New 20 gallon long tank build!
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Old 03-08-2014, 07:37 PM   #1
Trigger334
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New 20 gallon long tank build!


Hi everyone,

My name is Devon Trigg (aka Trigger334). I've been around for the aquarium keeping hobby for some time now.

I had a 55 gallon freshwater tank in my room while I was in high school, but never knew enough to really know what was going with the tank. Only since then, I've kept only bettas, but feel it's time to get back into some good size tanks.

I have a much more solid understanding of aquariums now and would like to see what I can do.

My plan is to put a 20 gallon long tank in my son's room. He told me the other day that he wanted to keep sharks, so I let me imagination run wild and am excited to see what I can come up with.

The tank is going to be heavily planted and my hope is for the plants to grow up and out of the aquarium. It will also have some drift wood to act as a buffer and look good coming out of the tank too. I also went with the 20 gallon long, because I know my fishy friends will like the extra space side to side and not so much up and down.

I don't plan on using CO2, but know of some methods to use the CO2 that's already in the tank and not letting it ware off. I've seen some pretty great planted tanks with just great water parameters and quality light. So good, that they too much growth. I want to try doing the same tank.

I think that's it for now. I just bought the aquarium off of a friend and cleaned it up last night. He also gave me some aged media to help get the tank cycled.

I have one picture now, but will post lots more coming up. This picture to give you all some idea of what I'm working with. Be able to see the start and the finish!

So here is the 20 gallon in my sons room. I already secured the dresser to the wall, so no mishaps will happen

My plan is to have a nice clean look with a HOB system. I'll have more picture of what I use and the why I used...

Feel free to help me out!



Thanks everyone!
Devon

yes, my kids love Minecraft
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Old 03-09-2014, 06:39 AM   #2
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I once used an oak bookcase for an aquarium stand. Water dripped on the sides when I put my hands in it and ruined the wood. Where the water dripped the wood is black.

What is your plan for lighting?


I am using an underthecounter light strip with a ZooMed Super Daylight 6500K Fluorescent Bulb T8, which is inclosed in and old strip light cover, over my 20G tank.

Here are a few websites to study plants - plantfinder, plant pedia
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Old 03-10-2014, 08:42 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hilde View Post
I once used an oak bookcase for an aquarium stand. Water dripped on the sides when I put my hands in it and ruined the wood. Where the water dripped the wood is black.

What is your plan for lighting?


I am using an underthecounter light strip with a ZooMed Super Daylight 6500K Fluorescent Bulb T8, which is inclosed in and old strip light cover, over my 20G tank.

Here are a few websites to study plants - plantfinder, plant pedia
Thanks for letting me know about the wood. I noticed that a little while I was working. I'm just going to get it in mind, but will work on a plan. I just need a solid place to put the tank for now. The dresser was the best bet. The dresser will either be stained or the tank will be moved over time.

Thanks for the site to study plants, that will come in handy.

Lighting...Well, I was going to ask the forum of what they thought, but I was thinking T2 or LED? I didn't want to do anything stock and I know there is some great lighting out there. More PAR output then T5 or T8. What do you suggest? Thanks for your interest. This is a fun one.
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Old 03-10-2014, 08:43 PM   #4
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Default Getting a start! Heavy Pics

So, I had more time this weekend to work on my boys tank. Coming along quit well. Here's a picture heavy moment :S
I'll give a little snippet as to why I'm doing what I'm doing.


Used a seasoned sponge filter to get the tank going. I'm hoping to have the tank cycled 1-2 weeks.



A good mix of gravel rocks and SeaChem Flourite. Also got this from my buddy Steven. He also gave me the aged media. I also have a thick layer of the SeaChem Flourite for the plant roots.


Cleaning the aquarium. Razor blade was my best bet. Started with window cleaner, then wiped it down with apple cider vinegar.


All clean


The first layer of Fluorite goes in.




You can see the layers. I'm hoping to do my plant roots good.


Got the Hydro Sponge will made up to be placed in the aquarium. I cut the lift tube, so make it so there is not such a harsh breaking of water tension. Putting half aged media and half a new filter.


