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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
New to the planted tank world and looking for some general help. I kept saltwater reef tanks for years, recently went on vacation and everything went wrong lost all the coral and fish. Since I was starting new, I decided to try out the freshwater planted tank world. I have always loved the look of a good planted tank.

Tank Setup
150 Gallons
EcoComplete substrate
Cascade 1200 canister filter
300 gph imagitarium powerhead from Petco.
Using some LED lighting from the reef world. Turned off the 410nm light range and also added some 6k incandescent style lights.

I setup and cycled the tank with a few plants and no fish. I left a few of the dead leaves around to kick off the ammonia. I never got a huge ammonia spike, maxed out at about 0.5ppm I would imagine this is due to the plants eating it up. After about 4 weeks I was down to 0ppm ammonia, 0ppm nitirite, 0ppm nitrate. I am doing 10% water changes once or twice a week to help with small algae bloom after cycle.

I ordered a first round of fish that consisted of 5 clown loaches, 30 black tetras, 5 nerita snails, 5 cherry shrimp. I acclimated them all over a 3 to 4 hour time frame to my main tank. (Side note I do have a QT tank setup and will use it for future fish, using the display tank as QT for the first batch. I know it isn’t the best idea, but trying it out.) After a week all but 2 tetras were dead, after another couple of days I am down to 2 clown loaches. For that week they all ate, schooled and seemed very active. Then crash overnight multiple dead. All the shrimp and snails are fine. Since then I think I have narrowed it down to hard tap water, but willing to hear other opinions. Plants seem to be growing OK. Still reading at all 0ppm ammonia, nitrite, nitrate.

Round two, I decided to try out guppies to match up with the harder water, rather than trying to combat it. So far so good other than trying to narrow down flow rates. I am using a spray bar on the canister filter and have aimed the power head at a wall to help diffuse some. Everything I have read says up to 10x turn over, which I am currently under (around 4 to 5x). I have also read guppies don’t handle high flow well, particularly the fry. How have you guys handled flow in a planted guppy tank? I have some Hydor Korlia pumps from my old reef days, by they are 1500 gph and I am afraid would uproot plants and cause chaos with the fish.

Has anyone had success breeding guppies in this large of a tank? I know they multiply quickly, so I don’t think this is a problem.
What bottom feeder, algae eating type fish have you kept with them?
What other fish in general would go well with my setup?
Is there any other general advice for my setup to aid in the growing pains?

I appreciate all the help. I attached some pictures to show succession of plants over the past month and a half.

Day 1

3 Weeks

6 Weeks

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Decided I would come back for an update.

I ended up doing a complete overhaul on my ideas. I ordered some mother plants from my LFS to help fill the space. They have been doing well, they have almost doubled the quantity of leaves and put of about 8 plants I have propagated in the past 2 weeks. The newly propagated plants are all the smaller ones across the front side of the tank. I have some trimming left to do with a few dead leaves that I need to take care of. I am also dealing with some algae along the plant leaves at the top. It seems to be breaking up some and doesn't seem to have hindered growth too much.

Any advice to combating the algae quicker? Nitrates: 10-20ppm, Nitrites:0, Ammonia: 0.

Fish seem to be doing better since my initial post. I stopped ordering and bought them from my LFS to try and get fish used to a similar water quality to mine. I have had two round of guppy babies.

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