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Need help! Setting up Amazon/Tetra tank!

This is a discussion on Need help! Setting up Amazon/Tetra tank! within the Characins forums, part of the Freshwater and Tropical Fish category; --> Originally Posted by small fry Nicely planted tank, Byron! I am always impressed with how well your tank are setup! Where do you get ...

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Need help! Setting up Amazon/Tetra tank!
Old 12-07-2010, 06:25 PM   #31
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by small fry View Post
Nicely planted tank, Byron! I am always impressed with how well your tank are setup! Where do you get all your plants?

I will try to see if the PayPal works, and I will do all in my power to get that filter. I hope that issue is resolved.

Can I understock the plants in the tank for the first month? Will that cause problems? I think if I go with a 48" fixture/hood, I will be somewhat short on cash.

Do I need to add the rams last, to reduce the chance of territorial issues? I was thinking as far as school adding goes;
Lemon Tetra
Corydoras
BR?

Just curious. I am still very flexible.

I will probably add the plants and substrate at the same time, right when I am establishing the tank.

Thanks!
Someone earlier, I think Mikaila, mentioned setting up a planted tank complete from the start, and I certainly agree. That is not to say you can't add some plants later; I rarely find everything I want at one time--I buy plants from local stores to start with, but as they reproduce so fast if I set up another smaller tank I have plenty of plants at hand. Everything in this 20g is in fact stuff I've pulled out of the other tanks and would have tossed out if I had not had the spare 20g at the time.

I find floating plants ideal helpers in a new tank because they assimilate CO2 from the air and this plus being close to the lights they are super-hungry for nutrients (ammonia/ammonium) from the water. Ceratopteris is perfect, or a stem plant like Pennywort. The beauty of these plants is that once you buy one, you will soon have dozens. I am still chucking Ceratopteris out probably every second or third week, the older plants, after I've removed some of the daughter plants from the leaves; and all of these have descended from one plant I bought back in 1997. Another good first plant is pygmy chain sword; once established, they will send out runners with plantlets regularly. I put one plant in the 90g, and within 5-6 months the tank substrate was covered. There are a lot of the plantlets in the 20g, and they are sending out runners as you can see in that photo.

On fish, I would add the entire group of a species at one time; shoaling fish acclimate much better the more there are. Of course, at the same time, if you add more later they will be better with some of their species already in the tank. But I prefer the entire group together. Lemons at first is fine; then some other shoaling fish...? Or the rams...Bolivians adjust quite well. Corys absolutely at a group together if at all possible.
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Old 12-07-2010, 06:50 PM   #32
 
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I am planning to find something to do with my (brilliant) swordtail fry...

{you can skip this next paragraph} I have never seen a swordtail with his coloring! He has the marigold Swordtail's blue/green horizontal stripes, and my orange/black spotted Swordtails spots. The stripes are everywhere exept on the spots. I have removed the swordtails from my sig and inhabitants list because, sadly, they died afew months back of a parasitic infestation. The Tetras recovered. I still have the pics of my swordtails of the "GatorSwamp 10g" tank.

...so that I can use the 10g tank for a QT tank. I will buy all the fish as groups. Introducing them to the QT tank one group at a time. They can stay there for 2 weeks? The hatchets, I will probably have to introduce in 2 separate groups (5 then 4?), unless you think the whole group will fit by themselves. I may have to do the same with the neons. Suggestions?

I will try to get the fish that I have in the 10g (not includeing the swordtail fry) in the tank first. My lfs, assuming they are in buisness (ad has been in the paper for a while to sell the place), will probably have the school fish on hand. I got the Lemon Tetras and Albino Corydoras both from that store.

I guess I will see if Petsmart has those plants. I am so excited! I had no idea how fast plants could multiply! Maybe the hood fixture will pay itself off with all the free plants I get?

With the suggested setup, do I have a sensitive bio-load? In other words, would I be able to put the Lemons and the Cories in at the same time (after everything is setup of course) and not have an ammonia spike or anything like that? Or do I need to add them slowly. I am thinking Lemons, then a week later, if everyone is ok, corydoras. Is this ok?

Do I need to use any kind of fertilizer, or "plant food" or anything like that. Or is it, put in the plants, add lighting, and then no more plant maintainence (other than clippings)? That brings me to another question, what do I do to trim the plants? I can't use metal scissiors, right? I just need help with that.

I will be searching for a hood fixture. I will try to post a link when I find something that seems suitable.

Thanks so much for the help everyone!
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Old 12-07-2010, 07:12 PM   #33
 
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If the tank is reasonably well planted, and being a 55g, you can add each group of fish without concern a few days apart (after the quarantine of course). As for the QT, put the group of whichever fish you get in and leave them alone for 2 weeks; adding something during this time is only going to set back the quarantine period and disease could arrive with the new fish--or from the originals to the otherwise healthy new fish. A group of 12-15 of any one of these small fish in a 10g QT will be fine for 2 weeks.

Be vigilant with plants from chain stores; they frequently see terrestrial plants as aquarium plants, and many of these will rot sooner or later.

Yes, you will need plant food--fertilizer. A good liquid is sufficient. Seachem's Flourish Comprehensive Supplement for the Planted Aquarium is in my view the best. Nutrafin's Plant-Gro should be good if you can't find the Flourish. Flourish may seem expensive, but you use so little--1 teaspoon treats 60g once a week. So long-term it is actually less expensive.
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Old 12-07-2010, 07:26 PM   #34
 
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As for the QT, I probably need to QT the Black Widows separately, right? They are the biggest group (in total inches) I plan to add to the tank. Could I do the entire group of them for 2 weeks ok?

Will the rams (I think I want 2) be ok in a 10g tank for 2 weeks (by themselves)?

