Tropical planted Aquarium. need some ideas or pointers
I've recently set up a freshwater tropical aquarium. The tank is a 28 gallon marine nano tank which I bought for pennies and wanted to continue with the hobby of planted aquariums that I have been doing for around 3 years now. The filter I'm using is a fluval 105. In the tank is a large piece of bogwood, a large stone, plenty of live plants and two long nose snails. I'm not sure exactly what my lights are called but they are LED. (if anyone could let me know what they are called that would help) :) I will put pictures to follow of the current look of the tank.
The tank has been running for roughly a month now but I don't intend to add any fish until I have fully made my mind up on what stock I want in the tank.
I think the look I'm going for and the look I desire is a river-bed/ stream or flooded forest floor. Hopefully you get this as you see the pictures :).
I am waiting on a delivery of java moss which I intend to cultivate and attach to the bog wood. I've also decided that I'm 'not' going to do the process of pumping co2 into my tank as I am now a student with budgets :(.
So basically I've been researching different fish and going to almost every fish shop/pet store in a 20 mile radius of my house just to get an idea of what fish are available and what needs I need to mimic to give them the best lives possible.
I'm thinking of getting:
Harlequin Rasbora ...roughly 8-10
Neon Tetra ... roughly 8-10
Cherry Barbs ... roughly 5+
numerous Red Cherry Shrimp.
I have no idea what else I could possible put in the tank with these. I've done a fair bit of searching the web for these fish and come across that they all originate from rivers and streams. All need planted tanks with areas of shade and an open place to swim. All need similar water conditions and food diets.
I have started to also create a quarantine tank which I am waiting on a filter to be delivered and it will ready to go.
If any one could give me any pointers or any ideas as to anything I have wrote, it would be much appreciated.
If you could give me any help with what other fish I could safely and happily put into my tank that would also be great.
thanks for taking the time to look.
Welcome to the forum.
You should change the lights you have. They appear to be lights for marine applications and will not work well for freshwater and definitely not for plants. Look for "daylight" bulbs or those with a color temperature between 6000 and 7000.
Make sure you cycle the tank before adding fish. Thee are some pinned posts in the beginners section that detail how.
If pressurized CO2 is too expensive, have you considered DIY? Simple as mixing sugar water and yeast in a coke bottle and having a tube funnel the emitted gases into your tank.
Make sure you research what plants suit your tank and what plants don't. Some aquarium plants like soft water, others hard water, some are undemanding, some will stagnate unless all requirements are fulfilled. Some aquarium plants sold are not even truly aquatic, but just are sold by pet stores because they hope the customer will not find out. I see lucky bamboo stems (dracaena) in your tank. They rot and die when submerged completely. They might survive with their tops poking out, but in natural circumstances, the dracaena is as terrestrial as a sunflower or cactus and will form a shrub several meters high. I also see several palm leaves in your tank. Again, terrestrial plant peddled as aquatic. Take them out, put them in a pot in a bright room and you might end up with a new houseplant.
When you get the java moss tied down and the tank cycled (removing the bamboo and palm leaves as madagascariensis said), get some red cherry shrimp, around 20 for that tank. You'll love them.
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The dracaena can do well like this.
I don't think I'd do neons in a cube, maybe green neons. Are we talking hard or soft water?
Thanks for the replies guys.
I have taken your advise madagascariensis to take out the palm leaves but I am going to let the dracaena run its course and see what happens :)
talldutchie; when you say green neons, are these the same as 'Yellow Rasbora'?
TD's talking about; Paracheirodon Simulans which is an awesome little fish with more personality, IMO, than regular Neons but stays smaller.
Great info on them here: http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j...50500085,d.aWc
Last edited by steeler58; 08-12-2013 at 05:47 PM.
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Agree with most of what others have mentioned. On the CO2, I would not bother at all. There is quite a lot of natural CO2 occurring in the substrate due to the breakdown of organics by bacteria, especially when plant roots are down there providing oxygen, and in a "natural" method system this is adequate for most plants. It also allows you to keep the light moderate (adding CO2 means brighter light) and this is better for the forest fish we are discussing that mainly live in quite dimly-lit waters.
I agree on changing the lights. And related to this, I will also mention the lack of a cover. This can be very effective, with plants growing out of the water, or aerial plants sending roots into the tank; but many fish will jump. As you need to replace the light, you might consider a light that sits on the tank frame and getting a glass cover set since the light has to be shielded from the water. Another issue is that the further the light is from the water surface, the less the intensity. And when we are using moderate light to begin with, this can be a real problem.
I don't have a huge amount to add to this, as others have hit most points already - your lights certainly don't look right - although this could be the camera balance. Marine lighting is the wrong spectrum for a planted tank in any case. You'll find algae does very well under it though. You can get LEDs for planted set-ups (expensive), but standard strip lights or tungsten lighting tends to have more suitable spectrums for most plants in my experience. I prefer the slight yellowy-hint you can get from these lights as it looks more authentic for the river bed look you're after.
+1 re: those plants. I clocked the terrestrial varieties immediately. I really wish LFS wouldn't do this. My LFS is excellent and even they sell these sorts of plants for aquariums - it's quite annoying.
Do you know if you have hard or soft water? Do you know the pH of the water?
I like the suggestion for green neons, and a school of corydoras catfish would look wonderful skittering around in that sand.
Your initial scape looks very pleasing - I do like the diagonal you've chosen and this does suit the cube shape of the tank. I look forward to seeing how this one progresses.
I'm really stuck on my lighting situation. :(
I want something low wattage, but will still be adequate to light my tank at a reasonable wattage to litre ratio. my old tank had a t5 lighting hood but was getting too small for me. so I sold It and bought this marine tank which did come with a lid, but unfortunately it is a metal halide bulb only about 5'' long. I cant seem to find a T5 bulb this small and to fit the connection so that is out the window. and to buy a standard hang on T5 system is going to take a while for me to save up for. :( so yeh...pretty stuck on what to do.
the lighting I am using at the minute is an LED (Par 38 E27) which you are all right about being for marine aquariums.
on the contrary, I have had the lights on a timer to come on for 9 hours a day for the past couple of weeks (roughly a month) and my plants are photosynthesising, grown in size, and are looking very green and healthy. so im really unsure as to what to do.
if anyone could send me a link as to what light I could get for the cube I would be very grateful as I can't find anything anywhere.
I have just received a test kit through the post this morning and my ph is at 7.0. the test kit didn't come with a test for hardness so I will be on the look out to get one and I will let you know when I know. :) the water I am using is RO water from my local fish shop if that is of any help.