Ask Me Anything; help for beginners - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 286 (permalink) Old 03-13-2018, 01:40 PM Thread Starter
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Ask Me Anything; help for beginners

Heya folks,

I've got some time on my hands these days and thought I'd open the floor to anyone who's got a question about aquatic plants/planted aquariums. I'll do my best to answer in as much detail as possible.

Cheers,
Phil

<edit>
Some months past I started writing a guide to planted aquaria and got through a couple, but not all of the planned parts. Here are a couple links to those parts. The glossary section isn't meant to be read through all at once and will be overwhelming for most hobbyists as I included a number of technical terms used only in some of the most specific technical discussions. However, all of the terms in this thread should be in here. Unfortunately, I can't edit it past where it is now as it was posted on a different account that I can't be bothered to try reinstating just to make a few edits here and there.

Part 1- Lexicon/Glossary, and basic discussion of Balance, Filters and Filter Media, Lighting, CO2 supplementation
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/8-...-aquarium.html

Part 2- Nutrients and Nutrient Supplementation
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/11...ml#post9960202
</edit>

Last edited by Phil Edwards; 03-24-2018 at 04:33 PM. Reason: Added Guide to the Planted Aquarium pts I and II
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post #2 of 286 (permalink) Old 03-13-2018, 06:54 PM
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Not quite a beginner, but as long as you're here: should I go with API for a test kit? I've been hearing that their nitrate test isn't the most reliable.
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post #3 of 286 (permalink) Old 03-13-2018, 07:02 PM
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what type of filter would you suggest for a beginner with a 10 gallon setup without CO2?
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post #4 of 286 (permalink) Old 03-13-2018, 07:12 PM Thread Starter
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Not quite a beginner, but as long as you're here: should I go with API for a test kit? I've been hearing that their nitrate test isn't the most reliable.
If API is the best your local store has, then yeah, go with it. I'd go with Seachem's Nitrite and Nitrate test kit, but you may have to find that online. I've been to their labs and know they have legit scientists developing and testing their products so I feel comfortable recommending this kit.

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what type of filter would you suggest for a beginner with a 10 gallon setup without CO2?
I've always been a fan of the AquaClear series for small tanks. The only drawback is you'll have to keep the tank topped off to minimize agitation. The benefit is you can get a surface skimmer to go with it, which is a nice thing to have. Cobalt Aquatics also makes a great in-tank filter for small aquariums sold under the Clearvue series. I would recommend the 30 for a 10 gallon. If your budget allows there's always the Eheim Classic 150. The Classic series still maintains the quality of the original that newer series lack.

If I had the budget, the Eheim would be my choice. I work for Cobalt so feel a bit iffy pushing the Clearvue too much, but it really is a good in-tank filter and doesn't take up much room. I'd say the AquaClear 20 would be good for a 10 since it can be throttled down if needed.

Cheers,
Phil
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post #5 of 286 (permalink) Old 03-13-2018, 07:38 PM
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If API is the best your local store has, then yeah, go with it. I'd go with Seachem's Nitrite and Nitrate test kit, but you may have to find that online. I've been to their labs and know they have legit scientists developing and testing their products so I feel comfortable recommending this kit.
The good LFS in town can probably special order anything I want, it might just cost a fortune. (Everything there is expensive.) I'll see what they have in stock.
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post #6 of 286 (permalink) Old 03-13-2018, 07:51 PM Thread Starter
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Dogwood,

You probably don't need to go to the "good/more expensive" LFS. I'm 99% sure another store orders from the same distributor and I know for sure that Seachem sells to all the major distributors out there. Try going to your normal independent LFS and ask to special order it.
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post #7 of 286 (permalink) Old 03-13-2018, 07:58 PM
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Dogwood,

You probably don't need to go to the "good/more expensive" LFS. I'm 99% sure another store orders from the same distributor and I know for sure that Seachem sells to all the major distributors out there. Try going to your normal independent LFS and ask to special order it.
The more expensive LFS is the one that isn't Petco. If it was just one being more expensive than the other I'd probably shop more than one store. I still do somewhat. They've got some REALLY nice setups and equipment, but a lot of it's out of my price range right now.
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post #8 of 286 (permalink) Old 03-13-2018, 08:02 PM
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The good LFS in town can probably special order anything I want, it might just cost a fortune. (Everything there is expensive.) I'll see what they have in stock.
Why don't you just purchase it online? I'm sure Amazon or bay has it.
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post #9 of 286 (permalink) Old 03-13-2018, 08:05 PM
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Please suggest what plants can I use for this hardscape layout. The current tank is only a training tank, it will go in a rimless 20 gallon long. Thank you.
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post #10 of 286 (permalink) Old 03-13-2018, 08:10 PM Thread Starter
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Please suggest what plants can I use for this hardscape layout. The current tank is only a training tank, it will go in a rimless 20 gallon long. Thank you.
That's a nice wood arrangement Sobo. Could you please tell me more about the hardware you'll be using? Will you have high/low light, CO2/no CO2, etc.

