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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,
Newbie here with a 55gal fresh water. I am just now going through the cycle process in initial set up (not quite 1 week into it) and of course I have had a change of mind. I am wanting to use live plants instead of the plastic ones that I have now. Not sure if I have to start all over and get the right substrate below the gravel or not. Any suggestions would be most welcomed.

I look forward to being here and reading and learning as I go along with my new tank. So excited but am waiting and testing and .... waiting more.
 

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Goodwill Ambassador
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welcome to the site...

what substrate do you have on right now???

supposubly (excuse my spelling) sand isnt as good as gravel...but if you provide with tablets they will do fine...another thing to consider is what type of fish you are going to stovk it with???some fish will eat or destroy your plants(silver dollars,cichlids,etc)
another thing to consider is diy (Do It Yourself) c02 which will enhance the production of your plants...

what type of fish are you going to get???i just finished cyclig mine and im starting to stock as we speak


welcome to the site again
 
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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you for the reply!
Currently I have just natrual looking smallish gravel. I was thinking of starting with the low light plants that I found a link to on this site in another area.
As for fish, I am going community tank. Tetra's and the like. Not really sure exactly at this time. Figure I have a few weeks to get the initial cycle and still reading and researching. But any suggestions are more than welcome, they are very much appreciated.
 

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Pleco n bn breeder n BOSS
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Welcome aboard.

You can go ahead and fill the tank with the plants that you want, just pull out the plastic ones. If you get anubia and java ferns remember that they will do better not planted but tied to wood or rock. You can also add a bunch of fast growing stems like elodea and hornwort and it should make your cycle go faster.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you for the reply. I have a couple of rocks (three actually to make a small cave) and no wood at this time but planning on it. I do have a fake tree stump that could work. Would it hurt to put those in with my amonia at about 5ppm?
 

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Welcome

For years I just used sand (or gravel) on my planted tanks. But I had problems with some fish. Neon tetras did not last long for instance.

I experimented (and for a change actually measured stuff like pH kh and gh.) and settled on this combination. 1" peat moss, 1" sand, 1" pc select or gravel. With each layer I added water to just fill that layer. then leveled it out and added the next. I then added plants after the last layer and then filled to the with water.

My tank with just sand ran for years but were basically limited to guppies and platies. With the peat moss above a greater variety of fish have been thriving for a couple of years now.

FWIW I highly recommend you do add the live plants. lotsa anacharis and vals. Some small potted, and perhaps an amazon sword or two as centerpieces. I have found the live plants basically setup a balanced eco system that goes a very long way to being self substaining.

But that's just my .02
 
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:welcome: Aboard! Glad to have you here!
 
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Yes some fish do like having wood and real plants and just seem to thrive better in tanks that have them. Some fish do not do well with them in there either. It depends on the type of environment they are used to. Otos for example do very well with heavily planted tanks but do not do well at all with no real plants and can actually be very hard to keep alive in non planted tanks. Some little fish are death on real plants and will shred them or tear them up as fast as you buy them.

The first tank you set up will be the one you remember as long as you live even better than all the rest or at least that is the way I was. So enjoy every step you take with it. It will always be very special.

Thank you for joining us and welcome to the site. I do hope that you enjoy it here as much as I have.

Rose
:)
 
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Discussion Starter #10
I get home from work an all the posts! Thank you all! I thought I would like it here after lurking and reading for a few days and I was right! I am so glad I found this place.

There is a creek not far from here, as I am on a budget (myself and a partner opened a new business this summer...great timing huh....so not taking a lot out of it right now) and I was going to go there Sunday or Monday and see if I can't find a nice piece of driftwood there. Then I guess I get to soak and soak and clean....man, this is fun!

Salth20, by your avatar I assume you ride bikes...that is the shop we opened here in WA, a bike shop. I was for years Crew Chief for the factory Yamaha AMA Road Race team.

Thank you all,
Glen
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Wow, thank you all for the warm welcome. What great people here!

I think the biggest problem I am having now is my want list is way more expensive than my reality. But, figure I will take it slow and easy, get it right and listen to the outstanding advice I get here. Thank you all.
 
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