Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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Andarial 03-02-2011 05:50 PM

Maybe starting a planted aquarium
I'm thinking about changing my 25 gallon into a planted though keeping two of my fake pirate decor in the tank (the pirate cave and the pirate ship) as the eel and the pleco and crab like these things. But I was wondering what I should do, I know I need to get a different light with some UV rays right? made for plants? I've never made a planted aquarium because I can't keep them alive. I need something hearty and that I can't kill easily XD. Something like a succulent for the water world. I just have this feeling that everyone in my tank would be happier with plants.

Water parameters before pwc today were

Ammonia: 0-0.25 ppm (which should go down and I will test it tomorrow)
Nitrite: 0 ppm
Nitrate: 40 ppm
PH: 7.6

I also have a sponge filter >> to filter the entire tank and an undergravel filter that uses air stones. The gravel is small and deep enough to hold some plants. I just am so torn. I know my mom would think I am insane but I bet I could convince her in a few weeks after she gets paid.

HELP! I will tell you anything else I just can't think of what else you need to know.

eatmysox 03-02-2011 06:11 PM

If you are looking to venture into the world of plants a good idea would be to start with some easy plants that don't require much work or attention. I would suggest a Moss such as Java or Flame as well as a large leaf slow growing plant like a anubias of some sort. If you wanted a stem plant you could look into gettingt a sunset hygro, these are very easy and grow in most conditions. With these you can start to learn and do more research and you will begin to see what you can and can't keep. (With me I can't grow cabomba for the life of me but have a large flourishing madagascar lace)

Byron 03-03-2011 10:39 AM

As I see you joined in February, welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping forum.

Your light may be OK, at least the fixture. Full spectrum or daylight type bulbs/tubes are fairly inexpensive at hardware stores, so if you can tell me what type of light fixture you have (fluorescent tube or incandescent screw-in bulb) and how many bulbs/tubes, I can suggest something. Other important things like substrate and filter are OK.

Your nitrates are a bit high (most of us recommend keeping nitrate below 20ppm) but live plants should handle that easily. Unless they occur in your tap water--have you checked your tap water alone for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate?


redchigh 03-03-2011 12:05 PM

Sunset hygro will be hard to find, since it's illegal.

Java fern and ludwigea repens are a couple good plants, along with anubias, dwarf sag, and sword plants that won't outgrow the tank.

Listen to Byron, he taught me most of what I know about plants.

Andarial 03-03-2011 01:03 PM

YA I have checked my tap water and they are all at zero besides the ammonia I just have to check my stuff today and see what's happening after the pwc. The light fixture I'm pretty sure is flourescent the writing on it says, 8,000K; T8; 15 Watts it only takes one tube. And even though I read your info on plants and stuff I'm still not sure what T8 and 8,000 K mean. >< I don't like not knowing stuff but I know I have to start somewhere.

And thanks for all the plants to look for <3 mom says maybe in a couple weeks I can start buying stuff which should give me enough time to understand all of this. Will update with water parameters today ^^

Andarial 03-03-2011 01:44 PM

Ok for some reason after I did the water change my nitrates did not go down ._. .... My ammonia did though and it is now at 0 YAY, but my nitrates are still at 40 ppm what should I do?

Inga 03-03-2011 01:59 PM

If you go to Home Depot or Menards or Maybe even Sears? Any home appliance store will likely have the bulb you need for just a few bucks. They might not know if it is 6500K but a Daylight or Full spectrum light will work. (Thanks Byron for teaching me that)

As far as which plants are easiest. I would say a Sword plant. In a 25 gallon, you won't want an Amazon Sword as they get really large but anything smaller like a Melon Sword or something like that. I have in my 25 1 large sword (I like heavily planted tanks) Some tall grasses in the back, Ludwigia (about 20 stems) and a nice size bunch of Pennywort which I wrap around my tubing so it looks more natural. I also let some float as the fish seem to enjoy that. Also, Wisteria is an easy plant. If you have real active fish you might wish to stick with the swords and other substrate rooted plants and stay away from stem plants. The super active fish tend to uproot the stem plants.

Other then an eel a pleco and some shrimp, what kind of fish do you have in your 25 gallon?

Andarial 03-03-2011 02:23 PM

I have 4 fancy male guppies, soon to be six because there were six originally but I lost two of them. Three Rainbowfish (one turquoise and two cairns) and that's it >> I will be getting rid of the pleco in a few months, giving her to lfs, just because she's really big and I can't keep her much longer. Probably will get ottos next. I might lose one of my rainbowfish and I might not, she looks like she's getting better but you never know. If I do lose her I'll probably get another.

Inga 03-03-2011 02:28 PM

Keep up those water changes as I swear that keeps the fish healthy and happy. Best to avoid illness then try to treat it. :) PetSmart by me usually has some nice plants though often not labeled. Check out the profiles of plants underTropical Fish Profiles so you have some idea of what to look for.

Byron 03-03-2011 02:33 PM


Originally Posted by Andarial (Post 607806)
Ok for some reason after I did the water change my nitrates did not go down ._. .... My ammonia did though and it is now at 0 YAY, but my nitrates are still at 40 ppm what should I do?

If you are using the API nitrate kit, you need to shake regent #2 in the bottle for 2 minutes before adding the drops. The isntructions say 30 seconds, but this will often give a false (and high) reading. Test the tank water, and let us know.

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