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Ok guys, I have been really wanting to get a fish tank for years but keep getting overwhelmed by the amount of knowledge that is required for setup/operation and chickening out.

I decided I am going to just go step-by-step and jump in.

So I went ahead and ordered a 29 biocube and the stand. My best friend has 2 of them and loves them, been thinking about it for a while.

So now, first things first. What else do I need to buy from a purely equipment standpoint? And why?

I am having a hard time understanding everything that I need. The tank has a pump that comes with it, the 'bioballs' (which I do not understand the purpose yet) and I believe a mesh filter. I am assuming that the included lights will be enough for my plants.

My plan to is to do a minimalist style planted tank, mainly some rocks and carpeting plants. A few taller plants in one corner. This would house a small school of fish (tetras or something simple) and a few shrimp.


Thanks :grin2:
 

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Welcome to Planted Tank.

You'll need a heater and thermometer to heat and moniter your water. Most tetras require a heated tank. For a 29 gallon you'll need 100 - 200 watts of heating depending on your local climate. This goes by the temperature you want the tank to be, around 75 - 78 for Tetras and shrimp, and the difference the temperature your house gets down to in the winter. If your indoor temp reaches down below 60 you'd want two 100 watt heaters placed on opposite sides of the tank.

A net to introduce the livestock into the tank. If you're not aware, you don't want to add the water they put in the bag to your tank. You can search "how to acclimate new fish" for a step by step. I use the bag method.

Water conditioner that will remove chlorine if you plan on using tap water (I use Seachem Prime but there's many options).

A test kit. Test strips are fine for a less involved set up. If you have a fish store close to you, you can get around buying a test kit by taking your water in to get tested. It's always nice to be able to test the water yourself though, incase you see warning signs in the behavior of your livestock.

Substrate/gravel/sand for the plants. There's many options. Find what fits your budget and will be acceptable for the plants you plan on keeping. I use Eco Complete and Flourite Black. You can search for aquarium substrates that fit your vision for your set up.

Something to do water changes with. This could be as simple as a pitcher and bucket. I use a gravel vac and hose to siphon the water when I do water changes.

Something to clean the viewing sides of the tank. You'll get buildup on the viewing panes that will need to be cleaned off time to time. I use a magnetic glass cleaner. There are hand held cleaners out there as well.

Those are the basics. There are many mitigating factors that will determine if you will need anything more. Water parameters, plant species, livestock health, plant heath and tank location to name a few. It may be possible that you'd need a basic fertilizer like Seachem Flourish, or something similar.

I'm not plugging any of these products. These are just some of the things I use to give you an idea of what you need. There are seemingly endless options for any aquarium related supplies.
 

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Ok guys, I have been really wanting to get a fish tank for years but keep getting overwhelmed by the amount of knowledge that is required for setup/operation and chickening out.

I decided I am going to just go step-by-step and jump in.

So I went ahead and ordered a 29 biocube and the stand. My best friend has 2 of them and loves them, been thinking about it for a while.

So now, first things first. What else do I need to buy from a purely equipment standpoint? And why?

I am having a hard time understanding everything that I need. The tank has a pump that comes with it, the 'bioballs' (which I do not understand the purpose yet) and I believe a mesh filter. I am assuming that the included lights will be enough for my plants.

My plan to is to do a minimalist style planted tank, mainly some rocks and carpeting plants. A few taller plants in one corner. This would house a small school of fish (tetras or something simple) and a few shrimp.


Thanks
There are 3 kinds of filtration. Mechanical, biological and chemical. The bio balls are for the most important aspect of filtration, biological. The mesh filter may either be a bag to hold the bio balls or a filter sponge for mechanical filtration. Mechanical filtration is also highly important.

I'm not going to go into detail about the three parts of filtration. The internet is full of basic information like this. I'd say do your due diligence in coming to an understanding of the basics of keeping an aquarium. Then if you have specific questions bring them in here and you will get the help you need. Each if us have our own experiences in this hobby so there is much conflicting info out there. The basics of having a planted tank are the same for all of us however.

One thing I will say is you'll need a good amount of time to let your aquarium cycle before you'll want to add fish. Being new to it I'm saving you alot of $$ and heartache by telling you this. You can either set the tank up and add water to get the filter up and running before you buy the other equipment, or wait till you have it all and set it up in one shot. Either way, you won't want to add any fish or shrimp you plan on having permanently, for a month or so. That's a safety estimate considering your beginner status. I learned this the hard way, before the internet. Lol
 

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I suggest you think of another "aquascape" instead of a ground cover. Most ground cover plants require CO2 and relatively high light to grow at all well. I suggest using Cryptocorynes, and/or Valisneria (not the giant type), or Needleleaf Java Fern, etc. Look for plants that don't need CO2 or high light.

For a nice looking black substrate, look for black blasting grit, like Black Diamond Medium Blasting Abrasives - For Life Out Here

A good low tech way to clean in the inside of the glass sides is a credit card. If you are typical, you probably have a drawer full of expired or un used ones. They work very well and don't scratch the glass.

You will have a much better shot at a successful tank if you get some Seachem Flourish Excel, and dose about 4 ml of it every day. That provides a boost in bioavailable carbon for the plants, and is a weak algaecide as well.
 
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