How I secured the dresser





What I used to get my tank going. Hoping for a quick cycle. I know these two products have great reviews.




The next morning. Getting there.


Added a heater and move some stuff around. Now look at what happened...

And finally, this morning.
This is what it looked like today. Coming a long. Don't even know the water parameters yet, because I'm waiting a little for the cycle. But here we are!


Everything I purchased for the tank was from American Aquarium Products

Thanks everyone! I hope this will be a good one!

Last edited by Trigger334; 03-10-2014 at 08:51 PM.. Reason: pictures
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Old 03-11-2014, 01:17 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trigger334 View Post
The dresser was the best bet. The dresser will either be stained or the tank will be moved over time.

Lighting...Well, I was going to ask the forum of what they thought, but I was thinking T2 or LED? I didn't want to do anything stock and I know there is some great lighting out there. More PAR output then T5 or T8. What do you suggest? Thanks for your interest. This is a fun one.
You could seal the dresser with a protective clear coat. Clear finishes include shellac and lacquer, but new do-it-yourselfers will find water-based polyurethane the easiest to apply. Brush this glossy protective coating on.

What light you get depends on the plants you get. My 20G has low light plants like ferns and moss thus just have a T8 light strip over it. In my 10G, which is the same height as the 20g, I have some Alternanthera reineckii. It requires medium light thus I have a Coralife T5NO light strip over it.
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Old 03-12-2014, 08:07 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Hilde View Post
You could seal the dresser with a protective clear coat. Clear finishes include shellac and lacquer, but new do-it-yourselfers will find water-based polyurethane the easiest to apply. Brush this glossy protective coating on.

What light you get depends on the plants you get. My 20G has low light plants like ferns and moss thus just have a T8 light strip over it. In my 10G, which is the same height as the 20g, I have some Alternanthera reineckii. It requires medium light thus I have a Coralife T5NO light strip over it.
Sounds like I know what to do for the dresser now. Thank you...

As for lights, I just need to see what is out there at my LFS and go from there. I will most likely start with the T-2 and work up to LEDs. From what I can see of LEDs, there are some good one and not so good ones. The T-2s will give me time to think about it and work up to high light demanding plants. I've also been reading the T-2 can keep med-high light plants too. Then I've also read that some LED burn the plants. So, I'm going to take lighting as a process. Work up. Have you heard of T-2s and have any opinion of them? They seem to be better than T8 and T5s.

http://www.fishbeginner.info/home/aq...ich-to-choose/
http://aquarium-digest.com/tag/t2-aquarium-lighting/

More pictures of my tank to come. I believe its pretty much cycled with the stability and the aged media. I will be adding some driftwood and then think it's time for the first fish. Then, I'll work on plants. Maybe next week.
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Old 03-12-2014, 09:20 PM   #7
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What is going to be in this tank? Personally I would get a 1M 1F pair of paradise fish and a school of fish about 1.5-2 inches long, but then again I always advise PF's in tanks this size or larger! They're my favorite fish, hands down!
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Old 03-12-2014, 11:50 PM   #8
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What is going to be in this tank? Personally I would get a 1M 1F pair of paradise fish and a school of fish about 1.5-2 inches long, but then again I always advise PF's in tanks this size or larger! They're my favorite fish, hands down!
Great suggestion! I just might take it, thank you. The only direction I have for fish right now... I have a larger Picasimus fish coming from a friend, then the whole reason I even did this tank was because my son wants "sharks" So I thought a few FW little black tail sharks.
I love the idea of schooling fish. I think tetas do that? and thought that would be a good choose. I would love schooling fish. Do you have any other recommendations for schooling fish? Thanks for taking a look.
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Old 03-13-2014, 02:38 AM   #9
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Tetras, danioins (not giant danios/devarios, though), many small (2.5 inch or smaller) cyprinids, threadfin rainbows, livebearers, some killifish...there's a good number of schooling or at least shoaling fish you could chose from.

