Time to go fully planted - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 3 Old 01-25-2015, 11:19 AM Thread Starter
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Talking Time to go fully planted

I've taken the plunge and decided to go full planted tank.
I felt sorry for my 10 fish having to live in a tank all their lives so planting it is the least I could do for them. But I've got a few, random questions I need your help with.

I did my research to some extent and gathered my materials.
I've gone bog wood and dragon stone with black gravel.

My previous setup had black and white tank gravel of about 4mm in size and considering the old tank had been established for 5 year, I decided to keep most on the old gravel as a sort of underlay for my substrate and new gravel. This way I could keep some of the nutrients from the old setup.

I've put about 2/3 of the old tanks water into a temporary tank with some of the original gravel and plants. I then moved all the fish into the tank and I'll keep them there until their new home is complete.

I then gave the old tank a wipe down and mixed the gravel about a bit in some extra tap water to give it a mini rinse. I wanted to keep most of the.....dirt/good stuff
I then positioned the wood and stones and substrates the crap out of it. Then more stones and finally black gravel.

My plants are litterally a case of I went into an aquascaping shop and said "I don't know what I'm doing, I'd like to buy some long, medium and short plants that may or may not survive in a tank with my fish and lighting" and he gave me what he deemed "hardy" plants. I'm fully expecting this to fail so badly, but hey I've not dubbed it the SS trial and error for nothing. I then proceeded to order some "low tech" carpeting plants because I thought, hey that's cool why not. I've got some java moss and hairgrass on their way to me in the post.
Now from previous trial and error situations, I've learnt that snails are butth0les and killing them early is important. After being tired of picking out over 50 snail in an hour in my previous historical tanks, I learnt a technique that have worked well for me since. Salt bathing. I salt bathed all my plants (avoiding the roots) for about 30 sec's each, then rinsed and dipped again until all the snail eggs and snails had died a horrible death.
I then planted my planted based on three things:
1) proximity to light
2) restriction of competition
3) coolness

I then filled my tank with treated tap water and turned on my filter.
the filter the instantly kicked out all the crud it had sucked up from the old tank, and coated my new tank in fish poop. This could be a good or a bad thing, but for now I'm calling it a happy accident.....much like my sister

so once the poop has settled and I've left the setup over night, I released the following questions need answering:

1) when the hell do I put the fish back in?
I did a water test on there temporary tank which was perfect and I did a test on the new tank, which turned out to be mostly acid and poop. I'm thinking put the temp tank water into the new tank then transfer, but I'm not sure.

2) I forgot to put in my fertilizer tabs, can I add them then I plant my carpet plants?
both are still in the post to me.

3) Can I get neon tetra's?
they are my main motivation behind some of my longer stem plant choices.

4) What are my chances of this actually being successful?
I'm setting my expectations low and full expect a melt-o-thon in the next week.

5) Is my lighting ok?
my dog ate my light packaging awhile ago, but its 15w "sun glow" or something

6) I know I know, CO2.... blah blah blah. But what is the best option for me?
I keep seeing all these little kits of pressurized craziness and DIY yeast beast and to be honest, it just confuses me. I want limited cost and something that won't brutally murder my fish and plants, is there something like that out there?

7) Temp is important right?
well I may have screwed up. 1 heater, two tanks. one of which is keeping my fish alive. the heater is in my temp tank keeping my fish warm at a night 25 degrees, whilst my newly planted tank is unheated at a room temp of 23 degrees. this going to be a problem?

8) when all this goes pear shaped, what should I do better next time?

Your help is appreciated so much because right now all I'm doing is wasting countless hours on the internet watching people tell me what not to do. My dog hates me now thanks to my total obsession with this tank and complete lack of attention to him.

Oh here are current pics


and my sad, cramped, temp tank

Last edited by DippyNikki; 01-25-2015 at 11:22 AM.
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post #2 of 3 Old 01-25-2015, 11:23 AM Thread Starter
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not sure how to resize.....PANIC
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post #3 of 3 Old 01-26-2015, 05:59 AM
Lighting is lacking I think, tank size? depth?

Go ahead and add tabs, dont put to close to plants roots (or they will get chemically burned) lets the plants grow roots to harvest the tabs.

Should be able to skip the whole co2 (I did). Seachem flourish and flourish excell should be enough.
Excell does the co2 part so thats what I recomend

77 degrees F is what I keep my tanks at with good results (looks like 25-26 degrees C)

Also is there dirt in this tank or not I'm confused
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