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Brand New 50g Tank - Setup & More

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Brand New 50g Tank - Setup & More
Old 10-08-2009, 08:55 PM   #21
 
Thanks for the compiment. I was a little embarrassed with the art as I only spent about 15-20 minutes on it. I use Illustrator and Photoshop every day. I thought a little 3-D model of what I am thinking would give you what I am visualizing and perhaps, be used as a reference to other forum users thinking the same thing.

I stumbled onto Acquascapes by accident and I am just floored at how beautiful some people make their acquariums. Not all looks are for me. I like some space in the middle and I don't like the tank over grown with plants. The idea of making it look like a landscape in a tank is pretty cool.

I am going to need help with picking the plants. When I first asked about plants, I was simply going to put them in near the corners and be done with it. Now, I have to pick plants that will do the job and look good. That is why I numbered them. Hopefully, you can help with the plant types.

I was shocked when I went into Big Als and looked at some plants. Some were $40!!!!!!! What the hey is that!? Anyway, I am going to seriously start buying stuff this weekend.

I picked up some LAKE rock today. Looks like slate at a glance. I brought my sledge hammer along but didn't swing it yet. I may break some of them up to try to get a shape I like. I will test it tomorrow after I get a chance to pour some boiling water on them. The Ammonia bottle #2 has the CORROSIVE HAND on it. I assume this is the one to use to test the rocks?
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Old 10-08-2009, 10:41 PM   #22
 
Possible Plant Configuration

How do these plants sound to stock the 50g?

1. APONOGETON CRISPUS or ECHINODORUS MARTII
2. LUDWIGIA REPENS or LUDWIGIA PALUSTRIS
3. LILAEOPSIS BRASILIENSIS
4. BLYXA AUBERTII
5. ANUBIAS BARTERI VAR. BARTERI
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Old 10-10-2009, 10:15 AM   #23
 
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Originally Posted by Big Fish View Post
Thanks for the compiment. I was a little embarrassed with the art as I only spent about 15-20 minutes on it. I use Illustrator and Photoshop every day. I thought a little 3-D model of what I am thinking would give you what I am visualizing and perhaps, be used as a reference to other forum users thinking the same thing.

I stumbled onto Acquascapes by accident and I am just floored at how beautiful some people make their acquariums. Not all looks are for me. I like some space in the middle and I don't like the tank over grown with plants. The idea of making it look like a landscape in a tank is pretty cool.

I am going to need help with picking the plants. When I first asked about plants, I was simply going to put them in near the corners and be done with it. Now, I have to pick plants that will do the job and look good. That is why I numbered them. Hopefully, you can help with the plant types.

I was shocked when I went into Big Als and looked at some plants. Some were $40!!!!!!! What the hey is that!? Anyway, I am going to seriously start buying stuff this weekend.

I picked up some LAKE rock today. Looks like slate at a glance. I brought my sledge hammer along but didn't swing it yet. I may break some of them up to try to get a shape I like. I will test it tomorrow after I get a chance to pour some boiling water on them. The Ammonia bottle #2 has the CORROSIVE HAND on it. I assume this is the one to use to test the rocks?
The regeant that contains acid (forgotten the specific name of acid) is the one. If it is slate, that's OK once you clean it (the boiling water poured over, and using a scrub brush will work to clean it.

No need to spend $40 on a plant. The (former) Big Al's in Vancouver had Tropica plants (the potted ones from Tropica in Denmark) at $9 each, and at another local store they are $18 each; other brand/types are usually $5 to $7 so shop around. I'll comment on plants in my reply to the next post.

Byron.
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Old 10-10-2009, 10:23 AM   #24
 
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Originally Posted by Big Fish View Post
How do these plants sound to stock the 50g?

1. APONOGETON CRISPUS or ECHINODORUS MARTII
2. LUDWIGIA REPENS or LUDWIGIA PALUSTRIS
3. LILAEOPSIS BRASILIENSIS
4. BLYXA AUBERTII
5. ANUBIAS BARTERI VAR. BARTERI
Aponogeton are nice plants similar in appearance to some of the swords; the thing with A is that they need a resting period of 3-4 months when the leaves will all die off. Swords remain permanently and for years.

Ludwigia is a stem plant and they (stem plants) grow fast and require regular trimming/pruning to keep them decent. All stem plants are good to fill in spaces along the back, but they do not remain the same so it is a constant changing landscape. Rooted plants tend to remain as they are, though growing larger to their maximum, but when you plant them you kow the look that will likely remain.

