Starting Over. - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-14-2015, 11:03 PM Thread Starter
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Starting Over.

Hello again everyone. I know I disappeared, againÖ Iíve read the suggested readings that some very generous people posted in my threads. Thank you all for your advice, Iím sorry I didnít take this seriously years ago.

I had been very unsatisfied with my tank and my choices in the past, and had lost motivation to do much more than maintenance. I got my nitrates down to about 10 ppm. I had to move the fish tank, and I was very unsure of whether or not to even try again. My Three-Spot, Yoyo, and Kuhli are in a 10 gallon with 50% water changes every day. But I really do love planted tanks and I know I can do it if I just have a little more discipline and make the right preparations. The tank is now in a much better location: easy to access from three sides, no chance of direct sunlight, and much closer to the sink.

I decided to strip the tank and truly start over. I had some reservations about whether or not to start from scratch and cycle again, but given all the bad memories and disasters I've had in the past 3 years, I don't want any contaminate trace of the old tank. I scrubbed all the algae off the walls and vacuumed that out. I then wiped every surface with vinegar and rinsed and vacuumed that out several times. The filter, heater, and hoods were also washed with vinegar. I boiled all of the sand and rinsed it thoroughly. Anything I can improve upon before cycling?

I am hoping to purchase a canister filter to replace my Penguin 350. Iíve heard very good things about the Eheim Classic, but was really hoping for something under $100. How about a Cascade?

And, when I start the cycle, will the driftwood really be enough to stabilize the pH? The hardness in this area is reported to be only between 2 and 3 points. I am going to order general hardness, carbonate hardness, and TDS test kits when I order my filter to be sure of this.

I know you'll need an idea of the stock I'm thinking of to make suggestions. While it's not completely up in the air, it is between three ambitious setups:

(5 or 6) Discus and tetras and corydoras.

Unknown number of Angels and an undetermined set of tank mates.

Mixed Gouramis. (I am well aware of their aggression. I have a plan for minimizing this if I decide on this setup.)

I imagine the stocking on these will be considered heavy. I plan on 50% water changes every week, more if the nitrate tests indicate it.

Plants and lighting are another matter, which I will leave until after I order my filter. I am still deciding on which EI fertilizers to buy, can anyone give an opinion on NilocG's liquid ferts? Either those or the array of Seachem products. I know I'll need to buy Excel anyway unless I my fish will produce enough, or if I get a CO2 injector.

Well, I think that's enough for an introductory post. Thank you for reading!
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-15-2015, 01:25 AM
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Hi

I wouldn't put disus or Angels in a 10 gallon tank. They will not work long term. When I had my 10g running I had a pair of drawf gouramis, 5-6 glolight tetras and 2 albino pygmy cory's. I'm not sure what stocking percentage that was but it worked pretty well as long my corys didn't uproot almost everything everyday lol. Kensfish.com has pretty good deals on Eheim canisters if that's what you want, Eheim 2213 (classic 250 I think?) $74.95. I've also heard (do not own) good things about SunSun canisters, very affordable and reliable.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-15-2015, 01:42 AM
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What size is your tank?

(5 or 6) Discus and tetras and corydoras. Must be a BIG tank! Look into Tetras and Cories that can handle the highest temperatures. Cardinal Tetras, Sterbai Cories are possiblities. Almost all Tetras are schooling fish, so a dozen minimum. Cories are social, too. Half a dozen minimum. The Yoyo loach can also handle that high temperature, they are social, can eat small Tetras. They get large (4-6") so you would need a larger tank to keep half a dozen Discus AND half a dozen Yoyo Loaches.

Unknown number of Angels and an undetermined set of tank mates. Angels will form bonded pairs. In anything smaller than 6' long, the mated pair can harass other Angels to death. Once the tank gets large enough the Angels will claim a smaller territory, (mine defended about 18" worth of a 6' long tank), so you could probably keep 2 pair in a larger tank. Angels are also warmer water fish, so whichever fish your research shows would work for Discus are good candidates for a tank with Angelfish. Angels can prey on smaller fish, and an adult Angel can eat a full grown Neon Tetra, so larger Tetras would be better. Something like Bleeding Hearts might work.

Mixed Gouramis. (I am well aware of their aggression. I have a plan for minimizing this if I decide on this setup.) Have a back up plan. Spare tank. Tank divider.

Fertilizer- Why pay for shipping water? Buy the dry ingredients, each separately, then work out the correct way to dose your tank. Then you can blend the ferts and make your own liquid ferts.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-15-2015, 04:17 AM Thread Starter
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Ah, sorry! I knew I'd forget something. The tank is a standard 55 gallon. I've heard mixed opinions on what the turnover rate should be for a canister filter... 5x the volume of the tank per hour? If that is what the determining is should be anyway.

I suppose I can work out dry ferts. Can you recommend a vendor to buy them from ingredient by ingredient?
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-15-2015, 05:06 AM
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A 55g sounds a lot better lol thank you for clarifying
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-15-2015, 06:31 AM
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KNO3 = Nitrogen and Potassium.
If the NO3 from fish food is high enough you may need to modify the dosing.

KH2PO4 = Phosphorus. Although it has potassium, the dosing is so low it almost does not count. If the NO3 from fish food is high enough, then you should also modify the phosphorus dosing. Fish food provides both N and P.

K2SO4 = Potassium. If you lower your KNO3 and KH2PO4 dosing because of fish food, you should dose K2SO4 as a source of potassium. Fish food is generally a bit low on K.

GH booster = Plants and fish use Calcium and Magnesium. If you are doing regular water changes with water that has at least 3 German degrees of hardness, you may not need GH booster. If the Ca:Mg ratio is skewed in the tap water then you might need to dose either Ca or Mg as singles to get closer to the right ratio.

Trace minerals. Usually dosed as a blend such as CSM+B (dry) or Seachem Flourish Comprehensive (liquid). Fish food has most trace minerals, but is low in iron. These have some iron, but some people dose more Fe, especially if you lower the dosing of traces because fish food supplies most traces.

Chelated Iron = A source of iron that is chemically bound up in a way that the plants can use. Otherwise the iron can get locked up in the substrate in a way that plants cannot get. There are several forms of chelated iron depending on the pH of your water.

Get each of these separately, so you can modify the amount you use according to how your tank responds.

A few sources:
www.aquariumfertilizer.com
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...d.php?t=926145
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