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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, im starting my first planted tank in less that 5 weeks and am currently gathering my needed supplies. I've currently purchased a 15 pound bag of black flourite sand, 20 pounds of black tahitian sand, and a medium sized net. I'm purchasing a 29 gallon biocube, and am going to switch out the actinic (Sp?) with another 10,000k 36 wat straight pin bulb. I also have the hopes of using on using Api root tabs as well as Hagen Plant Grow Natural System (Includes CO2). I'd really love to have dwarf baby tears or dwarf hairgrass so it has a nice carpet, as well as some taller, nice looking plants. I'm going to set the tank up with mixed flourite and sand, with a few rock decorations, and hopefully (Crossing my fingers) some nice driftwood. I really do need help with plant choice and timing matters, so suggestions would be greatly apprecitated.

As for the fish i plan on keeping two fantail goldfish with airstones running at night so the fish arent poisened by the co2. Any suggestions for the fish or any help at all for me?
 

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Mixing the flourite and sand may sound like a good idea, but due to the irregular and inconsistent shape of flourite, the sand with undoubtedly eventually make it's way to the bottom of the tank.
 

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You will do better to make your own DIY CO2 system, using two 2 liter soft drink bottles. That tank will have high light unless you only run one of the bulbs at a time, so good CO2 will be essential to avoid lots of algae problems. Using two bottles, and starting them a week apart, then replenishing one tank every week, might give you enough CO2 to run both bulbs at once.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
would i have to use silicone to attach the airline tubing to the bottles, and is a bubble counter also neccesary? Also how would I disperse the Co2? Using an airstone sounds like it could be possible or use another diffuser method similar to a glass diffuser?
 

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Read the DIY Forum, searching for DIY CO2, and you will find lots of advice about how to convert soft drink bottles to CO2 generators. A bubble counter isn't needed at all, but they do serve another purpose, to catch yeast solution before it gets to the aquarium. That tank has a big filter compartment in back, where, with some effort you can poke the CO2 line into the little pump inlet area, or just bubble the CO2 in the filter sponge area, where it should dissolve during the passage through the sponges. Personally, I would just use a single PC bulb, to cut the light in half.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
My concerns with only using one bulb on the biocube will limit my choice of plants. As i said, i really would enjoy a carpeting plant such as dwarf hairgrass, or dwarf baby tears. I have alot of time dedicated to my fish now, since the goldfish my parents purchased me are only in a 10 gallon, the best i could find at my local store in such a short period of time, due to them trying to have me keep them in a small one gallon, as most fish keepers know that goldfish require 20 gallons for the first plus 10 for the second and so on, im very experienced with tropical, and cold water fish, as well as some rarer types of fish such as sharky my 12 year old black labeo in a 75 gallon, unplanted, with a few glowlight tetras (Personnaly the MEANEST fish i have ever owned, they had my poor betta running scared).
I really would love to see the two of them swimming freely in a larger tank munching on some taller plants, so thats were the lighting becomes an issue. Most of my whole part time jobs' salery is dedicated to my fish hobby, so although i refuse to buy an actual co2 system, i have plenty of time, space, and cashflow to support my new tank and the inhabitants of plant and fish alike.
 

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Your plant choices are limited much more by CO2 than by light. Once you get low medium light you can grow almost all plants, if you have good CO2. Without good CO2 plants grow much slower, and some plants just don't make it at all. Doubling your light will benefit algae far more than plants.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
So if i have a well made diy co2 system your saying i could use 1 36w bulb for the tank and still have signifigant growth and the plants would be fine even if they were medium lighting in a low light tank?
 

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Hoppy knows lighting better than anyone on the planet. If he says it will be enough light, it will be enough light. Also, if the light fixture you're using is T5HO, that isn't low light.

We all made the mistake of trying to use too much light when we started growing aquatic plants. Bad advice at the LFS will send you down that path also. Mostly we just end up growing algae. If you really want to grow plants under high light, set up a top notch CO2 system first. You can always add light later. If you put the cart before the horse, and upgrade lighting first, you will have algae problems. Most plants grow very well , even "high light" plants, with much less light than you might expect.

One last note: I'm by no means an expert on goldfish, but I know they do eat many plants.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
So one bulb it is~ that sure saves me money, thank you hoppy very much for your insight! And yes sharkfood, they do loooove eating plants. I use to have a pond that kept many shubunkin, comet, and fantail goldfish and once a week i would feed them lettuce and other odds and ends that theyd grown to love munching on. Sadly Dumbledor, my female fantail, seems to be very picky on what she eats, and even then Shaboopy follows her lead, so hopefully they will only pick a few plants to munch on and the rest shall be fine. Even if they do decide they love the taste of all the aquatic plants, i wont mind, ill think of them as rescaping their home to their liking. The tank is bassicaly for them, and the plants are just a second thought kind of thing, thats why i dont want to have a pressurized co2 system. :)
 
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