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2nd Planted Tank Attempt Journal (guidance needed, suggestions welcome)


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My first planted tank has been going through a major up and down battle against black beard algae after originally attempted to get an algae filled tank for otos, so I've decided I will start a new one. Tired of the 2 year battle at this point and hilariously enough neglecting it helped it restore balance on its own. Perhaps will attempt to fix it up in the future.

 

Now starting my journal documenting my journey into planted tanks. Attempt 2!

I ordered some frogbit already, I have a 10 gallon rimless aqueon tank, and will be using a Finnex PF 7 Nano Aquarium Hob Power Filter (7.5 gallons). I will also most likely put a sponge filter at a later date. 

Any suggestions on lights? My last tank was the fluval flex 9 gallon so it came with a light. I would prefer something under $60 even more so under $50. It would be for a densly planted tank of frog bit, amazon swords, java ferns, anubis and java moss. I'm willing to go a bit over if it is truly necessary, but would prefer to keep in budget. Keep in mind it would need to go on a rimless tank. 

Since mystery snails are out of the question with it being rimless, would love suggestions on algae eaters when it is done cycling. For now only frog bit will be going in, no other plants. They were originally for my turtle tank, but was warned there might be snail eggs by seller even if no visible snails so decided to put them in a different tank until they are in the clear. I don't want to have to chase down little snails in a 75 gallon. I personally am hoping to be able to get Otos or perhaps khuli loaches? If I do have a bladder or pond snail issue, it will become a pea puffer tank however. 

 

End of Day 1 of Journal. 

Thank you in advance for suggestions and guidance!

Edited by MidnightBel
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I've narrowed down starter lighting choices between fluval aquasky 2.0 LED 15 -24 inche (12watts) or SEAOURA 24/7 Mode LED Aquarium Light for Plants-Full Spectrum Fish Tank Light with timer 12-18 inch (14watts). Biggest difference being price with the fluval being at least $66 and SEAOURA at $25. 

 

Has anyone had experience with either of these? If I went with fluval I wouldn't be able to upgrade for a very long time, but if I got the 2nd I could potentially upgrade sooner in the future if I need more light.

 

Will be posting pics of the tank after it is set up tomorrow. I should add that I'm completely fine with algae growth and if anyone has any other recommendations I'm very much open to it.

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On 2/15/2024 at 4:29 PM, MidnightBel said:

hilariously enough neglecting it helped it restore balance on its own

Ya know, sometimes I think this is key. We all want to fix fix fix our issues. Sometimes we just need to relax and let the issues fix themselves.

like the bladder snail, I have a 20 with them. Not really causing me much trouble 

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On 2/16/2024 at 7:15 AM, Tony s said:

Not sure about the frogbit, but the rest of these don’t need much light at all. I have them in several tanks with just kit lights, and they’re doing okay. 

I was told by the seller it should do well in low to high light, but does best from medium to high. I'm guessing because it is closer to it. I'm just hoping the light will be able to reach through them to other plants.

Anyone have recommendations on dips to get rid of "pest" snails and more on the plants? I'm tempted to get guppygrass, and I have a feeling frog bit and guppygrass are sensitive to dips. I have alum... somewhere 😅. I also heard about hydrogen peroxide dips too. Not sure if guppygrass and frogbit can handle it though, or java moss. The rest should be able to. 

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Yes, but I need to have 0 of them. This is a grow out tank for plants for my turtle tank. I can't be chasing down tiny snails in a 75 to 150 gallon tank. I personally think they are cute, but my family doesn't want them in the tank in the living room. I guess my best bet would be to constantly remove them if any hatch. I debated pea puffer, but don't want to end up with a constant supply of snails and doesn't help the eggs too much to my knowledge. Just the smaller snails. Do kuhli loaches like them? They are my favorite loaches. I wouldn't mind getting another type of loach if they will get the eggs. If not any suggestion on things that eat the eggs? 

 

Thanks for the suggestions and help.

Edit: correcting spelling of kuhli 

Edited by MidnightBel
Correcting spelling
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ymmv with job fish.

