A Rather Cryptic 20 Gallon - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 40 (permalink) Old 04-02-2017, 08:09 PM Thread Starter
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A Rather Cryptic 20 Gallon

Hey Everyone, the time has finally come for me to set up my 20 gallon! The sale finally rolled round and I picked up the tank this morning. For a little background, I got this tank to replace my 10 gallon as an upsize. The 10 currently has in it 6 tetras and 2 platys and is still running until the 20 is ready for the old fish. I wanted to upgrade not only to give the fish a better home and get some more interesting fish, but also because my 10 gallon was well, messy. I didn't know jack about planted tanks when I set it up and this time I wanted to do it right. So first off, the specs.

Equipment:
- 20 Gallon High tank- Aqueon
- Aqueon Quietflow 30 Filter
- Aqueon Pro 100W adjustable heater
- Finnex Stingray 24" LED

I purposely wanted to get a bigger filter than needed so I wouldn't have to worry about filtration capacity. Upon setting it up the aqueon seems really nice and perfect for my needs. With the stand it was on, I couldn't do a canister so this was the best option for me. I also had a fine stingray on my 10 gallon and know them to be great lights for the price. However, I am wondering, do you guys think I should get a second one to go on there?

Plants: (what I can ID)
- Frogbit (eventually)
- Crypt Wendtii Bronze
- Crypt wendtii green
- Green gecko crypt
- crypt undulata
- crypt Becketti
- Anubis Nana
- Anubis Nana Petite
- Red Tiger Lotus
- Java fern
- Some sort of huge Sword
- Some sort of other crypt?
- Big stem plant thing

I ordered my plants ahead of time and took out the best ones from my 10 gallon to plant the tank with as well. I was inspired by a user's tank on here, Tessa's 33 Gallon low tech (http://www.rallifotod.eu/photos/suurakva.jpg ) I loved the look of the thick planting of crypts in the front and the ferns in the back with the accents of color with the tiger lotus. I know mine has a lot of growing to do, and I added a driftwood centerpiece to make it pleco friendly, but Im very pleased with how it is so far and will probably grow to look!

Hardscape
- Mopani wood
- Manzanita wood stem
- Generic Aquarium silica sand

SO, I know a lot of people recommend PFS or blasting sand, but I was unable to find some readily available stuff, and with an employee discount anyway, the aquarium sand at my Petco didn't seem like a bad option. my manager who knows a lot about fish too told me its good, inert, and easy to grow plants in if you have ferts and root tabs.

Fertilization and Chemicals
- Seachem Flourish
- Seachem flourish Excel
- Seachem Flourish root tabs
- Seachem Prime
- Seachem Nuetral Regulator
- Seachem Purigen (in filter)
- Fluval Cycle Beneficial Bacteria

Pretty straight forward here. I used flourish root tabs in the sand plus I'm going to dose biweekly with flourish and daily with excel to keep the plants going. To set up the tank I used prime to dechlorinate, Neutral regulator to get that pH set up, and some Fluvial Cycle to get the Bacteria growing a bit faster! In the filter I have a bag of Perigean because well, I hate to say Seachem made a miracle, but they made a miracle.

Planned Stocking

I've been back and forth with this a lot, but as of now I've concluded I'm going to go ahead with this stocking or something very similar to this. Keep in mind I already own the tetras and platys if you want to suggest other options! Current other fish that are high on my list are Balloon Mollys, Sparkling Gouramis, dwarf Puffers, bristlenose plecos, and yoyo loaches.


Anyways thats it for now, pics of the setup are attached! let me know about any suggestions, comments, concerns, etc! And If you have an opinion about the extra light or stocking, feel free to weigh in!

EDIT: Curses! The pond snails already made it in! Assassin snails maybe?
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Current Fish tanks:
20 Gallon SE Asian biotope?: 8 amano shrimp, 1 Gold Gourami, 6 Panda Corys
10 gallon: 3 Female Bettas, 3 nerite snails, 4 Emerald Green Corys
7 gallon cube: 3 Licorice Gouramis, 1 leftover Dario Hysignon
4 gallon cube: Male Halfmoon Plakat Betta
2.5 Gallon: Male Bumblebee Betta

Last edited by EmeraldAlkaline; 04-02-2017 at 08:10 PM. Reason: snails of doom
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post #2 of 40 (permalink) Old 04-02-2017, 08:15 PM
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I really doubt you need another stingray! Are you using any CO2 supplement? If you add a second Stingray you will probably definitely need CO2 and a shorter photoperiod. One Stingray would benefit a great deal from CO2/Excel but not having too much lighting keeps your hand from being forced...


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post #3 of 40 (permalink) Old 04-02-2017, 08:21 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doc7 View Post
I really doubt you need another stingray! Are you using any CO2 supplement? If you add a second Stingray you will probably definitely need CO2 and a shorter photoperiod. One Stingray would benefit a great deal from CO2/Excel but not having too much lighting keeps your hand from being forced...
Oh yeah I use excel for it, as seen in the pics! Ill stick to the single stingray then

Current Fish tanks:
20 Gallon SE Asian biotope?: 8 amano shrimp, 1 Gold Gourami, 6 Panda Corys
10 gallon: 3 Female Bettas, 3 nerite snails, 4 Emerald Green Corys
7 gallon cube: 3 Licorice Gouramis, 1 leftover Dario Hysignon
4 gallon cube: Male Halfmoon Plakat Betta
2.5 Gallon: Male Bumblebee Betta
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post #4 of 40 (permalink) Old 04-02-2017, 08:23 PM
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I looked at this and it reminded me exactly of how my tank started out lol! Same plants somewhat and everything. I do recommend next time you just buy the NiloG EI dosing for 20 bucks, save you a lot of money.
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post #5 of 40 (permalink) Old 04-02-2017, 08:33 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by BettaBettas View Post
I looked at this and it reminded me exactly of how my tank started out lol! Same plants somewhat and everything. I do recommend next time you just buy the NiloG EI dosing for 20 bucks, save you a lot of money.
NiloG EI? Never heard of it, what is it?

