More guides please

Jadzir

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After reading the very detailed guide on the fish less cycle I was wondering if there are any more guides?
Maybe ones for things like performing water changes or even the basics of plant care.
I always believe that the more knowledge based information you have the less mistakes you are likely to make. 🐠
 

PlasticGalaxy

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You can have a look at the threads in the plant-based forums here, just scroll down a little. Not sure about water changes though. Is there anything specific you'd like to know?
 

Colin_T

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Some links about different subjects ranging from disease to breeding fish and culturing food for baby fish.







 

Colin_T

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PLANTS & LIGHTS.

LIGHTING TIMES

Most aquarium plants like a bit of light and if you only have the light on for a couple of hours a day, they struggle. If the light doesn't have a high enough wattage they also struggle. Try having the tank lights on for 10-12 hours a day.

If you get lots of green algae then reduce the light by an hour a day and monitor the algae over the next 2 weeks.
If you don't get any green algae on the glass then increase the lighting period by an hour and monitor it.
If you get a small amount of algae then the lighting time is about right.

Some plants will close their leaves up when they have had sufficient light. Ambulia, Hygrophilas and a few others close their top set of leaves first, then the next set and so on down the stem. When you see this happening, wait an hour after the leaves have closed up against the stem and then turn lights off.

--------------------
TURNING LIGHTS ON AND OFF
Stress from tank lights coming on when the room is dark can be an issue. Fish don't have eyelids and don't tolerate going from complete dark to bright light (or vice versa) instantly.

In the morning open the curtains or turn the room light on at least 30 minutes (or more) before turning the tank light on. This will reduce the stress on the fish and they won't go from a dark tank to a bright tank instantly.

At night turn the room light on and then turn the tank light off. Wait at least 30 minutes (or more) before turning the room light out. This allows the fish to settle down for the night instead of going from a brightly lit tank to complete darkness instantly.

Try to have the lights on at the same time each day.

--------------------
TWO LIGHT UNITS
If you have two light units on the tank, put them on timers and have one come on first, then an hour later the second one can come on. It will be less stressful for the fish.

In the evening, turn the first light off and wait an hour, then have the second light go out.

If the lights have a low, medium and high intensity setting, have them on low in the morning, then increase it to medium after a couple of hours, and then high for the main part of the day. In the evening, reverse this and have the medium setting for a few hours, then low. Then turn the lights off.

--------------------
LIST OF PLANTS TO TRY
Some good plants to try include Ambulia, Hygrophila polysperma, H. ruba/ rubra, Elodia (during summer, but don't buy it in winter because it falls apart), Hydrilla, common Amazon sword plant, narrow or twisted/ spiral Vallis, Water Sprite (Ceratopteris thalictroides/ cornuta).
The Water Sprite normally floats on the surface but can also be planted in the substrate. The other plants should be planted in the gravel.

Ambulia, H. polysperma, Elodia/ Hydrilla and Vallis are tall plants that do well along the back. Rotala macranda is a medium/ tallish red plant that usually does well.

H. ruba/ rubra is a medium height plant that looks good on the sides of the tank.

Cryptocorynes are small/ medium plants that are taller than pygmy chain swords but shorter than H. rubra. They also come in a range of colours, mostly different shades of green, brown or purplish red.

Most Amazon sword plants can get pretty big and are usually kept in the middle of the tank as a show piece. There is an Ozelot sword plant that has brown spots on green leaves, and a red ruffle sword plant (name may vary depending on where you live) with deep red leaves.

There is a pygmy chain sword plant that is small and does well in the front of the tank.

--------------------
IRON BASED PLANT FERTILISER
If you add an iron based aquarium plant fertiliser, it will help most aquarium plants do well. The liquid iron based aquarium plant fertilisers tend to be better than the tablet forms, although you can push the tablets under the roots of plants and that works well.

You use an iron (Fe) test kit to monitor iron levels and keep them at 1mg/l (1ppm).

I used Sera Florena liquid plant fertiliser but there are other brands too.

--------------------
CARBON DIOXIDE (CO2)
There is no point adding carbon dioxide (CO2) until you have the lights and nutrients worked out. Even then you don't need CO2 unless the tank is full of plants and only has a few small fish in.

There is plenty of CO2 in the average aquarium and it is produced by the fish and filter bacteria all day, every day. The plants also release CO2 at night when it is dark. And more CO2 gets into the tank from the atmosphere.

Don't use liquid CO2 supplements because they are made from toxic substances that harm fish, shrimp and snails.

--------------------
SPONGES FOR CLEANING TANKS
Use a clean soap free sponge to clean the algae off the glass. Buy a 5 pack of sponges from a $2.00 shop and check them for additives. The cheaper brands don't normally have any soap or mould inhibitors and are fine to use.

Just wash the sponge with warm soapy water first and rinse really well.

Use perfume free soap and avoid soaps with anti-bacterial additives.

--------------------
GROWING PLANTS IN POTS.
We use to grow plants in 1 or 2 litre plastic icecream containers. You put an inch of gravel in the bottom of the container, then spread a thin layer of granulated garden fertiliser over the gravel. Put a 1/4inch (6mm) thick layer of red/ orange clay over the fertiliser. Dry the clay first and crush it into a powder. Then cover that with more gravel.