If my kuhli loaches ate snails when I had them they didn't do it enough to put a dent in the population. They're sooo cuuute though.

On the other hand, my electric blue acara absolutely decimates snails. I have 5 tanks and the tank he's in is the only one without any snails at all. Although I don't know if they all eat snails and they don't fit in a 10 gallon.

Before I figured out it was him in his tank he took out the entire malaysian trumpet snail, ramshorn, and pond snail populations, several nerites and military helmet snails, and my two older mystery snails. I thought my tank was cursed until I caught him in the act one day.

I also have an apisto macmasteri that regularly eats the ramshorns in one of my 20's. It went from a booming population to maybe 3 or 4 adult snails in the week I introduced the fish. I haven't seen any babies in weeks.

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I say embrace the snails they're a good barometer for if you're feeding to much. If you have too many snails then you're feeding enough to support a big population of snails and you need to dial it back.

Something I've run into with floating plants is they don't like flow. If you hang on back splashes on them they may die off. They also really soak up nitrates. That can be a good thing for the fish but bad for other plants that can't compete. They also have a tendency to block out the light for other plants.

Amazon swords can get pretty tall. At one fish club auction I went to, someone sold one that filled up a clear garbage bag. That's an extreme example and it has been in a massive tank for years but you get the idea. A lot of fully grown crypts will grow to be the size of the swords you normally see in stores.

Do you have any plans for fish to keep in the tank other than otos?

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Other than otos and maybe khuli loaches nothing else yet. Potentially a betta if theh behave well. As for nitrates, I'm not too terribly worried. For when it goes into my turtle tank that is. They produce a ton. It is 3 adopted yellow bellied slider turtles in a 75 gallon, but I've been saving to buy a second hand 150 gallon or more in my area. Sadly it is slim pickings for now. I feed them outside of the tank because they are different sizes, and thankfully no aggression has occured either even when giving the rare few snack of lettuce or shrimp by hand in the tank. I sadly can't have any snails in this tank, and getting an assassin snail or other fish that eat them would be out of the question with turtles. I'm debating potentially putting zebras in there if I ever want fish though.

As for the small 10 gallon, trying to avoid snails in there too since the plants are for transplanting into the turtle tank. I love them, but my parents do not and sadly that tank is in the living room. 

Since I don't feed in the turtle tank normally, would snails in there die? Or would they eat scutes, decaying wood (this is after they eat up the algae growing in the tank). 

If anyone has experience with turtles and plants, I would love to know of quick growing plants that can keep up with them. I've been looking into guppygrass for that, but I know they will chomp it all up quickly. I'm hoping to grow a ton of different variety and add it all at once to give a jungle vibe in several parts in the tank in hopes they won't be too interested to eat it all at once. Frog bit is another quick grower so I'm told, and the turtles apparently also love it. I figured it was the perfect floater for keeping in jumping fish for my no lid rimless tank, as well as other tanks for bettas and mystery snails since I would always be able to feed the excess frog bit to the turtles.

Since the 10 gallon will eventually be heavily planted, would it be safe to keep more than just otos and kuhli loaches in there? They both do better in groups and I feel like putting both in groups of 3 or 4 is already pushing it. If the frog bit prevents algae from growing and there isn't enough biofilm for them, I'd eventually just use my other tanks to "farm them", since more than anything I desperately want to keep those species. It was why I was planning to start with otos when there is enough algae for them and then kuhli loaches after the tank is more established. My family still makes fun of me for my first planted tank being algae heaven from intentionally feeding a lot and having too much light for the otos. If I didn't get black beard algae in there I would of had the otos there by now.

Even though I do have my heart set on those 2, I am open to more stocking recommendations since I have 3 more 10 gallons laying around. The 2nd Planted Tank might just turn into 3 or 4 if it does well. Hoping to get a 20 for a nice display tank soon, but my parents would kill me if I did that right now since I have a lot of reptile enclosures in my room too.😅

On 2/16/2024 at 8:13 PM, Crow said:

ymmv with job fish.

