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Setting up a 75g planted freshwater tank

1465 Views 2 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  Avocetbyc
Hi there!

We have decided to get our kids a 75g tank for Christmas and I want to do live plants. Very excited about this but this is our first tank in a long time!
From the research we have done I was planning on a 1.5 inch layer of flourite and topping that with a 1inch layer of black sand (love the pop of colour it gives everything!).
Because this is in the planning stage right now we don't have filters or lights yet so I can't give you that information. Should be picking it up in the next week or two though and will hide it in the garage. This gives us time to get a few things set up and ready before the big reveal!
I am completely overwhelmed by the plant choices though and would love your advice on some good plants to look at, my husband says I have a black thumb, so hardy species might be a good idea ;) I want to keep the tank natural looking so will probably have 1 or 2 pieces of "driftwood" type decorations in there and not much else (kids may want to add something though haha).

The fish we are planning to put in there are;

Bronze/green cory
Swordtail (1 male 3-4 female)
Cherry Barb
Bloodfin tetra
Harlequin Rasbora
White cloud mountain minnows
Honey gourami

We know that we have some livebearers in our choices so I was thinking so java moss would be a good idea for the fry. Beyond that though I am not sure!

Also, this is probably a really dumb question, but when you are live planting do you need to adjust stock levels? I have been using Aqadvisor to estimate how many of the above we can have, but I wasn't sure how the plants would affect the bio load of the tank.

Many thanks!
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Hello and welcome to TFK! What a wonderful gift. The only concern I have, is that Christmas is approaching fast. If you do not get the tank up and running, it will be precarious to add that many fish at one time. You can start out with a few hardy fish, but you may want to read about cycling fishless. Though this would mean an empty tank come Christmas. It is the safest way for the fish. Cycling the tank first. Then there is the issue of quarantine. If you buy all these fish at once or without keeping them apart in qt and observing them, you run the risk of getting others sick, if one or more is carrying a disease or parasites. You will want to get all of the equipment first. For a tank this big with plants a nice big canister filter would be great.
You will need liquid test kits, a master API is good. Or you can purchase them separately. That is what I do. I believe the kits are bigger.
For plants, going into it without having had recent experience, and keeping ease of care down, you could choose plants similar to those I presently have in my 90 gallon. You will want large specimens.
Amazon sword, ozelot sword{add a bit of color} anubias barteri barteri, or something like a large coffeefolia. A java fern mat is a good choice. Some tiger lotus are fun and beautiful. You will need to get lighting that will remain under 2 watts per gallon. This way you still have low light. You can supplement the swords with root tabs. Tahitian moon sand is better than sand, and comes in black. It is acually a very fine gravel that resembles sand, but you won't get the problem of the sand blowing up like real sand does. It is much easier to clean than sand as well. Plants do help uptake some nutrients, but over stocked is still over stocked. How many are you considering of each species?
Bosmani rainbows would look great in this set up, or other large rainbows. Threadfin rainbows are gorgeous.
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We will actually be purchasing the tank next week and setting it up out of sight in the garage. The hope is that we can cycle the tank for two weeks or so ahead of time, and it will hopefully be ready for a few hardy fish Christmas eve.

We definitely did not plan to introduce all of the fish at once, and having looked a little closer at the white clouds and they are not going to work in the tank. To start we will probably do a dozen cherry barbs and/or a dozen tetra pristella (replacing the white cloud minnows with those) as they are apparently hardier fish. Adding more fish after another 2-3 weeks if everything is looking good.
i planned on having about a dozen of each of the cherry barbs, harlequin rasbora, and tetra pristella. 5 swordtails (1M 4F), 6-8 of the corys, and 1 honey gourami; AqAdvisor puts that at an 89% stocked tank, which I felt would be a good point to be at a few months in.

I definitely like the idea of having a bit of colour variety in the plants.

Thank you!
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