Just Bought My First Tank Ever (75g)...help?

  1. b

    bluepixie New Member Member

    Hello all; I'm completely new to aquariums I've never kept a fish of my own..I think my family kept a fish in a glass bowl for a bit when I was little...maybe a few months but all I remember was it being belly up in the bowl one day and never wanting a fish because their lives really seemed kinda empty honestly. Mostly all I've enjoyed seeing was koi and of course aquariums at the zoo..I suppose because in these large tanks with living plants they actually seem quite fulfilled, still at the petstore I never was all that interested in seeing the fish....buuut I fell in love with the look of forest aquascapes so I impulsively bought a 75gallon tank and stand on craigslist last weekend...I think it'd be especially beautiful to have to look at especially during winter months when I can't time out in nature

    I've been researching loads of things for a few days straight now but I have a few questions...I'm trying to come up with a plan before I even get started. I like the sound of the walstad method but was mostly interested in growing alot of slowing growing mosses and java fern in my tank with manzanita branches and maybe adding a couple rooted plants; does the moss and java fern still thrive with the nutrients in the soil? I want it to grow as quickly as possible and I still plan on trimming the moss and splitting the fern and other plants. I know they don't root in soil but maybe the nutrients will find a way to benefit them?...I would rather not use fertilizer as alot of the critters and moss I'm interested in seem sensitive to it...maybe co2 during the day if growth is too slow. I'll be capping the soil with medium grit sand. The tank came with a free filter so I will incorporate that mostly just for some movement in the tank. I plan on just setting up the hardscape and plants/moss for a few months until I feel everything is nice and balanced then adding some small creatures...

    I was thinking perhaps phoenix rasboras, blue velvet shrimp and a couple blue eyed lemon bristlenose plecos...

    For longer term when I feel I could keep a fish thriving I was really loving the idea of elephant nose fish (peter's)...they look like little dolphins especially in groups...there's not alot of info out there. Does anyone have experience with these? Are they good with any small fish or even shrimp...or just bigger fish?...and are they likely to fight with their own kind? Any care tips for these when I do decide to get them? I know they are finicky. I will be getting another larger tank in maybe a year so whenever that happens as I really doubt they'll be good with shrimp and I know if I get more than 1 I'll want a larger tank..

    Thanks so much for reading this, i know it's long winded XD! Would love to hear what you guys think...
     
  2. r_e_g

    r_e_g Valued Member Member

    Just to focus on one of your questions, which of the critters that you're interested in are sensitive to water column fertilizers? I've been doing a LOT of research and haven't come across that. I'm using Aquarium Coop's Easy Green fertilizer, which they claim has been tested to be shrimp, snail, and fish safe. I've been using it with cherry shrimp and snails with no ill effects. I have trident leaf java fern in my new tank and it's growing a LOT (well, for java fern at least).

    If you're going to stick to water column feeding plants, I really don't know that you need the soil. I decided against soil because I've heard it'll make a tremendous mess if you move things around (which would only be an issue with your stem plants). I'm very glad now that I didn't get the soil because I seem to feel compelled to move things around quite a bit.
     
  3. OP
    OP
    b

    bluepixie New Member Member

    The blue velvet shrimp is what I mostly am worried about dying..also moss which will be the main portion of the carpet dosn't seem to need much extra co2...I was thinking of crystal red shrimp as well but those are really picky...maybe too picky for me. I was going back and forth on flourish excel but reading a review or two of people's fish dying after using scared me away from it, same with the co2 booster liquid....I'll check out that fertilizer you're using, thanks....yeah I'm still not sure..if I do use soil I suppose I'll use just about an inch..I live the idea of the fish waste (not planning on having alot) being sort of a fertilizer adding to the nutrients of the soil for whatever other plants I do decide to stick in there..I'll do small water changes every so often, but want the tank to be pretty low maintenance.
     
  4. r_e_g

    r_e_g Valued Member Member

    Ok, so by fertilizers, you're really talking about carbon supplements (glutaraldehyde). Yes I've definitely heard that some animals as well as plants can be sensitive to it. I've read multiple sources that say that it acts more like an algicide than a true fertilizer for what it's worth. If you're sticking to java moss, etc. I don't think you really need supplemental carbon. From what I understand, java moss isn't great at carpeting though. Most non-moss carpeting plants do seem to benefit from CO2 supplementation based on what I've read.

