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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-03-2016, 12:14 AM Thread Starter
 
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Talking A first time planted tank journal. Watch me learn, the hard way. \=_=/

After experimenting with my first fish tank ever, a 10 gallon glofish tank. I knew that I wanted something more. So a week ago, I picked up a 40 gallon breeder tank to embark on a planting journey. And this is it's journal. Have fun reading my missery and please give advice, not criticism. This is my learning experience

Day 1:
Petco Run. "So what do I need to start planting? Fluorite? Fluorite seems like a great idea!" Well... We will get back to that.
Picking up a variety of things that said "good for plants" and a hand full of random plants, along with a main wood piece I left the store.

The troubles of day one began. Moving the previous substrate onto all four corners (more of a gray substrate which comes from an older tank for the bacteria benefits). Open up the bags of fluorite and go ham throwing 30 pounds of it into the center to attempt to make a hill where the wood piece would live. I decide to add water to start planting. UHH OHH... Why is my water ****ING MUDDY BROWN. Literally could not see 1 inch into the tank.

Time for mad research. Of course I did everything wrong.

Drained all the water (Using my mouth and a hose, *yuck*) and cup by cup took the substrate into buckets and washed for two hours... Skipping some time, the tank now is refilled, after hours of water changes. It's still cloudy. More research and I fall asleep.


Day 2:
Wake up and the tank is much clearer. PHEW. Still dirty as hell, but PHEW. After work I began planting what I had.

Progress picture 1:



Mmmm. That crystal clean water. Yum.
Today was the revelation of education on my behalf for cleaning water. Went to my local petco and picked up filter floss, clarity, bacteria to push the cycle process (which before everyone flips out at day 3, I was using 50% pre-used substrate, a filter and filter media from another tank, and the bacteria product), and some more products for the plants.

Before I end day 2. Let me tell you what else I did.
Water Change, Water Change, Filter Floss Change,
Water Change, Water Change, Filter Floss Change,
Water Change, Water Change, Filter Floss Change,
Water Change, Water Change, Filter Floss Change... FUN


Notes from Day 2 "TL DR":
I'm glad I spent time to learn a lot, and I had an absolute blast planting for the first time. I'm very proud of my first planting experience too. I love the look

Day 3:
The water cleared up a bunch! and I felt comfortable to add fish...
Now people will be mad at this, but again, this is my learning process. I had bought the fish when I got the tank, and they were stuck in a 10g so it was an emergency to have them moved. I have been checking water ammonia every day, and my fish look extremely happy now. Anywho, I added the 8 tetras, and later went to the store for 2 plecos and 2 mollys. Time for another picture? I think so!


Day 3 Notes "TL DR": Water cleared up a bit! made me happy. Added Fish and watched them for hours.


Day 4:
More Fish! (I know, too soon. This is my learning experience)
We added 2 long fin goldfishautolinker.com autolinking image. (YES, I KNOW, This was a mistake) But this is my learning experience (They are being relocated to my girlfriends parents house whom will take care of them in a proper environment ) and later in the day two of my favorite fish at the moment, angel fish.
I felt like the plants were not thick enough at the end of the day, and knew tomorrows goals were plants plants plants!
I also found a local aquarium store 20 minutes from me and had left to go there to find they were closed on the day I went :C!!!

PICTURE!

Angel Fish are amazingly gorgeous.


Day 4 notes "TL DR": Finally got my favorite fish! and made a mistake by adding some fishes whom are not compatible. But I learned and the fish will be safe in a new home in a few days! But, All of the fishes seem extremely happy!


Day 5:

Went to the new aquarium store!!!
Was so excited, I even brought a friend and my girlfriend. Yes, I have an obsession, is that okay?
Talked with the store owners for an hour or two and picked up more plants!
Not to mention, the water is really clearing up! What's that? Picture Time. Yes!


Unfortunately, I found out that one or two of my species of plants might die due to not enough light! Have to find more light!

Day 5 Notes "TL DR": Finding a LFS is important. It's an inspiration, and it made me want to start this journal.

