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BeginAgain

How To Start a Planted Tank

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I'm getting two goldfish very soon. They'll be in a 10gal for a while to let them grow up and when they get a bit too big we'll upgrade them, to what size is unknown know. I'm planning on using the CaribSea Instant Aquarium gravel in Crystal River which is supposed to help cycle a tank and be good for planted tanks but is it really okay or do I need something else or should I just not have a planted tank? What plants to I need and what fertilizers?

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Two fish in a ten gallon won't be good for very long, unfortunately. Why not start them in a proper sized tank, so that you can really see a change, as they grow? Alternatively, there are other creatures that could live happily in a 10 gallon; why not try those, instead? :)

Starting a planted tank is about having the a balance between proper lighting, substrate, ferts, and c02. What would be a workable schedule in a 10 gallon, wouldn't be correct in a 40 gallon.

We'd need some more details about the equipment that you have available, and the plants you had in mind, to guide you in the right direction. Planted tanks are a joy like few others, and are a great way to complement your fish. Like anything else involving a living thing, they require learning and dedication, to keep them at their best.

That being said, tell us what you had in mind.

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Hello welcome to the forum! :)

Honestly, it would be best to just start out giving them the proper tank size. It will cost you less money in the long run. If you start with a ten gallon and upgrade, you will need: new lighting, more filtration, a new stand, and more substrate. It would be easier to just get the proper tank size, substrate, Filter, and stand now.

If you want to grow plants, it really depends on lighting and the type if plant you get. I personally don't use any fertilizers. I think the waste that the goldfish produce is enough :). I like my Petco sand, but there are different sands to choose from.

If you don't have the fish yet, do a fishless cycle on the tank and when complete, then get the fish. It will be easier on you and less stressful for the fish.

Sniped by the plant queen :pp

Edited by Mikey

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Tammy has given you some good information.

I suggest reading over this before proceeding any further. It is a very informative article. :)

http://www.kokosgoldfish.com/Plants.html

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Like Mikey said, it will cost you ALOT less in the long run if you start out with the proper sized tank and equipment now, rather than telling yourself you're going to upgrade later. I learned that the hard way.

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I'm getting two goldfish very soon. They'll be in a 10gal for a while to let them grow up and when they get a bit too big we'll upgrade them, to what size is unknown know. I'm planning on using the CaribSea Instant Aquarium gravel in Crystal River which is supposed to help cycle a tank and be good for planted tanks but is it really okay or do I need something else or should I just not have a planted tank? What plants to I need and what fertilizers?

Welcome to the Game! Do you know what types of plants you will have in your planted tank? Goldfish are lawnmowerws, be careful what you put in it because they will most likely eat it. Plus, keep the guys' above tips in mind. You don't want to start a beautiful planted tank and then have to restart it in another tank. Good Luck!

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I got one today at a store getting Kuhli Loaches for my community tank and she was to weird lookin to leave. (She has little bubble eyes and a tiny little feather of a dorsal and is pretty skinny) so I have her in a tupperware thing that I think is about 5 gal for now but we are getting a 10 gallon Monday (the arrangements were made a few days ago) and it's coming with a full setup. The theory was to give them a small tank while they are little (I'm going to get another one next week, there weren't any others that I wanted) that way they won't be freaked out by a big tank. And we are getting the tank used so it will buy us some time to find a larger one in a few weeks, plus when I say little I mean about 1 inch long no tail. I really want duckweed, I love the stuff I think it looks cool.

Edited by BeginAgain

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I've raised fry in a 40 gallon, and they were just fine, but I'm sure there are other ways to do things. I hope everything works out for the best! :) :)

Best of luck to you. :)

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Thanks :) I know I want a banana plant I used to have one and it did really well. I know a lot of plants like flourite but will it harm my fish?

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I've never personally used Flourite, but I've heard that it's a very dusty substrate, and will need to be thoroughly rinsed before putting it into the tank. As far as planted tank substrates go, I prefer Eco Complete, as it's almost clean enough to go right into the tank. There isn't a large difference between the substrates, nutrient-wise, but not needing to stand out in the cold rinsing fish tank rocks would be a deal breaker for me. ;) With Eco Complete, the water will still cloud, but will settle within a couple days.

