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johnson18 02-12-2012 11:34 PM

Johnson18's 20L- New Apisto Pair!
This tank has changed a ton since this first post. Check it out a couple pages in, latest reboot was in Dec. 2016, around page 20!

Here's the current tank stocking as of 4/1/2017
2(1m/1f) x F1 Apistogramma erythrura
4 x Corydoras sterbai
13 x Nannostomus marginatus- Dwarf Pencilfish
6(I think?) x Caridina multidentata - Amano Shrimp
3(1m/2f) x Aphyosemion australe
Cap Esterias BSWG 97/24 - Lyretail Killifish

Current tank specs(4/2017):
Tank: 20 gallon long
Light: 36" BuildMyLED XB custom spectrum with adjustment dial
Filter: Eheim 2215 & two dual sponge filters
Heater: idk it's big.
Substrate: MGOCPM(5/2014) mixed with Flourite Black Onyx Sand to add higher CEC & capped with black diamond blasting sand

[Original first post from 2012]

So I figured it was about time to start a journal! Since I built a new tank today, I will start fresh! This is the third planted tank I've got running in my house. This 20 long was purchased along with another 20L to be a shrimp tank.... well I purchased a plant package from Crispino Ramos and realized I didn't have enough room in my other two tanks for all the plants. That is about the time this tank sprung to life!

So I suppose I will start with some specs!

Tank: 20 Gallon Long 30"L x 13"W x 12"H

Light: Coral Life T5HO Dual lamp. 10,000K & Actinic (eventually change to 6700K if I keep the tank set up this way.)

Substrate: 15# of Flourite Black Onyx Sand w/about 15-20lbs of Black Diamond Blasting Sand on top.

HOB filter that I had left over from a different project, rated for 30 gallons.

DIY CO2: 2L soda bottle run to a 32oz overflow bottle then run into the HOB filter intake.

Now for some plants! Here is what I've got!

Ludwigia sp Red hybrid - 5 stems

Syngonanthus sp Belem - 5 stems

Ludwigia palustris - 10 stems

Blyxa alternifolia - 5 stems

Rotala indica or Ammania sp Bonsai - 5 stems

Hydrothrix gardneri - 5 stems

Staurogyne repens Tropica 049G - 6 stems

Ludwigia brevipes - 10 stems

Ludwigia inclinata var verticillata Cuba - 3 stems

Pogostemon stellatus Narrow Leaf - 5 stems

Bacopa sp Salzmannii - 5 stems

Persicaria/Polygonum sp Porto Velho - 5 stems

Persicaria/Polygonum sp Sao Paolo - 3 stems

Limnophila aromatica - 3 stems

Poaceae sp Purple Bamboo - 3 stems

Hygrophila sp Tiger - 10 stems

Rotala rotundifolia - 10 stems

Heteranthera zosterifolia - 20 stems

Will be updated with pics soon!

johnson18 02-13-2012 12:39 AM

5 Attachment(s)
So here are a few of the set up photos! Sorry for the iPhone's all I've got.

The CO2 looks like it's getting going!

I'm going to start dosing liquid ferts in the morning!

Crispino L Ramos 02-13-2012 03:18 AM

Thank you for sharing your journal with photos. Instant aquascape with good lay-out that will eventually look like a Dutch style aquascape.

johnson18 02-13-2012 02:49 PM

My plans for this tank are to use it as a grow tank. I would like it to have a full lush look to it.

I have never spent much time growing stems, so this will be a learning experience. I would love some input in how to successfully grow some of these plants. I have been told by one of my local guys that I've got a few difficult plants to grow.

This is also the first tank I've used co2 with. I am excited to see how the results turn out!

Crispino L Ramos 02-13-2012 04:08 PM

Tanks with stem plants need regular fertilizer dosing (macros and micros about 3 times a week). Some of these stem plants grow much faster and the tops need to be trimmed and re-planted (older bottom stems don't look good). Trimming helps in the equal distribution of light on all the different species planted together. I have observed that there are some species that don't do well in some of my tanks. I'm puzzled because they all get the same care. When it happens, I just move it to another tank hoping that it will grow better. There are also some species that I had to try 3 times (just because a plant dies doesn't mean that it could never grow in one of my tanks). Failure is not an option, so I say.

johnson18 02-14-2012 01:40 PM

1 Attachment(s)
The few stems I've grown in the past have done very well. I've got a pretty good dosing regime that I will be sticking to with this tank. Many of my plants are already showing signs of growth after just one day! Many of them are pearling! This is something totally new to me as this is the first time I've used co2 on a tank and not Excel.

