Aquatic Plant Forum banner
1 - 20 of 67 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
31 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all!
I've been really excited since learning my apartment complex is fine with us getting whatever tank size we want (on slab, gonna be here for another 2-3 years min while saving for a house in the same neighborhood). While at first I wanted to go full hog and big, I remembered my interest in dirted aquariums. So in an effort to not make the future tank too impossible to move, I dropped from 150-180 to 75 gallons and I've been soaking up research, including Diana's book, since.

My current plan is to have a moderate sized piece of driftwood to act as a "fallen log" in the tank - one end buried in the dirt, the rest above to allow for more space. It'll give a good place for java fern, java moss, and anubis imo while breaking up line of sight for the longer plants that'll go in the back. I have a list of plants I'd love to try, but I need to read up on them more and also see what's in my city before compiling a completed list to share. The goal is to have a densely planted aquarium with lots of different textures and a little color.

My concern right now is stocking expectations. I use aqadvisor as a guiding hand for my ideas about stocking, but of course having an "underpowered" powerhead makes it go nuts about filtration. I have an idea of what I want, which I'll list here:
  • 20 orange pumpkin shrimp
  • 10 bamboo shrimp
  • 5 nerite snails
  • 15 panda cory cats
  • 25 rummynose tetras
  • 25 neon tetras
  • 2 German ram cichlids (I know they'll go after the pumpkin shrimp. I hope to give the shrimplets plenty of places to hide so they can populate while the cichlids snack on them)
With proper filtration, aqadvisor says that my future tank is about 86% stocked. I also know I plan on introducing each species slowly (snails and shrimp once the plants are good, then corycats, rummynose, cichlids, and finally neons). I'd stop adding fish if it starts struggling. But I'm still worried this might be a bad plan?

I also was thinking about the powerhead filter, for mechanical filtration/waterflow. I had originally planned on an aquaclear 50, but with how many fast growing plants I have on my list (guppy grass, hornwort, anacharis are some examples), I think the flow would be dispersed rather quickly once everything starts growing in. And with a long piece of driftwood, I don't know that the flow would be throughout the whole tank, since it'll be a midtank barrier. So I thought maybe getting two 50s or even two 70s and having one in the front and one in the back might help make sure there's a slow to moderate flow through the whole tank.

I also live in a very dark apartment, with little to no outside light. My partner and I rarely use powerful lights either, usually just a small side lamp in the living room. To counteract this, I was looking at some more intense lighting setups, such as the Current USA 36-48" Satellite Plus PRO LED Light. I have to do some more research into this aspect especially, but with a deeper tank, I'd like to make sure there's light all the way to the bottom for plants to thrive. I do know this can cause some issues with algae, so I think the PRO LED has dimming capabilities, I have frogbit and red root floaters on my list, and I'd be throwing the inverts in earlier than everything else so they can snack and get a chance to thrive before the rams enter the picture.

tl;dr Is there a way for me to reasonably set expectations on how many fish my partner and I can have for themselves and me when it comes to El Natural styled tanks or is it add a few at the time and keep a careful watch? For mechanical filtration, would it be a good idea to stick to a single Aquaclear 50 in a densely planted tank or should I try to split slightly more powerful filtration front/back so there's no stagnation? And what sort of lighting system would work in a deeper tank for moderate light when there's legit no sunlight coming into the apartment?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
68 Posts
Hi all!
I've been really excited since learning my apartment complex is fine with us getting whatever tank size we want (on slab, gonna be here for another 2-3 years min while saving for a house in the same neighborhood). While at first I wanted to go full hog and big, I remembered my interest in dirted aquariums. So in an effort to not make the future tank too impossible to move, I dropped from 150-180 to 75 gallons and I've been soaking up research, including Diana's book, since.

