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Tank Redesign Idea - Need Opinions/Help

This is a discussion on Tank Redesign Idea - Need Opinions/Help within the Beginner Planted Aquarium forums, part of the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium category; --> Thanks for all the info. Advertised and sold as java ferns at PetCo. Going on their info and no experience of my own. I ...

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Tank Redesign Idea - Need Opinions/Help
Old 08-11-2010, 09:29 AM   #11
 
Thanks for all the info. Advertised and sold as java ferns at PetCo. Going on their info and no experience of my own. I realized the mistake in my description of the gravel after I had posted the pics. If I get the right color Fluorite - you think I could just pour it on top and start planting?

Oh, and I found another snail on my heater yesterday after I took those pics. Should I eradicate them? I don't mind them now but I don't want them to take over my tank either.

Imay get rid of the driftwood and go with something smaller, not sure. Still have to boil it to try and help avoid the white fuzz growth.

Peat pellets huh? Maybe I'll just ditch the wood all together. I'll find something to use eventually but I was just using it for its PH lowering effect. Now it's a white bacteria/fungus-covered mess that hides snails.

Again, thanks for the help. I may get this tank straightened out and aesthetically pleasing yet.
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Old 08-11-2010, 09:41 AM   #12
 
flourite or regular gravel would work fine. be aware the smaller gravel will eventually work its way to the bottom of the tank and the pebbles you have will work their way to the top due to thier size difference

i think the wood looks nice (once you've cleared the growth off of it)

eradicating the snails is a personal decision. I have hundreds of pond snails and malaysian trumpet snails in my tank and think think they play an important role eating algae and recycling waste; i like them. plus they won't eat your plants as long they're healthy
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Old 08-11-2010, 12:02 PM   #13
 
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Having snails or not having snails is a personal preference, but the fact remains that having them (under control of course) is a benefit in any aquarium. They eat algae, waste (fish and plant), uneaten food; the burrowing Malaysian trumpet/livebearing snail keeps the substrate cleaner and well-aerated. They do not eat healthy plants (I am talking about the small "normal" snails here, like Malaysian, pond and bladder). There is no reason not to have them, and very good reasons to have them.
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Old 08-11-2010, 12:46 PM   #14
 
Like I said, I don't mind snails. My final plan after aquascaping was to involve 2 Nerite snails because apparently they only reproduce in brackish water and are super algae cleaners. I've heard Ramshorn snails can overrun a tank and the pic above shows about two or three days of waste from the snail on the driftwood.

I just got this tank to cycle and I'm worried about the Betta fish who went through it all. It's only a 10g tank and I wouldn't think it can handle hundreds of anything. But, I'm willing to see what happens. I was more worried about the plants I want to put in and the fish that's already there.

I hope I have a pot big enough to boil that wood. Removing and cleaning the wood will give me room and time to add substrate and plant the tank though.

Any suggestions on complements to the hairgrass when I get it (Eleocharis parvula)?
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Old 08-11-2010, 12:58 PM   #15
 
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I just noticed the photos. I would leave the wood alone for the present, I don't see any reason to remove and boil it.

The sword plants on the wood should be planted in the substrate. At present they will assimilate some nutrients from the wood, but that is not going to last them long. Swords are heavy feeders. A good liquid fert like Flourish Comprehensive, and possibly some root tabs too. I would certainly move those two left-side swords into the gravel.
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Old 08-11-2010, 03:55 PM   #16
 
Yeah, I didn't know what they were - apparently the girl at PetCo didn't either (surprise). I thought their root systems were a bit extensive for a plant that would anchor to driftwood but again, no experience. I won't be able to do it tonight but most likely tomorrow night.

After reading up on Fluorite and EcoComplete, I think I'll just try and find smaller gravel and use the tabs and the Flourish Comprehensive. I don't feel like dealing with cloudy water for 3 or 4 days every time I do a water change and I'm not ready to empty my tank and start over just yet.
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Old 08-11-2010, 05:27 PM   #17
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wavebeast View Post
Yeah, I didn't know what they were - apparently the girl at PetCo didn't either (surprise). I thought their root systems were a bit extensive for a plant that would anchor to driftwood but again, no experience. I won't be able to do it tonight but most likely tomorrow night.

