First Timer's 20 Gallon Long Iwagumi Low-Tech Planted! - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-06-2013, 06:36 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
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Location: Smyrna, GA, United States
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Cool First Timer's 20 Gallon Long Iwagumi Low-Tech Planted!

Hello All- This is my first setup for a 20gal low-tech planted tank.

I will list all of my hoorah stuff and then go on with my questions. Any advice you all can give would be greatly appreciated!

- 20 Gallon Long Rimmed Tank
- Marineland Penguin 350 Power Filter (with 2 extra carbon filter pouches)
- Deep Blue Professional Solarmax H.O. T5 Double Lamp Light System w/ Moonlight LEDs, 10000K (I replaced both bulbs with 6500K bulbs however I only run it with 1 bulb on for 6 hours a day as of now.)

My substrate is 2 bags Seachem Flourite Red mixed with just a bit of sphagnum peat moss.

Anacharnis Naja
Java Fern
Dwarf Hairgrass
Dwarf Sagittaria
Needle Leaf Ludwigia

1/4 Teaspoon of Seachem Equilibrium
1/8 Teaspoon of KNO3 (Potassium Nitrate)
1/32 Teaspoon of KH2PO4 (Potassium Mono Phosphate)
My source tells me I should dose these amounts only once every 2 weeks for a 20 gallon tank. Can anyone advise to whether this is about right or not?

Here is the start.

Filling in with wet substrate. I tried to rinse the stuff out beforehand but I think I soaked it too much causing it to turn into a muddy consistency.

Planted some plants then filled it up and this is what it looked like.
Luckily I have a filter that does triple what my tanks holds in water. I quickly removed the lighthouse piece from the tank.

This is the tank about 2 days after the plants have been planted and the dust has settled.

Here is the tank currently, about 2 weeks in. I just received all my dry fertilizers, about 1.5 weeks after all the plants were planted. I fear that was a bit too much time they were planted without any fertilizers at all. I am dosing them on the above mentioned amounts twice per week, the first and only dose so far being this past Monday. So the next dosing shouldn't be until July 15th, does that sound right?

An issue I am seeing is that it seems the "dust" from the substrate is settling on my rocks and plants. It is caked on my java ferns and the anacharnis naja plants. I have taken a paint brush and tried to brush off what I could with that. Is there a better way to get this off or will it eventually go away? Is it stunting my plants growth by taking away it's light? See pictures below.

Below are just a few more closeups of the tank as we get this thing rolling...
Some of my needle leaf ludwigia dosen't seem to be doing so hot. Honestly some of them towards the middle of the tank seem completely dead. These were the only plants I got from petsmart and were the first to get planted. They were there for well over a week with no fertilizers. Does that have something to do with it or do you think I didn't plant them properly? Should I pull all of the deads out and buy a fresh pack of them and replant? Should I totally bail on them all together and fill in the front and center of the tank with more dwarf hairgrass?

I plan to leave the lighting at 6 hours a days for a few more weeks then gradually bump it up to around 9 hours a day. What do you think of the tank? What livestock do you think I should put in it? Thank you for taking the time to look and help me out with all my questions as I venture into this great hobby!
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-06-2013, 09:13 AM
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Arrangement seems good, is flourite always so dusty?
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-06-2013, 09:30 AM
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Thank you for your hoorah service lol.

Ditch the carbon,

dust settling on leaves with flow and time will go away, or get some nerite snails or otos. If your impatient just shake it of manually.

Dosing... Everyone will tell you different. Just examine your plants and they will tell you what they need. Ex. We can't fert the same if I have a species of plants that consumes more iron then your plants.

My personal likes is to have HOBs hanging on the width side so I can get flow throughout the whole tank. That's just me do

Livestock on a 20g
Clean up crew
Nerite snails

Clown killis
Wrestling half beaks
White cheek gobies (pair)
Threadfin rainbow fish
Celestial pearl danios
Any school of the boraras family

Patience once drove a man insane

Thanks for your time
Danny Tejeda

Last edited by dtejeda.arias; 07-06-2013 at 09:44 AM. Reason: Add
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-06-2013, 07:59 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Smyrna, GA, United States
Posts: 5
Thanks for your helpful response. I will try moving the filter to the width side of the tank and see if it fits. If it fits I will leave it there to create maximum circulation of water in the tank. I will also try and really shake some of the dust off the plants when I get home. Otherwise I will get quite a few snails and let them run the tank for a few weeks before adding any real fish.. That way the tank will be fully cycled and the plants will have had some time to grow and become acclimated.

I have my four Java fern roots almost covered in gravel. I read that I should not do this. Should I just have them sitting on the bottom of the tank? How do the roots lock in if you don't bury them?
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-07-2013, 03:12 AM
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I can't help you much on ferns due to the fact that I can't keep them alive lol. Therefor all my experiences with them are negative and I don't want to discourage you.

As far as snails go be careful not to get pond snails! They reproduce like rabbits and hard tough to get rid off.
Malaysian trumpet snails with burrow and move your substrate around, but will reproduce extremely fast as well

Patience once drove a man insane

Thanks for your time
Danny Tejeda
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-07-2013, 02:25 PM
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Looks great! I just started a 20 long too
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-07-2013, 11:20 PM
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You need to tie the Java Fern to something, don't try to plant it in the substrate.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-07-2013, 11:43 PM
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Looks good so far. The java can be tied, superglued(gel type) or shoved into your stone hardscape.
I just started a 20L a few weeks back and I really like the dimensions. Keep up the good work!

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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-08-2013, 12:08 AM
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Looks good so far. Don't stress about the Flourite, it is increadably dusty and red is the worst of them I have used. I have always rinsed it before I put it in the tank but that can sometimes be an all day experience. If you want to get it off the plants, you can use a gravel vacuum with the plastic part taken off, or silicone tube, same thing and try to get as much as you can off. Or it will just go away over time as the plants get pushed around.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-27-2014, 01:58 AM Thread Starter
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Well... I started this thread and have been letting the tank grow for quite some time now.

Almost 10 months it has been since this thread was created and tank setup. Below is a link to a video I shot 2 months ago on how the tank is looking now.

I will post more photos of this tank real soon guys! It even changed since the video.. The java ferns are growing crazy!
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-08-2014, 10:45 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
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Java Ferns growing more java ferns

Front right side

Looking upstream from right side of tank

Java ferns all connected on left side of the tank. I helped the roots a little

Left side looking downstream java ferns all connected here

New co2 from fluval installed July 1st

Tank setup top view

Front center shot of the tank

///// FIGURED I WOULD GET RIGHT TO THE MEAT ///// this tank has been established for over one year now. I transported it in the front seat of a U-Haul with half the water in it an hour and a half away during a move. That sucker was heavy!

What do you guys think of the tank now???

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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