Getting back into planted tanks , help!
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Old 04-15-2013, 08:56 PM   #1
AzAltum
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Getting back into planted tanks , help!


As the title states I'm trying to get back into heavily planted tanks after a two year period of being tankless! Looking to start a 20g low tech tank that will be heavily planted. Have cannister filter and funds to purchase adequate lighting but would like to stay awat from co2. Any tips or knowledge would be much appreciated !
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Old 04-15-2013, 10:09 PM   #2
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Default Back Into Planted Tanks

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Originally Posted by AzAltum View Post
As the title states I'm trying to get back into heavily planted tanks after a two year period of being tankless! Looking to start a 20g low tech tank that will be heavily planted. Have cannister filter and funds to purchase adequate lighting but would like to stay awat from co2. Any tips or knowledge would be much appreciated !
Hello Arizona...

A 20 G is awfully small. It barely gives you room to work. I'd suggest a 30 G for a starter. Decent size and gives you ample room to have a nice variety of plants.

Some good starter plants are Anubias nana and nangi, Java fern all attach very well to lava rock with a thin rubber band. You can also float Anacharis and Pennywort. Find some pieces of driftwood in the area and a few rocks to weigh down the wood and you'll have a nice tank in no time.

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Old 04-15-2013, 11:23 PM   #3
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Hello Arizona...

A 20 G is awfully small. It barely gives you room to work. I'd suggest a 30 G for a starter. Decent size and gives you ample room to have a nice variety of plants.

Some good starter plants are Anubias nana and nangi, Java fern all attach very well to lava rock with a thin rubber band. You can also float Anacharis and Pennywort. Find some pieces of driftwood in the area and a few rocks to weigh down the wood and you'll have a nice tank in no time.

B
I would love to setup something bigger but my apartment really only has room for 20 to 25g at most ! I'm trying to make due with what I have available but do you think I can achieve a well planted tank with that small of space ?
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Old 04-16-2013, 12:10 AM   #4
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If you have place that a 36" tank will fit, a 30Long is a pretty decent size to work with.
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Old 04-16-2013, 12:26 AM   #5
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A 20L should be a good size.

Some good plants would be java fern, crypts, bacopa or amazon sword
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Old 04-16-2013, 12:39 AM   #6
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I would love to setup something bigger but my apartment really only has room for 20 to 25g at most ! I'm trying to make due with what I have available but do you think I can achieve a well planted tank with that small of space ?
Of course you can! Plenty of people have perfectly lovely tanks that are 20 gallons or less. Some of the most amazing tanks I've seen are nano tanks.

My best advice is read all you can. Read the stickies on this forum and the lighting forum. Choosing lighting can be tricky. I have a 25 gallon low tech and I use a dual T5 NO fixture which I think would work very nicely for a 20 gallon as well, but there are lots of different options. I would consider which plants you like (the sticky in this forum has a great list) and then look them up in the plant profiles and see what kind of lighting they need. One of the things I wish I had done was spend more time planning the layout of my plants. My tank looks fine, but I'm sure it would have looked better if I had taken the time to really think about placement beyond tall plants in back, short ones in front.

Good luck!
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Old 04-16-2013, 02:07 AM   #7
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Appreciate the tips!
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Old 04-16-2013, 03:27 AM   #8
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Default Getting back into planted tanks , help!

Moss is always fun to work with and can be tied down to wood and rock, and it's hard to kill!
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Old 04-16-2013, 08:19 PM   #9
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Default a bit of research

I am a newbie to the hobby, but this makes me somewhat familiar with the first challenges. I think a twenty gallon is okay. Many people work with a smaller variety of plants and make the balance between plant shapes, a beautiful rock or piece of drift wood, and empty space look absolutely amazing. Are you planning on having fish or shrimp in the tank? You might want to start with the fish or shrimp choice and think of their likes. Corys love flat surfaces, this can be both leaves ( rosette plants or anubias ) or rock shelves. My White Clouds seem to like tall forests of stem plants ( especially water sprite ). Shrimp need hiding places too. If you visit the fish profiles people have lots of helpful info about the fish and their experience. The Plant Profile also has tons of helpful info, especially the plants that are super easy to grow ( I started with most of these, even though for some of the plants it means a lot of pruning to keep things under control ). Take some time to study up on substrate too, since you have a smaller tank it shouldn't be too pricey to get flourite. Please keep us posted on how things go.
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