With a tank so small, I do not recommend adding substrate, as it will displace water volume. If you can not put your fish into a more appropriately sized tank (especially since you plan on more than one fish), please wait on the substrate until you do. There are many plants that do very well in a bare bottom tank. Look at my sig; I've been running one for quite a long while.

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She's only in there for about 2 days. Then we'll get her into the 10 gal. It'll be bare bottom until next Saturday probably and she'll get a buddy and some plants and decorations. She still isn't too good with eating food, but she's catching on on how to chew something that isn't a flake, an algae wafer, and eat from the bottom without being bullied for food. I might end up using a giant tupperware, one of the bins that is 20-30 gallons. And I'll get one larger than what I need to so I have room for more goldies.

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She's only in there for about 2 days. Then we'll get her into the 10 gal. It'll be bare bottom until next Saturday probably and she'll get a buddy and some plants and decorations. She still isn't too good with eating food, but she's catching on on how to chew something that isn't a flake, an algae wafer, and eat from the bottom without being bullied for food. I might end up using a giant tupperware, one of the bins that is 20-30 gallons. And I'll get one larger than what I need to so I have room for more goldies.

I was referring to the 10 gallon, when I spoke of not using substrate.

The only time we recommend using a ten gallon tank is during the quarantine period. During the first 4-6 weeks of a new fish's time with us, we keep this fish separate from all of our others, as it may have sickness, which can infect what we have already going. While this fish is in its temporary ten gallon home, it requires daily 100% water changes. This is for two reasons: keeping water quality up (because these tanks are traditionally uncycled, and as such, the water quality will rapidly deteriorate), and removing any nasties that may have come with it from the pet shop. We tend to keep these temporary tanks as bare as possible, to facilitate debris removal. A heater, and an airstone are typically all that are inside the quarrantine tank. Any type of substrate in an uncycled, too small, tank is only going to make your life more difficult.

After this period of daily 100% water changes, for a minimum of 4-6 weeks, the fish is introduced (only if it is deemed healthy, obviously) to the main tank. The main tank can have substrate, decorations, plants, and whatever your heart desires. If you follow our guidelines of 15-20 gallons PER goldfish, 10x your gallonage per hour in filtration, and at least a 50% water change once a week, your fish will have the best chance at living long, healthy lives.

After all, it has been said that we are not truly keepers of fish, but keepers of the water in which they swim. If their water is kept pristine, then the health of the fish will also be good. :)

---

I'm getting off of my soap box, as it seems you've made up your mind. If you wouldn't mind answering a couple of questions, so that we can better assist you getting your available set up started.

You have a ten gallon already? Has that tank completed the Nitrogen Cycle?

What's the name and size of your filter? Does it say a gallons per hour on the box somewhere?

Do you have a water conditioner like Seachem Prime, Seachem Safe, or Amquel Plus?

Have you yet purchased a testing kit? A favorite kit here is the API Master Freshwater Kit, but you'll also do well with picking up a kH/gH testing kit as well.

Do you have a siphon, a water changing system, or some way to remove water from the tank, to do your water changes?

Try to answer these questions carefully and accurately, so that we can help you get settled in the best manner possible. There's a tremendous amount of information involved in keeping these beautiful creatures, but once you get your sea legs, you'll realize that it isn't really so tough. :) And here at Koko's, we'll have your back every step of the way.

Edited by yafashelli

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The idea that somehow fish get freaked out by a big tank doesn't really make much sense, and this may very well be the first time I have read it.

When does one decide if a fish has outgrown its tank? Why wait?

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I just wanted to say Hello and Welcome to the forum. :)

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Please do get an appropriate sized tank before thinking about anything else. Do not plan on any more fish until you have room for your first one. It is not healthy for the fish. Also, please learn about the Nitrogen cycle. Many of us lost fish before we found out how to care for their home properly with the Nitrogen Cycle and Koko's, so I assure you we are't being fanatics. This place knows what it's talking about.

I'd really like to show you a video of my fish in what used to be her old 10gal tank, so you can get an idea as to why we all are pushing that you start out the right way.

http://youtu.be/IveuaeF7koo

I bought her in July of 2012 and took the initial photo in the 10g, and by September she was already too big for that tank and was really hurting the water parameters to the point where I was changing large amounts of water daily in her aquarium. She was the ONLY inhabitant in there.

