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another newbie!

928 Views 6 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Hilde
hello i just started this tank around a month ago. its a 40 gallon breeder tank i believe. it looking kinda pitifull right now but im wanting to make it a beutiful aquascaped tank on the cheap or as cheap as possible. right now it has natural brown gravel under a layer of black gravel. im gonna do a water change tomorrow and im planning on mixing the two color gravels for a better look i hope. i have a few plants growing in it now that look to be doing well. the only name i remember is a java fern and two other kinds. i have some really nice looking driftwood i am going to put in it soon. i want to do some short growing grass looking plants along with some java moss or xmas moss growing up and on my driftwood. im doubt my lighting is gonna be enough for fast growth but hopefully it will still grow. i was looking for maybe a few suggestions on plant recomindations that will work with what im wanting to do. heres a few pics of what i have remember the tank is looking pretty empty right now. thanks!!


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Welcome to TPT!

I hate to tell you this, but you have several non-aquatic plants in your tank. The striped plants are a Dracaena species, and the dark green fern is Borneo fern (Trichomanes javanicum). Both of those will eventually die if you keep them in the tank. The Dracanea will make a good houseplant if you pot it. I'm not sure about the Borneo fern as a houseplant, though- it normally is used inside terrariums and probably needs a high humidity.

It looks like you have a swordplant, though, which should be fine as long as your goldfish don't decide to eat it.

Unless you decide to upgrade your lighting, right now I'd probably stick with Java ferns, Anubias, mosses, and perhaps some crypts and more swords for your tank- IF the goldfish will leave them alone.

I'd encourage you to look at some of the other moss species besides just java moss. Xmas moss might be a really good choice for your tank, and would look more "tidy" than java moss.

Also- and this is extremely important- you're going to need to choose whether you want to set up a goldfish tank OR a tank for tropical fish. Goldfish need to be kept at much cooler tempeartures (60-72F), but most tropical fish need to be kept 76-82F. That is a very big difference, and one of the main reasons that goldies and tropicals should never be kept together (there are other reasons it's a bad idea, as well...)

If your goal here is to set up a planted tank, then you're probably better off rehoming the goldfish (which eat plants) and sticking with tropical fish.

Except the silver dollar I think I see in your tank- which though it is a tropical fish, it also will eat all your plants, so will probably need to be rehomed.
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+1 on the non aquatic plants had them in my tank when i also started they will eventually die.
thanks for the info. i bought these plants at a chain pet store. this aquarium stuff isnt as easy as i thought it once was. what can i use that will blanket the whole bottom of the tank kinda like grass or moss? i guess it would take buying alot of it?
You'll most likely need to upgrade your lighting to get a carpeting plant going. IME most carpeting plants also will do much better in a substrate that contains nutrients rather than inert gravel or sand.
Putting a back ground on your tank always makes them look alot better IMHO.Cheap idea to make it look a little nicer and show your fish up more.
Welcome to the addition!!

If you decide to change the substrate the cheapest thing to do is the El Natural method. Perhaps you use the gravel to top the dirt. If it the gravel doesn't work you could put a thin layer of sand over dirt, favorite top soil is Scott's, and then add the black gravel. Here dolomite suggested. I don't it wise to use if your ph is high for may raise the ph.

Check out these low tech tanks here
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