Trying Again! - The Planted Tank Forum
 9Likes
  • 1 Post By ontheedge
  • 2 Post By sittinglynx
  • 2 Post By DaveKS
  • 1 Post By DaveKS
  • 1 Post By ontheedge
  • 1 Post By sittinglynx
  • 1 Post By ontheedge
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-02-2019, 04:44 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
ontheedge's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: May 2019
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 6
Question Trying Again!

Hi Everyone,

I have had freshwater aquariums of all sizes since my first 20 gallon guppy tank as a kid to a 29-gallon female betta sorority tank 5 years ago. The tank was a success (I ordered fancy females from a online resource) and all went fairly well. I even had a YouTube channel going while my gorgeous ladies were at their peak. (My only incident was I found my favorite blue one was missing when I came home from work one day. I never found her, but my cat looked smug. I left the tank open; I expect Jax, my cat, may have helped himself to a snack).

Then, I don't know what happend. I was monitoring everything, subscribed to a specific forum, spend $100s in diagnosing and treating any problem that came up, and then... the whole tank collapsed. Each of my beautiful betta girls died one after the other. I had to move within the year, so I tossed everything except the 29 gallon tank.

I was reading about planted tanks, and decided to take the old 29 gallon out of storage and try a good substrate and lots of plants as the primary goal. I will add maybe some guppies or platys; definitely nothing I'm going to spend $$ on.

I just ordered the top rated planted tank substrate plus various plants from online sources. I'm going to put it all together this weekend, and let it sit for over a week before thinking of buying or adding one fish.

My question: where ever I go, there's talk of adding Co2. Do I have to do that with a planted tank? I thought the whole point to a planted tank was that it was self-regulating; I hated the noisy and expensive filtration systems and having to constantly worry when changing cartridges. Or, does it have to do with the tank size? What do I do with a 29 gallon? Any help would be appreciated!
Qumulus likes this.
ontheedge is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-04-2019, 01:55 AM
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Feb 2019
Posts: 31
https://m.liveaquaria.com/article/53/?aid=53

So above is a short answer link to your question about CO2. I love Live Aquaria as a reference resource. However, I'm sure there are more serious tank keepers that could give you a better answer.

I too am trying again. I pulled out my old stand & filters and bought a new aquarium in late Feb.

Also, (your probably know), don't forget to cycle your tank before adding fish. It took my 55 gal tank 3 weeks to cycle. If you are not familiar with this process, here is a good link https://modestfish.com/how-to-cycle-your-aquarium/

I wish you luck
Thelongsnail and ontheedge like this.
sittinglynx is offline  
post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-04-2019, 09:24 AM
Planted Member
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: 67212
Posts: 170
You need let tank cycle before adding fish, usually takes about 3wks.

As far as CO2 you need it for some plants others you donít but if you do use it, it needs to be in balance with fert and light.

So you also need to be worrying about proper lighting even if you donít go with CO2. What kind of light do you have?
Thelongsnail and ontheedge like this.
DaveKS is online now  
 
post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-04-2019, 07:58 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
ontheedge's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: May 2019
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveKS View Post
You need let tank cycle before adding fish, usually takes about 3wks.

As far as CO2 you need it for some plants others you donít but if you do use it, it needs to be in balance with fert and light.

So you also need to be worrying about proper lighting even if you donít go with CO2. What kind of light do you have?
Good question! I haven't set the tank up yet. It will be located in a very sunny room, my "plant room" as it gets full sun (south-southwest exposure and I have sheer white drapes).

I am in the process of digging out my old hood and deciding about light. The plants I bought (arriving next week) are all mid-level in terms of light. The tank will be in front of the west-facing window.

I am following the advice to not even think about adding fish for at least 1 month, and then, just one guppy or platy. I figure it will give me a chance to see how the plants are doing, how much algae, etc. so I can adjust the light from there. Any suggestions will be helpful!
ontheedge is offline  
post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-04-2019, 10:45 PM
Planted Member
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: 67212
Posts: 170
Quote:
Originally Posted by ontheedge View Post
Good question! I haven't set the tank up yet. It will be located in a very sunny room, my "plant room" as it gets full sun (south-southwest exposure and I have sheer white drapes).

I am in the process of digging out my old hood and deciding about light. The plants I bought (arriving next week) are all mid-level in terms of light. The tank will be in front of the west-facing window.

I am following the advice to not even think about adding fish for at least 1 month, and then, just one guppy or platy. I figure it will give me a chance to see how the plants are doing, how much algae, etc. so I can adjust the light from there. Any suggestions will be helpful!

At this point your 2 key points to get right are lighting and circulation. Doubt very seriously your filtered window light will grow much of anything on its own. At bare minimum youíll probably need a dual bulb t8 fluor. strip on a timer set for like 9am-3pm cycle to supplement it.

Circulation. Get this wrong and your whole tank will suffer. In a 29gal youíll need 1 output top right blowing a nice rippling current, you donít want huge water drop off causing huge amounts of bubbles (which actually drives off co2 from your water much like putting a air stone in tank), just a nice brisk ripple of water surface movement kind like a light rapids. This will sweep water around and down front glass and across your substrate bed right to left. Then back left of tank add a 2nd med flow nozzle or water circulator blowing down back glass left to right.

Your setting up a lightly brisk rotating roller coaster current in tank that will sweep gases and nutrients around and into gravel bed, making little micro currents through substrate. In a tank like this, it is one of the most important things to get right from start. In a low maintenance planted tank like your going for maintaining the substrate health is critical, it is the most important filter in your tank.

