First Planted Fish tank

Kristen
  • #1
HI all! Currently a proud new owner of a modest 10gall aquarium here. /wave. I've had tanks before, usually with goldfish (upon whose lives I have learnt many aquarium lessons the hard way) and a whole load of fake plants. This time around, I decided to try my hand at setting up a planted tank. The tank I have has a filter and light bulb (no clue as to wattage, but it seems bright? The box was printed in Japanese >_<). It also holds two small angelfish, five dwarf rainbowfish, a java fern and nanas on bogwood.

I've read a lot about aquarium plants and went hunting for the plants that were hardy. When I was shopping, I noticed that some plants were in pots, others were tied to bogwood or volcanic rocks. Why is this so? Is there anything special about plants on bogwood - other than ease? It's definitely a lot easier sticking it in the tank than planting it. In the long run, if I want a nice lush tank, should I buy potted instead?

Thanks for your advice in advance!
 
Barbrella
  • #2
The plants on the bogwood are no doubt Java ferns, and the only difference is price and there is nothing special about them. Buying them already rooted on the wood is about 5 times what you would pay for the plants alone, and tie them to wood or stones yourself.

The plants in pots also usually cost way more than bare root plants. The decision is really yours. Many people don't like the pots, since they want a natural planted tank, with the plants directly in the substrate.

Your light - is it incandescent or fluorescent? Fluorescent is best for growing plants, and doesn't heat up the water as incandescent will.

Lastly, you cannot keep angelfish in a 10 gal tank.
 
Kristen
  • Thread Starter
  • #3
I can't keep angelfish? >_< uhoh. They seem well adjusted (I think). What will happen to them if I keep them in this tank? Here's them in the tank, it's about a foot long.
1.jpg

My light is flourescent, and there's a blue and a white tube too. Will the plants on bogwood put out roots into my substrate?

Thanks Barbella!
 
Barbrella
  • #4
Angelfish can grow 6" long, and even taller. You need at least a 30 gallon high aquarium to keep two (if you want to put any other fish in there) so they will quickly outgrow the tank they are in now.
You need to either get a 30 gal tank, or take them back to the pet store if a bigger tank is not in your near future plans!

I see you have Java fern Windelov. That will do great in your tank and won't generally put roots in the substrate, since these plants do not grow with their roots buried. It will put out plantlets, complete with roots, at the tips of each leaf that can eventually be removed and put elsewhere in the tank, if you like.
 
Blub
  • #5
Hi!

Sorry -but that tank is overstocked! The Rainbows won't be able to live in there either! I suggest you get a bigger tank, or swap your current fish for a Male Betta and 3 corys/otos.;D

I find special aquatic plant frtilizer really helps. 'PlantaMin' over in the UK is good.


 
Kristen
  • Thread Starter
  • #6
Haha perhaps I should add this to the Early Mistakes thread XD. I guess I can invest in a 30gall tank in the future, hopefully one better filled with plants and stuff than this one. If my fishies survive then I'll definitely buy a bigger one, as I'm growing really fond of watching them swim around chasing each other and playing games (if it's a game, and not some symptom of overcrowding >_<).

I never knew fish needed so much space o_0 Any ideas how long before my two angelfish need more room? They're only about a couple of inches long and high now. I read they can grow to 10 inches high but couldn't find anything on how fast they grow. Hopefully they are like ranchus that take ages to get big... The guy at the store said I could stock four in there with no problem <_<; /lied to.
 
Barbrella
  • #7
The guy at the store said I could stock four in there with no problem <_<; /lied to.

*yelling* Is there any pet store employee anywhere who knows one single thing about the fish they sell??

In excellent conditions - very clean water with 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites, low nitrates, and good food, baby angels grow rapidly.

Keeping them in a tank that is way too small degrades the water quality and can stunt or kill them since baby angels are extremely sensitive to any contaminants in the water.

Kristen, never EVER listen to anything the pet store staff tells you. They just want you to give them your money, and will tell you whatever necessary to achieve this. They don't give a darn what happens to fish afterwards or how upset you'll be watching them die.

If you want more fish, either come here and ask about them OR go to Google and simply type in e.g. "Angelfish care".
 
angelfish220
  • #8
On the plus side ive never seen a ten gall look as good as yours.
 
Dark_Rider2k3
  • #9
On the plus side ive never seen a ten gall look as good as yours.

It does look amazing
 
Kristen
  • Thread Starter
  • #10
On the plus side ive never seen a ten gall look as good as yours.

