29 gal with fish - now want to plant - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-13-2011, 12:32 AM Thread Starter
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29 gal with fish - now want to plant

Hello,
I have a 29G typical rectangular tank. I have lots of fish already in the tank and it has been established for over 5 years now.
I had many large fish for several years and had an infection that killed many and recently revamped the tank.

I am looking to plant it now to make it look much better.

I currently have plastic decorations that look like driftwood. They are pretty nice and look pretty well.

However I really would like to plant it with lots of green and red plants.

Issues:
1) Will this be hard since im already established? isn't the plant stage usually BEFORE the fish?

2) I dont want a high tech tank. Looking for plants that need little light because I dont want to have to change my hood for several hundred dollars.

3) I dont mind adding CO2 if it will help the plants to fluorish

4) I understand that some of my fish will pick and nip at these plants and it will be dificult to get them to thrive....

any help appreciated.
Here is a video link to my tank on you-tube.
link to video
thanks
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-13-2011, 12:36 AM Thread Starter
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Im looking for a tank that looks like the following:





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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-13-2011, 07:02 AM
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Haha I'm looking for a tank like #1 that too but they only exist in photoshop for me.

Your main problems here are trying to not disturb the existing creatures in your tank while trying to setup a planted environment. The substrate/gravel is going to be a challenge because looking at your tank video you'll want to change all that out. Something like the ADA-branded substrate or Eco Complete? I don't know what your water parameters are right now, but adding in something like ADA-branded substrate (Amazonia), it does alter the water PH a lot to make it a suitable environment for fish that do well in ph 6.5 or so (maybe less, I forget).

Your tank has lots of fish already too (I wouldn't add anymore because you have large guys in there like the gourami) so you don't want to do the substrate change that sudden. There's been a few threads already of people facing similar problems trying to setup a planted environment in an establish tank and basically you'll want to take out a few cups full of gravel and then place in new substrate. Depending how hearty and how patient you are, you could spread this out in 2 days or even longer (as longer is safer).

After you get the right substrate in there that will help plants excel, then it's up to you. The most basic things you need are better lighting, the aforementioned substrate change, and of course plants themselves. Tank picture #1 will require CO2, the other 2 I think could do well with Flourish Excel (liquid co2).
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-13-2011, 07:14 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for your response

I never thought of changing the substrate slowly - that means a lot.

I did think i would have to change it and since im not in a rush- what I will probably do is take out a few cups every 2 days until i get the level i need then add a few cups of the right substrate over time-- say 2 cups every 3 -4 days.

I already planned to add CO2 with a canister system like this one

These are cheap and seem good- i know you can make a home brew system but this seems cleaner- I dont think i want to get involved with metal refillable CO2 cans that are like industrial stuff.

I know my lighting is low but can anyone recommend a bulb that would fit my current hood and benefit me? or will the CO2 be plenty once i add it.

My current pH is around 6.6-6.8 which is ideal for most of my fish and the others that are supposed to be higher seem to be fine in this environment and not suffering-- its been that way for a while so maybe they've adapted.


any recommendations on plants that could live with ow maintenance, good ground cover, and grow pretty nicely without a lot of maintenence?
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-13-2011, 11:53 PM
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All those tanks have in common is that they are super clean and are good photographers, oh and trimmed nicely but you can do that.


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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-14-2011, 01:04 AM Thread Starter
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Here is another question, when you have a tank like this- do you have to remove and replant the plants every time you need to vaccuum and do a water change?

wouldnt that disrupt the plants and make the substrate/gravel look horrible?
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-14-2011, 01:17 AM
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Depending on how heavily you're going to be planting, you may not need to vacuum. The food and poop would break down and a lot of that can be absorbed by the plants
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-14-2011, 04:40 AM Thread Starter
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absorbed or turned into "dirt"?
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-28-2011, 12:36 PM Thread Starter
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next Q:
Been looking for ADA substrate (amazonia) cant get a google hit

any suggestions?
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