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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone!
First let me introduce myself. I live in San Jose, CA and this is my first tank.

I have extremely limited experience with fish and aquariums in general. My first fish was 3 neon tetras in a container that was less than .35 gallon. They survived for about a month surprisingly. One died from stealing all the food from the other two and the rest died from being in the sun. That was when I was six years old.I then got a betta fish freshman year of high school. The betta lived for about a year and died because of neglect.

One day I was browsing around to look for ideas on a vivarium for my snake. I somehow ended up in theplantedtank.com. I was instantly hooked and browsed around the forums. I was inspired to PROPERLY care for fish.

I still sometimes get a pang of guilt everytime I think about those fish I had in the past.

So a year later at the age of 21 I finally got a tank. I have the small essentials like Prime, water tester etc. I'm pretty sure the tank is cycled and I've been trying to find the sweet spot between how much or how little to feed... I've been doing water changes every 3 days and testing before every water change.
Current tank:
1. 15 gallons
2. Aquaclear 30: 2 sponges and biomax ceramic rings
3. Cheap led hood
4. Subwassertang and Java Moss
5. Heater

Current residents:
1. 2 Panda Corydoras
2. 2 Streba (Sterbai?) Corydoras

I'm not sure how I want to stock these tanks. I might keep the Corydoras, might not. I'm thinking about going with Rosy Red Minnows or Guppies.

I am thinking about giving up one species of Corydora because I don't think a 15 gallon can support 2 shoals of both. I plan on raising guppies and red rosy minnows along with the corycats unless you all believe this is serious over stocking then I will definitely reconsider.

I plan on making this a low tech but medium lights. No CO2 as I don't feel comfortable using it and I don't have the immediate funds for an investment. I do plan on using Flourish Excel in exchange of CO2.

So far I ordered:
1. 2 bags of Eco Complete
2. Finnex Fugeray 24"
3. Flourish Excel
4. 5 inch gravel cleaner. I had a bigger one but I don't really like it.
5. Gel caps with osmocote plus in it. I'm not really sure if I need this. I read I need this for carpeting plants like glosso or dwarf baby tears

The scary part for me are the plant choices. I want my tank to be heavily planted. I don't know anything about aquatic plants and I've been looking at the plant package deals on aquabid. Sounds really ignorant but do stem plants have roots? Do you just bury them in the eco complete and that's it?
There is one package deal I really like and they consist of these plants:
1. Alternanthera reineckii
2. Cabomba caroliniana
3. Ceratophyllum demersum
4. Hemianthus micranthemoides
5. Hygrophila difformis
6. Limnophila indica
7. Ludwigia Peruensis
8. Ludwigia repens
9. Myriophyllum
10. Rotala Nanjenshan

I also want to add glosso or dwarf baby tears for partial carpeting.
They look pretty good but I don't know... Please feel free to give me any information or suggestions. I've been trying to read all the threads but it's a lot to take in. Anyways I hope you all can come along with me on this journey of building a tank.

Here's the picture of the 15 gallon tank
 

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With those plants and the carpeting plants you want, just invest in a pressurized co2 system now and save yourself the headache and time. You can do it for under 200. Milwaukee Regulator, Ista maxmix reactor and a used tank on craigslist.

Also, Some of those plants can be somewhat demanding. Not sure how long the tabs will last you, never done just tabs... but I'd look into EI or PPS dosing if things start going south.

EcoComplete is great in my opinion... good all around substrate.

Best of luck my friend, its addicting! Post pics!
 

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Carpe Diem
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Hi Hopps and welcome to TPT.

I am about an hour away from you at 94598, straight down 280/680.

It is a drive, but if you want to check some 7 planted tanks, pick some plants and fish (all free), and talk then you are welcome at my home and I will do my best to give you a crash intro. Feel free to bring a friend or two and some dog treats :).

PM if interested.

v3
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Welcome to TPT!!! I'm new here too, and am also setting up my first tank, so I can't be of much help there... But I'll be subscribing to and following this thread to see what kind of answers you get. Good luck!
Thanks! There's so much information to soak in, in the forums... I better get started on the readings haha!

With those plants and the carpeting plants you want, just invest in a pressurized co2 system now and save yourself the headache and time. You can do it for under 200. Milwaukee Regulator, Ista maxmix reactor and a used tank on craigslist.

Also, Some of those plants can be somewhat demanding. Not sure how long the tabs will last you, never done just tabs... but I'd look into EI or PPS dosing if things start going south.

EcoComplete is great in my opinion... good all around substrate.


