Angel's Planted 40b Build

AngelTheGypsy

So my 38 isn't quite done, but this 40 is itching at me! I've got the tank and stand, but that's it so far. I plan to get a glass top, and a penn place 700 canister like the one on my 38. The stand is getting powder coated (hopefully soon, I just have to take it to the shop) a beautiful metallic blue, although the stand is actually going to be for the 38, and the 40 is going where the 38 is now, but not until my floor in the sunroom has been redone, and the stand is powdered. The hubby is also going to add a bottom shelf and a way to hide my canister . Then I'll add a wood top so the bow front can sit on it.

So what to do with this tank...

My planned stock will be gourami, dwarf neons if I can find 2 females, otherwise I'll go with pearls or moonlights, but that's a ways off.

I want to do an awesome aquascape. I want to get the stuff I need, but I don't know what that is! Most of the plants I'm planning with be low-moderate light, so I know I want to get a good light. I'm also not against learning how to do CO2.

So tell me what equipment to get! Stocking is a long way off, and I don't want to get into that yet, it'll just make me more impatient . It may even have to wait until fall when it will be safe again to order them in.

Light: any suggestions that will do well for any plant I pick up. Please tell me why as well. On my 38 I got a beamswork cuz someone said it was good, but I'm not sure if it will work long term on such a deep tank. I'm looking for education so I can make an informed decision!

CO2: educate me please!

And anything else!

Here's the empty tank(cuz y'all don't know what a 40B looks like on a plain old petco stand!) This is not its final location, nor for the 38, it's just where I could put it out of the way for now until remodeling is done.


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I don't want to cheap out on this build, but I don't want to have to get a 2nd mortgage for it either.
 

bubblegum-heart

I feel you! MTS is sooooo real!

Light wise, I've heard lots of good things about are the Finnex Planted+, but they're really expensive - the one for a 40B is $120 on Amazon. But I can't really speak to anything else, and I'll be getting NICREW LED lights because they're about a fourth of the cost.

Also, a thing I found (and would really like to put in my tank) is a floating log. The biggest one I found was 13" long, and a medium sized on is 11". I think they'd look really nice, and a nice hiding spot for (small to medium sized) fish in the upper part of the tank.
 

PatrickShrimp

By-the-by Alen axp has some really great low tech tanks on YouTube, some of which are really quite stunning. Maybe go with some 6500k led floodlights. I can recommend fluorite black plant sand, as s repens just loves it low tech, and I suppose high tech as well. Would you care for my recommended plant list?
Also a cool stocking list unless you are set on what you have. Also, give dsm a try, and you could check out my thread for advice if you want. Could we see pics of your 38 please?
 

AngelTheGypsy

By-the-by Alen axp has some really great low tech tanks on YouTube, some of which are really quite stunning. Maybe go with some 6500k led floodlights. I can recommend fluorite black plant sand, as s repens just loves it low tech, and I suppose high tech as well. Would you care for my recommended plant list?
Also a cool stocking list unless you are set on what you have. Also, give dsm a try, and you could check out my thread for advice if you want. Could we see pics of your 38 please?

Yes please! I love recommendations! I don't know about floodlights. This tank will be in my main living room and I'm all about interior design...I'll pay more for a good aquarium light, I just don't want to pay a bunch for what I think might work, only to have to replace it with what will really work, like I think I'm going to have to do with my 38.

Could you link to your thread?

My 38: (before I added stock. My after stock pictures all have a bad glare)


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This was my first build bigger than a 5 gal betta tank. My biggest concern is the depth, as it's 23" tall, I haven't measured from surface to substrate. I won't do that again... this 40 will be a much slower build. I want to get it how I want it. I'll probably still be changing things up in the 38 for a long time too. But I wanted to experiment with lots of different plants to see what I can do well, and if it doesn't I can find something that does. If you have a good low-tech light recommendation for the 38, I'd be glad to have it. it's 30" wide and it's a bow front. I've also added some jungle gal along the back wall and wisteria in the back right corner. And a few tiny dwarf water lilies too. I can take a new photo after dark.
 

