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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I had a thread going for my new tank and realized that this is the proper location so I will be moving everything over here to chart my progress:

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:
1 Aquatech HOB filter
Sunsun Hw302 canister filter
Aqueon 100W heater
Finnex Planted + LED
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 flora and fauna to the tank:
Water Sprite
Anubia Nana
Giant Hairgrass
Java Fern
Java Moss
Dwarf Hairgrass

2x Molly (1x RIP) (1x foundling)
10x White Cloud Minnow
5x Otocinclus (4x RIP)
5x Sterbai Corydora

The picture below represents the tank after I added the first plants.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Week 11

Status update week 11

I added a Finnex Planted+ LED light that hopefully will reawaken the dwarf hairgrass that is slowly dieing at the bottom of my tank.

The flora and fauna has also changed with the addition of some Java Fern and Java Moss and the subtraction of several dead 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.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
I like how you posted about a new light and then your next post you have an algae issue :p

How long is the light on each day?
I heard that green dust algae was common in new tanks and nothing to worry about. I think that is what I have, so I have been just letting it run it's course. I could be wrong. I have some wispy green strands in a few locations, but it is mostly just a thin coat on the glass that is easy to wipe off.

I had my tank on a timer using a 3 hour, 5.5 hour split phase. To be sure, I reduced it to a 2.5 hour,5 hour split. I'm not really sure how long I need the lights on to be honest.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Week 12

Added x12 Glass Shrimp to the mix. I'm hoping they help keep the java moss a bit cleaner.

Green dust algae still around the tank glass, but it is browning.

Plucked the last bits of Dwarf Hairgrass out. I think that plant is better suited for a high light and CO2 situation. The Giant Hairgrass is not doing too well either, might be next.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
A couple weeks later...

Added a crypt to the tank (no label Petco purchase)

The green dust algae has run it's course. I have been letting the snails multiply and they, along with the shrimp, have been doing a great job of keeping the plants clean.

The Giant Hairgrass has started growing in a bit better, but the rate of growth is very slow.
 

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Oooh it's coming along nicely, especially the water sprite! It's one of the best low light plant, it's a beast. My water sprite was half the size of yours though.

Ever thought of doing DIY Co2? It might help with the hair grass, just let the wife know it's not moon shine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Yes, I have thought aboout adding some easy DIY jugs of CO2. I think the hairgrass would probably like it. I get the feeling that if I start dosing any CO2 it's only going to be a matter of time before I decide that I need to upgrade to a cylinder tank and regulator and I don't want to start down that path quite yet. I started this tank not really knowing anything about aquarium keeping and I want to keep it to minimal maintenance for now. I feel like I'm just getting the tank dialed in now with the right mix of plants, clean-up critters, lights, and nutrients.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
5/7/15 update

I haven't updated this post in quite some time so I thought I'd take a snapshot and note changes to the tank. I've added several new plants and some fish.

Current situation

Fauna:
3x Molly
10x White Cloud Minnows
~12x Ghost shrimp

Flora:
Anubia Nana
Java Fern
Java Moss
Water Sprite
Amazon Sword
Cryptosomething
Amazon Frogbit
Red Root Floaters

I've shuffled some fish to another tank since I first started this project back in October. At the moment everything is growing fine and the fish seem healthy.
 

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