Best of luck my friend, its addicting! Post pics!
Yeah I would love to invest in CO2 but I don't have the money right now. Starting school in the fall... I took your advice and went on craigslist. I'm definitely keeping an eye out for the stuff you mentioned. :D

So do you think the plants will do ok without the CO2 set up and just the Flourish Excel? And do you think the lighting is sufficient? I might not even do the carpeting plants

Man I stay glued to the forums for hours sometimes just trying to read everything... Very addicting indeed

Hi Hopps and welcome to TPT.

I am about an hour away from you at 94598, straight down 280/680.

It is a drive, but if you want to check some 7 planted tanks, pick some plants and fish (all free), and talk then you are welcome at my home and I will do my best to give you a crash intro. Feel free to bring a friend or two and some dog treats :).

PM if interested.

v3
Hi there! Too bad you're not closer. I live about 1.5 hours away :(
I saw your tanks and wow they are GORGEOUS. I definitely like the extremely heavily planted look (which is what I'm going for). Hopefully my tank turns out half as good as yours!!
 

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Carpe Diem
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Drive faster :)
Takes me ~50 mins from Los Altos one way with no traffic.

Do check RAOKs on TPT: you might get lucky.

v3
 

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Some of those plants can be somewhat demanding. Not sure how long the tabs will last you, never done just tabs... but I'd look into EI or PPS dosing if things start going south.
It is best to buy plants the suit your light, and Co2 options. It is cheaper in the long run.

I believe the root tabs last a year. Here is a tank in which only root tabs were used by Trallen 44.

EI or PPS dosing regiment requires weekly water changes. For you are overdosing with ferts.

I don't like to do more than monthly water changes. I use an all in 1 fert by select aquatics. It comes in dry form. A solution has to be made with, thus it last a long time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Drive faster :)
Takes me ~50 mins from Los Altos one way with no traffic.

Do check RAOKs on TPT: you might get lucky.

v3
RAOKs?

That's crazy you can get to Los Altos in 50 minutes! I've been up to Walnut Creek going at about 80 mph and it took almost an hour twenty!

Welcome the plant addition. Glad to read that you got a better light.

You might want to think of doing DIY Co2.
It is best to buy plants the suit your light, and Co2 options. It is cheaper in the long run.

I believe the root tabs last a year. Here is a tank in which only root tabs were used by Trallen 44.

EI or PPS dosing regiment requires weekly water changes. For you are overdosing with ferts.

I don't like to do more than monthly water changes. I use an all in 1 fert by select aquatics. It comes in dry form. A solution has to be made with, thus it last a long time.
Thanks for the welcome! I'm super stoked about the light :D

Yeah I was reading into the DIY CO2. I think I'll see how the Excel and root tabs go first. I'm super scared about gassing all my fish and waking up to them dead with the CO2.

So how many root tabs do I put in the substrate?

I really enjoy doing water changes and I have no idea why. How often should I do water changes with a heavily planted tank? I plan on having corycats, otos and minnows
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Lights and Eco Complete came in

Ok so the Finnex Fugeray and Eco Complete came in today! So I took out all the corydoras and dumped the Eco Complete in there. Right now I'm waiting for the tank to settle down...

Is this cloudiness normal in Eco Complete? It's gotten better since I did a 50% water change right after I changed it.

Also my Aquaclear is running with a prefilter. After I added the Eco Complete. it randomly makes a loud buzzing sound for a few seconds and goes back to being normal. What's wrong with it?

Fugeray 24":





The Cloudy Fish Tank:

 

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So I took out all the corydoras and dumped the Eco Complete in there. Right now I'm waiting for the tank to settle down...Is this cloudiness normal in Eco Complete? It's gotten better since I did a 50% water change right after I changed it.

Also my Aquaclear is running with a prefilter. After I added the Eco Complete. it randomly makes a loud buzzing sound for a few seconds and goes back to being normal. What's wrong with it?
Here is some info I gathered on it - Affects pH until the coating washes off. Should stabilize after a few weeks and regular water changes. Can be reused only twice

You could add a water clarifier to speed up the process.

Have you taken your filter apart and cleaned it? That might help. Just takethe media out and rinse it in tank water or treated tap water.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Here is some info I gathered on it - Affects pH until the coating washes off. Should stabilize after a few weeks and regular water changes. Can be reused only twice

You could add a water clarifier to speed up the process.

Have you taken your filter apart and cleaned it? That might help. Just takethe media out and rinse it in tank water or treated tap water.
The tank has gotten less cloudy which is comforting. I took the filter apart about 4 times and will continue to do so until the water is clear. I'm also doing water changes every time the water settles down. My prefilter has been getting rinsed every 30 minutes or so. I'm going to rinse it more often.

