Hello, Going on an adventure, will need help

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Dogmanpaul

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Hi,

I am in the process of breaking down my Marine tank that I've had for the past 8 years.
The tank is looking tatty and Marine has become so expensive.

I have my eye on a Ciano 120 emotions pro tank. I was going to take to built in filter out and use the Eheim external filters I have now.
I love the aquascaped tanks, so am looking for a heavily planted tank with lots of wood and stones.

I would love advice please on:

1. Substrate (aqua soil seems so expensive as i'll need 36 liters)
2. CO2 dosing (the cheap version).
3. The best hardscape.

I am looking forward to my adventure and will really need help along the way
 

emeraldking

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Hi & welcome to TFF... :hi:
Oh, there are some aquascapers on this forum. Hope they'll chime in...
 

Archerfish

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Welcome to the forum! You are a well-experienced aquarist so the transition will not be difficult. It might help if you first identify how much money you have to devote to the project and effort you are willing to exert. You mention marine has become expensive. Yep. But a high-tech plant tank is also expensive if you go 'all out' and do it right. Jumping directly to a high-tech aquarium with plant-specific substrate, C02 injection, proper lighting etc might cost more than you want to spend. And speaking from experience, you might become a 'victim' of your own success and find the high-tech tank is really beautiful but also high maintenance. You might first identify in writing what you want your tank to look, how much money you want to spend and the level of effort you are willing to exert. You can have gorgeous lower tech, planted aquarium for much less money.
 
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Dogmanpaul

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with selling my fish and rock, that pays for the tank. lights, heater and my filters will have to be sterilized and new filter medium bought.

Im after a a tank that people will notice and then on looking closely see the fish
 
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Dogmanpaul

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Sorry that made no sense. I have filters lights and heater already. Its just substrate and hardscaping and plants to buy. Fish will follow on later about february time
 
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Dogmanpaul

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CO2 will be DIY to start with (cheap), maybe save up after my birthday for a proper kit
 

Aqua67

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I have never used soil in my aquariums nor have I used co2, but that will definitely help you obtain the lush carpeted aquascape it sounds like you are after. If you’re using co2 you may be trimming your plants every couple of weeks.

The “best” hard scape is such a relative thing, depending on your tastes and the look that you’re hoping to achieve. I would say to look for pictures of what you would like your aquarium to look like and post them here for us to comment on. We should be able to help you identify plants and types of hardscapes from your “dream tank” pictures.

Having a new tank to design and fill with plants is one of my favorite things. I’m so happy and excited for you and will thoroughly enjoy hearing about your progress and seeing your pictures. I imagine your end result being an absolutely gorgeous underwater landscape and upon further inspection find nano schooling fish or possibly little shrimp grazing on the lush underwater carpet.
 

Sgooosh

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Sorry that made no sense. I have filters lights and heater already. Its just substrate and hardscaping and plants to buy. Fish will follow on later about february time
I am not very experienced, but i've set up a few tanks, and i have come to the conclusion that using expensive aquarium soil is about the same as using cheap big box store substrates.

I like to use plain landscaping sand, and then add root tabs. after a while, everything cycles through and the cheap sand will become very good and fertilized aquarium plant soil
 
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Dogmanpaul

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Thanks. What substrate do you recommend. I've heard that playsand from Argos is very good too
 

Essjay

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A lot of UK members use Argos playsand. And there are the more expensive sands sold in fish shops as well. Make sure you wash any sand as it will have dust in it which will cloud the tank water if it isn't washed.
 
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Dogmanpaul

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Other than aquasoil. I was looking at pond soil to pad it out where the plants will be, then a layer of aquasoil to give it all the nutrition. Where there's no plants I was looking at gravel or sand.
I was looking at this type of scape
 

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Essjay

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If you intend an aquatic garden with a few fish for a bit of interest, then using plant substrates can be useful. But if you intend a fish tank with plants as decor, you don't need plant substrates. Plain sand with tablet fertiliser for the root feeding plants will work just fine. Leaf feeding plants won't benefit from special substrates; they just need liquid fertiliser adding to the water.


The image you've been looking at won't need plant substrate as most of the plants in the photo are actually attached to the wood. If you want to copy this idea, just use sand.
 

Rocky998

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Dang I thought based on the name of the thread Dora the explorer was needing help from aquarists.
All joking aside, you seem very knowledgeable (way more knowledgeable than me lol) and hage a good plan on what you want.
Welcome to the forum! I really hope to see this all come together for you!
 
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Dogmanpaul

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The image I've posted is close to what I want but with a lot more plants in and a bit less rock.
I was thinking of putting the substrate just in the areas where it will be heavily planted. I do want moss and plants growing on the wood.
I will dose with homemade CO2 to help it grow
 

connorlindeman

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The image I've posted is close to what I want but with a lot more plants in and a bit less rock.
I was thinking of putting the substrate just in the areas where it will be heavily planted. I do want moss and plants growing on the wood.
I will dose with homemade CO2 to help it grow
I would say that you should forget Co2. It's really not necessary.
The sand in the picture you posted is very bright. I would go for something a bit darker. Less stressful for your fish.
 

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