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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jun 2013

    Latest gifts & ribbons:

    Default Think I'm on the right track, but have a few questions.

    0 Not allowed!
    I am new to the hobby (ok, so when I was in middle school I had a 10 gallon that I pretty much threw water and fish in....I'm older and wiser now...or so I hope), have been doing a bunch of research and reading through this forum (Thanks too all that contribute! Very helpful). There are still a few things I haven't quite figured out and need a little guidance.

    The Tank:
    26 gallon bow front 24x20x13
    filter: marineland penguin 150 with Bio wheel, will soon be adding another rated for a 20 gallon
    sand substrate (soon to be mixed with eco complete)
    plans for planting...I'll get to that further down

    I am currently in a fishless cycle, about 12 days in, todays readings (using API master test kit): Amm 0, Ites 5+ (I'm getting a magenta color off the chart and have been for a few days), Ates between 80-160. I think this is all normal for this point in the cycle, hoping the Ites start dropping. Started with about 2ppm Amm. Accidentally over did it to start with 4ppm, did 50% WC to get it around 2ppm. Have been dosing about 1/2 that daily since readings went to 0.

    I am considering the following, let me know if there is a compatibility issue I have over looked.
    10 neon tetra
    7 silver hatchet
    1 dwarf gourami...or german blue ram, if it's compatible
    5 pygmy or panda corys
    2 bamboo shrimp
    3 glass shrimp
    1 snail (I know some apple snails leave live plants alone, also interested in nerite)
    Aqadviser puts me at about 91% capacity which seems low for the numbers I'm putting in, so let me know if I should reduce. Also, once I am cycled how many should I be adding at once and in what order?

    I would really like a good amount of live plants, but want to keep it fairly low tech. I just got some eco complete substrate that I think I'm just going to mix in with the current play sand in the area I will be planting. I'm not going to be concerned about keeping the layers separate since they are likely to blend over time and I may do some rearranging. I am up for adding ferts and root tabs as needed, but currently avoiding the whole CO2 contraption...although in the future I could see this happening. As far as my lighting goes, I'm afraid I'm might need to upgrade even with keeping it low tech, but I'm a noob and need advising, I would love for what I have to work out as I am a broke college student :p I bought the whole set up used on craigslist and I'm pretty sure it's a kit light. Tank is 24" wide but there is only one bulb in the fixture that is 18", seems wimpy to me. It had a daylight 5500K bulb and just purchased a Floramax plant bulb which should be rated a little higher but I'm not sure that the one is enough. Is there 1 bulb I could use in this situation? I am guessing it would be best to invest in a new fixture. There is someone locally selling aquatic plants that I would like to purchase from who also has an LED light for sale, I am totally lost when it comes to LED with live plants but he says it "will grow high to low light plants with ease". It's listed as a RapidLED CREE LED light. Anyone familiar with this?

    A million questions, I know...and I'm sure there will be more to come! Thanks in advance!
    Tank 1: 1.5 gal planted male crowntail betta tank
    Tank 2: 26 gal bow front- planted with sand and drift wood- currently cycling

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Richmond, VA

    Latest gifts & ribbons:

    heres a squid for playing along - genocidex   


    0 Not allowed!
    Lots to take in there. I don't see a problem with your list of fish. Dwarf Gourami's are a favorite of mine. They can be bullies though, I found with the one that I owned. As far as the shrimp go, Bamboo shrimp can get up to 3 inches in length while ghosties (or glass shrimp) max out at about 1.5 inches, and the males are generally about an inch. I'm not well versed in shrimp, but I have been researching them heavily recently, and I've read that you don't want a lot of size differentiation with your shrimp. There might not be a problem, but having 1 shrimp double the size of another shrimp, same species or not, is generally a bad idea. Maybe someone else can shed light on it better for you.

    For your light, I realize how it is being on a budget, but I'd try to get a fixture that fits your tank better. As a personal preference, I've always liked my tanks very bright, and I stock my tanks with plants that grow like weeds with lots of light. I'm not the most knowledgeable when it comes to plants but I do have experience with Amazon Swords, and they are very easy to keep alive and they grow really well in a bright, heavily stocked, tank with no need for ferts or CO2 diffusers and whatnot. Just a suggestion, you may have other plants in mind but Amazon Swords are good for beginners.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Jun 2013

    Latest gifts & ribbons:


    0 Not allowed!
    Good info on shrimp! I have not run across that yet, I will research there compatibility. Maybe I'll just do the 2 bamboo and keep it at that.
    Tank 1: 1.5 gal planted male crowntail betta tank
    Tank 2: 26 gal bow front- planted with sand and drift wood- currently cycling

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    San Francisco Bay Area, CA

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    Latest gifts & ribbons:

    【ツ】 - korith   first fish for your community tank! - Cyberra   a friend for your other neon ;) - Cyberra   tetra #3 ;) - Cyberra   looks like you like neons.... i hope - genocidex   
    Arthritis - Child Abuse - Colon Cancer - Colorectal Cancer - Dystonia - Education - Free Speech - Interstitial Cystitis - ME/CFIDS - Reye's Syndrome - Save the Music - Teens Against Smoking - Victim's Rights - Water Quality - Flyby Stardancer   


    0 Not allowed!
    What's the wattage on the bulb you're using? If you're going to use a flourescent lamp, you'll want to aim for about 2 watts/gallon for a low-tech setup. I'm a bit lost with LEDs myself, but I'm trying to figure it out for future tanks!
    1. 2. (No Picture)
    1: Planted Betta Tank 1, Grimsby (male betta)
    2: Planted Betta Tank 2
    3: Eclipse QT Tank

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