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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-26-2008, 08:48 PM Thread Starter
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Noob Help with planted aquarium

I am having some problems with my tank. I used to do well with my 55g when I was weee lil lad. Now i got a 10g setup for my wee lil lad. I know it's tougher to do with a 10g but was looking for any helpful advice and suggestions.

Hardware
10 gallon.
Plastic Hood with Dual 25w incand tube bulbs (replaced with (2) 2110AQ N Self Ballasted Lamp, 120V, 60HZ,10W) on for 12+hrs per day.
Penguin 125 bio wheel
Aquaclear 30 + perfect flow undergravel.

Flora
2 patches of micro sword foreground)
2 anubias (trying to root on the drift wood, currently just jammed in a crevice)
some tall val as the background
2 swords in the mid ground
(any clarification on my plants would be helpful also)

Fish
4 clown loaches
1 albino catfish
2 longfin rosy barbs
3 green barbs
4 red zebra danios
1 bristle nose pleco
1 leopard pleco
Attachment 5713
Several Problems
1. 125 filter pad was clogging every day with black gunk (replacing with fluval 104 if it will work).
2. ich (currently being treated with green and malachite green and temp 88deg for 4 days and then down to 86deg for 6 more days)
3. Pet store said that i had a rotting problem but my plants are doing fine. I just got rid of all my anacharis as they were robbing the light by floating at the top.

Questions-
1. I am thinking of switching to an all glass hood with the Orbit-20"-2x40watt will it be too much for my plants?
2. I bought a fluval 104 to replace the penguin 125. It says it needs to be below the tank but can i put it on the side of the tank. The canister top comes to just below the water line. (see picture)


Attachment 5714
Will it still work next to my tank rather than below?

Feedback on anything above is welcome. I am trying to make a very stable yet loaded 10g...if that's even possible.

Last edited by pimptempura; 02-13-2008 at 06:06 AM.
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-26-2008, 11:28 PM
 
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well the clowns need 125 gallon tanks as adults. They get like 18 inches long and will die of stunting in that tank. And yes 8 wats per gallon is too much. The plecos needs bigger, and the albino cat the same. The danios would do better in a bigger tank

Do some reaserch about fish before you get them! It is so wrong that you hvae these fish in that tank!
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-26-2008, 11:33 PM
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Originally Posted by neilfishguy View Post
well the clowns need 125 gallon tanks as adults. They get like 18 inches long and will die of stunting in that tank. And yes 8 wats per gallon is too much. The plecos needs bigger, and the albino cat the same. The danios would do better in a bigger tank

Do some reaserch about fish before you get them! It is so wrong that you hvae these fish in that tank!
With CO2, the tank should be able to hand 1x40W for 8 hours a day with a burst lighting period of 80 watts for around an hour or two a day.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-26-2008, 11:38 PM
 
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he has no co2, and plain gravel, and an UG filter all of which make me say no 80 watts.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-26-2008, 11:39 PM
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Originally Posted by neilfishguy View Post
he has no co2, and plain gravel, and an UG filter all of which make me say no 80 watts.
You've got a good point.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-26-2008, 11:48 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by neilfishguy View Post
well the clowns need 125 gallon tanks as adults. They get like 18 inches long and will die of stunting in that tank. And yes 8 wats per gallon is too much. The plecos needs bigger, and the albino cat the same. The danios would do better in a bigger tank

Do some reaserch about fish before you get them! It is so wrong that you hvae these fish in that tank!

Thank you for the feedback. I do anticipate all the fish being stunted as far as growth goes. It's already crowded according but the plants & driftwood seem to be helping to create niches for everyone. Thanks for the advice about the orbit light...i thought it might be too much...but i thought if i had tons of plants i might need more light...but then again they seem to be doing fine and spreading with the light i currently have. I will be cutting back the amount of time the lights are on.

Any feedback on the fluval...i think i'm gonna take it back as fluval says the motor needs to be below the aq bottom. what other fish might you suggest and/or plants?
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-26-2008, 11:49 PM Thread Starter
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he has no co2, and plain gravel, and an UG filter all of which make me say no 80 watts.
should i remove the ug filter? i noticed many tanks don't use them anymore and rely on bacteria in the canister filters.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-27-2008, 12:26 AM
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I think you need to start removing some fish...

You have 7 bottom-dwellers crammed up in a tank that is not suitable for them to live.


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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-27-2008, 12:51 AM Thread Starter
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I think you need to start removing some fish...

You have 7 bottom-dwellers crammed up in a tank that is not suitable for them to live.

Thanks...i'll be removing the 4 loaches. it's a good excuse to pick up a bigger tank...my wife might not be too happy b/c i just gave away my 55g setup..maybe i can get a 125g now...hahaha...thanks for all the help.

Update on the fluval...my lfs guy told me to just drop the fluval below the tank to prime it and then once it gets going move it back up to the counter the tank is on...i'm gonna try it tomorrow...i'll leave out the charcoal for now as the tank is being treated.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-27-2008, 10:58 AM
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To be honest, if I were you, I would just get a bigger tank. Sounds like you have aspirations for one

What type of plants are you looking to grow? The ones in the tank now, with the exception of maybe the microsword, don't need much light or CO2. It could be rather low tech (low maintenance).