If my kuhli loaches ate snails when I had them they didn't do it enough to put a dent in the population. They're sooo cuuute though.

On the other hand, my electric blue acara absolutely decimates snails. I have 5 tanks and the tank he's in is the only one without any snails at all. Although I don't know if they all eat snails and they don't fit in a 10 gallon.

Before I figured out it was him in his tank he took out the entire malaysian trumpet snail, ramshorn, and pond snail populations, several nerites and military helmet snails, and my two older mystery snails. I thought my tank was cursed until I caught him in the act one day.

I also have an apisto macmasteri that regularly eats the ramshorns in one of my 20's. It went from a booming population to maybe 3 or 4 adult snails in the week I introduced the fish. I haven't seen any babies in weeks.

This just makes me want to hurry and get back into larger tanks. My dad used to have a 100 or so gallon for cichlids and a 44 or some weird number gallon for freshwater. I used to love getting to stalk things. Never had luck with shrimp sadly since they got picked on even with tons of hiding places, but now that I'm older and can do my own research I can invest and create a more balanced environment taking into consideration water parameters, aggression levels, and diets of the residents. One thing I have always wanted was a bigger fresh water puffer or even a brackish one. They are my favorite and got me into fish in the first place. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

IT'S BEGUN! 

A war against snails shall soon begin. I love them, but for the purpose of this tank, they are unwelcomed guests.

The plants arrived on the 22nd. Fearing doing a dip would hurt my cute frog bits, I opted to place them directly into the newly set up tank. Allowing for their old roots and leaves that didn't make it to rot and feed ammonia into my tank to cycle. I did a through check of any suspicious looking goo on the leaves from an underneath view of the floating plants and all seemed well. I was however mistaken. 

By chance when doing one of my occasional checks, I discovered small little black dots hiding under a frogbit leaf. As I picked up the frogbit, two little dots escaped into the water. I had to keep my eyes peeled for the intruders on the days to come. I placed the gooey snail eggs into a cup and not 2 days later they hatched! They shall be under surveillance for now until I can identify them. Perhaps a small nano tank in their honor shall be created.

Not a movement or dot in sight for the next week. The storm seemed to have past, and it seemed like lady luck was on my side... but alas I was wrong again.  More have popped up and begun developing. I've since taken out two more egg sacks on decaying leaves and picked up 3 individual tiny specks to join their comrades in the snail cup jail. A few more eggsacks will need to be removed tomorrow and the jail could use some more water.20240303_011457.jpg.4539ffe08febe8876502fe7c246e34f6.jpg20240303_011510.jpg.b0782a17c0986b0b1d9730aade1480e6.jpg

A few more baby snails that escaped the egg sack purge are hiding at the floor of the bare bottom tank. A good decision on my part, as I had expected a snail invasion, and wanted to get the best view to keep them at bay. No additional filters have gone in, except the original one so they won't have any additional places to hide.

Turns out the finnex PF 7 nano aquarium Hob Power Filter is wayyy too strong for frog bit. 😅 Any suggestions on helping this? If not I will go back to my original backup plan; using a sponge filter.

The tank has been set up since Feb 22nd or 23rd. New long roots are growing, old roots dying back and getting swept to the bottom of the tank whenever I disturb the water. A thick white biofilm or bacteria bloom layer has formed on my still water aquarium. A bubbler will go in eventually, but for now I want the best view. I will just have to occasionally disturb the water for oxygen. Some weird bubbles formed as I turned on the filter today shortly to help with flow. If left on too long, the suction is so great that the roots and plants move to it.20240303_011422.jpg.d79e3b164670fa3faaf227a5ce813ed1.jpg

20240303_012057.jpg.168984381a25b43675bc332502b73be0.jpg

Shown below are some pics of the day I set it up. Sorry this update took so long. I was sick for the past week.20240221_225928.jpg.f2e27dd71cbe4c78d3f7bf1f38fa8a10.jpg20240221_225955.jpg.c8b05b08af30914cc666454abbee30b4.jpg

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