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post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-03-2012, 04:49 AM Thread Starter
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New here and looking for advice

I am looking at starting a 20-30 gallon long or a 40 breeder as a planted/shrimp tank. I just started with aquariums a few months ago but have been trying to research as much as I can about them. Currently I have 2 tanks running, a 14 gallon(community with 2dwarf gouramis, a German blue ram, 5 emerald green corys, 6 zebras, 2 mystery snails, and 7-8 ghost shrimp) I know it's over stocked but has been that way for over 2 months now with no issues. In that tank I have 6 bronze crypts, some water sprite, and frogs bit. My daughter's tank is a 10 gallon guppy/endler, with corys, tylo snails, rcs, crs, assassin snail, mystery snails, and ghost shrimp. She has dwarf hair grass that is spreading, anubias( unsure which types) and frogs bit. She has a brighter tank 2 25watt 6500k compact fluorescents. For the new tank I want it to be heavily planted with shrimp but not sure where to start really. I have been looking into a double sponge filter on a Powerhead, fluorite, and was wondering if LEDs would work instead of a tube lights. Other than that I am unsure what to do. Any advice is appreciated. Thanks.
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post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-03-2012, 06:52 AM
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Welcome to TPT!

This is a great forum and a resource - lots of things to read and learn.
I think you got the initial basics pretty much lined up: tank size, substrate, lighting, and filtration.

I would double-check your substrate choice: nothing really wrong with Flourite, I've been using it for over 10 years. If you are heavily leaning towards shrimp-centric tank, you might want to look at ADA's AquaSoil and similar as it might be more 'gentle' on the shrimp. If you do the calculations, the cost of AquaSoil will be pretty similar to other comparable substrates out there.

I hope someone else will chime in on the lighting, as I personally have no experience with LEDs. There are also a ton of posts on them on this forum.

Once you have your equipment finalized, set it up and let the tank cycle. Adding some water, some substrate in a bag, and filter material from your existing tanks will speed up the cycle. Adding a lot of fast-growing plants like Water Sprite, Water Wisteria, Hygro, L. repens will also help with the tank's long term health. Start looking into different types of mosses as that's what shrimp likes above all else. The SnS section of the forum is a great place to get the plants and the shrimp of your choice.

Best of luck

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post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-03-2012, 02:55 PM
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Have you considered spiral CFLs in clamp desk lamps or worklights for the new tank?


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post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-03-2012, 03:39 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the advice on the aquasoil. I googled it and the only place I can find that carries it is adg. I have been thinking about dwarf baby tears for the bottom and would like some driftwood with moss (unsure what mosses look best and will be the best fit for the tank will research though). If I can't find aquasoil soil in the area is there another recommendation?
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post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-03-2012, 03:40 PM Thread Starter
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Have you considered spiral CFLs in clamp desk lamps or worklights for the new tank?
I have thought of building a custom stand and hood for this tank and building a shop light setup into it. Carpentry is another hobby of mine.
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post #6 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-03-2012, 04:08 PM
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you should do it, check out the DIY section lots of stands and hoods. I built the stand for my 29 gallon pretty simple. Pictures are in the 29's journal.


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post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-03-2012, 04:16 PM
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Thanks for the advice on the aquasoil. I googled it and the only place I can find that carries it is adg. I have been thinking about dwarf baby tears for the bottom and would like some driftwood with moss (unsure what mosses look best and will be the best fit for the tank will research though). If I can't find aquasoil soil in the area is there another recommendation?
I would be amiss as a member of the Fraternity of Dirt not to recommend it.

Miracle Gro Organic Choice Potting Mix is a popular choice.

You can cap it with pool filter sand, small grain pea gravel, flourite etc.

The key to dirt is planning. Plan what plants you want and their placement ahead of time and get all the plants on hand when you setup the tank. put the dirt down, plant the larger plants, then cap. Small plants like dwarf hair grass I'd recommend planting after the cap, other wise you might bury them.
The reason for this is to avoid making a mess in the tank and mixing the cap with the dirt.


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post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-03-2012, 05:38 PM Thread Starter
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Being new to all of this still I to trying a keep a buffer zone where if I don't like something or kill it I can change with out much trouble. My other initial thought for a sub was pfs. Because of the clean look but thinking about it if I get dwarf baby tears or a hair grass growing good you won't really see the sub.
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post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-03-2012, 05:45 PM
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Being new to all of this still I to trying a keep a buffer zone where if I don't like something or kill it I can change with out much trouble. My other initial thought for a sub was pfs. Because of the clean look but thinking about it if I get dwarf baby tears or a hair grass growing good you won't really see the sub.
Definitely understand that. Flourite and Eco Complete are good choices. I have heard complaints about trying to get dwarf hair grass and other tiny plants to stay put in Eco Complete till they take hold. Flourite has more edges and uneven surface so it should help hold things better.

I have Flouramax and pea gravel in my 29, the flouramax has pretty sharp edges so it my not be the best choice.

If you go with a completely inert sub. like pfs or pea gravel I'd recommend root tabs to help rooted plants grow.


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post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-03-2012, 06:09 PM Thread Starter
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I have started leaning more towards the Flourite after reading some so that the plants will be able to get some nutrients from the sub w/o having to add tabs. I have some Boraras brigittae that I was considering moving to this new tank as well.
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post #11 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-03-2012, 08:29 PM
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I have started leaning more towards the Flourite after reading some so that the plants will be able to get some nutrients from the sub w/o having to add tabs. I have some Boraras brigittae that I was considering moving to this new tank as well.
A big school of those would look nice.


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post #12 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-03-2012, 08:37 PM
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I would be amiss as a member of the Fraternity of Dirt not to recommend it.

Get Dirt or GO Home !!!


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post #13 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-03-2012, 08:40 PM
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I get dwarf baby tears or a hair grass growing good you won't really see the sub.

If you're new, then trying to grow DHG and HC isnt what you want to attemp FIRST. With co2 and high light, I still havent sucessfully acheived HC.

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post #14 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-03-2012, 09:59 PM Thread Starter
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I have some DHG growing right now in my daughter tank. I do want something a little different for mine though. Any other decent "carpet" plants?
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post #15 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-04-2012, 01:15 AM
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This recent thread might help: https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/pl...ng-plants.html

IME, it's easier to plant tiny plants in AquaSoil then in Flourite.
Another source is https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/pl...ng-plants.html but they are almost out of stock atm. I'd call them first, talk to George and ask when their next container shipment is due. Not pushing or anything

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