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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone, this isn't my first aquarium but it will be my 1st planted tank :laugh2: Also I'll apologize now because I will have a lot of questions so I don't have to tear my tank up in the future.

I'm not sure if this is the right place to put this posting because it will be a journal but I'm also looking for lots of feedback. We're at the beginning of the journey (cycling is so close to being done I can taste it).

I'm using the drag & drop feature for pictures, if there is a better way could someone let me know? Photobucket maybe? Sorry about the pics I used my cell phone and I made the water cloudy messing with the driftwood.

Substrate is just black aquarium sand covered with a thin layer of black gravel. The seashell and rock are from my other tank, I put them in there to help seed some BB. So is the heater in the background, it will be replaced with a 200w submersible heater when I move my fish over. The HOB filter will also be replaced when I move my fish over (the 20 gallon will be turned into a sump for this tank).

The first 3 pics are me just trying to figure out how I want to place my driftwood. (1st time using real wood its been soaking in the tank while it cycled, most of the tannin leaching has stopped and the white growth is almost done). Any suggestions on placement? I like them all equally.

The 4th pic is my current 20 gallon the only fish I have so far are guppies, 2 nerite snails, MTS, and pond snails. I will be putting everything but the pond snails in the new tank. I'm also thinking about adding RCS (the main reason I picked black substrate).

The 5th pic is just a fake log that I can also use. I thought about trying to cover it in Java Moss if mine ever starts growing. (My Java Moss is that brown clump behind the Marimo moss ball in pic 4).

The lighting will be a 30" Finnex Planted+ 24/7 currently in the mail so hopefully it is here before the tank finishes cycling.
CO2 MIGHT happen in the future but not anytime soon. Going to make sure I can grow plants regularly before I start adding on more expenses.

TL: DR
Suggestions on DW placement?
*Can I add any fish besides RCS?
*I was thinking about some Willow Moss or something similar that I can put on the DW that will drape over is, any suggestions?
*I only dose with API CO2 booster, API Leaf Zone, and API Root tabs. I plan on getting dry ferts, I just have to pick someone to order from, any suggestions?
*My guppy fry love that plastic fake grass on the right side of pic #4, is there any plant I can grow a nice carpet with that doesn't require CO2 or an insane amount of moss?
*I'm open to all suggestions. Also let me know if you need better pics or different angles.

Thanks in advanced
~Drew~
P.S. my current plant list is in my signature.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I ended up going with pic #1 for the DW setup. That way I (hopefully) can put some Willow Moss on the top and it might droop over the top. I don't know that's how I picture it. If Willow Moss won't work is there another plant that will droop over the top?

I also included a pic of the stand I'm using. It holds a 29 gallon at the top and my 20 gallon fits on the bottom. Does anyone think its a bad idea to keep a sump on the bottom bracing of the stand?

My light will be here Friday then I will start planting.
I'm thinking about using S. Repens for some type of ground cover but I'm unsure if that will work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
This will be the layout i choose until I get my plants in the tank on Friday. I'm sure once I start placing plants things will get moved around.

On another note while testing my water today I had O ammonia but nitrites and nitrates were off the charts. I did a 50% water change since I read I want those numbers less but even after the water changes they were still off of the charts. I didn't touch the gravel or filter when changing the water.

To test my kit I then checked my tap water and my established aquariums both read 0 for ammonia and nitrites. Ammonia in the cycling tank has been 0 for a while I've been bumping it up to about 2 ppm daily with pure ammonia from Ace hardware. I was really hoping this cycle would be over Friday but I guess I'll just add my plants on Friday and my fish will have to hangout in the 20 gallon for a little while longer.

Tomorrow I will do another water change if the nitrites are still off the charts. I would calibrate my test kits but all of the steps I found online require having KNO3 on hand and I haven't purchased any dry ferts yet, and I haven't found a local shop that carries them so I'll have to order online and wait.

I also will be going to Home Depot tomorrow for buckets so I'll check and see if they have some kind of fertilizer possibly in the pond section? :confused:
I was looking at GLA ferts and I'm confused between E.I. and PPS. I just want some ferts that I can dose once a week after water changes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Alright got my light on Friday and moved the few plants that I had in my 20 gallon over. Then I filled my 20 gallon with a great bunch of duckweed, salvania, and dwarf water lettuce that I won on an amazing ROAK on here earlier in the week. I put some in the 29 gallon as well but I FILLED the 20 gallon.

Anyways this is what I've come up with so far for my tank. I'm going to replace that ugly in tank filter that's wrapped to protect my guppy fry with a sponge filter I'm jus trying to decide on if I should get 1 big one or 2 small ones to put in the corners. I'll also look at some plants to grab when I go to Petco/PetSmart now that I have my light.

The Anubis isn't tied to the DW I just have it wedged in an opening. The Amazon Sword is the little plant in the back left corner, I cut a lot of leaves off and some brown roots so I hope I didn't shock it too much.

