20L First Tank Iwagumi - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-22-2016, 08:15 AM Thread Starter
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20L First Tank Iwagumi

Hey everyone!

So to start off my name is john and I came from a background of raising piranhas. I eventually stop due to the cost of feeding them and the amount of time I had to put on the side for crazy maintenance since they made such a mess, of course I'm not saying this is any easier. I'm pretty sure I fell into the trap when I googled "planted tank" and found Mr Takashi Amano's work *RIP*. It was mainly the simple minimalist iwagumi set ups that I found on google that amazes me. Other than that I decided to do some HEAVY research on this forum and so grateful to my girlfriend for supporting me with my many many hobbies haha. So I am new to this hobby and if there's anything wrong I mean anything wrong PLEASE tell me. I'm also a typical broke college student as well haha but I did manage to save some money for most of the equipment woohoo!

Tank- 20L from the lovely 1$1G petco sale 20$
Stand- Petco Brooklyn stand 37$
Filtration- Penn Plax 500 Cascade 50$ Discounted with amazon gift card 50$ = FREE
Lighting- Finnex Planted+ 24/7 90$ thanks to my lovely girlfriend = FREE.....
Substrate- Lava rock 7lb crushed bottom layer 7$
Substrate- Fluval Stratum 17.8lb 38$
Furniture- Ohko Stone 17lb I don't remember the price
CO2-Tippman 24oz Paintball CO2 tank 24$
Aquatek CO2 mini regulator 85$
Aquatek 3 in 1 diffuser 15$
Aquatek CO2 tubing 10$
Cheap china co2 reader 15$
Plants- S.Repens, Micranthemum & Frogbits thanks to the RAOK of tangelo1106 and of course my #1 fan GF with the S repens and monte carlos

grand total of 250$ maybe 300$ with all of the other stuff like tweezers and plants

So I'm trying to go for a iwagumi shrimp set up. Please don't mind my hardscape, I know it looks kinda horrible because I'm not artistic and I just copy and take ideas, layouts, and was influenced by many users on this forum. Thank you!

I was away for the weekend so I couldn't immediately plant and my girlfriend wants to help me plant it as well so more hands! I'll have this post updated within the next 24hrs

thank you for taking the time to read this!

John Nguyen
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-22-2016, 11:40 AM
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What I would recommend with the hardscape is spreading out the rocks so they use the entire footspace of the tank, that should help a lot. You have some nice pieces of stone there.
Everything is looking good otherwise.
Another thing to keep in mind is that you will need to buy/make 4dKH water to allow the CO2 checker to work.
Also, maybe some minimal dosing may allow the scape to last longer/infinitely as the plants won't be dependent on nutrients from the substrate and livestock.


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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-22-2016, 04:40 PM
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looks like a good start. you got all the set up ready. gl with the dry start. would love to see the MC carpet the whole big tank.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-22-2016, 04:54 PM
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Looking good.


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20g Long -Retired
10g Betta tank -Retired
1.1 Gallon Vase -Retired
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-22-2016, 11:17 PM Thread Starter
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Hey thanks for the tip since the Srepens are planted already and rooted I dont wanna mess up the substrate anymore I will definitely move the hardscape later when i redo this aquarium once everything carpets. Thanks for the tip on the nutrients I totally didn't even realize that eventually my substrate will run out of nutrients. What type of dosing should I start off with? i was thinking about going the seachem liquid fert route and dose maybe every other day or so.

thanks again opare!
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-23-2016, 08:32 AM
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Huhuhu trust me it will be a lot easier and less painless to move things now. But if you are happy with what you have there is no reason to change anything.
Maybe an all-in-one fertiliser? NicolG's Thrive? To start off it wouldn't have to be frequent to be honest. I would still go at least once a week. The Seachem fertilisers aren't very cost effective IMO. You won't need to dose too much the plants you chose aren't very demanding.


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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-24-2016, 04:51 AM Thread Starter
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update on plantings

hey everyone! thanks for checking out the thread. So I had some extra time but was limited since I had work,studying, and what not my girlfriend and I had some time to finally plant the tank. Im a little bummed out because i wanted to post videos or like photos during the process of planting and splitting the monte carlos apart but had totally forgot to. anyways bad news is that my finnex planted +24/7 the IR sensor on the light isnt functioning properly so glad i was still under the 6 months warranty and they said they were gonna fix it for me so im gonna send that in after the holidays but for now im using clip on lamps with 13W led = 60w CFL lights for now. I dont think i wanna go with finnex anymore ill try them out for about a few more months and see what 36inch lights are better to replace this finicky planted plus, or maybe its just me idk but here are some planted photos! I was also going to just DSM this for about 5 days but now that the lights are gonna be gone i'm thinking about pushing it for about 2 weeks and up the dose on the co2 so it wouldnt have much of a dramatic change from emerse to submerse. tell me watcha think!

Bump: OH man thanks for letting me know about the thrive all in one bottle ill go ahead and place an order for that since I wouldnt want my plants to depend on substrate only thanks a lot opare
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-24-2016, 08:49 AM
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DSMs are best done for a while so a month+ would actually be best. But yeah when you flood blast CO2 for a while to help the transition.


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20long, finnex 24/7, fluval stratum, iwagumi, monte carlo

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