Too much work - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old 10-26-2006, 12:42 AM Thread Starter
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Too much work

I'm starting to question weather or not I'm cut out for this planted tank deal. I'm total new to this and every time I turn around somethings going wronge or I'm having to spend money or do something to the tank. I have a 10 gallon and so far I've spent over $200. I think I'm gonna go back to collecting cichlids. I dont have the patients or money to keep this tank going. Anyone else felt like this?
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post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old 10-26-2006, 12:44 AM
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Holy Cow! What kind of a setup are you running on a 10 gallon tank that costs $200!
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post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old 10-26-2006, 12:50 AM
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200 dollars is a fair price for a tank, did you buy pressureized C02? cause that seems to be the only way i could spend 200 dollars on a 10 gal! Keep working you dont need the higest teck possible tank, low tech tank's can look just as good!


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post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old 10-26-2006, 02:02 AM
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I'm sure everyone on this board has felt that way at some point...but the hard work truly pays off in the end, trust me.
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post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old 10-26-2006, 02:07 AM
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Hey wantsome, maybe the low-tech route is the best way to start IMHO, I don't know which equipment you already bought for 200, but even in my country is a lot of money for a 10 gal. You can read the low-tech board to get some ideas to start up with the right foot.

Good Luck

My Low Tech 82 gal. planted Tank


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post #6 of 26 (permalink) Old 10-26-2006, 02:08 AM
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Sorry to hear about you giving up. Don't know what exactly the problems are that you're running into, but I can tell you that patience and water changes go along way. Planting a whole bunch of plants in the beginning, or planting very fast growing plants will usually make the algae go away. I have learned that I can set up a tank nearly algae free just by out-competing the stuff for nutrients/light. I'm sure that if you would be a little more specific, that there are those far more knowledgeable than I who would be glad to help!


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post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old 10-26-2006, 02:26 AM
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Sit back, take a deep breath, and re-evaluate. Yep. Been there done that. There is a fairly steep learning curve with a high-tech tank, and getting everything balanced to where it isn't so much work when you really don't know what you're doing to begin with can be a royal pain and very stressful for what should be an enjoyable hobby.

I get just as much enjoyment from my 10 gallon low-tech as I do from the pressurized CO2 AHsupply kit 2wpg eco-complete substrate yada yada yada high-tech 55. I probably spent less than $50 on the ten gallon, and that was including the $20 I spent on the 18 watt work light for the lighting! Of course I did have a bunch of the stuff lying around already which cut down on the price considerably. There's a link to a pic in my sig.

Basically all I do to this tank is throw some fish food in every day and haul out some java moss occasionally (which is way overdue, pretty soon the fish aren't going to have anywhere to swim !) No ferts, no CO2, tiny bit of algae I can live with. While plant choices are more limited of course, it grows Java Moss and Fern just fine, there's a couple of happy crypts, and even some HC in the foreground. Although the latter seems happy enough it is growing v*e*r*y s*l*o*w*l*y. But it is growing.

I think sometimes we get carried away with the high-tech aspects of the hobby and forget that it isn't the only way to go.

Good luck with whatever you decide to do.

Sláinte!
Cindy



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— 2wpg CF lighting; pressurized CO2; 18 watt Turbo-twist UVS; Eheim Pro II 2028; eco-complete; 2 Pearl Gouramis; 7 Harlequin Rasboras; 3 Otocinclus catfish

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— lo-tech; 1.8 wpg DIY CF light; no CO2; Aquaclear mini; Schultz substrate; java fern; java moss; 7 Neon Tetras; 1 flame dwarf gourami
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post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old 10-26-2006, 02:28 AM
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wantsome, you should go with whatever makes you happy.
if a planted tank seems too much of a chore and expense,
then do something else. before you cave in, just know that
a planted tank takes a few Months for most newbies to see
any real progress. I went through about 4 Months of killing
fish, plants, worms, algae until I finally got the hang of it all.
but if the light at the end of this tunnel does not even appeal
to you, then move on. if it does, try to be patient and really
pay attention to even half of the stuff written on this forum.

One of the things that helped me get out of my cycle of destruction
was to buy an assortment of accurate test kits. When these tests
helped reveal more accurately the effect of what I was doing on my
water chemistry, I became more attuned to what was best to be done.
Most here like to brag they don't use test kits, and to be honest, I
hardly use them anymore either. However, during the most frustrating
point in my tanks evolution they really helped me stop screwing it up.