It does look amazing

Awe XD Thanks guys. If only my mom thought the same way. She wants to fry them, and I'm almost certain she's joking o_0;

Hopefully these fish survive a month or so for me to save the funds for the big fish tank I've always wanted XD and I have a reason to buy it and plant it now too la la la~

...I think I need Aquarium Anonymous meetings <_<; Darn this addictive shoot (LOL they censor).

BTW Barbella, this is something to cheer you up: The guy who told me that 4 fish thing worked at a fish farm ^^
 
Blub
  • #11
Hi!

At a fish farm - they need to breed them.
In your tank - you need to give them the best conditions possible.

Lol - my dad is like that. He was epecting me to populate my 47gal with like, 5 schools of tetras, 10 platys, and an angelfish or so... Fish are like any other animal - they need space.

Not to boast - but if you guys are wowing at that 10gal (It IS nice... Very pretty) but when you see my 8gal planted Betta tank you really will wow your socks of! Same goes for my 47gal... Where is that computer conector lead for the camera?

 
Skyclad
  • #12
HI all,

I have a 13 (US gallon) / 48 litre tank = W39cm x D33cm x H43cm that's all nice and empty right now.

Currently, all that is in the tank are the pipework to the JBL CrystalProfI e700 external filter and Deltatherm 100W heater. I have my driftwood soaking to remove tanins and a 2W (1.6L p/m) air pump and accessories currently waiting to go in.

I have a few questions, if someone could possibly help me out... as I don't trust the LFS!


1) I'm looking to start up a planted tank. Is it ok to use Florabase as substrate on its own, or do I need to mix it with gravel or have a gravel top-layer? (Ultimately I want to "carpet" the substrate, and have plans for mossing-up the wood.

2) As for mossing-up the wood... is there a moss that grows downward and hangs? Am I on the right lines with Willow Moss?

3) As I intend to heavily plant out the tank (I have plants in mind that fit the lighting conditions), what's this going to do to the cycle? Are there any significant changes or extra things I need to worry about with regards to Nitrate / Nitrite levels when the tank is "running" in a couple of months?

Sorry for being a bit of an idiot here, but this is my first planted tank and I want to get it right and have a nice environment for its ultimate residents.
 
JoannaB
  • #13
Welcome to fishlore! Since this is your first planted tank, have you considered Java Moss? I have learned that that's a good beginner plant. I read somewhere that Java Moss is for tropical aquariums while Willow Moss is for colder water, so if this is going to be a tropical aquarium Java Moss may be a better choice.

My understanding is that it is a good idea to put in plants early, since they may even help you with cycling the tank. plants use nitrates, so in the end your nitrates may be less if you have a heavily planted tank. Just make sure you get only plants that really are aquatic, since pet stores will sell plants incorrectly as aquatic plants, and then those plants rot and mess up water quality. You may want to research each plant before buying it and / or ask about each here to make sure it is a good choice.
 
Skyclad
  • #14
Thanks for the reply...

Is it ok to use Florabase as the substrate though without gravel, or will I need to add a gravel layer too?
 
psalm18.2
  • #15
Thanks for the reply...

Is it ok to use Florabase as the substrate though without gravel, or will I need to add a gravel layer too?
It can be used by itself. I have some capped and uncapped. My LFS uses it uncapped. Christmas tree moss is nice too. I like your vision for the tank. Keep us posted with photos of the tank's journey.

And Welcome!!
 
Skyclad
  • #16

2.JPG

I couldn't get hold of Florabase in the end, so opted for JBL Manado and Aquabasis Plus. I also bought some ProFito liquid fert for a "quick-start" weekly top up. I'm going to wait a few weeks for plants to take hold and get a thorough (all mineral / PH / Hardness) water test done at the LFS before I move onto cycling. Essentially I'm going to have an "aqua-garden" first.

Excuse the awful photo... it doesn't do the tank justice. Not sure about the pebbles though - I keep playing with them and moving them. Tbh I'll probably take them out all together because they're annoying me right now.
 
kinezumi89
  • #17
I think it looks great! And I actually like the pebbles, it sort of made me think of a river bottom.
 
pirahnah3
  • #18
The tank looks great, I think you did a great job with it.
 
Royal pleco
  • #19
Awesome piece of driftwood
 
Echostatic
  • #20
Nothing like a great piece of driftwood to really bring out the best in a tank.
 
sweetsammi
  • #21
love your drift wood I have a really cool piece in my large tank been looking for a while now for a cool one for smaller tank here is mine

318619_287296677957568_100000317138667_1118526_887394364_n.jpg
tank has been rearranged but good view if wood
 
Echostatic
  • #22
It needs some moss on it
 
sweetsammi
  • #23
I have a small mossy piece in my 10 gal for the frogs. I'm not big on moss if I was gonna do moss I would just get a plan pieve of driftwood so it didnt hid the natural art of the wood. I have thought about adding moss to my big tank but don't want it to take over. The tank you see has a lot more plants now here is a more recent pic. I'm always changing it lol

543515_412359025451332_100000317138667_1497361_889786168_n.jpg
 
Skyclad
  • #24
It needs some moss on it

It's got 3 pieces of Javamoss that I've stuck to it. (The 2 dark green "blobs") on the driftwood - plus 1 on the back that you can't see.

