Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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-   -   Setup of 200L (50 USgal) tank help? (

KellyL 04-22-2012 12:53 PM

Setup of 200L (50 USgal) tank help?
Hi all, I'm new to the site since I'm also fairly new to tropical fish!!

My parents are reclaiming their home after 20odd years of child-orientated life and my mum would love to get a big fish tank back. I have been volunteered (not than I mind in the slightest) to take on this massive task and need a bit of help! I currently own 1 Siamese fighting fish in a 2 US gallon tank so jumping straight up to 50 USgal is a bit daunting! I have a fairly good grasp on water setup/quality but thats a LOT of water!! :|

I would love to make her a big planted setup something like this :

Ye I know your probably going to call me crazy but I really want to give this a good go for her since she had to give hers up.
Any help and links/guides you guys could give me would be amazing!!

Thank you!

Kelly x

kitten_penang 04-22-2012 01:44 PM

i'm willing to help :)

and no i don't think your crazy coz you want a large planted tank as i also have one and we all can't seem to have too many's called MTS multiple tank syndrome :)
you'll see lots of people here have them so welcome to the family.

so what do you want to know? this is just the basic

filters- i'de use a canister as the plants need co2 and most filters only add o2 to the tank making co2 levels low which is not good for plants.

co2- for easy going plants i don't think you'll need this.i have japanese dwarft hairgrass and glosso which some people say needs added co2 and i still don't pump co2 into my tank and they are doing just fine and spreading

chiller-unless your room temp is seriously high then you'll need this. i find my plants are doing just fine at 26-28 but some plants need cooler temp so check first before buying

lighting - glo tubes specially made for plants are a must.leave on for 8 hours a day

gravel or sand is up to'll find sand a pain so i suggest you stick to gravel.coarse or fine depends on the fish and plants.

if your gonna stick a piece of wood in there make sure to boil it and see if it leaks tannin first

fertilized sand ( i find them messy ) and they are only good for up to a year if the tank is planted heavily

liquid fertilizer ( long term ) seachem flourish is best pls read the label properly when buying coz exel comes with a similar packaging

fertilizer sticks ( long term ) i use ADA iron bottom and mix bottom for the health of my rooted plants

keep in mind some fish will up root and eat at the plants so choose carefully.always choose hardy plants,non red plants,fully submerge plant type and non toxic plants so your life will be a lot easier.

KellyL 04-22-2012 02:20 PM

Hi, Thanks for helping me!! :)
I didn't even know I would need to fertilize them! MTS? - It has a name! haha! :)

I was really looking for help to find easy plants that grow fairly tall as the tank I have in mind is 50cm high, I would like a mix not all the same thing and as you mentioned not poisonous (what are red plants?)!
While googling plants I seen some tanks with moss or some sort of small plant across the bottom like carpet - is that easy to achieve and maintain (and keep clean) it never mentioned what this was, any ideas?

Also when I cycle the tank ready for the fish - can the plants be in there? Will they survive?
Thanks again!!

kitten_penang 04-23-2012 04:29 AM

well red plants are plants that have red leaves like tiger lily's and red cabomba they need more light to stay healthy and red and more light means more nutrients and more co2 to balance it out.get that wrong and you have a massive algae to keep things easy stay away from those plants.they will die out in the tank if you don't have the right conditions.

as for the carpet type could be glosso, riccia,callitriche or japanese dwarf hairgrass but they need good lighting to stay low and spread out.

for tall plants things like green cabomba, eloda densa,japanese chress,vallisneria are easy going just don't plant them too near one another.

for rooted middle plants java fern,annubias,amazon sword ( theres giant and dwarf ),indian fern they all grow easily under the right circumstances.

as for moss java moss is the easiest they only need a piece of drift wood to be tied too and low lighting.that means a little shady area is ok for them but not too dark.tie them sparsely on the piece of wood coz ones that are bunched up and some parts that don't get light will die off

as for cleaning a good canister will force the dirt under the gravel thus changing it into plant food esp for the rooted plants.every time you do a wc don't mess up the gravel just suck up they debris on the very top of the gravel.try to get some Malaysian trumpet snails they help out a lot in aeration your tank gravel so there's no build up of toxic gasses and such down there.

plants are the first things to go in when you set up the fish allowed just yet. let the plant roots grow and settle in.the plants will help with the cycling.some fishes might knock them over or pull them out , plus at the start of a cycle it's not advisable to have fish in the it's best to leave the tank fishless first.

plants them when the tank is half full.only after finishing planting do you fill it up to the top

keep tabs of the water parameters you will see high ammonia in the first 2 weeks cloudy water could form even though you cleaned the gravel and made sure the water was clear at the start .do wc 20% or more every 1 or 2 days if it's cloudy.use a spray bar if you don't want to disturb or up root the plants.never let the plants dry out in the tank.that's very bad for them.

second week you will see a lower ammonia.nitrite will show up on your tests now wait for it to spike then it will go down to 0 in about 2 weeks or less coz of the plants. nitrate readings will be common in the tank coz ammonia gets turned into nitrite, nitrite turns into nitrate ( bacteria in the tank does this ) when you get 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite around 10 nitate your tank is fully cycled :-D

pass the second week you could add a small fish or 2. just don't add too many too soon coz the tank will get very ugly very fast.cloudy and algae water will show up.the plants and fish might all die

during cycling in the first 3 weeks don't give your tank too much lighting as well.the plants haven't settled well in the tank yet so there's a lot of nutrients floating around you could get algae or bacterial blooms.if you see green stuff on the walls it means too much light cut light hours down a little.wc also help.maximum should be 8 hours a day not more and not less the 5.

KellyL 04-23-2012 04:57 PM

Red plants have red leaves . . . . who would have thought it! :/ Sorry total blonde moment!!

Thank you for all the advice, I have to go and google it all now! and make a shopping list . . . . .

I was planning to set my tank up a few days before I go on holiday for 2 weeks (that way I'm not tempted to put fish in early) then when I get back it will be all ready!
I can leave basic instructions for mum&dad!

Thanks again!

kitten_penang 04-24-2012 04:13 AM

yw welcome if you check the water when you do get back do get back in the tank you'll see nitrite do a wc and maybe a few days later you could add some fish.maybe 2 or 3 small does depend on the tank though.if it has a lot of healthy plants i think the cycling could be fastened but don't crash it by putting in too many fishes all at'll have algae and bacterial blooms.

Byron 04-24-2012 06:23 PM

2 Attachment(s)
The tank in the photo in post #1 is not difficult to achieve, though some plant substitutions might be advisable. As a general background to what we term a natural planted tank, meaning it is low-tech and relies on nature rather than gadgetry, check the 4-part series "A Basic Approach to the Natural Planted Aquarium" at the head of the Aquarium Plant section.

My tanks follow that outline (which I authored) and the 70g and 90g pictured below illustrate what this method can achieve.

And welcome indeed to Tropical Fish Keeping forum.:wave:


kitten_penang 04-25-2012 08:41 AM

pay attention hun he's the expert =) he gets away with a lot of plants in a tank without major hitches.

KellyL 04-25-2012 06:42 PM

Thanks again Kitten! You have been a great help!

And thank you too Byron. Your articles are exactly what I was looking for! Its very good of you to take the time to help us novices!! Your tanks are absolutely beautiful, if mine turns out even half as good as yours i will be over the moon!! :D

kitten_penang 04-25-2012 11:48 PM

good luck kellyL

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