So now we're up to date. I plan to update this as frequently as I can and as often as requested . I hope you enjoyed my struggles, I know I did.

MORE TO COME!
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-03-2016, 09:24 AM
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Re: A first time planted tank journal. Watch me learn, the hard way. \=_=/

HI! looks like your well on your way! A few observations from someone who has been there, done that.

1. what kind of plecos did you get? If common, beware they will outgrow that tank majorly fast.

2. useful tool for stocking levels: aquadvisor.com as I kind of feel like you're getting close, if not over, fully stocked levels.

3. Cycling the tank with fish in, happens to the best of the best in newbie fish world. Myself included. keep changing the water and watching the ammonia levels carefully.

4. if you want to clear the water quicker add some filter floss (AKA pillow batting) to your filter

5. your tank looks great, here are some things solely based on opinion from me. THe tetras you have are dyed, in a really cruel fashion. Wouldnt reccomend buying more because it supports that sort of behaviour in the fish sales field. I just hate it. If you increase light, just watch that you dont go overboard, and if you do you may need co2 and ferts in the future.

6. Open invite to hang out with the cool kids, look on top of the page and click the chat button....myself and a few others frequent there throughout the day and gab about fish and life. Come talk

70 gallon- Betta Enisae pair, betta Ocellata pair, female Betta Pugnax

29 Gallon- Betta Pallifina and Betta Patoti

20 Gallon- Betta Gladiator

5 Gallon- Betta Channoides

And numerous Betta Splendens

Coming soon: Betta Macrostoma :D
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-03-2016, 10:35 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: A first time planted tank journal. Watch me learn, the hard way. \=_=/

Quote:
Originally Posted by Summer View Post
HI! looks like your well on your way! A few observations from someone who has been there, done that.

1. what kind of plecos did you get? If common, beware they will outgrow that tank majorly fast.

2. useful tool for stocking levels: aquadvisor.com as I kind of feel like you're getting close, if not over, fully stocked levels.

3. Cycling the tank with fish in, happens to the best of the best in newbie fish world. Myself included. keep changing the water and watching the ammonia levels carefully.

4. if you want to clear the water quicker add some filter floss (AKA pillow batting) to your filter

5. your tank looks great, here are some things solely based on opinion from me. THe tetras you have are dyed, in a really cruel fashion. Wouldnt reccomend buying more because it supports that sort of behaviour in the fish sales field. I just hate it. If you increase light, just watch that you dont go overboard, and if you do you may need co2 and ferts in the future.

6. Open invite to hang out with the cool kids, look on top of the page and click the chat button....myself and a few others frequent there throughout the day and gab about fish and life. Come talk
I know :C My plecos will be way to big. I was planning on putting them on craigslist to put them in a bigger home, if I don't have one by that time.

I'm currently adding LeafZone and CO2 Booster to the tank for the plants. Is this enough? Or too much?

And Filter Floss has been saving my life atm. Every day its brown. Slightly less and less. but brown. LOL.
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Re: A first time planted tank journal. Watch me learn, the hard way. \=_=/

Your aquarium looks amazing!! I've been experimenting with plants lately and I cant wait to see the progress they make. I hope mine end up looking as great as yours!! What kind of plant is that in the back on the log decor on day 5? It's really cool looking!
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-03-2016, 01:16 PM
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I mentioned in your intro about the angelfish size. I would suggest that while you have some time, look into a taller tank for them.
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Re: A first time planted tank journal. Watch me learn, the hard way. \=_=/

Welcome to the board! Thank you for all the pictures!! Keep them coming!

Now.. Where's the pic of the mud water? :D

Plants are pretty awesome. Stick with it. They may take a long time to acclimate to the new tank and new tank setup. Just pull off the dead stuff, leave the roots, and eventually, they will take!

