65G revamp. Oh...and hello! - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-14-2015, 07:17 PM Thread Starter
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65G revamp. Oh...and hello!

Hello everyone, my name is Drew, and I have a problem. Mainly I don't have enough time, money or space...I'm guessing I am not alone.

I've been lurking for a while now and have not really been able to find all the info I seek in a manner I can relate to my ideas, so hopefully someone can either confirm my plan, point out an obvious flaw or just scrap it altogether...

I've kept FW aquariums for years, actually decades, but I have never had plants. Every so often I would buy a couple and toss them in only to clean out the rotted remains. I am hoping to change all that now.

My current setup is a 65G, gravel substrate, 36" Current Satellite+ LED light, Eheim canister filter, 300W heater set to 81. I am looking to go light on the tech and plant her up. This current tank is 18 months old, but was seeded from a 35G tank I had that sprung a leak during a major overhaul, that tank was 3 years running.

I am going to take out my canister filter and build a sump, primarily for 2 reasons. First I want to get rid of the heater, airlines and ugly green Eheim paraphernalia from the display, and secondly because I have a 90G tank I will be setting up as a reef tank in the near future and want to practice my sumping now...

I've got a fish problem, I have a pair of silver dollars. I read here that bitter plants like anubias and java ferns are best, perhaps they don't like them? I like those plants, they seem to be ok with a gravel substrate and low light, I am thinking I am golden, but would like confirmation before I drop $100 on plants, these are my oldest fish, and family favorites so they are staying. They used to assault romaine, but in the past year I have been removing leaves for rot before they finish it off.

I have questions about CO2 also. I've read that you should plant heavily in the beginning, I am thinking that if I do so, a 65 has enough real estate that I am going to need to supplement CO2 and perhaps fertilize as well? I would prefer the DIY CO2 systems, would that be enough? Would I be able to diffuse directly into my sump or does it need to be pumped up to the display tank?

In addition to the silvers I also have an adult angel and a juvie clown loach, my other fish are 4 platys and two SAE, so not a huge fish load.

My PH hovers around 7.2, GH last I checked was 2dkh. At the moment I am doing water changes with municipal tap water aerated for dechlorination, but in the not very distant future I will be getting an RO/DI and using that water for all my tanks. Any ideas on what may be different regarding plants would be helpful.

I heard from the King of DIY that plants need to be quarantined just like fish. Is this to protect established plants? Fish? To try to ID possible hitchhikers? Or is he blowing smoke?

Honestly at this point I am not sure I know enough to really formulate any other intelligent questions...assuming any of the above fits that description in the first place

Thanks for your time!

Thanks!
Drew Z.
NJ
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-14-2015, 07:33 PM
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Co2 is not needed or worth it for just anubias and java fern. Also look at bolbitis. And windelov ferns.

75 Gallon Low Tech w/ Green Terror Pair
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-15-2015, 12:26 AM Thread Starter
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I'll check them out. Thanks


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Thanks!
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-15-2015, 01:40 AM
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Those plants are very undemanding. You can keep them along with several other similar plants. Crypts are one of my favorites and are very easy too. Descent light, which you have, is all you would need. No need for adding CO2 or anything else. Hopefully your fish won't mess with the plants. Also, note that the anubias and ferns need to be tied on to something like rocks or wood. They can't be planted into the substrate.


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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-15-2015, 06:54 PM Thread Starter
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Good to know. My previous attempts included jamming plants into substrate. I have some wood and will be getting some more.

Thanks!
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-15-2015, 07:23 PM
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Thoughts:

IMO 81 degrees is too hot unless you are keeping betta or discus or something. Mid-high 70s is a better temp (more for the plants - not so much fish). This really doesn't matter too much at all but there's no need to keep it that hot.

Good call that you should always plant heavily in the beginning. With low tech it is not nearly as important because the low light levels won't really cause you many problems anyways. But this is always a good way to go.

Don't really need to bother quarantining plants. Fish definitely to avoid disease but plants you are really just preventing algae/snails. Even if they come with a bit of algae it will not flourish unless your tank is not doing well anyways. Or if you are terrified about getting any snails (which is basically impossible to avoid lol). Others may disagree but nothing bad has ever happened from just throwing plants in my tank. I have bought from many many sources and even if they have algae the new growth will be fine if your tank is solid.

+1 to not even bother with CO2 unless you choose more demanding plants. Anubias / java fern are two of the slowest growing, least demanding plants so if you plant to go more that route CO2 will just be a waste of $$.

I have never owned silver dollars but know that they get quite large. If their temperament is such that they will eat plants / cause a ruckus and mess things up then I would not go all-in to the planted tank theme. Start slow to see if they like to destroy certain plants. Stick with easy, very hardy plants that are quite large. Anubias is durable so that's a good choice but I can see more delicate stems getting crushed by your fish. Many around have said that if you do a committed planted tank it is much more suited for plants vs fish. The idea is to set everything up geared towards successful plants then add fish - not have a fish tank and add plants as an afterthought (certain stock can cause issues). Not saying it can't be done (it absolutely can) I just don't want you to buy all kinds of plants and gear to make this happen then have your silver dollars $%&@ all over everything. I know they are usually very active fish if they're happy so my thinking is they might cause issues so don't be surprised if some plants simply don't work out because of them.


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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-16-2015, 05:52 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks klibs. THe silvers have definitely caused problems in the past, but it was with just a couple small plants in a much smaller aquarium.

I have the temp high as I was planning on discus, but have since decided against them for now. I don't want a tank with delicate fish during the time I set up a reef tank. If I miss a water change or two now my fish don't really care, and I can certainly see that happening when I get started with the other build until things settle down. Once I get a good system going I'll revisit the idea, but with the other large fish I have the 65 is going to get small...

Thanks!
Drew Z.
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