Beginner, new tank, is it doing well? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-29-2019, 01:34 PM Thread Starter
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Beginner, new tank, is it doing well?

Hi All,

Total beginner here, and first post on the forum, so thank you all in advance for keeping this community up.

Saturday my wife and I started our first ever planted aquarium (and aquarium in general). We've had tons of fun making it, and it looks amazing (at least to us).

After filling it up and lighting it, the plants gave out tons of oxygen, there were bubbles everywhere, but since then, I haven't seen any noticeable photosynthesis activity and I'm wondering if something is wrong.

I've tried adding Flourish Excel, so far with no apparent effect.

Aquarium: We got the Aqueon 10 Gal kit, that comes with filter, hood with some lights and a heater.
Lights: Started with the kit lights then bought NICREW ClassicLED Plus LED Aquarium Light, Full Spectrum Fish Tank Light for Freshwater

Substrate: Carib Sea Eco Complete Planted Black Aquarium Substrate
Plants: We got a selection of plants at a highly rated LFS, really should have taken notes on the types.
Fish: Currently one Betta, would probably add a few neon tetra


This is just after planting - note the bubbles on the green carpet plant on the bottom right. Sorry for bad picture.


And a decent picture

Any advice would be great.
Thanks
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Last edited by somewhatshocked; 05-29-2019 at 01:44 PM. Reason: removed links that prevented post approval
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-29-2019, 07:07 PM
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Hmm,

welcome to the rabbit hole of planted tanks. hope you find success and stay for a while. I can't see your links because they seem to have been removed for some approval reason. Where are you linking the photos from?

Anyway, as a starter, you may want to spend some time at this site: https://www.advancedplantedtank.com/

It has a plethora of information for the beginner and is still a reference point for many who have been planting for a while.

As for some of your comments, you seem to have experienced what we call 'false pearling'. To get real pearling from photosynthesis might need a little more light, a little more co2, a little more fertilizer. A lot more reading

While real pearling is pretty to look at, it's not a requirement and/or guarantee of perfect plant health so don't get too caught up with it. The lot more reading is probably a requirement though. probably need some additional fertilizers besides flourish excel too.


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Last edited by ipkiss; 05-29-2019 at 07:20 PM. Reason: added afterthought.
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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-29-2019, 08:01 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by ipkiss View Post
Hmm,

welcome to the rabbit hole of planted tanks. hope you find success and stay for a while. I can't see your links because they seem to have been removed for some approval reason. Where are you linking the photos from?

Anyway, as a starter, you may want to spend some time at this site: https://www.advancedplantedtank.com/

It has a plethora of information for the beginner and is still a reference point for many who have been planting for a while.

As for some of your comments, you seem to have experienced what we call 'false pearling'. To get real pearling from photosynthesis might need a little more light, a little more co2, a little more fertilizer. A lot more reading

While real pearling is pretty to look at, it's not a requirement and/or guarantee of perfect plant health so don't get too caught up with it. The lot more reading is probably a requirement though. probably need some additional fertilizers besides flourish excel too.
Thank ipkiss,

I've been definitely doing quite a bit of reading, but I will keep at it. Didn't come across false pearling but I'll look into that.

It's good to know that if I don't have pearling it doesn't necessarily mean there's something wrong, that was my main concern.

And posting images again,


Showing pearling/false pearling


And no pearling the days after
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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-29-2019, 09:29 PM
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ipkiss is right on with his advice . The air bubbles come with filling a new tank , happens every time....lol All I would add is you say you have a Betta , but is the tank cycled ? Read up on the nitrogen cycle and if not cycled it should not be a big deal to get it cycled with the fish in . Get an API test kit and check daily for ammonia spikes . Read up on fish in cycling . Good luck
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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-30-2019, 12:06 AM Thread Starter
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ipkiss is right on with his advice . The air bubbles come with filling a new tank , happens every time....lol All I would add is you say you have a Betta , but is the tank cycled ? Read up on the nitrogen cycle and if not cycled it should not be a big deal to get it cycled with the fish in . Get an API test kit and check daily for ammonia spikes . Read up on fish in cycling . Good luck
Thanks Leeatl,

Betta seems to be very happy with his new tank. I did use API Quick Start a couple of hours before adding the Betta and obviously a water conditioner. Hopefully that worked well and the water is good but I did order an API testing kit so I can start testing the water.

