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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 06-28-2015, 06:59 PM Thread Starter
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New tank

So I am considering getting a 40 gallon breeder at the petco sale going on and starting a new tank, the first one planed from the start. Any advice or opinions would be appreciated.

So here are my thoughts. I am thinking that if I find a good tank, then I won't need to redo the silicone, but I may not be so lucky. I am also thinking about doing a diy 3d background out of foam/cement. As far a inhabitants go, I would like to find some Celestial pearl danios, some Emerald Dwarf Rasboras, and either Endlers or Whiteclouds, with some Red cherry shrimp or sakuras, and maybe some nerite snails.

I would like it heavily planted, but low tech and low maintenance. Anubias and Java fern will be included, but don't know what else to put in. Any suggestions would be appreciated. I am planning on using a florescent shop light and making my own stand out of 2x4 and plywood. It will also be in a room with plenty of sunlight.

As far as substrate goes, what is you all's opinion? I've heard about Florite or some other brands of substrate, and have heard of people using soil. What is the consensus here? I plan on using something like excel and forgoe the CO2 system at this point. Don't have the money for that now, and can add it later if I desire.

And what are people's opinion of filters? I know eheims are good, I have HOB filters now and would like to move away from them. I need something cheaper but want to do it right.

So what do you all think? Does this sound good? And what else am I neglecting to consider?

If I can keep the entire budget for equipment minus the stand at or below $300 that would be great. A challenge indeed, but I think I can do it. And I don't know it I am actually going to do this, I want to but we'll see. I'll keep you all posted if I carry this plan out.
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 06-28-2015, 10:05 PM
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I will try and give some points on the things I have experience with. They are only my opinions and observations.

On backgrounds : In-tank backgrounds look impressive at first, but for me it gets boring after a time and limits what kind of aquascapes you can create. I like to change the colours and lights on the background depending on the mood of the aquascape.

On plants: If you are willing to unroot some plants from time to time you can also grow: Cryptocoryne pontederiifolia and petchii, Vallisneria, Sagitaria subulata, Marsilea quadrifolia and Echinodorus amazonicus. For stems you can try Bacopa sp. and some Hygrophylla sp. These are all plants I tried and successfully grew in low light conditions. In these conditions I find a trim once every 3 months is enough. Also try Bolbitis.

On light: Low CO2 and sunlight do not go well all the time. Have a plan to reduce the sunlight received by the tank when needed.

On substrate: There is no consensus , you have to decide on your own. In my experience I had good luck with soil and bad luck with soil, so be prepared to tear down the aquarium if needed. I had good results in one aquarium after 6 months of trouble. Soil is very rich in nutrients so in a low light aquarium you only need a thin layer. I would only go with soil if I have a high proportion of Cryptocoryne, Echinodorus and Vallisneria. If you have anubias and java fern no need to muddy the waters (see what I did there). In the end I grew plants in 100% sand and in ADA aquasoil, just a matter of understanding what you have in the aquarium.

On filters: I am with team Eheim (not just because I am in Germany). They are expensive but you can buy one second hand. I think they are worth the money as they last and last. I had an Eheim classic for about 10 years and it still goes strong. At times I left it for 6 months without cleaning it (gross malpractice). I had a JBL which goes to half flow after 2 weeks, compared to Eheim after 2-3 months.

Also include in your expenses driftwood and rocks as they can cost quite a $. And inform yourself on tap-water parameters so you can select suitable livestock.
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 06-28-2015, 11:34 PM
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Crypts are generally easy plants. I've had good luck with crypt wendtii and crypt lutea. I have Eco Complete in most of my tanks, but have also used Caribsea Super Naturals sand in small 5g tanks.

Since you seem to be going for the smaller nano fish, you could also look at adding a school of one of the dwarf cories - habrosus, pygmaeus or hastatus.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 06-30-2015, 06:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hkinser View Post
I would like it heavily planted, but low tech and low maintenance. Anubias and Java fern will be included, but don't know what else to put in. Any suggestions would be appreciated. I am planning on using a florescent shop light.
Marsilea quadrifolia as suggested didn't grow well for me in a 20g long tank with a T8 light strip. I think Hygro Difformis, Crypts and Lilaeopsis brasiliensis would grow with the T8 light strip.
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Originally Posted by hkinser View Post
As far as substrate goes, what is you all's opinion? I've heard about Florite or some other brands of substrate, and have heard of people using soil.
I use Scotts Hyponex Potting Soil topped with River Sand from a local landscaping company. I add KNO3 (Spectride Stump Remover) to the Potting Soil. For most plants need a lot of it.
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I plan on using something like excel and forgoe the CO2 system at this point. Don't have the money for that now, and can add it later if I desire.
Excel alternative Metricide or Cidex. Not cidex odt. Excel has 1.5% Glut. A quart is approx $25 on no fleebay At dealmed.com 1 gallon $18.20. shipping $9.99 Calculator

If you decide to do injected Co2 here is a low cost system.
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Originally Posted by hkinser View Post
And what are people's opinion of filters? I know eheims are good, I have HOB filters now and would like to move away from them. I need something cheaper but want to do it right.
I have bought new Eheim filters for under $100 on fleebay
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