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Old 11-18-2012, 06:32 AM   #1 
asukabetta
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Changing whole tank! Sand, plants-- need help

I have lots of questions so please put the number of the question you are answering before you do and as detailed as possible, like the "for dummies" books XD

SAND:

I am buying white sand for my tank, I was told to rinse it till the water doesn't get cloudy no more, but problem is, the sand gets wet and sticky and annoying.

1- Should I wait for it all to dry in a bucket before adding?

2- How does one put sand in the tank making it as less cloudy as possible

3- How long does it take to settle down

4- When is it safe to re-add fish and decor

5- How does one vaccum sand without it sucking up the sand?

6- When due to illness and a 100% change is necessary, what do you do with the sand?

PLANTS:

I found an aquarist in my city who is going to sell me a good amount of JAVA MOSS!!! weee!

7- What plants are good for beginners and hardy (as I am a plant murderer) for aquariums other than java moss and marimo moss balls that I can use with sand substrate?

8- How long should I QT plants?

9- How should I rinse the plants before adding them?

10- How does one keep java moss from floating or how does one spread them in a carpet like manner?

11- What are the dangers of new plants? (Snails--etc)


12- What fertilizers for plants are safe for a betta and shrimp?

13 - How do live plants affect my water changes and chemistry?

14 - If plants do affect my water changes how often should I change a 4g?

Other questions:

This is all for Eros's tank since he doesnt mind the shrimp at all, Kiyohime has a bigger temperament so I'm not sure if to add any shrimp.

15- Try adding shrimp and see how he reacts? (not before getting a filter)

16- Should Eros tank be converted to look more "natural", Should Kiyohime's 4g get the same remodeling? (His tank would need me to buy another filter if I do it and more money so it wouldn't be remodeled till xmas or next year)

17- Should I leave it how it is, colorful and have the other tank look natural and give me more variety of looks in tanks? (I would have no tank mates in there in this case)

Kiyohime's current tank:


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Last edited by asukabetta; 11-18-2012 at 06:45 AM.
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Old 11-18-2012, 06:45 AM   #2 
horsyqueen
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SAND:

1- With sand i tend not to leave it to dry but i don't know if thats a potentual risk.

2- I dont think theres a way of avoiding that :/

3- It should take a few hours

4- When ammonia, nitrate and nitrite are down to a 0. this should take from 24 hours-a week.

5- You can get special vaccumes i belive for sand.


PLANTS:

7- Amazon sword plants are the no.1 plant i think for easy keeping. For small plants i got the newly imported Pogostemon helferi which is amazing.

8- I dont QT mine i just wash them before putting them in the tank.

9- Around 5 minutes.

10- You need to attach them to things with thread.

11- Snails, poisoness chemicals, Diseases, parasites and i have heard of people finding fish some how sneak in with their plants.

12- I use PlantaMin by TetraPlant. None of my surviving shrimp(chi ate alot of them) have died from it.
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Old 11-18-2012, 07:52 AM   #3 
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The answers here are based on my experience and are answered in order from your questions.
SAND
When I was cleaning my sand I just swished it around, poured out water, put in more water in the cleaning bucket for 5x. I didn't wait for it to dry, all I did was pour out all the remaining water in the bucket out and then put the sand in the tank. Mine only took 15 minutes or so. You can put it the decorations whenever you want to, no safety limits. To clean the sand you use a regular siphon, aim to be 1 cm above the sand. To do 100% changes, I guess you get the fish out, and suck as much water as you can. And then pour the sand somewhere else until you set it up again.
PLANTS
Java moss, java fern, anubias, and swords are pretty great. QT them for at least a week in tap water. Just rinse them in new hot tap water that wasn't in the QT tank. I think the moss gets water logged like how moss balls do. Snails and shrimp, possibly worms. Seachem Flourish, and API Leaf Zone I heard were good. Live plants can suck ammonia and nitrate, they eat it. They also provide some neat shelter. I think a 50% change weekly should be sufficient.
OTHER
Adding one shrimp is best at first, these fish tend to eat them. xD IMO natural is so much better looking, plant enthusiasts call rainbow gravel clown puke. >.>

Good luck and it's great that you're changing minds!
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Old 11-18-2012, 08:35 AM   #4 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LebronTheBetta View Post
The answers here are based on my experience and are answered in order from your questions.
SAND
When I was cleaning my sand I just swished it around, poured out water, put in more water in the cleaning bucket for 5x. I didn't wait for it to dry, all I did was pour out all the remaining water in the bucket out and then put the sand in the tank. Mine only took 15 minutes or so. You can put it the decorations whenever you want to, no safety limits. To clean the sand you use a regular siphon, aim to be 1 cm above the sand. To do 100% changes, I guess you get the fish out, and suck as much water as you can. And then pour the sand somewhere else until you set it up again.
PLANTS
Java moss, java fern, anubias, and swords are pretty great. QT them for at least a week in tap water. Just rinse them in new hot tap water that wasn't in the QT tank. I think the moss gets water logged like how moss balls do. Snails and shrimp, possibly worms. Seachem Flourish, and API Leaf Zone I heard were good. Live plants can suck ammonia and nitrate, they eat it. They also provide some neat shelter. I think a 50% change weekly should be sufficient.
OTHER
Adding one shrimp is best at first, these fish tend to eat them. xD IMO natural is so much better looking, plant enthusiasts call rainbow gravel clown puke. >.>

Good luck and it's great that you're changing minds!
LOL clown puke XD Yeaaah... it does look a little like that right? :D well I'll see how Eros's tanks turns out then I'll work on Kiyohime's :D

thanks to all who replied <3
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Old 11-18-2012, 08:38 AM   #5 
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Yeahh, it really does. ;D I can't wait to see the after tank!
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Old 11-18-2012, 12:57 PM   #6 
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WHat kind of fertilizer should I get, is it very expensive and how often do I apply it
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Old 11-18-2012, 07:56 PM   #7 
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For gravel vaccing sand, I'd suggest fluffing the top with your fingers or a stick (I have an old porcelin chopstick) and the "stuff" will fly into the water and the sand will sink before the "stuff" then hold the gravel vac about 1cm to 1 inch above the water and you'll get most of the "stuff" up.. it takes about 5 min to settle back down. You'll never get it all but you'll get like 70% of it

If you get a cheap sand.. like playground sand which is white, it's VERY cheap to replace since they only sell it in large bags so replacing the little you might get via vac'ing is negotionable

For new plants with low light I'd suggest wisteria maybe some water lettuce (floating) or even anubias (don't bury the thick root rhizome on the bottom) and well if you have an actual fish store (not petco) they normally label theirs low medium or high light, or at least mine does..

You can google "beginner aquarium plants" or "low light" plants and that will give you a clue which ones to get. You can buy them online at aquabid or liveaquaria.com .. careful though, some states don't allow shipping (I couldn't get anarachis online but got it from a LFS)
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Old 11-18-2012, 08:24 PM   #8 
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well cleaned sand should take only a few seconds to settle...
you need a bucket and a hose. put the sand in the bucket and hose into a tornado...
now while the sand is still swirling, tip the bucket slowly on its side and let the dirty water flow out. you will see that the larger particles have already settled. repeat this until the sand settles in less than 5 seconds....
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Old 11-19-2012, 12:55 AM   #9 
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From this to this: Adding plants when my java moss and marimo get here tom :D
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