Anubias is a slow grower, but a nice plant for a corner as it is low light. Blyxa is a plant I have never had, so can't comment; looking it up, it seems it would be a useful one in aquascaping that certain spot.

B.
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Old 10-14-2009, 08:33 AM   #25
 
Bryon,

I managed to pick up some dwarf grass and a plant whose name escapes me. I will update this later (sitting in the car waiting for someone). The aquascape is done. I am not 100% happy with it but I still like it. I picked up some fine sand and that was a disaster. I have been soaking it for 3 days now and there are still floaters. I was going to use the sand in the middle of the tank but it is next to impossible to stop it from floating. So, I have decided not to use it right now. Maybe a month of soaking will make it stop floating.

One thing I was frustrated with in setting up the tank according to my sketch is that the tank filled up much faster than I anticipated and I am going to have to cut back on the plants. I have 4 tuffs of dwarf grass in place plus two of the other plant and it already looks crowded and these plants are net dense! So, maybe one more plant that is a hard worker on the oxygen and CO2 cycle and that will be it. I am disappointed with the plants experience. I really like the driftwood I found. It has some character and my rocks look great. I am very pleased with both of these.

I picked up some new fish as well. 8 Neon Tetras! The more I looked at them, the more I liked them. So, I splurged. I also purchased 4 new Platy. I really like this fish. These are yellow in appearance and add colour. They are real characters too! They have discovered the out valve for the water and are making a game of swimming into the current between the tube and the glass. Who knew fish had personalities.

I am surprised to see how difficult it is to get the plants I want. On the surface, it appears Big Als is very well stocked, but they are stocked with nothing I want. Patience, I guess. You mentioned you use a fertilizer for you plants. What is the brand you use. I will have to buy some.

IMPORTANT QUESTION: How fast can I add my fish into the 50g tank. I want to put them all in right away! ;)

Also, I will post pictures as soon as I get a chance.

Last edited by Big Fish; 10-14-2009 at 08:39 AM..
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Old 10-14-2009, 03:01 PM   #26
 
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Originally Posted by Big Fish View Post
Bryon,

I managed to pick up some dwarf grass and a plant whose name escapes me. I will update this later (sitting in the car waiting for someone). The aquascape is done. I am not 100% happy with it but I still like it. I picked up some fine sand and that was a disaster. I have been soaking it for 3 days now and there are still floaters. I was going to use the sand in the middle of the tank but it is next to impossible to stop it from floating. So, I have decided not to use it right now. Maybe a month of soaking will make it stop floating.

One thing I was frustrated with in setting up the tank according to my sketch is that the tank filled up much faster than I anticipated and I am going to have to cut back on the plants. I have 4 tuffs of dwarf grass in place plus two of the other plant and it already looks crowded and these plants are net dense! So, maybe one more plant that is a hard worker on the oxygen and CO2 cycle and that will be it. I am disappointed with the plants experience. I really like the driftwood I found. It has some character and my rocks look great. I am very pleased with both of these.

I picked up some new fish as well. 8 Neon Tetras! The more I looked at them, the more I liked them. So, I splurged. I also purchased 4 new Platy. I really like this fish. These are yellow in appearance and add colour. They are real characters too! They have discovered the out valve for the water and are making a game of swimming into the current between the tube and the glass. Who knew fish had personalities.

I am surprised to see how difficult it is to get the plants I want. On the surface, it appears Big Als is very well stocked, but they are stocked with nothing I want. Patience, I guess. You mentioned you use a fertilizer for you plants. What is the brand you use. I will have to buy some.

IMPORTANT QUESTION: How fast can I add my fish into the 50g tank. I want to put them all in right away! ;)

Also, I will post pictures as soon as I get a chance.
When using new (store-bought) plants, a new tank never looks good, to me anyway. I know this, but still everytime I have planted a new setup I think what a disaster. But, the plants will grow, existing leaves will usually die off so don't worry when you see dying leaves, as long as new growth is visible down at the crown (with rooted plants). Also, some plants do not always do well with certain other plants. That is one of the challanges of mixing species. Some will be more difficult, and may not even grow for you, as for me. I don't know what the "dwarf grass" may be, but if it is Hairgrass, others here have said that is very difficult to grow. Expect some plants to do well and some maybe not.

