Vik-Thor's first tank (29 gallon) - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-07-2014, 11:05 PM Thread Starter
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Vik-Thor's first tank (29 gallon)

I don't think I really qualify as a lurker. I joined back in March 2009, when I lived in AZ, and was thinking about setting up a tank. I didn't at that time, and didn't visit regularly for a bit. Then I thought about it again, would visit for a bit, not get it done and stop visiting… This time, I'm going to do it.

I've actually had my tank stand pretty much since I first joined. It was a wrought iron stand that was on clearance @ PetSmart in Phx. It has been assembled and disassembled several times, and used for various things. Latest use was as stand for laundry soaps.

Tank is an AquaCulture 29 gallon kit from WalMart. My husband works @ there, and since he worked BlackFriday, we got it 25% off. It is the LED version, and came with filter, heater, thermometer, a net and the trial sizes of several Tatra products. Also picked up an air pump and tubing, though nothing to put in the tank at this time. Also the large bottle of a water treatment product, and a 5 gallon bucket.

Today I picked up a couple bags of substrate: a 12 lb bag of FloraMax (black) and a 20 lb bag of Super Naturals black sand, along with a master testing kit from PetSmart. Also picked up a gallon of ammonia @ TrueValue for use in the cycling of the tank.

Need to decide what I want for hardscape, if anything. If nothing else, I will probably put in some crystals I've had floating around for a couple decades. I also have a slab of slate that I want to use, but not sure how… It is probably about a square foot, and I believe it used to be a roof tile.

currently planning on putting the substrate (and any hardscape I decide on) in next weekend, plant it, fill it up and start cycling.
(I'll be going to the local aquarium society's monthly meeting for the first time on the 18th…)

Eventual plan is to have a fairly heavily planted tank, a shrimp community, a fairly large school of tetras, some otos and/or corys and a male betta (or maybe a sorority of females?)

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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-14-2014, 06:41 PM
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If it came as a kit, you might either have to buy a new lighting unit to replace that one or have another in addition to the one that came with the tank. I have a 29 gallon tank too but I bought the tank by itself at Petsmart a few years back.

I have otos, cardinal tetras, sterbais and a pair of apistogrammas in my tank. The tank is decently planted with a variety of foreground and background plants. I'm in the process of growing additional plants and am trying to get used to co2 and lighting so that my plants can grow better. I'm in the St. Louis area also, feel free to message me with any questions!
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-24-2014, 04:10 AM Thread Starter
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Well, cycling has definitely started.

Started on the 13th, with 4ppm ammonia, along with a couple of Anubias nana plants, and 6 clumps of Cardinal plant from PetSmart.
on the 18th, I got some used filter media, and plants, at the monthly MASI meeting. (Anubias hastifolia, Crypt walkeria (? unsure of the species name), 4 stems of Wisertia (Hygro Difformis), and a BIG clump of Java moss.

Ammonia started going down on the 20th, and is currently using about 2 mL a day. (readings tonight were 2 ppm for both ammonia and nitrite. (Actually, I think the Nitrite was a bit higher, the shade of purple wasn't quite what the card has for 2 or 5 ppm…) I added 2 mL of ammonia, and I will start testing the Nitrate tomorrow I think.

I also have my first fauna. A couple of snails hitched in on the plants from the MASI auction.

Not sure why the water is coming out as tinted as it is in the pic. It's not quite as noticeable in person.
Mopani wood on the left, with the Anubias plants on it. the Crypt in front of it. 2 clumps of cardinal plant on left, small one in front of the Java moss, then to the right are a couple other clumps as well as the wisteria.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-26-2014, 02:29 AM Thread Starter
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Ammonia 0, Nitrite 5+, Nitrate trace. (not the yellow of zero, but not the orange of 5.0)
added 3 mL of ammonia.

Last edited by Cattaur; 12-27-2014 at 02:03 AM. Reason: correcting a #
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-26-2014, 06:21 AM
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Good start, looks like the cycling is going well.

Driftwood will probably leach tannins making the water that brown color for a while, could also be brown algae on the walls of the tank that usually happens when the tank is being cycled. I usually leave it alone and when I get some otos they clean it up in a couple days.

The tannin color will go away the more water changes you do down the line.

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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-26-2014, 10:06 AM
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The time between the nitrite starting to show readings and the nitrate being solid/w no ammonia is roughly two weeks.
A couple of points of info which may be of use:
Almost all fish if not regularly aggressive towards shrimp, can smell a chemical given off when they molt, and this will make the fish look for them as food.
A Piranha BTW I'm told is in the Tetra family.
I have Oto's in my shrimp tank without incident, but any other fish can/will consider them as food eventually if not right off.
Equipment sold/w a "kit" is usually bare minimum standard for the tank it goes/w.
Aquaclear is a very reliable filter and you can choose the media, unlike 98% of other filters.
I have these two heaters/w no problems/w either.
Four years so far.
Two years so far.

The shortest distance between any two points is a straight the opposite direction...
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-28-2014, 12:34 AM Thread Starter
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Ammonia 0, Nitrite 5+, Nitrate 40
added 3mL of ammonia

(If I understand right, shouldn't the nitrites be going down now? I let the nitrate test sit for 10 minutes, rather than 5. Does the color keep getting darker as it sits? Was definitely in the red of 40/80 range, not the orange of 5-20)

I am having growth on the plants, and the snails are reproducing. I have seen a total of 3 full sized ones, and just today I saw a couple of really small ones on the front glass.

When I am fully cycled (0s on ammonia and nitrite for a week, when adding ammonia up to 3 ppm each day), if I don't max out the bioload right off, what happens? i.e. say I add shrimp, and neon tetras first, and then add cories and otos in a couple weeks, will I have a mini cycle?

Raymond, thanks for the links re: heaters. I will probably get a second heater, since the current (kit) one isn't adjustable.

theericafish. thanks for the info on the tannins.

nakinata, not sure how I would add any lights to it. came with LEDs, and does seem to be working, as I am getting growth on the plants for now. (7 sets of 3 bulbs. each set in a plastic rectangle that snaps into the hood. I'd probably have to replace the hood, which probably will eventually, but I do want it to be eventually…)
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-11-2015, 09:13 PM Thread Starter
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meant to keep up with this, but…

for the past 5–6 days, the ammonia and nitrates have been reading @ 0ppm 12 hours after adding ammonia, and nitrates were staying in the 40–80ppm range. (not sure if they ever got to the max shade.)

Did my massive water change yesterday, and today I added 16 ghost shrimp and 5 cories.

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29 gallon aquarium, beginner, startup, tank journal

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