A novice requesting advice. - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-03-2017, 09:13 PM Thread Starter
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A novice requesting advice.

Iíve set up my first planted tank (actually my first tank period), but need some advice. I like the way it looks but Iím not sure what the next step is. Itís a 29g.

Its a mishmash of plants. Ive got some amazon swords and Anubis. Along with some gifted plants that I have no idea what they are.

Iím using Flourite for my substrate. I had lighting issues so I put in a Current LED light. Iím hoping between that and some CO2 dosing that they will bounce back.

Stocked with a variety of swordtails, panda corys and white clouds.

I tried to get some dwarf hair grass started but it didnít do so well (but thatís before the mollies were removed from the tank).

Iíd take any suggestions because Iím learning everything by trial and error.
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-03-2017, 09:26 PM
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Hello , welcome to the hobby and congrats on your first aquarium. I would say next step is to start reading as much as you can about different topics, starting to learn about what plants and fish you have in there and how to take care of them. There is alot to read, starting with this forum and more. Look for the podcast of Art Pennom , ScapeFU . It will give you an idea about what terms to search for.

Now for the suggested steps :

the plants in the back left corner, are not actual aquatic plants and will melt in time if kept submerged. The ones with the white edges. They do make quite nice house plants .

The anubias, the one near the rock, needs to have its rhizome above the substrate. The rhizome is the thick part from where the leaves and roots come from. You can tie it to the wood or rocks with a cotton thread or zip tie, but do not pull to hard.

You might also want to look into some fast growing stems such as Egeria, Cabomba. Some vallisneria or saggitaria will also look nice in your tank.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-03-2017, 11:54 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by dukydaf View Post
Hello , welcome to the hobby and congrats on your first aquarium. I would say next step is to start reading as much as you can about different topics, starting to learn about what plants and fish you have in there and how to take care of them. There is alot to read, starting with this forum and more. Look for the podcast of Art Pennom , ScapeFU . It will give you an idea about what terms to search for.



Now for the suggested steps :



the plants in the back left corner, are not actual aquatic plants and will melt in time if kept submerged. The ones with the white edges. They do make quite nice house plants .



The anubias, the one near the rock, needs to have its rhizome above the substrate. The rhizome is the thick part from where the leaves and roots come from. You can tie it to the wood or rocks with a cotton thread or zip tie, but do not pull to hard.



You might also want to look into some fast growing stems such as Egeria, Cabomba. Some vallisneria or saggitaria will also look nice in your tank.


I appreciate it. Those plants were sold by a ďbig boxĒ store as aquatic plants. I didnít know the difference. After researching, I couldnít find them anywhere. So I started replacing them with Amazon swords as I have the cash.

Iíll have to fix the Anubis when I do my after change.

I appreciate the suggestions. There is information out there, but at times itís overwhelming.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-04-2017, 12:03 AM
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The next step is to try out some new types of plants. Maybe some stem plants? Ludwigia, bacopa, and anacharis are all easy to care for and inexpensive.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-04-2017, 12:10 AM
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OVERWHELMING!!!!
Almost the name of the game when starting. So my advise? Do nothing very fast. Get the basics down by first checking that you have a good start. Know about the nitrogen cycle? It is going to be step one to keeping the alive, so do lots of checking there. We often call it the "cycle" but it is what takes the waste that becomes ammonia and processes it down to nitrate. Know that as a start and then you can go slower on lots of small points. Don't know about the cycle and it gets almost totally out of control!!
Once you see the how and why of the cycle, be very slow and careful when making changes to avoid killing too much of that good bacteria. I think of it as rocking the boat. Rock the boat as little as practical and not too big at the same times. Give the filter time to really get settled before cleaning it, don't clean and then rearrange plants on the same day.
Go easy, ask lots of questions until it makes sense and then you can begin to make changes if it feels right. Not many of us knew how to walk, talk, and chew gum at the same time when we started so no reason to expect anybody to know how to keep fish, raise plants, and have fun all at the same time.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-04-2017, 12:11 AM
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Don't wait too long on the anubius. It will rot. If it enough roots coming off the rhizome you can just pull it out slightly so the rhizome is above the substrate but the roots hold it down.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-06-2017, 11:36 PM
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Welcome! Get a water test kit, such as the API Freshwater Master Test Kit if you don't have one. That way you can keep an eye on ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and pH levels. If you ever have a problem, people will ask you for your water parameters. Also, the API GH /KH test kit and Phosphate test kit can be very useful. Don't bother with the multi-test paper strips, they are pretty useless.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-07-2017, 12:03 AM
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When I say to take it slow, I mean to take it slow on making major changes that may upset the tank and bacteria too much. Do not be slow to correct things like the plants being too deep. Notice a problem and see a solution? Correct those quickly but go slower when just thinking of moving/changing things to make it look better. Those are often fleeting moments that are best left to stew for a while?
Meanwhile I might suggest a move I would make. I can see liking the wood in the right corner looking a bit softer and more natural. My current favorite for this is Java moss as it is fairly cheap and easy to find as well as easy to "plant". One of the easy things as it lets you have all the advantages that lot of plants fight you doing.
Simple to take the wood out and while still wet, add a tiny amount of super glue and press some part of the moss into the glue. Since the glue worked by chemical reaction using the moisture, it really works fine on wet wood. Watch the fingers, though! And it sets so quick that you can set it back in the tank almost immediately. Biggest problem is the glue turns a garish white so go for the smallest amount possible.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-08-2017, 02:28 AM Thread Starter
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I appreciate all the advice. I did a fish less cycle. And boy did it turn ugly before it cleared up.

I test the water and have had little issues.

I fixed the Anubis and like the idea about the java moss.

Also an update from the last couple of days, 25 baby fry. We had to make a divider in the tank. They seem to be doing well at the moment. Thank goodness for google and knowing what to do with the little buggers.


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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-08-2017, 02:53 AM
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Oh my! So soon? you begin to see how this works? You get one thing almost settled so you set back and look and all of a sudden their a whole new direction to watch.
I'm guessing you may have a whole bunch of little orange guys like might pop from a sword? Now that is happening, it gives you all kinds of reason to add a bunch of plants for all those new folks to hide in to survive. Kind of like trying to catch a snowball rolling down hill! It can get way too big , way too fast if you're not careful you wind up with six tanks!!
Enjoy!
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-08-2017, 03:02 AM Thread Starter
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Yeah my girlfriend laughed when I said I think one of our fish came pre-pregnant.

Itís fun. Iím hooked. I would be dangerous if I had more money.


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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-09-2017, 03:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Brianhite360 View Post
Iím learning everything by trial and error.
That gets expensive and frustrating, but on the plus side, it is hands on which cool and you will still learn a lot, but it will take forever, so definitely couple that with a lot of reading .... Good luck
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-10-2017, 06:13 PM
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If you were gifted the plants on the right, they look like crypts which are great beginner plants because they are easy and look great.
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-17-2018, 03:37 PM Thread Starter
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A novice requesting advice.

Itís been a while. Iíve added some pennywort and hornwort to the tank. Iím pretty happy with it. The amazon sword ďgroveĒ is forming well around the pleco cave which the smarter half demanded.


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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-17-2018, 10:50 PM
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Looks good man. Good improvement. It looks to me that you need to increase your dosing of NPK a little. That Ceratophyllum (rightmost plant) will do great.

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