I have had a 20 gallon community aquarium with only a few anubias and java moss for a year now. The wife approved an upgrade in size and a move to the living room for display, so I want to go for my dream aquarium. Please read below and offer your advice.
Here is what I want:
Here is what I have:
These are my ideas for a setup:
- A low-tech, heavily planted, Walstad-esque aquarium
- Lots of hearty low to mid-light plants and mosses – nothing fancy or demanding
- Infrequent water changes (I know this can be controversial, but I think it can be done)
- Occasional liquid CO2 or ferts (no DIY or pressurized CO2)
- Minimal pruning (I kind of like the slightly overgrown and wild look)
- Slow and steady growth
- The tanks in the Show and Tell thread are my inspiration.
These are my questions:
- Substrate: Miracle Grow Organic Choice Potting Mix and Pool Filter Sand
- Filtration: 20 gallon used as a sump with 2x AC 20s + 1x AC 110 HOB filters
- Lighting: Odyssea 4X T5 HO (156W 6500K)
- What will I need to do/buy to set up a sump with this aquarium? (I know nothing about water pumps, plumbing, overflows, etc.)
- Is the lighting fixture I want to order going to be too much light for a low tech setup? Would a dual T5 be better? The tank is 24” deep, so I think lighting will be tricky. Could I run it with only 3 bulbs operating? I like the look and features of that particular model a lot.
- What types of plants would you recommend for me to start out with? I was thinking mostly vals, crypts, java moss, amazon swords, etc. Maybe some mid-ground plant ideas?
I’m not too worried about stocking yet, but I will probably shoot for 2 or 3 gourami, a school of microrasboras, a school of pygmy cories, and lots of red cherry shrimp.
Thanks in advance for all of your help.