On the other hand, if you wanted to go high tech, you would probably need to spend a lot more time on tank maintenance, water changes, fertilization, and perhaps buy some equipment. This can also be very worthwhile, but only if you want it.

On your filter: Canister filters can be placed next to the tank. Having them under the tank makes it easier to prime and start a siphon.

On your lighting: Your lights are probably fine for a low tech tank, but if you decide to go high tech, I'd recommend AH Supply lights (although I hear they stopped making the 13W kits).

On substrate: You might want to replace your gravel with something more natural looking, or even spring for plant substrate. Granted, it's not absolutely necessary, but it looks nice, and it helps.

On plants: Most vals get far too large for a 10g. They grow quite tall, and will probably block light from the rest of the tank. Any chance you could get a better picture of the swords? Many swords also get too large for a 10g, some get too large for even a 55g. To get your anubias to attach to the driftwood, you could tie it down with some fishing line until it fixes itself.

On fertilizers: Carbon is not necessary in a planted tank. The idea is that fish waste becomes plant nutrients. In fact, many people on this forum add nitrates to the tank, if the plants consume more than the fish can produce. Keep in mind that fish do not produce all the necessary nutrients for plants, and nutrient deficiencies can inhibit plant growth and promote algae growth. Light drives the plant growth. The more light, the faster the growth. But, as light increases, the plants will use more CO2. As CO2 consumption increases, the plants will use up macronutrients (NPK, nitrogen, phosphates, and potassium). Think of these as plant food. In addition to macronutrients, plants will also use up micronutrients, or trace nutrients. Think of these as plant vitamins. If plants are lacking or do not have the correct balance of any of these things, algae may use this to its advantage and use up the excess nutrients the plants cannot.

On fish: Definitely remove the carbon. It will interfere with the ich meds. Make sure you treat the ich long enough, since the ich must be in a certain stage in its life cycle to be affected by the treatment. I feel that you are a bit overstocked. The clown loaches you have in there will grow quite large (a foot and a half), which is about as long as the tank. The leopard pleco you have in the tank will also grow quite large. You may want to reduce the species you have and get more of one species. Fish typically look better in larger groups.

Welcome to the hobby, good luck!

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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-27-2008, 08:29 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fishscale View Post
To be honest, if I were you, I would just get a bigger tank. Sounds like you have aspirations for one

What type of plants are you looking to grow? The ones in the tank now, with the exception of maybe the microsword, don't need much light or CO2. It could be rather low tech (low maintenance).

On the other hand, if you wanted to go high tech, you would probably need to spend a lot more time on tank maintenance, water changes, fertilization, and perhaps buy some equipment. This can also be very worthwhile, but only if you want it.

On your filter: Canister filters can be placed next to the tank. Having them under the tank makes it easier to prime and start a siphon.

On your lighting: Your lights are probably fine for a low tech tank, but if you decide to go high tech, I'd recommend AH Supply lights (although I hear they stopped making the 13W kits).

On substrate: You might want to replace your gravel with something more natural looking, or even spring for plant substrate. Granted, it's not absolutely necessary, but it looks nice, and it helps.

On plants: Most vals get far too large for a 10g. They grow quite tall, and will probably block light from the rest of the tank. Any chance you could get a better picture of the swords? Many swords also get too large for a 10g, some get too large for even a 55g. To get your anubias to attach to the driftwood, you could tie it down with some fishing line until it fixes itself.

On fertilizers: Carbon is not necessary in a planted tank. The idea is that fish waste becomes plant nutrients. In fact, many people on this forum add nitrates to the tank, if the plants consume more than the fish can produce. Keep in mind that fish do not produce all the necessary nutrients for plants, and nutrient deficiencies can inhibit plant growth and promote algae growth. Light drives the plant growth. The more light, the faster the growth. But, as light increases, the plants will use more CO2. As CO2 consumption increases, the plants will use up macronutrients (NPK, nitrogen, phosphates, and potassium). Think of these as plant food. In addition to macronutrients, plants will also use up micronutrients, or trace nutrients. Think of these as plant vitamins. If plants are lacking or do not have the correct balance of any of these things, algae may use this to its advantage and use up the excess nutrients the plants cannot.

On fish: Definitely remove the carbon. It will interfere with the ich meds. Make sure you treat the ich long enough, since the ich must be in a certain stage in its life cycle to be affected by the treatment. I feel that you are a bit overstocked. The clown loaches you have in there will grow quite large (a foot and a half), which is about as long as the tank. The leopard pleco you have in the tank will also grow quite large. You may want to reduce the species you have and get more of one species. Fish typically look better in larger groups.

Welcome to the hobby, good luck!
Thank you very much! I was thinking about changing the substrate. Never used anything other than gravel. The technology has changed alot or at least have become more available since i used to do my tanks.

Maintenance: The tank is in an area that makes it difficult to service. It is mostly for my 2 yr old son. But i do want to create a low maintenance tank.

