Tom's 20L Journal !!!!56k!!
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Old 04-03-2004, 03:16 AM   #1
tommyboy22481
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Tom's 20L Journal !!!!56k!!


This is my first planted tank, I had a 5 gallon fish only tank first.

Substrate is regular gravel
DIY CO2 bottle replaced every 2 weeks or so
Fluval 204 Canister filter
ViaAqua Titanuim tube heater
Flourish SeaChem liquid fertilizer
Under gravel fertilizer sticks
3 50W Halogen bulbs on a dimmer

I had a problem with the plants not doing very well even with CO2 at first, I started using R/O water from the store and they are doing much better now. I originally bought a TetraTec hang on tank filter with the built in heater but it was obnoxiously loud so I got the Fluval. Since I switched to the Fluval my blue green algae problem has also gone away. Moral of the story, don't buy a TetraTec!

Fish are as follows:

Two breeding gold angelfish (I just got lucky, fish were from different stores and bought at different times)
two black skirt tetras
two colored tetras
one blood fin danio??

Sorry the pictures arn't that good, I don't have a digital camera yet.




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Tank: 20L, DIY Jello CO2, 2x65 watt CF, Fluval 204, and Titanium Tube Heater.

Last edited by tommyboy22481; 12-21-2007 at 07:16 PM..
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Old 04-03-2004, 10:20 AM   #2
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Very nice tank I like your halogen set up. Is there any different color temperature for halogen bulbs?
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Old 04-03-2004, 04:39 PM   #3
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Very neat looking setup, the lights are a nice effect.

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Old 04-03-2004, 06:09 PM   #4
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20G long tanks are the best... Like the light setup...Tank looks good too.
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Old 04-06-2004, 08:14 PM   #5
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As far as lights go Halogen arn't the best, but they DO work just fine. The color temperature is on the warm side, and they take more power to run than metal halides or flourecent. They are dirt cheap to buy though and as long as you dont get them to close to the tank heat isn't a problem. I have plenty of wattage so even if the spectrum isn't perfect I can just turn them up a little.

I had the standard covered tank with 1 plant bulb and it worked ok, but I wanted an open tank and flourecents don't work that great from a distance. I would have gotten metal halides but at $100-200 they were way out of my price range. I found this track light set at menards for $25, and I built the vertical metal stand out of aluminum stock for about $10. Add the dimmer for $5 and you have a nice lighting set-up for around $40.
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Tank: 20L, DIY Jello CO2, 2x65 watt CF, Fluval 204, and Titanium Tube Heater.
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Old 04-07-2004, 05:02 PM   #6
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I like it but I don't know about that coral reef background. Needs a solid black background or something like that.
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Old 04-07-2004, 08:49 PM   #7
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Update: I replanted the stem plants on the right side of the tank, they were getting to big and most of them didn't have any leaves halfway down. They were growing quite nicely and most of the stems had extensive roots that I had to pull out. Now they are a lot shorter and look a lot better. Hope they keep growing!
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I like it but I don't know about that coral reef background. Needs a solid black background or something like that.
Humm, I hadn't really thought about the background to much I was mostly trying to get the plants to stop dieing. But now that you mention it yeah the reef background is kinda out of place. Black would be okay, it would make the plants stand out.

I could just go buy a plastic backdrop like I have now, but since the fluval has suction cups to mount the hoses on the back I think I would like to paint it instead. I'm a little worried that it won't come off though if I change my mind later. I expect a stright razor would work. I have some regular black house paint that I could use, does anyone see a problem with that?
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Tank: 20L, DIY Jello CO2, 2x65 watt CF, Fluval 204, and Titanium Tube Heater.
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Old 04-29-2004, 02:38 AM   #8
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I experimented with painting my 10 gal today, it didn't go so well. I was trying to use stardard house paint and it was waaay to thin. I would have had to put 10 coats on for it to be opaque. I will have to get some glass paint and try again.

I replanted most everything yesterday and removed the piece of driftwood and rocks. I am going to look for a smaller peice of wood to put in there instead. I moved all the amazon swords over to the left side of the tank with the two lagest ones in the center with the smaller ones around it. I put the camboba(?) along the back and the wisteria and the other stem plants I have on the right. This created a large open area in the middle that I am going to try to grow micro grass in. I got a small patch and I'm going to see how it does before I get any more.

I am experimenting with the CO2 jello recipe found here. It's been going pretty good so far, 1 week after I started it I am getting 1 bubble every 2 seconds or so. I switched to a 64oz Gatorade bottle because its a little stiffer than 2 liter.

Hopefully I will have new pics soon, it looks totally different now.
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Tank: 20L, DIY Jello CO2, 2x65 watt CF, Fluval 204, and Titanium Tube Heater.
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Old 04-29-2004, 02:54 AM   #9
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Cool. Keep us posted on the Jell-O experiment. It sounds interesting. I might have to give it a try myself...
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Old 05-01-2004, 04:16 PM   #10
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Me 2 with the jello experiment! But do you think you can use unflavored Jello??? (I have alot!)
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Old 05-01-2004, 05:06 PM   #11
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The unflavored stuff should be cheaper and you don't have to worry about the sugar that can be in the flavored kind.
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Old 05-01-2004, 05:58 PM   #12
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I was actually considering using regular gelatin, if the theory behind it is true then it should work. I will have to try it when this bottle runs out which from the looks of it will be quite a while. I am still getting 1 bubble every 2-3 seconds, more than enough for my 20 gallon. If you do try this with jello I would pick a lighter shade of jello like lime or lemon, I got black cherry and its so dark its hard to tell whats going on.

I think I have found the perfect solution for my background, Oracal. Its a self adhesive film used for signs and stickers. I got a bunch free and it seems like the perfect background material. You can read more about it in my other post here.
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Old 05-01-2004, 06:12 PM   #13
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I believe you should use only water based paint when you are painting the background of your tank.
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Old 05-01-2004, 06:39 PM   #14
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I'm sure there is better paint for glass than what I was using, it was just some stuff I had leftover.
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Tank: 20L, DIY Jello CO2, 2x65 watt CF, Fluval 204, and Titanium Tube Heater.
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Old 05-03-2004, 02:33 AM   #15
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Heres some pics from my brand new shiny Panasonic DMC-LC50. Just picked it up today. The plants on the right are in need of a trim.


Full tank shot with lights


Close up of whole tank
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Tank: 20L, DIY Jello CO2, 2x65 watt CF, Fluval 204, and Titanium Tube Heater.

Last edited by tommyboy22481; 12-21-2007 at 07:18 PM..
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