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Old 12-30-2004, 11:54 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default My First planted tank

1. Tank water volume: 20 Gallon Long
2. Tank lighting (type, watts per gallong, etc.): 2x 20W Fluero Tubes, 2x 10W Compact Fluero Bulb
3. Tank filtration: Whisper Power Filter for 10G and Sponge Filter for 10G
4. Tank substrate: 1 bag of Onyx sand and aquarium gravel.
5. Plants:Jave Fern, Java Moss, Rotala Indica, Giant Hygrophila, Dwarf and Reg. Four-Leaf Clover.
6. Fish: 3x Rasbora, 4x Zebra Danio, 2x Dwarf Gourami, and 3 other misc. fish.
7. Test kits used (brand and type): Ammonia test and PH test(Only tested once)
8. Fertilization regimen (include products used): Plant Grow, Iron Enriched
9. Do you CO2? I plan on using the Fizz Factory
10. Water change routine: Every 1-2 weeks about 25%
11. How long has the tank been set up? 1 week.
12. Describe your question or problem in detail:

I just setup this tank and have not yet added the plants, which should come this week. I was just wondering if everything will work out for me. Will the plants I listed grow well at about 2.5 watts per gallon? Also do I need to use any more fertilizer? Any other advice or suggestions would be appreciated.
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Old 12-30-2004, 12:18 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Suggestions:

- Get a water quality report from your local water supplier (search on-line). The report will give you some idea about what your water contains, GH/KH, etc. Having this information will help you better understand what happens in the aquarium.

- Consider putting something in the substrate you suggested to make it a little more nutritious for the plants. Marsilea (you call it Four Leaf Clover) species do appreciate some substrate nutrition. It's too late for this as you have already started. Unless you want to rethink now before you plant the aquarium.

- DIY CO2 - make your own and buy a Hagen Ladder. Do a search on this board for this and all of the other items like substrate and you will find a plethora of wonderful information from which you can make some good decisions.

- if you stick to 'attached plants' such as Anubias species, ferns, moss etc then you can create a nice aquascape without the need to re-do the substrate. Attach these plants to elegant rocks, driftwood etc and arrange according to taste.

Hope this helps.

Andrew Cribb
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Old 12-30-2004, 01:08 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I am using Seachem Onyx Sand plant substrate, does this contain the needed nutrients? Here is a link that tells the nutrient content of the sand
http://www.seachem.com/products/prod...yx%20Sand.html

I plan on using mostly Java Fern and Java Moss, but I also wanted to grow the clover, Hygrophila, and Rotala Indica. Are you saying that these won't
grow well in my current setup?

I can't seem to find the GH/KH of my local water, but I live in a suburb of Chicago, so maybe somebody knows the info, I think we all get our water from Lake Michigan.

Your help is appreciated.
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Old 12-30-2004, 06:32 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I think you have enough light to grow a lot of diffarant plants, remember you have less depth in a 20G long for the light to penatrate.

I would not use fizz tabs they do not supply a constant C02 source, set up a DIY pop bottle C02 system... http://www.thekrib.com/Plants/CO2/

I would remove the sponge filter once you have the tank planted, two filters will give you too much surface aggitation which will cause C02 loss. When you can get a canister filter it will be a lot better filtration and no surface aggitation.

The test kits you will need is: N02, N03, P04, PH, KH & Ammonia.

I wait 3 weeks to fertilize (some will disagree), you will need a general fert, micros & iron. Once your tank has seattled in you may need to add other nutrients like nitrates, potassium etc.

I would do more than a 25% water change, either 30% or 40% depending if you do water changes weekly or bi-weekly.

The onyx sand should have nutrients for the roots but you will still need to use liquid ferts in the water column. After your tank has been set up a while it would also be good to add root tabs.

Do you know what the other 3 misc fish are?



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Old 12-31-2004, 07:07 PM   #5 (permalink)
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The link you posted for the D.I.Y. CO2 describes almost exactly what the Fizz Factory is. It is a bottle attached to an airline that is attached to a chamber underwater. You put the tab in the bottle and it releases CO2. So I think the Factor will work much the same as the DIY method. Please inform me if I am missing something here.

As for the fertilizer, are you saying I need to use more than just the trace elements? I though that fish food and waste provided the N-P-K.

The test kits you recommend, could you explain exactly why I need them before I spend the money? Could I do all right with out them or are they an important thing to have?

One of the misc fish is a very small algae eater from south america, I think the name starts with an O. As for the other two I have no idea, they ended up in my bag from walmart because the guy had no idea what he was doing(Last time I buy fish at walmart.) One is a fry and the other is a small fish with orange and black stripes.

I just planted the tank today and everything looks good so far. I'm sure I will have more questions in the future, but thanks for the help so far, it is invaluable.
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Old 01-01-2005, 07:06 AM   #6 (permalink)
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With the fizz factory once the tablet is dissolved no more C02, with DIY you have a constant flow of C02 which gradually decreases.

Yes, fish do supply some nutrients to the water but depending on how many fish/how many plants you have you may or may not have enough of these nutrients.

Yes, test kits I mentioned are vital to keeping a planted tank in-balance. PH/KH are directly linked with each other wich helps determine C02 levels in the tank. N03/P04 needs to be keep in-balance to keep from having nasty algae (other factors are also involved).

The algae eater could be a Otto: http://www.fishpondinfo.com/otto.htm
Might be able to help with the other fish if you post a pic. The reason I was asking about the other fish is they may to get to big for your tank, not be compatable with your other fish or need differant water requirments.



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Old 01-02-2005, 09:38 PM   #7 (permalink)
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The algae eater is definitely an Otto. I did some research and one of the misc. fish appears to be a striped barb, which is a little large for my tank but other than that should be ok. I think the misc fish is a Molly or Guppy fry.

As for the CO2, I was reading about a product from Seachem called Flourish Excel, which says it provides an alternate source of carbon for plants and can be used in conjuction with CO2. Does this stuff really work and is it worth the purchase?

I plan on using Big Al's Plant Food Supplement along with Flourish Excel for my fertilizer. I also plan on buying a test kit that measures ammonia, nitrite, ph, carbonate hardness and general hardness tests. Is this adequate?
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Old 01-02-2005, 10:31 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Here is a picture of what I think is a striped barb.

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Old 01-02-2005, 10:39 PM   #9 (permalink)
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And here is how the tank looks so far.



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