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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all! First - many thanks to this forum for being the most helpful and informative. We started our tank without any knowledge this summer and had a major disaster this fall when all our fish died( Then I started reading (I wish I did it before, but you know... my son got two gold fish on 4th of July parade, we got the tank and so on... I know you heard this story gazillion times here( So now I want to redo my tank completely and make it nice and planted and I like shrimp so I want a lot))) and some fish too;) We are ready to buy plants this Sunday and start planting, but I want to double check with you guys on what I have and what I am planning to get to be sure that this time things will not go wrong. Thank you for any advise (keep in mind that we are beginners, have kid, not too much time and tiny budget, but we really want to try our best)
What do I have now: 10 gal tank kit Tetra care, 2 10 wt fluorescent lights 65K day light smth each., heater, filter from the kit (but I'm planning to change that cartridge for thick fabric (have no idea how to call it, but the one you have to cut yourself), big bag of black fluorite substrate, some fluorish tablets, some black gravel (I also have a little bit of blue gravel from my previous attempt but I think it is not good for plants and fish... think it does smth with water... but maybe I'm just being weirdo), cholla wood (sunken for a week in water), some black round rocks like 2-3 inch each, air rock and compressor, timer for light that goes for 8 hr now. I am also planning to make corner submerged air driven filter with bacteria and bio ceramic rings. i am not planning on CO2 now... just want to make it easy... but let me know if I really-really need it please.
I have one guppy fish now) all that could survive a disaster((((
I am planning to buy: anubias nana 3 plans (to plant them around the wood), blyxa aubertii 4 plants to make it look like grass behind the wood (right back corner and center), Cryptocoryne pontederiifolia 5 plans to plant them in the left front corner of the tank to give some perspective... ), Nymphaea tiger lotus red 1 plant to plant it on front for nice color contrast..., sagittaria subulata for the very back ant top of the wood. Probably some moss for the wood.

In two weeks after planting I am planning on getting two otocinclus, 5 neon tetras and some shrimp (well I want lots of shrimp... like 3 red and 3 of other kind))))... I am thinking about 2 cory catfish but I think it will be too much for my 10 gal( and I hope guppy will be still alive)

I know I need to get master test kit and I'm getting it next week. Before I used strips.... I know about cycle (my tank is cycled now), I know about weekly water changes (changing once a week 30%)
I think that's all I needed to mention.... So if you have some advise for me you are very welcome! I will post some pictures as soon as I'll start my tank aquascaping works.
 

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I was a begginer too 4 months ago and because I started slow, I've achieved great results and minimal fish losses. Here are some ideas and things I did to begin.

First item I bought with the tank was a API kit, these are essential.

Stuffing the filter area with cheap and easily cut Filter floss is a great solution to buying those disposable ones that the manufactures sell. I tossed my white gravel after the first few weeks and switched to Sand and Fluval Stratum.

When I started 4 months ago, I started slow and only got Java Ferns and Anubias Nana and some small Bloodfin Tetras. 1 month later I start dosing daily with Seachem excel which is the liquid equiv of using co2.

Initially I did 25% PWC every week.

After a month or so I started adding in small groups of fish every 2 weeks to let my filter adjust to the bioload. Also adding in Rotala and Amazon swords.

Last month I finally added in Some Amano shrimp who quickly went to work on eating stuff off plants.

Just today almost 4 months later I've added in Otos, because they are extremely sensitive and I wanted to make sure they had the best chance to live in an established tank.

Presently I've gotten in to a 40% PWC every two weeks and small 10% plus Seachem Prime top ups every other week. I have a 20g so yours would obv be different.

Good luck, can't wait to see your progress. :icon_bigg
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks. Will definitely read about Seachem excel.
I want to do smth that looks like junglefowl's 10 gal tank here. will see
I do not know about Prime though...My friends that in this hobby for many years told me that they do not add anything except tap water in their tanks...well except some fertilizers, CO2 and tap water.... and initial live nitrifying bacteria for the cycle at the very beginning... so I think it means no prime too? But I do not know for sure. And yes I am planning to add fish very slow and start with otocincluses... and my guppy I hope will be there)))
 

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Tap water has chlorine in it so any de chlorinator like prime is a must. Unless you have clean well water, jugs of water from the store or some sort of RO hookup to their tap, your friends probably not puting pure tap water in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
They specifically told me that using any dechlorinator or such is creating a tank of chemicals but not a natural environment... so they really use regular tap water... I put my tap water to stay for couple days anyway... and I used dechlorinator before but my tank crushed badly even with it (that was not a main reason but...)

Ok I got my plants!!! washing my fluorite now and gravel and rocks and will go!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
And my little guppy is right there;) I think we have some leaf melting...( I ordered Seachem exel hope it will come next week. In general I think we did a good job. But any suggestions are welcome,guys! Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Yep definitely this Sunday with our weekly water change;) coz I think he is getting aggressive( and very lonely(((
 

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Straight tap water in an aquarium isn't a good idea. Chlorine is meant to kill bacteria, so enough of it can throw off your cycle. Your plants and fish can get burned by chlorine among other things. If you dont want to use dechlorinator, and you just have regular tap water. Put some in a bucket outside for a few days and the chlorine will gas off. Another way to build bacteria is get a pillow you don't care about, and pull some pillow stuffing out and put it in the filter (not too much though you don't want to slow your flow). Cory catfish are awesome I have a ton, they love to be kept in groups of 5 or more.
 

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I read your plant list but is that Jungle Val in the back corner ?
Mentioned this because that plant is sensitive to Excel.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I do it with my tap water(put it aside for a couple days) and I added a bit of dechlorinator this time. Thank you. I like cory's too) I want otocincluses to eat algae though... I read that they are more beneficial for tank than cory's... I also want to add some shrimp (my son loves shrimp) and neon tetras... I do not want overload my 10 gal though. Will add little by little and wait and see)
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Very nice job for a first-timer.
It's looking real good - keep it up !
Thank you so much!!!! I like it and I spend a lot time to do my best with it even though I am a very busy person with work, colledge and family) I like all about fish tanks and aquascaping now.
 

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Hi gangstamama,

For a first effort, I think you've done a fantastic job.

A few pointers that I'd like to share:
1.) You have anubias which do better attached to drift wood or rock work, rather than being planted in the substrate. If you are going to leave them planted as you have, just make sure that the rhizome (this is like the sideways stem that leaves grow out of) is never buried, or the plant will eventually die off.

2.) My personal experience with the giant val, is that it is simply to big for the 10g. It easily can grow 6 feet given the adequate conditions and they are nutrient hogs, and prolific spreaders. Be prepared to keep a good maintenance schedule for them. Also as Raymond mentioned they are quite sensitive to Excel. Funny thing though is that they are so resilient that they seldom die off completely.

3.) I find planting crypts in bunches creates a much more aesthetically pleasing look because to the naked eye, it appears to like one very healthy plant.

4.) Start with as many plants as you can afford, so that algae will have a much harder time competing for nutrients.

Good luck.

See two my 10g tanks through different scapes. Btw, discuspaul's tank always look so good, a picture of health and vitality.







 
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