Newbie needing help 29 gallon - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-22-2005, 05:51 AM Thread Starter
 
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Newbie needing help 29 gallon

I finally got my tank started somewhat. I have the following

Fish:
4 Turquoise Rainbowfish
4 Zebra Danio
2 Swordtails
2 Long fin ruby barbs
1 algae eater

Plants:
Java Fern
Mondo Grass
Anachris (sp?)
Anubias
Crypt

Florescent Light
Undergravel Filter
Power Filter

excel for Carbon
And a fertilizer

Any advice would be welcome
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post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-22-2005, 08:24 AM
 
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What does it have for light? The regular strips the 29g come with are 20 watt and nowhere near enough to grow anything. I had 2 stips on mine at one point and couldn't grow a thing.
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post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-22-2005, 08:43 AM
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tank looks great and I love that dog air thing! where did u get that??

how many WPG are you getting??? You might want to setup a DIY c02 if you have enough light ...and I see on the rear of your tank you have the bubbles going...really do not need that in fact are kind of hurting yourself by agitating the c02 for the plants...if u wanted to run bubbles I would do it at night only when the plants are sucking in oxygen.....great tank keep it up!
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post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-22-2005, 01:30 PM
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actually the bubbles and surface turbulance are equalizing the gas levels between the ambiant air and the water. If no co2 is being added this is better than having no co2. Because at a minimum you are replacing what the plants use to a degree. Still if the light is sufficent then you are better off diching the bubbles and going for co2
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post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-22-2005, 01:31 PM
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Oh and keep the dog on hand, there is a sillyscape contest that I would love to see it in! You can see last years in the lounge
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post #6 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-22-2005, 02:19 PM
 
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Bummer, no way to delete when you accidently dup a message.
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post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-22-2005, 02:19 PM
 
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Someone please correct me if I'm wrong but isn't a UG filter bad for plants?
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post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-22-2005, 02:43 PM
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If I remember correctly, mondo grass is not an aquatic plant, and it will eventually die under water.

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post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-22-2005, 02:55 PM
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Comments and questions:
1) what in the wide world of sports is the object in the bottom center, just below the left most fish?
2) VERY low light. I don't know if you will get any growth. Consider adding a light, even if you double it to 40 watts, its still a low light tank. Low light is fine for growing some plants, like your java fern and anubias.
3) No real need to add CO2 to a low light tank, looks like you want to keep it simple, and since you are dosing excell that helps
4) Ditch the mondo grass, its gonna rot eventually. Not a true aquatic plant.
5) If you ever decide to tear this down, I would definetaly replace that gravel with a plant friendly substrate, like flourite or Eco-complete, and I would ditch the UGF in favor of a HOB or canister.
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post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-22-2005, 03:56 PM
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Dont get overwhelmed though, you can have a great looking tank, with what you have. With the exception of lighting, you will probabally have to increase it to keep your plants healthy.
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post #11 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-22-2005, 04:07 PM Thread Starter
 
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I got the dog at Animal World in Chicago. His name is Chip.
The wierd looking thing in the picture is a little bridge.
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post #12 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-22-2005, 04:17 PM
 
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You came to the right place to get good advice -- I've found great help and support here! I have a newly started (February) 29 gallon as well, and I'm still using the lights that came with the tank while I save up for upgrades.

I'm planning to replace my plastic hood and light strip with a glass top and a 65w Coralife fixture, and to add DIY CO2 of some sort in the next few months, but for the moment my plants are limping along with Flourish and the Flourite in my substrate (I did a mix of Flourite and black gravel). When I upgrade the lights and get the CO2, I will lose the bubbles that I have going from a bubble wand -- but in the meantime, the fish seem to enjoy them, so I'm leaving it running.

Just FYI in case you're wondering how your plants will do while you wait to upgrade your lights or add CO2, I have found that my java fern is doing quite well (putting out plantlets and new leaves from the rhizomes) and my wisteria and swordplant are growing slowly, but the new growth seems healthy and the plants have put down big, strong root systems. My cabomba is a disaster, though.

It looks like your tank's off to a great start -- I look forward to seeing both of our 29's evolve over time! (By the way, I have danios and swordtails in my tank as well -- and a few otos and ghost shrimp).
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post #13 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-22-2005, 06:51 PM
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I was able to grow some sword plants under that lighting in my 29 when i first started, along with anubias. Everything else was just kind of clinging to life. Those lilly plants that they sell in packs as bulbs are one of teh few plants that actually thrived in my 29 with only 20 watts. I tried westeria, and it seemed to grow little by little until i noticed that the bottom stem had started to rott away. I tried cutting it and replanting a couple of times but gave up. Might have been because i was using plaing gravel.

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post #14 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-22-2005, 07:56 PM
 
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The light level is way too low to grow anything, you need to look into better lighting. Mondo grass is just something that some stores sell as an aquatic plant but it is not and will not grow at all under water, so pull it up and go plant it in your yard for a nice little lawn plant. Love the dog by the way!
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post #15 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-22-2005, 09:31 PM
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These guys will definately help. Now it's really a decision for you on how far you want to go. You can have a low light tank thats easy to maintain with some fairly attractive plants. You can also go with high light (120Watts or more) dosing daily cutting weekly growing rare and marvelous plants. You could go right in the middle, too.

It all seems intimidating at first but it gets easier as you go on. Several months ago I had a sick tank and killed 30 or 40 bucks worth of plants. SO I listened to these guys and while I haven't bought new plants yet the tank is thriving. Decide how far you want to go before you start.

The easiest fix for the light is the 55W CF (compact Flourescent) fixture from ahsupply.com. It will easily fit in the strip that comes with a 29 and will get you above 2WPG (watts per gallon). That should be more than enough light to get things going.

DIY CO2 is pretty easy and cheap to do and well documented on this website.

A fertilizer regimen costs a little but will make the biggest bang for the buck (besides the light). It's complicated to start but gets a heck of a lot easier after a little time. Most people don't even test anymore and some are using Tomm Barr's Method where you never test. Daily dosing gets as routine as feeding.

So take it easy and enjoy this hobby. Don't make it work or you won't want to do it.
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