Just fish or Fish and plants?

partobe

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Hi Everyone!
In the next few weeks Ill be setting up a new tank. I had saltwater tank(150gallon) but sold it. It became too expensive andd too much work. This time Im going with fresh and much smaller. Im thinking 30-50 gallon tank. My question is How would I do live plants? Do I have to have special lights? Dont I have to have one of those co canisters? Are there fish you can and can not keep if you have plantss? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
patrick
 

Aqua Pro Builder

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Planted tanks are best with 6700K bulbs.
You can go with LEDs or traditional T5. Skip the PC they use too much energy and taking up too much space if you were keep light demanding plants.

There are both cool water plants and warm water plants. You can do a research before purchasing.

If you like Discus, make sure you choose the warm temperature plants. This fish like 82-89F water!

Never keep cichlid or related fish such as red parrot, flower horn ...in a planted tank.

CO2 will keep your plants grow much faster and lighter green. Hence more people like to use it. I keep my planted without CO2.

You should use a heat element or under gravel filter to increase the substrate nutrient if you do not have the time to add fertilizer sticks. I had a 6 years old planted tank that I have never added any fertilizer nor change the substrate.

I have plants that I can give you to suck up the water nutrient during the setup time.
 
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howze01

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How would I do live plants?

Well, start with the tank size you want, research freshwater plants and fish and decide which plants you want. One of the easiest choice would be a South American tank. Plenty of plants and great fish to choose from. Not many tanks look better than a nice planted display with just a big school of Neon or Cardinal Tetras.

Another thing to consider would be the substrate. I have had a few planted tanks and always found Flourite from Seachem works great.

Do I have to have special lights?

It really depends on the plants but the stronger the lighting the better your plants will look and grow. T5s would be an excellent choice.

Dont I have to have one of those co canisters?

As previously mentioned, no, you don't NEED one but they certainly help. In my first few plant tnaks I didn't use CO2 tanks I used yeast reactors that were pretty easy to do. You may want to look into that or just go straight to tanks. Your choice.

Are there fish you can and can not keep if you have plantss?

Yep. Do some research and plan out which plants you like and pick your fish around them. There are plenty of fish that won't bother the plants (either by eating or uprooting them) but there are plenty that will as well. Research is your best friend!
 

partobe

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Hi Everyone
First. Im so sorry xxxAngeloxxx
second Thanks Howze01 and xxxAngeloxxx
Great info and now I kinda have a idea what to research. Im going to go over to fish town on wed to look at tanks and lights Ill try to figure out then what would work best for me as far as tanks go. I will def keep all of you updated!!!
 

partobe

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Thanks Jeff will def check out the site and take you up on your offer. Im going to fish town tomorrow to look at tanks just not sure if I should go rock or sand. Would rather go wit sand just not sure how I would clean it
 

jeffvmd

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They have a decent selection for freshwater stuff. Not sure if they have different substrates in stock though.
I usually just get most FW stuff online (cheaper and better selection).
It depends on what look you want for the substrate if fine or coarse.
If you go with sand, be sure to get some malaysian trumpet snails or cories to stir up the substrate. Root tabs are needed for sand too.
As for cleaning substrate on a planted tank, I don't. So better to have a darker colored substrate too.
As long as you don't overfeed and have a good scavenging crew, gravel clean up is not necessary.
 
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partobe

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Thanks Jeff
I def like the look of sand better and I was thinking of painting the back of the tank black and put black sand in the tank. What are root tabs and how do I administer them? I had been told to use Excel is this the same thing? Does a planted tank need more flow? I was also thinking underground filter along with a hob filter?
Thanks for all your help
 

jeffvmd

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Root tabs are fertilizer tabs that you put in gravel near the rooted plants.
Lots of different brands but I use the rootmedic line (Check out his site and usually order during one of his sales, better check tpt for great deals on his ferts line too).

Excel is just an organic carbon source and not the fertilizer itself. You need this if you don't have CO2 supply running and you want your tank to fill up fast with plants. Not really a necessity if you don't mind plants growing slowly. I have a non co2, non excel infused tank and its doing ok.
There is seachem line of ferts that go with it but there are better options of liquid ferts or even dry powder ferts. I again use the liquid macronutrient and micronutrient supplements from Rootmedic. Easy to use and just 2 bottles to dispense (compared to other liquid ferts that has separate macro[N,P,K] and micro).
You can also go the dry powder type which are way cheaper in the long run. I just chose liquid for ease of use.

As for flow, it needs just enough flow to avoid dead spots. Unlike in reefs that we usually tend to go with more flow. You can start by going wih a filter one rating higher than your tank and then just go from there.

An underground filter may be a bit troublesome when you have sand. A hob will do. Better if you go canister to avoid a clutter of equipment in and around the tank.

What do you plan to keep in it in terms of fauna?
 
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