You put the plants in the gravel and as they grow, their roots hit the clay and fertiliser and they take off and go nuts. The clay stops the fertiliser leaching into the water.

You can smear silicon on the outside of the buckets and stick gravel or sand to them so it is less conspicuous. Or you can let algae grow on them and the containers turn green.

--------------------
TRUE AQUATIC VS MARSH/ TERRESTRIAL PLANTS.
Lots of plants are sold as aquarium plants and most are marsh plants that do really well when their roots are in water and the rest of the plant is above water. Some marsh plants will do well underwater too.

Hair grass and Anubias are not true aquatic plants.

Some common marsh plants include Amazon sword plants, Hygrophila sp, Rotala sp, Ludwigia sp, Bacopa sp.

True aquatic plants include Ambulia, Cabomba, Hornwort, Elodia, Hydrilla & Vallis.

The main difference between marsh plants and true aquatic plants is the stem. True aquatics have a soft flexible stem with air bubbles in it. These bubbles help the plant float and remain buoyant in the water column.

Marsh plants have a rigid stem and these plants can remain standing upright when removed from water. Whereas true aquatic plants will fall over/ collapse when removed from water.
 

Sgooosh

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PLANTS & LIGHTS.

LIGHTING TIMES

Most aquarium plants like a bit of light and if you only have the light on for a couple of hours a day, they struggle. If the light doesn't have a high enough wattage they also struggle. Try having the tank lights on for 10-12 hours a day.

If you get lots of green algae then reduce the light by an hour a day and monitor the algae over the next 2 weeks.
If you don't get any green algae on the glass then increase the lighting period by an hour and monitor it.
If you get a small amount of algae then the lighting time is about right.

Some plants will close their leaves up when they have had sufficient light. Ambulia, Hygrophilas and a few others close their top set of leaves first, then the next set and so on down the stem. When you see this happening, wait an hour after the leaves have closed up against the stem and then turn lights off.

--------------------
TURNING LIGHTS ON AND OFF
Stress from tank lights coming on when the room is dark can be an issue. Fish don't have eyelids and don't tolerate going from complete dark to bright light (or vice versa) instantly.

In the morning open the curtains or turn the room light on at least 30 minutes (or more) before turning the tank light on. This will reduce the stress on the fish and they won't go from a dark tank to a bright tank instantly.

At night turn the room light on and then turn the tank light off. Wait at least 30 minutes (or more) before turning the room light out. This allows the fish to settle down for the night instead of going from a brightly lit tank to complete darkness instantly.

Try to have the lights on at the same time each day.

--------------------
TWO LIGHT UNITS
If you have two light units on the tank, put them on timers and have one come on first, then an hour later the second one can come on. It will be less stressful for the fish.

In the evening, turn the first light off and wait an hour, then have the second light go out.

If the lights have a low, medium and high intensity setting, have them on low in the morning, then increase it to medium after a couple of hours, and then high for the main part of the day. In the evening, reverse this and have the medium setting for a few hours, then low. Then turn the lights off.

--------------------
LIST OF PLANTS TO TRY
Some good plants to try include Ambulia, Hygrophila polysperma, H. ruba/ rubra, Elodia (during summer, but don't buy it in winter because it falls apart), Hydrilla, common Amazon sword plant, narrow or twisted/ spiral Vallis, Water Sprite (Ceratopteris thalictroides/ cornuta).
The Water Sprite normally floats on the surface but can also be planted in the substrate. The other plants should be planted in the gravel.

Ambulia, H. polysperma, Elodia/ Hydrilla and Vallis are tall plants that do well along the back. Rotala macranda is a medium/ tallish red plant that usually does well.

H. ruba/ rubra is a medium height plant that looks good on the sides of the tank.

Cryptocorynes are small/ medium plants that are taller than pygmy chain swords but shorter than H. rubra. They also come in a range of colours, mostly different shades of green, brown or purplish red.

Most Amazon sword plants can get pretty big and are usually kept in the middle of the tank as a show piece. There is an Ozelot sword plant that has brown spots on green leaves, and a red ruffle sword plant (name may vary depending on where you live) with deep red leaves.

There is a pygmy chain sword plant that is small and does well in the front of the tank.

--------------------
IRON BASED PLANT FERTILISER
If you add an iron based aquarium plant fertiliser, it will help most aquarium plants do well. The liquid iron based aquarium plant fertilisers tend to be better than the tablet forms, although you can push the tablets under the roots of plants and that works well.

You use an iron (Fe) test kit to monitor iron levels and keep them at 1mg/l (1ppm).

I used Sera Florena liquid plant fertiliser but there are other brands too.

--------------------
CARBON DIOXIDE (CO2)
There is no point adding carbon dioxide (CO2) until you have the lights and nutrients worked out. Even then you don't need CO2 unless the tank is full of plants and only has a few small fish in.

