Advice/Recommendation To A First-Timer

Discussion in 'General Planted Tank Discussions' started by jarthel, 12 Nov 2009.

  1. jarthel

    jarthel Member

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    12 Nov 2009
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    Hello everyone. I'm about to receive a 4ft tank (2nd hand) and I wanted it to be a planted aquarium (not rainforest-type setup but one with many plants) with a community fish centered around angelfish.

    1. I have looked around and eco-complete or carrib-see seems to be the best but I can't justify the costs. Any suggestions for a low-cost alternative? A shop owner recommended aquaclay.

    2. any suggestion for "low-maintenance" plants thats suitable for a beginner? low-maintenance = doesn't require CO2 injection; doesn't require me to check water quality all the time. I'm just beginner so I'm just trying to crawl for now. :)

    3. Do you know of a website with photos of planted aquarium setup? I need some inspiration for my setup.

    4. what other fishes are compatible with an angelfish? do angelfish like calm/low current setup? It seems that an planted tank requires strong current to distribute the nutrients to the plants.

    5. what filter would you recommend? I'm was thinking of eheim 2215 or fluval 305 or aqua one advance 1250. I forgot to say I live in australia so tetratec is not available here.

    6. How do I setup my tank? It's a 2nd-hand tank. but everything else is new. I looked at fishless and with fish cycle but I'm unsure if these are suitable for a planted tank.

    7. any other tips you want to share, it would be most appreciated. :)

    thank you very much!!!
     
  2. Dan Crawford

    Dan Crawford Founder Staff Member

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    Daventry, Northants
    Hi, welcome to UKaps!
    Aqua Clay is good, if you like the colour. If your on a budget then i'd look to plain 2-3mm gravel and does heavily on the water column.
    This is hard to answer for me. IMO CO2 is just a must, regardless of what your trying to grow. There are lots of people on here who grow "low maintenance" tanks and hopefully they'll be able to help you better than i.
    Have a look round here, in the journals and gallery. Looking should really be the first port of call.
    It looks like you also need to do some research on fish too, read read read is all the advice i'm able to give here.
    2 x Fluval 405 would work well i think. You need a big filter for a tank that size and you need lots of flow for the plants. A good compromise is two medium sized filters.

    With regards to cycling. It looks like you need to do more research and understand exactly what the "Cycle" is all about. We are here to help but we can't give you all the answers.

    Cycling with fish is just not cricket, it's unfair and cruel.

    I'm sorry if this all sounds harsh but you must do some research before you fill the tank with water, mistakes are inevitable if your not sure on what your doing and why your doing it.

    Good luck, Dan
     
  3. jarthel

    jarthel Member

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    I did some research and found out about fishless and with fish cycling. :) And further research on fishless resulted in guides on how to do it. and my research may or may not be correct. So i thought that a forum dedicated to planted tanks might be able to help me in my 1st setup :)
     
  4. Dan Crawford

    Dan Crawford Founder Staff Member

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    OK great, the easiest way to do it in my experience is to
    1 - Put your chosen substrate in
    2 - fill the tank so that the water just covers the substrate and then stop
    3 - Plant the tank as heavily as you can, i'd go for covering 80% of the substrate in plants, even if you don't want to plant that heavily, use some cheap and easy plants like Cabomba or Hornwort and you can then remove them after a while.
    4 - Get your filters on there
    5 - Get your CO2 on there
    6 - Get your lighting in there and use a timer to set it to come on for 7-8 hours per day
    7 - Get your ferts in there and dose as the recommendation from day one.
    8 - Check the water after about two weeks and you should find that your plants are absorbing most the Ammonia and Nitrates etc and your good to go!

    I hope that helps.
     
  5. roadmaster

    roadmaster Member

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    I will offer what I have learned from caring for Angelfish. They can be kept in groups when young and in larger tanks,but as they mature and possible pairs form,Aggression amongst these fish increases to the point where breeding fish must be moved to prevent possible damage to the others in most cases. I have kept them with dwarf cichlids such as Keyholes, Kribensis,the german blue rams,clown loaches,and various catfish and plecos. They are not fond of strong current but moderate current presented no negative effect. Not a good fish if small tetras are to be included for they will eat them if they can catch them.
    Sorry I can't help with planning your planted tank for I too am still learning. Appears to be much info here if you search it out. Sometimes ,info easily obtained is easily forgotten(sp)
     
  6. paul.in.kendal

    paul.in.kendal Member

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    Location:
    Kendal, Cumbria
    I'm in the same boat as you - completely new to planted tanks. In fact I'm new to fishkeeping too. My advice would be - READ, READ, READ, and take your time. I've been exploring all the info available on this forum for months and months now, and I'm sure the answer to all your plant-related questions is on here - use that search function lots!

    More general questions not specific to planted tanks (i.e. fishless cycling) might be answered on here, but try some more general online fishkeeping resources too, like the Practical Fishkeeping site.

    And/or do what I do - buy a few good books!

    Hope this helps.
     
  7. jarthel

    jarthel Member

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    If I may ask (underlined sentence below), I do not want to start with a CO2 tank at the moment. It's my 1st tank so I want to start learn the basics of planted tanks first before I go into CO2 injection. Is this step required for a planted tank?

    Another question: You never mentioned filling up the tank with water. I suppose this is done after step3?

    Thank you very much! :)

     
  8. Dan Crawford

    Dan Crawford Founder Staff Member

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    Hiya, filling with water is a given ;)

    There is great debate as to whether or not CO2 is a MUST. To me it is. This often depends on what your planting and how much light you'll be using. Whatever happens, CO2 is a benefit and i would recommend it from the start.

    Being a beginner, starting out with all the equipment required gives you the best chance of success IMO. Many people try and cut corners and make do but generally they invest in the end.

    Many people have great success without CO2 but at the end of the day, plants NEED carbon to survive. You could go down the route of EasyCarbo or similar but on a four foot tank, the cost of carbon supplements would quickly cost more than a fire extinguisher based CO2 setup.

    have a read of this viewtopic.php?f=34&t=266

    and this http://www.ukaps.org/higher-tech-tank.htm

    and this http://www.ukaps.org/plant-maintenance.htm

    and this http://www.ukaps.org/drop-checker.htm
     
  9. andyh

    andyh Member

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    Hello

    Not that Dan needs it, but i second what he is saying completely. There are loads of people who start down the planted tank journey and try to cut corners (myself included but don't tell anyone!) it simply doesn't work. The key things i have learnt is that its all about CO2, Nutrients, Flow and lastly light, in that order.(yes other people may have slightly different opinions, but it works for me :lol: )

    I have just completed my first proper planted tank and by not cutting corners and reading loads of the articles on here have had great success (see my kitchen tank journal). I have to admit to being an advocate of pressurized CO2 also. I think its harder to grow plants without it. I take my hat off to all the guys on here who manage it! :thumbup:

    Read the journals there are some seriously talented people on here with a wealth of knowledge, ask questions you will always get an answer.

    One thing i will add is that i come from a family of fishkeepers and they have kept fish for 25yrs plus but they are the first to admit that this growing plants obsession has lots of new practices they have yet to master. Before finding UKAPS i got a whole load of duff info from local fish shops trying to sell me things that really are not the way to go! (Andy gets of his soapbox!). I suppose i am just saying form your own knowledge base

    Good luck and make sure you start a journal.

    Andyh
     
  10. AdAndrews

    AdAndrews Member

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    Plus to echo what Andy said, buy quality products from the start also, you dont want things going wrong, for choices in hardware etc. put a post up on the forum if you cant decide, its expensive, but worth it all in the end.
     

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