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Old 05-03-2005, 01:43 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default Simple Setup for a Beginner - Go Easy on Me (PLEASE)!

OK, so what I have is:
10g shown in picture
5 peppered cory cats and one oto
I would like to change to a more natural scenery, including changing the substrate and to more plants, slate, etc.
What would be the best way to do this without me having a nervous breakdown because I did a CO2 thing wrong, etc?
I'd like it to be pretty low maintenance, but I do take good care of my tanks...
Should I go with low light?
PLEASE HELP!!
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Old 05-03-2005, 02:50 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Hmmm...I think you're making a step in the right direction. That neon blue gravel is hurting my eyes.

I suggest you use Seachem Flourite as your new substrate. One bag will do it for a ten gallon. Try sticking with either wood or rocks for a hardscape. It's hard to mix the two well aesthetically. Bump up your lighting to a twin tube strip or a 36 watt pc bulb to get around 3 wpg (watts per gallon). Get plant specific bulbs...I really like ZooMed's Ultrasuns.

What type of filter are you using now?
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Old 05-03-2005, 05:14 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I'd go with the Zoomeds in your situation. They're nice strong bulbs and grow most plants pretty well. They're not quite as strong as power compacts, but in a lot of situations, that's just fine. A moderately lighted tank will allow you to grow a broad variety of plants without worrying about issues that arise in a faster growing, more heavily illuminated aquarium.

The recommendation about the Flourite is a good one. That or Eco Complete will give you a good substrate that you'll not have to worry about.

What are your water conditions like? KH?

A yeast co2 bottle and/or Flourish Excel will be adequate for a tank like yours. Neither are anything to worry about.
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Old 05-03-2005, 05:54 PM   #4 (permalink)
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For a beginner it is easiest to start off with a low light/low tech tank, this means you will not need C02 and very little ferts. Stay under 2WPG to have a low light tank.

You can use the the Seachem line of ferts...Seachem flourish, micros, iron and excel (for a carbon source).

The easiest substrate to use is Eco-complete, just open the bag and pour it into the tank.

Stuff as many low lot plants in the tank as you can afford (more the better) this will help soak up nutrients that algae also feed on.

Good Luck




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Old 05-03-2005, 08:23 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Wow! Thanks everyone!
I believe the standard bulb I have in there now is 15W...
Is that good enough?
Would I have to use ALL those Seachem products?

I have a Whisper hangon back filter.

My parameters are:
Ammonia 0
Nitrite 0
Nitrate (believe it or not) 0
ph 7

The tank is about 3 months old.

The neon blue is hurting my eyes too!
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Old 05-04-2005, 07:22 AM   #6 (permalink)
 
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I can't seem to find these Zoomed bulbs anywhere....
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Old 05-04-2005, 12:37 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Hmm, 0 nitrates sounds a bit off since you don't have any plants in the tank. I wonder if you're getting a false reading.

I agree with Trena and Cavan, it's best to start out lower tech and get a feel for it. Soon enough you'll be itching to move up to more high end stuff when your first tank starts thriving.
I like the Eco-complete too, and it's very easy to set up and work with.
It would probably be the best to try to find some compact fluorescent lighting if you just have the standards right now. I think you could find some that would keep you at less than 2WPG for your low tech start (if that's what you decide on), and it would still be more plant friendly than the standards.

The ZooMed lights are available at places like www.petsolutions.com .

On another note, you might want to get a few more Oto's since they really do best with company of their own.

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Old 05-04-2005, 01:44 PM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JanS
Hmm, 0 nitrates sounds a bit off since you don't have any plants in the tank. I wonder if you're getting a false reading.

I agree with Trena and Cavan, it's best to start out lower tech and get a feel for it. Soon enough you'll be itching to move up to more high end stuff when your first tank starts thriving.
I like the Eco-complete too, and it's very easy to set up and work with.
It would probably be the best to try to find some compact fluorescent lighting if you just have the standards right now. I think you could find some that would keep you at less than 2WPG for your low tech start (if that's what you decide on), and it would still be more plant friendly than the standards.

The ZooMed lights are available at places like www.petsolutions.com .

On another note, you might want to get a few more Oto's since they really do best with company of their own.
Thanks but I do have some live plants in there now. Amazon Sword is one of them.
That's why I think the Nitrate is at 0.
I don't think I can actually fit anymore fish in there without overloading it.

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Old 05-04-2005, 01:56 PM   #9 (permalink)
 
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http://www.petsolutions.com/Flora+Su...I-C-33-C-.aspx

Would this be the bulb to use even though it still says 15W??
l
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Old 05-04-2005, 03:12 PM   #10 (permalink)
 
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Just got home. I keep getting more and more of this brown stuff on my gravel.. Could it be algea? Someone mentioned diatoms???
This is really making me want to switch things over...
But is it going to be as simple as:
1.) Take the fish out
2.) Take out old decorations and gravel
3.) Put in either Flourite or Eco-Complete (after rinsing flourite of course)
4.) Fill tank halfway (with new water?) and put in new plate and decorations.
5.) Let sit for a couple hours
6.) Return fish to their home
7.) Voila! Is it basically that simple?

Is my tank going to have to cycle again cuz that was a real pain!
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