Following Rex's Guide - for a 1st timer?
Rex's guide to planted tanks is listed in the Freshwater Plant information sticky and I read through it this morning. I was wondering if his methodology was good for a first time tank owner to follow?
I do want a planted tank as it will be healthier for the fish. With all the research I am doing to be sure I do things as close to right as possible, things tend to get a bit overwhelming, not to mention conflicting advise from various sources.
I am planning out a 45 gallon (36x12x24) tank, my water is very hard (350 ppm) with a pH between 7.4 - 8.0, (haven't tested it yet these are the numbers from the water provider). It will have Fancy Guppies and Ghost Shrimp at least, anything else would be down the line after 6mos. or so of running.
Thanks for your input and advise.
Simply starting the tank out as planted and letting every settle down for a week is something every beginner should do.
Over the years I have advised people who just setup a tank. They were at the critical few days period and fish were suffering. The addition of plants especially nice fast growers like anacharis usually resulted in an almost immediate "recovery" of the fish. Plus they were amazed at how nice the tank looked.
so IMHO don't make it too complicated but do get the plants in there right from the start. Everything else is secondary to that.
Still just my .02
Byron's guides are what got me started. Play sand or gravel, liquid ferts, and stock lighting with a new bulb- can't get much easier.
We have to buy a hood, lights etc anyway, so we are looking at getting a compact Fluorescent lighting kit from AH Supply and buying a glass top to fit. The glass top should be a fun one to track down. Anacharis was definitely one of the plants I was planning on to begin with and I actually like it to boot. Brings back some wonderful memories of my Dad's tanks as it was the only plant he ever used. I am planning on a fine gravel as I like that look a bit better. (personal preference I guess, not knocking sand by any means)
1. Has anyone here tried this guy Rex's method?
2. Can anyone recommend a reliable site to purchase plants?
I have not read Rex's "guide" throughout, just scanned bits of it. From that, it seems to be a fairly general summary of some of the methods, without actually advocating this or that method.
Redchigh mentioned my own 4-part series which I think is about as minimal as one can get with the average-sized planted tank. Others here have followed it and report back that it works, and I obviously follow it in my tanks which you can see in the log under the "Aquariums" tab below my name on the left.
Whatever the method, some aspects should be determined by the intended fish. Substrate, lighting, hardscape (wood, rock, etc) and in some cases plant species. Filter also factors into this, as not all fish need the same degree of current.
You mentioned livebearers with your hard water, so one suggestion would be a tank with a fine gravel substrate in that "natural" brown/tan mix or the darker "Birdseye" mix, with some rounded pebbles of varying sizes to represent river rocks and boulders, a couple chunks of wood. Plants like Vallisneria, plus floating plants. This would represent a Central American stream nicely.
I buy my plants locally, so will have to leave it to others to suggest reliable online sources. Hope this helps. And, welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping forum.:wave:
2) local is best. But I have used www.aquariumplants.com with good results. Plus thier site is kinda awesome also.
on lighting I have found that home depot/lowes/walmart 6500k lights do fine. the 4' utility fixtures on 4' tanks and the spiral pig tail lights in round clip on reflectors for smaller tanks.
Thank you for the reply Byron. I have also read you 4 part guide, but intend to reread it as I have decided that planting with real plants is truly the way to go. Thank-you for helping me define what it is I need to be looking for "Central American Stream" sounds like a winner.
Calcerous rocks and pebbles work well for a boulder-ridden stream.
Alternatively, black fine gravel/sand and black slate can be a nice "hard-water" look too.
I will check out AquariumPlants.com, thanks. I am planning on a darker substrate and have started researching a plant combo to fit the theme, which will include the Vallisneria.
You guys have really gotten me excited about this tank. I actually got all the old gravel out yesterday. (Funny me being short I had to stand in the dining room chair to reach the bottom). It is so strange, now that I know what to call the type of aquascape I am planning, ideas are forming like mad. Better get to writing things down and starting a diagram to keep it all straight.
You guys and gals here at Tropical Fish Keeping are the Best!
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