My current plan is to have a moderate sized piece of driftwood to act as a "fallen log" in the tank - one end buried in the dirt, the rest above to allow for more space. It'll give a good place for java fern, java moss, and anubis imo while breaking up line of sight for the longer plants that'll go in the back. I have a list of plants I'd love to try, but I need to read up on them more and also see what's in my city before compiling a completed list to share. The goal is to have a densely planted aquarium with lots of different textures and a little color.

My concern right now is stocking expectations. I use aqadvisor as a guiding hand for my ideas about stocking, but of course having an "underpowered" powerhead makes it go nuts about filtration. I have an idea of what I want, which I'll list here:
  • 20 orange pumpkin shrimp
  • 10 bamboo shrimp
  • 5 nerite snails
  • 15 panda cory cats
  • 25 rummynose tetras
  • 25 neon tetras
  • 2 German ram cichlids (I know they'll go after the pumpkin shrimp. I hope to give the shrimplets plenty of places to hide so they can populate while the cichlids snack on them)
With proper filtration, aqadvisor says that my future tank is about 86% stocked. I also know I plan on introducing each species slowly (snails and shrimp once the plants are good, then corycats, rummynose, cichlids, and finally neons). I'd stop adding fish if it starts struggling. But I'm still worried this might be a bad plan?

I also was thinking about the powerhead filter, for mechanical filtration/waterflow. I had originally planned on an aquaclear 50, but with how many fast growing plants I have on my list (guppy grass, hornwort, anacharis are some examples), I think the flow would be dispersed rather quickly once everything starts growing in. And with a long piece of driftwood, I don't know that the flow would be throughout the whole tank, since it'll be a midtank barrier. So I thought maybe getting two 50s or even two 70s and having one in the front and one in the back might help make sure there's a slow to moderate flow through the whole tank.

I also live in a very dark apartment, with little to no outside light. My partner and I rarely use powerful lights either, usually just a small side lamp in the living room. To counteract this, I was looking at some more intense lighting setups, such as the Current USA 36-48" Satellite Plus PRO LED Light. I have to do some more research into this aspect especially, but with a deeper tank, I'd like to make sure there's light all the way to the bottom for plants to thrive. I do know this can cause some issues with algae, so I think the PRO LED has dimming capabilities, I have frogbit and red root floaters on my list, and I'd be throwing the inverts in earlier than everything else so they can snack and get a chance to thrive before the rams enter the picture.

