60g planted West African tank - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-14-2013, 05:43 PM Thread Starter
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60g planted West African tank

I recently acquired a 60g flat-back hex from my uncle and decided I want to do a planted West African tank. Ill get into the finer details in a bit. First off I'd like to say that I have a planted 10g and its not doing so great. First I tried no ferts and no CO2 and the plants were stunted no growth at all. Then I started adding NPK trace and iron, the plants grew a little bit but I had 3 different algae blooms (diatoms then black hair then green hair...still battling that one) I started dosing excel at 2X as an algacide, it did kill off some algae but also killed my female pelvicachromis Pulcher. The other fish are still recovering. So in this tank I won't be doing ANY ferts or CO2. So lets start from the ground up.

Everything I list is what I'd like to use so please chime in if there's a better product or cheaper (I'm not very handy at DIY so please omit those) for the substrate I'm planning on using miracle-gro organic choice potting mix, about an inch and a half capped with fluorite about another inch. Around the edges where the light won't hit well I'm gonna use some pool filter sand as filler. The tank is acrylic and thusly the opening on the top doesn't cover the whole tank just the center so I'm not going to plant the front or sides. I haven't decided what I'm going to plant yet because I don't know what's endemic to that area other than Anubias. But to keep costs down I'm going to purchase all my plants thru the HAP auctions at my club. So might he quite a variety. The hard scape will be mostly stone with some driftwood (limited in size since the tank has quite a wide cris brace built in) my lighting will be a 36" dual bulb T5HO fixture, unsure of the PAR value but I'm shooting for medium light. I'm going to have the lights on 10 hours a day with a 4 hour "siesta" in between. Hopefully this will significantly cut back on algae. My filtration so far wil be 2 hydro-sponge IV's both rated at 40g each so hopefully that's enough. I'm trying the walstad method or NPT So idk if I really need filtration if powerheads would be useful for circulation please someone speak up lol. I don't have her book yet but will get it soon hopefully. I want to read it a few times before I start. My immediate plans for stocking are 2 kribensis, 2 African butterfly cichlids OR pelvicachromis taeinatus (sp?) and 12 congo tetras OR African red eye tetras as well as 3 synodontis nigriventris. My water at home has a PH OF 7.6, GH of 10, and KH OF 7. Since its gonna be a little while before this is fully setup ill be posting as I receive and install equipment. I hope to get it all said and done for less than $400. Any questions concerns and comments are welcome
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-14-2013, 05:44 PM Thread Starter
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60g planted West African tank

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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-14-2013, 06:42 PM
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I like the tank and stand. I think you've got most things sorted out, what sort of plants will you be planting in there. my cichlids have an annoying tendency to uproot some of plants. I would say keep the cichlids to a minimum and got for a few larger shoal fish such as the Congo tetras you mentioned above. good idea about the rocks and driftwood because I think there a perfect match and sometimes you don't even need plants but I prefer to have plants. anyway good luck and keep us updated


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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-14-2013, 07:14 PM Thread Starter
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60g planted West African tank

I'm only doing 2 pairs of cichlids. And as far as plants go idk which species yet but I wanna do as many plants as needed to sustain the ecosystem. So it will be trial and error for a while
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-15-2013, 01:34 AM Thread Starter
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60g planted West African tank

Doing more research and hoping somebody has an answer. During the day fish need air that plants provide, and plants need CO2 that fish provide. But at night they both produce CO2. So to add O2 at night I think I'll only run 1 sponge filter and only at night since I won't really need filtration for an NPT correct? Bit here's my worry. Can I trust a check valve?? To do this I would want the air pump on a timer and at night with no airflow water would wanna back siphon (air pump will be located UNDER tank. I always use check valves as a precaution but always have air running 24/7. So will it be safe?
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-15-2013, 01:35 AM Thread Starter
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60g planted West African tank

CORRECTION:

With no air flow during the day not night.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-15-2013, 03:20 AM
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Just lower the outflow of the sponge filter to reduce surface agitation and that will reduce CO2 that gets driven off. Then run the filter 24/7.

The predominate common West African plant is Anubias. which is lower light and does well without CO2. I'm planing the same bio-type but I'll be building a 56g Riparium.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-15-2013, 03:30 AM Thread Starter
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60g planted West African tank

I'm not worried about driving off CO2 I'm going to stock the tank probably a little more than I should but still not overstocked. I'm trying to add oxygen at night. If I leave it on 24/7 won't the bubbles that reach the surface during the day cause enough agitation to enrich the water column with O2 a little too much? I'm a been (kinda) so take everything I say with a grain of salt I just wanna make sure I get this right the first time. I was told valisneria is also African is this true?
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