Planted Guppy Tank (54L)

PlasticGalaxy

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02.03.2021
Here goes nothing!
This is my first project/undertaking involving fish. The plan is to have a planted tank with black sand as a substrate, dwarf hairgrass, amazon frogbit and possibly java fern for my guppies and corys to go in.
For now, I'm still in the stage where I'm debating on a good stock. Currently, my thoughts are guppies (both male and female), 3 bronze corys + 3 albino corys, and possibly a vampire shrimp. As of now, I already have the 8 male guppies, 6 corys and the shrimp stocked in my larger tank. Advice on my stock is VERY much appreciated here.

I'm going in with a 54L/14G tank that measures 2ft wide, 1ft deep and 1ft high. This will be a lidless tank with, if I can get my hands on one, a Nicrew Classic LED light that @PhoenixKingZ recommended to me. (I don't know how to @ people so this is the best we're getting.)

Once I have the tank completely set up, I'm hoping to do a fishless cycle prior to stocking it. But that's quite far into the future right now, so I'll try not to get ahead of myself. It's probably obvious, but I'm very excited.

Here's my tank currently. All I've done today was clean the substrate and put it in the tank. Hoping to get my cabinet/stand in the next couple of days, and I'm hoping to begin work properly by the start of next week!
Right now it's sitting on top of my wardrobe, in front of a butterfly frame that's not been in use since April 2019 ?... By Monday I'll have moved it onto the cabinet that I've gotten for it, so it won't stay up there forever.
01_progress_PT.jpg


As I've said previously, I am very new to fishkeeping overall, and this is the first time that I've ever tried my hand at a planted tank. Another thing to note is that, while I have done a fair amount of research on the plants, substrate and lights, I only have a vague idea of how to work this out. So please, to anyone who reads this and has any knowledge on this that I don't, please help me out! It'd mean a lot.
And when I say this, I mean anything. Single sentence ideas up to long paragraphs on what I could do would all be greatly appreciated.

Let's hope this goes well, wish me luck!
 

Neleono

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Hey PlasticGalaxy, this is supper exiting! I just set up a planted ten gal last month and it was also my first fully natural tank. Sorry I can't give any recommendations but I'm so exited for you and I'm exited for pictures! Best of luck!
 
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PlasticGalaxy

PlasticGalaxy

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Hey PlasticGalaxy, this is supper exiting! I just set up a planted ten gal last month and it was also my first fully natural tank. Sorry I can't give any recommendations but I'm so exited for you and I'm exited for pictures! Best of luck!
Thank you!!
 

ClownLurch

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There’s a far better proper explanation in the cycling section than I could ever give. Basically you fill your tank with plants, take a photo, wait until the plants show visible growth then add fish.
Theres no water testing every ten minutes and nowhere near the worry plus you won’t visibly age or chew your fingernails off.
 

Essjay

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Plants take up ammonia as fertiliser and they don't turn it into nitrite, they turn it into protein. If there are enough fast growing plants, they can take up all the ammonia made by a well stocked tank of fish.
A silent or plant cycle is where the tank is set up, and the plants put in the tank. Then you take a photo of it and go and do something else for a couple of weeks. (ClownLurch's preference is to spend the time at the pub but they're all closed at the moment ;) ) After a couple of weeks, look at the photo you took and compare it to what the tanks looks like now. If there is significant plants growth, add a few fish. Test every day for ammonia and nitrite. If they stay at zero for several days, get a few more fish. Continue adding fish a few at a time till it's fully stocked. While you are slowly building up the fish stock the plants will grow even more so they'll be capable of removing even more ammonia.
Bacteria will also grow in the background, but not nearly as many as there would be in a non-planted tank.


But it does depend on having more than the odd couple of slow growing plants. Of the ones in your first post, Java fern is slow growing, frogbit is fast growing, and I have no idea about hairgrass. Floating plants like frogbit are especially good because they are on the surface of the water so their other requirements are plentiful - they are close to the lights and they can get carbon dioxide from the air.



To give you an idea, towards the end of last year I quarantined 12 kuhli loaches in a 25 litre/6.5 gallon tank. I didn't use mature media, I used plants. I took two very large water sprite floating plants from my main tank and bought 2 bunches of eldodea (anacharis) at the same time as the fish which I also left floating. I did have a small filter to move the water round, but it was filled with brand new filter wool to catch any bits in the water.
I tested every day for ammonia and nitrite and never saw a trace. 12 kuhli loaches in 25 litres is somewhat over stocked.
 
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PlasticGalaxy

PlasticGalaxy

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Plants take up ammonia as fertiliser and they don't turn it into nitrite, they turn it into protein. If there are enough fast growing plants, they can take up all the ammonia made by a well stocked tank of fish.
A silent or plant cycle is where the tank is set up, and the plants put in the tank. Then you take a photo of it and go and do something else for a couple of weeks. (ClownLurch's preference is to spend the time at the pub but they're all closed at the moment ;) ) After a couple of weeks, look at the photo you took and compare it to what the tanks looks like now. If there is significant plants growth, add a few fish. Test every day for ammonia and nitrite. If they stay at zero for several days, get a few more fish. Continue adding fish a few at a time till it's fully stocked. While you are slowly building up the fish stock the plants will grow even more so they'll be capable of removing even more ammonia.
Bacteria will also grow in the background, but not nearly as many as there would be in a non-planted tank.