How quickly would the fish suffer from increased ammonia?
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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-30-2019, 12:10 AM
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It doesn't look like you added any soil under your gravel. Personal experience: plants just don't do as well as with a soil-under-gravel-or-sand substrate.
For folks setting up new tanks, I've found this to work quite well.
In a dry tank, add about an inch or so of potting soil; organic works best, but avoid anything with perlite in it, lest it float free!
Add water to the tank to cover the soil; work the soil well as dry soil tends to repel water. It should be a soupy mix with a skim of water sitting on the surface.
Leave the top off the tank, put lights on the tank, and let the water partially evaporate. This will tend to compact the soil, and make it easier to add the substrate on top of it. This may take a week or two. When the top is crusty...
Sprinkle Black Diamond sand blasting sand (Harbor Freight has it cheap) on the soil, building it up to at least an inch everywhere, but higher in some areas for texture.
Put an inverted plate on the sand, and slowly add water; once you have a few inches of water, you can plant plants using forceps or even needle-nose pliers to carefully push the roots down through the sand and into the soil below it, or just wait until the tank is full of water and use forceps, etc. to plant plants. DO NOT try to do this with fingers as you'll just stir up the dirt and it will settle on plant leaves killing them, and take weeks to filter out of the water!
Doing it this way ensures that the water will be clean from the get-go ("dirty" water takes weeks to filter clean - don't ask, LOL)
Give the water a few days to season, and add lots of fish. LOTS of fish. Fish urine/mulm is the ideal fertilizer for the plants, as plants would prefer to absorb ammonia from the water over extracting Nitrogen from the soil.

Last edited by Paul1307; 05-30-2019 at 12:12 AM. Reason: added cautionary note
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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-30-2019, 12:53 AM
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Originally Posted by randomron View Post
Thanks Leeatl,

Betta seems to be very happy with his new tank. I did use API Quick Start a couple of hours before adding the Betta and obviously a water conditioner. Hopefully that worked well and the water is good but I did order an API testing kit so I can start testing the water.

How quickly would the fish suffer from increased ammonia?
Ammonia poisoning happens very quickly and with not much ammonia . It takes more than a couple hours to cycle a tank . You probably have enough plants to take care of the waste of one Betta , but testing is the only way to know for sure . Look up fish ammonia poisoning symptoms . You can Use Prime to detox the ammonia , but water changes are the only way to remove it effectively .
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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-30-2019, 01:02 AM
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looking nice. do you know what the purple plant on the right is? it looks like it might be a hemigraphis species and if it is then its probably not an aquatic plant.
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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-30-2019, 02:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul1307 View Post
It doesn't look like you added any soil under your gravel. Personal experience: plants just don't do as well as with a soil-under-gravel-or-sand substrate.
For folks setting up new tanks, I've found this to work quite well.
In a dry tank, add about an inch or so of potting soil; organic works best, but avoid anything with perlite in it, lest it float free!
Add water to the tank to cover the soil; work the soil well as dry soil tends to repel water. It should be a soupy mix with a skim of water sitting on the surface.
Leave the top off the tank, put lights on the tank, and let the water partially evaporate. This will tend to compact the soil, and make it easier to add the substrate on top of it. This may take a week or two. When the top is crusty...
Sprinkle Black Diamond sand blasting sand (Harbor Freight has it cheap) on the soil, building it up to at least an inch everywhere, but higher in some areas for texture.
Put an inverted plate on the sand, and slowly add water; once you have a few inches of water, you can plant plants using forceps or even needle-nose pliers to carefully push the roots down through the sand and into the soil below it, or just wait until the tank is full of water and use forceps, etc. to plant plants. DO NOT try to do this with fingers as you'll just stir up the dirt and it will settle on plant leaves killing them, and take weeks to filter out of the water!
Doing it this way ensures that the water will be clean from the get-go ("dirty" water takes weeks to filter clean - don't ask, LOL)
Give the water a few days to season, and add lots of fish. LOTS of fish. Fish urine/mulm is the ideal fertilizer for the plants, as plants would prefer to absorb ammonia from the water over extracting Nitrogen from the soil.