PatrickShrimp

I'll @ you then. For the 40b I think some rotala rotundifolia would be an excellent background plant. Maybe s repens for a mid ground plant. The other thing is do you want a sand shore in front. Some black or dark lava rock would look suave ( don't know if I used suave correctly, but oh well ) along with either spider or Malaysian driftwood. For a front ground I would say again s repens. But you might be able to do dhg or Monte Carlo. Floodlights can look really nice if done correctly, and if you get the right one it'll look even better. Co2 is a great addition to just about every planted tank. Anubias nana would fit great, but you could do any Anubias really. Also some Phoenix moss would look quite stunning. For stocking I would put a pair of dwarf gouramis, a male and female pair, along with 30 ember tetras. Bristle nose Pleco or a school of 10-15 otocinclus if you can keep them alive. Also with adequate flow 5-6 bamboo shrimp would be nice.
P.s. for taking pictures of a tank make sure the ambient lighting is basically black, whilst the light in the tank is as bright as you want
 

Semperly

Wow your tank is BEAUTIFUL!

I love my gourami! I have 2 females and 1 male They all get along perfectly despite what you may read!
 

vikingkirken

I think @AI913 has had good luck with the Finnex Stingray on his 40 breeder. That would be cheaper than the 24/7!
 

kjlife

Just want to add a sprang for the planted 24/7 finnex and I love it
 

Lchi87

Also have the Finnex planted 24/7 on my 40b; can't complain!

b6ca9afb0f61667b5deecbc04776421c.jpg
 

Letsfish

I
Also have the Finnex planted 24/7 on my 40b; can't complain!

b6ca9afb0f61667b5deecbc04776421c.jpg
I just got a 29 gallon today for a stand I`m building.I ordered a 30 Finnex planted 24/7 for it along with a Colbolt NEO-Therm 150 heater and a AC 70. I read the reviews on Amazon and they were all very positive on the 24/7. Angel knows in great detail about my fish free cycling adventure.
 

kjlife

Also have the Finnex planted 24/7 on my 40b; can't complain!
Love that tank hopefully my plants start growing like that
 

AngelTheGypsy

Also have the Finnex planted 24/7 on my 40b; can't complain!

Sold! I know you have gorgeous tanks Lchi!

How do you think it would do on my 24" deep tank? That's really the one I'm concerned about. My moneywort and water sprite aren't doing too well, but they've been in there about 2 weeks or less so far so they may still be adjusting.
 

Lchi87

Sold! I know you have gorgeous tanks Lchi!

How do you think it would do on my 24" deep tank? That's really the one I'm concerned about. My moneywort and water sprite aren't doing too well, but they've been in there about 2 weeks or less so far so they may still be adjusting.
On a 24" deep tank, I think you'd be struggling to grow medium light plants if you tried. You'll probably be able to keep them alive but new growth would be like pulling teeth. Low light plants should still be okay though!

And if you end up getting it and its not strong enough, you can always add a second (cheaper , generic) light to boost the par a bit. That's what I am planning to do when I try the high tech route in the future. I think it'll work lol.
 

AngelTheGypsy

In the 38 I have:
Amazon swords, seem to be ok
Melon sword, seeing growth
Oriental sword, not sure
S repens, cories and snails (gardeners) keep digging it up
Compacta seeing growth
Wisteria doing well
Jungle Val, the gardeners keep trimmed
Cabomba, not sure
Rudwigia repens (not entirely sure I got that right, it's a stem plant) I've had some melt, most are losing leaves, but seems like it might be ok
Java fern babies, doing good
Moneywort, lost most of its leaves
Water sprite, meh
Crypt doing fine
Anubias doing fine
Dwarf water lilies, too early to tell
Water lettuce is thriving!

I dose flourish and use root tabs. That one has a beamswork led on it. I thought I was getting the 6500k, but it's actually 10000k. I didn't take into account the depth while light shopping. Not much algae growth besides diatoms.
 

AngelTheGypsy

An update:

I ordered my canister and light today. I decided on the finnex planted+ 24/7 SE. It wasn't too much more than the regular and I like the idea of it being tiltable. I'll probably never tilt it...