But it does depend on having more than the odd couple of slow growing plants. Of the ones in your first post, Java fern is slow growing, frogbit is fast growing, and I have no idea about hairgrass. Floating plants like frogbit are especially good because they are on the surface of the water so their other requirements are plentiful - they are close to the lights and they can get carbon dioxide from the air.



To give you an idea, towards the end of last year I quarantined 12 kuhli loaches in a 25 litre/6.5 gallon tank. I didn't use mature media, I used plants. I took two very large water sprite floating plants from my main tank and bought 2 bunches of eldodea (anacharis) at the same time as the fish which I also left floating. I did have a small filter to move the water round, but it was filled with brand new filter wool to catch any bits in the water.
I tested every day for ammonia and nitrite and never saw a trace. 12 kuhli loaches in 25 litres is somewhat over stocked.
Ahh thank you! I'll definitely do that then. Sounds like the best option.
 

Neleono

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There’s a far better proper explanation in the cycling section than I could ever give. Basically you fill your tank with plants, take a photo, wait until the plants show visible growth then add fish.
Theres no water testing every ten minutes and nowhere near the worry plus you won’t visibly age or chew your fingernails off.
100% agree... so much easier than ammonia dosing and constant testing.
 

ClownLurch

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When I silent cycled last May I was recommended to use the following by few vastly experienced members on here:

water sprite
amazon frogbit
water lettuce
duckweed
anacharis
hornwort
moneywort

aka The Silent Seven (Not really I just now made that bit up) and it worked. Unfortunately I forgot to take a photo so the process dragged on longer than it should of.
If I can do it any idiot can.
The wailing and gnashing of teeth of the fish less cycling types makes me pull my hair out. Why bother with that nonsense if you’re gonna have plants regardless?
 
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ClownLurch

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Plants take up ammonia as fertiliser and they don't turn it into nitrite, they turn it into protein. If there are enough fast growing plants, they can take up all the ammonia made by a well stocked tank of fish.
A silent or plant cycle is where the tank is set up, and the plants put in the tank. Then you take a photo of it and go and do something else for a couple of weeks. (ClownLurch's preference is to spend the time at the pub but they're all closed at the moment ;) ) After a couple of weeks, look at the photo you took and compare it to what the tanks looks like now. If there is significant plants growth, add a few fish. Test every day for ammonia and nitrite. If they stay at zero for several days, get a few more fish. Continue adding fish a few at a time till it's fully stocked. While you are slowly building up the fish stock the plants will grow even more so they'll be capable of removing even more ammonia.
Bacteria will also grow in the background, but not nearly as many as there would be in a non-planted tank.


But it does depend on having more than the odd couple of slow growing plants. Of the ones in your first post, Java fern is slow growing, frogbit is fast growing, and I have no idea about hairgrass. Floating plants like frogbit are especially good because they are on the surface of the water so their other requirements are plentiful - they are close to the lights and they can get carbon dioxide from the air.



To give you an idea, towards the end of last year I quarantined 12 kuhli loaches in a 25 litre/6.5 gallon tank. I didn't use mature media, I used plants. I took two very large water sprite floating plants from my main tank and bought 2 bunches of eldodea (anacharis) at the same time as the fish which I also left floating. I did have a small filter to move the water round, but it was filled with brand new filter wool to catch any bits in the water.
I tested every day for ammonia and nitrite and never saw a trace. 12 kuhli loaches in 25 litres is somewhat over stocked.
I resemble this remark........and hope I still do when the pubs reopen!
 

Neleono

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When I silent cycled last March I was recommended to use the following by few vastly experienced members on here:

water sprite
amazon frogbit
water lettuce
duckweed
anacharis
hornwort
moneywort

aka The Silent Seven (Not really I just now made that bit up) and it worked. Unfortunately I forgot to take a photo so the process dragged on longer than it should of.
If I can do it any idiot can.
The wailing and gnashing of teeth of the fish less cycling types makes me pull my hair out. Why bother with that nonsense if you’re gonna have plants regardless?
Lol the silent 7... that's a good one. But yes, those are great ones to use for the cycle.
 
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PlasticGalaxy

PlasticGalaxy

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But it does depend on having more than the odd couple of slow growing plants. Of the ones in your first post, Java fern is slow growing, frogbit is fast growing, and I have no idea about hairgrass. Floating plants like frogbit are especially good because they are on the surface of the water so their other requirements are plentiful - they are close to the lights and they can get carbon dioxide from the air.
I've had a little look, and dwarf hairgrass is fast growing!
 
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PlasticGalaxy

PlasticGalaxy

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05.03.2021

Quick update! Put my unit up this afternoon, should be getting some plants tomorrow!
Should I look into different types of carpet plants? Learned that dwarf hairgrass doesn't thrive too well with hard water, so does anyone have any alternatives?
Putting some more consideration into my stock... So far my lineup should be:
Corydoras (unsure of the type right now)
Kuhli loaches

Guppies (male and female)
??? (I have no idea what else to get, if anything)
Any advice on stocking this tank would be appreciated!!

(Got my light, by the way!)
 

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