Thank you all for the kind encouragement!
 
Echostatic
  • #25
I bet they will grow quickly.
 
Skyclad
  • #26
I hope so. I'm still deciding what's going to live in it. I'm thinking some Platies perhaps. How many do you think I could have realistically without stressing the bio-load? (13 gallon US tank.... 50 litres)
 
pirahnah3
  • #27
Well, how many depends on what you do as far as sexing goes, if you have males and females I would understock the tank and have a plan for fry. If you have all of one sex then you can go a bit heavier but I would aI'm for around 3-5 or there abouts maybe one more if all the same sex. Just remember you can always add another one to the tank, so start with a few and see how it looks.
 
Skyclad
  • #28
Well I am going to be purchasing a 7 gallon aquarium which will act as both my breeding trap and nursery - this will sit next to the 13 gallon.

HOWEVER - I have a problem.

As I was sitting looking into the aquarium yesterday, I swore I saw some thing (or things) moving near the waterline. On closer inspection these "things" turned out to be 3 fry of unknown species. I am guessing they came into the aquarium as eggs stuck to either a plant or hidden in my moss bundle. Right now they're zipping around the tank and I have no idea WHAT they are...

...needless to say I'm feeding them and they seem to like the water quality (even though the tank HASN'T been cycled yet) - so I'll just have to wait and see, but they're DEFINITELY fish fry. I will try and take a pic of one later
 
Echostatic
  • #29
You're sure they aren't copepods or something?
 
Skyclad
  • #30

1.jpg

It looks fry-shaped to me... plus it has oversized eyes for its body too
 
pirahnah3
  • #31
I agree, looks like a fry of some kind, what I couldn't tell ya
 
Skyclad
  • #32
That's half the fun - waiting to see exactly "what" it grows up to be.... kinda like a fish lucky dip.
 
pirahnah3
  • #33
HAHA your right on that one, I'm having the same in my 10gal right now, dunno where it came from either the tank is all males...
 
Distortionist
  • #34
Hello people.

This is my first fish tank. I used potting soil covered in gravel. I don't dose anything to fertilize, no co2, its the factory Fluval Spec V light. I have given the plants a shot of carbon twice. This was planted about 2 and a half weeks ago. One of the included pictures is what it looked like when I first planted it.

Most plants are doing well as you can see. My 4 leaf clover died everywhere I planted it, all the dead brown stuff behind the snail is what is left of it. My question is why did it die while everything else is doing so well? what do I do with its mess? I have been keeping it there and getting rid of the dead leaves that are easy to access. I see it tried to grow new sprouts but they look like they are dying too. My other problem is my Dwarf Hair Grass, it browned a bit and its just not doing anything. Can someone give me some advice on those? I think everything is doing pretty good, my big Lilly leaf there has holes in it but it has new growth and most of it looks healthy. I have another couple of small ones that are not doing as good but they are alive.

Can you look through my pictures and just give me an idea if I am doing ok, is it over crowded with plants, and is my density enough to introduce some shrimp? I would like 3-5 shrimp in there. I am about 2 weeks away from when I would like to introduce them.

The bonus pictures are my daughters betta coming from the fish store ( she picked the dullest most sickly looking fish, but that is the one she wanted the whole time out of beautiful fish ) and after his new home. I love that fish, he is not aggressive to anything, plays and rubs up against our fingers, eats from our fingers and is always very happy to see us. I am very happy so far with everything, just the clover, the grass, and I want things to carpet!

Thanks!
 

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Floundering_Around
  • #35
Wow, beautiful tank and your fish is gorgeous. Colored up really well!
I would say that the plant density is perfect for shrimp. If you're lucky, the shrimp will breed and the plants will help keep the babies alive.
It generally takes a month of so for plants to fully transition into their new environment. Most plants will melt back before putting out new leaves that are better suited to their environment.
I'm not sure why the clover died off. Might have been your water parameters or lighting. A similar thing happened to me. I can't keep cabomba, of all plants, alive in my tanks but other plants that have similar parameters are doing well.
 
TexasDomer
  • #36
Your tank looks great!

Answers in green below

Hello people.