Plants:
The val's will be gone. they used to get to big for my 55g too when i had them. The problem is i live in hawaii and the variety of plants is difficult to find due to import laws. I'm sure if i visit a aquarium society show i can get some various ones but most lfs carry only the common stuff. Any suggestions for background to replace the vals that won't grow too crazy. Currently i am just cutting the val when it gets too tall. Anubias is growing fine, was tied down but the thread degraded too fast so now it's tied on with black braided fishing line. (i just had some in my tackle box). I do not want to pick up a co2 tank. I kinda want the tank to sustain itself.

Microsword
Attachment 5723

I think these are some kind of crypts:
Attachment 5724Attachment 5725


Substrate:
What type of substrate do you suggest? Do i remove the ug if i replace with substrate? How much substrate do i need for a 10g?

Fish:
The fish are not my picking. My wife and her mother keep buying the fish. I wanted to put a school of neons in the tank but my wife went and bought the potpourri of fish...They just don't seem to understand about running a tank. So i guess my job has become to keep the fish alive.

Just after getting rid of my 55g my wife got a 2.5g which of course she overloaded hence we moved to the 10g which she overloaded again...but she won't go to a bigger tank...therein lies my challenge, i know it's not a perfect tank but just trying to get advice to maybe prolong the tanks healthiness.

Filter: fluval 104 works great. Put it below the tank to prime it and moved it to the side of the tank once it was going. No problems.

Fertilizer:
So far minimal algae. Maybe a dozen spots every month that i easily scrub off. Will replacing the substrate help with nutrients? Does substrate increase the maintenance required? Do i siphon the substrate like gravel?
Do they sell fertilizer packs or something? Thank you for all your help.

Last edited by pimptempura; 02-13-2008 at 06:06 AM.
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-27-2008, 09:28 PM
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Maintenance: The tank is in an area that makes it difficult to service. It is mostly for my 2 yr old son. But i do want to create a low maintenance tank.

With Low Tech tanks you can do 50% water changes a week. It would be fairly easy to do(I have to travel a path that is very difficult to deal with). And low light makes pruning very minimal.

Plants:
The val's will be gone. they used to get to big for my 55g too when i had them. The problem is i live in hawaii and the variety of plants is difficult to find due to import laws. I'm sure if i visit a aquarium society show i can get some various ones but most lfs carry only the common stuff. Any suggestions for background to replace the vals that won't grow too crazy. Currently i am just cutting the val when it gets too tall. Anubias is growing fine, was tied down but the thread degraded too fast so now it's tied on with black braided fishing line. (i just had some in my tackle box). I do not want to pick up a co2 tank. I kinda want the tank to sustain itself.

Check the Swap & Shop on this site. People may be willing to ship to you or you may find someone in Hawaii who sells the plants you want.You can always try Cryptocoryne crispulata as a background plant. Low Tech/Low light should be a good way to go if you want minimal work.

I think these are some kind of crypts:
Attachment 5724Attachment 5725


Maybe crypt wendtii but hard to say for sure.

Substrate:
What type of substrate do you suggest? Do i remove the ug if i replace with substrate? How much substrate do i need for a 10g?


Eco Complete, Flourite, Regular BLACK gravel, pea sized natural coloured gravel. For a 10g I would say anywhere from 15lbs to 20lbs. Definitely remove the UGF, it is IMO useless. Just use your Fuval Canister, thats more than enough!

Fish:
The fish are not my picking. My wife and her mother keep buying the fish. I wanted to put a school of neons in the tank but my wife went and bought the potpourri of fish...They just don't seem to understand about running a tank. So i guess my job has become to keep the fish alive.

Just after getting rid of my 55g my wife got a 2.5g which of course she overloaded hence we moved to the 10g which she overloaded again...but she won't go to a bigger tank...therein lies my challenge, i know it's not a perfect tank but just trying to get advice to maybe prolong the tanks healthiness.


See if you can sell or trade the fish to a LFS. Then get fish that are appropriate for the tank. A school of neons, a dwarf gourami, a couple of Oto's, and some shrimp would be nice. You have to explain to them that its wasting money on buying fish that need more room. When they die they are probably going to be replaced, right? That is just throwing money into a toilet and flushing it. Most fish live up to 5 years and many live much much longer.

Fertilizer:
So far minimal algae. Maybe a dozen spots every month that i easily scrub off. Will replacing the substrate help with nutrients? Does substrate increase the maintenance required? Do i siphon the substrate like gravel?
Do they sell fertilizer packs or something? Thank you for all your help.


Try Seachem's Flourish for micro Nutrients. The fish provide Macro Nutrients(Nitrates, phosphates, potassium). Seachem's Flourish Excel can provide a source of CO2 for the plants. Gravel holds the bacteria, or nutrients, the plants use. Replacing it removes it. Although you can keep some in a little mesh baggie(the ones that are not all the way concealed) and put it in the tank and that will cause the bacteria to spread once again. Substrates dont add that much more maintnence. Do not do a deep siphoning but hover over the substrate to pick up leftover debris. You remove plant nutrients if you deep gravel vac. The also sell root tabs by API but with a specialized fert substrate they are not needed.


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