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Glenda Steel

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2 Jul 2014
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154
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Lincolnshire England
We are setting up our very first tank - a Fluval Edge 46 litre (the taller one on an Askoll Pure medium white stand) and need some advice on planting please! We have tap water that is rated as "very hard" 18.062 dh with a reading of 7.6 ph to 8.2 (tested after leaving the water 24 hours in a clean glass - a recommendation from another forum). We have the E50 Fluval heater but don't want additional lighting etc. We hoped to have Endler's Livebearers and some shrimp. We would like to keep the planting minimal but elegant and striking, combing it with grey toned pebbles and Redmoor roots and pale "stone/taupe" coloured sand (I have this and am in the process of washing and soaking it all).

The room the tank is situated is white and has a colour scheme of soft neutrals with black accents and a little soft plumy madder red. Our doors are modern oiled oak and I would like to pick up on this shade too if possible! - Any suggestion on what plants are suitable for a beginner in complimentary colours please?
 
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Edvet

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Hard water is no problem (except for a few species but you won't come across these fast), lighting can be.
When setting up a tank light drives all needs, little light gives less problems as compared to a lot of light, and light is relatively easy to come by too. So most starters go for to much light. Make sure to read up on the tutorial section on the forum.
If i were you i would start with reading about "low tech"or "low energy" tanks first. Cycle the tank first with some fast growers, then start gradually exchanging them for the plants you would like.
Remember aquaria are about patience, especially when you are starting one for the first time. Don't expect to whip up a tank like the beautifull ones you can find here in a few weeks without the knowledge some people here have.
 

Glenda Steel

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Thank you so much Edvet, I will, I have gleaned so much useful information from forums already. We have been planning and researching the tank for around 4 months now and are happy to wait until we are certain it will be right! I feel sure I will probably never achieve anything like the stunning works of aqua-art on this site! Warmest wishes - Glenda
 

allan angus

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27 Jan 2014
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hi glenda one of our sponsors ( aqusaby ) has a great resoure for those looking for plants with pictures deescriptions prefered growing conditions ect give it a look it might help to narrow your search :) ooooooh and welcome to the best forum on the net :)
 

Glenda Steel

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Thank you so much Allan, I will take a look and thank you for the lovely welcome too! Pictures sound a perfect way to start! Warmest wishes - Glenda[DOUBLEPOST=1405951984][/DOUBLEPOST]
hi glenda one of our sponsors ( aqusaby ) has a great resoure for those looking for plants with pictures deescriptions prefered growing conditions ect give it a look it might help to narrow your search :) ooooooh and welcome to the best forum on the net :)
Where do I find aqusaby? They don't seem to be amongst the list of sponsors?
 

Fern

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8 Aug 2013
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Where do I find aqusaby? They don't seem to be amongst the list of sponsors?

I think he means Aquasabi, check out the other sponsors too,also the tutorial sections, Ei and low tech section, make a cuppa and have a good read and welcome to Ukaps :)
 
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allan angus

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I think he means Aquasabi, check out the other sponsors too,also the tutorial sections, Ei and low tech section, make a cuppa and have a good read and welcome to Ukaps :)
i do i do lol :) sorry and thanks fern :)
 

Glenda Steel

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Thank you so much Fern and I will! Please don't apologise Allan! Warmest wishes - Glenda[DOUBLEPOST=1405953896][/DOUBLEPOST]
i do i do lol :) sorry and thanks fern :)
I've already found the most stunning plant on Aquasabi (brilliant photo's):
Cryptocoryne petchii "Pink"
Just the shade I was after and it says it's easy too - fingers crossed!
 
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James D

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11 Jul 2013
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Hi Glenda, welcome to the forum.

From your first post it sounds as if you are planning quite a striking aquascape! I'm looking forward to seeing how it progresses.
 

Glenda Steel

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Hi Glenda, welcome to the forum.

