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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm pretty new to planted tanks. This is my second planted tank, but only the first one where I did a lot of research, preplanned the layout and really put in a lot of effort.

So far I think it turned out pretty well and I'm on my second day of cycle. One thing I noticed is that one of the pieces of drift wood turned white. The other piece looks fine. Here's a pic of the tank. As you can see, the piece on the left is fine and the one on the right has a white tinge. It was not like this the first day I put it in. Any ideas on what's wrong with it?

17W Flora Sun bulb
200W heater (temp set at 78*, but I think it needs to be replaced because the temp is currently reading 84)
Penguin 200 Bio Wheel Filter
Eco Complete substrate
Tap water with added dechlorinating water conditioner
Java Fern (in the front)
Anubias (in the back right)
Banana plant (attached to the left drift wood)
Moss (not sure exactly which kind - attached to the white colored drift wood on the right)
and I can't remember the name of the last plant attached to the coconut husk behind the zebra rock

Let me know if you need any other details to help diagnose the issue.

Thanks in advance and Happy New Year!

 

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Driftwood will grow white stuff when first put in the tank, it is harmless and will go away in a month or so. I just put some Mopani driftwood in my tank tonight, I did some searches on here to try to learn the variables of adding wood beforehand. White stuff is very common.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Driftwood will grow white stuff when first put in the tank, it is harmless and will go away in a month or so. I just put some Mopani driftwood in my tank tonight, I did some searches on here to try to learn the variables of adding wood beforehand. White stuff is very common.
Thanks. I was primarily worried because only one of the pieces turned white. Hopefully it clears up in a few weeks then.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
It looks like you have marimo moss balls or something.
That sounds right, thanks.

It looks like the white stuff is already starting to subside/die off on the drift wood. Can't wait until I can start cycling the tank with a few fish and add some more plants.

Any critiques on the tank setup itself?
 

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My first planted tank was 29g and I loved it. I personally prefer one type of wood/rock feature etc, but that is preference. That being said, it looks nice! I never had mosses in my first tanks but I was limited in what I could get locally. Starting over (after a five year hiatus) and I cannot wait to get started. Oh, love the Eco!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks. I was hoping to find a large enough piece of DW to only need 1, but was unsuccessful. Since I'm pretty new to planted tanks I didn't want to go overboard on the plants, so with the 2 medium sized pieces in there (or 1 large if I could've found it) it covers more surface area, which I like. Also since it's such a low tech tank the plants won't grow very fast which is good for me since I don't want to have to trim them and perform a lot of maintenance.

I'm hoping to learn a lot from this setup and once I feel more comfortable I may step it up a bit.

Do you have any pics of your tank(s)?
 

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I also have a 29 low tech, I'm sure you'll enjoy the adventure as much as I have.

I don't know for sure what that plant is on the coconut husks, but it looks like a terrestrial plant, not a submerged aquarium plant. Where did you pick it up?

As has already been mentioned, don't worry about the white stuff on the driftwood. It will go away.
 

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I think it looks pretty nice. Much better than my 29g. I would think you'd need alot more light though. I've got 2 t8's on mine and very little grows. Once I'm done with my shrimp tank I'm going to redo my 29g with the outcast Angelfish
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I also have a 29 low tech, I'm sure you'll enjoy the adventure as much as I have.

I don't know for sure what that plant is on the coconut husks, but it looks like a terrestrial plant, not a submerged aquarium plant. Where did you pick it up?

As has already been mentioned, don't worry about the white stuff on the driftwood. It will go away.
The DW has already lost it's white hue, so I'm happy about that. Yesterday I tested the water and all looked good, so I added a Betta to continue the cycling. When I picked up the Betta Petco I tried to find out what kind of plant it is that's attached to the coconut husk, but the sign only says "plant on a coconut husk," haha. My buddy who works there didn't know either and he's pretty knowledgeable, so I'll have to keep digging around.