Can I use the 10g as my HT also (while I am not useing it for QT)? I figure hopefully there will be less fish at a time when it is a HT than a QT.

Those are the quick questions I have for now.

Thanks!
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Old 12-07-2010, 08:02 PM   #35
 
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As for the QT, I probably need to QT the Black Widows separately, right? They are the biggest group (in total inches) I plan to add to the tank. Could I do the entire group of them for 2 weeks ok?

Will the rams (I think I want 2) be ok in a 10g tank for 2 weeks (by themselves)?

Can I use the 10g as my HT also (while I am not useing it for QT)? I figure hopefully there will be less fish at a time when it is a HT than a QT.

Those are the quick questions I have for now.

Thanks!
Yes across the board.
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Old 12-08-2010, 01:33 PM   #36
 
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Plants: I would select what you want first to get a good mix, then check prices at local fish stores, or online. Depending where you live, some members may be nearby and be willing to sell/trade/give plants. As you are thinking along the lines of my Amazon setups, for a 55g I would get 3 Echinodorus bleherae (the "common" sword), 1 Echinodorus cordifolius; 1 pygmy chain sword [once settled, they will send out runners and the tank will be covered--all those pygmy chain swords in my 90g came from one plant after a few months. For floating, 1 Ceratopteris (though not "Amazonian" if you want to be truly authentic); or a stem of Pennywort which makes a lovely floating plant and is Amazonian. Even duckweed. That's it. It will look sparse at first, but once the plants settle, usually 6-8 weeks, they will start growing. You will need a good fertilizer, Seachem's Flourish Comprehensive Supplement is the one I recommend.
So, with these plants, will that be enough to cycle the aquarium? Will I need to wait a month or so to let the 5 or 6 plants cycle the aquarium?

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Hey, what about this for my one and only filter??

Found this on ebay, will it work?
AP 2300 - Aquarium Sponge Filter Fish Tank 55 75 Gallon - eBay (item 250226566075 end time Dec-31-10 18:42:49 PST)

Is there anything I would need to know about if it did work (e.g. extra equip, special supplies, etc.)?

Thanks!
I just want to make sure that this (above) is the SF you use in your 20g tank, and not the other one I posted the link to.

I am still looking at lighting.


That is all for now.

Thanks!
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Old 12-08-2010, 02:39 PM   #37
 
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So, with these plants, will that be enough to cycle the aquarium? Will I need to wait a month or so to let the 5 or 6 plants cycle the aquarium?



I just want to make sure that this (above) is the SF you use in your 20g tank, and not the other one I posted the link to.

I am still looking at lighting.


That is all for now.

Thanks!
Yes, that is the same type of filter I have in my 20g, just mine is a smaller version for a smaller tank.

If you have enough plants, a few fish can be introduced as soon as the plants are in. Plants need nitrogen which they assimilate as ammonium (from ammonia). Lots of plants (by which I mean not one or two) and a few fish (the Lemons for instance), wait a few days, add another group of fish, etc.
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Old 12-11-2010, 04:17 PM   #38
 
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I am SO excited! I am useing my 10g as a quarantine tank to quar cories! I bought 2 very small albino cories today. Now I have 3. I don't want to be hard on my bio-load. I have a new stocking question. Would 3 albino cories and 3 Julii cories work? I saw some Juliis at my lfs (that I though had already closed), and I fell in love with the little guys.

I visited my lfs today and I was amazed! I saw almost every tetra on my stocking list! Von rios (flame), Lemons, Glowlights, Black Widows, neons, etc. The only thing they didn't have was the Marbled hatchets (no suprise there, no hoods in that pet store), ember tetras, and Bolivian Rams.

I was kinda sad that I had to pay $13.00 for 2 tiny cories.. I am hesitant to buy from there again, but I probably will.

I can't find a site to buy a 48" full hood/light fixture. I have looked everywhere. Any suggestions? I might be stuck. I am sorta pressed for time because I think that my QT is slightly overstocked.

That is an update. Any suggestions on the cories or lighting?

Thanks!
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Old 12-11-2010, 07:38 PM   #39
 
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Originally Posted by small fry View Post
I am SO excited! I am useing my 10g as a quarantine tank to quar cories! I bought 2 very small albino cories today. Now I have 3. I don't want to be hard on my bio-load. I have a new stocking question. Would 3 albino cories and 3 Julii cories work? I saw some Juliis at my lfs (that I though had already closed), and I fell in love with the little guys.

I visited my lfs today and I was amazed! I saw almost every tetra on my stocking list! Von rios (flame), Lemons, Glowlights, Black Widows, neons, etc. The only thing they didn't have was the Marbled hatchets (no suprise there, no hoods in that pet store), ember tetras, and Bolivian Rams.

I was kinda sad that I had to pay $13.00 for 2 tiny cories.. I am hesitant to buy from there again, but I probably will.

I can't find a site to buy a 48" full hood/light fixture. I have looked everywhere. Any suggestions? I might be stuck. I am sorta pressed for time because I think that my QT is slightly overstocked.

That is an update. Any suggestions on the cories or lighting?

Thanks!
On the corys, yes, any species will be fine with any other if there are 3 of each. On the light, if this is a standard 55g 4 feet long, any fixture that is 48 inches will work. You can get a full hood for that size tank (though this matters that it be absolutely the standard frame length and width); or my preference is a simple glass cover (they come in a set for the tank size) and the light fixture sits on the frame above the glass cover which sits down inside on the lip of the frame.
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Old 12-11-2010, 11:51 PM   #40
 
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Any latest photo of your tank? I am always fascinated by filthy looking unwanted tank turning into a beautiful tank. Can't wait to see how your tank turns out to be, especially when you're planning to keep some of my favourite species, ember tetras & lemon tetras.
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