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Thread: New 30 gal. Advice?

  1. #1
    Lucanidae's Avatar
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    New 30 gal. Advice?

    So, when I first got into the freshwater fish hobby, I bought a 2 gallon tank, thought it was rubbish, so I bought what I was told was a 15 gallon aquarium.
    I was dumb and didn't have an eye for aquarium sizes yet, so I bought it. Time goes on, and I take measurements, only to find that it's only seven gallons.
    So, I thought I'd at least buy a 10-15 gallon tank and use the old one for my CPs.
    Well, I came home today with a 29 gallon tank that I got for 20 dollars.
    My problem is this:
    HOLY CRAP THIS THING looks EMPTY.
    I have 2 paradise fish, 6 white cloud minnows, a freshwater spiny eel, and a blue-eyed ancistrus.
    I need advice on good, hardy plants I can plant in this tank that'll fill it up and give it liveliness. Even non-toxic plants intended for ponds would be great.
    Also, my white clouds look a little lost and split up, could a school of 6 be too small for such a large space?

    Anyhow, in short, what do all ya'll with big aquariums do to make them look nice?

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    Hermopolis's Avatar
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    IMHO, bigger tanks are bigger maintenance headaches. What I did to make my tank look nice was glue lace rock together with crazy glue on balls of aquatic epoxy to form rock-scapes and arches. And if you want plants, buy plastic and bleach them every two weeks.

    However, my advice is to sell the fish, empty the tank, and turn it into a terrarium for CPs. That's what I did, and it was one of the best decisions that I ever made.

    -Hermes.
    "The grass withers, the flower fades. But the word of our God stands forever." (Isaiah 40:8)

    My Grow List Updated Oct 22/2010.

  3. #3
    i dont do pots. amphirion's Avatar
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    so you got a freshwater aquarium---now things are going to get more specific:
    1) what kind of freshwater aquarium are you doing?
    a) a generic, fluorescent gravel, un-naturally colored plastic plants, a crocodile head with an undersea diver tank?
    b) a biotype aquarium (using fish and plants from a specific region)
    c) a planted aquarium?

    a) is the most simplest and crudest of the 3. works short term, but requires lot of maintenance in the future especially as waste accumulates in the tank, and there are no plants to affix the excessive nitrates---very likely that there will be periods when your fish suffer from a massive die off (old tank syndrome). maybe super fun at the beginning but the novelty wears thin by a few months.

    b) very fun and rewarding but takes time to locate a desirable location and animals and plants to go in it. you could go from having a tank filled with plants (Amazon rainforest/SE Asian), to barely having no plants at all (African rift lake).

    c) i think the best out of all 3, aesthetically pleasing and EXPENSIVE, using live plants contributes to the preserving the nitrogen cycle providing stability there, however, very difficult to maintain, especially when going to large tank sizes. the need for CO2 is necessary, usually in a large canister---which can be a pain to refill. + is the need for macro and micro nutrients for the plants to survive, not to mention a ton of light---and no worries, theres no such thing as burning your plants leaves in this case---they're always underwater! (google "aquarium design amano")

    take your pic.
    " You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means." -Inigo Montoya
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    Lucanidae's Avatar
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    Haha, I love these fish too much to sell them. I am thinking of ditching real plants for the most part, and finding realistic artificial plants, because maintaining the living plants can be a bit of a hassle. Now that I have good lighting though, my plants will hopefully stop looking wispy and will look more lively.
    Once these fish all live out their lives, a large terrarium project could be in my future.

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    i dont do pots. amphirion's Avatar
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    @lucaniade: that's fine. just keep in mind about what i said concerning choice a (which you are using). you using plastic plants will mean that there will be an abundance of nitrates in your tank that will just be hanging out. you will be completely at the mercy of nitrogen fixing bacteria to keep your fish alive. periodic water changes are really your only short term fix---there is no long term fix using this route.
    " You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means." -Inigo Montoya
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    Lucanidae's Avatar
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    I'm definitely not going with A. Never have and never will.
    I was going to originally go with B in my smaller tank, and might still after more research about biotopes and regions my fish come from, along with the plants that go there.
    While I'd LOVE to do C eventually, it's just way too much of a money-eater at the moment. ESPECIALLY with my CP *coughobsessioncough* err- hobby.
    I do want real plants, most definitely, but might mix them in with nice looking fake plants that will always be there to look nice in case anything happens to my live ones.
    So a B and C hybrid, I suppose.
    My first Paradise fish, I've had for almost a year, that poor thing has had to deal with my idiocy all that time.
    Amano is such an amazing aqua-scaper, I've always loved his work.

    One of my reasons for keeping plants has been for the tank benefits, as I don't want all of those nasty nitrates going crazy and hanging out.

  7. #7
    I hate bugs. Carnivorous plants get me. jpappy789's Avatar
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    There are plenty of easy to grow plants. Heck, there are some that people grow with just a tupperware container filled with water sitting in a windowsill.

    What is your lighting like? I'm assuming it is along the lines of the generic strips/hoods that are standard on most tanks. No worries...I suggest plants like java fern, java moss, cryptocorynes, and anubias to name a few. A more precise list can be found here:

    http://www.plantgeek.net/plantguide_cat.php?category=1

    Just search by the lighting you have, although it is a rather arbitrary measurement.

    Also keep in mind that plants will not replace the need to change the water on a regular basis. Nitrate is one thing, but there are other nasties we cannot account for and that plants do not remove nor can they replace essentials either.
    -Josh
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    Okay, heres my 0.2 cents worth... larger tanks are not always a maintenance headache... i find my 10G is a much bigger P.I.T.A to keep clean, clear and stable compared to my 200G tank...

    As decorations, not all plants are hard to grow, in fact imo the BEST plant for people with no idea how to grow aquatic plants is Anubia's... i myself have plenty in my tanks since its an extremely hardy / low light plant, and basically can be grown in pretty much any substrate... i grow mine in a fine aquarium sand, not even aquarium plant dirt and they are thriving...

    Best of all is they are pretty slow growing plants, so you basically don't need to trim them, nor do you have to add any nutrients, Co2 or anything... just give it enough light and your set...

    Another option you could go with to stay away from plants all together is to use Driftwood, and if you want you can add some rock work... then if you feel the need to add some greenery, you could tie some common Java Moss to the driftwood... although with this method you will need to do some trimming every once in a while, and possibly re-tie it down every few months...

    Either way, the possibilities are limitless... just depends on how much / little work you want to do...

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