29 gal, planning... - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-13-2005, 12:00 AM Thread Starter
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29 gal, planning...

Hallo everyone I am completely new to aquarium planting. I recently saw some amazing photos of planted aquariums, and I just couldn't resist taking on the challenge! In a nutshell... I've basically been obsessing over researching types of plants, conditions, lighting, etc, and I'm to the point where I'm actually drawing diagrams or "floorplans" of my future setup:



Very basic, but it helps me stay organized. My tank is a tropical (80*F) 29 gal, 30" X 12" X 17" and the picture above is just a basic start at what I am looking to create. I am trying to find good information for hardy plants that don't require too demanding of light conditions (medium-low preferably). The "grass" in the front I was thinking of microsword or dwarf hairgrass, however I've heard from several different places conflicting views on what their lighting conditions are - what are your personal experiences with these plants?

I'd like to use a dense sand (obviously nothing that is going to go flying around for days if my fish bump into it), but really have no idea on what is safe to use, and none of the LFS's have sand (crazy.. I know x.x).

The pebbles and 'rock cave' are just for decoration, but I'd like to get ahold of some java moss, or similar moss to attach to the rock, and possibly some along the empty space in between the pathways. I think that Riccia is beautiful, however I keep reading about having to reattach it every so often, and I keep getting these horror images of never being able to keep the stuff down (along with the high light requirement).... am I being a bit overdramatic? =P

I still need some larger background plants, and was even thinking of Xmas moss or willow moss attached to mesh for a backdrop. Is Rotala indica adaptable to medium light conditons? It looks as though it would be nice as a background filler as well, although again, I am still learning and have no idea on what the temperature ranges are for these plants.

(eesh, I'm writing a novel!)

One thing I am somewhat stressed about is that I would like to have a "practice tank" before I go all out on my 29 gal, but the only spare tank I ahve is a 10 gal, and from what I've read, they are not very great for plants. I've even read that 15 or 5 gal vs 10 is preferable, but what has condemned the 10 gal? Or is this just a myth?

I currently have 4 dojo loaches (a bit worried about them digging up plants, seeing as they like to burrow in the medium gravel as it is now), 1 betta, and 5 black neon tetras - My loaches have proven to be extremely hardy, and I know that the betta will survive in even the most demanding situations (temprary home for example), but I'm not so sure on how much I can push the tetras. Would it be better you think, to just set up my 10 gal as a temporary home for my fish until I can get my 29 gal organized?



Cripes... So much stuff I ahve already said. I think I will cut myself off now before I make you all fall asleep! Sorry for the novel, but thanks tons for any help... I just get so excited about my fish/tank and get all these thoughts rolling at me at once!
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-13-2005, 12:10 AM
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10 gallon tanks can make some awesome tanks. But they are harder to maintain. The more water in the box the slower things happen. Also it's a bit harder and just as expensive to light a 10 gallon as it is a larger tank.

The 29 gallon tank however is not a good choice from the standpoint of the fact it's only 12" front to back.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-13-2005, 12:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MadCatter
Hallo everyone I am completely new to aquarium planting. I recently saw some amazing photos of planted aquariums, and I just couldn't resist taking on the challenge! In a nutshell... I've basically been obsessing over researching types of plants, conditions, lighting, etc, and I'm to the point where I'm actually drawing diagrams or "floorplans" of my future setup:
Very basic, but it helps me stay organized. My tank is a tropical (80*F) 29 gal, 30" X 12" X 17" and the picture above is just a basic start at what I am looking to create. I am trying to find good information for hardy plants that don't require too demanding of light conditions (medium-low preferably). The "grass" in the front I was thinking of microsword or dwarf hairgrass, however I've heard from several different places conflicting views on what their lighting conditions are - what are your personal experiences with these plants?
Try this site: http://www.aquaplant.org/

Click on Tank Search and fill out the appropriate fields for some more ideas of what you can grow.


Quote:
I'd like to use a dense sand (obviously nothing that is going to go flying around for days if my fish bump into it), but really have no idea on what is safe to use, and none of the LFS's have sand (crazy.. I know x.x).
I would shy away from sand. IME, it's ... a little tough to work with. A problem I can see is roots rotting, pockets of anaerobic stinkiness, etc. Perhaps consider a substrate like Flourite or Eco-complete.

Quote:
The pebbles and 'rock cave' are just for decoration, but I'd like to get ahold of some java moss, or similar moss to attach to the rock, and possibly some along the empty space in between the pathways. I think that Riccia is beautiful, however I keep reading about having to reattach it every so often, and I keep getting these horror images of never being able to keep the stuff down (along with the high light requirement).... am I being a bit overdramatic? =P
Riccia.... I have a love/hate relationship with that thing. Yes, you've got to secure it as its nature is to float. I decided I'd not bother with it once I had to keep netting the loose pieces out.

It is tough to find good background plants for a 10 gallon because it is so short. I would just use it as a temporary tank and concentrate on the 29 gallon (although, as Rex points out, it is extremely limited in acreage for planting.)

The fish you have now would do ok in 76-78 degrees, which will put you at ease about what plants you can keep.

The dojos are good snail hunters, but I would wait until your plants' roots are well established before adding them as yes, they *do* burrow where you don't want them to.

Please read Rex's site for more beginner info.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-13-2005, 02:22 AM Thread Starter
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I have rex's site added to favourites already =) Started reading it last night... well.. attempted since I've been battling a bad cold and wasn't all quite there. Definately need to read it more thoroughly

Thanks for the replies!
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-13-2005, 02:35 AM
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I was just reading Rex's site. I've got a 24 gallon tank.

If i dont have Potassium or Iron test kits, how do i go about dosing that?

Phosphate and Nitrates i can measure. Nitrates are usually around 10ppm (without adding any Nitrogen), and Phosphates im trying to get to 1ppm.

But what do i do about Potassium and Iron dosing?

I have 2.8wpgs (68watts over 24gallons).
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-13-2005, 02:42 AM
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RK, you'll want to look at Tom Barr's estimative index (EI) article regarding this.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-13-2005, 02:51 AM
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I have.. about 20 times now. And it still leaves me confuzzled
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-13-2005, 03:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [RK]
I have.. about 20 times now. And it still leaves me confuzzled

Welcome to the club for me it started making more sence when I started applying the program.

in a nutshell (at least as far as I get it)

1 excess nutrients do not cause algae, ammonia and deficencys do
2 when plants have everything they need they can "store" the ammonia till they can change it into usuable nitrogen, thus avoiding ammoina issues
3 by providing excess of everything you avoid the deficencys
4 large water changes prevent the added stuff from getting to be too much
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-13-2005, 03:59 AM
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Yeah, its the actual amounts i dont get.

What is an excess amount for a 24gall tank?

Rex says "If you are dosing 60gallons of water with Flourish Potassium you would need 100 ml to get to 20 ppm."

So does that mean after a water change, i'll need to add about 40ml of Seachem Potassium to get to 20ppm? And thats it for the week?

Phosphate i can test for and add accordingly.

Iron i cant test, so im not sure how much to add.

And another thing. What causes Green Spot Algae, cause thats the only algae in my tank. Is it ONLY a deficency of Phosphates? Or is it too little phosphate compared to teh Nitrates? Or can it be the other way around too?

My nitrates are usually around 10ppm.
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