There is plenty of CO2 in the average aquarium and it is produced by the fish and filter bacteria all day, every day. The plants also release CO2 at night when it is dark. And more CO2 gets into the tank from the atmosphere.

Don't use liquid CO2 supplements because they are made from toxic substances that harm fish, shrimp and snails.

--------------------
SPONGES FOR CLEANING TANKS
Use a clean soap free sponge to clean the algae off the glass. Buy a 5 pack of sponges from a $2.00 shop and check them for additives. The cheaper brands don't normally have any soap or mould inhibitors and are fine to use.

Just wash the sponge with warm soapy water first and rinse really well.

Use perfume free soap and avoid soaps with anti-bacterial additives.

--------------------
GROWING PLANTS IN POTS.
We use to grow plants in 1 or 2 litre plastic icecream containers. You put an inch of gravel in the bottom of the container, then spread a thin layer of granulated garden fertiliser over the gravel. Put a 1/4inch (6mm) thick layer of red/ orange clay over the fertiliser. Dry the clay first and crush it into a powder. Then cover that with more gravel.

You put the plants in the gravel and as they grow, their roots hit the clay and fertiliser and they take off and go nuts. The clay stops the fertiliser leaching into the water.

You can smear silicon on the outside of the buckets and stick gravel or sand to them so it is less conspicuous. Or you can let algae grow on them and the containers turn green.

--------------------
TRUE AQUATIC VS MARSH/ TERRESTRIAL PLANTS.
Lots of plants are sold as aquarium plants and most are marsh plants that do really well when their roots are in water and the rest of the plant is above water. Some marsh plants will do well underwater too.

Hair grass and Anubias are not true aquatic plants.

Some common marsh plants include Amazon sword plants, Hygrophila sp, Rotala sp, Ludwigia sp, Bacopa sp.

True aquatic plants include Ambulia, Cabomba, Hornwort, Elodia, Hydrilla & Vallis.

The main difference between marsh plants and true aquatic plants is the stem. True aquatics have a soft flexible stem with air bubbles in it. These bubbles help the plant float and remain buoyant in the water column.

Marsh plants have a rigid stem and these plants can remain standing upright when removed from water. Whereas true aquatic plants will fall over/ collapse when removed from water.
Wait... so ludwiga species aren't full aquatic?
i've seen them grow out of the tank so im guessing yes
 

Colin_T

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Ludwigia is a species of marsh plants that can do well underwater.
 
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Jadzir

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You can have a look at the threads in the plant-based forums here, just scroll down a little. Not sure about water changes though. Is there anything specific you'd like to know?
Just been a long time since I had my last tank so need to refresh my brain🤪
So is this correct -
Filter and heater off.
Use syphon to clean substrate and remove water.
Get fresh water conditioned and near temp.
Put in fresh water.
Turn heater and filter back on.
Should I rinse filter media in used water during a weekly water change ?
Thanks as always
 

Essjay

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With a new tank, don't touch the filter media for 6 weeks. Then wash it at least once a month in water that you take out during a water change. The media will never look like new again so just squeeze it to get the muck out of it.
 

PlasticGalaxy

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Just been a long time since I had my last tank so need to refresh my brain🤪
So is this correct -
Filter and heater off.
Use syphon to clean substrate and remove water.
Get fresh water conditioned and near temp.
Put in fresh water.
Turn heater and filter back on.
Should I rinse filter media in used water during a weekly water change ?
Thanks as always
I personally don't turn the heater and/or filter off since they're both submerged at the bottom of the tank, and you're really not meant to do total water changes unless something horrible has gone wrong or you're changing your tank entirely.

Like @Essjay has said, you should only start cleaning the filter bits and bobs when your tank is more mature.
 

Essjay

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Heaters and internal filters should be turned off - we are supposed to turn off all electrical equipment in the water before putting our hands in for safety reasons. External filters can be left on (the electrical bits are not in the water) provided the tube which takes water out of the tank is always under water.
Besides safety reasons, heaters have a minimum water level marker, and should be turned off if the water is likely to drop below that line.
 

PlasticGalaxy

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Heaters and internal filters should be turned off - we are supposed to turn off all electrical equipment in the water before putting our hands in for safety reasons. External filters can be left on (the electrical bits are not in the water) provided the tube which takes water out of the tank is always under water.
Yikes, really? Had no idea. Guess I'm living recklessly.
Besides safety reasons, heaters have a minimum water level marker, and should be turned off if the water is likely to drop below that line.
My heater(s) are submerged super low into the tank, to the point where the minimum water level markers are hidden by some low plants or rocks.
 
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Jadzir

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With a new tank, don't touch the filter media for 6 weeks. Then wash it at least once a month in water that you take out during a water change. The media will never look like new again so just squeeze it to get the muck out of it.
Thanks
 

Byron

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After reading the very detailed guide on the fish less cycle I was wondering if there are any more guides?
Maybe ones for things like performing water changes or even the basics of plant care.
I always believe that the more knowledge based information you have the less mistakes you are likely to make. 🐠

With the permission of the Admin, I just posted my article on water changes, it will be "stickied" in the "Tropical Discussion" forum.
 

PheonixKingZ

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