I moved her to a 40 gallon tank with another fish October of the same year. This video was taken July 9, 2013. She had just recently moved to a 55g tank in May 2013. She has since outgrown that because it was hard to turn around, and now lives in my indoor pond. In July of 2014 I will have had her for only 2 years and she will be 2.5 years old. Goldfish get huge fast. They do not stay the size of the tank you keep them in. Please give them adequate room to grow and avoid spending a ton of money later.

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As everyone has stated, starting with the largest tank you can afford (or your parents will let you keep) at the moment is much better. :)

Goldfish can get quite large. Your fish probably won't get this large, but I'm sure a few of the older members will remember Daniel and HsiHou's fish Tinko.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e0l8NYPEp2s

Edited by Helen
*name correction :)

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I haven't gotten the tank yet and it comes with the filter so that I don't know but I do know that I have another Tetra Whisper 10gal tank filter and a Pond Pump that moves I think 120 gallons an hour and It's very easy to attach sponges to. Right now I have Amquel Plus but last time I had my goldies, it really messed with my pH so I'm getting more Prime Saturday. I have the API Master Kit and the siphon but I haven't grabbed the kH/gH yet. I plan on moving the fish out of the 10 gal when they reach 2-3 inches. I know about the Nitrogen Cycle and our original plan was not to get fish until it had cycled but this once little guy has that look about her and it's not a very good store, the tanks are insanely overcrowded and I couldn't bear to leave her there. The other fish were pretty and came up more and were less fearful of hand and looked a lot better aesthetically. So yes, I did make a mistake and I know that we shouldn't have brought her home yet because we don't even have the tank yet. I am not trying to start anything when I add that I did have goldfish before in a 10 gallon tank and they were fine for a few months, as they were both tiny when I got them. Daily 20-30% water changes, rinsing the filter and gravel siphoning all let it cycle. However it did take a long time and hard work and I realize this. I think I won't get the more difficult plants until I get them into a larger tank since 3 inches of gravel in a 10 gallon tank would be way too much and I was planning on anywhere for 1/2-1 inch of gravel. I literally can't get a larger tank right now so if anyone can help me with keeping them in a 10 gal for just a few weeks, I'd really appreciate it. There are a couple of tanks we are looking at right now, but until further notice, we are getting the 10 gal. We are also going to a fish and supply auction/sale Feb 9th and we will be looking at larger tanks there as well.



2i9pl5s.jpgThe debris is from breakfast of peas.


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I realize it might not seem like it but I really, really, appreciate your help. I didn't realize that they would need to be moved so soon, so I'll see if we can get this tank for 50 dollars though it doesn't have anything in it so that might cost a bit much. Maybe this 55 gallon one with everything so I'll see how this goes. ANy tips for their stay in the 10 gal?


Edited by BeginAgain

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I use that ten gallon tank for my quarantine, actually, so I think I know which filter that you have. It's an internal black filter, right? I was never very lucky with that one; I always felt like it was backing up, and the water was never very clear. Unfortunately, it's very under-powered, for your fish.

Something like this would be more appropriate, and can be moved to your next tank, when you upgrade.

http://www.amazon.com/AquaClear-50-Power-Filter-Includes/dp/B000260FUM/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1390750840&sr=8-1&keywords=aquaclear+50

The aquaclear fifty pushes 200 gallons per hour, so it can be a stand alone filter for any tank up to 20 gallons. If you decided to do a 40 gallon tank, to house 2 fish, you can add another one of these, and have your filtration be quite good. Don't look at the size tank the filter is rated for, look at the gph on the filter box. The aqua clears are great because they're cheap, and you can customize your media, with lots of extra room for bio media.

For now, to get you started, move a little bit of your ceramic media from your tropical tank filters, to the goldfish tank filters, and put some new media into both. We're going to kickstart your cycle by seeding. :)

I also had an issue with Amquel tanking my pH. If you want to order something just as good, for cheaper, I recommend Seachem Safe. It's the same as Prime, but in powdered form. You have to mix it with each w/c, but even so, it's sooooo much less expensive.

