my first planted tank 20 gallon
Planted Tank Forums
Your Tanks Image Hosting *Tank Tracker * Plant Profiles Fish Profiles Planted Tank Guide Photo Gallery Articles

Go Back   The Planted Tank Forum > General Planted Tank Forums > Tank Journals


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 04-06-2012, 03:53 PM   #1
thesawguy
Planted Member
 
PTrader: (9/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: USA
Posts: 258
Default

my first planted tank 20 gallon


I've been lurking on this board for a few months and have learned a lot and been very impressed with all the inginuity and knowledge on display here, so I've decided to get more involved and post my first tank jounal retroactively.

The original idea with this tank was to make it a divided tank to house two bettas I've had in bowls for a couple of years and add a lot of plants and some new friends. I told my LFS what I wanted and since I had a little cart that thought would make a good stand I chose a twenty gallon that would fit it. I quickly decided I didn't like looking at a divided tank and now after some time elsewhere one betta resides in the twenty again, I've bought another super delta betta and the two remaining have their own five gallon planted tanks.

The day I walked into the fish store to get started I would have bought anything they told me I needed having watched some inspiring videos on youtube like this:
But all they sold me aside from their basic aquarium kit was as flourite clay substrate (which I mixed with cumberland pebbles) and a floraglo 15w bulb. This is what the tank looked like shortly after removing the divider. You can see how the plant choices and layout were initially influenced by the separate halves.
Click image for larger version

Name:	firstlayout20.jpg
Views:	119
Size:	125.3 KB
ID:	45153
The two big pieces of wood are from the same root of a Kentucky Coffee tree I had in my backyard which I screwed into some rocks. The plants are Amazon Sword, Filligree Frill, Rottala Wallichii, Christmas Moss, Anubius Broadleaf (I think) and it's hard to see but there is some Dwarf Babytears. And impossible to see are three diamond tetras, three hatchetfish and two Ambrocius Cory Cats.

After doing some reading online about lighting I realized I didn't have enough to do what I wanted so I built my own two 15 watt bulb fixture. It was still not enough to do what I wanted as I would find out but not before I bought and killed more plants. This picture is a screen shot from a video I made at this time so it is a little blurry.
Click image for larger version

Name:	secondlayout20.JPEG
Views:	102
Size:	142.0 KB
ID:	45142
Since then the puffers died and so did the four leaf clover and dwarf hairgrass and baby tears. I bought more hairgrass, some watersprite, other plants I don't remember and rearranged things to look like this:
Click image for larger version

Name:	thirdlayout20.jpg
Views:	136
Size:	105.9 KB
ID:	45143
Then both swords died and so did the Rottala Walichi so a drastic rearranging was in order. The LFS had a good deal on microsword so I thought I'd give it a try. I decided that the two stumps were still dividing the tank creating two focal points so I brought them together to create a little oasis on one side and lot's of swimming space on the other. Here I also tried to add Hygrophia kompakt and narrow leaf chain sword. All of it died quickly but it looked cool while it lasted:
Click image for larger version

Name:	fourthlayout20.jpg
Views:	200
Size:	108.1 KB
ID:	45148
At this point I had set up two five gallon betta tanks and one of them just wasn't doing it for me so I temporarily dismantled it moving the betta, java fern, a lilly, and an ozelot sword over to this tank. It looked like this:
Click image for larger version

Name:	fifthlayout.jpg
Views:	90
Size:	111.9 KB
ID:	45149
This is the last photo from the coffee tree era. I have since found a cool piece of of arched malaysian drift wood to replace the two sticks. In my next post I'll show you the tank as it is now with a complete list of fish and plants. Thanks for looking.

