Guide to Setting Up a Soil Substrate Planted Aquarium- Part 2 - Page 2 - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #11 of 123 Old 10-22-2010, 12:56 PM
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Hi Caliban the items you have are not for a soilbased substrate you should ask the Moderators to move your post to the plant section.

Kindest Regards,
Amanda

Keeping fish its not a hobby it is a passion!

55 gallon, 44 gallon, one 20 gallon tank, three 10 gallon tanks, and a 2.5 gallon all with real plants.

I have MTS and there is no cure.

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post #12 of 123 Old 10-22-2010, 12:59 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Caliban View Post
Hello Everyone!
I decided to give a substrate planted tank a try with a 15 gallon tank. This tank is going to be used to recuperate a mistreated common goldfish this winter, so that next spring he can be released into a goldfish pond. I at first thought this would be rather straight forward, but I made the mistake of going shopping on too little sleep, and now I'm second guessing some of my decisions. I'd appreciate some input.

What I have:
15 Gallon tank with canopy and light strip on the way. I intend to use the light that comes with the strip. If I need to get a new bulb, I am having trouble finding an 18" bulb over 15 watts, so suggestions are welcome. As it stands, I intended to go with low light plants... more on that later, I guess. I can't have an open top tank with another form of light, because I have cats who would just loooove to swim with the fishes. I also have a heater, therm, test kits, etc. Normal fish gear.

For substrate I have:
CaribSea Midnight Black Floramax Premium Aquarium Substrate at PETCO
I actually bought this thinking it was flourite gravel, because it was next to the flourite.
PETCO Black Aquarium Gravel at PETCO
When I got this home, I began to think it was too big, but it has been the only dark gravel I have found. I can get tan, fine gravel. Should I ignore aesthetics and get the finer gravel?
I also have OC potting soil and store bought top soil I am mineralizing...assuming mineralizing is wetting it and letting it dry repeatedly.

For filtration/circulation, I intend to get:
the 20i
Tetra Whisper In-tank Filters at PETCO
do I need to do anything to the cartridge it comes with?

For plants, I planned on low light:
Low light plants package
and since my tank has strongly alkaline water I planned on some drift wood such as this:
Malaysian driftwood covered in Riccia Fluitans, sale, buy, information

I am uncertain about how much root structure the plants in that package have, but I intend to get MTS. However, nowhere local has MTS, so if anyone knows a good online resource for them or a seller on ebay who sells them, I'd appreciate it.

Assuming this goes as planned, will partial water changes effect the tank adversely? A goldfish, even one, is a very dirty fish, and I know this is not an adequate permanent home, which is why it's only temporary (He's about 3-4" now, living in a betta bowl where he has lived his whole life, and he will be in the new tank alone, as it is a smaller tank. I did not do this to him; I'm just trying to help him, and it's too cold, and I feel he is too weak to be released directly into the pond as he is.) Anyway, that is the reason for the question. If I am forced to do weakly partial changes to help the plants keep up with his waste, will this counter mind what I am trying to accomplish with the ecosystem? Ultimately, when the goldfish is re-homed, I want to have a neon tetra based community tank in the 15 gallon.

If you tell me that I am foolish to try a substrate planted tank for a wintered goldfish, I will bin the whole idea and just try to set him up a rush job tank to get him through the winter. Please, corrections and advice are welcome. I'm pretty new to fish and plant in general.

I don't want to derail the thread, so if people are more comfortable PMing me, I look forward to hearing from them.
With that floramax, it should replace mineralised topsoil.. (My local soil is rich in iron, and floramax has iron in it.) Don't worry about wattage so much. Just buy the best bulb you can, and place the tank where it gets some indirect filtered sunlight. (Next to a window works, and keep the blinds closed)

Unfortunately, I would not go with that plant package... Goldfish much prefer an unheated aquarium. You can plant the tank with plants that the goldfish might tolerate, and when you get rid of him just add more.

Plants that might work are:
Anubias
Anarchis (Elodea/Egeria)
Hornwort
Duckweed (Might survive, great for using up the excess ammonia)
Java Fern
Java Moss
Vallisneria
Echinodorus (Blehiri Compact or Augustifolia var Vesuvious should work)

I'd go to sweetaquatics.com and buy the plants- they will throw in some MTS if you ask.
When you set up the tank, don't use more than an inch of Organic Choice potting soil at its deepest point, and then the floramax on top. (Don't want the goldie to sit on top of too much soil if he eats every plant you throw in.)

To be honest, your best idea would be to try the plants if you want, with just the floramax substrate. When you get rid of the goldie, convert it to soil.

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Originally Posted by Christople View Post
^^ genius
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post #13 of 123 Old 10-22-2010, 01:13 PM
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Thanks for the quick reply, I will just worry about setting up a tank for the goldie, and I'll postpone a substrate tank for when he's in his new home :).
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post #14 of 123 Old 10-22-2010, 01:19 PM Thread Starter
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so wait you now have 2 tens?!?!?!?!?!? jealous much
I have 3 tens, a five, and a 1/29th gallon (about 3 tablespoons of water lol!)
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^^ genius
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post #15 of 123 Old 10-22-2010, 04:39 PM
jumping back a few post to the chalk question i asked earlier, does dissolving chalk add the calcium and magnesium needed for snails? or does it just buffer and raise your PH?
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post #16 of 123 Old 10-22-2010, 05:00 PM Thread Starter
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it adds calcium and magnesium.

Don't pre-dissolve it- it dissolved pretty slowly.

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^^ genius
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Part 1
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Last edited by redchigh; 10-22-2010 at 05:06 PM.
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post #17 of 123 Old 10-22-2010, 05:16 PM
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I have 3 tens, a five, and a 1/29th gallon (about 3 tablespoons of water lol!)
you have persuaded me into turning my 5 into a planted tank also -_-

To all who wonder: I can spell, I just am still getting used to using my new iPod touch and my fingers still need to figure out where the keys are.
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post #18 of 123 Old 10-22-2010, 05:24 PM Thread Starter
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Have fun and keep us updated...

Make sure to read both the topics first. :)

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^^ genius
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post #19 of 123 Old 10-22-2010, 09:05 PM
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Yes read it and read it again it then reread it right before you set it up to make sure you don't forget anything don't do like I did and mess up the first time. Be sure to soak the soil and put enough gravel on the top and pour the water real real slow also. If you don't you will have a muddy mess trust me I learned that the hard way. LOL

Kindest Regards,
Amanda

Keeping fish its not a hobby it is a passion!

55 gallon, 44 gallon, one 20 gallon tank, three 10 gallon tanks, and a 2.5 gallon all with real plants.

I have MTS and there is no cure.

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post #20 of 123 Old 10-23-2010, 12:49 PM
my 10 gallon with rcs thats npt already has berried females!i noticed it about 4 days ago,im so excited because these will be the first thing i have ever bred in an aquarium,in the 5 gallon im planning endlers and its also an npt iwagumi stetup.give me a little time and i should have some pics of both tanks up.

To all who wonder: I can spell, I just am still getting used to using my new iPod touch and my fingers still need to figure out where the keys are.
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