tl;dr Is there a way for me to reasonably set expectations on how many fish my partner and I can have for themselves and me when it comes to El Natural styled tanks or is it add a few at the time and keep a careful watch? For mechanical filtration, would it be a good idea to stick to a single Aquaclear 50 in a densely planted tank or should I try to split slightly more powerful filtration front/back so there's no stagnation? And what sort of lighting system would work in a deeper tank for moderate light when there's legit no sunlight coming into the apartment?
I have a 75 gallon aquarium and I went through some growing pains with the light and power head. I started with the aqua clear 70 and it was way to strong so I bought an Aquaclear 50 with the quick filter as a water polisher and it is more than enough so you will only need one. Sometimes I think it's too much even on the lowest setting. In regards to the lighting it was difficult to find the right set up. I started with a beamworks EA FSLED and it was not enough to get adequate growth because it was not strong enough for the 18 inch depth of the 75 gallon tank. I tried the Finnex 24/7 planted setup and modified the light cycle but when the power would go out it would revert to the standard cycle and I kept having to reset it. Doesn't seem like a big deal but in summer in Florida it happened all the time. You also can't really do an adequate siesta period with the Finnex because of the ramp up and ramp down thing it has going on. I went back to the beam works thinking something would change but plant growth was stagnant. I am back to the Finnex Planted 24/7 but have it on it's pre programed light cycle and the plants are growing well and with only some algae showing up on the glass but it has only been running for about 3 weeks. You should be good (but at your limit) with the fish stocking levels you listed but only after the tank and plants have time to establish themselves. I have angels, cardinal tetras, rainbowfish, corys, snails, and shrimp and nothing bad showing up on the test kit. I hope this helps, good luck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
176 Posts
I am back to the Finnex Planted 24/7 but have it on it's pre programed light cycle
Have you tried using an outlet timer instead of the built-in timers on the lights? You can get them pretty cheap at the hardware store (or slightly more expensive at the pet store) and create your own custom light schedule down to 15 minute granularity. No dimming or anything, but it works well for me.
73262
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
68 Posts
The problem with the timer on the finnex planted 24/7 is that you can not override the ramp up and rap down day light simulation cycle. You can customize the lighting intensity but when the power comes back on the daylight cycle starts where it left off which isn't bad the first day but the next morning it picks up at the setting it was at in the evening so you have to reset it every morning, if that makes sense. You can program it in 3 hr increments and I first tried to make a 3 hr siesta starting at noon but the way it's set up it will reach its max programed intensity at 9 am and gradually go dark until completely out at noon. Once it reaches noon/off it will start ramping up to the setting of 3 pm. Kind of like a bright fade to black and slowly brighten up thing. There is no way around it as far as I can tell. I wish I bought a different light be I don't want to invest on another one. I just let it do it's thing which seems to be growing my plants better with only a minimum increase in algae so far.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
31 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I have a 75 gallon aquarium and I went through some growing pains with the light and power head. I started with the aqua clear 70 and it was way to strong so I bought an Aquaclear 50 with the quick filter as a water polisher and it is more than enough so you will only need one. Sometimes I think it's too much even on the lowest setting. In regards to the lighting it was difficult to find the right set up. I started with a beamworks EA FSLED and it was not enough to get adequate growth because it was not strong enough for the 18 inch depth of the 75 gallon tank. I tried the Finnex 24/7 planted setup and modified the light cycle but when the power would go out it would revert to the standard cycle and I kept having to reset it. Doesn't seem like a big deal but in summer in Florida it happened all the time. You also can't really do an adequate siesta period with the Finnex because of the ramp up and ramp down thing it has going on. I went back to the beam works thinking something would change but plant growth was stagnant. I am back to the Finnex Planted 24/7 but have it on it's pre programed light cycle and the plants are growing well and with only some algae showing up on the glass but it has only been running for about 3 weeks. You should be good (but at your limit) with the fish stocking levels you listed but only after the tank and plants have time to establish themselves. I have angels, cardinal tetras, rainbowfish, corys, snails, and shrimp and nothing bad showing up on the test kit. I hope this helps, good luck.
Yeah, I kinda don't like the ramp up/down which is why I decided on the PRO LED for now. I basically reviewed several different review lists then looked at the Amazon reviews on three different lighting setups that were said to be good for moderate light at 18 inches. Though I'm trying to pick up a tank secondhand, so right now there's one with a FluvalSmart Light... which I have no idea what that is. It seems like it's just the app name, so I'm trying to figure out what lights pair with that since it's unlikely I'll get my other choice of tank/stand since it's super underpriced.

All my frustrations with Facebook Marketplace is seriously making me consider just building my own stand/tank setup. Or wait for Petco's dollar per gallon sale and make my own stand so there can be a space for a quarantine 10 gal underneath the main tank. Idk yet on my plans for that.

I guess since i'll likely not be stocking the tank with fish for a long while (I really want to get those plants and a shrimp colony established first) I'll have plenty of time to make sure an Aquaclear 50 can cycle through the whole tank with the driftwood bisecting it. It is actually your post that had me drop from a 110 down to a 50 to start with and then I started second-guessing myself when aqadvisor started flipping out.

