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Thread: Seeking advice for setting up of new 4ft planted tank

  1. #1
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    Seeking advice for setting up of new 4ft planted tank

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    I will be receiving my 4x2x2ft tank next week, together with lighting (8x36wPL), substrate, CO2 system & Eheim 2028 filter. I am new to this hobby. I understand that first 2 months of setting can be problematic. What are the cautious measures should I take?

    I was advised to plant fast glowing plant initially, and replace them later. What are these plants?

    I was given some KH UP white powder. Was advised to throw some into new water. How should I use it correctly?

    I have almost everything purchase except fertilizer and test kits. What should I get?

    Thanks for any advice in advance. I am getting excited in waiting for the setup to arrive

  2. #2
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    Hi there

    Welcome to AQ (on behalf of the owners, of course)

    First of all, i think many here wld agree dat you'd have to be cautious of one very very important thing: PLANNING. The fellas have taught me dat planning when setting up a new tank is important so dat u can minimise the probs dat normally comes wif new tank setups. I'm not exactly very experienced, so i'll leave it to the others to give more inputs on this matter.

    Fast growing plants: rotala walichii, cabomba, hygrophila polysperma (others pls feel free to add)

    Base fert: JBL ($15 per pack)

    KH UP: I've never used it, but the general rule i think is not to incr it >2D of hardness within 24hrs.

    Test kits: There r many in the market, the more well-known brands such as JBL, tetra, dennerle, etc. It's a personal choice, i think.

    Lastly, be patient....all the best....

    Nizz

  3. #3
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    to add on some

    the easiest way to avoid having problems is by doing frequent water changes
    i never had any problems, algae or otherwise with my new tank, while doing this for the first two months
    3 times a week, 25% each time

    as for planning, it's much easier to go to the lfs or farms to see what they have in stock
    you can plan like mad, but if you can't find the plant it's not much good
    another thing you can do is have a few choices for each area you want to plant
    even so, i've replanted my 2ft twice already to find a background plant that looks good

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    wstam, sounds like you got a "pre-configured" system. Is that from the LFS or friends?

    Anyway, given your tank size, and assuming you're going to be planting heavily, don't ignore the substrate. Nizz recommended JBL fert, which is good and cheap. But suggest to have 2-in of fert which you will require 7 packets (the big 5litre ones).

    On top of the fert you should have a layer of 1-2mm gravel (lonestar is good) think you will need about 3cm thick. If you want to do landscaping like slopes and terraces you'll have to calculate accordingly. Lonestar comes in 22kg packs and you should need at least 30kg.

    So check what they give you for substrate, don't just dump it in blindly. Better do it right than to have to re-do (like me)

    And your lights is only so-so for 2ft high tank (288W for 100gal). Other brothers with big tanks may want to comment.
    why I don't do garden hybrids and aquarium strains: natural species is a history of Nature, while hybrids are just the whims of Man.
    hexazonacrumenatumGalleria Botanica

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    Thanks all for the sharing.

    Nizz,

    whatís the name of the plant in the middle of your 60cm tank, with the leave almost touching the water surface? Now that I have decided on the equipments, my next task is to educate myself with the plant. I really have problem with the names. How do I buy those fast glowing plants that you suggested? I donít recognize them. Can I show the name to the LFS?

    Hwchoy,

    No, itís not a pre-configured system. I went round SG to source for the lowest cost for each equipment.

    You mentioned 2-in of fert. That seems like a lot to me. Itís thicker than the 3cm gravel that you suggest. Should it be 2cm of fert?

    Thanks again.

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    wstam, the recommendation around here, and which I have come to agree with, is that the thicker the fert the better. The gravel should be thick but not so thick that the foreground plants have diffculties reaching the fert (ask Ryan about his glosso [:] ).

    I think 5cm of fert should be good, but let the gurus here make some suggestions.
    why I don't do garden hybrids and aquarium strains: natural species is a history of Nature, while hybrids are just the whims of Man.
    hexazonacrumenatumGalleria Botanica

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    BTW for my 45cm high tank (80x30x45) I am using fert of 4cm in front and 6cm behind, with 2.5cm gravel over it.

    If you plan to have lots of big Echinodorus the fert should be thicker, you can afford to have lots of fert given 60cm height.
    why I don't do garden hybrids and aquarium strains: natural species is a history of Nature, while hybrids are just the whims of Man.
    hexazonacrumenatumGalleria Botanica

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    wstam: u can refer to our database for plant info or
    DennerleTropica

    I recommend Teo at LCK, Keong seong at havelock for plants.. and perharps if u lucky, so kind soul got some plants cutting to spare

  9. #9
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    Hi

    The centre plant is the Echinodorus Marble Queen (tri-colour). It's a plant unique to Tropica (the company), of which the website Simon has suggested abv (but Tropica's pics r not of real plants...only water-coloured ones). The echinodorus family of plants is quite extensive...i'm sure u'll find lotsa other nice ones there. As suggested as well, Teo has a gd supply of plants. It's a bit far, but some of the guys here go there almost every weekend, so maybe u can hook up wif someone & they can help u wif the plant identification. Some of these fellas have plant encyclopedias built into their brains....

    As for the names, u'll get the hang of it...this forum (& the dennerle catalogue) helped me a lot. Some of the better lfs will know the plants by their scientific names, while others may know it by their chinese names (which is of no help to me since i don speak the language!). If u stay in the east, a place wif knowledgable staff is Sam Yick's at East Point in Simei. Their pr is on the steep side, tho'.

    BTW, where do u stay?