In the beginning I used to only test pH and Temp.
later I tested Co2, Nitrite, Nitrate.
(have a GH and KH test, but don't bother with it)
finally I got into using a Phosphate test as well.
even now, I may still invest in a dissolved Oxygen test.
so doing stuff to your tank, then testing to quantify it's effect over
the next few days really helped me understand my tank dynamics.


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post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old 10-26-2006, 03:53 AM Thread Starter
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Thx to everyone for thier encouragement, I think I'm gonna stick it out, I've come too far to give up. My tank has only been set up for about 2 months, and I've learned alot in that time, but sometime it seams overwhelming because I have so much yet to learn.

Another problem is money, I only have $50 a month to spend, and some months I don't have any. Last month I spent my $50 on a PC bulb and some ferts. Now I need filter floss and I'm broke till Nov. 8th. Thats another discouraging factor.

Spypet, your right I know I need some testing equipment, thats tops on my priority list. I have a major problem with algae, and I think its from phosphates, but I can't prove it without testing.

I've been reading about planted aquariums for years and almost did one several times. I had some cool books like nature aquarium world and a practicle guide to aquarium plants, then figured I'd never do it so I sold them.

I came across this site a couple of months ago, and some of tanks on here inspired me. At first I figured I'd keep it simple, then before I knew it I was buying a bubble ladder, and upgading my lighting to a pc light. The list go's on and on, now in for close $200.

Oh well, Thx to everyone on this site for being to kind and helpful
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post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old 10-26-2006, 02:44 PM
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Originally Posted by wantsome View Post
Thx to everyone for thier encouragement, I think I'm gonna stick it out, I've come too far to give up. My tank has only been set up for about 2 months,

give it another six months and all will be better. it took me about 9 months learning with my tank and making mistakes before it all balanced out. now the tank is algae free, and the plants grow like weeds! it just takes a little time to figure out what YOUR tank needs, as they are all different.

i was ready to quit at one point too. i decide to take hoppy's advice, i believe it was, and take a break. i didn't touch the tank for a good six weeks (other than water changes) i didn't think about it, didn't even look at it. when i came back i had a new energy and was able to solve 90% of the problems the tank was having in a couple of weeks. now that every thing is balanced out at running smooth I'm really glad i didn't give up, and people that visit my house just love the live plants as they have never seen them in an aquarium before.
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post #11 of 26 (permalink) Old 10-26-2006, 02:47 PM
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If you spent $50 on just a PC bulb then you really need to find another place to shop. And ferts are not all that expensive if you buy them right (dry and in bulk).
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post #12 of 26 (permalink) Old 10-26-2006, 02:52 PM
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I think everyone's given great advice so far. Everyone has their "horror" stories of when they first started with planted tanks. Heck when I started, I jumped in with both feet, and a month later, I was scratching my head thinking, "Lordy, what have I gotten myself into?" Just keep your chin up! And, keep trying! Hard work and determination pay off in the end! I've dealt with just about every kind of algae in my 30 gallon, illness, confusions, and everything else inbetween. In my 10 gallon, I had diatoms so bad that it looked like toilet water from a gas station off the highway. I'm still trying to figure out more things (more technical things) with planted tanks. "The journey is its own reward," as Homer (not Simpson) once said.
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post #13 of 26 (permalink) Old 10-26-2006, 03:51 PM
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I know the feeling. I've spent over $200 on plants on my 125 gallon tank (low tech) and had never had real success keeping plants alive due to staghorn or my loaches taking bites out of broad leafed plants. So I'm about given up as well. Fortunately, I had some clippings, plantlets, and a few donations (thanks Seastar0328) doing well in both of my (2) 20 gallon long low tech tanks. I also pulled off allot of my cabombas and just tossed them in a 5.5 gallon with a small filter (no media) to keep water circulating and no heater, which seems to be doing well.
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post #14 of 26 (permalink) Old 10-26-2006, 03:57 PM
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Spypet, your right I know I need some testing equipment, thats tops on my priority list. I have a major problem with algae, and I think its from phosphates, but I can't prove it without testing.
Your algae problem is probably not from your phosphates, but your lack of Co2, just to let you know. Co2 is the cause of 95% of all algae problems.


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post #15 of 26 (permalink) Old 10-26-2006, 04:36 PM
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The situation we almost all face is that a new tank tends to have far more problems than an established tank. So, when we first start out, we see a beautiful planted tank, with sparkling clean water, get really enthusiastic, then wake up one morning to see a slight green haze on the glass, brown gook on the substrate, some little black tufts on the anubias leaves, threads of something waving in the water current, etc. Then begins our education!! But, once we get thru that period, hard as it can be, the enthusiasm comes back. So, hang in there!

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