Not so sure that someone who doesnt have a grasp on cycling and parameters yet should be delving into capped soil tanks with lots of fish. Maybe the person can but to tear down and start over on there first tank like that seems like potential for disaster or just a headache.
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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-31-2019, 07:45 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Starwarsfan View Post
looking nice. do you know what the purple plant on the right is? it looks like it might be a hemigraphis species and if it is then its probably not an aquatic plant.
Thanks!

I wasn't smart enough to take notes when I bought the plants at the store, but looking through their website, my guess its CRYPTOCORYNE BLASSII

Also, here's an updated, close up photo, its not doing as well since being planted.



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Not so sure that someone who doesnt have a grasp on cycling and parameters yet should be delving into capped soil tanks with lots of fish. Maybe the person can but to tear down and start over on there first tank like that seems like potential for disaster or just a headache.
So first of all, happy to report that Ammonia, Nitrate and Nitrite are all at 0ppm and PH is at 7.8.

I'm not totally clueless, but definitely need help, the tips and advice her so far helped a lot with making me feel more comfortable with the tank and what I'm reading.

So, thanks everyone!

I do have to say that as we added water to the tank after planting a few of the plants would just start floating up, it kept happening for 2-3 days where I would need to replant them somehow (god it's a pain when the tank is full of water).

But, yeah, I have no intention of rebuild from scratch right now, will see how this turns out.

But I am already excited about my next tank
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post #11 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-31-2019, 08:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Starwarsfan View Post
looking nice. do you know what the purple plant on the right is? it looks like it might be a hemigraphis species and if it is then its probably not an aquatic plant.
Quote:
Originally Posted by randomron View Post
Thanks!

I wasn't smart enough to take notes when I bought the plants at the store, but looking through their website, my guess its CRYPTOCORYNE BLASSII

Also, here's an updated, close up photo, its not doing as well since being planted.

I believe that is alternanthera ficoidea (hedge?), which is also not an aquatic plant... in any event it is most assuredly not crypt blassii.
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post #12 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-31-2019, 08:43 PM Thread Starter
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I believe that is alternanthera ficoidea (hedge?), which is also not an aquatic plant... in any event it is most assuredly not crypt blassii.
I'll make sure to check at the store next time I'm there, or just give them a call and update on the answer.

Not sure why so quick to assume it's not an aquatic plant. It was in a tank with tons of other plants at a quite impressive aquatic store. (Manhattan Aquariums on W 37th for those of you in NY)
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post #13 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-31-2019, 08:51 PM
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Bump:

So first of all, happy to report that Ammonia, Nitrate and Nitrite are all at 0ppm and PH is at 7.8.

I'm not totally clueless, but definitely need help, the tips and advice her so far helped a lot with making me feel more comfortable with the tank and what I'm reading.

So, thanks everyone!

I do have to say that as we added water to the tank after planting a few of the plants would just start floating up, it kept happening for 2-3 days where I would need to replant them somehow (god it's a pain when the tank is full of water).

But, yeah, I have no intention of rebuild from scratch right now, will see how this turns out.

But I am already excited about my next tank
Yeah sorry if my earlier response made it sound like you were clueless or what not, was not the intention (after reading it I could have worded it a little better). Just like any hobby jumping straight to lvl 10 is usually not the best way to enjoy/stay in the hobby. Atleast IMHO. Now as far as buying good equipment right off the bat Im all for that.
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post #14 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-31-2019, 08:53 PM
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I'll make sure to check at the store next time I'm there, or just give them a call and update on the answer.

Not sure why so quick to assume it's not an aquatic plant. It was in a tank with tons of other plants at a quite impressive aquatic store. (Manhattan Aquariums on W 37th for those of you in NY)
My local fish store has hedge in tanks for sale pretty much every time you go in there, doesn't make it an aquatic plant. I've seen hemigraphis/dragon's tongue being sold submerged in fish stores too, also dies slowly over months underwater :/

I'm assuming it is hedge because it looks exactly like hedge to me, the way it grows and flounders submerged.
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post #15 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-31-2019, 10:07 PM
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Beginner, new tank, is it doing well?

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So first of all, happy to report that Ammonia, Nitrate and Nitrite are all at 0ppm and PH is at 7.8.

Hi watching your thread with interest it was only a year ago that I spontaneously started a planted and wow what a learning curve.

Itís good your tank is cycled but I would expect Nitrates to be higher. What ferts are you using for the plants?


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