By the way, is the 'picasimus' a pleco? If so, you will want to know what species it is, since most plecos grow far too large for a 20 long. If the sharks are freshwater sharks, then you would be able to only own one at best since they are highly territorial and will kill each other in all but the largest of spaces; even with only one, they may still eat smaller fish or perhaps harass other tank mates, depending on the individual shark.
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Old 03-13-2014, 09:57 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grah the great View Post
Tetras, danioins (not giant danios/devarios, though), many small (2.5 inch or smaller) cyprinids, threadfin rainbows, livebearers, some killifish...there's a good number of schooling or at least shoaling fish you could chose from.

By the way, is the 'picasimus' a pleco? If so, you will want to know what species it is, since most plecos grow far too large for a 20 long. If the sharks are freshwater sharks, then you would be able to only own one at best since they are highly territorial and will kill each other in all but the largest of spaces; even with only one, they may still eat smaller fish or perhaps harass other tank mates, depending on the individual shark.
Wow, good to know. Thank you. I'd figured there would be a bunch of schooling fish, thanks for listing them out.

I don't know what the picasimus is. I'm getting him from a friend that you can tell he is clearly getting to long for. It's a 15 tall tank. He's about prefect size now, but my guess is he would grow to large. I guess I will have to cross that bridge when I get to it, because I want to give the pic. a better home.

I will now keep in mind the space issue. The tank is quickly filling up and I haven't even got anything in it yet!
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Old 03-17-2014, 10:48 PM   #11
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Got a little more work done on the tank. I'm having it do it in sections because of the new cycle and because of budget really. I'm pretty sure the tank is cycled though, because I've been taking ammonia readings daily and they are staying below .25 ppm. I say it's ready for some fish.

I wanted to get my drift wood in before fish though. So I picked up a piece and started treating it.

I learned to soak it in saltwater, do cure any disease of the driftwood that could get into my take. 1/2 cups of salt per gallon. Here's some pictures.





and here is what it looks like after a water change and the parameters checked. The driftwood soaked for over 24 hours and got a lot of the yellow from the tannins out, but it will still release some into the tank. This is not a bad thing because it's a nice acid buffer and the tannins play a big part in that. I'm going to pick up some Purgin to make it cristal clear.



Picking up some light and soon will also have a couple Angles in there!!!

Here's where I picked up the driftwood from. Quality stuff.
http://www.americanaquariumproducts.com/mangowood.html
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Old 03-19-2014, 12:16 AM   #12
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Nice setup, try and pick up some fast growing stem plants to help with keeping ammonia levels down and I believe nitrates.
I bought a shark for my 20 gallon and it was not happy and died a week later and was very skittish of anyone near the tank.
Upon adding fish your going to experience an ammonia spike so make sure you keep on the water changes and testing.
I rushed on a tank of mine and lost my Siamese algae eater because I didn't change the water soon enough.
Anyways thanks for checking my thread.
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Old 03-19-2014, 01:19 AM   #13
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Picking up some light and soon will also have a couple Angles in there!!!
I believe Angles need a bigger tank than a 20G.
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Old 03-19-2014, 07:01 PM   #14
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Nice setup, try and pick up some fast growing stem plants to help with keeping ammonia levels down and I believe nitrates.
I bought a shark for my 20 gallon and it was not happy and died a week later and was very skittish of anyone near the tank.
Upon adding fish your going to experience an ammonia spike so make sure you keep on the water changes and testing.
I rushed on a tank of mine and lost my Siamese algae eater because I didn't change the water soon enough.
Anyways thanks for checking my thread.
Thanks for the advice. I haven't had ammoina go past .25ppm for 2 weeks now. Using a chemical cycle aid and the aged media really got the tank going. I haven't used the aid for about 4 days now and the ammonia is still very low.
I'm reconsidering my tanks for the sharks. I know they will get big, so they will need a larger tank over time. Looks like all my fish chooses are going to need a larger tank at some point.
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Old 03-19-2014, 07:03 PM   #15
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I believe Angles need a bigger tank than a 20G.
Ya, your right. Like 100 gallon is what is needed. I wasn't planning on keeping Angles when I set the tank up, but someone wants to give me a pair.

Since their young now, it wont be an issue, but I think I might have to upgrade over time.

Thanks for your concern and advice.
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