My new planted tank... - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

 
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post #1 of 3 Old 06-05-2012, 10:37 PM Thread Starter
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My new planted tank...

So I am working on my newest project tank (2nd ever) and i have decided to make it a planted tank. I wanted to post this to get some thoughts and ideas, as well as some guidance on my tank. It is dry now and in the planning stage, so any helpful advice and criticism is most welcomed.

I plan on using a sand substrate and my lighting will be an even coverage of a single T12 6500k fluorescent bulb. I am prepared to utilize fertilizers (Seachem's Flourish with Iron?) as needed per species chosen.

1. One subject i am a little iffy on is filtration. I have a new Aquatech that is the cheaper version of the Marineland 400 (minus the bio wheel, which i understand should be advantageous for my planned setup). This particular filter has a fliter cartridge, and Bio filter cartridge. Should i remove the biofilter cartridge like Byron advised in his sticky? Some people i have spoken to say that in their heavily planted tank, they do not even utilize a filtration system. Is this at all advisable?

2. Plants:
Thoughts on these:

Echinodorus (Swords)
Anubius
Anacharis
Microsorum pteropus (Java Fern)
Hygrophila Difformis (Wisteria)
Hygrophila Corymbosa (Compacta)
Aponogeton
Onion
Waterlily

3. And snails. (REALLY need input on this one as i have had a 50/50 mix of good and bad input on these) Good or bad? I have read some, like apple snails, are very bad for plants, while other people i have spoken with have said snails do wonders for algae and substrate cleanup, all while leaving the plants alone. Thoughts??

4. Now the biggest question...fish stocking...
I would ultimately like to have some larger fish in my tank as opposed to community fish, but i am a bit unsure of species to choose. I am NOT interested in cichlids or oscars. I understand some species like plecos, cichlids, crayfish and others will graze on them. I have been looking around and i have to say i am really drawn to the Grasscutter Catfish, but i am finding it very hard to find any information on them. Will they eat or uproot my plants?

African Brown, and Black Ghost Knifes. It reads that these are for advanced fish keepers only....is this indeed the case?

Thank you for your time and input and all the help thus far. I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

Last edited by FLTekDiver81; 06-05-2012 at 10:43 PM.
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post #2 of 3 Old 06-06-2012, 10:53 AM
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Quote:
I plan on using a sand substrate and my lighting will be an even coverage of a single T12 6500k fluorescent bulb. I am prepared to utilize fertilizers (Seachem's Flourish with Iron?) as needed per species chosen.
I would try to get T8 rather than T12. T12 is the older style of tube, the "T" refers to the diameter in 8ths of an inch; the T8 is narrower and better made (more light for less energy), most manufacturers are only making T8 now, but some T12's may still be around. More on light below.

Flourish Comprehensive Supplement is a complete and balanced nutrient fertilizer and all you normally need, depending upon the GH of the tap water (the "hard" minerals like calcium, magnesium, potassium are minimal in Flourish because they assume these will be in the tap water). You should ascertain the GH and KH of your tap water, this impacts not only plants but fish, and further on you mention some highly sensitive species.

Quote:
1. One subject i am a little iffy on is filtration. I have a new Aquatech that is the cheaper version of the Marineland 400 (minus the bio wheel, which i understand should be advantageous for my planned setup). This particular filter has a fliter cartridge, and Bio filter cartridge. Should i remove the biofilter cartridge like Byron advised in his sticky? Some people i have spoken to say that in their heavily planted tank, they do not even utilize a filtration system. Is this at all advisable?
Minimal filtration in planted tanks is better. No chemical filtration (carbon and such). Depending what the cartridge actually is/does, it may or may not be advisable. If it is actually altering the water chemically, this is not needed.

Quote:
2. Plants:
Thoughts on these:

Echinodorus (Swords)
Anubius
Anacharis
Microsorum pteropus (Java Fern)
Hygrophila difformis (Wisteria)
Hygrophila corymbosa (Compacta)
Aponogeton
Onion
Waterlily
Depends upon light, and the GH of the tap water. Generally, stem plants need more light and nutrients, being faster growing. What size tank (gallons, and tank length) and what is the length of the fluorescent tube itself?

Quote:
3. And snails. (REALLY need input on this one as i have had a 50/50 mix of good and bad input on these) Good or bad? I have read some, like apple snails, are very bad for plants, while other people i have spoken with have said snails do wonders for algae and substrate cleanup, all while leaving the plants alone. Thoughts??
The helpful snails are the small ones, especially Malaysian Livebearing Snails, and pond or bladder snails. These do not eat plants, the MLS burrow through the substrate which is very advantageous, and both eat waste breaking it down faste for the bacteria to convert to nutrients. As for the larger snails, I've never had them as some do eat plants and with all the small snails i don't need more snails anyway.

Quote:
4. Now the biggest question...fish stocking...
I would ultimately like to have some larger fish in my tank as opposed to community fish, but i am a bit unsure of species to choose. I am NOT interested in cichlids or oscars. I understand some species like plecos, cichlids, crayfish and others will graze on them. I have been looking around and i have to say i am really drawn to the Grasscutter Catfish, but i am finding it very hard to find any information on them. Will they eat or uproot my plants?

African Brown, and Black Ghost Knifes. It reads that these are for advanced fish keepers only....is this indeed the case?
Need to know the tank size before responding on this, but I will mention that the knifefish has specific needs. Aside from needing a huge tank, it is not the best in a planted tank because light has to be very dim, which means only floating plants are likely to manage. We have fish profiles, second tab from the left in the blue bar across the top of the page, and you will find info on many fish species including tank sizes, numbers, requirements, compatibility, etc. If the common or scientific name used in the profile is used in a post, it will shade, and you can click it for the profile, example Black Ghost Knifefish.

Byron.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #3 of 3 Old 06-06-2012, 11:37 AM Thread Starter
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AWESOME post Byron. That really helped out. I apologize i must have forgotten to edit my post fully, it is a 29 gallon tank.
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