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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
After many years of fish keeping, I finally going to start my first planted tank, so excited!
I bought the tank from Petland and the stand from Petco, it's the lowest price combination I could find. The quality can't compare to those rimless tank and custom made stand for sure, but it's acceptable and I only spent total of $285 so I'm happy with that, LOL.



I read a lot threads on substrates, there are mix opinions on all substrates, the more I read the more I didn't know what should I get. Till one day Petco had eco-complete for $16 a bag, I bought that so I don't have to keep thinking. I have some cories and I know they like sand so I decided to make river/beach for the cories. I wanted to use rocks to separate the sand and substrate, the rocks are lot more expensive than I thought at the LFS, luckily I found the rocks at my last stop of LFS for a pretty low price. I'm just hoping these rocks wouldn't change the PH.


So I finally started fishless cycle after the tank sat there for more than 2 weeks and here it is the river, I might make the back more narrow to give it a little more depth of view.

For the light which is I think it's the most important part of a planted tank, I really want to use LED but I don't have skill/time/space to do it so I'm waiting for the Marineland LED for plants. If doesn't come out next month or it's over my budget then I will just go for clam lamps.

I didn't do much of readings on plants, I want to use Hemianthus Golomeratus as foreground plant. I might decide what other plants I will get after I got the light.
Any thoughts, comments and suggestion are welcome!
Thanks for checking out.:)

DIY LED light






5/27 transferred filter and fish
 

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If your not sure about a rock changing ph just put a drop of vinegar on it and if it bubbles then it does. This looks like a good start so far. I don't know much about plants either but when I was setting up my tank I got an idea of what kind of look in nature I wanted to recreate and went looking for plants that would match that look at my LFS. I would probably put some more hardscape on the sides of the river too so that the plants have something to work with.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Finally I got myself a DIY LED light for my tank.
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/diy/176225-my-diy-led-light.html#post1859326
Got some java jerns from a friend bought some plants here, there are some guppy fries in the tank but I haven't transferred my fishes from old tank. I want to let the plants grow a little bit or add some more before the transfer.
Also Ph in the new tank is 7.6, I think it's the stones increase the Ph but I tested them with vinegar and didn't see reaction. My old tank Ph is 6.5 and I like to lower the new tank below 7 without removing the stones.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks J! I think I will leave them as is and see how they grow for a couple weeks.
I transferred 2 guppies over, they were extremely stressed in the new tank which I was totally unexpected. You can actually see them hiding on the top right corner. They seem to be doing better last night, I saw them swam to the plants, hope they will be more comfortable by tonight.
 

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Thank you:red_mouth
My wife loves cories and cories love sand so i reserved a spot for the cories.

Bought a new plant yesterday and in 24 hours more than 10 leafs fell already, hope it will recover...
If the other established plants are doing fine I wouldn't worry about it. I've had new plants where all but a couple leaves melted off and it grew back healthier than ever.
 

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Thank you:red_mouth
My wife loves cories and cories love sand so i reserved a spot for the cories.

Bought a new plant yesterday and in 24 hours more than 10 leafs fell already, hope it will recover...
That looks like Ludwiga. Its a pitb. Once the stem bends or gets warped, it will forever be that shape. Loves direct light so it should be fine unobstructed. If the light is bright enough, the leaves will grow closer together. If your light is medium or less, it will get very stemmy and the leaves will grow further apart from one another.

Any leaves you lose on those parts of the stem will be lost forever, meaning it wont regrow in those areas. Many folks just cut down the empty stem areas and replant.
 

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NP. this plant will tell you when its happy when the leaves are red. when its green, not so much.
 
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