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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-08-2012, 04:03 PM Thread Starter
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New to planted tanks

Hi, I'm Barb, and I've just torn down a 65g reef aquarium...last night in fact. Too much work and expense.

I'm in the planning stages for a 50g breeder size tank. I'll be able to use my 65 stand and lights.
I have a photo of what I'd like to create, but how do I share that from my iPad?! iPads are great, but sharing photos can be a nightmare!

My plan: a simple elegant design...low growing plants all across the front, and all the way to the back on the right side. Piece if driftwood on the left, with a couple of graduated high plants behind the driftwood. Growing ON the driftwood, some short, spiky plants. That's it for plants. Fish stocking: blue discus and a large school of neon tetras. If I need some cleanup guys, those will be included, too.

I wanna post the photo here!

Last edited by BarbMazz; 09-08-2012 at 04:05 PM. Reason: Add photo
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-08-2012, 04:21 PM Thread Starter
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I hope this is allowed....let me know if not.
This link will take you to the page where I found the design I'd like to attempt to create
http://www.myfishtank.net/mft-news/t...planted-tanks/
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-08-2012, 07:20 PM
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It'd be better to keep cardinal tetras instead of neons with discus, as cardinals do well in the warmer water that discus require.

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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-09-2012, 01:24 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the tip, Axelrod.

Did you happen to look at the link I posted that shows the type of Natural Tank I'd like to build?

I'd love some opinions... What are the plants shown? What is a good, safe type of driftwood? How much and what kind of lighting. I'm keeping my T5HO lights that are built into my canopy. What sort of mods would I need?
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-09-2012, 02:04 AM
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The plants on the wood are java fern. The ones on the left are hairgrass. The short ones in the front are probably Glossostigma. My favorite type of driftwood to use is Malaysian driftwood, as it sinks right away. However, people also use manzanita and other types of wood. If discus are your goal you probably want a tank with more taller plants than what's pictured, as they need the plants to feel secure.

As for the lights, what you probably used for your reef is fine if not overkill. How many bulbs do you have?

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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-09-2012, 02:10 AM
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Wow, that's a tall order, Barb.
Amano's tank is professionally done, with what looks like a lot of Java Ferns, and a full carpet of HC. And there is no doubt it was set up with the knowledge of someone who has good experience with discus.

A difficult job for someone who has no experience with discus, and even more problematic for anyone who hasn't successfully maintained a well-planted high-tech freshwater tank.

I believe you would do well to take some baby steps first.
At the outset, I suggest you do a lot of research on keeping discus, which require somewhat more care and attention, not to mention high quality water conditions, than most other species of fish.

You could begin by having a read of my 'Beginner's Guide to Getting Started with Discus' -located here as the initial Sticky in the 'Fish' section.

When you've done that, and got your mind wrapped around what it takes to successfully keep discus, then you could cycle and prepare your tank properly to give yourself an honest chance to succeed with these gorgeous fish.

While a planted tank environment is not the best way to start keeping discus, it can be done, and I'd be happy to try & guide you through it, until you become quite familiar with discus traits & behaviors, and are prepared to take the next step, and kick up your planting a notch by proceeding to a high-tech, pressurized CO2 environment.
Am I reaching you ?

Frankly, there's a lot of info you need, and not enough time here to go into more detail at the moment.
Meantime, have a look at my modest, low-tech planted discus tank, which takes a good deal of my attention to maintain properly over a long term basis, in order to succeed without endangering the health of these beautiful fish - and that's with quite a few years of experience raising discus behind me:
http://s1105.photobucket.com/albums/...ul/lolliblues2

Don't hesitate to PM me if you wish.
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-09-2012, 02:36 AM
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I didn't mean to turn you off in any way, but doing what you want to do is not exactly a simple matter, and requires quite a bit of pre-homework, and learning along the way by trial & error experimentation & experience. I'm sure you have that message.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-09-2012, 04:15 AM Thread Starter
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Oh, I'm not a bit turned off! I appreciate all the information.

I'm a huge study-er before I start something. Before I set up my reef I studied for 8mos while the tank sat bone dry. I had great success with it because of what I learned ahead of time.

I need a rest from working a high maintenance tank, so that gives me time to prepare and learn. I'm not averse to altering my plan. Something about Amano's tank "spoke" to me. It's definitely a piece of art.

If I could learn to post a photo here from this darn iPad I'd show you a picture of the reef I just tore down. it was a beautiful thing. Mixed reef predominately LPS, picasso clowns with about six rose bubble tip nems. It was awesome sauce, as my kid says.

I'm no lightweight when it comes to fish keeping. I know how to learn, and will take you up on your offer of advice, starting with the sticky you've recommended.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-09-2012, 02:34 PM
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Great.
Call on me for assistance as and when you need it.
I have also responded to your recent post on my Beginner's Discus Guide thread.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-18-2012, 11:56 PM
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I have kept Angle fish for a year before moving to discus for a year and then just now upgraded to a real planted tank. You can feel free to click the link in my signature to see what exactly I did in the last 2 months with them. Discus arn't as touchy as people lead you to believe but they deff need more care than the average freshwater fish. If you don't have LFS in your area that sell discus then try looking online. For best sale prices somethingphyshy. For best quality discus-hans is the way to go. Good luck! Just remember to build your tank around your discus, because if you build it around anythig else they can and will die quickly.

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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-19-2012, 12:36 AM
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Wow, that is an insane tank.
Damn, now i regret getting two 20L Tanks instead of one 40 Breeder :/ Hahaha.
Definitely do-able, and if you learned to maintain a saltwater tank, im sure you could learn to do the same with freshwater. Unfortunately, a lot of the knowledge is waay different b/w salt and freshwater, but if i learned at the age of 16, im sure youll have no problem.
If you have any questions, the people here will help you out big time. You should DEFINITELY do an insane amount of research when looking at the substrate to use, as well as filters, heaters, etc. To get a perfect setup for what you are looking for. You could ask around on here too, or look at other peoples posts (Im sure people have asked those questions already).
Good luck, and keep us updated on the status of your tank !


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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-19-2012, 12:44 AM
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Just one other tip to add on the pile here as you go forward:

Freshwater and saltwater tanks are both as much work to keep as you design them to be. (And while salt and fresh have obvious differences, you'll be surprised at the amount of similarities once you really dig into things.)

I've had successful examples of both which required little more than monthly waterchanges. You just have to be honest about what you're embarking upon, what your real needs are (as well as you desires, which are easier to listen to) and realize that the way everyone else does it (tank overloaded with livestock) isn't the only way....certainly it is not "the best" way and it makes things a lot harder than they would otherwise be.

I think DiscusPaul is hitting on this same truth from another angle - baby steps will help you get where you want to be! Go slow and learn along the way - before the tank is set up and after! In theory, the same tactic could have saved your reef from becoming the burden (both in time and expense) that it ultimately was.

Good luck on the new endeavor!

-Matt

P.S. I just looked at your link from your next post. Gah! Amano tanks are a nice ideal, but those tanks pictured are the best of the best of the best(...). The are also quite the opposite of low maintenance or low expense. Good to hold in mind, but remember - baby steps!! :-)
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-19-2012, 03:35 AM
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My first attempt at planted tanks was with 2 full out ADA tanks et' al, a 120h and 60p, full co2 high light, the works, it took a bit of reading and research, but i have 2 very nice tanks, especially for the first try. I do change water every week and dose every day. I am a traditional reef tank guy, the transition was simple, but i believe there is more to planted aquariums than there is to salt water


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