Setting up first low tech planted tank - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-14-2016, 12:56 PM Thread Starter
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Setting up first low tech planted tank

Thank you for your time.
I'm trying to buy everything to setup a low tech planted tank for my husband for Christmas. He's kept fish for the past 16 years and has wanted to get into planted tanks for a few years. I know only the basics from hearing him talk so I'm reading what I can find to figure out everything he will need to get started. I've read through a few different, what seem like contridictive, sites I'm confused and obviously don't want to ask too many questions of him.
If someone would please take a look at the list I've compiled and tell me if I'm at least on the right track I would be very grateful.
This is the tank I found it's said to be a good starter plus he wants rimless Ehein 9g Aquastyle aquarium has a good light for low tech.
He likes Seachem products:
Neutral Regulator for ph conditioner and obviously he already uses prime.
Test kits:
API Freshwater Master Test kit and API GH and KH test kit.
Substrate:
I was a little confused. I'm getting the Caribsea Eco-complete and the Caribsea Floramax sand. Will these work well together? Neither of us really like the look of gravel. Do I still need a fertilizer or will time tell?
Yesterday while looking for products for macro and micro nutrients I found these.
Seachem plant pack enhancer NHP for nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium and Seachem plant pack fundamentals for Flourish, flourish excel, and flourish iron.
Then of course there is the question of do I need co2? I've read the flourish excel is a good alternative in low tech tanks.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-14-2016, 06:55 PM
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In my opinion your on the wrong track. Not because of what you selected, but because your trying to buy something that is very specialized for some one that has very specific ideas about what they want. I think your best move would be to give a check or gift card. That way he can spend the money where he sees the need, and not have to make a lot of returns because you bought what he isn't interested in using.

A side story...
I have been interested in tropical fish since I was in my mid-teens. This was longer ago than I'd care to admit. I can still remember the many times my parents would try to buy aquarium stuff for me, and it seem they always got just exactly the wrong things. Because they got them from some local hobby shop, that had a minimal level of aquarium stuff, I couldn't even return the wrong stuff and get something useful. This ended up with me having a lot of really lousy birthdays and Christmas days.
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Last edited by DaveK; 09-14-2016 at 06:59 PM. Reason: reword part of the post
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-15-2016, 11:45 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by DaveK View Post
In my opinion your on the wrong track. Not because of what you selected, but because your trying to buy something that is very specialized for some one that has very specific ideas about what they want. I think your best move would be to give a check or gift card. That way he can spend the money where he sees the need, and not have to make a lot of returns because you bought what he isn't interested in using.

A side story...
I have been interested in tropical fish since I was in my mid-teens. This was longer ago than I'd care to admit. I can still remember the many times my parents would try to buy aquarium stuff for me, and it seem they always got just exactly the wrong things. Because they got them from some local hobby shop, that had a minimal level of aquarium stuff, I couldn't even return the wrong stuff and get something useful. This ended up with me having a lot of really lousy birthdays and Christmas days.
Thank you for your input that really helped. I didn't think about that; he's just been putting it off so I wanted to do it for him. After seeing your post I talked to him now we're working on it together. He's excited about the things I picked but did make a few tweaks. Thank you for your honesty.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-15-2016, 12:31 PM
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The gesture of your thoughts was very kind and I'm sure your husband was really touched by it. I agree with @DaveK in that there are so many ways that someone can set up a tank. There are just so many options from the size of the tank, to the filtration, substrate, plants, fish, etc. I think, if you haven't already, is to reserve a day that you and your husband can go shopping, either online (a lot of things can be had for cheaper on Amazon tbh) or going to pick out plants/fish. Since your husband seems to have the fishkeeping knowledge already, he will have a good idea what type of equipment he wants. The fun part is deciding the flora and fauna that you want to keep in the tank, and also genuinely showing interest in a hobby he has a passion for. There's nothing better than sharing your hobby with the people close to you. Good luck!

Love your tanks and they will love you back
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-15-2016, 08:42 PM
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You could just get a tank, no? If he's always kept fish then I'm sure it will at the least get filled with something. He can figure out the equipment and doodads later. Maybe you already have a space for where it would go in mind and since you live there you know what would work.

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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-15-2016, 11:34 PM
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Originally Posted by teatimecrumpet View Post
You could just get a tank, no? ...
I'd say no. Even if the space is already selected, there can be a lot of differences in tanks. Tanks of similar capacity can have very different shapes. Some people like bow fronts. Some like a different finish.

There are also different brands. I might like one brand of tank and you might hate that brand to the point where you'd never own it.
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