Going through your discussions actually led me down a rabbithole and between you and a few other discussion, it's starting to sound like my tank will be fine once the plants are flourishing. I at least won't have any livebearers to worry about overpopulating, just the shrimps which I suspect will mostly be dealt with by the rams. Thank you!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
176 Posts
The problem with the timer on the finnex planted 24/7 is that you can not override the ramp up and rap down day light simulation cycle.
I guess for my setup, I haven't found the ramp-up/ramp-down useful. It looks good, but it's far more worth it to have the siesta period. My 24+ is just set to a constant intensity all the time, and turned on and off periodically via the timer.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
68 Posts
Jatcar95 you're a genius :D I gather you have the finnex planted plus 24/7 too...I didn't catch that in your first post. I never thought about setting a constant intensity for every 3 hour period in the 24 hour cycle which would eliminate my issue. Duh, I kind of feel silly now. I just set everything to level six and put it on the outlet timer. We will see if I have to tweak the intensity in the future. Thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
31 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Welp I'm gonna turn this into my tank journal. Very excited because A. someone on Reddit has a cheaper light setup and is gonna send pics when he has a chance. I'm gonna see if there's a way to fit it to my tank plans. B. I'm getting a tank tomorrow. It's from offerup, which is like Facebook I guess? $350 for the tank, stand, and it looks like it comes with some hardscape materials and a giant sponge filter.

I love sponge filters so if that works I may not get the powerhead after all. Might be nicer to the future shrimpies as well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
176 Posts
I just set everything to level six and put it on the outlet timer. We will see if I have to tweak the intensity in the future. Thanks!
I think I forgot to mention in my first post 😅 But yeah, I tried playing around with the cycles and weather and stuff for a while...some of it looks really cool! But practically speaking, I'm fine with just the constant level. I do adjust it occasionally if algae starts growing, or if the floating plants get extra thick or whatnot. I will say - the lights coming on all at once does seem to startle my rasboras a tad...so a dimmer would not be terrible. But it works for now.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
40 Posts
I would recommend cardinals instead of neon and sterbai instead of panda as german blue ram require 82+ to thrive and neither panda nor neon will appreciate the warm waters. Conversely you could swap the german blue rams for apistogramma (borelli or hongsloi would be my suggestion) or bolivan rams and keep the tank a bit cooler for the panda and neon.
-
For lights it depends a bit what you are willing to spend - at the low end beamswork and hyger 957; at the middle end fluval 3.0 at the high end wrgb 2.
-
Filtration for a 75 - hum not a fan of hob but a lot of folks love them. tidal and aquaclear. A 50 is going to make a lot of current. i had a aquaclear on my 40B but i can't remember the size and looking at the filter it doesn't have it stamped on it. - i'm a big fan of sponge filters. You might want to add a couple of those to add a bit of current and produce some biofilm which your shrimp would love.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
31 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I would recommend cardinals instead of neon and sterbai instead of panda as german blue ram require 82+ to thrive and neither panda nor neon will appreciate the warm waters. Conversely you could swap the german blue rams for apistogramma (borelli or hongsloi would be my suggestion) or bolivan rams and keep the tank a bit cooler for the panda and neon.
-
For lights it depends a bit what you are willing to spend - at the low end beamswork and hyger 957; at the middle end fluval 3.0 at the high end wrgb 2.
-
Filtration for a 75 - hum not a fan of hob but a lot of folks love them. tidal and aquaclear. A 50 is going to make a lot of current. i had a aquaclear on my 40B but i can't remember the size and looking at the filter it doesn't have it stamped on it. - i'm a big fan of sponge filters. You might want to add a couple of those to add a bit of current and produce some biofilm which your shrimp would love.
I may look into the bolivian rams just because I cannot let go of the neons. I grew up a military brat and my brightest memory in Japan is sitting in my parents' office watching our 10 gallon tank with a small school of neons. Today, I realize they might've been a bit cramped and baby me overblew the numbers a bit, but that's what got me into caring about tanks at all.

Honestly the bolivians also work better with the idea of getting blue shrimp instead of the orange pumpkins. The big test is wanting to find a local hobbyist or store that sells the appropriate fish. Thank you for noticing that because I did look through everything but just apparently missed the water temps.