Now I just have to figure out what other plants I should buy. I already know I want to find some Willow moss, Phoenix moss, and Flame moss For the DW. Any other suggestions?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the tip!
Does that mean I should just slide it over? Or is there more to it? I was wondering why everyone else 29 gallon on here looks so much roomier than mine but I just thought I bought a piece of DW that was too big.
 

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Thanks for the tip!
Does that mean I should just slide it over? Or is there more to it? I was wondering why everyone else 29 gallon on here looks so much roomier than mine but I just thought I bought a piece of DW that was too big.
The more I look at I see why you put it in the position you did. I looks like a dog. Lovely piece of wood. Try moving it at different angles and take a pic to see if it makes the tank look bigger. The tank is 30in long?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Yea 30in. Thanks, I couldn't pass up the wood when I saw it, but I do kinda wish it was 2 separate pieces. I'll play around with it tomorrow, I'm going to grab some more stuff to add to the tank in the afternoon.

Thanks for the tip. Hopefully I can find a better angle for the DW.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Sorry about the cloudiness I disturbed a root tab when I decided to move my Amazon Sword and kinda rearrange the DW. I'll take a better pic tomorrow when it clears up a bit.

I added 3 plants of Downoi in front of the DW and planted a few of my Egeria that I had floating around while I wait for other plants to arrive. I ordered a bubble foam filter to replace the in tank filter that I have covered with that blue thing. I'm also thinking about adding a background, either black or mirror, I'll probably get both and decide which one I like from there.

I'm also adding flame moss and phoenix moss in a couple of weeks when I have some more extra money. Then I just need to find some weeping willow moss. After that I'm all out of ideas for plants to add. But, I would like to find something that can break up all of the green I'll have going.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
That's just the filter for now. My other filter is in the mail and hopefully will be a lot more discreet. It's black and I'll be putting on a black background to try and camouflage it.

You're still right though I need something bushy back there but I have no idea what to get.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Here's a new pic now that the dust has settled.

I'm thinking of trying Rotala rotundifolia, Red Tiger Lotus, or Cabomba Purple (Red) for some color and possibly Cryptocoryne Beckettii or Green Tiger Lotus. I just want to pick one from both groups, I don't know how many plants I can fit in there and take care of. Any suggestions out of those choices? Will they still look good in a tank without CO2 or high lighting?

O yeah please ignore the dirtiness of the tank. I'm going to start doing water changes now that I know my cycle is done, everytime I wipe off the stuff on the DW it comes back but its starting to be less and less.
Also any suggestions on a nice low profile powerhead for a 29 gallon?
 

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A couple suggestions...

1. Plants will need CO2 in order to thrive and also some fertilizer or root tabs or both. Look up how to do DIY CO2 and also dosing fertilizers in your tank here on TPT. A lot of good info out there
2. I would remove the air stone and look at getting a canister filter instead of a HOB.
3. Get a piece of 1/2" thick styrofoam insulation, cut it to the dimensions of the back of your tank and paint one side black. Attach it to the back of the tank. This will show off your fish and plants much better.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
A couple suggestions...

1. Plants will need CO2 in order to thrive and also some fertilizer or root tabs or both. Look up how to do DIY CO2 and also dosing fertilizers in your tank here on TPT. A lot of good info out there
2. I would remove the air stone and look at getting a canister filter instead of a HOB.
3. Get a piece of 1/2" thick styrofoam insulation, cut it to the dimensions of the back of your tank and paint one side black. Attach it to the back of the tank. This will show off your fish and plants much better.
Thanks for the tips.
I currently use api root tabs, leaf zone, and co2 booster. I am going to order some dry ferts soon though.
My new filters are in the mail hopefully they're here soon. They will just be temporary, I'm hoping to add a sump so i can hide my equipment.
Thanks for the tips on the insulation, I'll be doing this one instead of the mirror background.

Any suggestions for canister filters in case I change my mind on doing a sump?
 

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Thanks for the tips.
I currently use api root tabs, leaf zone, and co2 booster. I am going to order some dry ferts soon though.
My new filters are in the mail hopefully they're here soon. They will just be temporary, I'm hoping to add a sump so i can hide my equipment.
Thanks for the tips on the insulation, I'll be doing this one instead of the mirror background.

Any suggestions for canister filters in case I change my mind on doing a sump?
I use Fluval. Since that is a 29gal tank, a 304/305 would work fine. Check e-bay because sometimes you can get good deals for used ones.
 

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I use Fluval. Since that is a 29gal tank, a 304/305 would work fine. Check e-bay because sometimes you can get good deals for used ones.
Don't buy used for their life span is shorter than a new 1.

I have gotten my best filters, Eheims, new on Ebay. I had Eheim Classic 2213 on 29g and it seemed too low.

Bump:
A couple suggestions...
1. Plants will need CO2 in order to thrive and also some fertilizer or root tabs or both. Look up how to do DIY CO2 and also dosing fertilizers in your tank here on TPT. A lot of good info out there
Sometimes the Co2 that is in the water is enough for the plants you have. It just depends on your plants and the light over the tank if Co2 additive like Seachem Excel or Co2 injected is needed.

