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Hello,
This is my first time on the forum. I am in need of some advice. I have been a fish hobbiest for years, but one thing I have never attempted is a planted aquarium. I don't have a great deal of money to do this. I just restored an older 40 gallon aquarium and stand. Based on what I have read, I do have some lighting that I think will do the job. What type of filtration system would you recommend? Also, and suggestions on types of substrate, plants, fish and fish density for a beginner in this area? Please keep in mind I am on a budget. Thanks for your help.
Kevin
 

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you might want to get some flourite for substrate...and it depends what type of fish you want...ive heard that cichlids arent good with live plants...but i would have to tell you to stock your tank with tiger barbs...

post what type of fish you want and well grow from there
 
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Pleco n bn breeder n BOSS
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Welcome to the forum.

I wouldn't suggest the walstead method for beginners myself. If they aren't set up just right they can be a pain. But the plants do the filtering for you. Depending on the light wattage to the size of tank will tell you what kind of plants to keep. If it has high light you will need co2 and a good fert regime.

Plants will grow in just about any substrate that you choose, but you want them to thrive. Now if you go low light you would look into plants like java ferns and mosses. Anubia and crypts. They are basically slow growers and most don't need to be planted, just tied to a rock or a piece of wood.
 

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if youre on a budget i would suggest not to do live plants in the first place. i recently just got out of it because of that. the fertilizers and nutrients needed are not cheap. but if you have your heart set on it, here's some tips. I didnt use it, but ive been told that regular playground sand is a very good substrate to start. Otherwise i suggest you look at the ADA aqua soil, and power sand. DONT SPARE YOUR MONEY WHEN IT COMES TO THE SUBSTRATE. GET THE BEST. many begginners do this, and when their cheap substrate breaks down into mud and dirty's up their tank they get upset. the company is called Aqua Design Amano. Even a look at the pics on their website will be beneficial. another good tip is do not uner any circumstances buy your plants from a petco, or petsmart. they are full of snail eggs. snails are often inevitable, but not a bad thing if you keep them under control. a pair of clown loaches worked wonders for this. as for other fish, stick to schoolers. cardinal and/or neon tetras are awesome, and discus are perfect fish for the planted aquarium. stay away from gourami's and any other plant eating fish. a BN pleco for algae control is good too. Also, look into a DIY co2 system, its very easy and cheap to make. (about $5 compared to $250 for a pressurized system)
 
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