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stephcps

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Jun 2, 2009
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So....I haven't been on this forum since maybe 2013? I got out of the hobby after I lost most of my fish and plants in the 2011 October Nor'easter. I was out of power for like 9 days. I never could quite get into the swing of things after that.
Lately, I find myself wanting a community planted tank. I will be doing just low tech, low light plants. I got a 30 gallon with a stand for free. This is the size of my very first tank which started all my fish craziness! lol
I'm thinking about a pair of Bristlenose Plecos, a school of celestial pearl danios and a small school of Cory cats. I will also have a couple of mystery snails and some red cherry shrimp. Haven't fully decided about plants yet. Got some dragon stone and a nice piece of driftwood.
Any concerns about the stock?
I appreciate any feedback! I'll post pics when it's all set.
 

FreshyFresh

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Jan 11, 2013
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Sounds like a great plan. If you were near the Buffalo NY area, I'd give you some BN plecos, RCS and plants.

Tell us more about the type of lighting, filtration and substrate?
 

fishorama

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Jun 28, 2006
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Welcome back!

I have concerns about a pair of BN plecos in a 30g. If they really are a pair, they'll likely breed often with large spawns & over populate the tank. I'd go with just 1. Other than that it looks fine
 
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stephcps

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Jun 2, 2009
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I'm going to use Ecocomplete. I had great success with it before. Though I may cap part of it with some natural gravel. I bought a "viva grow" light off amazon. It seemed to get decent reviews everywhere I looked and seemed adequate for a low tech tank. Any experience with it?
And I think I'm going with just a sponge filter. I always had the best luck when I was just barebones.

I would love to hear your thoughts!
 

FreshyFresh

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LED lighting is the way to go if you are buying new stuff. If you are buying lighting intended/designed for aquariums, stick with name brands.

I even have them as simple as those aluminium reflector clamp on utility lights. I just remove the clamps from them, fit them with standard 75 or 100watt "equivalent" bulbs and you've got cheap and reliable low light, low tech plant lighting. I use LED bulbs in the daylight K-range ~5000-7000K.

Can't go wrong with simple sponge filters if you don't mind the look of them and the space they use.

I don't have much experience with fortified substrates, although I did have a 10g setup with CaribSea FloraMax for a time. Rooted plants seemed to like it. If you're not doing primarily rooted plants, there's no sense.
 

the loach

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I would definitely recommend to get some easy plants such as Anubias, Java fern and guppy grass. If you are concerned for another power outage, you could go with coldwater/native fish. Even simple bait fish like red shiners are great to keep.
 

dougall

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Mar 29, 2005
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I wouldn't necessarily suggest eco complete for a planted tank.. it really doesn't have any value for plants nutritionally... It does have a high CEC (Cation exchange capacity) so it will hold onto nutrients that get down there for the plants to get via their roots... But you have to get them there in the first place.. you would save money by using something like Turface or SafeTSorb which will do the same thing.

Personally I would look for a true aquasoil, maybe Fluval Stratum is the cheapest and easiest to find... Landen aquasoil is good if you can find it too.

No clue about the light... Give it a try :)

And I would personally run a canister filter, or a hang on back as a second choice.. the sponge filter (assuming powered by an air pump) will cause the CO2 to gas off from the aquarium... It will be better used by the plants in photosynthesis. That will in turn give the aquarium oxygen.


Hope that helps.
 

fishorama

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Jun 28, 2006
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I've used Eco in a few tanks, I like the almost black color. You can use root tabs for crypts. I have no opinion on your lights either. Almost any light can grow anubias, java fern & most crypts. you can have a nice scape with those.

I prefer HOBs over sponge filters, I like 2 small HOBs on most tanks over 10g or so. Sponge filters tank up a lot of fish & plant space.

What size 30g? breeder, 3ft x 18 inches or long 4ft x 12 inches or what?
 

stephcps

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Jun 2, 2009
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Thanks everyone for your thoughts. It's a 30 breeder. I like the way ecocomplete looks with a planted tank. As I said before I have had great luck with it in the past. I do plan to have some
Crypts for sure. Undecided about other root plants. I will definitely have some Anubias and java fern and java moss. I just received my piece of driftwood and some awesome dragon stone. I've used tons of different filters-I had tons of tanks before....a 150, 125, 55, 90, 75 and a bunch of smaller tanks with various breeding pairs. So not a novice-just refreshing my memory! I had the best luck with my low tech planted tanks when I kept things pretty simple-which is why I chose to start off just with the sponge.

I started making myself crazy over lighting...then reminded myself I had some of my most beautiful tanks with regular shop lights. So, decided this one was worth a try. It's pretty sleek which is nice and has lots of features I've never even considered. So should be interesting!

Now...I just need to find time to set it up! Bad time of year to start this project!!
 
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dougall

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Mar 29, 2005
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The best of luck!!

I am more thinking about how I would do something :)

Be sure to share pictures of your progress, I'm looking to set up a few tanks soon myself.
 
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