Brand new to this... - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-08-2019, 03:18 PM Thread Starter
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Brand new to this...


Posted this in the intro section as well, but figured this forum was more applicable:

Picked up the 10ga Scaper's Tank Complete kit from my local shop, driftwood, heater, Flourite red, two nerites, stress coat, prime, and some plants.

I think I have one Anubis Nana, two Java Ferns, two bunches of Dwarf's Hair grass that I broke up a little bit, one clump of Hornwort, and some tiny duckweed.

Does anyone see anything that I should do differently? Any potential pitfalls I'm headed towards?

I was initially going to try a Walstad Method tank, but since it's easily been 15 years since I last kept an aquarium I figured I'd start with a traditional setup.

Two questions, I bought a little magnetic button thermometer and it's telling me that the temp in my tank is around 80-82 degree F. I'm using the flat Aqueon 15W heater... is this a bad choice?

I'd also really like to cover the back of the tank with maybe some sorta vellum or frosted plastic? I'd love to hide the cords from the filter, heater, and lights... Any suggestions on that? (probably should have done that before I filled it up.

Thanks!
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-08-2019, 04:58 PM
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Well two critical things are the lights and substrate used. These will usually dictate what you can grow, what you should dose and how long you should run your lights to avoid algae issues.

Other than the hairgrass, all those plants are pretty easy to grow. Hairgrass requires pretty good light and usually co2 to thrive. Also did you cycle the tank or did you just set it up.


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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-08-2019, 04:59 PM Thread Starter
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Well two critical things are the lights and substrate used. These will usually dictate what you can grow, what you should dose and how long you should run your lights to avoid algae issues.



Other than the hairgrass, all those plants are pretty easy to grow. Hairgrass requires pretty good light and usually co2 to thrive. Also did you cycle the tank or did you just set it up.


I just set it up yesterday. Planning on doing a fish less cycle.


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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-08-2019, 05:17 PM
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I just set it up yesterday. Planning on doing a fish less cycle.
I don't know if the nerites will survive. Not only in an uncycled tank but also the tank is brand new so their primary food source (algae) is not present at the moment. You drop in an algae wafer or blanched spinach. As I mentioned the hairgrass will probably die off without co2 and good light.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-08-2019, 05:21 PM Thread Starter
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I don't know if the nerites will survive. Not only in an uncycled tank but also the tank is brand new so their primary food source (algae) is not present at the moment. You drop in an algae wafer or blanched spinach. As I mentioned the hairgrass will probably die off without co2 and good light.


Gotcha, I guess weíll see on both. Iím using the Dennerle Power-LED 5.0, hoping that good enough for most of what I have. Havenít gotten into CO2 yet.

Iím also dosing with Prime for the cycle.


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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-08-2019, 08:15 PM
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Aqueous flat heater a bad choice, itís basically a heating pad thatís always on, no thermostat. Only thing that controls temp in your tank is room temp+aqueon = tank water temp.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-08-2019, 08:20 PM Thread Starter
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Aqueous flat heater a bad choice, itís basically a heating pad thatís always on, no thermostat. Only thing that controls temp in your tank is room temp+aqueon = tank water temp.


Gotcha. Thatíll be the first thing to go then.


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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-08-2019, 09:36 PM
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Other thing I see that bothers me is no water movement at surface. You want the high->low flow like you have now to keep substrate level flushed and well aerated but you also need some movement at water surface to promote good gas exchange and keep surface biofilm broken up. I would take that spraybar and drill 3, maybe 4 holes coming up at water surface at about a 20į angle.

You might just be able to pull that plug out of end and put right angle elbow and flow restrictor on end.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-09-2019, 03:59 PM Thread Starter
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Other thing I see that bothers me is no water movement at surface. You want the high->low flow like you have now to keep substrate level flushed and well aerated but you also need some movement at water surface to promote good gas exchange and keep surface biofilm broken up. I would take that spraybar and drill 3, maybe 4 holes coming up at water surface at about a 20į angle.

You might just be able to pull that plug out of end and put right angle elbow and flow restrictor on end.

I'll check that out tonight when I do the first water change!

Bump: I have another question...

I used Fluval's Flourite Red for the substrate as I wanted a planted tank. My question is... if I do ANYTHING in the tank that jostles a plant or the driftwood I get a ton of dust suspended in the water. With some water changes will this eventually die down?

Also, my filter cartridge is pretty red from that dust. I rinsed it out after filling the tank and that helped, but I just want to make sure this stuff is sustainable before I get too far along. I 'could' redo this tank with miracle-gro and gravel on top if needed (that's another option I've read while looking at Walstad tanks).

Thanks again!

