LotusBunny | 20 Gallon Long, high tech | First ever planted tank! - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-05-2016, 05:02 AM Thread Starter
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Thumbs up LotusBunny | 20 Gallon Long, high tech | First ever planted tank!

Tank: 20 gallon long
Light: Fluval Aqua Fresh&Plant 2.0 Led 24-34in
Filter: Eheim Filter 2213-37 Classic
Heater: Hydor ETH 200 in-line external aquarium heater 200w
Substrate: ADA Aqua Soil Amazonia / Carib Sea Super Natural Sunset Gold Sand
Rock: Dragonstone
CO2:
  • 10 lb tank
  • Victor ESS3 Regulator (0781-5121)
  • Fabco Air Microfine Needle Valve (NV-55-18)
  • Milwaukee Instruments MA955 solenoid
  • Ceramic diffuser
Flora:
  • ceratopteris thalictorides
  • rotala macrandra
  • microsorum pteropus
  • sagittaria subulata
  • bucephalandra sp. "Kedagang"
Fauna:
  • 15x corydoras hastatus
  • 50x neocardinia davidi
  • 3x neritina natalensis

This is my first planted tank and aquascape. As of this first post, I'm done with the hardscape. I'll be putting in the plants this week, and then letting the tank cycle. Once it's cycled I'll be adding in the fish and I'll update regularly!


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20L corydoras hastatus, red cherry shrimp, nerite snails

Last edited by LotusBunny; 08-02-2016 at 06:47 PM. Reason: updated equipment, flora, and fauna list
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post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-05-2016, 05:06 AM
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Ok ok, very nice i must say

but problems will encounter
drip your water in or its going to be a mess, as well the manzanita needs to be soaked and sunk prior

i'm quite impressed this being your first


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post #3 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-05-2016, 05:25 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StrungOut View Post
Ok ok, very nice i must say

but problems will encounter
drip your water in or its going to be a mess, as well the manzanita needs to be soaked and sunk prior

i'm quite impressed this being your first
Thank you!

I've double boiled the manzanita and then soaked it for 10 days so it's very well water logged and its' not leeching very many tannins anymore.

Good tip on the dripping, gonna be really, really careful on that.

20L corydoras hastatus, red cherry shrimp, nerite snails
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post #4 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-05-2016, 05:58 AM
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Interesting hardscape....kind of a triangular, island 'y layout, but with a twist- the sandy portion and planting soil inverted...you usually see the sand on the outside (of the island)..very very cool. Well done.

I like the elevation of the island as well.. Once you plant, try and keep the foreground pretty low, so you can still see the sandy island. You can plant tall behind and on the right side. Try not to lose the island, that seems like the crux of this layout. Cheers...
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post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-05-2016, 06:09 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ssid View Post
Interesting hardscape....kind of a triangular, island 'y layout, but with a twist- the sandy portion and planting soil inverted...you usually see the sand on the outside (of the island)..very very cool. Well done.

I like the elevation of the island as well.. Once you plant, try and keep the foreground pretty low, so you can still see the sandy island. You can plant tall behind and on the right side. Try not to lose the island, that seems like the crux of this layout. Cheers...
Thanks! You read my mind, that's exactly the plan.

Not sure what kind of super-low carpeting plant for the foreground yet, but the general idea is exactly as you say.

20L corydoras hastatus, red cherry shrimp, nerite snails
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post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-05-2016, 06:22 AM
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Awesome.. Good luck buddy...
How about Monte Carlo? Low growing, lower maintenance than HC, or there are other options like HC (that I mentioned), UG, or maybe a moss carpet with riccardia, or mini fissidens or something low growing.. Glued on or tied to slate chips?


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post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-05-2016, 06:48 AM
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This is an awesome concept. Can't wait to see everything growing in. I agree with the above that you should try to lower the forground and keep the sand mound as visible as possible.
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post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-05-2016, 07:04 AM
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That first pic looks like some kind of mythological creature with branchy spines on its back.

you can see the reflection of its toad friend in the glass.

Cape Town, South Africa.

Hi. I'm back.
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post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-05-2016, 05:56 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you all for the suggestions and feedback. Here's what I'm thinking on the plants:

Carpet: Monte carlo

Right background: Rotala macrandra

Right midground: Cryptocoryne Parva

Middle background (behind the wood): Heteranthera zosterifolia (star grass)

Considering moss for wood, but still undecided.

20L corydoras hastatus, red cherry shrimp, nerite snails

Last edited by LotusBunny; 07-05-2016 at 06:32 PM. Reason: spelling
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post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-06-2016, 11:19 AM Thread Starter
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Update:

So... first big beginner mistake.

I put water in the tank / set up the filter etc to start my cycle. You can't really tell from the photos, but I put the sand ON TOP of the aquasoil. Even with a very, very light current and as the tank has been settling for a few days it's apparent that clearly the sand being the significantly smaller grained substrate will work it's way to the bottom fairly quickly.

The whole concept of my tank was really based around that separation of sanded portions from planted portions.

However, I am not despairing. I'm going to rescape it before the plants go in next week, and I have some ideas. I'll update with pictures when I have it done (hopefully late today).

20L corydoras hastatus, red cherry shrimp, nerite snails
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post #11 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-10-2016, 06:54 AM Thread Starter
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Rescape update.

So because of the goof that I made with the substrate, I ended up doing a rescape. I'll post a full tank shot when I have the plants in.

But anyway, here's the planting plan now. The light is covering the front, which is all ground cover if you couldn't tell from the layout zones I put in there:


20L corydoras hastatus, red cherry shrimp, nerite snails
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post #12 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-12-2016, 05:01 AM
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Hey..ok. Here are a couple of suggestions- somehow try to increase the height of your sandy area- maybe use egg-crate with some gravel filler, or use pantyhose with gravel or lava rock, or just lava rock, covered with netted shade cloth (Lowes or HD) and then put the sand on top. Since the sandy area will now be higher, you can slope the aquasoil down and away from the sand. Also, maybe substrate dividers.. Think strips of plastic/acrylic between the sand and aquasoil...I have used clear drawer liners...

U had a good vision..don't lose hope man... Cheers.. Sid


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post #13 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-12-2016, 05:45 AM
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I'm going to enjoy watching this develop. The wood fascinates me: I'd be tempted to use a lot of mosses to create a forest effect with it. Great start!

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2x20-longs, one heavily planted. Platy rancher. They. Won't. Stop. Breeding.
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post #14 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-14-2016, 02:48 AM Thread Starter
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So, I know that a lot of people liked the original scape, and I did too. But I messed up some stuff. I tried to redo it into the original form and it just didn't work. So... I came up with this. It's less original, but I'm happy with it. Thanks for all of your feedback and encouragement.




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20L corydoras hastatus, red cherry shrimp, nerite snails
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post #15 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-15-2016, 06:48 AM Thread Starter
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Suggestions wanted:

So right now, my fauna stocking list will be:

15x Green Neon Tetra
6x Kuhli Loach
2x Nerite Snail
5-10x Red Cherry Shrimp

I'm looking to fill the last slot with an interesting or centerpiece fish.

Current candidates:
1x Betta fish
4x Scarlet Badis
?? Suggestions wanted -- (some sort of Gourami?)

20L corydoras hastatus, red cherry shrimp, nerite snails
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