The canister is the same as the 38, a penn plax cascade 700.

I've been looking at planted substrates, but I can't see a definitive advantage over BDBS. I've read nightmare reviews on ecocomplete, and don't see a true superiority in flourite either. I'd rather find out if there's some kind of dry plant fertilizer I can mix into/lay under the BDBS for the plants.

So all I lack is the lid and substrate, available locally. I also need my floor done so I can move things around, and for my husband to fix my stand and powder coat it
 

PatrickShrimp

Tropica makes a dry fertilizer that you place under a sand substrate of your choice. Also, I have found another plant option. Monte Carlo.
 

dcutl002

Here is a thread on pressurized CO2: Pressurized CO2...Just thought I'd share. - The Planted Tank Forum

You could try ADA Amazonia Aquasoil for the substrate.
 

AngelTheGypsy

Here is a thread on pressurized CO2: Pressurized CO2...Just thought I'd share. - The Planted Tank Forum

You could try ADA Amazonia Aquasoil for the substrate.

That thread is extremely informative! Thank you!

I have seen that substrate but had not heard much about it.
 

dcutl002

It is expensive, but it is a good plant substrate. If interested, Google AQUA FOREST AQUARIUM. Most people buy Amazonia, but there are other types. I purchased ADA Aquasoil Malaya and my Rotala really has a nice bronze color.


IMG_1064_zpsrg94jht0.jpg
 

AngelTheGypsy

My question is if it's actually worth the extra expense. If I can do the whole tank with $7 worth of BDBS, and add some type of fertilizer to it, would that do just as well? I've read about sprinkling a little osmacote under the substrate, but I'm not sure. But something of that nature is what I'm wondering about. I think I'd rather spend money on hardscape than substrate... in the end I can make a fantastic tank with swords and wisteria.
 

Lchi87

My question is if it's actually worth the extra expense. If I can do the whole tank with $7 worth of BDBS, and add some type of fertilizer to it, would that do just as well? I've read about sprinkling a little osmacote under the substrate, but I'm not sure. But something of that nature is what I'm wondering about. I think I'd rather spend money on hardscape than substrate... in the end I can make a fantastic tank with swords and wisteria.
I tried eco complete at first but didn't really notice a difference in the way my plants grew vs sand with flourish and root tabs. Could just be my experience, though I agree that I'd rather spend my money on hardscape lol. If I was millionare I'd spring for fancy substrate all the time but seeing as I am not in fact a millionare, plain sand works just fine for me haha.
 

dcutl002

My question is if it's actually worth the extra expense. If I can do the whole tank with $7 worth of BDBS, and add some type of fertilizer to it, would that do just as well? I've read about sprinkling a little osmacote under the substrate, but I'm not sure. But something of that nature is what I'm wondering about. I think I'd rather spend money on hardscape than substrate... in the end I can make a fantastic tank with swords and wisteria.
I understand. It would be pricey for a big tank like a 40 which is why most people use it for nano tanks.
 

Jocelyn Adelman

I have the older 24/7 like lichI on my 40b, long for the SE. The tilt is a great feature, plus there is complete darkness built into the cycle. Also I believe they have tweaked the red leds a bit for better plant growth.
My 40b is planted about twice as dense as lichis, due to this I found I needed to add a second light (stingray) to support the plant growth front to back.... but it's really densely planted...
Right after a trim, 24/7 front, stingray back

03a663f0e102ca3ab6a28d25adae5321.jpg
Exactly one month later (I trim/pull out plants every two weeks, missed a shot in between... also pic was taken with just the 24/7 on 24/7 mode about 830pm, I was late turning lights off that night)

ed22f127268a1af4bce94fb86ee57980.jpg
Someone else on here also has just the stingray ( Al913 I think)and it does just fine as well...
Truthfully most just depends on plant selection to match your lighting.