jakesebastin 06-21-2012 05:14 PM

Very good setup there. The pictures are nice and cool. Very good 20 gallon new tank there. Keep posting the photographs it s helping us designing our grow tank.

johnson18 08-18-2012 03:31 PM

So this tank was mistreated for a few months... :( I broke down another tank and semi combined it into this one, so it not is scaped and has some mollies for now. pics to come soon, no more grow tank!

johnson18 01-05-2013 09:05 PM

8 Attachment(s)
This tank has been through several stages since I last updated this. It is currently semi scaped, kinda....
I most recently moved some plants around, raised and hung the light above the tank, allowing me to add a HOB filter! Doing this probably doubles the flow of the tank.

The HOB filter is going to be fully planted! I took out the standard filter media, filled the bottom of the HOB with a fluval biomedia. I topped the media with a cut to fit filter sponge with java moss for the plants to root into. So far I've only got a couple plants, lucky bamboo, zebrina, some riccia, and few random clippings.
Here are a few pics! Attachment 61793
Current FTS
Attachment 61801
Attachment 61809
Attachment 61817
Attachment 61825
Attachment 61833
Attachment 61841Attachment 61849

I've got some continued work on this tank and the HOB too!

Let me know what y'all think about the HOB set up! Any plant selections?

jarvitron 01-05-2013 09:16 PM

That wandering jew is gonna be great. Have you looked at it under LED illumination? That dusty gray patch pops off the leaf like silver glitter fingernail polish. I have it in my fish room under an LED and it's amazing, out in the front room under sunlight it's just kind of a nice gray variegation.

In my planted HOB (it's an Aquatop), I took out the filter media cart and left the "bio waffle", made a bag out of mesh and filled it with LECA (hydroton), put an airstone in the bottom. Instant flow-through DWC grow bed on the back of my tank. I think next time I might use HygroMite, I hear it has a better CEC, naturally kills mites, and has more colonizable surface area for bacteria than LECA. The airstone should help keep more terrestrial plants from root rot (so far so good), I'm going to get a larger one for my goldfish tank and try Chinese Evergreen in there.

johnson18 01-07-2013 06:44 PM

I haven't had the DIY co2 set up on this tank since I moved in August! It will be resurrected in the next day or so! Pics to follow!
I'd also like to put in a carpet of crypt parva! Thought?
I still haven't really decided what fish to ultimately keep in this tank. Hmmmm...... I got some Otocinclus a few days back for my 55, I am thinking about getting 5 or 6 for this tank too!

scapegoat 01-07-2013 06:47 PM

i see you've fallen prey to the same thing i have. too many plants, not enough time/knowledge to keep them all going.

I bet you had a few fast growers that out did the rest? happened to me in my 20g long too!

its not that great of a tank for fast growing stems unfortunately.

johnson18 01-07-2013 08:10 PM


Originally Posted by scapegoat (Post 2176088)
i see you've fallen prey to the same thing i have. too many plants, not enough time/knowledge to keep them all going.

I bet you had a few fast growers that out did the rest? happened to me in my 20g long too!

its not that great of a tank for fast growing stems unfortunately.

You are totally correct! My huge thing is not enough time! I have figured out that I don't really like spending the time on properly maintained stems! I'd just rather not keep them! Perhaps in the future just not at the moment!

johnson18 01-09-2013 08:10 PM

I went by petsmart to pick up some Otocinclus but they only had one. I'll wait until they've got more in stock. :/
I think I'm gonna order some crypt parva from Gordon, I think he was selling them $4 for about 10 nodes. I'm trying to decide how many I should get... I know they are pretty slow grower, I was thinking maybe 4 groups of them.... Any thoughts or suggestions?? I'd like to fill a decent size foot print in the tank with them, but I don't wanna buy so many that once they start growing the area is already too full.... Please feel free to share your experience with parva...

johnson18 01-30-2013 09:12 PM

Johnson18's 20 Long With Planted HOB
I picked up 8 Otocinclus a couple weeks ago, one died within a day but the rest seem to be just fine. The plants in the HOB filter are slowly starting to show new growth. I picked up a pot of c. Wendtii FL sunset as well as c. Lutea.

Still haven't decided on a foreground plant...

I am considering making this into an oto and shrimp tank. I know, how original for a 20L... Sounds like a plan to me.

More to come!

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