Planted 30 g Cube Tank
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Planted 30 g Cube Tank

This is a discussion on Planted 30 g Cube Tank within the Beginner Planted Aquarium forums, part of the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium category; --> I just got a 30 gallon cube tank. Thought I'd set it up as a planted tank with a few rams (maybe) in it. ...

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Planted 30 g Cube Tank
Old 03-30-2011, 11:18 AM   #1
 
Planted 30 g Cube Tank

I just got a 30 gallon cube tank. Thought I'd set it up as a planted tank with a few rams (maybe) in it.

Any suggestions on filtration? Substrate? Etc?
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Old 03-30-2011, 11:46 AM   #2
 
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My plants have all started doing much better since I switched my substrate to sand. I also started using Flourish Comprehensive root tabs by my swords and val, and have noticed improvement.
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Old 03-30-2011, 11:50 AM   #3
 
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Filtration should always be geared to the fish that will be in the tank. Some fish need more water movement while others need as little as possible. And in a planted tank, filtration is largely about water movement since the plants do the main filtration work.

If you stay with rams, or any similar dwarf cichlid, minimal water movement (replicating their habitat) is best. A sponge filter would suffice. Simple, inexpensive, but adequate. You can read about the fish's habitat in our profiles, second tab from the left in the blue bar across the top; or click on the shaded name in posts, example Blue Ram or Bolivian Ram.

Substrate is also somewhat related to fish, though most do not have much concern. If plants are intended, a fine-grain substrate is best. Gravel with a grain size of 1-2 mm in a dark colour, or dark sand, or one of the enriched plant substrates like Flourite or Eco-Complete in black or dark brown. I currently have all of these among my several aquaria.

On natural planted tanks in general, have a look at my article "A Basic Approach to the Natural Planted Aquarium" at the head of this section of the forum; there are 4 parts covering the basics in setting up a low-tech natural system. There is additional info on the issues you asked about therein.

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Old 03-30-2011, 11:52 AM   #4
 
what's a sponge filter? how does it work? is it something that I can make?
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Old 03-30-2011, 12:11 PM   #5
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cojobo View Post
what's a sponge filter? how does it work? is it something that I can make?
Perhaps, but they are so inexpensive I would buy one. You need an air pump, some tubing, and the sponge filter unit. Basically the air pulls water in through the sponge which removes suspended particulate matter (keeping the water crystal clear). Nitrifying bacteria will also colonize the sponge, and being sponge it has a huge surface area. I only use sponge filters in my smaller tanks (under 55g).

Here's a photo of one I particularly like in terms of how its made. Several manufacturers make these. This one I just grabbed off Fosters&Smith for illustration, here's a Link to their info; it is rated for tanks up to 30g, and costs under $10.
Foam Aquarium Filters: Oxygen Plus Bio-Filter 2

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Old 03-30-2011, 12:25 PM   #6
 
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Listen to Byron, he's a pro.

You need to decide whether you want to go 'high tech' or 'low tech'.
High tech is much more expensive, and more work.

Low tech is the opposite. Fertilisation perhaps weekly, no supplimental CO2 (co2 comes from fish and substrate) and relatively low light (compared to high tech.)

As for substrates, there are dozens of good ones. Natural pea gravel (if you can find it in a smooth and small-grained cinsistancy) would be a great choice. You will need a grain size of 1-4 mm.

I typically useplain gravel over a cap of soil, but it's risky using soil. Some use plain gravel, root tabs, and liquid fertiliser with great results.

You can also buy an expensive substrate like tahitian moon sand, ADA Aquasoil, Flourite, etc.
It really comes down to preference and your budget.
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