Mara's Planted Tank Project 2017 - Suggestions? - Page 2 - Betta Fish and Betta Fish Care
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post #11 of 49 (permalink) Old 02-09-2017, 10:08 PM
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Hi Mara,

Your soil doesn't have to be organic. The "organic" name seem to raise prices a little more. CaribSea have good/great planting substrates. Eco Complete Planted Black Aquarium Substrate is their best soil but I'm getting great results just using Flora Max covered with sand. Petsmart sells it at an awesome price (much higher on Amazon of all places) and really good. As someone mentioned their are great sales/giveaways on the sale/trade sites. I've bought and sold equipment there.

Sponge filters are great bio filters, especially if you plan to keep stock small in numbers and size. I would also consider maybe an Aquaclear 20 or 30. Great filters which offer Bio, Chem, and Mechanical filtration. I too boil my driftwood. I do it multiple times. It not only helps to remove Tannis, it also speeds up the water logging process. I use Malaysian driftwood. Its darker and have more edges which the fish seem to enjoy and makes the tank attractive.

Your Lights are very important even for a small tank. Find the best within your budget. There are some good ones avail that wont break the bank.

Last but not least, enjoy the aquascaping.
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post #12 of 49 (permalink) Old 02-09-2017, 10:56 PM Thread Starter
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@halleyana that helps PERFECTLY. i think the light is wider than the weird strip in the middle of the glass canopy. thank you! :D
@ryry2012 the plants will survive in sand alone? that would be amazing, I'd be a-ok with having just sand in the tank.
but okay! thanks for the tips! :D
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post #13 of 49 (permalink) Old 02-09-2017, 11:16 PM
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Yep. As fertilizer, you can use root tabs. Actually sand holds plants better. I have a tank with "fancy" aquarium soil. It's shaped small balls, so it doesn't hold shallow rooted plants well. Every time I vacuum clean the substrate which I do pretty often, I see one or two plants float.
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post #14 of 49 (permalink) Old 02-12-2017, 01:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marabriscoe View Post
Dang it, it looks like I can't edit the thread. I'll just repost my checklist.

[ $20 ] 20 Gallon Long tank - Wait for the $1/gal sale at Petco
[ $25.99 ] Hood - 30" Glass canopy
[ $39.99 ] 20 Gallon Long Aquarium stand - this one will probably put tank on the bottom though, I'd be worried my giant 75 dog would run into it and knock it over. Maybe will add another tank with some other fish in the future to the top one?
[ x ] Heater - Hydor 100w Submersible
[ $11 ] Filter - Sponge filter x2
[ $10.61 ] Pump - Tetra Whisper Air Pump 40
[ $42.99 ] Lightbulbs - Nicrew LED Aquarium Light, 28-36"

[ ] Organic potting soil - no idea? I could use some suggestions! Preferably something I could buy online or at a pretty common store, i.e. Wal-Mart or Lowe's Hardware.
[ $7.99 ] Cap - Black Diamond Blasting Abrasives
[ ] Hard scrape - Driftwood

PLANTS
[ ] Naja grass
[ ] H. corymbosa
[ ] Rotala indica
[ ] Echinodorus bleheri
[ ] Microsorium pteropus
[ ] Vesicularia dubyana
[ ] Limnobium laevigatum

I'd love to do a java moss wall as well as the backdrop of the tank!

Also, what do you guys think of these? They're so pretty!
Heater: I found the Aqueon Pro to be better and more reliable than the Hydor (I've tried two or three Hydors, the last one I just threw away, but others find they work well)

Soil: Might try Miracle Gro Organic Potting Soil, a think layer beneath your Black Diamond sand (see the NPT sticky on this forum it's great). That's what I did. In my shrimp tank, I have just sand (blasting sand, well washed) and the plants do well, but I don't have heavy root feeders (e.g. swords).

Filter: If you're going to go sponge filters, you might just stick a powerhead on top instead of going with an airpump. Up to you. The bubbles popping on the surface sound bugs me, so I went with the near-silent powerhead (Aquaclear 20, in my case)

Lights: I'm sure that one is fine. I use the Finnex Stingray and it has been fabulous.