Last edited by thesawguy; 01-21-2014 at 02:13 PM.. Reason: ./
thesawguy is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 04-06-2012, 06:36 PM   #2
thesawguy
Planted Member
 
PTrader: (9/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: USA
Posts: 258
Default How it is currently

So I found some batteries and took some shots of the tank how it is today.
Here's what's in it:

Fish:
Amano Shrimp
Male Betta
Cory Catfish Panda 2
Cory Catfish Ambriocus 2
Kyathit Danio
Lampeyed killifish 3
Longfin Leapord Danio
Longfin Blue Danio
Silver Hatchetfish 5

Plants:
African Onion Plant Crinum calamistratum
Anubius Barteri v. ‘Roundleaf’
Anubiaus Nana
Brazilian Pennywort Hydrocotyle leucocephala
Contortion Val Plant
Crypt Plant v. Green Wendti
Crypt Plant v. Bronze Wendti
Crypt Plant v. Red Wendti
Cryptocoryne Lutea
Cryptocoryne Parva
Java Moss
Green Ozelot Echinodorus ‘Ozelot Green’
Lily
Ludwigia Red
Oriental Sword Echinodorus ‘Oriental’
Water Sprite Ceratopteris thalictroides
Click image for larger version

Name:	S4200002.jpg
Views:	93
Size:	115.0 KB
ID:	45164
Click image for larger version

Name:	S4200003.jpg
Views:	132
Size:	132.0 KB
ID:	45165
Click image for larger version

Name:	S4200005.jpg
Views:	107
Size:	116.9 KB
ID:	45166
Click image for larger version

Name:	S4200006.jpg
Views:	113
Size:	106.4 KB
ID:	45167
The tank is still leaving me wanting more, more lushness and more contrast. Do you have any suggestions for what might work. I was thinking maybe some big crypts behind the wood under the filter. They seem to do well in here. This oriental sword isn't so old but it doesn't seem to be doing well. The new leaves are shrivelled. I dose with flourish once a week. Should I be adding iron or anything else. Would CO2 help this tank or are the two 15 watt fluorescents too dim to add CO2 with?

In a few months I may be getting a used 40 gallon, at that time I'm not sure if I will continue this tank or dismantle and move the fish and plants into that. And make that 40 a higher light tank with CO2. It seems like this is a hard size to work with. Part of the reason I chose this piece of wood is for it's arch. I have another arched piece of driftwood in this 5 gallon tank with an old betta with a big tumor:
Click image for larger version

Name:	S4200055.jpg
Views:	174
Size:	115.0 KB
ID:	45168
I was thinking that when that betta dies (currently he loves his wood as it gives him two caves to rest in) that the two of these pieces of wood and maybe another arched piece of moss covered wood would all work together well in a 40.

Should I keep trying new things with this tank, maybe buying a better light, DIY CO2, or save my money and time for the 40?
thesawguy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-06-2012, 07:39 PM   #3
GMYukonon24s
Planted Tank Guru
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: May 2009
Location: MICHIGAN
Posts: 3,123
Default

I like how the moss is growing on the wood.

If your thinking DIY CO2 I won't and just save your money for a real CO2 setup if that's what you want.
GMYukonon24s is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-06-2012, 09:06 PM   #4
thesawguy
Planted Member
 
PTrader: (9/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: USA
Posts: 258
Default

What exactly is all involved in a real CO2 setup? Is there an off the shelf all included system you can point me to? Where do people buy and refill canisters? Thanks.
thesawguy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-07-2012, 04:21 PM   #5
Hilde
Planted Tank Guru
 
Hilde's Avatar
 
PTrader: (1/100%)
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Mableton, GA
Posts: 4,526
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by thesawguy View Post
The tank is still leaving me wanting more, more lushness
I was thinking maybe some big crypts behind the wood
The problem is your substrate. Crypts need rich substrate. Cheapest good substrate is Scott's top soil topped with river sand ($3 at landscapers). Then put API root tabs under the plants. More info on this here and at El Natural section of APC forum
Hilde is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-08-2012, 03:18 PM   #6
thesawguy
Planted Member
 
PTrader: (9/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: USA
Posts: 258
Default Update

