 watt AH DIY
Rena Filstar XP2 filter (spraybar)
DIY CO2 w/ladder
Ferts -Seachem Flourish, KH2PO4, KNO3, excell sometimes.


5 tetras (4 pristella, 1 lemon)
5 tiger barbs (4 regular, 1 albino
2 rosey barbs
3 otos
1 kuhli loach (6 years old, he is my baby)
1 unidentified loach (long and very skinny, brownish)
some snails that hitched with my plants

Java fern
Cryptocoryne wendtii ''bronze''
Anubias barteri var. nana
Anubias barteri var. barteri
Cabomba carolinian
Rotala indica
dwarf sag
Hygro polysperma
Limnophilia sessiliflora
Myriophyllum pinnatum

Here are some noob questions.
1. I bought some Flourish, what other ferts do I need? And do these come in convenient packs?
2. Should I start CO2 right away?

Last edited by fishunderpants; 04-15-2006 at 01:19 PM.
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-11-2006, 11:08 AM
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Yey, another member for the pristella club. I have 7 X-rays and i think something in another thread had 10. They're amazing fish
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-11-2006, 12:27 PM
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WHOA you really need to get that co2 running. I've got the same lighting over the same (size) tank, and without co2 it's an algae factory!!!!!! I'd really suggest looking into pressurized, but most people do DIY for a while. It's just not that stable/reliable.

Regarding ferts: sounds like you should read up a little more. Try reading REx's guide if you haven't, at There are many methods you can take to fertilize, but you are gonna have to pick something with that amount of light!

Until you get co2 and ferts going, I'd cut your light down to 1x55watts. That will grow all your plants well enough, and will certainly cause less algae!
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-13-2006, 11:58 PM Thread Starter
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I add DIY CO2 last night. My final recipe is 2 cups sugar, 2 1/2 cups water, and a whole small packet of Fleishmann's active yeast. At first I was getting 48 bpm last night. It has dropped down to 20 bpm tonight.

My crypts have melted. I think it is due to the fact that they went from a 0.69 wpg to 3.79 wpg. If they melt, are they dead, or do they come back? My java fern is doing OK, but not as well as when it was in low light. I think both plants have light shock or something. Same goes with my anubius bart.

Camboba and anubius nana are doing great. Since I have added CO2, my anubius nana's flower has been spewing tiny bubbles. Is this O2? It is almost like a bubble wand, and I'm not exaggerating.

Thanks for all the help so far. I will be getting more ferts than the Flourish sometime soon. Let me know more tips if any come to mind. It looks like I may need more plants if my crypts die. Some fast growers would be good.

Pics coming soon, even with melting crypts, I promise.

Last edited by fishunderpants; 03-16-2006 at 11:40 PM.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-14-2006, 12:30 AM
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yep the leaves on the crypts will melt and then come back. With 29 gallons I would recommend hooking up two 2-liter soda bottles to your ladder and alternate refilling them to keep the CO2 consistent. You'll also have better results using Champagne yeast because it's designed to work in environments with a lot of acids and alcohols. So using Champagne yeast, a 2-liter bottle will last 4 weeks instead of 2 weeks using bread yeast. You can find Champagne yeast at local beermaking/winemaking shops or online.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-17-2006, 01:10 AM Thread Starter
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I finally have some pics of my tank that I can post. Keep in mind that I am a noob before you harshly criticize me. But I don't mind criticism. My plans are to get some kind of carpeting plant to cover my boring gravel, and obtain some taiwan, christmas, or willow moss to put on my driftwood or the petrified wood. I would also like to do some riccia attached to a rock. What rocks are best for this? Any ideas on a carpeting plant that I can maintain with my equipment? I still need to read up on ferts and when and how to apply them. Right now I'm just realying on flourish every other day and then every third day. I do water changes whenever I landscape 5-10% and plan on doing about 20% a week otherwise.

Also I need help with obtaining plants. The LFS here charges an arm and a leg for plants - anubius nana $12, rotala indica $5 a bunch, etc. Does anyone have any scraps of the above mentioned plants or some others that they would recommend that they can sell me at more reasonable prices?

I like the look of the left side of my tank, but the right needs a lot of work. I like the contrast of the cobomba and the anubius nana on the driftwood.

I need lots of help with the right side, its ugly to me, but I dunno what to do with all the java fern left over from my lowlight setup.

Here is the whole tank, I really want to do a carpeted look going up the middle, maybe splitting the tank into two corner focal areas.

Finally, has anyone here ever painted their Filstar filter intake or outtake tubes black? If so, what is a safe paint to use for the inside of an aquarium?
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-17-2006, 02:11 AM
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The bubbles you saw streaming from the leaves were in fact O2. It is called pearling. When the water becomes saturated with O2 it cannot absorb anymore and all excess streams out to the surface.

Krylon and others make paints for plastics that are in fact aquarium safe. Just read the directions and follow them to get the best bond. All of my Filstar pipes are a very dark gray/black, why are yours bluish??
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-17-2006, 02:19 AM
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Looks like you've got a good start there. I might suggest leaving one of the 55w bulbs off until you get more plant mass and get some macro nutrients going. You'll likely want to check out and look at some KNO3, K2SO4 and KH2PO4. Might want to consider some CSM+B as it is cheaper than Flourish...though some prefer the Flourish mix. Getting the ferts just right can be a bit tricky. And you'll give yourself more room for error if you start off with less light. Most of the plants you listed shouldn't mind the reduction. Though the fine leafed ones might 'complain' a bit.

Keep it goin'!
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-19-2006, 04:54 AM Thread Starter
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I am still tying to wrap my mind around these ferts. So if I dose K2SO4, KNO3, KH2PO4, magnesium sulfate and Flourish for trace, am I good to go or am I missing something?
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-19-2006, 12:46 PM
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I might suggest leaving one of the 55w bulbs off until you get more plant mass and get some macro nutrients going.
I couldn't agree more. Your java fern might love you for it! And even with 55watts light, you still need MORE STEM PLANTS! These will help you soak up extra nutrients before algae can get to them.
So if I dose K2SO4, KNO3, KH2PO4, magnesium sulfate and Flourish for trace, am I good to go or am I missing something?
This is almost exactly what I dose on my 29 with 110 watts and pressurized co2. schedule:
day 1: 50% h2o change, 1/2 TSPN KNO3, 1/2 TSPN K2SO4, 2ppm KH2PO4, 2 TBSPN MGSO4
day 2: 1/8 TSPN CSM+B+FE
day 3: 1/4 TSPN KNO3, 1/4 TSPN K2SO4, 1ppm KH2PO4
day 4: 1/8 TSPN CSM+B+FE
day 5: 1/4 TSPN KNO3, 1/4 TSPN K2SO4, 1ppm KH2PO4
day 6: 1/8 TSPN CSM+B+FE
day 7: none

As for your foreground, I can only suggest dwarf saggitaria or echinodorus tellenus, as these are the only ones I've grown just yet. I'm sure both would proliferate given plenty of nutrients (you have enough light).
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-19-2006, 06:55 PM
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You may want to move the fern to the back of the aquarium.

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