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Aquarium Nut
23 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I need ideas for plants for my first truely planted tank.
Need beginner plant ideas - not sure if I'll have a green thumb or not. LOL

I plan on putting Discus, Cardinal Tetras & a few Oto catfish in the tank. The water will be mostly 50/50 mix of RO & Tap water & ph adjusted to 6.5 & kept at 82 F - Our Tap water is very hard, so will have to use pete pellits in the filter to help soften it, or will have to use more RO water.

Here is what I have in equipment for this project.

Please reply with your thoughts.

(1) 30 Gallon Long Tank - 36" x 13" & 17" deep (Tall)
(2) Coralife F/W T-5 Aqualight Double Strip Light-36"
w/(1) Colormax F21-T5 BP & (1) 6700K F21-T5 BP bulbs 21 watts each
(1) Perfecto Strip Light with a aquari-lux PL T-8 30 watt bulb
That should give me 114 watts or 3.8 watts per gallon
-would that be enough?
(1) 55 oz of Pure Laterite by Aquarium Pharmaceuticals
- probably will only use 1/2 the box unless you think I need more
(25+) Pounds of Estes Natural Walnut gravel from established aquariums
I also could use Vermiculite mixed with dirt from the garden - kind of sandy - this would be the bottom layer with Estes gravel on top.
Have also seen that some people use Cat Litter & Pete from the garden center??
(1) Aqua Clear 70 (300 gph) * or * an Aqua Clear 50 (200 gph)
Which one would you use? I also have an Aqua Clear 150 (150 gph) that I could use, but I think it's a little small for this Tank.
- What are your thoughts?
(1) Small power head with a sponge prefilter (to help with the nitrogen cycle) it puts out 80 gph to help with circulation for the back corner furthest away from the Aqua Clear.
(1) Nutrafin CO2 Natural Plant System Kit by Hagen
(which is just a store-bought version of the DIY CO2 system that uses a 2-Liter soda bottle) Box says that its for up to 20 Gallon, but it will have to do.
(1) Very tight fitting DIY custom 3/8" thick Polycarbonate hinged Tank cover
(1) 1 oz bottle of Plant Gro Iron Enriched plant fertilizer 0.15-0-0.
- last time I used this stuff I had an algae outbreak like nobody’s business!
(1) 150 watt Heater - clamp on type
(75) Wardley PLANT GROW 75 TABs
That just about covers it, Am I missing anything?

1,048 Posts
Looks like you have everything covered........ Now it time for YOU to research what you like...... There are hundreds of true aquatic plants to choose from, it your taste. You need to look for plants that are mid hight to low plants. 4WPG is plenty in a tank thats 17"'s Tall. You may want to pick up another of the hagen CO2 systems and link them together that will give you enough but remember every 3 weeks you will be mixing up more yeast solution. 82 degrees is a little high on the temp most people run there tanks at 78 degrees. Also with planted tanks and with discus fish you may have to much current. You do not want the surfacve of the water to be broken or you wasting you time with the CO2 and discus fish you don't want a heavey current either because of the surface area of the fish it will push them accross the tank, and stress them out. You can research and find that there are plant kits that are designed for discus fish tanks.

I hope you find this information usefull

55 Posts
Here's a great article to get you started. This website also has a great forum for those serious about their planted tanks! :)

Just getting started
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756 Posts

Sorry didn't see this post so I answered here in Djrichie's thread:

As far as temp, I have seen Discus breeders keep there tanks from 80C-90C, so 82 is actually ok compared to most tropical tanks that are around 75-78C. Good luck with the tank and Discus. I plan on getting a few Discus in about a month once my 75g is fully established. I can't wait!
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