For the 38, I have the same tank.
On a deep tank not sure I would use that many floating plants as it will already be hard for the light to reach the bottom... the floaters will just block out more light (nice looking tank btw)

Also tried a beamswork (had just bought a 24/7 for my 40 and my 75, wanted to save $)... I had the 6500. Needed to add a stingray to this tank as well, really just because the beamswork wasn't cutting it. No algae or plant deaths, but nothing truly thriving either...
So I bought a new light (is there such a thing as multiple light syndrome???). Someone on here recommended a chihiros series a for a smaller tank I had... I was so happy with it I ordered a larger one for the 38. It can be easily found on eBay, ended up ordering the 601, plus the stand kit, kinda wish I got the 701 but still happy with this one. It has a switch that you can use to adjust the lighting, seven different amounts.
It's just after nights out here, I will tank pics with each light on the tank in the am for comparison...
This is what the light and stand itself look like

8bc7a00148ff61cddf9795ea606bd4c6.jpg

d621010a3dc8d6a2c799bce696a08522.jpg
Had I gotten the 701 with the bit of extra length probably wouldn't need the stand...
 

AngelTheGypsy

I have the older 24/7 like lichI on my 40b, long for the SE. The tilt is a great feature, plus there is complete darkness built into the cycle. Also I believe they have tweaked the red leds a bit for better plant growth.
My 40b is planted about twice as dense as lichis, due to this I found I needed to add a second light (stingray) to support the plant growth front to back.... but it's really densely planted...
Right after a trim, 24/7 front, stingray back

03a663f0e102ca3ab6a28d25adae5321.jpg
Exactly one month later (I trim/pull out plants every two weeks, missed a shot in between... also pic was taken with just the 24/7 on 24/7 mode about 830pm, I was late turning lights off that night)

ed22f127268a1af4bce94fb86ee57980.jpg
Someone else on here also has just the stingray ( Al913 I think)and it does just fine as well...
Truthfully most just depends on plant selection to match your lighting.

For the 38, I have the same tank.
On a deep tank not sure I would use that many floating plants as it will already be hard for the light to reach the bottom... the floaters will just block out more light (nice looking tank btw)

Also tried a beamswork (had just bought a 24/7 for my 40 and my 75, wanted to save $)... I had the 6500. Needed to add a stingray to this tank as well, really just because the beamswork wasn't cutting it. No algae or plant deaths, but nothing truly thriving either...
So I bought a new light (is there such a thing as multiple light syndrome???). Someone on here recommended a chihiros series a for a smaller tank I had... I was so happy with it I ordered a larger one for the 38. It can be easily found on eBay, ended up ordering the 601, plus the stand kit, kinda wish I got the 701 but still happy with this one. It has a switch that you can use to adjust the lighting, seven different amounts.
It's just after nights out here, I will tank pics with each light on the tank in the am for comparison...
This is what the light and stand itself look like

8bc7a00148ff61cddf9795ea606bd4c6.jpg

d621010a3dc8d6a2c799bce696a08522.jpg
Had I gotten the 701 with the bit of extra length probably wouldn't need the stand...

Thank you for all the info! Yes the improvement in the red LEDs was another reason I sprung for the SE, as well as the true dark period, although I'll probably use a timer anyway.

I'm constantly thinning out the floaters, but I hate throwing plants away. I removed over 75% today though, thankfully they have been selling. And I like the tank much better with fewer floaters as there is more light and you can see. I'm thinking about using suction cups and fishing line to corral it all in one area up front out of the light. I also preferred the SE for this tank, but it wasn't in stock so I'll have to wait for it. Maybe I can keep both lights on it, I hadn't thought of that. There probably is multiple light syndrome... that's what I was trying to avoid on these tanks, by getting the right one the first time (well, second time for the 38). I'm generally a cheapo, and don't want to spend money unnecessarily. But I'm also a believer of getting what you pay for. And sometimes buying cheap costs more in the long run.

Your tanks are gorgeous! If you ever need somewhere to send clippings.... I would love to see pics of them both at lights on. Especially the 38. It doesn't seem to be a very popular size, for obvious reasons, and I'd love to see how others do it. And thank you for the compliment. I'm still working on it, and have more Val's coming this week. I'm hoping the ludwigia takes off and stops losing leaves. Hopefully if I can keep the floating plants under control it will be happier, then with the new light even better.
 