From your first post it sounds as if you are planning quite a striking aquascape! I'm looking forward to seeing how it progresses.
Hi James and thank you! Actually I've no idea what I'm doing!!!! Really out of my "comfort zone" but thought I would approach it as if I were planning a garden planting scheme - actually that raises another question do I need soil or will the sand work instead?!!! Warmest wishes - Glenda[DOUBLEPOST=1405955445][/DOUBLEPOST]
Hi Glenda, Welcome to UKAPS :) These 2 plant list are the best i know:) Lots of info on plants and there needs hope they help :D Sorry the first link is not working ??? go on Google and type it in it works there :)
www.tropica.com
www.flowgrow.de
Hi Greenfinger2, thank you! I've just had a quick look at flowgrow - what a brilliant plant finder - thank you so much!
 

parotet

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Hi Glenda

I have two planted tanks in which I only use tap water which is liquid rock. The only time I measured something was when the washing machine technician forgot his water hardness test... I stop counting when I had added 22 drops. So my GH is above 22. My pH is around 7.4 and I got a nasty scale mark that I have to scratch with a razor blade every 3 days. One of them is an enriched co2 tank and the other a low tech and I never had any problem for growing plants... Well,mi had, but not due to water but to poor knowledge. I've tried probably 20 different species. Believe these guys... There are things much more important for a healthy tank than your water hardness. Light first, which rules everything else, but also filtration, flow, etc.

Regarding animals, in my tanks if I want to breed something I have to go to livebearers and other hard water species (I breed easily endlers and Sakura shrimps, some Danio species could also work) but I also keep other species that seem very happy (white mountain cloud minnows, rummynose tetras, Boraras urophtalmoides, Otocinclus). Of course I don't expect them to breed but good food (dried + fresh + live frozen food) as well as good tank husbandry gives them the most beautiful colours I have ever imagined.

So, don't worry about your hard water unless you want to grow a very restricted number of plant species (which are not very common thus more expensive) or if you want to breed some particular fish.

Jordi
 

Glenda Steel

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Hi Glenda and welcome,

did you think about putting compost under your gravel / sand? It's make a huge differents for plants :)
Hi Vazkez and thank you so much! What kind of soil would I need or is it personal choice (colour, texture etc) perhaps it depends on the plants? I will have a look to see if there is a section on the forum![DOUBLEPOST=1406010907][/DOUBLEPOST]
Hi Glenda

I have two planted tanks in which I only use tap water which is liquid rock. The only time I measured something was when the washing machine technician forgot his water hardness test... I stop counting when I had added 22 drops. So my GH is above 22. My pH is around 7.4 and I got a nasty scale mark that I have to scratch with a razor blade every 3 days. One of them is an enriched co2 tank and the other a low tech and I never had any problem for growing plants... Well,mi had, but not due to water but to poor knowledge. I've tried probably 20 different species. Believe these guys... There are things much more important for a healthy tank than your water hardness. Light first, which rules everything else, but also filtration, flow, etc.

Regarding animals, in my tanks if I want to breed something I have to go to livebearers and other hard water species (I breed easily endlers and Sakura shrimps, some Danio species could also work) but I also keep other species that seem very happy (white mountain cloud minnows, rummynose tetras, Boraras urophtalmoides, Otocinclus). Of course I don't expect them to breed but good food (dried + fresh + live frozen food) as well as good tank husbandry gives them the most beautiful colours I have ever imagined.

So, don't worry about your hard water unless you want to grow a very restricted number of plant species (which are not very common thus more expensive) or if you want to breed some particular fish.

Jordi
Thank you so much Jordi! It has taken so long to track down the fish/shrimp that will like the water hardness/tank size and shape that to know that I have a wide choice of plants is brilliant! It's always great when you hear it from someone in the same situation (I get through gallons of Viacal just to keep the bathrooms shiny!) I have been told that Shelldwellers require hard water to thrive so I'm already planning our next tank, their potential aquascape is just stunning (have you seen the George Farmer Shell dweller tank)!
 
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Edvet

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What kind of soil would I need or is it personal choice

http://www.ukaps.org/forum/threads/the-soil-substrate-planted-tank-a-how-to-guide.18943/

In a small tank like an Edge i would opt for EI method (http://www.ukaps.org/forum/threads/the-estimative-index.13/), in short you add ferts a few times a week, and do large waterchanges every now and then.( daily first, every other day after first week, gradually increasing till once a week). The small size would make working with soil a bitt more difficult,
just use riversand/gravel or a more expensive soil substrat if you wish (not needed though)(http://www.ukaps.org/forum/forums/substrates.17/)
 

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