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Hey guys,

Just joined the forum as I am in the very early stages of setting up my first planted tank, a 37 gallon tall tank. I consider this my first foray into the hobby - my mom had an aquarium when I was growing up and I had a small one in my bedroom as a young teenager, but I hardly knew what I was doing and it was fish only with plastic plants

Here's my setup so far:
  • 37 Gallon tall aquarium
  • Fluval/Aquaclear 70 HOB filter
  • Adjustable heater
  • 40lbs CaribSea Eco-Completed planted tank substrate
  • 12lbs CaribSea Exotica Mountain stone
  • Fluval Fresh & Plant 3.0 (In the mail)
I have a nice piece of Manzanita driftwood on the way.

It's been set up since Saturday 7/24 and I've added API Stress Zyme a few times, but I'm not getting any readings above 0 for ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates. I was thinking about adding Seachem Stability. What do you guys think?

Once the driftwood arrives, I'm going to work on the hardscape and stock it full of plants. So exciting!

I'll post a picture later.
 

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What I would do,

1. Dose whatever bottled bacteria I have on hand, and find your lowest quality food you have, and feed your "invisible fishies" every couple of days.

2. Then once I've done that for maybe a week to two, add my plants, and my root tabs, and start liquid ferts, because I decided that 10 root tabs were "just enough" for my lightly planted tank, and I completely blew my water parameters, I mean I'm talking maybe 2 ppm ammonia, like 5 ppm nitrites, and 40ppm nitrates,

3. At that stage, you just wait, every week, keep testing that water, and once yous ee your ammonia gone, you can start to add a couple of snails,

4. Once you see your nitrites decrease to less than 0.5ppm I added a tiny amount of fish, and then slowly, every week, adding a little more fish, and a little more fish, until you are fully stocked, this way, your fish are happy your bacteria are happy, your plants are happy and so are you.

This is what I've done for my first planted, and the fish are eating well, no casualties, minimal algae, and good plant growth

This is what I did, and it seems to work, but beware, with that high powered of a light, you need to watch it like a hawk, as my budget light, when it was not programmed properly, gave my hardscape a nice shade of "brown diatom" :ROFLMAO:
 
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