    Nizz

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    Back to the base fert issue. Didn't realise that I need so much of it. Some suggest to first lay a layer of gravel, then the fert, then the top gravel. Does this make sense?

    Thanks for the help so far.

  11. #11
    wstam: Remember to be patient.. no doubt a learning and long process, but don't fall into mistakes that you'll only regret later.

    Anyway, here goes, before answering your questions, let me ask you some too.

    What kind of planted tank you intend to have? What design style?
    What type of fish? Apistos, discus, tetras... sometimes people concentrate on having the type of plants, some on the type of fish.

    Anyway, problem for the beginning 2 months is nothing when you have one single problem that can plague your entire planted tank life. No joke.

    Always a good idea to have a spot for fast growing plants, keeps the algae in check but downside is they can choke other plants too, though it rarely happens.

    So far what is your plan? Would be good idea to tell us what you wanna do before going into it. Sometimes, some plants grow in a manner that defies what the books tell.

    All the best, excited to see your new tank too.
    Visit Spilopterus' Tank
    Fish of Fury

  12. #12
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    Not much people get their preferred planted tank with the 1st try...

    Most learn thru mistake and asking people, either from the mailing list, website, forum or book.

    Read more and ask question when in doubt. It's almost impossible to tell you all the knowledge we know..

    It may be good to take out a paper and "plan" you layout... What plants to have at which area. Draw it out konwing the characteristics and appearnace of the plants. See it that's what you like. Dunforget to include any driftwood, stone or deco in your "drawing".

    As DEA have pointed out, have a few type of plants for that area you wanna grow them. Then go cearch for it.. Know where to lots of different type of plants.
    Read up on the requirment of the plants you might be getting and see if their needs will be meet. A good mix of foreground, middle ground and background plants normally will create a nice layout.

    Good luck.

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    ----------------
    On 4/17/2002 11:58:08 PM

    Back to the base fert issue. Didn't realise that I need so much of it. Some suggest to first lay a layer of gravel, then the fert, then the top gravel. Does this make sense?


    Thanks for the help so far.
    ----------------
    The reason people suggest this is because if the base fertiliswer is too deep down. The plants' root system may not be able to reach it. It's really up to you. Have read that some use a mixture of base fertlise + gravel for the bottom and top up with a thin layer(2cm or so) of purely gravel.

    P.s. How much did you pay for you tank? With cabinet? and where? Since you said you scout the whole island to find the cheapest.

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    ----------------
    It may be good to take out a paper and "plan" you layout... What plants to have at which area. Draw it out konwing the characteristics and appearnace of the plants. See it that's what you like. Dunforget to include any driftwood, stone or deco in your "drawing".
    ----------------

    wstam

    I second binbeto's abv suggestion strongly...

    Nizz

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    Fish wise, it will be simple. It will be neon, rummy-nosed tetra sort of fish. I do have some plants in mind, but never know their name. My plan is to have an open-top planted tank, with some leaves (not too many) going above surface.

    For start, will take the advice of planting all the fast growing plant. I have copied them down and will buy them on the day that the tank arrives (waiting, wating...). Any shop that I can buy them all? Only after the tank is stable then I will start planting those that I have in mind. Will keep some of the existing one.

    I have bought a piece of driftwood, which is being immersed in a big pail of water right now. Not sure how long before it can sink.

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    it will be good if u can tell us what plants u intend to have so we can advise u at where u can get them

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    hmm, think I will consider mixing 1/2 of the gravel with base fert. The rest will go on top.

    Some questions: should I use the spray bar that come with Eheim filter? If yes, I think I will have to mount it under the water surface. Which side of the tank should I mount it? Logically I will think it should be the side glass opposite the skimmer. But will be ugly from front?

    I was also being advised by the shop that I should setup another intake pipe beside the skimmer. This is because of the high flow volume. True?

    PS: my tank is not the cheapest. But I will consider it cheapest among the "quality" local made tank. Visited almost all major tank makers/suppliers (all the names that was mentioned in various local forums). Finally ordered from Soon Heng 88 at $290. Most importanly, they accepted my customised request: remove the 3 strips of glass across the tank top (wanted an open top tank), strengthen the silicon and have two thin strips along the inside of the long glass, at the top, but have 5" gap at both side. Not sure if you got the picture. I copied the idea from the German Bioplast tank

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    Thanks Simon. The list that I have copied down from various advices:

    bacopa
    cabomba
    echinodorus tenellus
    hygrophila polysperma
    ludwigia acuata
    micranthemum micranthemoides
    micranthemum umbrosum
    rotala indica
    rotala walichii

    Don't know how most of them look like yet. Will search the web.

  19. #19
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    fyi, u dun really need to mix the base fert.. u can prolly add more base fert than gravel.. as for the spray bar, yes pls use it.. having water flow from one outlet tend to be too strong (depend on the filter u using) position of the spray bar is usually length wise, unless u have a bigger tank, which in that case need 2 filters and the spray bar is position at the back instead

    the skimmer is good enuff.. dun see the reason for having another intake..

    IMO, suitable tanks for planted tank r best custom built... off self tanks usually comes shorter in width and height

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    ----------------
    On 4/18/2002 11:30:18 PM

    Thanks Simon. The list that I have copied down from various advices:


    bacopa

    cabomba

    echinodorus tenellus

    hygrophila polysperma

    ludwigia acuata

    micranthemum micranthemoides

    micranthemum umbrosum

    rotala indica

    rotala walichii


    Don't know how most of them look like yet. Will search the web.


    ----------------

    If you dun know how some of them look like. Why do you choose them then?

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