Cheers,
Phil
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post #11 of 286 (permalink) Old 03-13-2018, 08:14 PM
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Hi, these will be certainly a high-tech setup. Aquasoil, co2, surface skimmer the whole deal. I have kept a collecteritis tank for the last three years so I think I can grow medium difficulty plants.
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post #12 of 286 (permalink) Old 03-13-2018, 08:46 PM Thread Starter
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For a Nature Aquarium style
HC for the ground cover
Staurogyne repens and moss covered rocks intermixed along the inner edge of the wood
Blyxa japonica for the left front and along the lowest branch of the left wood group (this is to hide the bottom parts of the stems behind)
Anubias nana 'Petite' on the wood
A mix of your preferred stemplants in the rest of the space.

For just a general "planted aquarium with the good stuff" with species chosen from Tropica's 1-2 Grow tissue culture series that I remember the store I worked at was able to get. They don't necessarily need to be the Tropica stuff it was just a good list to go by.

Well defined groups of:
Pogostemon helferi "Downoi"
Helianthum tenellum
Pogostemon erectus
Rotala 'Bonsai'
Alternanthera reineckii 'Mini' (way overused these days, but is a good size for a 20L)
Rotala macrandra
Heteranthera zosterfolia
Saggiteria subdulata
Weeping moss for the wood, or a bunch of different Bucephalandra, up to you.


For my next trick; tell me what fish you want to keep and I'll do a plant list for them.

Cheers,
Phil
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post #13 of 286 (permalink) Old 03-13-2018, 09:14 PM
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Cool Couple newbie questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Edwards View Post
Heya folks,

I've got some time on my hands these days and thought I'd open the floor to anyone who's got a question about aquatic plants/planted aquariums. I'll do my best to answer in as much detail as possible.

Cheers,
Phil
Hi Phil,
Thanks for volunteering to help.. I set up this planted tank last Saturday (see photo attached) , it's my 1st and here are my questions..

1.) based on the bubbles you see in the top center from the dispersion tube above it, is there too much water flow? is a lot of flow harmful to either plants or fish?

2.) based on the amount of light you see here, what plants should be moved to a different location to get more (or less) light from the LED?

3.) how long ( in hours) should I set a timer for on the LED, and does it make any significant difference to the fish or plants if I set the LED on during daylight, or at night when it's dark outside? the 20 gal tank ( with Pentax 1000 Elite canister) is in shade throughout the day..

Anyway Thanks again for the help..
JimS
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post #14 of 286 (permalink) Old 03-13-2018, 09:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Edwards View Post
For a Nature Aquarium style
HC for the ground cover
Staurogyne repens and moss covered rocks intermixed along the inner edge of the wood
Blyxa japonica for the left front and along the lowest branch of the left wood group (this is to hide the bottom parts of the stems behind)
Anubias nana 'Petite' on the wood
A mix of your preferred stemplants in the rest of the space.

For just a general "planted aquarium with the good stuff" with species chosen from Tropica's 1-2 Grow tissue culture series that I remember the store I worked at was able to get. They don't necessarily need to be the Tropica stuff it was just a good list to go by.

Well defined groups of:
Pogostemon helferi "Downoi"
Helianthum tenellum
Pogostemon erectus
Rotala 'Bonsai'
Alternanthera reineckii 'Mini' (way overused these days, but is a good size for a 20L)
Rotala macrandra
Heteranthera zosterfolia
Saggiteria subdulata
Weeping moss for the wood, or a bunch of different Bucephalandra, up to you.


For my next trick; tell me what fish you want to keep and I'll do a plant list for them.

Cheers,
Phil
Thank you Phil!
For fish, I'm thinking a trio of dwarf gouramis (1 male, 2 females) and a school of red neon tetras.
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post #15 of 286 (permalink) Old 03-13-2018, 10:10 PM Thread Starter
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You're quite welcome. The second of the two lists would be better for the gouramis.
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