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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Set up a planted tank a few weeks ago, was just fish for a month.


Here is my setup. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.


40g breeder
Aqueon 50 filter
Aqueon 150w heater...tank 76 degrees
t8 lamp, aqueon 17w floramax bulb, 18 in length, sits on glass top
Dual air pump
Substrate is brown gravel I had left over. 50 lbs. along with random river rock
Three pieces of driftwood I bought. (found some more in state park im going to add in next week or so)
4 plants, two of each but need help identifying
- dose excel every other day and have flourish tabs next to plants
Stocked with:
5 golden white clouds
5 glowlight tetra
2 black neon tetra, had 5 but lost during a four day vacay.
1 bristle nose pleco


Want to stock some Cory or Harlequin rasbora and increase my black neons to 5. I also want to add a swirly plant, brazilian ?... It's tall grass looking with spiral blades.



One plant is completely brown with one green leaf. I trimmed off others to save plant energy for new growth. LFS guy said this is normal for this plant, but i cant remember the plant name. The other one is doing awesome with a long stem, runner?, that has more plant leaves growing. Tried to get a good picture.

I only buy from a LFS whom I trust. He owns the store. Tells me no all the time and suggests better or less for tank. I owned a mbuna cichlid tank, so I'm not new to fish care just species of fish and plants.

Chemistry is 0-0-10 pH 7.8
I don't remember kh or gh.
I feed all fish with tetra min baby shrimp, flakes and granuals. Algae wafer for pleco (newer tank, so I supplement)

No natural sunlight for its in a basement. Will get a CFL light indirectly by a lamp next to it. Light is set for 10 hours of on time.

Thanks for reading. Any suggestions or comments are greatly appreciated. Been reading the forum for a long time and decided to jump in. There is so much information here I decided to almost do a trial an error with some suggestions from LFS.
 

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Your plants appear to be various cryptocoryne species such as wendtii or undulata.

What are your goals for this tank? By having a specific focus, us members can better guide you in the direction you want to go. Suggestions with no plan or focus will only add to the never ending path of information and opinions. We are all here to help, but I see far too many times that people ask very broad questions and then are bombarded by 10 different ideas and opinions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Your plants appear to be various cryptocoryne species such as wendtii or undulata.

What are your goals for this tank? By having a specific focus, us members can better guide you in the direction you want to go. Suggestions with no plan or focus will only add to the never ending path of information and opinions. We are all here to help, but I see far too many times that people ask very broad questions and then are bombarded by 10 different ideas and opinions.
I don't want to go overboard where I get over my head. My end goal is a simple, planted tank that is easy to care for. I am not looking for an elaborate setup, mainly something nice to look at with my son who loves fish.

I just don't know exactly what to do with a planted tank, as in low light plants. I don't want to buy something that is just going to die. It's a waste of my time and money. Like I said in my post, I have a LFS who has been great to me but want other's opinion when it comes to this setup then decide what I like. There was so much information it was overwhelming. So I thought of posting what I had would help.
 

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Sounds good.

You are definitely on the right track with your current plant selection. Crypts are great plants for low light tanks and there are a lot of varieties for you to choose from. If your crypts are growing well with your current T8 bulb, I see no reason to change anything. The only change you could make is the length of your fixture. Your tank is 36" long not 18". But like I said, if your crypts are currently growing well with no algae issues, do not change anything. If you do decide to increase the size of your light, you will need to reduce your lighting period to 8 hrs.

Crypts will also benefit from adding root tabs in your substrate, this will provide the plants with more nutrients for better growth. And because you have gravel, adding them every couple of months will be a fairly easy task. Look up flourish root tabs by Seachem. Start by looking at the root tabs and you might find out more information on other things.

Cryptocorynes can also "melt" when added to a different tank. Do not be alarmed by this. Most of the time they will grow back just fine, but it takes time.

Keep up your water weekly water changes and you should be set for a looooong time.

If you do decide to change things up, move slowly. The more you change at one time the greater increase of screwing something up and getting the dreaded algae war and/or losing fish.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
,I do have seachem flourish root tabs. Maybe I forgot to post it, sorry. and my light is 24 inches, don't know why I wrote 18. The ballast was a standard 36" fixture but only a 24" light.

Is my dosing of excel too much, have read that dosing too much can melt them.
 

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I think that crypts are not fans of excel. You could do regular flourish instead of flourish excel. (I'm no fertilizer expert; I just love crypts.)

Nice of you to have this hobby to share with your son. You might want to increase the numbers of the schooling fish you have, rather than adding more species, however Schooling fish tend to do best in larger groups; five or six is often just the minimum to keep them from stressing out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I think that crypts are not fans of excel. You could do regular flourish instead of flourish excel. (I'm no fertilizer expert; I just love crypts.)

Nice of you to have this hobby to share with your son. You might want to increase the numbers of the schooling fish you have, rather than adding more species, however Schooling fish tend to do best in larger groups; five or six is often just the minimum to keep them from stressing out.
Thanks for the advice, will look into that. I was going to add one more species, probably cory for a bottom feeder since my others are high tank and mid tank fish. Then add a few more of each for a total of 20-22 fish. I fishless cycled to a high ammonia count to account for a little over stock. I thought the extra "fertilizer" would help as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Just added java fern to my driftwood, tied it down with fishing line. Will see if that holds up. Looks really good under my light. Fish all look good, plants look great except the one I've had issues with from the beginning. The other one just like it is running with 3 plants, waiting for roots to replant, and take out most likely dead one.
 
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