Thanks for the input about root tabs. All my crypts are doing well but I may try them under the sword. Since my crypts are doing well I decided to get more. Also had a conversation with my wife about whether to keep this tank or not when we get the forty gallon, she wants to keep it. But I think I'll keep the light and substrate as it is, it is very low maintenance. So I bought Crypt undulata, balansae, green gecko, cilata, and bronze wendti.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	S4200002.jpg
Views:	50
Size:	89.5 KB
ID:	45254  

thesawguy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-14-2012, 04:07 PM   #7
thesawguy
Planted Member
 
PTrader: (9/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: USA
Posts: 258
Default

Added Root tabs under everything and threw in a cardinal plant for some more color.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	S4200002.jpg
Views:	45
Size:	129.6 KB
ID:	45661  

thesawguy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-17-2012, 12:18 AM   #8
thesawguy
Planted Member
 
PTrader: (9/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: USA
Posts: 258
Default

Rearranged, added crypt spiralis that was outgrowing one of my 5 gallon tanks and added some cabomba, rotalla indica, and myaca cuttings from my 30 gallon tank. Thinking about a background now.
Click image for larger version

Name:	S4200002.jpg
Views:	209
Size:	95.4 KB
ID:	45779
thesawguy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-17-2012, 03:22 AM   #9
Relativistic
Algae Grower
 
Relativistic's Avatar
 
PTrader: (1/100%)
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Tampa, FL
Posts: 41
Default

Maybe something dark, like a black back to contrast the green better?

What kind of betta is that?
__________________
Quote:
“How is it that nature does this so effortlessly, while our tanks constantly teeter on the brink of eutrophic pollution (like EI) or apocalyptic famine (like PPS/Sears & Conlin)?”
Relativistic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-17-2012, 03:34 AM   #10
LB79
Wannabe Guru
 
LB79's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: South-central Washington State, USA
Posts: 1,920
Default

Definitely dark. I like dark brown the best, but any dark color works.
__________________
"One day...one day, this path will lead us to the White City, and the tower guard will take up the call: the Lords of Gondor have returned!"

–Boromir, The Lord Of The Rings
LB79 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-19-2012, 11:37 AM   #11
thesawguy
Planted Member
 
PTrader: (9/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: USA
Posts: 258
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Relativistic View Post
Maybe something dark, like a black back to contrast the green better?

What kind of betta is that?
Just finished painting a piece of wood for the background, while I like the idea of black or brown, I'm first trying a light blue, since I have the paint left over from painting my bedroom.

I don't know what kind of betta it is, my wife bought it a couple of years ago and I just asked her and she say's, "it's a blue one." I guess the tag just said male betta.
thesawguy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-19-2012, 04:33 PM   #12
Hilde
Planted Tank Guru
 
Hilde's Avatar
 
PTrader: (1/100%)
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Mableton, GA
Posts: 4,526
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by thesawguy View Post
I'm first trying a light blue, since I have the paint left over from painting my bedroom.
You could use silk fabric. Find taping it on cardboard and the cardboard onto the tank with gorilla or duck tape works. I like it for there's more variety and it's so easy to change.
Hilde is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-19-2012, 05:05 PM   #13
thesawguy
Planted Member
 
PTrader: (9/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: USA
Posts: 258
Default

Did a water change and added the background. I'm not in love with it but I can see my lantern eyed killifish a lot better (I wish my camera could).
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	S4200005.jpg
Views:	44
Size:	109.9 KB
ID:	45951  

thesawguy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-20-2012, 02:31 PM   #14
Hilde
Planted Tank Guru
 
Hilde's Avatar
 
PTrader: (1/100%)
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Mableton, GA
Posts: 4,526
Default

Love the improvements . I have saved pic of your tank in my flickr account.
Hilde is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-20-2012, 02:50 PM   #15
thesawguy
Planted Member
 
PTrader: (9/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: USA
Posts: 258
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hilde View Post
Love the improvements . I have saved pic of your tank in my flickr account.
Thanks for all the encouragement Hilde!
thesawguy is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 10:19 AM.


Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright Planted Tank LLC 2012