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Greetings Earthlings

Discussion in 'Introductions and Greetings' started by jenicaknits, Jun 1, 2013.

  1. jenicaknits

    jenicaknits New Member

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    Location:
    Tualatin Oregon
    Hi, I'm from planet MOM and I don't know the first thing about this hobby. I'm a general out-door plant enthusiast and I can't help but want an aquarium that is focused around plants.

    Right now I'm in the research phase and jumping onto this site is a bit overwhelming. I'm not sure where to start. I need to make decisions about tank size, filter, Lighting, heaters and what is this about fertilizing?

    I do want fish eventually but I really just want a cool focal point in my kitchen to catch everyone's eye.

    Who wants to be my Sensi? Who should I be-friend?

    Thanks everyone!!!
     
    greenfinger 2 likes this.
  2. hamza

    hamza Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Location:
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    Rofl, loved your thread title....:D


    Welcome on board!

    Here is a good thread to get you started.
    http://www.aquascapingworld.com/threads/if-you-are-new-to-planted-tanks-you-should-read-this.5025/

    Please go through all the sticky topics on the forum, especially in General Aquascaping and Planted Tank Discussions.

    Tank size
    I think you as a beginner should go for a tank somewhere around 60-100liter in capacity. Reasons for that
    1-big enough to keep most plants
    2-economical
    3-you are less likely to over/under dose it.
    4-less time required for maintenance.

    Temperature
    I dont know about your location but 25ºC is the sweet spot, take whatever it takes to be in that zone. Buy a good quality heater rated for the tank size you choose.

    Filtration
    A small canister filter like eheim 2213 or something alike or even a large HOB(if you're tight on budget) should do. Go for external filters as they occupy minimal space inside the tank and you have no/very little obstruction.

    Lights
    There are a lot of light options these days. You can buy readymade fixtures or even make your own with good quality T5 lamps from home depot store. LEDs are in great demand these days, but are quite pricey though.
    Depending on the size you opt for we can decide lighting and all.

    Fertilization
    Very similar to terrestrial plants, aquatic plants require macro and micro elements.
    Macro - N,P,K
    Micro - Mg, Cu, Fe, Mn, Mo, Zi, B

    There are two routes here..

    Either buy full line up of good branded fertilizers(Seachem, ADA, TPN, Ferka, API, etc..)
    or
    make your own.

    Buying readymade fertilizers will save you lots of hassles of measuring and mixing, etc., and makes job so much easier but it comes at a price.

    If you buy dry chemicals and make your own fertilizers it'll be a fraction of what you'll pay for the above option.
    I personally get my supply of dry chemicals from aquariumfertilizer.com.
    My 3+year supply will cost something like 60$ for a medium sized tank.
    You'll likely spend that much for 3-6 month fertilizers if you go for premix fertilizers.

    Not only price factor, it also gives you liberty of reducing or increasing any ingredients as per your setup and requirement.
    Once you get a hang of it dry chemicals will give you equally good results if not better than branded fertilizers.

    If you are used to making fertilizers for your garden it wont be a big issue for you.

    Invest on a CO2 system if you want vigorous plant growth. There are ways you can go without one as well, but they have their own limitations.
    -Liquid carbon like gluteraldehyde or seachem excel. Its not suitable for some plants and may kill shrimps/livestock on n overdose.
    -DIY CO2 using yeast method, good for small tanks only. And co2 production is no constant all the time. Very few people have used it successfully.
     
    jenicaknits likes this.
  3. jenicaknits

    jenicaknits New Member

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    Location:
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    I've noticed the use of CO2 on the forum since perusing the site. This sounds high-tech! Is there a reliable product available to keep from over/under gassing your tank? I'll read the stickies and links you suggested I'm sure i'll learn from this site, there seems to be a lot of great info.

    I'm very excited to learn more. I hope to include some areas with soil in my set up, this would be a new experience for me!
     
  4. hamza

    hamza Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Location:
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    First you decide on the tank size.

    If its going to be 30l. Filtration(Zoo Med) seems pretty fine for that.

    And for a 30l as its your first tank, go with branded premix fertilizers along with liquid carbon.
    As the tank is pretty small, expenditure on fertilizers will be minimal, even with branded ferts. And you can simply read instructions and dose according to that and tank will run nice and stable. Do aqua Be green, Tropica plant nutrition are simple all in one fertilizers, use them along with seachem excel/easylife carbo(liquid carbon sources).
    Once you get a hang of maintaining planted tank you can gradually improvise and make your own fertilizers and upgrade to CO2 system with a larger tank.

    Fish can bare quite high concentrations of ferilizers(even in case if you exceed 2-3times the dosage required). As far as you are do a major water change like 40-60% on weekly basis all should be fine and there wont be any fertilizer buildup in water column.

    Go through this if you intend to make your own fertilizers.
    http://www.barrreport.com/forumdisplay.php/38-Estimative-Index
     
    jenicaknits likes this.
  5. jenicaknits

    jenicaknits New Member

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    Okay, sounds good! I've got some reading in store for me.

    Do you buy your plants and DW locally or online?
     
  6. greenfinger 2

    greenfinger 2 Active Aquascaper

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    Hi Jenicaknits, Love your Introduction :cool: But your first words should have been? Take me to your leader :D Welcome to ASW Look like you are off to a good start(y)Cheers roy
     
    jenicaknits likes this.
  7. hamza

    hamza Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Location:
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    We get all plants within India itself these days, except for a few handful ones. We've got a lot of local plant farms here.

    Just once or twice I ordered anubias and mosss from ebay long ago.

    I have driftwood mostly collected(and prepared for tanks) and some purchased from LFS. Same with rocks and stones, some from LFS, some from landscape stores and rest wherever I can pick them from.
     
  8. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    Location:
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    Hello and welcome,

    hamza has you on the right path. Defining your goals, tank size, and how much you are willing to do in maintenance can help answer the equipment questions. I noticed you were in Oregon and wanted to suggest The Wet Spot Tropical Fish in Portland as a good place for fish and some common plants.

    CO2 is easiest in small tanks, no device will keep you from over doing it other than your own observation. A small CO2 setup would be nice as I think a good CO2 supply helps with lush plant growth and avoids some unsightly algae issues. If I was doing a small tank like a 30 L I would get this Atomic Co2 Paintball Reg. along with a bubble counter and atomizer. These types of things do grow the budget, but payoff greatly.

    Keep asking questions and reading up. Best of luck to you!
     
    greenfinger 2 and jenicaknits like this.
  9. jenicaknits

    jenicaknits New Member

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    Location:
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    Thank you Sean yes I went into the wet spot and got very excited about this nee hobby. I just figured I should research it more to make sure I'm buying the right equipment not just what they have in the store. After some initial reading it sounds like a CO2 set up is what I want and will need. As you say I need to first choose the aquarium maybe I'll take photos of the place I'd like to put it and get the forums feedback on the right size and scale for the room.

    I'm very excited and wish I could stay home all day researching it but I have to go to work.

    Thank you for your warm welcomes!

    Jenica
     
  10. jenicaknits

    jenicaknits New Member

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    Location:
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    Roy you're absolutely right I never was one that was very good with words I'm so sad now My introduction was not as cool as it could have been!!!!! My husband is better with these kinds of things.

    Thank you for welcoming me into this group. I'll try not to make too many faux pas along the way!!

    <3 Jenica
     
  11. greenfinger 2

    greenfinger 2 Active Aquascaper

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    Hi Jenicaknits, :) Best Site on the Planet :cool: All the latest info :) Happy Aquascaping(y)Cheers roy
     
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