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Discussion Starter #1
I've added a few pictures of my tank now I've put the plants in, would appreciate any comments.. is it looking ok? (First tank). I mail ordered my plants and was expecting them to be bigger, so the plan is for the left side to have tall plants eventually. I'm also getting some duckweed as my lights are a bit bright for the head and light tail tetra I'll be adding.

Thanks,
Louise
 

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I think it looks great for a first tank! :-D Those plants should grow in nicely.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks, I'm glad you think it looks ok :) I think might need to put some pebbles around the stem plants to stop the corys digging them up, or do they grow longer roots to secure themselves?
 

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They will grow longer roots over time, but for now it wouldn't hurt to put something around them if the cories are uprooting them. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Haha :) well my puppy is a cat, but yes she won't leave it alone! I've constructed something to try to keep her off the lid.. it works sometimes. Not even got fish in there yet, she's going to go crazy!
 

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Looks awesome! Good job for going live plants instead of plastic.

Watch for brown spots or "melting". You will need to add fertilizers weekly at the very least, I add them 2x a week and not on water change day. De-chlorinator negates the Ferts so why waste your money adding Ferts on a WC day. Hope that helps you.
Looking forward to seeing more pics as it fills in!!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks JakieBabie I didn't know that, is the day after water change OK? I bought API Leaf Zone. The tall plant at the back is fake but I quite like it anyway. I was thinking of putting blackout card on the sides of the tank until the plants have grown tall in the hope it will make the fish feel a bit less exposed.

I've also just realised my tank is bigger than I thought as I was measuring in UK gallons; apparantly it's 23.4 US gallons. Don't know if that'll give me room for extra fishes but at least a little more swimming space for the ones I'd already planned :)
 

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No problem! I do the water change on say... Monday Day1, then Ferts on day 2 Tues., and 5 Friday. Then start again on Monday or Day 1. Just fit it to your schedule. But if you want to start just one day a week, then do it at least a day later and not the day before a water change. I keep a little calender with my tank, just cause I can't remember a darn thing. I record fish purchases, deaths, plant additions, WC, Ferts, test results. Everything. At some point I will either have a record of what went wrong should I question a problem in the tank. OR I will trust myself to be diligent and responsible enough to try Salt Water. At the moment I am unable and I know it.
There is also an Aquarium Log at the top but it doesn't seem to be working right now and I've never used it myself.
Woohoo for extra gallons.
 

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For some strange reason, I can't see any f the pictures.:-(
 

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The photos are under the Aquariums tab to the left under the user name. :)
Posted via Mobile Device
 

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I should also mention... I don't know if this is normal for everyone with live plants, but I seem to see all newly added plants struggle for a bit when I first get them. I'll get several brown spots or loose a leaf or 2 or 3 but also see new growth at the same time. I just trim off the old leaves once it's clear they are on their way out. Placement in the tank under lights makes a difference too.... oh and lights... have you changed your bulb to be specific to plants as they like a different spectrum of light. Take your light fixture or a picture on your phone to your LFS to get the right one. Measure the length too or write down the numbers on the side of the bulb. There are many types so you need to know if it is a screw in, or 2 prongs, type of thing.
And try to get the tank on a timer if you have one. The tank and fish need a proper 8-10 hour circadian rhythm just like we do. If you stay up late at night like I do and like to watch the fish set it to include those hours. ie. turns off at midnight.
A lot of plants, stem ones in particular will grow to the surface and then you can cut it down and create a new bunch and root it. Bunches don't look as scrawny too as planting separate stems. Others will send off runners like Vals. Some come fully rooted in clumps and will thicken with new growth at the root level. Those you can space around your tank and they thicken again on their own.
Looking forward to seeing this tank blossom! That means lots of pics!!
I'm on my first planted tank, at the one year point. Pics in my Aquarium tab. <---
Just passing on what I've learned to help you be successful. Hope you don't mind.
ps. love your sig name!
 
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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks for all your advice jakiebabie I really appreciate it. I tried to "thank"you but I can't seem to see that button on the kindle! I haven't changed my bulb, I was kind of hoping the one I have will be ok because the fixture looks awkward to change. I guess if I can change just the bulb and not the fixture it might not be too bad. All I know is its 24w. I'll see if there's some writing on it. So I can just buy any bulb of the same length/type and use it with the current fitting? I didn't know if it'd make the wiring dodgy if I put a lower wattage bulb in. Thanks again, and for everyone comments.

Edit: the thank button reappeared ;)
 

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No you don't have to change your fixture at all. I believe it is just a different light spectrum. I know my large tank kit 75g was sold with lighting suitable for SW. So I had to buy 2 bulbs from my LFS to suit plants instead. They also sell matching lengths for terrariums ie heat and UVB so there is quite a range available in various shapes and sizes.
The trick is understanding lighting enough to be able to buy the same bulbs at the local hardware store, Home Depot type for cheaper money. THAT is my problem. I am still at the mercy of my LFS. And that is a problem because not all fish store employees are knowledgeable, that is a proven fact.
If you take in your fixture they might even change it for you if you are fearful of breaking it.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I'll need to buy online as I can't get out at the moment due to mobility issues, but if I can't figure out how to change it my nephew is handy with things like that :) I know there are threads here about lighting so I'll have a read to see if I can figure out what I'll need. Do you happen to know what the DL means on my bulb, as I've found what the others mean? Thanks again :)

Lou
 

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Discussion Starter #18
ok.. with a lot of searching I've finally figured out the colour temperature of my bulb (by zooming into an image of the box on some random website!) It's 6500k. From another thread I've read this is about right.. I hope so!
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Phew, that was lucky :) I'm sure there are much better ones but as long as it's good enough that'll do me for now. I did see those threads, thanks. I also used the plant profiles and tried to pick ones that like hard water so hopefully they'll do ok once they get over being transported. I'll be getting the head and tail light tetra at the weekend, excited :)
 
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