    I think skipping crystal red shrimp for now is a good idea. I think they're really cool too but they definitely need acidic, soft water (which my tap water is not) and I am not ready to mess with RO/DI just yet.

    Speaking of which, do you happen to know what your pH, GH, and KH are? That will help inform what will do well in your tank.

    One more thing: Water circulation is definitely important in planted tanks but I'm worried the filter you have may not be shrimp safe. What type of filter is it? If it's not a sponge or Matten filter, you're going to need some sort of sponge or other guard over the intake so that it doesn't suck in the babies.
     
  5. OP
    OP
    b

    bluepixie New Member Member

    I was thinking slower growing moss for carpet like flame moss, fissidens, or phoenix moss and willow moss for the "trees". Do you know if that needs co2? Java moss seems like it gets everywhere and definitely dosn't seem low maintenance. I'll keep that in a small tank of it's own for decoration maybe. :p I havn't set up the tank or bought a water test kit yet so I won't know ph or anything til then...I'm still trying to figure out what my substrate and plants will be...i'll just get the substrate, plants, moss, and test kits at once when I do. The guy gave me a marineland bio-wheel emperor 400 filter for it..he said it has a tiny hole in it that I need to seal...I was going to get some sponge to put over the water drawing portion of it to protect the shrimp. Also it's used so it smells strange like mold or something...not sure what to do about that. I still have no clue how to set it up I'll have to look that up.

    Any ideas for cheap lighting? Even though it's going to be mostly moss and java fern and other "low light" plants I still want it to grow quickly but since it's next to a big window maybe won't take much...

    Here's a picture, I'm super excited about it if you can't already tell ^ ^

     
  6. r_e_g

    r_e_g Valued Member Member

    For java moss being low maintenance, I meant that it isn't demanding in terms of what it needs to grow. In my shrimp tank, it grows pretty darn slowly. In my friend's tank, it grows like wild. You could bring a sample of your tap water to your local pet store and ask them to test the pH for you. That would be handy information. I've heard very good things about the Finnex Stingray as a budget light. I ended up grabbing the Finnex Planted+ 24/7 CC on sale at Drs. Foster and Smith because it ended up being only like $30 more and it has a lot more features, like a built in timer and the fact that it'll automatically brighten and dim at "sunrise" and "sunset." I decided that lighting was a good area to splurge on since a stronger light gives you way more options; you can always dim it if it's too much. There are many, many lighting options out there so you can certainly go cheaper than the ones I've mentioned.
     
  7. OP
    OP
    b

    bluepixie New Member Member

    Oh yep of course! I just would like to keep the moss more or less contained. Yeah definitely I'll get my water tested asap and post here. That sounds nice I will look into those looks great...but I wonder if I can get away with a couple these ;)

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XYWM15...colid=B7X1PRL62DSY&psc=0&ref_=lv_ov_lig_dp_it

    The led panel fitted for aquariums would look much nicer and be more convenient though hmmm thanks for all your help will think on this some more.
     
  8. BettaFishKeeper4302

    BettaFishKeeper4302 Well Known Member Member

    You are doing great already! You got the biggest tank you could which is good. I am sure you won't be dissapointed with what you can stock a 75g. Plus the bigger the tank the better because less work.
     
  9. OP
    OP
    b

    bluepixie New Member Member

    Thank you yeah I was considering smaller (45g) but definitely happy I went with this. ;)
     
  10. Raizinhell

    Raizinhell Valued Member Member

    Just saying, dont buy supplemental carbon ie glut.
     
  11. OP
    OP
    b

    bluepixie New Member Member

    Liquid supplement form you mean right?...yeah I wouldn't...seems too risky for the animals. I was thinking a c02 tank for daytime if it tests low though.
     
  12. JLeeM

    JLeeM Well Known Member Member

    If much sunlight comes through that window, you may want to move your tank somewhere else. Sunlight can easily cause massive algae blooms.