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Results 1 to 10 of 14
  1. #1

    Default 1st REAL attempt at planted tank. Am I on the right track?

    0 Not allowed!
    This is my first REAL attempt at a planted tank (twice before I threw plants in not knowing they needed so much attention).

    Anyways, the tank is a 120 gallon 4’ X 2’ X 2’ (LxWxH) and has a large “tree trunk” 3D background.

    50-50 mixture of Eco-Complete and black sand blasting sand.

    118watts total. Lights sit about 26-27” above the substrate.
    1 - 4' T5HO single light fixture with a great reflector
    1 - 4' T8 double fixture with white reflectors (shop light)

    Dosing Regimen
    1.5% DIY glutaraladehyde mixture- Dosed at 50 ml after water change and 10 ml daily (might get rid of the “loading phase” and just dose 10 ml daily)

    Currently my Nitrates and Phosphates are at good levels so I will only be dosing KN03 and KH2P04 when needed while dosing Plantex CSM +Boron (solution) - 1/2 tablespoon once a week after my water change.

    I will be performing weekly 40-50% water changes
    Below are the parameters of my water here in Fort Worth over the last year.
    Nitrate - .75ppm
    Nitrite - .4ppm
    PH - 8.0 - 8.4
    Calcium - 97-110ppm
    Magnesium - 4-8ppm
    Sulfate - 25-38
    Sodium - 14-28ppm
    Copper - .51ppm
    Total Hardness as CaCO3 - 117-133ppm
    Total Hardness in grains - 7-8 grains/gallon

    Stock List
    8 – Clown Loaches (ranging from 3” to 10”)
    5 – Geo Tapajos (3”-4”)
    5 – Roseline Sharks
    3 – Discus
    1 – Golden Nugget Pleco (L018)

    Amazon Sword
    Anubias Nana
    Java Fern
    Crinum Natans
    Cryto Balansae
    Sag Subulata (Dwarf Sag)
    Green Tiger Lotus

    I put together a very quick sketch of my plans on a sheet of paper as you can see below. The tank can only be viewed from the left and bottom side of the drawing. The swiggly lines that encase most of the bigger plants is the dwarf Sag. Both pieces of drift wood will have Anubias or Java Fern tied to them. Also, there is a triangular portion in the middle that will be bare sand only to allow room for my Geos to sift.

    Please critique my setup as I am just in the planning stages and want to make sure I have this right the first time.

    What ever the mind of man can concieve, it can achieve. W. Clement Stone

  2. #2


    0 Not allowed!
    Set-up sounds great - apart from your stock. I'd say you'll be heavily stocked even without those clowns in there. Do you have plans for a six foot tank soon as they'll need it. Geos don't exactly stay small either.
    "Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known." Carl Sagan

    ~ 350 Litre Tank Journal ~ ~ 30 Litre Tank Journal ~

  3. #3


    0 Not allowed!
    I actually have a 7' x 4' 400 gallon tank that the clowns will go in when they are ready. The Geo Tapajos only get about 5-6"
    What ever the mind of man can concieve, it can achieve. W. Clement Stone

  4. #4


    0 Not allowed!
    Ah ha - that is great news. They are very lucky clowns then!
    "Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known." Carl Sagan

    ~ 350 Litre Tank Journal ~ ~ 30 Litre Tank Journal ~

  5. #5


    0 Not allowed!
    Geophagus and clown loaches... generally not the most plant friendly fish

  6. #6


    1 Not allowed!
    You lighting seams fine for your plants. I would suggest going with bulbs in the 6500 to 6700K color spectrum

    I would make a few additional suggestions (other than the ones already mentioned) about your stocking of fish tho. You might want to rethink and research the discus and rosealine sharks. As the rosaline sharks are very active swimmers, and discus are not, they might not be compatible. You might want to think about stocking either a larger school of one, but not both. Those fish seam to do better in larger groups, but that is only what I have read about them. Just something to look into more
    If you take your time to do the research FIRST, you can successfully set-up and keep ANY type of aquarium with ease.
    "Not using a quarantine tank is like playing Russian roulette. Nobody wins the game, some people just get to play longer than others." - Anthony Calfo
    Fishless Cycle Cycling with Fish Marine Aquarium Info [URL=""]

  7. #7


    0 Not allowed!
    oh, and dosing glutaraldehyde in a tank that size long term can be costly, unless you know any industrial source for it.
    I would go for a carbon dioxide dosing system, be it pressurized or DIY. if you are going with either DIY or glutaraldehyde, your tiger lotus
    and amazon sword may not do well long term though.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Sep 2011

    Awards Showcase

    Have another tetra just because ;-) - steeler58 Thanks for the plants! - Slaphppy7 Thanks for the rep ;-) - steeler58 Get well soon! - RiversGirl Merry Christmas & Happy New Year! - Plecos 
    Happy Safe Delivery! - Rue Thank you for the assasins - Boundava Sounds like you might need these ... - mermaidwannabe Happy Christmas! - Slaphppy7 Merry Christmas - AmazonJoe 


    0 Not allowed!
    On the left hand side of the tank, consider switching the positions of the Amazon sword and the Tiger Lotus. Once that sword grows, you won't be able to see the T Lotus behind it.

  9. #9


    0 Not allowed!
    You have a major issue if your tank has nitrites of 0.4 ppm - that is very, very high for fish. I hope you just made an error so check that again. If it is correct, your filter(s) are either not cycled or are too small. In any case, you need to get nitrites to near zero (under 0.1 ppm with an established filter system.)

    Aside: you haven't posted an iron (Fe) level. This is a critical trace mineral that you might want to followed if you are going to the trouble of also testing for Cu.
    Last edited by Cermet; 12-22-2013 at 02:24 PM.
    Knowledge is fun(damental)

    A 75 gal with eight Discus, fake plants, and a lot of wood also with sand substrate. Clean up crew is down to just two Sterba's Corys. Filters: continuous new water flow; canister w/UV, in-tank algae scrubber!! Finally, junked the nitrate removal unit from hell.

    For Fishless cycling:

  10. #10


    0 Not allowed!
    There are nitrites from the tap, not in my tank. Read the post a little closer please. Thanks for the input
    What ever the mind of man can concieve, it can achieve. W. Clement Stone

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