Lchi87

That is some dense growth Jocelyn Adelman wow!!! Do you happen to know what PAR you run to support that kind of growth?
 

Jocelyn Adelman

I have the 24/7 on 8am to 6pm, 24/7 mode, and the stingray comes on 9-5. 40b as well. Actual par I don't have a meter
Before the second light I had the 24/7 on max from 9-6, found that plants under were great, others towards end were struggling. Once I added the second light everything took off, had to turn 24/7 mode on as too not have too much light. I could probably just have it on max for a short period, but I like the idea of fish waking and resting based on ramp.
Daily EI based ferts and excel, no pressurized co2

Tons of growth yes, but not as nicely scaped as yours! One day will will have to team up and do a tank together
 

dcutl002

Jocelyn Adelman ...nice pictures!
 

AngelTheGypsy

I have the 24/7 on 8am to 6pm, 24/7 mode, and the stingray comes on 9-5. 40b as well. Actual par I don't have a meter
Before the second light I had the 24/7 on max from 9-6, found that plants under were great, others towards end were struggling. Once I added the second light everything took off, had to turn 24/7 mode on as too not have too much light. I could probably just have it on max for a short period, but I like the idea of fish waking and resting based on ramp.
Daily EI based ferts and excel, no pressurized co2

Which eI ferts do you use? Now I'm using flourish, but was looking at thrive and a macro/micro combo on amazon.
 

Jocelyn Adelman

So, I use the liquid macros and micros from nilocg aquatics, the same people that make thrive. Also dose iron and excel.
I used seachem first, but with the addition of better lighting I needed to up my game. (Plus I was following the full seachem dose chart, that was crazy!)
I was nervous to start messing around with measuring out dry ferts, so I figured this would be a good way to get into it... my plants love this! Once my supply has run out though I will likely be switching to dry ferts, when dosing I need to add a bit more phosphates and a bit less nitrogen then the premixed solution. Happily it's not far off my target so plants have been fine, just my nitrates are a bit higher then I'd like ((currently 40 in tap and around 20 in tank) and I need to dose half of a seachem dose extra for phosphorus, manageable.

Thrive is an all in one like flourish, but better balanced in NPK then flourish. Unless as heavily planted as mine it's likely thrive will work just fine. (Plus it's a pump top bottle, one pump per ten gallons, no more messing around with 2/3 cap for flourish dose!) a few on here and planted tank use it and really like it.

I tried the nilo enhance, and have to say I prefer seachem excel more. Again, pump convenience is way better, but my plants are pearling like crazy with excel, not so much with enhance.

Lchi87 - just realizing you might have been asking for par on the chihiros not one the 40b here's a review from planted tank with par values

It really is a one-stop-shop light, can grow low, Med, high... just need to be careful not to set too high without co2 etc. Silister is the one who recommended it.

dcutl002 thanks! Amazing color on the rotala!!!!
 

AngelTheGypsy

I was looking at that convo too.

Could you give me any pointers as to where and how to research ferts? How to use, and how to know what/how much to use? I know I should do plenty of research before I start spending a ton of money on plants just to watch them not flourish (I really don't want to add up what I've spent so far...)

What dry ferts are you considering and where could I learn more about those?
 

Jocelyn Adelman

So, finding out about ferts is super easy and super frustrating at the same time.
Many low light tanks are totally fine with an all in one, even medium light tanks COULD be fine with thrive (not seachem for Med light/high plant mass macros aren't high enough).
I want to stress again MOST tanks would be fine with an all in one and don't need crazy additions.

Once you hit medium light and up it becomes a whole new ball game.
There are two main dosing "camps" EI (estimative index) and PPS-pro (perpetual preservation). Green leaf aquariums carries dry ferts for moth methods, and Nilocg aquatics carries dry for both and Liquid for e.i.