If you must keep them in the 10 for now, nix the gravel. Cycling with fish in a small tank (I've been there, so I know) is rough riding, and the parameters are hard to keep control of. You may need to do 80% changes, twice a day, depending on how much you feed.

In the short term, here are my recommendations:

*Pick up a new filter, like the AC 50.

*Take some of the media from your trop tank, move it to the goldfish tank. Add new bio media to both.

*Watch both tanks for cycle spikes

*Stick to one fish, and only one fish, until the tank cycles, and you can move them to a bigger home.

*Test DAILY, and any time the ammonia level + Nitrite level equals anything NEAR 1ppm, do a huge (80%+) water change, and double dose Prime. If it is less than 1ppm, double dosing on Prime is okay.

*Pick up a kH/gH kit

*Have baking soda and Morton's "Canning and Pickling" salt on hand

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I had many planted tanks for years. I only used seachem fluorite. This being said I have no experience using it with goldfish and other members here can likely fill in the blanks regarding how goldies do with it.

Having a planted tanks can either be very easy with low maintenance or very hard requiring high light and fertilizers along with CO2 injection. I have had both. Low maintenance is what I would suggest for goldies. This method of plant keeping only requires low light conditions with no fertilizers or CO2. There is a large array of plants in the low light category that are unappealing or can withstand goldies.

When I start to add plants to my tank the only genus will be Anubias as these are durable hardy plants. There may be a potential to add a plant from the Echinodorus genus if I can find information that my goldies may not mess with it.

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I had many planted tanks for years. I only used seachem fluorite. This being said I have no experience using it with goldfish and other members here can likely fill in the blanks regarding how goldies do with it.

Having a planted tanks can either be very easy with low maintenance or very hard requiring high light and fertilizers along with CO2 injection. I have had both. Low maintenance is what I would suggest for goldies. This method of plant keeping only requires low light conditions with no fertilizers or CO2. There is a large array of plants in the low light category that are unappealing or can withstand goldies.

When I start to add plants to my tank the only genus will be Anubias as these are durable hardy plants. There may be a potential to add a plant from the Echinodorus genus if I can find information that my goldies may not mess with it.

You can do swords. :) I've had several different kinds, and while they do rip them up, they grow fast enough to compensate. :thumbs:

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I'm still looking for a larger tank. Sadly we don't have the room for a 55 gallon tank. My LFS has some used tanks so we'll check there for larger ones. Would a 30 gal be okay for 2? We are planing to use some of the CaribSea Live Gravel if possible on the larger tank when we get it, they have freshwater options which is nice and we were planning on using some of the filter media from the trop tank as well. And the surface will hopefully be covered with duckweed, she's not eating it right now but that doesn't mean too much for now.

Does anyone know if PetCo is still doing the $1 per Gallon sale? If so a 30 gallon isn't too far fetched.

Edited by BeginAgain

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I think we might get the Aqueon QuietFlow Filter but should I get filter media bags and fill my own or use the ones they have premade. The premade ones are just cloth bags with carbon.

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There is no magic answer to the question of how big is big enough. There are simply too many factors. My personal feeling is that, yes, you could try two goldfish in a 30 with powerful filtration and 90% weekly water changes. The Juwel Lido at 120 litres is a popular tank in Europe and I have seen them run for years with 2 fish, upgraded filters and rigid routines.

Your fish will be healthier with more space. You will be able to relax more, with leeway to become sick and delay a water change for a few days with a bigger tank. You will be able to go away for longer without having a friend change the water. Your fish will be bigger.

I don't know your finances, but I would try to squeeze out the extra money to buy a 40 rather than a 30.

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I think the empty plain tanks are usually $1 per Gallon so a 40 wouldn't be much more money wise but space wise, well it takes up a bit more room. If I find a 40 gallon complete set up used for cheaper than a new 30, well the choice is obvious, I guess I'll just wait a bit and ee what comes my way :)

Edited by BeginAgain

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Just jumping in to say that when I went to my local Petco yesterday they were still doing dollar per gallon. I just picked up a 20 gallon there on Friday but when I Googled to see if it was still going, a couple different forums said it was supposed to end either Friday or Saturday.

Not positive but I think normally, besides the dpg sale, Petsmart has slightly cheaper tanks...or at least they had a cheaper 40b than Petco when I got mine.

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