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My first planted tank - 40 breeder

1991 Views 18 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  AW1447
Hello everyone

This will be my first attempt at a planted tank, so I figured I better get on here to share my experience and gets some help! I've mostly been only into reef tanks in the past, but I've wanted to do a planted tank for awhile now. The 40 I'm using used to be a reef tank, but I upgraded tanks so I decided to repurpose the 40!

Anyways equipment wise I have a cascade canister and the lighting will be 2 T5s for the time being. Inside the tank I have a few pieces of Malaysian driftwood and for the substrate I went with dirt capped with black sand. I added water yesterday and got the filter running. My water still looks pretty hazy, but I'm assuming that everything just needs to settle..

Now what else am I going to need? I'm aware I'll need some form of co2 at some point.. My first question is how soon will I need to add a co2 system? And what's the optimal method.. Diy or buying a diffuser and co2 tank and all that?

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Well here she is. As I said before.. Still pretty cloudy haha. I'm hoping this is bc it's cycling, and will clear up in a few days. Any comments or suggestions are welcomed!

Still waffling around what I wanna do co2 wise.. Diy looks like it would be fairly easy. Is it a big pain as opposed to a cylinder set up?
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I haven't done a dirted tank yet, I imagine it's either cycling or the wood is leaching tannins? Not sure if it had been soaked before this or not? Looks neat though! What plants do you plan on getting?

Co2 wise I would think trying to do diy with a 40b would be near the upper end of co2. Might wanna consider looking into an aquatek regulator or I've heard some people make them on the forum?

Good luck!
Well it's starting to get better. I did soak the wood, but I think I perhaps didn't soak it enough seeing how it's more of a yellowish tinge.

Well I decided to go ahead and buy a regulator and diffuser online, seemed like a good deal so I pulled the trigger. I agree^^ DIY seemed like it would just be a constant hassle as opposed to the tank systems. I already have to many reef tanks to look after haha. So I should get that in in the next few days. Till then I'm just hoping everything will clear on up!
Sounds like a good plan!

For the tannins (if they are tannins) go buy a bag or some amount of Seachem Purigen. It's quite nice for polishing water and is rechargeable with bleach (and afterwards a long healthy dechlorinator soak). Anyways that might help you with your water color problems!
And keep in mind if it's really tannin full the Purigen may need to be recharged a few times before it settles.
Ya I'm familiar with purigen from reefing. If the cloudiness doesn't go away in the next few days I'll probably add some to my canister. I think I have some already anyways.

I bought a few plants yesterday and put them in as well.. Just wanted to go ahead and put a few in and see what happens.

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Looks nice! The plants should be fine. Might need to acclimate of course.
Well I've got my co2 system all set up and going. I have a few things I'm still going to tweak on it, but overall I'm happy with it. Right now I have 2 otocinclus cats in there right now that are doing great. I may add a few more fish today. Now my next question is when is the right time to start to add fertilizers/supplements?

Anyways here's a recent shot

Water Plant Pet supply Wood Organism
Plant Water Organism Terrestrial plant Wood
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What type of fertilizers do you have available? EI tends to be a popular fertilizer regiment and is what I follow. You'll need a starter pack which you can get from GLA (Green Leaf Aquariums) and some sort of bottle to mix in. This is by far one of the most cost effective methods. Otherwise use seachem comprehensive flourish and maybe try dosing half doses for your tank until you feel it can handle the full dose with the plants that have grown. Looks nice though!
I can get whatever. I'll probably end up going with the comprehensive flourish to start and see what happens.

Everything is starting to green up since I've added the co2 system, so I'm pretty happy with it so far. I ended up adding 3 neon tetra and 3 blue green tetras, and they all seem to be doing well so far. I'm still a little up in the air regarding the rest of my fish stock. I think I want to go with all predominately blue fish, other than that I'm still thinking..

Here's a shot from earlier.
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Well all is good in the neighborhood. All my plants have really greened up since adding the co2 system. I'm starting to see some good growth in most plants. I added a few more fish today. I bought 4 dwarf rainbows to go with my tetras. Too keep with my blue theme haha.

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Here's a new pic. I added a couple blue guppies yesterday. Most everything seems to be doing well. I do see a little hair algae on a few pieces that may have came over when I bought them. Any tips for eradication/prevention?

Water Plant Pet supply Organism Aquatic plant

Here's a pic of my other tank, a 90g bowfront reef. I upgraded into this one, thus the planted tank was born in this 40 haha.
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Water Plant Plant community Green Pet supply

Here's the latest pic if anyone's keeping up!

I'm having a little hair algae popping up here and there though.. Any tips for getting rid of it other than manual removal?
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Adding more plants will make more competition for the algae. And te tank is looking great man! Just try to thicken up those plant patches. Also what kind of fertilizer dosing regimen are you using? Also what I your photoperiod like ? And what sort of lighting do you have? Also I would try increasing co2 a bit. Best method I've found for plant growth is to increase your co2 coming out of your needle valve by just a little each day over the period of a few weeks in order to acclimate your fish. Just do it slowly and don't fret if you see your fish acting funny. Just turn the co2 down a hair and you are now at your max co2 level.
Good luck!
Keep us posted,
Awesome I'll pick up a few more pieces then. Right now I've been dosing flourish about every 5 days. My photo period is from 2pm to midnight.

Thanks for the advice! I'll crank up the co2 a bit and we'll see what happens.
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