If you stick to fern, moss, anubias, crypts, wisteria, water sprite and have low light you will not have to worry about Co2.

I buy dry ferts here. I have found that Spectricide Stump Remover is 100% KNO3. Can do DIY of co2 booster Metricide or Cidex. Not cidex odt. A quart is approx $25 on Ebay. At dealmed.com 1 gallon $18.20. shipping $9.99

Excel has 1.5% Glut.
glut = (1.5 x container)/ cidex glut%
glut = (1.5% * 100ml)/2.5%.
500ml bottle = 300ml of 2.5%(Metricide 28) + 200ml of water
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I use Fluval. Since that is a 29gal tank, a 304/305 would work fine. Check e-bay because sometimes you can get good deals for used ones.
Thanks for the info, I trust Fluval products I've used a few of their other products in the past.

Don't buy used for their life span is shorter than a new 1.

I have gotten my best filters, Eheims, new on Ebay. I had Eheim Classic 2213 on 29g and it seemed too low.

Bump:
Sometimes the Co2 that is in the water is enough for the plants you have. It just depends on your plants and the light over the tank if Co2 additive like Seachem Excel or Co2 injected is needed.

If you stick to fern, moss, anubias, crypts, wisteria, water sprite and have low light you will not have to worry about Co2.

I buy dry ferts here. I have found that Spectricide Stump Remover is 100% KNO3. Can do DIY of co2 booster Metricide or Cidex. Not cidex odt. A quart is approx $25 on Ebay. At dealmed.com 1 gallon $18.20. shipping $9.99

Excel has 1.5% Glut.
glut = (1.5 x container)/ cidex glut%
glut = (1.5% * 100ml)/2.5%.
500ml bottle = 300ml of 2.5%(Metricide 28) + 200ml of water
Thanks for all the info. I tend not to buy used unless its something I don't mind breaking randomly on me.
I haven't used Eheim products but I've heard good things about them. The Petco near me is having an everything must go sale so I might go down there and see how much these different filters are since they are up to 30% off.
I need to grab a powerhead regardless. Maybe a spray bar but I don't know much about them.

My light has been on the 24/7 mode since I got it and I'm starting to think I put my Anubis in a place that gets it too much light. It looks like its leaves are starting to get algae so I'll have to rethink some plants to put on my DW.
Thanks for the link to the dry ferts, I've been looking for somewhere to get them locally but now I can see I'll have to order them online, which means I can't order them until next week.
I've been using API CO2 Booster so far, is that recipe for liquid CO2? I might do a little CO2 in the future but it will be a while before I can afford a pressurized system.

The only problem I'm having now is I want to keep my floating plants and I don't see how that is possible with a sump or a canister filter yet. But, I'm sure I can figure it out with some trial and error.
Will something like the plant guard below be enough to keep floating plants away from my sump or canister filter?
Floating Plant Guard - Han Aquatics
 

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Thanks for the link to the dry ferts.

I've been using API CO2 Booster so far, is that recipe for liquid CO2? http://www.hanaquatics.com/floating-plant-guard/
It is a recipe to make Seachem excel.

When I order on line my products will cost 11 and shipping $8. The order should last 62 weeks. Before I buy I will see if someone at local club has ferts so can avoid shipping cost.

Bump:
I need to grab a powerhead regardless. Maybe a spray bar but I don't know much about them.

My light has been on the 24/7 mode since I got it and I'm starting to think I put my Anubis in a place that gets it too much light.

I might do a little CO2 in the future but it will be a while before I can afford a pressurized system.

I want to keep my floating plants and I don't see how that is possible with a sump or a canister filter yet.
I can not envision how you can have floating plants with a powerhead? With floating plants your light will low thus will probably not need to add Co2.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
It is a recipe to make Seachem excel.

When I order on line my products will cost 11 and shipping $8. The order should last 62 weeks. Before I buy I will see if someone at local club has ferts so can avoid shipping cost.

Bump:
I can not envision how you can have floating plants with a powerhead? With floating plants your light will low thus will probably not need to add Co2.
Oh nice. That will be way cheaper than buying it locally. I'll have to find a local club, so far the only thing I found around is hydroponic clubs and I'm not sure I can use those products.

I was hoping with really good placement of a couple of floating plant guards I could keep the plants in a place that doesn't interfere with the powerhead and hopefully would leave at least half my tank with full light.

I won't know if its possible until I order this stuff and start playing around with it.

I also need to order some planting tools, I'm tired of sticking my whole arm in the tank every time I replant something.
 

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I was hoping with really good placement of a couple of floating plant guards I could keep the plants in a place that doesn't interfere with the powerhead

I also need to order some planting tools, I'm tired of sticking my whole arm in the tank every time I replant something.
Very interesting. They would work good in a breeding tank.

Try Fleebay for tweezers etc. Buying items from China takes a month but worth the wait.
 
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