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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is my very first post after months of research and so much confusion I have finally dove in and this weekend go to pick up my first ordered aquarium in the hopes of creating a beautiful underwater oasis of unique plants and fish/critters that thrive and interact with each other in their own little aquatic world.

Here is what I have picked out for purchase In the coming days

* 60 gal marineland 48 in long x 13 inch wide x 24 inch deep with two 24 inch flourescents and with beautiful modern black stand
* Fluval canister filter 75 gal capacity --- may buy the 100 gal capacity...thoughts here?
* Finnex planted plus 24/7 48 inch LED light
* 300 watt Aquatop submersible heater
* Four 20 lb bags of Caribsea Eco Complete in black
* API freshwater aquarium master test kit
* Seachem Flourish Excel 500 ml
- Am I missing other starting essentials?

I am wanting to do mid to high light planted aquarium with Discuss, and schooling fish, and potentially rainbows, also wanting to have shrimp interacting in moss beds and want to use Malaysian Driftwood to create gnarled trees and roots in which I will incorporate plants into and caves with....

Please let me know what else I should be buying and what steps I should take to get all of this running and cycled in this next month
......also what should I keep as fillers in the three cartridges in my frugal canister filter to maximize growth...... Please keep in mind I am trying hard to stay away from CO2 because of the cost

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Were it me,(and it ain't) I would set up the tank ,level it, place the substrate and heater in the tank and fill it with dechlorinated water (see PRIME for dechlorinator).
Would then hook up/plug in filter's loaded with pad's or foam inserted into basket's. Biomedia is not all that important in planted aquarium but you can place some in one of the basket's if you choose.
I would then let the tank run with no fishes for next month while I bought lot's fast growing plant's that do not need much light.
Water sprite,vallisneria,anacharis,Hygrophilia,ludwigia, along with some foreground plant's such as crypt's and some Anubia that you can attach to wood.
Would plant these plant's as thick and as many as I could.
Would source some dry fertilizer's(macro/micronutrient's) from or
Would adopt consistent nutrient dosing in addition to nutrient's that may or may not be found in the substrate until the tank ages a bit.
Would run the one finnex 24/7 for six hours a day total for first few week's (4).
Fishes would be last thing to go in the tank after I had some success with getting the plant's off to good start and the time needed for this to happen could be spent researching Discus and their care.
Plenty of time after plant's are established to tweak lighting,and try different more demanding plant's but is confidence builder to see some early success rather than battling algae from the get go (see too much light for too long).
Would not worry bout cycling the tank,just about cramming it with plant's that grow fast and considered easy.
Plenty of time to swap em out later.
Medium to high light in the beginning ,is not your friend.
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