New 29 gallon planted tank - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-05-2014, 01:43 AM Thread Starter
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New 29 gallon planted tank

So, I inherited a couple 29 gallon tanks from a brother of mine after he moved into an apartment. They sat in my garage for a year or so before I finally decided to clean one up and set it up. I have never owned an aquarium before and so I am learning as I go.

I thought I would share my experience here and if anyone has any tips for me they could chime in...

So far I have one of the 29 gallon tanks setup:
2 Aquatech HOB filters running for aeration
Aqueon 100W heater
Aqueon LED modular light w/ 1 daylight and 2 colormax LED strips
17W hood lamp for added light
2 bags of Eco-Complete substrate
multiple lace rocks

I wanted to do a planted tank after seeing photos of how great they look and like the idea of having a slice of nature to peer into. I would love to try a biotope, but like I said I'm still learning here.

I have added the following fauna and flora to the tank:
1x Water Sprite
3x Anubia Nana
2x Giant Hairgrass
1x Dwarf Hairgrass

2x Molly
10x White Cloud Minnow
5x Otocinclus
5x Sterbai Corydora

The tank has been up for 2 months now and was cycled after the first month (no fish cycle). I realize this could be a heavy bioload, but I am okay with that and I plan to add to or multiply my existing plants to help with this in addition to frequent water changes if necessary.

I have been doing water tests periodically to ensure appropriate levels of PH, Ammonia, Nitrite, and Nitrate. I do not have tests for kH or GH and honestly am not sure that they are necessary. I have ordered Seachem Flourish Excel for fertilization and created the DIY Osmocote Plus root tabs for my rooted plants.

Honestly, I didn't think I would enjoy this hobby but I have been really getting into it!
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Last edited by fishhes; 11-15-2014 at 09:55 PM. Reason: update
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-05-2014, 03:04 AM
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Your nitrates are really high. Do a water change.

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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-05-2014, 03:14 AM Thread Starter
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Gotcha. I did an 8 gallon water change (7 gal RO and 1 gal dechlor. tap) after I tested and got those results. It should be more diluted now, although I will plan to do another change after testing again in a day or two.

I am finding that with the API test kit my tap water is testing at 40 ppm Nitrate so I have been relying on RO water for my water changes to keep Nitrates down. It's kind of a hassle but apparently my municipal water is horrible and so I don't really see that I have a choice.

I have an AQUARIUM.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-05-2014, 07:34 PM
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That explains it then. More plants will help with nitrates too. The tank looks nice.

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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-05-2014, 11:33 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you sir. It is still very much a work in progress, but I am finding a lot of great information on this site to help me out.

I wanted to get some plants that will curtain the back of the tank to hide all the cords and such. I was hoping that the Giant Hairgrass would do the trick, but it doesn't seem to be growing very quickly. My LFS told me that they were low-light plants but I don't think they really are. Actually, I probably bought the wrong light for plants. I was planning on making the best of it, but I may need to replace it with a more powerful LED unit to get the plants to fill out.

How much light should you give plants anyway? It seems to be a sliding scale and I'm sure that the amount of plants in the tank should be considered as well. I am currently doing a 12 hour exposure and my thought is that with lower PAR lights a longer exposure time would help. Does this sound right?

I have an AQUARIUM.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-05-2014, 11:44 PM
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The tank looks good... Really great start. As for the flourish excel, it provides no fertilization.... It's a carbon source. Get some flourish comprehensive if you want to keep it simple. It provides basic fertilization.

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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-06-2014, 12:02 AM Thread Starter
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Oh, I didn't realize that. I saw Flourish Excel discussed in several threads and didn't even look closely before I ordered it from Amazon. I guess I could still use a carbon source since I do not plan on using CO2, but I better keep a steady flow of nutrients in the water column. Thanks for the suggestion, I will get some ordered soon.

I have an AQUARIUM.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-07-2014, 02:39 AM Thread Starter
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upgrades

I have several item I am currently debating the purchase of...