I'm super worried because my corydoras are pouting in a 5 gallon bucket. Do you think I can add the corydoras in while the water is cloudy?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
The cloud won't hurt them. I had a similar situation when I used play sand. If the substrate changes the water parameters that could stress them out.
Oh thank goodness. Thanks a lot for the help. I think the nervousness of setting up my first tank with live fish made me panic a little bit. At least the Corydoras will be happy being in their tank!

Man the Aquaclear is still periodically making a loud buzzing sound... And I just took it apart and rinsed it...
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
The Secret Corydoras Meeting

We have made progress in the cloudy tank! The tank is a little cloudy (as you can see in the picture) but I'm sure that will subside. I think one of the bags were a bad batch because it had a nasty smell but it seems fine now. Now I have another bag of Eco Complete coming in courtesy of Amazon. I guess this is an excuse to start up another tank but dirted and capped with Eco Complete? :icon_bigg

We went from this:


To this:



The cory cats are finally back in their tank and their behavior really changed. They just seem calmer and happier. They're not really sitting in the corners anymore, they're just out and about relaxed. I guess the dark substrate isn't reflecting all the light back into their faces or something.

Wow Eco Complete is a gorgeous substrate! I love how it looks and I'm sure it will look much better when the tank clears up!

And of course the Finnex Fugeray is AWESOME. Sleek, chic and very very bright. Hopefully my plants will do well with this light.

Next step are the plants. I bought a 55 stem plant package on Aquabid. They will be shipped on Wednesday/Thursday so hopefully I'll get them on Thursday/Friday. I also have Osmocote+ capsule root tab things coming in sometime this week.

The stem package consists of these plants:
1. Alternanthera reineckii
2. Cabomba caroliniana
3. Ceratophyllum demersum
4. Hemianthus micranthemoides
5. Hygrophila difformis
6. Limnophila indica
7. Ludwigia Peruensis
8. Ludwigia repens
9. Myriophyllum
10. Rotala Nanjenshan

Now time for the pictures of the residents of this tank (so far). They consist of:

2 Panda Corys
2 Streb'as (sterbai?) Corys

I have some health concerns. One of them is really pale and I have no idea why. The pale one swims normally, eats normally and his barbels even grew back (they were missing when I got them). Is he ill?

Do any of the corys seem too thin to you guys? I feed them 2 Hikari sinking wafers 5 times a day. Is that too little? I also drop in a quarter of an algae wafer although they only nibble on that.

Anyways the fun part. Pictures!

The Panda Cory Duo:


The Streba's Cory Duo: Are they called Streba, Sterbai or Streba's? They seem to have many different names.


Secret Cory Cat Meeting:
They were all sitting there and when I pointed the camera they all scattered. I think they're plotting something? :eek:
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Also I decided to switch lights. Instead of the 24" Fugeray I decided on the 24" Fugeray Planted+. I really wanted the red lights because the lights seemed a little harsh to my eyes. Returning the Fugeray tomorrow morning and the Planted+ should get here by Thrusday or Friday.

Has anyone noticed a difference between the Fugeray and the Planted+ (with the red light on)?

And also, how many root tabs should I put in the substrate? I'm guessing I need to put in around 3-5 depending on how big the capsules are.
 

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I decided to switch lights. Instead of the 24" Fugeray I decided on the 24" Fugeray Planted+. I really wanted the red lights because the lights seemed a little harsh to my eyes.

Has anyone noticed a difference between the Fugeray and the Planted+ (with the red light on)?
I saw it somewhere on youtube
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Emergency Planting

Well the plants were supposed to arrive on Saturday and my planting tongs and scissors were supposed to arrive on Friday. The timing got thrown off. My brother threw a package at me and it contained all my plants. So with no time to think about where to put the plants and no tongs I had to plant with my hands. Broke a lot of stems and all that fun stuff. I only like how the left side of the tank turned out. I'm uprooting all over again on Friday when the proper materials get here. I want a full planted look, so I'm guessing I have to buy a lot more plants..

But I literally have no idea what I'm doing. I'm glad I bought the variety of plants to see what I like and don't like. I have a lot of planning to do. So far it looks like this. It looks pretty bad and it looks like I need to buy A LOT more plants to go for the look I want... I like the left side but that doesn't really say much.



I'm looking to make a very very heavily planted look like this: Any suggestions on what plants to buy? The plants in that tank seem to be very large plants and I don't think they would really fit in my tank? But maybe I'm wrong. Augh I'm in for a lot of heart and headache

 
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