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Discussion Starter #1
I am looking at starting a 20-30 gallon long or a 40 breeder as a planted/shrimp tank. I just started with aquariums a few months ago but have been trying to research as much as I can about them. Currently I have 2 tanks running, a 14 gallon(community with 2dwarf gouramis, a German blue ram, 5 emerald green corys, 6 zebras, 2 mystery snails, and 7-8 ghost shrimp) I know it's over stocked but has been that way for over 2 months now with no issues. In that tank I have 6 bronze crypts, some water sprite, and frogs bit. My daughter's tank is a 10 gallon guppy/endler, with corys, tylo snails, rcs, crs, assassin snail, mystery snails, and ghost shrimp. She has dwarf hair grass that is spreading, anubias( unsure which types) and frogs bit. She has a brighter tank 2 25watt 6500k compact fluorescents. For the new tank I want it to be heavily planted with shrimp but not sure where to start really. I have been looking into a double sponge filter on a Powerhead, fluorite, and was wondering if LEDs would work instead of a tube lights. Other than that I am unsure what to do. Any advice is appreciated. Thanks.
 

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Carpe Diem
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Welcome to TPT!

This is a great forum and a resource - lots of things to read and learn.
I think you got the initial basics pretty much lined up: tank size, substrate, lighting, and filtration.

I would double-check your substrate choice: nothing really wrong with Flourite, I've been using it for over 10 years. If you are heavily leaning towards shrimp-centric tank, you might want to look at ADA's AquaSoil and similar as it might be more 'gentle' on the shrimp. If you do the calculations, the cost of AquaSoil will be pretty similar to other comparable substrates out there.

I hope someone else will chime in on the lighting, as I personally have no experience with LEDs. There are also a ton of posts on them on this forum.

Once you have your equipment finalized, set it up and let the tank cycle. Adding some water, some substrate in a bag, and filter material from your existing tanks will speed up the cycle. Adding a lot of fast-growing plants like Water Sprite, Water Wisteria, Hygro, L. repens will also help with the tank's long term health. Start looking into different types of mosses as that's what shrimp likes above all else. The SnS section of the forum is a great place to get the plants and the shrimp of your choice.

Best of luck
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the advice on the aquasoil. I googled it and the only place I can find that carries it is adg. I have been thinking about dwarf baby tears for the bottom and would like some driftwood with moss (unsure what mosses look best and will be the best fit for the tank will research though). If I can't find aquasoil soil in the area is there another recommendation?
 

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Thanks for the advice on the aquasoil. I googled it and the only place I can find that carries it is adg. I have been thinking about dwarf baby tears for the bottom and would like some driftwood with moss (unsure what mosses look best and will be the best fit for the tank will research though). If I can't find aquasoil soil in the area is there another recommendation?
I would be amiss as a member of the Fraternity of Dirt not to recommend it.

Miracle Gro Organic Choice Potting Mix is a popular choice.

You can cap it with pool filter sand, small grain pea gravel, flourite etc.

The key to dirt is planning. Plan what plants you want and their placement ahead of time and get all the plants on hand when you setup the tank. put the dirt down, plant the larger plants, then cap. Small plants like dwarf hair grass I'd recommend planting after the cap, other wise you might bury them.
The reason for this is to avoid making a mess in the tank and mixing the cap with the dirt.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Being new to all of this still I to trying a keep a buffer zone where if I don't like something or kill it I can change with out much trouble. My other initial thought for a sub was pfs. Because of the clean look but thinking about it if I get dwarf baby tears or a hair grass growing good you won't really see the sub.
 

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Being new to all of this still I to trying a keep a buffer zone where if I don't like something or kill it I can change with out much trouble. My other initial thought for a sub was pfs. Because of the clean look but thinking about it if I get dwarf baby tears or a hair grass growing good you won't really see the sub.
Definitely understand that. Flourite and Eco Complete are good choices. I have heard complaints about trying to get dwarf hair grass and other tiny plants to stay put in Eco Complete till they take hold. Flourite has more edges and uneven surface so it should help hold things better.

I have Flouramax and pea gravel in my 29, the flouramax has pretty sharp edges so it my not be the best choice.

If you go with a completely inert sub. like pfs or pea gravel I'd recommend root tabs to help rooted plants grow.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I have started leaning more towards the Flourite after reading some so that the plants will be able to get some nutrients from the sub w/o having to add tabs. I have some Boraras brigittae that I was considering moving to this new tank as well.
 

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I have started leaning more towards the Flourite after reading some so that the plants will be able to get some nutrients from the sub w/o having to add tabs. I have some Boraras brigittae that I was considering moving to this new tank as well.
A big school of those would look nice.
 

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I get dwarf baby tears or a hair grass growing good you won't really see the sub.

If you're new, then trying to grow DHG and HC isnt what you want to attemp FIRST. With co2 and high light, I still havent sucessfully acheived HC.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I have some DHG growing right now in my daughter tank. I do want something a little different for mine though. Any other decent "carpet" plants?
 

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Carpe Diem
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I may do that. How hard/expensive is co2?
If you are looking at CO2 you have 3 options.

1. DIY using soda bottles or the like with the appropriate DIY recipe. This option is most appropriate for smaller sized tanks (under 29 gallons)

2. Paintball CO2 setup. If you go this route I highly recommend THIS THREAD

3. Full setup. These start around $200 dollars.
 

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If you are looking at CO2 you have 3 options.

1. DIY using soda bottles or the like with the appropriate DIY recipe. This option is most appropriate for smaller sized tanks (under 29 gallons)

2. Paintball CO2 setup. If you go this route I highly recommend THIS THREAD

3. Full setup. These start around $200 dollars.
I don't use these, nor have I ever tried. So I can't speak to hard it is.

I do however follow EI dosing with Excel. I was doing a really good job of following the regimen, but since we had a kid the dosing has become much more random.
 

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Carpe Diem
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The start-up costs are relatively expensive: ~$200. Check SnS section and Powerseller sections on the forum. The good folks there usually have the best deal. Betatail and others are good people. The co2 equipment is not the area where you want to save money - go for the best you can afford: good 2-stage regulator, 'mouse' solenoid and a good needle valve. One of the best places to buy a co2 tank is http://www.aquariumplants.com/Aluminum_CO2_Cylinders_CO2_tanks_CO2_cannisters_p/t.htm. Get the largest co2 tank you can afford and fit. CO2 refills are about the same regardless of the tank size and vary from $8 to $20, depending on your area. AirGas is a reputable company across the USA. A 10# tank will last about 8 months on a 40g breeder.

Based on the fish tank location, you can also use a single regulator to 'feed' multiple tanks. Again, betatail will set you up right.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Based on cost this will probably not happen for awhile. I may look at an additive till i can fit it in my budget.
 
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