First Planted Tank 20 Gal Tall - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-16-2014, 07:08 PM Thread Starter
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First Planted Tank 20 Gal Tall

Ok, so I'm just starting out and decided to go with a low light (read: "low maintenance") planted setup. I thought it would be the healthiest way to keep fish, ya know? It couldn't take up too much of my time and from my research I've seen how beautiful the planted tanks truly look.

So I got a used frameless Marineland 20H gallon and stand for $20.

I did a fish-less cycle (So much more difficult than the directions made it out to be!) and just now added a few fish. Being cautious of ammonia spikes and all that mess. It's been a little over a month since the cycling process "finished."

All of the hardware comes from yard sales and the like. Below is my setup and I am of course open to advice and opinions. Be gentle, I'm new at this.

Filtration: Penguin 200B for a 55 gallon
Heating: Aqueon 100watt
Lighting: I think it is a double bright, but it is a Marineland LED strip (extends out to about 24") with the 'moon lighting' blue LED on there too.

Water Conditions:

Temp is 75 F and pH is 6.8 -- Ammonia is 0 and I have not recently (in the last week or so) tested for nitrates. I do weekly 25% water changes.

Aquatic Creatures:

Harlequin Rasbora (x6)
Peppered Cory (x4)
Oto Cat (x1)
Nerite Snail (x1)


Two kinds of Java Fern (don't ask which kinds, but if you know feel free to chime in)
Marimo Moss balls (x3)
Anubias Nana
Anubias Idon'tfregginknow

I've mounted all the plants (except the moss balls) to drift wood or wedged it lightly between rocks. I have been using API Leaf Zone as my liquid fert. The sand is pH neutral and I haven't put any fert tabs in there yet. Not sure if I need to at the moment.

Not sure if I need to anything at this time. I just want the plants to grow out and look great. The background is a subject of much debate between my wife and I. Not sure if we should just put a blue or black ground on it or actually try to create a heavy plant barrier between the tank and the wall behind it so you don't notice.

Last edited by JFishySouth; 02-16-2014 at 07:20 PM. Reason: Spelling
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-24-2014, 02:43 PM Thread Starter
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Disaster has struck my beloved aquarium.

There is suddenly an extremely fast growing brown algae film over almost everything and my Oto cat has died.

After testing my water, I have no idea why the Oto died. Everything should be perfect. As for the algae I have no idea why that just started up either. I keep reading that if you have high silicates in your water it will happen but I don't know how to tell if there are high silicates in my tap water (It's city water.)

Scrapping the algae off and doing a water change just in case. Damn brown algae...
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-24-2014, 04:21 PM
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Adding a bunch more fast growing plants and floaters my help with the algae. That's a very lightly planted aquarium. Some snails and another oto may help (otos are kind of delicate at first, they are wild caught).
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-06-2014, 01:51 PM Thread Starter
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Ok, so as I was following the advice to get more plants in the tank I noticed the tank began to leak. It got worse in a very short period of I ran to the store and purchased the largest and cheapest tank I could find (a 37 tall) and transfered everything to it in a hurry.

Pictures coming soon, with more plants and I changed my substrate from fine grain sand to a fertilized one.
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