Driftwood: Different types leach more or less tannins. Up to your preferences. Spiderwood very little, for example. Others might leach for a while (which your betta will enjoy, just a preference thing)

Plants: I'd recommend thinking about aquascaping before you set up. See this link: Aquatic Layout Guide- Rules of Composition: The Golden Ratio, Creating Perspective and Layout Shapes - The Green Machine. Then if a plant doesn't work for you (e.g. my pygmy chain sword never took off) for a given aquascaping function, you can pick a different plant (e.g. I used dwarf sag and it carpeted nicely). Also my expensive lesson was: Be prepared to have 'easy plants die on you, and rather than going nuts trying to figure out what's wrong, just keep what thrives in your particular setup/water.

Good luck!
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post #15 of 49 (permalink) Old 02-18-2017, 11:34 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone for the tips! I'm pretty excited to get started soon.

Anyway, my Hydor was delivered and I'm using it in my 10gal for the moment. I'm rather disappointed because it seems to struggle getting anywhere near 75 degrees, even while set to 82. I don't think it'll be sufficient for a 20gal.

I think I've settled for the Caribsea Eco complete soil! So I need a layer of the Black Diamond stuff on top of that?

I love that aquascaping guide, by the way! VERY useful. Thanks!

I do have a question.. if I decide to do something larger.. like maybe a 55gal. Does that require different filtering media? Like, could I still do sponge filters in a 55gal, or is there something different for those? I've seen larger pumps and stuff floating around... wondering what size tank I would have to upgrade to that kind of stuff.

I'm asking because... there's a 55gal tank with stand on craiglist for $80 that i'm eyeing.



And it looks like it's in decent condition! (Maybe..?)

Last edited by marabriscoe; 02-18-2017 at 11:52 AM.
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post #16 of 49 (permalink) Old 02-18-2017, 11:40 AM
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Snatch it! I'd personally go for a Aqua Clear 110 for a 55 G.

The Males~
Lucifer, Gabriel, Titan, King, Finnegan, Fin-again & Ricky.
Lucifer & Gabriel are my only non-rescues...

The Females~
Karma
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post #17 of 49 (permalink) Old 02-24-2017, 11:56 PM Thread Starter
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So today I got my tax refund back and decided to splurge! I bought the tank, canopy, heater, light, AND the stand today. So I really just have the plants and substrates to get!!

(The 55gal just didn't pan out, unfortunately.)

I think Fishy is really going to enjoy his new home.

[ x ] 20 Gallon Long tank
[ x ] Hood - 30" Glass canopy
[ x ] Aquarium stand - Titan Eze Metal Double Stand 20g long
[ x ] Heater - Fluval 150w Submersible
[ x ] Filter - Sponge filters x2
[ x ] Pump - Tetra Whisper Air Pump 40
[ x ] Lightbulbs - Nicrew LED Aquarium Light, 28-36"

[ ] Soil - I'm still really undecided on the soil. I think i might go with the Miracle Gro kind though.
[ $7.99 ] Cap - Black Diamond Blasting Abrasives
[ ] Hard scrape - Driftwood

PLANTS
[ ] Naja grass
[ ] H. corymbosa
[ ] Rotala indica
[ ] Echinodorus bleheri
[ ] Microsorium pteropus
[ ] Vesicularia dubyana
[ ] Limnobium laevigatum
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post #18 of 49 (permalink) Old 02-25-2017, 06:43 AM
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Just a quick Java moss note: if you want it to cover driftwood, keep it trimmed down and it will creep laterally. Also, I've tried every moss attachment method- super glue is awesome.
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post #19 of 49 (permalink) Old 02-25-2017, 09:49 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by MadtownD View Post
Just a quick Java moss note: if you want it to cover driftwood, keep it trimmed down and it will creep laterally. Also, I've tried every moss attachment method- super glue is awesome.
nice! thanks for the tip! i'll remember that when i start it up!


omg so the fluval is doing great... but the knob on top is super tall and requires a few inches less water just to keep it under the lid.
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post #20 of 49 (permalink) Old 02-26-2017, 09:39 AM
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If you mean the Fluval heater, they're usually fully submersible. So the knob goes under the water line. Once it's set, you'll rarely need to adjust it if ever- maybe if you change your fish to a cooler water fish for example.
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