Noob to Planted Tanks (& this forum - need advice) - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-23-2018, 05:43 PM Thread Starter
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Noob to Planted Tanks (& this forum - need advice)

Hello! I've been doing a ton of reading on this site and thought I would post to elicit some answers specific to my setup(s).

I am very new to planted tanks (and this forum), though I have always had tropical aquariums growing up. I decided to start again to use the wastewater in my gardening and succulent propagation.

I ended up purchasing THREE Fluval Chi's (without stock light or filtration) on the cheap and decided to get into planted tanks (because, lets be honest. Real plants are waaaaayyy cooler than fake).

SETUP #1 - Petco Imagitarium Frameless 3.7g (4 months old)
Lightning: stock
Filter: stock
Heater: Aqueon Preset Heater 100W
Substrate: River Rock Aquarium Pebbles/Gravel
Flora: Amazon Sword Plant
Fauna: 1 betta

**Would like to switch this to a filterless setup and the requisite fauna needed to support that**
The Sword is doing fairly well with the stock light as my apartment is fairly well lit with natural light. I think the filtration needs to be modified because I dont think the betta enjoys the flow (he has a tendency to lean against the intake).

SETUP #2 (in progress; to be more of a true planted tank) - Fluval Chi 5g
Lighting: JackSuper Adjustable Light 5w 7500K (though I read something about 2w per gallon)
Filtration: Marina Slim S10 Power Filter
Heater: Aqueon Preset Heater 100W
Flora: Java Moss, Moss balls, Dwarf Baby Tears, ....?
Fauna: (Hopefully) 6 neon tetras/Fancy Guppies, and a couple of nerite snails
Substrate: Flourite Dark, manzanita driftwood (currently soaking in bleach mixture), HD black river stones



Questions:

Do I need to use (or is there any benefit to) using soil substrate (like Miracle Grow Organic) beneath the Flourite, or is it ok to plant directly in the Flourite?

I do not wish to get into CO2. Thoughts, recommendations on aquaculture supplementation (Thrive?)

Recommendations on filtration modifications/supplementation? Surface skimmer?

What other fauna would be recommended to flesh out the Imagitarium and Fluval? Lower maintenance options preferred.

How do I get the Java Moss to anchor to the driftwood? Will it naturally attach if I keep it in a spare tank with the water level low?

I would like to set up a subsequent Chi with perhaps a stronger light and filtration. Thinking of an AquaClear 20 and a Finnex Fugeray.

Pictures forthcoming. Thank you in advance for all of your feedback
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-23-2018, 07:02 PM
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Read through this website.
https://www.advancedplantedtank.com/

It has helped me a lot and I re-read and re-watch his video still.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-23-2018, 07:11 PM Thread Starter
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This is awesome, and exactly the type of resource I needed @swarley. Thank you!
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-23-2018, 07:13 PM
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Welcome to the forum!

Everyone has their own opinion about what is best and different experiences with what works best for them.

Personally I am a BIG fan of potting soil topped off with gravel. I started my 35g dirt bottom guppy tank about a year ago and quickly found that I did not need to add any fertilizers, nutrients, CO2 or other amendments and our plant growth has been excellent. The guppy procreation has also been outstanding.

I have no experience with a filter-less tank... I am kind of a filter junkie! If you do go filter-less make sure that you have some way to oxygenate the water. Plants will absorb O2 and release CO2 during dark periods which can be very hard on the fish.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-23-2018, 10:30 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks @oughtsiz! I was mostly motivated to try to go carbon-media-less after Petco stopped manufacturing media for the stock Imagitarium filter. (By filterless, I would probably move to an aquaponic filter instead of another carbon one... kind of like Elive does).
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-23-2018, 10:34 PM
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Yep. Dirt definitely works. My 10gallon with dirt (miraclegro organic potting soil 'moisture control') with Pool Filter Sand cap is doing hard work without CO2. Definitely not doing inert ..plant growth seems so much better with soil of some sort, regular or aquasoil. But thats just my short experience ofc.
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