I think it looks pretty nice. Much better than my 29g. I would think you'd need alot more light though. I've got 2 t8's on mine and very little grows. Once I'm done with my shrimp tank I'm going to redo my 29g with the outcast Angelfish
Thanks! What kind of plants do you currently have in that 29? It definitely needs more light, but if I add more light I'm worried the plants are going to grow too much and I really don't want to have to trim them very often or do much maintenance. Was looking at maybe going LED if my plants don't grow at all. I have a couple fixtures in mind, but curious what you and anyone else who wants to offer their opinion think would be a good solution considering my direction.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
The tank is finally ready for some more live stock! I have had a betta and oto in there for about 2.5 weeks and all of the levels look good and stable. So I just put in 3 Cardinal Tetras and 1 Assassin Snail (didn't clean one of the driftwood pieces well enough and have a small infestation of snails).

After doing a lot of research I'm going with the following, but do have a question about my "centerpiece fish". See below.

School #1:
11 total
Cardinal Tetras

School #2:
11 total
Rummy Nose Tetras
(I'm also very much into cars, so I especially dig them because their tails look like checkered flags)

School #3:
5 total
Silver Hatchetfish

Centerpiece fish:
3-5 total
Undecided, but considering:
-Praecox Rainbow - http://www.liveaquar...059&pcatid=1059
-Boesemani Rainbow - http://www.liveaquar...053&pcatid=1053
-Really wanted some kind of discus, but don't think they would do well since they prefer a tank without many other fish and it needs to be very acidic (low PH)

Any other suggestions for my centerpiece fish??
 

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I agree with wannaberooted. Your stock seems a little excessive, and you definitely want to look into aqadvisor and also check back with us as well. I think you can do two schools and then a centerpeice. Not boesmani's though because they get way to big and active for a 29 gallon. Also rainbows like to be in schools as well. Discus would also not be comfortable in a 29g. A pair of GBR would be a great choice for that tank IMO. Maybe consider cories as your 2nd school as well.

So 12 Cardinals
8 Cories
Pair of GBR
Clean up crew
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Just got a 29g but I haven't set it up yet. Looking forward to seeing how yours comes along!
Hope the info discussed in here is helpful. Feel free to ask questions if they come up.

I don't want to burst your bubble, but I think you will be overstocked with that much in a 29g. Here's a nice tool to help figure things out. http://www.aqadvisor.com/AqAdvisor.php
This site is amazing! Thank you for sharing. Looks like you are right about overstocking.

I agree with wannaberooted. Your stock seems a little excessive, and you definitely want to look into aqadvisor and also check back with us as well. I think you can do two schools and then a centerpeice. Not boesmani's though because they get way to big and active for a 29 gallon. Also rainbows like to be in schools as well. Discus would also not be comfortable in a 29g. A pair of GBR would be a great choice for that tank IMO. Maybe consider cories as your 2nd school as well.

So 12 Cardinals
8 Cories
Pair of GBR
Clean up crew
I like the idea of having 2 different shoals for the low-mid level and then the 5 hatchets up top. How come you suggest the cories as opposed to the rummy nose tetras?

Definitely think 8 of each shoal will be sufficient. Is there any specific reason for the numbers you suggested? GBRs are nice looking fish. The LFS has some BRs, but not sure if they can get GBRs. Any reason why I only should have 2 and not 3, 4 or 5?

What exactly did you have in mind from a cleanup crew perspective?

Sorry for all of the questions, but you seem to know what you're talking about, so picking your brain.
 

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Yup. Corys are great, they stir things up on the bottom and leaves so the filter can get them. They are also very active, and I think cute.

Personally, a Beta would be a nice centerpiece fish for a tank that size for me. Overstocking is not worth it, ever. It only brings heartbreak and sorrow.
 

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Don't be sorry about the questions! Its awesome that you think I am knowledgeable enough to answer them for you.