Plants: I have a 15g RCS tank, just has the awful fluorescent light that came with it, some 5 years old now.. And Crypts, Moss ball, Christmas moss(java moss) Anubis are all doing well.
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Re: A first time planted tank journal. Watch me learn, the hard way. \=_=/

Quote:
Originally Posted by majerah1 View Post
I mentioned in your intro about the angelfish size. I would suggest that while you have some time, look into a taller tank for them.
Within the next couple of months I can near guarentee there will be another tank somewhere it my house. I'll be sure to look for a taller one next time! Thanks!

But for now, they are no where near the hight of the tank, so I should be okay for a little bit.
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Re: A first time planted tank journal. Watch me learn, the hard way. \=_=/

Quote:
Originally Posted by FishFlow View Post
Welcome to the board! Thank you for all the pictures!! Keep them coming!

Now.. Where's the pic of the mud water? :D

Plants are pretty awesome. Stick with it. They may take a long time to acclimate to the new tank and new tank setup. Just pull off the dead stuff, leave the roots, and eventually, they will take!

Plants: I have a 15g RCS tank, just has the awful fluorescent light that came with it, some 5 years old now.. And Crypts, Moss ball, Christmas moss(java moss) Anubis are all doing well.
I was to busy putting my hand into the tank and it coming out brown to take a picture! Lol.

And thanks for the note about the light. Makes me feel better!
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-03-2016, 04:36 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: A first time planted tank journal. Watch me learn, the hard way. \=_=/

Quote:
Originally Posted by Summer View Post
HI! looks like your well on your way! A few observations from someone who has been there, done that.

1. what kind of plecos did you get? If common, beware they will outgrow that tank majorly fast.

2. useful tool for stocking levels: aquadvisor.com as I kind of feel like you're getting close, if not over, fully stocked levels.

3. Cycling the tank with fish in, happens to the best of the best in newbie fish world. Myself included. keep changing the water and watching the ammonia levels carefully.

4. if you want to clear the water quicker add some filter floss (AKA pillow batting) to your filter

5. your tank looks great, here are some things solely based on opinion from me. THe tetras you have are dyed, in a really cruel fashion. Wouldnt reccomend buying more because it supports that sort of behaviour in the fish sales field. I just hate it. If you increase light, just watch that you dont go overboard, and if you do you may need co2 and ferts in the future.

6. Open invite to hang out with the cool kids, look on top of the page and click the chat button....myself and a few others frequent there throughout the day and gab about fish and life. Come talk
I forgot to mention, I am not using neon tetras, I currently have glo tetras, which are fish that have been genetically modified many years ago whom's off spring is also a colored glowing fish. It's a fish that was crossed with a jelly fish No color dying here!!!
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Re: A first time planted tank journal. Watch me learn, the hard way. \=_=/

I forgot what day! But Here's an update!

What's been happening?
- I've been adding more plants as I go on.
- Water is clear now
- Both Pleco's have died (On the same night. rip. :'C I Don't know why!)
- gold fishautolinker.com autolinking image moved out to gf parents house.

Time for some pictures!!!
Full Tank.


Right Side.


Left Side.



Moving Forward,
I'm looking for another light to support my plant life. Hoping to find one on craigslist xD
Waiting a tiny bit longer then I'm going to attempt adding guppies so I can see more life develop in a shorter period of time. (I know the risk with the angel fish, They seem extremely friendly though, so I will watch it closely.)
Going to add some algae eating shrimp, and going to pick a replacement fish for the two gold fishautolinker.com autolinking image that have left an empty void.

Hope you like the pictures, everything's moving very steadily!
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-20-2016, 06:56 AM
 
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Re: A first time planted tank journal. Watch me learn, the hard way. \=_=/

The tank looks great! Love to see the plants growing from pic to pic.

You plecos may have starved to death. If you added them in as you started the tank there may not have been any algae for them to eat. If you get more also get algae wafers. And Bristle Nose plecos stay smaller.

With guppies, two things. If you keep the angels in there, they may eat all the babies and you won't see any of them. If they do not eat the babies you may have a hundred guppies in short order. (That happened to me. Friend gave me guppies. Had a tank full of guppies in a year. We went to the fish store with most of the guppies to get rid of them, got a few Krebensis and they keep the babies eaten, as I don't even really like guppies.)

