Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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pkennedy0219 02-26-2009 10:53 AM

How I grow my plants (From a newbie)
Hi, I am new here and I have a planted tank. I just wanted to share how i set my tank up. May help some people, and it may generate question, comments and suggestions for other users I'm not sure. Either way if I am wrong or I am doing something wrong feel free to comment.

History: I originally started with a 1 gallon tank. So i poured some water into it and threw a snail and some fish in there. In a week half were dead, the others sick. The water was brown, and very dirty, and i thought to myself "well this isn't working very well." which is about the time I starting reading about tanks, at first i was overwhelmed by all the stuff i need to do. But after spending some money and time on my tank, and my new tank (10g), I found that i could easily keep fish. I bought all the test kits, medicine, chemicals, and food any of my fish and critters could eat. All of my plants are healthy, and growing insanely fast (6 inch to 14 inch in about 2 weeks). My fish are healthy, happy, and in some cases fat and lazy. So how did do this in about a month from when i got my tank? It was easy for me, and could be for you too!!! (cheesy I know).

What I Did: So after I got my 10g tank I put gravel, rocks, and some fake plastic plants. I had tetras and guppies. But i soon got bored and got cooler fish, like gouramis, mollies, platys and many more. I also grew board of the fake plastic trees (Radiohead lol) in my tank. So i bought some plants from a dealer online. The plants came in 2 days. The shipping was a lot but the plants grow like a mad man. Plus a lot of the plants in the fish stores, like petco, are not aquatic plants so they will eventually die. So my advice would be to go to a LFS or buy online for the best plants.
I made the switch to sand in order to have a better substrate for the plants, the fish and shrimp love it too. So i got some potting soil form out side, put some gravel in it. mixed it up until it was almost mud. Put that at the bottom of the tank, and poured filtered sand on top of it. On a side note be sure to clean your sand like a mad man before you put it in your tank, or it will be a huge mess for you. Then I filled my tank with water, cleaned the plants and put them in the tank. I upped the watts and lights in my tank hood. So i have plenty of light. The plants have already rooted and grown a whole bunch. Pretty soon i will have to clip them. You can plant the clippings and they will grow. So i may make the ground a little more plant dense. Or i may give away the clippings.
Oh and btw i do not use a CO2 bubbler, i have not put any CO2 in the tank and the plants are looking great. The fish must make enough (not sure).

Well thanks Peace Chazzy

1077 02-26-2009 11:21 AM

Good for you! I am thinking on setting up a planted 20 gal long and also plan to use potting soil with sand on top.Maybe mix some flourite with the potting soil. Is your puffer fish in the same tank with others? I have heard that they need some salt in their water and that they don't usually play very nice with others but maybe I'm confused as to which puffers are which. In any event I think your tank looks nice. I like the big rocks. I use large rocks as well for fish to hide in or rest . Good luck with your tank and plants.

pkennedy0219 02-26-2009 04:30 PM

the gsp will need salt water eventually. They start fresh and slowly move to brackish then eventually full marine. If i take care of him correctly he will be a 15 yr fish. So i guess i committed to a salt water tank in the future. Oh and he does not pick on the others. Maybe he is a pacifist.

aunt kymmie 02-26-2009 10:46 PM

What type of large rocks are those? I think they look great and was wondering where I might get some. I know I asked this on another thread of yours and never got an answer :-(
I promise not to copy....:-)

PS. I really liked your step by step on planting.

onefish2fish 02-26-2009 10:49 PM

kym look at landscaping and harware stores. theres all sorts of rocks there.

pkennedy0219 02-27-2009 08:42 AM


Originally Posted by aunt kymmie (Post 176070)
What type of large rocks are those? I think they look great and was wondering where I might get some. I know I asked this on another thread of yours and never got an answer :-(
I promise not to copy....:-)

PS. I really liked your step by step on planting.

to be totally honest, i found them lying around my apartment complex. I am not sure what type they are, the coloration might be some green algae on them. But i would def go check out a hardware store or hell maybe even a park or something. Just be sure to clean them off really well.

finsNfur 02-27-2009 03:36 PM

That is very pretty! I hope you continue to have good success with it.

pkennedy0219 02-28-2009 04:04 AM

thank you, i really like that guppy in your avatar.

aunt kymmie 02-28-2009 10:48 AM


Originally Posted by onefish2fish (Post 176071)
kym look at landscaping and harware stores. theres all sorts of rocks there.

I just got back from looking at the rocks that the local landscaping company has. I'm wanting a certain color and a certain size and they didn't have anything to fit the bill. I'll keep looking. A neighbor down the street has the exact rocks I want. Said she picked them up out in the Arizona somewhere. I may have to go walk my dog very late at night and put a few of her rocks in my pocket. J/K

I've got one more landscape place that I can check out.....I like the size of pkennedy0219's rocks (tank looks great) and want something similar but with red/orange coloring.

Byron 03-10-2009 05:10 PM

A word of caution about rocks. Some will leech minerals into the water, and some will slowly dissolve into the water. If you get them from somewhere outside or a landscape store, they might contain toxic substances that could wear off or leech into the water and kill everything. Finding rocks in an outdoor river or lake does not mean they are safe for an aquarium; a closed ecosystem of an aquarium is not the same thing as a constantly flowing stream.

If you purchase rocks from a reputable aquarium store, they should be safe, but certain types may still leech minerals. Limestone will raise the pH and harden the water, which is fine for Rift Lake chichlids or livebearers but not good if you want soft, slightly acidic water for characins and catfish from the Amazon.

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