Starting my first planted tank. Could use some help. - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-26-2012, 08:40 PM Thread Starter
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Starting my first planted tank. Could use some help.

Hello, Just signed up to the forums but have been lurking for a few weeks. The creative energy and civility of everyone here is quite impressive.

This is my plan so far.

Tank: 56g Marineland Column 30x18x24

Filter: Fluval 306 canister

Lights: T5-HO Freshwater Linkable Light Fixture - 2 x 24 W - 30" (with whatever stock lights come with it) and I'll stick a Coralife 50-50 T8 in the fixture that comes with it.

Substrate: This is where I'm not to sure. At work I can get the 8.8lb bags of Fluval Plant stratum for about $21 each with my discount. ADA is available at another place but i'm not sure how much I will need, and it is rather pricey. Also thinking of trying the Miracle Grow Organic method I have read about here. Any suggestions would be much appreciated.

Heater: 300w Top Fin (petsmart brand)

Flora: Brazilian Pennywort
Dwarf Hair Grass (or another low growing carpet plant)
Various Crypts
A Sword for bg
Aponegenton Ulvaceus
Marimo balls (perhaps impaled on a driftwood tree?)

These are a few that have caught my eye

Fauna: A lovely Betta (half moon perhaps)
Celestial Pearl Danio (6-10 depending on cost)
Neons (10-15)
Ottos (3-4)
RCS (Many)
2-3 Bamboo shrimp
Nerite snails (a couple)

That's my plan so far. Any suggestions would be great. Also if anyone has aquascaped a tall aquarium I'd love to see some pictures for inspiration. Thanks in advance all.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-27-2012, 12:50 AM
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i wouldn't do the betta. they generally don't do well with tankmates, especially small things they can harass to death/eat, and schooling fish, which can stress them out. they also don't generally do well in large tanks just because they're used to smaller things. and then the flow that would come from a canister filter would be too high for them, it would probably tear up their fins. if you want a betta, i'd get a separate 5.5 or 10 gallon tank for one.

i don't think you should have a T8 and a T5HO bulb in the same fixture? i think it can ultimately fry the wiring, if you have two different types. you'd have good medium lighting with just the T5HO, according to this: https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/li...t5-t12-pc.html

that sword will get HUUGE. like... sometimes upwards of two feet. usually at least one foot. it might end up overcrowding your tank, but if you want to dedicate a lot of space for it then go for it because they're beautiful.

will your tank be covered? i've heard a lot of CPD's jumping. figure it will be, considering your lighting selection, but just making sure.

umm. and then if you're picky about little things, if you get nerites, they'll lay hideous blobs of white eggs that are near impossible to get off all around your tank. but if you don't mind that then it's okay.
also i'd consider getting more otos and supplementing their diet with repashy foods or algae wafers, they're a lot happier in larger groups. but 3-4 should be okay too.

as for scaping a tall aquarium, i'd make sure to use some driftwood. it's just a really good opportunity to use a tall branch, and turns out looking great.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-27-2012, 02:02 AM
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Glad to see you're making yourself known! I've just recently begun being sociable too

I don't know that 56g would be too big for the betta, but I'd be wary that he would slap around the other tank mates who encroached upon what he felt was his territory.

If you want to keep your snails in control, I've been really intrigued with Japanese trapdoor snails as of late. From what I've read so far they're live bearers, so no globs of eggs to deal with. Plus with 2-3, you should be solid.

The rest sounds good, aquascaping is an evolving art I've found. The more things you read between threads, forums, random articles and the occasional youtube video there is always some new bit of info to take into consideration.

Either way you go, good luck!

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“How is it that nature does this so effortlessly, while our tanks constantly teeter on the brink of eutrophic pollution (like EI) or apocalyptic famine (like PPS/Sears & Conlin)?”
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-27-2012, 02:03 AM Thread Starter
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i wouldn't do the betta. they generally don't do well with tankmates, especially small things they can harass to death/eat, and schooling fish, which can stress them out. they also don't generally do well in large tanks just because they're used to smaller things. and then the flow that would come from a canister filter would be too high for them, it would probably tear up their fins. if you want a betta, i'd get a separate 5.5 or 10 gallon tank for one.

i don't think you should have a T8 and a T5HO bulb in the same fixture? i think it can ultimately fry the wiring, if you have two different types. you'd have good medium lighting with just the T5HO, according to this: https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/li...t5-t12-pc.html

that sword will get HUUGE. like... sometimes upwards of two feet. usually at least one foot. it might end up overcrowding your tank, but if you want to dedicate a lot of space for it then go for it because they're beautiful.

will your tank be covered? i've heard a lot of CPD's jumping. figure it will be, considering your lighting selection, but just making sure.

umm. and then if you're picky about little things, if you get nerites, they'll lay hideous blobs of white eggs that are near impossible to get off all around your tank. but if you don't mind that then it's okay.
also i'd consider getting more otos and supplementing their diet with repashy foods or algae wafers, they're a lot happier in larger groups. but 3-4 should be okay too.

as for scaping a tall aquarium, i'd make sure to use some driftwood. it's just a really good opportunity to use a tall branch, and turns out looking great.
Thx for the tips. I can always get a desktop for a betta at a later date.

As for the light I meant that I could use the cheep t8 light that comes with the tank to supplement the t5. I figured with a 2ft tall tank I might need a bit more light reaching the bottom, but if the one I'm getting will be enough for a "low tech" set-up then I won't bother.

I love otto's so any excuse to get a few more wouldn't bother me

Thx for the info about the nerites, they are lovely but as they won't hatch without saltwater, I would prefer them to not mess up my tank.

Yup, I will be covering the tank. This will be "Cat TV" but I don't want them fishing.

Last edited by Chindogu; 04-27-2012 at 02:06 AM. Reason: missed something
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-27-2012, 02:14 AM Thread Starter
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Yup, betta's out, seem's to be the consensus thus far. I'll checked out those snails, they look pretty cool. I can see my ottos grooming the algae of their shells every now and then.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-27-2012, 02:21 AM
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i really think anything more than the T5HO would be too much light. even just an added crap T8. at 24 inches above the substrate you get medium light with the T5HO alone, provided it has a good reflector. even that might be a little bit high for "low tech".
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