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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all, i have been involved in Saltwater marine tanks forever. My better half wants to start a fresh water planted tank and would love some help. Suggestions anything really.

Can you point us in the right direction for knowledge, do we need a c02 system? How big of a tank is best? Fish? What fish? Not Cichlids, then what? With all ive learned in SW I'm lost here, its been 25 years since i had a tropical planted tank. What plants?

Any help would be great, looking for a tank, probably buy new from petsmart or bigals. Not sure. Thanks
 

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Eats plants too
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I don't know where you are exactly but there are a number of people selling tanks in Simcoe County, and that's probably near you.

You don't need CO2 to have a nice freshwater tank unless you want it to be bursting with plants.

Some things to consider before you set up your tank:

1. How hard is the water where you are? If you have hard water, it's easiest to go with fish that tolerate hard water. If you have soft water, you can get any kind of fish because it's easier to make soft water hard than the other way around.
2. What kind of fish do you (i.e. you and your partner) like? Small schooling fish? Colourful fish? Camouflaged fish? Bigger fish? Oddball fish? Showpiece fish? Fish that recognize you when you come into the room? Fish with weird behaviours? If you value having a planted tank, you will need to avoid herbivorous fish.
3. Are you looking to set up a community tank, a biotope tank, a species tank?
4. Do you plan on breeding fish?

Anyway, these are just some ideas to get you started. Keep us posted!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hi and thanks for your input, we bought a new tank online from Petsmart, we thought it would be nice to start off with a new tank.

It's 60 gallons, 48x25x12, what we'd like to get is colourful fish, not cichlids though, some plants would be great but i don't want ti upgrade the lights.

Are there any plants that don't need a ton of lights, schooling fish would be nice, the neon tetra is nice, about 10 or more to staŕt a Red Tailed shark, clown loaches, i love gourami fish.

What about a filter, would a double biowheel penguin filter be ok.

Thanks again for your help
 

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Hunh?
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Java Fern, Java Moss and Anubias are easy plants to keep without CO2 nor high levels of light. They don't grow on the substrate but you can Crazy/hot glue (turn off when the glue starts squeeze out not to burn the root threads)/tie down with thread the rhyzome to whatever decor you want. Decades ago I glued down Java Moss (eye brows) and Java Fern (mohawk) on a porcelain skull...LMAO!!!

They are prone to BBA ("black beard algae") when N and P get high. True Flying Fox fish will help control it.

Schooling fish, Cardinal tetras form a tighter school vs Neon Tetras (IME) but are a bit more sensitive to changes in environment.

Gouramis...I have a soft spot for Honey Gouramis and the males when In breeding mode have a dark patch on the back half of the body and build bubble nests.

Other fish...personally I like the "odd ones"...Khuli Loaches, pencilfish, threadfin rainbows, Emerald Rasboras...that's all I can think at the moment...

Penguin filters are decent. Personally I'm not a fan of their disposable filter inserts and I just reuse them after a good spray down and if you really want to, rip the top seam open to replace the few tablespoons of carbon.

HTH
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hi again and thank you for your suggestions, we had a Cichlid tank set up, 6 Yellow Labs, they were in a 50 gl tank and it started to leak, i had a 15 gl Column tank inthe basement, i brought it up ti save the fish.

That didn't work out very good, after using the water from the leaking tank, the substrate and the rock or some of it anyway. The fish started to die one at a time.

Once they were all gone i did a 50 % water change with RO/di

I was talking to a guy at BA and he suggested that i keep the tank going even just to put new fish in til i get thus 60 gl set up, thats what i did.

I bought 6 Cardinal Tetras to put into the Colomn tank and all is well now since saturday.

We did purchase a new tank frim Petsmart, it's 60 gl 48x25x12, a big viewing pane. We bought the Aqueon 75 hang on filter, a 200 watt heater and new gravel and it came with a stand, glass tops, Led lighting.

I had some Dr Tims Ammonia Chloride left from my saltwater days.

We put Ro/di in it, took the media out of the filter, put the heater on set for 75, put the substrate in it.

I put the balance of the dr Tim's in the tank, there wasn't much, approx 10 ml. My question, can i put flake in the tank to contunue the cycle?

Thx again, i will keep you updated, another question, what about discus can they be kept in a community tank.
 

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Hunh?
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Cardinal tetras and discus do prefer a low TDS water but you have to keep some buffering capacity (kH) for the plants as an alternative carbon source if you aren't going with a pressurized CO2 route. Find a ratio of tap to RODI to give you a min kH of 5. I forget what issues you had with your source water but if your water is so hard (GH) that you have to chew before swallowing like up in Newmarket, you can mix to source and RODI.

Temps for discus at least 80*F and very sensitive to water quality. A good friend of mine used to breed discus and he kept temps @85*F.

To give a food source for the bacteria, you sure can use flaked food. Grind fine and mix with water so that is decomposes faster. You can use Dr Tim's NH4Cl if you wish but don't exceed a tested 2ml/L concentration.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I intend on using ro/di exclusively, we do have hard water but as i said we are using filtered water. I'm not sure if that matters. I love the discus, just beautuful. I was thinking just two, Blood Reds maybe.

Well we are day two of cycling and are very excited, i appreciate yiur help, 80 degrees is possible for sure but will the other fish be ok with that. Thx
 

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Hunh?
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Neon Dwarf Blue Gouramis will be the closest to the Blood Red discus with color and pattern. Unfotunately they, along with their Neon Blue counterpart, are prone to "nasties" (dieseases) dues to the small gene pool they have been line bread as well as exposed to hormones to enhance their coloration at such a "young age" for market.

Larger fish that are "innocuous" to keep the schools/shoals of fish swimming tightly, the general rule follows, if it can fit in their mouth, they will eat it.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Java Fern, Java Moss and Anubias are easy plants to keep without CO2 nor high levels of light. They don't grow on the substrate but you can Crazy/hot glue (turn off when the glue starts squeeze out not to burn the root threads)/tie down with thread the rhyzome to whatever decor you want. Decades ago I glued down Java Moss (eye brows) and Java Fern (mohawk) on a porcelain skull...LMAO!!!

They are prone to BBA ("black beard algae") when N and P get high. True Flying Fox fish will help control it.

Schooling fish, Cardinal tetras form a tighter school vs Neon Tetras (IME) but are a bit more sensitive to changes in environment.

Gouramis...I have a soft spot for Honey Gouramis and the males when In breeding mode have a dark patch on the back half of the body and build bubble nests.

Other fish...personally I like the "odd ones"...Khuli Loaches, pencilfish, threadfin rainbows, Emerald Rasboras...that's all I can think at the moment...

Penguin filters are decent. Personally I'm not a fan of their disposable filter inserts and I just reuse them after a good spray down and if you really want to, rip the top seam open to replace the few tablespoons of carbon.

HTH
Hi again, the tank cycled quite well and i bought 7 cardinal tetras, i love the tight school and i also bought 5 ghoramis forgot the name but the guy at the store said theyre not agressive start with p anyway they school as well, very nice, what do you think about Cherry barbs, my wife likes them.

I am encouraging her to get involved and check some out, find something appealing to her eyes then check out their characteristics such as size and temperment. She lets me make all the decisions and that can be a curse at times.

I bought a center piece for the tank with plastic log and plastic plants and it looks amazing, we will go that route for now. It looks pretty good. Are Led lights for fresh water strong or do the just enhance color in the tank. Do Ghoramis eat blood worms? Thanks for your help, the tank looks great.
 
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