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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

I am fairly new to the world of planted fish keeping and am looking to get into it.
I currently have a tank which is 39"x18"x15", with a 25 watt daylight bulb, a preety crappy, small internal filter and heater. Fish list is:
4 neon tetras
3 penguin tetras
2 guppies
2 corydoras
1 fairly large angle fish
1 pearl gourami

I have just a layer of gravel as substrate and a few rocks, bogwood and plants.I am also struggling a bit with brown algae on the rocks/plants/tank. The tank has been running since february/march.

The tank doesnt look like anything special at the moment and as said i would like to start a proper planted aquarium. I would be very grateful if someone could give me advice on where to go next or a step by step FAQ(bearing in mind i am not that up on all my stuff, so fairly easy for me to understand).

I have about 60-70 quid to spend right now. And am not looking for anything too complicated.

Thanks alot
 

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Hi Lowee,
Welcome to FishForum.com :)
First you need to know what you're aiming for. For example, you might want your tank to look like a dense jungle or bog, or sunny beach, or perhaps a grassy field. By the dimensions of your tank, I'm guessing it's about 45 US gallons. It would also be helpful if you could post a pic so we know what we're working with. :)
Thanks
Brie
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
thanks for the welcome, i am looking for a jungle type effect, but i also would like some bogwood(i also like sand alot).

Here are some pics:




The second one is a pic of the filter, is really not that great, it make like a squeeking noise occasionally and spurts out lots of bubbles, i could need a new one( not sure if this one is even working properly!)

Thanks
Lowee
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
thanks, to be honest i dont really no what plants they are, as they were bought in a bunch from a local fish shop. But one of them are really doing that well, a couple are growing v.slowly and a few not at all. But they all have a slight brown tinge to them, which is getting better atleast.
 

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WELCOME!!

I would advise that if you can afford it go for undergravel heating and a soil substrate before adding top substrate, if you have to use sand i would advise using shale/ pebbles to break up the appearance- sand might be more difficult to keep plants with than gravel- but each to their own!
Any questions you know where to ask!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Went to my local fish shop today and have bought a 55W light to go with my 25 watt one. Also ive bought some plant fertiliser, will post some pics when everything is set-up.
 

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Just a word of caution about keeping angelfish, gourami, and neons & guppies in a 45 gallon tank... long term this is not likely to work, regardless of the plants you add. Angelfish and gourami will get too large to keep together in this size of a tank, and once large enough, they will likely eat neons and guppies. Watch growth rate, water params (which the plants will help to keep stable) and aggression levels. To help keep the peace between angel and gourami for a little longer, I'd also add some type of floating plant to your list, such as hornwort. This will help with your "jungle appearance" and create extra territory for the 2 fish occupying the upper 1/2 of the tank.
Good Luck and bring us more pics as you make your progress.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
here is a picture of the tank in its current state- may add more plants and bits when i find out if the plants will actually grow!
 

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It seems your neon tetras are not neons after all. They're cardinal tetras, Lowee.:) Cardinals have red coloration reaching the head whereas neons have it only on the rear part.:)
Cardinals are also bigger when compared with neons so you're in good hands when mixing them with the angelfish. Angelfish tend to eat anything that fit in their mouths. Your guppies might be the likely victims of the angelfish but I doubt it with females which are bigger than the males.
Edit: Dawn mentioned it previously.:mrgreen: Sorry for that.:mrgreen:

Welcome aboard by the way.:wave: And good luck with the hobby.:thumbsup:
 

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i think your angels would be ok with guppies until the females are pregnant, then they are food! lol.
I wouldnt keep angels with pearl gouramis, it just wont work, pearls have lovely long feeler things-sorry dont know enough about this fish so i dont know what this is called. But they will be the first to go. Angels think it is there right to peck at anything they want.
Cardinals should be ok aslong as they are adult by the time the other inhabitants have matured, a fully grown cardinal is an impressive fish.

You only asked about light in your message to me, so i only aswered with regard to light. i take it you are passed the initial set up stage.
If you want help i would suggest you post exaclty what your setup is, but if you are happy with the way things are going then sitback and enjoy ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Ok, thanks Andrew. Yes at the weekend i went out and bought a 55W T5 bulb, to go with my current 25W bulb giving me around 1.8WPG. I also bought some Nutrafin plant fertiliser. Will keep you posted on the growth of the plants or any other probelms im having.
Thanks
 

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well growth near enough within week 1- but once you have the chemistry sorted and the plants are settled and have developed their roots, you will see real progress in 3 months.
Of course the more you provide for you plant in terms of its natural habitat requirements then the faster you will see an impact.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
ok, thanks Andrew, one thing i noticed today was on one of my new smaller foreground plants, in little thin strips the leaves seem to be turning brown (not algae) and almost rotting away. I fear that soon the whole plant will share the same fate. Can you give me any help on this?
Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I have just bought 2 hagen nutrafin CO2 systems for my tank, so do you think it would be worth upgrading my lighting to over 2WPG (atm its about 1.7).
Thanks
 

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Ok, first I want to say that it looks like you have at least 2 if not 4 plants that are not truely aquatic. I can't really tell but a close up of the ends and the middle will help to identify them. A good description could help or you can click HERE to try and identify them. It will tell you if they are aquatic or not.

The next thing is you are getting up to medium light for a 45 gallon so CO2 would definately benefit you. I would also recommend either a large HOB filter or a canster and they both work just fine for planted tanks. Any CO2 is always better tha non until you really get a good grasp on plants and their needs.

Your substrate should grow plants fine but needs to be a little deeper, 2-3 inches is a good range for plants as it supports the large root systems that some plants can get and also allows for more surface area for bacteria to break down the mulm and fish waste into useful nitrients for the plants. I have standard epoxy gravel and soe river gravel in mine and I can grow pretty much any plant I want to that fits my lighting.

I thikn the best piece of advice I can give is be patient. Plants will grow better in time once they have the nitrients they need and descent lighitng but it can take some time. Don't give up on it because planted tanks are very rewarding but can be very frustrating. Keep on the right track, ask lots of quesitns and you will learn to grow plants and be successful.

As for undergravel heaters, have no experience with them so I can't help there.
 
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