Set up right, once plant roots get situated in gravel and itís all functioning properly when you get fish load to plant load balanced in it can be a almost self sustaining ecosystem. The huge surface area of a substrate bed has way more biological processing power than your foam block etc in filters, and it does it right where plants roots are, ready to uptake it.

Usually for type tank your doing I still prefer just using a more common blast sand type substrate mostly. 1mm+ sized. Usually lay down layer of fluorite clay/blast sand 50/50 mix about 1/2-3/4Ē thick on bottom. Lightly pepper surface of that with peat pellets or coco peat to get touch of organic matter in substrate then cap it with 1.5-2.5Ē of blast sand.

Itís easy to plant and some of the specialized plant substrate can be a little to abrasive for stuff like Cory cats and loaches to root around in. It can also save you a load of cash and perform just as well as more expensive stuff.
ontheedge likes this.
DaveKS is online now  
post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-05-2019, 12:34 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
ontheedge's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: May 2019
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 6
Thanks!
I'm posting a step-by-step diary.

I retrieved my old tank, cleaned and placed the tank today. Ouch, damn thing is heavy, Tylenol time.

Tomorrow, substrate. I plan on a sheet of peat moss with 5 lbs Leonarite, then I have 3 -15lb bags of Flourite Black for the top. If this doesn't bring me up to 3" (higher in back) I may add black sand. It is important to me that the peat layer doesn't show at the edges, so I'll have to finesse that. Do you think 5 lbs is too much Leonardite?

I have the original hood and cover; I will have to decide on new lights. 2 pieces Mopani driftwood is soaking in a bucket to remove tannins.

I have a small CO2 system on order, as well as a new pump, which I hope is not like Niagra falls, like my old one.

Previously (5 years ago) I have a gorgeous female betta sorority that collapsed after about a year. Trying to learn what I did wrong. Lesson #1: DO NOT SPEND $45 on a fish if you're not a pro!! Lesson #2: Don't believe it when the Petco guy says the teeny pleco you like "won't grow that big." (Define "big.")
sittinglynx likes this.
ontheedge is offline  
post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-05-2019, 12:43 AM
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Feb 2019
Posts: 31
So I have my 55 gal in front of a window. What I have done is applied a window film over the pains that block heat & UV rays. You can find it at Home Depot or Lowes. It's not cheep, but it will work. In addition to that, I have a curtain drawn down & a back drop decorative paper on the back of the tank. I believe that will keep algae from growing and the fish to recognize the tank lights and not the rising sun as their daytime light. The window film shades the pains just a bit but isn't noticeable as different from the rest of the windows from the outside of the house, unless your know what you're looking for. I hope that helps with a few of your questions with your current plans. Goodluck
ontheedge likes this.
sittinglynx is offline  
post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-05-2019, 01:00 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
ontheedge's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: May 2019
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 6
Yup, if the window light proves a problem, I'll just get mini blinds and keep them shut; I don't think I have to get too high-tech. That way, if I need supplemental light in the winter, I can open them.
sittinglynx likes this.
ontheedge is offline  
post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-05-2019, 01:36 AM
Planted Member
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: 67212
Posts: 170
Quote:
Originally Posted by ontheedge View Post
Thanks!
I'm posting a step-by-step diary.

I retrieved my old tank, cleaned and placed the tank today. Ouch, damn thing is heavy, Tylenol time.

Tomorrow, substrate. I plan on a sheet of peat moss with 5 lbs Leonarite, then I have 3 -15lb bags of Flourite Black for the top. If this doesn't bring me up to 3" (higher in back) I may add black sand. It is important to me that the peat layer doesn't show at the edges, so I'll have to finesse that. Do you think 5 lbs is too much Leonardite?

I have the original hood and cover; I will have to decide on new lights. 2 pieces Mopani driftwood is soaking in a bucket to remove tannins.

I have a small CO2 system on order, as well as a new pump, which I hope is not like Niagra falls, like my old one.

Previously (5 years ago) I have a gorgeous female betta sorority that collapsed after about a year. Trying to learn what I did wrong. Lesson #1: DO NOT SPEND $45 on a fish if you're not a pro!! Lesson #2: Don't believe it when the Petco guy says the teeny pleco you like "won't grow that big." (Define "big.")
Yes, we all learn hard lessons on this journey. #1 most pet store employees are idiots.

Never used leonardite so canít help your there. Peat sheets not sure how thick a sheet your plannig but found being bit more modest than what you 1st envision is usually the right choice. Black fluorite is one gravel types I donít like for bottom grazers like Cory etc, I would cut it 50/50 with black blast and very top .5Ē+ go almost all blast. Youíll find as you plant/re-plant and root around in gravel blast will kind of settle into fluorite, keep little black blast in reserve so you can strew it over top so you can keep top layer tidy.
DaveKS is online now  
post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-06-2019, 03:48 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
ontheedge's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: May 2019
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 6
Sorry; I don't understand what "running a line" is when making a filter. I just had a standard back-hanging one in my last tank; since it's only 29 gal., I didn't think any more was necessary. I also don't know what "black blast" is, either. I've seen some put black aquarium sand over the Flourite Black for the reason you mentioned; bottom feeding and it helps the plants stay upright when first planted. So "they" say. For everything I've read, I've read the opposite. It seems fish (and plants) have to die getting everything set.
ontheedge is offline  
Reply

Tags
co2, new tank, new tank help

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the The Planted Tank Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome