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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,

I have been looking through the posts on the forum and there is a lot of information. So much so, it can be a bit overwhelming for a newbie.

I see a lot of people that go and set up a tank without getting proper advice so I thought I'd take the smart approach and ask first in order to save myself some headaches and money in the process.

I do have a background keeping freshwater tanks, in fact when living in Australia I had a quarantine facility and 400+ holding tanks so... A bit of experience with just about every species... and every disease. :)

Just not plants.

I sold the business 7 years ago and moved back to the US and I have not owned a tank since (got a little burned out obviously)... But now I'd like to set up a 29 gallon tank in my office, low light, co2, that is primarily anubias, ferns, and mosses. Something very thick and lush but also very slow growing.

So my question is, based off those parameters, I like to get some opinions on what the best co2 system would be for that size of a tank. Cost is not an issue, I want something that works well but is not over the top ridiculous in price. Also, the lighting choice. Single 24" tube fluro??

Additionally:

I was planning to use some black gravel over an undergravel filter (with a low flow rate) with a centerpiece of Malaysian driftwood that I would like to culture with some plant.

For fish I was thinking maybe 20 cardinal tetras and some of those crystal red shrimp and that's it for wildlife. (open to other fish reccomendations)

I am not a big fan of java moss, I like the small leafy ferns/mosses like pearl moss and star moss.. for a large plant was thinking of the java fern types and perhaps one red plant to break it all up... And something like a short growing grassy plant to cover a bit of the gravel.

So if anyone would like to give me some ideas for plants to look at, and possible sources, I would be eternally grateful for that information as well.

Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Would that also apply to tanks with 3 to 4 inches of substrate? My thoughts were the low flow rate would help keep the bed oxygenated and "healthy" but not be detrimental to plant growth.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I agree but the fish are not the primary goal. My goal will be to get the plants growing well, getting the tank established, and having a period of time passing where everything has settled down and I find the right mix of co2, supplements, and plants that I can do well with. Then I will be worried about the fish. Once the tank has settled down I can see what the oxygen levels are, average ph, etc. and then make an educated decision on what needs to be done then and what fish will do best in the resulting conditions.

I have still yet to receive any recommendations on a good co2 system for this size tank or the lighting or good plant choices. Obviously not being a co2 pro, I'd like something that is pretty user friendly.

I have realized that pearl moss is not a true aquatic (despite being told locally it was) So thanks to the forum for that. My water is 7.6 out of the tap but it does not take much for it to drift to 6.6... So perhaps mixing a bit of onyx in with with fluorite would be a good idea??
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
fissidens fontanus is a great looking plant, thanks for that recommendation. I will certainly have a look at the regulators you guys are offering. It does not need to say Fluval to make me happy.

Where can I find a good selection of plant on-line, especially the fissidens fontanus. I'd like to get enough to be able to culture the wood at leat 50%, a small patch I am afraid will take a long time to spread and this piece I have is about 20 inches long, 9 inches deep, and 10 inches high.

Have you had any experience with Hemianthus Chitricholdes? height? Requirements? etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
Thanks for the great information guys, I have PM'd a couple of you about parts and getting set up.

I just wanted to say something about the undergravel comment. Other than my last 7 year break from the hobby/business, I have had tanks for about 30 years. I remember the box filter days with carbon on the bottom and floss on the top.

Granted some of the canister filters are great but.. I am sorry, you really don't need them and you really do not benefit from them. In my holding facility we were using sponge tubes about 8 inches long that were simply inserted into a cosmetic jar that was filled with shell grit and an airstone. These home-made filters workd fine in a 50 gallon holding tank with 2000 tetras, add another if the fish were a bit bigger.

Same goes with undergravels.. talk about simple and effective. The commercial design we had for large tank bays was a 160 gallon tank that had a 4 inch sump with 15 inches of bioballs on the top. Insanely effective biological filter. It worked the same way as an undergravel did.

Granted an Ehiem is a nice filter but totally not necessary, especially in a planted tank with 20 inch long fish and a few shrimp. I see that as a waste of money.

Now I am not trying to argue if a planted tank should or should not use an undergravel but I would like to toss this out for consideration.

If all you were cultivating were java ferns and mosses and perhaps a small foreground plant that would never sink roots deeper than 2-3 inches... and you had 3-4 inches of substrate like the clay from Seachem.. Then what honestly would be the problem with an undergravel? They do keep the substrate form going anerobic and I would think this would aid in the healthy breakdown of wastes and be beneficial to shallow rooted plants.

I think sometimes we think "basic" does not work well. But just like these regulators, you do not need the word "fluval" on it to have a really high quality product that delivers the gas you need in the amount you need..

Just my two cents on the filtration issue... Thanks for reading :icon_smil
 
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