After reading up on Fluorite and EcoComplete, I think I'll just try and find smaller gravel and use the tabs and the Flourish Comprehensive. I don't feel like dealing with cloudy water for 3 or 4 days every time I do a water change and I'm not ready to empty my tank and start over just yet.
Regular gravel works fine, I have used it for over 20 years. You can often buy it in bulk from some fish stores, in a dark colour is best (black/grey/brown mix) for the fish and it shows off the plants. Just make sure it is small grain, the smallest you can find will be OK.
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Old 08-12-2010, 10:23 PM   #18
 
Thanks for the extra info. My tank is 20" w, 12.5" h, and 10.5" deep - based on the pics, how much gravel will I need to get to 3 inches? Snails disappeared. Probably under the monster Mopani. How do I hide a sponge filter without reducing effectiveness?

How often do you clean the inside of the glass and your heaters? Only when needed or on a schedule? One last thing - if the plants have the advantage in mumbers, do I need to worry about removing the old filter cartridge - beneficial bacteria and such? You've mentioned how carbon isn't good for the plants and I'd like to remove it when I get the sponge filter.
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Old 08-12-2010, 10:40 PM   #19
 
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Originally Posted by wavebeast View Post
Thanks for the extra info. My tank is 20" w, 12.5" h, and 10.5" deep - based on the pics, how much gravel will I need to get to 3 inches? Snails disappeared. Probably under the monster Mopani. How do I hide a sponge filter without reducing effectiveness?

How often do you clean the inside of the glass and your heaters? Only when needed or on a schedule? One last thing - if the plants have the advantage in mumbers, do I need to worry about removing the old filter cartridge - beneficial bacteria and such? You've mentioned how carbon isn't good for the plants and I'd like to remove it when I get the sponge filter.
It's been so long since I bought gravel I can't remember the guide, but I think it was 1 or 2 pounds per gallon. It's nice to have some extra. I would get 15 pounds.

Put the sponge filter in a rear corner. Then place either a plant or group of stem plants in front, or a chuck of wood or rock. Water will flow nicely, and the return can be directed down the tank length.

I use an aquarium scraper sponge on a stick, and go over the glass every week during the water change. It may not look like it needs it, but this works to get the very beginnings of algae which is worth it. I hardly ever touch the heaters as I can't see them for the plants. But if I think of them, I might.

When you get the sponge filter, set it up and run it consecutively with the existing filter for a few days. Sponge filters attract bacteria quickly. And if you have more plants, it won't matter anyway.

Byron.
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Old 08-23-2010, 10:01 AM   #20
 
Finally squared things away. Removed and scrubbed the driftwood, removed the swords I had attached to the driftwood, removed all dead and dying leaves, removed largest rocks from existing substrate - rinsed and placed much smaller gravel - about an extra 15 pounds or so - now the substrate measures about 2.5" to 3" deep.

Siphoned most of the water out - repositioned the driftwood, planted the 5 swords (not as well as I wanted) - added root tabs (API, I believe) - filled the tank with 3 gallons old water - approx 2 gallons were still in the tank - and 5 gallons fresh water- put the Betta and one remaining snail back in - added the Water Sprite and topped off the amount. Changed the light bulb to a T8 18" 15 watts 6700K Sunlight bulb (enough watts?)

Looks pretty good but I noticed upon closer inspection that I didn't bury all of the roots for each sword completely in the substrate, one sword is crooked and the substrate has a "rumpled" look to it. I'll have to correct that. I'll have to pick up giant tweezers or something.

I also need to figure out a fairly easy carpet or foreground plant. I wouldn't mind the effort in planting Dwarf Hairgrass but I'm more worried about being able to vacuum the substrate during weekly WCs.

I'm worried simply because when I was draining the water out of the tank for the substrate change, I purposely stirred the existing substrate severely to get as much waste up as I could. I was absolutely shocked at how much waste and junk was in the substrate with only one fish, one snail, driftwood and plants for about 6 weeks (with at least weekly and most times 2 or 3 times per week water changes during cycling).

Anyway - if anyone is still checking on this thread, I will post a pic tomorrow or Wednesday of the current result and I would gladly take suggestions on foreground or carpet plants and any other suggestions to make this tank look awesome.

Thanks for all of the help given so far. You've all made this journey much easier than it would have been.
W.
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