My first attempt, please help - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-07-2011, 02:55 PM Thread Starter
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My first attempt, please help

This is my first post on this forum (new member) and also my first step into planted tansk, so please be gentle.

I have had my Fluval Edge running for over a year now with some boring gravel in the bottom and putting potted plants in every few weeks. After visiting my local tropical aquarium and seing a Fluval Edge planted I thought it was time to take the plunge and have a go. I have bought some substrate as recommended by the shop (oliver knott nature soil in black). My plan tonight is to empty all the fish out into my other tank while this one is being worked on. Clean the tank out (keeping the water to go back in) empty the bag to give a 3cm or so depth all around the tank (do not rinse the substrate are the instructions on the bag) then slowly put the water back in the tank. I have got the M11 lights upgrade so its nice and bright. My next problem is what to grow, my plan to start with is to just get a lovely deep lush green grass covering most of the floor, can people please let me know what would be an easy to grow grass that is nice and dense ?

Am I roughly going in the right direction ? I know I will need a CO2 if I want to really start putting some exciting plants in at some point (looking at the fluval mini CO2) do I also need any fertilizer etc.. When will I know its safe to put my few Tetra's and shrimp back in ?

Also is it difficult to plant grass while the tank has water in ?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-07-2011, 03:09 PM
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You should check out your local fish stores to see what plants they offer, write them down and come home and research their light/water/fertilizer/CO2 requirements. Petstores sometimes have a small book near the fish tanks, about aquarium plants, you can look up the plants you see in the store with it and get compatible plants. I personally think grass gets ugly in a tank and needs lots of mowing, I would do baby tears as a ground cover because they don't require lots of trimming and are easier to acquire. I would plant your taller background plants first and work forward so you can see the composition. When you're putting the water back in the tank, go ahead and do your weekly water change and add the new water 25-50%. You'll have to recycle the tank anyways because you're going to be cleaning the tank which will remove all that good bacteria, your fish will need to stay in the other tank for up to 8 weeks for it to cycle except for the sacrificial fish to start the cycle, unless you want to do a fishless cycle with pure ammonia. Plants like fertilizer (but some will be dangerous for you invertebrates (copper chemicals)). You should plant with water in the tank cause when you add the water after you're likely to disturbed the substrate no matter how careful you are and mess up all your hard planting efforts.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-07-2011, 03:16 PM
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You'll need to buy water test stripes, when nitrate and nitrite reads zero during cycling, you'll be able to reintroduce all fish. Look up tank cycling, there's millions of articles on it.

Last edited by pagemee; 12-07-2011 at 03:17 PM. Reason: spelling error
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-07-2011, 03:17 PM Thread Starter
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I like the idea of researching the plants thanks for that as I was worried I should be planting dry, means I can get my tank started tonight and spend a few days researching plants I want it very simple and my main thing is the flooring, will look into baby tears just looked and they look brill, easy to maintain and cover the floor well. When will I need to start looking into a CO2 unit ? also do i need to add any fertilizer to the water at this point ?
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-07-2011, 04:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steve-topia View Post
I like the idea of researching the plants thanks for that as I was worried I should be planting dry, means I can get my tank started tonight and spend a few days researching plants I want it very simple and my main thing is the flooring, will look into baby tears just looked and they look brill, easy to maintain and cover the floor well. When will I need to start looking into a CO2 unit ? also do i need to add any fertilizer to the water at this point ?
Id also do dwarf baby tears. No don't fert the water with no plants in it, you'll start growing algae lol. I don't think you need to wait 8 weeks for a recycle. Don't the edges have a little mini filter? Just leave the filter running when your done putting in the substrate and water. Drop a teeny pinch of flake food if your really worried about your bacteria dying. People are always afraid their bacteria will die.......it doesn't keel over and die like most seem to think. It takes some major abuse to kill off your bacteria colony. Or if you would just as soon take the filter off and leave it to dry out and not care about the bacteria, for around $7 you can get a bottle. Of safe start from your lfs. I've cycled 5 tanks all in about 3-4 days with safe start

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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-07-2011, 04:20 PM
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You won't need a CO2 unit if you stick to simple/easy plants. I too was obsessed with the idea of running a DIY yeast CO2 system, but my fish really are enough for the plants. Top 8 weeks to cycle, my brand new tank cycled in 3 weeks ftw.
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-07-2011, 07:56 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the help people, tank has been emptied and cleaned up, Oliver knott substrate in (used foil to stop it making water filthy when filling) looks brill just empty with the lights on what temp should I put my heater to (got it at 26 deg c at the moment) nexts step is finding some dwarf baby tears to carpet the bottom can't wait !!!! Then fish in !!!!


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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-08-2011, 01:27 PM
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Wouldn't go higher than 26C if you can help it. It's ideal temp for most plants.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-08-2011, 01:48 PM Thread Starter
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Okies 25-26 DegC it is.

I guess my next step now is to plant the tank, is it ok to plant HC (which I am guessing is the slang for Dwarf Baby Tears) just by draining the tank a little to stop the water overflowing, any tips on planting it ? Would like most of the bottom covering and thats about all I would like at the moment. Can I try a few pots and then just keep adding as I want more ?
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-09-2011, 04:33 PM Thread Starter
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Dwarf baby tears planted as best I can took me ages !!!


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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-15-2011, 11:17 PM
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That is an interesting substrate. Looks like boba for bubble tea. Is that a neon or a faded cardinal? You're planting efforts will pay off.
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-15-2011, 11:18 PM
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-16-2011, 11:32 PM Thread Starter
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It's a cardinal, bloody shrimps are pulling my HC up


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