Angels just like a lot of headroom, so they need way more height than it looks. They also like grasses, so if you are looking to get some more plants, they might be a good addition.

Check your stocking rate before adding more fish-someone already posted the stocking rate website. You have a lot of fish in there, and the more fish the harder it is to keep the tank clean

Your first tank is such an amazing project, isn't it? I had a solo cichlid tank, but my first community with plants was a whole different experience. You will learn the personalities of the fish, who gets along, which fish are good with your tank parameters, the whole thing. We all learn from bad choices, so keep your head up when you make mistakes. I know I made a few. I just got a fish (a few weeks ago), didn't do the research, and he died of starvation two weeks later. I didn't realize I needed to feed him greens and feed the tank at night-the LFS owner did not tell me either. I think that will be my last impulse buy (if I can resist).

So keep up the updates, love to see them!
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-21-2016, 10:03 PM
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Re: A first time planted tank journal. Watch me learn, the hard way. \=_=/

Just for clarification, plecos NEED driftwood to digest food and eat far more than just algae--they like veggies, especially freshautolinker.com autolinking image zucchini, spinach, broccoli, etc. Depending on the kind of pleco, of course, as some like meat.

70 gallon- Betta Enisae pair, betta Ocellata pair, female Betta Pugnax

29 Gallon- Betta Pallifina and Betta Patoti

20 Gallon- Betta Gladiator

5 Gallon- Betta Channoides

And numerous Betta Splendens

Coming soon: Betta Macrostoma :D
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Re: A first time planted tank journal. Watch me learn, the hard way. \=_=/

It's been some time since I've updated, I wanted there to be a lot of progress and changes before I posted again.


So what's happened then?

Hydor 100 gal canister installed.
Small Drift Wood added.
New plant added.
DIY CO2
CO2 Monitor
Two temporary extra lights added (800 lumen led, 500k)
Added api root tabs (even if I didn't need them)
And a crap load of re planting...

Heres a video update. Sorry for the apparel, I've been a bit ill for a few days.

And photos.

FULL:

RIGHT:

LEFT:


My current livestock:
4 Guppies (1 male, 3 prego females)
1 Sailfin Molly
1 Black Molly
2 Dalmation Molly's
4 Amano Shrimp
2 Albino Bristlenose Pleco's
2 Angel Fish
8 Glo Tetras
Note: I'm at 115% stocking, but they are not all full size yet, and the amano shrimp claim to be 10% (which I don't agree with). Either way, I am relocating the guppies to a new 10 gallon heavily planted tank I am setting up, and a few of the tetras to my other 10 gallon.

Sadly, A Bamboo Shrimp, which I added to the tank 4 days ago has past on, I'm not sure why, maybe just too harsh of change in water, but looking online, I see its common.

Thank you for your feedback about the plecos, I added a seaweed holder which I can put seaweed and other vegetables on, and started adding algae wafers more often. I'm also over lighting for a few days until I develop just a little algae for them (monitoring very closely)
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Re: A first time planted tank journal. Watch me learn, the hard way. \=_=/

Nice update!

I missed the type of LED lights you have on that tank, but I saw 2 led lights, + 2 cfl canned lights, over a 40 breeder. Ya gotta be really close to a "high-light" tank.

Soon you'll have pressurized co2 and EI Dosing!! :D WOOT!
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Re: A first time planted tank journal. Watch me learn, the hard way. \=_=/

Looking good!

70 gallon- Betta Enisae pair, betta Ocellata pair, female Betta Pugnax

29 Gallon- Betta Pallifina and Betta Patoti

20 Gallon- Betta Gladiator

5 Gallon- Betta Channoides

And numerous Betta Splendens

Coming soon: Betta Macrostoma :D
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post #16 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-01-2016, 05:23 AM
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Re: A first time planted tank journal. Watch me learn, the hard way. \=_=/

Very Nice indeed
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