The reason I put cories instead of rummynose because cardinals and rummies school kind of on the same level in the same kind of way. Plus they both have red in them. So cories dwell the bottom and keep the substrate fresh and turned over and add another dimension of fish to the tank. But really for your main schooler you can choose rummies or cardinals, whatever you prefer, then add a school of cories instead of another tetra. Which looks better IMO.

2 GBR or BR(same thing I think?) is what you should put in a 29 because they are cichlids who do well in a male-female pair and fight with other pairs unless your aquarium is about 50 gallons or more. This is what I would do for a centerpiece.

Not sure about the Hatchets. Stock them at the very END and decide if they would be a good choice for your tank. Also stock them last on aqadvisor and see what it says. They are great jumpers and might want more room than a 29g. Not sure though.

Clean up crew would probably be amano shrimp. They are awesome. Maybe add some nerite snails for the glass too? But i never owned nerites so I'm not sure.

Hope I helped a little.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Yup. Corys are great, they stir things up on the bottom and leaves so the filter can get them. They are also very active, and I think cute.

Personally, a Beta would be a nice centerpiece fish for a tank that size for me. Overstocking is not worth it, ever. It only brings heartbreak and sorrow.
I am going for more of a vibrant color scheme for this tank, hence the initial stocking selection. However, I'm posting up my plan because I want to make sure it's copacetic prior to pulling the trigger and am glad I did because I'm learning a lot.

I chose the betta due to the suggestion of my LFS to help cycle the tank. I think the little guy's personality is pretty cool, so there's no way I'd take him back. He seems way too happy in his new home. That said, I don't think he's enough of a focal point to be considered the "center piece" of the tank. I'm going to keep stocking a few cardinal tetras at a time and just see how it is all coming together once I've got a total of 8 in there. Right now I've got 3.

Don't be sorry about the questions! Its awesome that you think I am knowledgeable enough to answer them for you.

The reason I put cories instead of rummynose because cardinals and rummies school kind of on the same level in the same kind of way. Plus they both have red in them. So cories dwell the bottom and keep the substrate fresh and turned over and add another dimension of fish to the tank. But really for your main schooler you can choose rummies or cardinals, whatever you prefer, then add a school of cories instead of another tetra. Which looks better IMO.

2 GBR or BR(same thing I think?) is what you should put in a 29 because they are cichlids who do well in a male-female pair and fight with other pairs unless your aquarium is about 50 gallons or more. This is what I would do for a centerpiece.

Not sure about the Hatchets. Stock them at the very END and decide if they would be a good choice for your tank. Also stock them last on aqadvisor and see what it says. They are great jumpers and might want more room than a 29g. Not sure though.

Clean up crew would probably be amano shrimp. They are awesome. Maybe add some nerite snails for the glass too? But i never owned nerites so I'm not sure.

Hope I helped a little.
You're clearly a lot more knowledgeable than I am! :D

It makes sense about the different "levels" of stocking. That's why I liked the idea of the Hatchets because they are a top dwelling fish. As far as a bottom dweller goes I'll look into cories and see if there are any other cool options. I was thinking the rummy nose would be cool to have with the cardinal tetras because there would be 2 different schools hanging around, but I'll put some more thought into it.

I'm not worried about jumpers because the tank lid is secure with only a small gap for the filter. I think my LFS stocks amanos, so I'll double check tomorrow when I go back. I looked up nerites and it says they are marine, is there a freshwater version I just didn't see?

When I looked up BRs, there were both GBRs and BRs. The GBRs seemed to have a little more color, but it may just be BS. My LFS has BRs and they are pretty cool. Like I said, I'm going to do some more research and put some thought into this. I have time since I'm only stocking a few fish at a time.

Thanks again.
 

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Yet more conflicting information on the web about this after reading a bit, so I don't know. Some people said no problems after years, some not. I also read somewhere that water quality is the biggest influence on barbel health, so maybe that was the problem for the people with short barbels, not the Eco-Complete. How's that for a non-answer?
 
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