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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-09-2019, 08:59 PM
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Fluorite which is made by Seachem requires massive amounts of rinsing before you ever put it in your aquarium to remove that dust. Like put 3” of it in a 5gal bucket and blast it with water hose for 15minutes type rinsing till water runs clear out of bucket.

Yea, that little internal filter sponge may clog quickly if you didn’t rinse fluorite properly. The dust will eventually get bound up with biofilm and be less prone to floating up.

Also you don’t use prime if your doing a fishless cycle, you want free ammonia in tank for cycle, prime neutralizes ammonia. Have no idea how your going to do a fishless cycle with nerites in tank.
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-09-2019, 10:16 PM
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I'd also really like to cover the back of the tank with maybe some sorta vellum or frosted plastic? I'd love to hide the cords from the filter, heater, and lights... Any suggestions on that? (probably should have done that before I filled it up.
Check out your local home improvement store and look at the white glass film. NO NOT do what I did and toss out the directions and then peel-n-stick. There are a couple of videos on YouTube about putting it on your aquarium.


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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-09-2019, 10:51 PM
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I have your same Dennerle kit and love it. Agree to lose the heater. The light that comes stock is not considered in the range of high light, but I've had great growth using it. I had every plan to swap it out but have decided to keep it. A plus is that those mounting rods that hold it in place are the exact same diameter of the larger Finnex strips so will hold those in place with a little tweaking if you decide you need to upgrade.

As mentioned, Flourite is notoriously dusty, but after a few times of substrate vacuuming and water changes you should be good to go. And seeing as it is already that clear and set up only yesterday, you may not run into much issue at all. If you have another tank to move the nerites to, I would do that and give this tank a month or two to mature.

I personally would lose the duckweed while it's easy to. If you'd like a more manageable floater, I'll send you some Salvinia minima for cost of shipping. Similarly, I am adverse to using hornwort in setups like these. Nothing too problematic, but it tends to grow really quickly and you can't let it get dense or else the inside shaded portions then lose leaves -or annoying little needles in this case. You're probably months from that even being a consideration, but if you do decide to toss it I'll send you some Rotala or Val to go in its place should you want the S. minima. Just an offer, you may love hornwort and duckweed!

All in all I thought this was a great little starter kit for the money and bought a second one I've yet to start on. If you get the baby protector for that filter it's a fantastic little shrimp set-up if that interests you.

Nothing good happens fast in an ecosystem.
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-10-2019, 01:41 AM Thread Starter
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I have your same Dennerle kit and love it. Agree to lose the heater. The light that comes stock is not considered in the range of high light, but I've had great growth using it. I had every plan to swap it out but have decided to keep it. A plus is that those mounting rods that hold it in place are the exact same diameter of the larger Finnex strips so will hold those in place with a little tweaking if you decide you need to upgrade.



As mentioned, Flourite is notoriously dusty, but after a few times of substrate vacuuming and water changes you should be good to go. And seeing as it is already that clear and set up only yesterday, you may not run into much issue at all. If you have another tank to move the nerites to, I would do that and give this tank a month or two to mature.



I personally would lose the duckweed while it's easy to. If you'd like a more manageable floater, I'll send you some Salvinia minima for cost of shipping. Similarly, I am adverse to using hornwort in setups like these. Nothing too problematic, but it tends to grow really quickly and you can't let it get dense or else the inside shaded portions then lose leaves -or annoying little needles in this case. You're probably months from that even being a consideration, but if you do decide to toss it I'll send you some Rotala or Val to go in its place should you want the S. minima. Just an offer, you may love hornwort and duckweed!



All in all I thought this was a great little starter kit for the money and bought a second one I've yet to start on. If you get the baby protector for that filter it's a fantastic little shrimp set-up if that interests you.


Hey! Man thanks for the offer, on the Salvinia! I may take you up on that. Wanna let everything settle for now.

Took the tank apart tonight and rinsed the Flourite. It would cloud the whole tank if I so much as stuck my finger into it. I just couldnít get passed it.

Also used the chance to rearrange some stuff:




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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-14-2019, 07:00 PM Thread Starter
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Wound up finding a 16" Finnex Planted+ on Craigslist for $30, so I swapped out the Dennerle for that. Looks MUCH nicer.

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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-20-2019, 03:44 AM
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Personally i think you should ditch the hairgrass or at least put it towards the back, then grab yourself some staurogyne repens which should do ok in your setup and serve as a low semi carpet plant
Another good option for nano tanks is Hemianthus glomeratus which is easy to grow and very versatile
Also remove your java fern from the substrate, the rhizome should be exposed, place it on the wood or stone (you can tie it or use superglue)


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Last edited by Remmy; 09-20-2019 at 04:13 AM. Reason: .
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