Sunsun HW-302 canister filter
Finnex Fugeray Planted+ LED light - 30inch

I am running two HOB filters at the moment and want to get rid of the clutter at the back of the tank. I believe that the sunsun 302 filter should be plenty for my 29 gallon tank and I like the idea of less maintenance. My only concern is with the level of DO that the filter would be introducing into my tank via surface agitation. The primary reason I am running two HOB filters at the moment is to ensure plenty of oxygen for my fish and I am not sure that the canister filter can do this. Thoughts?

This is my first try at a planted tank and I started with the Aqueon LED light that has a low PAR rating. I have plants that would probably benefit from a higher output light and so I am thinking of upgrading to the Finnex to ensure that photosynthesis is maximized. I could not find PAR ratings for the Planted+ but the other Finnex products have a moderate PAR output so I assume the Planted+ will be similar and not intense enough to demand CO2, which I do not want to do. Anyone experienced with these lights want to testify?

I have an AQUARIUM.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-07-2014, 03:21 AM
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just a suggestion, i would take the hairgrass out and separate them into bunches of 8 or so and spread it out so it carpets 4times faster
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-07-2014, 04:28 AM
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Nice start. The SunSun filter should be plenty. I have an Aquatop Cf-400 (which is just a SunSun hw-303) on my 29g and have had no problem with aeration. I have my spray bar a couple inches below the surface and angled up slightly, causing a slight ripple. That's mainly so I can see if it's running since I can't hear it.

If you want a quick way to hide the cords, you can use the background material sold at most pet shops. It can be applied to the outside back of the glass with an adhesive, or even taped in place. And it can be done with the tank near the wall with a little work. I managed mine with the tank about 5 inches from the wall, and I think the black background made the plant and fish colors show much better.
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-07-2014, 01:07 PM
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If your using RO water I would be testing my KH. Got have it at least a 3 for good health of plants and fish. Just me but it's a more important test than ph. I to mix hard water and RO water to get the KH were it needs to be.
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-07-2014, 11:40 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the advice! I put in my order yesterday for the sunsun 302 canister filter and the finnex fugeray planted+ light along with some bottles of Seachem Flourish and Stability.

I am concerned that my lights are not strong enough because my plants are looking a little pale. They are growing still, but they are much paler than when I first purchased them (well the water sprite is growing at least). The hairgrass is not looking very good at all and I am thinking that it might not last until I get my new light shipped to me. Lesson learned.

I think the nutrients in the tank should still be strong due to the eco-complete substrate being only a few months old but I got some additional fertilizer on order just in case. The Seachem Flourish arrived today so I will be using that regularly and hope to see some results.

I have been mixing a gallon of tap water to every 5 of RO when I do water changes because I was told tap water has other minerals in it that are important to fish. I would do more but my tap water has around 40 ppm Nitrates in it! I will grab a test kit for water hardness today to be sure that I am hitting the right parameters. Thanks for the suggestion.

I have an AQUARIUM.
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-15-2014, 10:13 PM Thread Starter
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Tank Update

My aquarium is changing...

I added a Finnex Planted+ LED light that hopefully will reawaken the dwarf hairgrass that is slowly dieing at the bottom of my tank. I also added a canister filter and removed one HOB filter with plans to remove the other once the bio-media in the new canister is adequately populated.

The flora and fauna has also changed with the addition of some Java Fern and Java Moss and the subtraction of several Otocinclus and a Molly that couldn't cope with the jail yard lifestyle I'm cultivating here. I think the Molly pissed off the wrong inmate because one morning its side was all red and a bone was sticking out. It hobbled about for a week or so, but it was borrowed time. RIP.

I am now adding Seachem Excel at 2.5mL every other day and received some Seachem Comprehensive that I haven't started dosing yet. Not sure if I need it or not actually. I might wait and see how the plants settle and then decide.

All tips or helpful comments are appreciated.

I added some pics of the tank as it is now and a shot of my favorite inmates, a couple Sterbai Cories.
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I have an AQUARIUM.
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-16-2014, 03:10 PM
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Looks like a nice tank! I'm curious to see how the dwarf hairgrass reacts to the Finnex light. I'm in the same boat and my dwarf hairgrass isn't doing so great, even though I have separated it into small bunches. I'm only using a Marineland LED strip that I had on my cichlid tank. Curious to see what the Finnex does for you.
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