I might go for the Fluval 3.0. I've just consistently heard great things about them, even in ye old days when I frequented betta fish forums.

I'm not gonna go for a HOB because I don't want it messing too much with the floaters or causing surface agitation if I forget to top off the water while the plants are establishing. I'd be getting a powerhead if I went that route, though I would either have to cover it with sponge anyway to keep shrimps from getting stuck. I do love sponge filters though. I was really excited because I thought the tank I bought secondhand had a big one with it but it looks like the photo was either an older one and they tossed it, it's buried in the box o' stuff to sort through, or I just misjudged what was in the tank to start with lol.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
31 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I hope the picture doesn't end up this big on the forum.

Yesterday was a weird ass ****show but I've officially inspected the tank I've chosen to purchase. Dude is gonna drop it off Saturday (or after work Friday) and I can start making it my own.

In the meantime, my partner and I decided we were too excited to wait and put together a hopefully to be shrimp bowl. Bowl itself was from Michaels, got some organic potting soil from Lowe's, some sand and a bunch of marked down plants from PetSmart. Most of them were emergent so it was a perfect chance to test the DSM. Sadly this is the only photo I've taken so far but there are some dying leaves and junk I need to prune before I feel comfortable letting people actually see the plants lol.

I'm gonna try and mineralize the rest of the soil we have and try and do that in smallish batches for when the tank arrives. That way it's not such a pain in the butt doing that in an apartment with a dog who really, really likes getting her dumb little nose into everything we're doing.

 

·
Banned
Joined
·
323 Posts
Honestly with a 75g you could double that stocking if it’s a el natural tank. Somebody on another forum has like 130-150 nano fish like microrasbora and cpd and also psudomugil in a 40g so I don’t see why you couldn’t do that b/c all those fish stay super small. I would advise against rams with Panda cories or neons, they don’t like warm water as much as other fish. I’d say a group of Bolivian Ram, some kind of apisto or keyhole chiclids (my favorite, they are monogamous and social, 4 recommended minimum)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
31 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·


No images of the actual tank stand, but this is the setup currently. About 1.5" of soil, 1" of sand/gravel with the big stones. There's a **** ton of java moss in there and I'm getting more plants from Dustin's Fish Tanks and reddit soon. The guy who gave me the moss said there may be shrimp or scarlet badis fry, so I guess we'll see!



The bowl has also been overrun by moss. I'm expecting the stuff I was letting slowly adjust to water is gonna die now, but we'll see.

Honestly with a 75g you could double that stocking if it’s a el natural tank. Somebody on another forum has like 130-150 nano fish like microrasbora and cpd and also psudomugil in a 40g so I don’t see why you couldn’t do that b/c all those fish stay super small. I would advise against rams with Panda cories or neons, they don’t like warm water as much as other fish. I’d say a group of Bolivian Ram, some kind of apisto or keyhole chiclids (my favorite, they are monogamous and social, 4 recommended minimum)
I believe someone here? told me to go with Bolivians as well. I'm too much of a sleepy bitch to check rn lol. So I've adjusted accordingly and I am still a bit salty. I've thought about it, but idk yet. I've also thought about getting a species of fish that can procreate in the tank that aren't just the rams, but just ??? I'm dedicated to cories, rummynose, neons, and shrimp but everything else feels a bit up in the air.

I'll just see how the tank fairs as I add each species and take it slow. If it's doing really well, I'll add more to the schools and look into the apisto or keyholes. Something bright and cool to look at.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
323 Posts
you could try sajica they are Central American beautiful and peaceful and easy to breed
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
323 Posts
My tank has about the same stocking as what you want and it’s 40g so definitley you can do more. I have a lot of fish and most of them are showing spawning behavior and my water is perfect
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
40 Posts
More is not always better. Not sure why you are pushing for op to get more fishes - i think he has a good starting point and should just let things 'cook' for a while.
 
1 - 20 of 67 Posts
Top