30 Gallon Planted - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-19-2014, 07:23 PM Thread Starter
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30 Gallon Planted

So this is my first planted tank and first time posting on here. I was searching for a new light for a regular tank while it was doing its first cycle and started seeing some beautiful planted tanks. After seeing how mesmerizing they were when done right, I was hooked.

I've only ever had gravel tanks with fake plants so this will all be new to me. After lots of researching and talking to a local planted shop, i've decided on the following:

30g Tank (not sure what brand, its from petco/petsmart)
Archaea Ultra-Gro LED-Light PG Series 75cm
ADA Amazonia Aqua Soil
Seiryu Stone


For Plants I plan to use Baby Tears in the background and carpet the rest with some Dwarf Hair grass.

I currently have a Fluval Aquaclear 50 HOB filter that I used when it was just a gravel tank but I think I am going to upgrade to a Eheim 40gal canister filter before I plant it.

As for CO2, to start I am just going to use Flourish Excel till I can do more research and afford a decent co2 system.

Not sure on fish yet but probably some small tetras.

I started my layout but Im thinking of getting a few taller rocks from the local shop today so that the left side pops up a bit more. Maybe more substrate to raise it higher? Not sure yet!





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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-19-2014, 08:02 PM
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I like it so far, and welcome to the forums. Where'd you get your Aquasoil? I looked everywhere and they're currently sold out for some reason.
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-19-2014, 08:06 PM Thread Starter
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I like it so far, and welcome to the forums. Where'd you get your Aquasoil? I looked everywhere and they're currently sold out for some reason.

Thanks! I got it from a local planted aquarium shop here in Seattle that happens to carry most ADA products.
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-19-2014, 08:14 PM
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You are lucky to have ADA shop in your area!
Anyway, I like the scape, but your tank is a little bit tall (look like 18in I believe). Either find bigger rocks or smaller tank, but keep the scape


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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-19-2014, 08:15 PM
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Thanks! I got it from a local planted aquarium shop here in Seattle that happens to carry most ADA products.
Jealous! Are you going to do a dry start on your carpet(s)?
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-19-2014, 08:27 PM Thread Starter
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Jealous! Are you going to do a dry start on your carpet(s)?
Not sure I know what you mean. From a lot of ADA videos, Green Machine and others, it seems they start with just a bit of water (inch or two) then do small strands and space them evenly, then fill the rest of the tank slowly. Is that what you are referring to or literally start with no water and water the plants like you would a house plant?
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-19-2014, 11:26 PM
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Almost the latter, you should Google dry start method, and see if that's something you prefer.


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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-21-2014, 03:28 PM Thread Starter
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Almost the latter, you should Google dry start method, and see if that's something you prefer.
After reading about it, I think doing a dry start my first time is a little intimidating though I do like how fast they grow.

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You are lucky to have ADA shop in your area!
Anyway, I like the scape, but your tank is a little bit tall (look like 18in I believe). Either find bigger rocks or smaller tank, but keep the scape

You were right, I got a hold of some more stone and it looks a lot nicer now. I think this is the layout i will stick with. Just ordered the Eheim 2211 canister filter as well. My plants will be here Thanks giving weekend so there's time for the layout to sink in and make some adjustments if I want.

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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-21-2014, 04:08 PM
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Jealous! Are you going to do a dry start on your carpet(s)?


There's many reasons this is a good idea! Go for it. You'd be surprised the time you'll be expediting.

Sweet rockscape
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-21-2014, 05:21 PM Thread Starter
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There's many reasons this is a good idea! Go for it. You'd be surprised the time you'll be expediting.

Sweet rockscape

Thanks! When I was reading about it, one of the things that scared me away was the transition period where they said to flood the tank with CO2. While I am not looking to add fish quickly, I don't have plans for a CO2 system just yet. I planned to use Flourish Excel until I figured that part out.

The other problem is the slope I made. I want to carpet all the way in front of the last row of rocks. Doing a dry start, the plants in the back wouldn't be in the water, or the ones in the front would have to be submerged, I think.



I could have just not found the right info on doing a dry start and it scared me away being my first planted tank. I really want to do it right and have plenty of patience.
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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-21-2014, 09:51 PM
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Excel is a wonderful alternative to co2 that does not effect pH

Depends on the plant but most grow fastest emersed from water in bog state
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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-06-2014, 12:08 AM Thread Starter
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I was finally able to get some plants after the holiday and get it planted. The shop didn't have very much dwarf hairgrass as his shipment didn't come in but at least there is some in there.

I spread the HG across as best I could, probably 4-5 inches apart. In the back I filled it with baby tears. so far only a bit of it turning brown which I am understand is normal melting when moving them one tank to another?


Lighting: 8 hours a day on a timer
CO2: Dosing excel every other day as well as changing the water 40% twice a week (to replenish the amonia and co2 in the tap water)
Filter: I setup a Eheim 2211 canister filter, first one i've had!


This picture is the 5th day after initial planting. Hoping to see some new growth soon! FYI I just setup the CO2 checker before I took this picture which is why it's still blue.


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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-06-2014, 12:29 AM
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Aqua Soil leaches Ammonia for it's first few weeks. I would think that the thicker it is
the longer it would take for it to all leach out. But I don't know that from exp.
So you should test for the Ammonia to see it doesn't get so high it burns the plants.
They will use some of it but their not bullet proof.
But since it will last for more than two weeks it will cycle the tank for you. Just a
little weaker than a cycle you instigated.

The shortest distance between any two points is a straight line...in the opposite direction...
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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-06-2014, 04:24 AM Thread Starter
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Aqua Soil leaches Ammonia for it's first few weeks. I would think that the thicker it is
the longer it would take for it to all leach out. But I don't know that from exp.
So you should test for the Ammonia to see it doesn't get so high it burns the plants.
They will use some of it but their not bullet proof.
But since it will last for more than two weeks it will cycle the tank for you. Just a
little weaker than a cycle you instigated.
I just did a test and these are my levels.

Ammonia is between 2 and 4 ppm.
PH is at 7.2
Nitrites are at 0.25 ppm
Nitrates are at 0 ppm

So ammonia is high but is it too high? Should I change what I'm doing you think? I'm completely new to this, just trying to get the hang of it so thanks for your help!
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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-06-2014, 05:14 AM
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you have to give the filter time to build up beneficial bacteria, as it builds up the ammonia will drop the nitrite will go up then down and you'll get nitrate readings.
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