Planted 29 gallon tank...gift for my son

Brad Miller

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I am excited to start my first planted tank.

My oldest son had a 29 gallon freshwater tank and stand that he had some fish and plants in but with being newly married and working as much as he does, it was left go.
He brought over the tank last weekend and I spent 2 days cleaning it up, taking the HOB filter off and putting my older canister filter on it.
Here’s what it looked like after that;
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Now....here’s my plan (by the way, he doesn’t know it, but I’ll be giving the tank back to him later on when things are thriving and dialed in)
I want to do something like this and keep his “lost city” type theme;
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I installed the Current Serene lighting for the top and rear of the tank, and will need to add better plant lighting for the daytime light cycle while using the Serene as a “viewing experience” with the sound.

I want to get started on the transformation, so many things to research...
1. Choosing the proper substrate...probably black inert fine sand.
2. What to fertilize with...probably do an EI dosage plan with 50% weekly water changes.
3. co2 dosing...probably get a tank, good setup and indicator.
4. Choosing lighting.
And the list goes on....seems to be as much involved as my reef tank ;Facepalm

Here’s what it looks like now;
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Big G

captain dunsel
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Love planted tanks. Still keep one in my bedroom both for the calming beauty and the white noise helps me sleep. I do low - tech approach. Almost zero maintenance. Yours looks great!
 

reef lover

It's a reef thing....
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Awesome!
 
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Brad Miller

Brad Miller

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So....
I have been working a little at a time on this one.

Slowly got rid of the stone substrate and now have 50# of Black Diamond blasting media (Coal slag for sand blasting applications. $8.00 @ Tractor Supply)

Replaced canister filter bio star media with Seachem Matrix.

Added Java moss between 2 layers of “Gutter Guard” And sewed closed with fishing line to grow a carpet over the entire bottom of substrate.

Added Mopani branches and wood after boiling them once and letting them soak for a week.
Tied them together with Ty-Raps and weighted them down with fishing line to a stone.
I’m wanting to let the Mopani wood bring the ph down naturally while also leeching some tannin to color the water a bit like a light tea color for a more natural look.

Added some low light plants and attached to the wood.
Will take some Java Moss later and attach to some wood to make trees and overhangs.

Started dosing “Thrive C” once a week for fertilizer and doing a 30% water change once a week.

I’m using softened water with a ph of 8.3 and topping off evaporation with RODI water
Gh = 6
KH = 9
PH was 8.25 now but will drop to 6.8 with CO2 addition

Just finished setting up my CO2 system:
1-30# tank of CO2 I got from my shop that we use for our CO2 lift.
1-CO2 Art, Dual Stage regulator, Solenoid valve, needle valve and bubble counter.
1-Micro CO2 diffuser on tank bottom near the filter intake.
1-Pinpoint Ph controller set up to energize the CO2 solenoid valve to diffuse and lower the ph to my set point of 6.8 and also turn on an air stone to raise the PH if needed. (No chemicals needed)
This will run 24/7.

1-CO2 glass drop checker mounted inside the tank near the filter return.

CD3BE9F5-423B-4EA4-A6CF-C303ACA6EB3F.jpeg

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Brad Miller

Brad Miller

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Seems I can only drop the ph by 1 with co2 addition so I’m experimenting with the right mixture of tap and rodi water to get the PH, GH and KH I’m wanting to keep in the tank....am still learning....

Added stainless steel Lilly pipes for the canister filter in and outs. The inlet pipe also has a surface skimmer.
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