This is my first fish tank. I used potting soil covered in gravel. I don't dose anything to fertilize, no co2, its the factory Fluval Spec V light. I have given the plants a shot of carbon twice. This was planted about 2 and a half weeks ago. One of the included pictures is what it looked like when I first planted it.

Most plants are doing well as you can see. My 4 leaf clover died everywhere I planted it, all the dead brown stuff behind the snail is what is left of it. My question is why did it die while everything else is doing so well? what do I do with its mess? I have been keeping it there and getting rid of the dead leaves that are easy to access. I see it tried to grow new sprouts but they look like they are dying too. My other problem is my Dwarf Hair Grass, it browned a bit and its just not doing anything. Can someone give me some advice on those? I think everything is doing pretty good, my big Lilly leaf there has holes in it but it has new growth and most of it looks healthy. I have another couple of small ones that are not doing as good but they are alive.

Some plants have higher demands than others. Clover and DHG are some of these. They require higher light, injected CO2, and good ferts in order to thrive. You very likely won't be able to grow them with your current setup.

I would start using fertilizers, at least for the rooted plants. Root tabs are easy and great for this.

Can you look through my pictures and just give me an idea if I am doing ok, is it over crowded with plants, and is my density enough to introduce some shrimp? I would like 3-5 shrimp in there. I am about 2 weeks away from when I would like to introduce them.

Your plants look great as well. I don't think you can have too many plants! It looks like a good setup for shrimp too.

The bonus pictures are my daughters betta coming from the fish store ( she picked the dullest most sickly looking fish, but that is the one she wanted the whole time out of beautiful fish ) and after his new home. I love that fish, he is not aggressive to anything, plays and rubs up against our fingers, eats from our fingers and is always very happy to see us. I am very happy so far with everything, just the clover, the grass, and I want things to carpet!

Thanks!

Unfortunately you won't get true carpeting plants with this setup, but consider something low light and easy like dwarf sag or S. repens to cover the bottom of the tank.
 
ChiefBrody
  • #37
Really what are you trying to go for? So many schools of thought it's hard for me to talk about without coming across as rude but I'll try. It comes down to your personal taste. Like my uncle douses his yard in crazy chemicals because he wants the typical "best lawn on the block look". My grandmother wants a more natural look thick with wild flowers - not unkempt but classy. Me I don't care what my neighbors think I want what's best for my vegetable garden. Some people want to attract wildlife and so on. The same is true in Aquaria. There's no one way but if you want to look like a Dutch aquascape or amano there's just certain things that could help. If you wanna breed that's another set of criteria that has to be met. Are you on a budget? Are you retired already or trying to do this on nights/weekends? Fact is what works for one won't for others. There's so many variables and ultimately it's your preference. Brainstorm, write it all down and decided what's really important to you. I see a lot of ppl railroaded on here and talked into unrealistic commitments. Even though we have different values we can all share something tho so definitely ask. It generates great discussion
 
Distortionist
  • #38
Unfortunately you won't get true carpeting plants with this setup, but consider something low light and easy like dwarf sag or S. repens to cover the bottom of the tank.

I am trying to avoid fancy setups on this tank, thank you for the recommendation. I will look for those plants. They look like something I picked for the 55 I am readying, it is called Blyxia japonica.
 
TexasDomer
  • #39
Blyxia can be a little difficult as well. But a simple, low light, low tech, heavily planted tank is definitely possible You are well on your way to that! I would just add some ferts to benefit the plants It can be cheap and easy!
 
Distortionist
  • #40
Really what are you trying to go for? So many schools of thought it's hard for me to talk about without coming across as rude but I'll try. It comes down to your personal taste. Like my uncle douses his yard in crazy chemicals because he wants the typical "best lawn on the block look". My grandmother wants a more natural look thick with wild flowers - not unkempt but classy. Me I don't care what my neighbors think I want what's best for my vegetable garden. Some people want to attract wildlife and so on. The same is true in Aquaria. There's no one way but if you want to look like a Dutch aquascape or amano there's just certain things that could help. If you wanna breed that's another set of criteria that has to be met. Are you on a budget? Are you retired already or trying to do this on nights/weekends? Fact is what works for one won't for others. There's so many variables and ultimately it's your preference. Brainstorm, write it all down and decided what's really important to you. I see a lot of ppl railroaded on here and talked into unrealistic commitments. Even though we have different values we can all share something tho so definitely ask. It generates great discussion

You lost me. I am not even sure you posted on the right forum! I am asking about my 4 leaf clover, I have no idea why it just died like that while everything is growing, I was also curious if my dwarf hair grass is missing something or needing something, and finally, I wanted to know if my density is enough to have a few shrimp in there.
 
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