The other thing is to leave them all; some may not make it, and even if they do, you can always thin the plants later after several weeks when they start growing and you get a better image of what it will look like. One of the nice things about aquarium plants, unlike some land plants, is that they can be moved around provided it is not too much moving (crypts are one plant that does not take kindly to being disturbed). I could show you photos of my former 90g taken the first week and then after 3-4 months and you wouldn't believe it was the same tank. But some of those first plants, ugly and scraggly as they were at first, came out by then and went into the 70g.

With all the plants you have, you can put the 8 neons and 4 platys in the tank. I would not buy more fish yet. Make sure the plants are settling in and growing. And for liquid fertilizer I highly recommend Seachem's Flourish Comprehensive Supplement for the Planted Aquarium. There are several different things in the Flourish line, so make sure it is this one. It is all you need, it has all the essential nutrients and in the correct porportions. Use it once a week, at the amount on the label, after the partial water change. For the first couple of weeks, I would use it twice a week, once after the pwc and again 3-4 days later. Then go to once a week and observe the plants. If the leaves are yellowing twice a week may be needed. But remember that the existing leaves frequently die off over the first 5-6 weeks, so keep an eye on the new growth that should remain green; if new growth yellows or browns, more nutrients (assuming the light is adequate) is the answer. Lights on 10 hours a day, on a timer to keep it regular works best for plants and fish.

Byron.
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Old 10-14-2009, 04:03 PM   #27
 
Thanks for the background info and the insight on the plants. I guess we will see how this adventure transpires. The plants I have are suppose to be easy to maintain. Hopefully, with the fertilizer, this will pan out.

I will pick up some of this.... Seachem's Flourish Comprehensive Supplement for the Planted Aquarium

I am eager to move my:

2 Platy
2 Guppies
3 molllies into the big tank as well. These are in my 10g.

When would be a good time? I have put the new fish in...

8 Neon Tetras
4 Yellow Platy

I purchased a timer for the light. So, I will keep it on 10 hours during the day. The tank is in my basement so it will not get natural sunlight, I have to rely on the florescent tube for all that.
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Old 10-14-2009, 04:18 PM   #28
 
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Originally Posted by Big Fish View Post
Thanks for the background info and the insight on the plants. I guess we will see how this adventure transpires. The plants I have are suppose to be easy to maintain. Hopefully, with the fertilizer, this will pan out.

I will pick up some of this.... Seachem's Flourish Comprehensive Supplement for the Planted Aquarium

I am eager to move my:

2 Platy
2 Guppies
3 molllies into the big tank as well. These are in my 10g.

When would be a good time? I have put the new fish in...

8 Neon Tetras
4 Yellow Platy

I purchased a timer for the light. So, I will keep it on 10 hours during the day. The tank is in my basement so it will not get natural sunlight, I have to rely on the florescent tube for all that.
Without natural daylight, go with 12 hours instead of 10. My tanks all run 12 hours, and I have some daylight, but sometimes people have tanks near south or west facing largish windows and that can mean a lot of daylight and in new tanks frequent algae blooms until the water is stable. Twelve hours will work.

I'm not there to see your tank, so I'm being cautious in advising on adding fish. I don't mean this to sound arrogant, but I have done this so often over 12 years that I know exactly what to expect from this or that plant, the gravel, the wood, the fish... and when I set up a new tank, as I did my 115g, 90g and 70g in July, I do it all in a day each with 90+ fish in each and no problems. Like everything, the more one does it the better you can see things and forsee things. In your case, if the plants are growing and not dying, it should be safe to add the fish if the others have been in the new tank a couple of days. The plants are the important thing; if they are growing, they will filter the water and prevent any cycling issues--but if they are dying off, they will add to the biioload with no filtering.

Byron.
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Old 10-14-2009, 10:52 PM   #29
 
Your post was not taken as anything other than what it is.... EXPERIENCED. :)

I will photograph the tank tomorrow and explain the material and plants inside in detail.

No worries.

Too busy right now. We can discuss this after the photo.

Thanks
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Old 10-18-2009, 10:40 PM   #30
 
Tank Shots

Here are my latest shots of how my Aquascape is going.

I am going to the LFS tomorrow to look for better plants, hopefully they have stock.

I am also going to get the fertilizer you suggested.

Comments by anyone lurking are welcomed.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Head-On.jpg (89.2 KB, 43 views)
File Type: jpg Driftwood.jpg (91.4 KB, 41 views)
File Type: jpg RockShot.jpg (91.3 KB, 39 views)
File Type: jpg smallRocks.jpg (86.5 KB, 39 views)
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