There is a lot of fert info on the planted tank (both camps), tons of info on EI on the Barr report (Tom Barr is the one who developed EI). Can't recall if I've seen a forum for pps pro specifically, but I am sure there is one.

Basically your tank is a balance between your water parameters, your bioload, your plant selection, your lighting choice, and co2.
Co2 tanks provide more for plants to grow faster, higher amounts of ferts are needed to keep up with the faster plant growth. Same with lighting, more lighting=faster growth potential hence more nutrients/co2 additions become necessary.
In my case on the tank above I choose a lot of fast growing stem plants and planted heavily. Plants were doing just fine with seachem to start. Eventually they started not to look as nice, a speck of algae here and there. I added other seachem ferts into the mix (followed seachem dosing chart loosely, wasn't dosing phosphates or nitrogen at the time) plants started growing better. Needed to get a second light to accommodate growth throughout. I went away on vacation for a week and tanks did not get dosed and I came back to pale plants... a week of dosing everyone was happy again. Pure pain in the tush to dose seachem for me, measureing portions of caps in multiple tanks was driving me crazy (I use aquarimate and enter my dosing per tank, helped me keep track). Then there were a few seachem discussions here that...enlightened... me on the low NPK of seachem ferts. I had one tank that wasn't thriving as much so I started to look into other options (bba on Java fern, gsa on Amazon swords). This is what I ended up using. Liquid NPK+M | Liquid Micro and Macro | 500ml Bottles

I used seachem for a long time, and for a normal planted tank, esp low light, it's totally fine, and plants will do well. Personally think thrive is a better product as the NPK is better. However, that being said, my tap has high nitrates and high phosphates, so seachem was probably a better option for me to start with.
Again, all depends on the tank....

Here a few fishlore posts to help
This one has a huge discussion on ferts (helped me to switch what I was doing, worth the read of the entire post but I think more of fert discussions are on the first few pages
Aquascaping Tips And Tricks

New one I just saw
Info Before You Buy Flourish And Ferts In General
 

dcutl002

For EI dosing, it is cheaper to buy the dry ferts (Macro & Micro) and mix it yourself.
 

AngelTheGypsy

So an update, I'm almost ready to start this tank. I have:

The tank
Metal stand, still at shop getting customized
Finnex planted plus 24/7 SE light
100# BDBS
Glass top
Penn plax cascade 700 canister

Still need:
Heater
Hardscape
Stuff that's alive

Just gotta wait for my stand to be finished and for my floor to get replaced and time to start!
 

PatrickShrimp

Can't wait!
 

AngelTheGypsy

Me neither!

I found a shop that keeps female DG, but the more I read the more nervous I am about them. Seems like a lot of people have been battling DGIV lately. Now I'm thinking about just having a huge school of a pretty, small fish and a BN or two. And letting this one be more of a plant tank...we'll see!
 

Lchi87

Me neither!

I found a shop that keeps female DG, but the more I read the more nervous I am about them. Seems like a lot of people have been battling DGIV lately. Now I'm thinking about just having a huge school of a pretty, small fish and a BN or two. And letting this one be more of a plant tank...we'll see!
I gotta say, I haven't had much luck with keeping DGs, male or female. The ones I've seen in stores all look rough with yucky fins and bloating, and the one healthy one I brought home I immediately had to bring back because his aggression was through the roof. I hope you have better luck!
 

vikingkirken

My son wanted one for his tank, which also has three small guppies and some kuhlis. The DG is healthy, but hides more than the guppies! I guess it depends on who you get!
 

Piaelliott

Great threat, can't wait to see how it is going g to progress!
It looks as if you got the metal stand from Petco? May I ask what you are doing to it since it is at the shop?
 

AngelTheGypsy

Great threat, can't wait to see how it is going g to progress!
It looks as if you got the metal stand from Petco? May I ask what you are doing to it since it is at the shop?

We have an auto customization shop so I'm having my guys weld a shelf on the bottom and a screen to hide my canister filter and hoses. Then it's getting powder coated a metallic teal blue. I gotta be different and difficult . It's also actually going to hold my 38 bowfront so I'm putting a wood top on it.
 

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