And oh cool, I assume your crypts have grown in and whatnot. Got any pics of it?

Current Fish tanks:
20 Gallon SE Asian biotope?: 8 amano shrimp, 1 Gold Gourami, 6 Panda Corys
10 gallon: 3 Female Bettas, 3 nerite snails, 4 Emerald Green Corys
7 gallon cube: 3 Licorice Gouramis, 1 leftover Dario Hysignon
4 gallon cube: Male Halfmoon Plakat Betta
2.5 Gallon: Male Bumblebee Betta
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post #6 of 40 (permalink) Old 04-02-2017, 09:17 PM
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Nah I didn't do crypts, I mean I have C. Balanse. but that's the only crypt!
DIY EI Liquid Fertilizer| Premium Aquarium Fertilizer | NilocG Aquatics basically 75 percent of the scapes on the forums use this.
Also I mean the anubias, java fern, sword and plants like that not crypts my apologies
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post #7 of 40 (permalink) Old 04-02-2017, 09:30 PM Thread Starter
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Hmm, now I'm conflicted on the arrangement of the driftwood. I originally was thinking about having it in the middle and up front to kinda show of the place's home when I get him, but now Im thinking the tank might flow better if I separated the pieces. What do you guys think of this?
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Current Fish tanks:
20 Gallon SE Asian biotope?: 8 amano shrimp, 1 Gold Gourami, 6 Panda Corys
10 gallon: 3 Female Bettas, 3 nerite snails, 4 Emerald Green Corys
7 gallon cube: 3 Licorice Gouramis, 1 leftover Dario Hysignon
4 gallon cube: Male Halfmoon Plakat Betta
2.5 Gallon: Male Bumblebee Betta
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post #8 of 40 (permalink) Old 04-03-2017, 12:35 AM
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A Rather Cryptic 20 Gallon

Quote:
Originally Posted by BettaBettas View Post
Nah I didn't do crypts, I mean I have C. Balanse. but that's the only crypt!
DIY EI Liquid Fertilizer| Premium Aquarium Fertilizer | NilocG Aquatics basically 75 percent of the scapes on the forums use this.
Also I mean the anubias, java fern, sword and plants like that not crypts my apologies


Probably most scapes are using dry ferts which is even cheaper. I got Basically a life time supply of KNO3 and KH2PO4 for 9 dollars from GLA. I am using Equilibrium for micros but you can get a micro mix and chelated iron for real cheap too. I never saw an upside to a liquid form vs just dumping a spoonful of powder in the tank.
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post #9 of 40 (permalink) Old 04-04-2017, 02:12 PM Thread Starter
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Small update today:

Tank is on day 3 of running. I have been dosing flourish and excel for the plants and Fluval Cycle to help the bacteria along. Looks like everything is starting to work, as you can see on the secondary "specialty cartridge" sponge, there's something growing in it already! By the way, I must give praise to the Aqueon Quietflow 30. It's a great filter, not loud, and I really like the amount of flow it generates!

I've ben testing the water daily to see if it's starting the nitrogen cycle, but it seems like everything is reading 0. I don't know if that's good or bad since I know new tanks usually have spikes of each of the three forms of nitrogen (ammonia, nitrite, nitrate) before becoming established. Is this a good or bad sign so far?

Also, would it be beneficial/safe to perhaps put in my mystery snail and ramshorn snail to start creating some waste to get the cycle kick started a little better?
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post #10 of 40 (permalink) Old 04-04-2017, 03:29 PM
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A Rather Cryptic 20 Gallon

With a sand substrate as opposed to un-mineralized dirt, you have no source of ammonia to begin a bacteria cycle. Your ammonia and nitrite will stay 0/0 to the end of time, like a glass of water, with this current initial condition. With the tank already planted you may wish to add one or two of your planned fish and maintain frequent water changes while growing your plants and cycle. If it was extremely heavily planted with fast growing stems (maybe 100 stems per 15 gallons - PACKED) you would never see any spikes, this is called a silent cycle.

Your tank is currently what would be called Lightly Planted when it comes to that though.


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post #11 of 40 (permalink) Old 04-04-2017, 04:57 PM Thread Starter
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With a sand substrate as opposed to un-mineralized dirt, you have no source of ammonia to begin a bacteria cycle. Your ammonia and nitrite will stay 0/0 to the end of time, like a glass of water, with this current initial condition. With the tank already planted you may wish to add one or two of your planned fish and maintain frequent water changes while growing your plants and cycle. If it was extremely heavily planted with fast growing stems (maybe 100 stems per 15 gallons - PACKED) you would never see any spikes, this is called a silent cycle.

Your tank is currently what would be called Lightly Planted when it comes to that though.
So I should add the fish from my 10 gallon in already? The platys and Tetras that is.
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post #12 of 40 (permalink) Old 04-04-2017, 05:20 PM
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wish to add one or two of your planned fish and maintain frequent water changes while growing your plants and cycle. .
Just saying, may be lightly planted since it was setup a day or two ago, I don't agree with whats in the quote though. Causes ammonia burns and can easily kill your favorite fish. Its basically a in fish cycle, which is in water torture. Go to Petco and by some ammonia im sure they sell it, they're other ways to do this other than "sacrificing" your fish.

Quote:
Originally Posted by EmeraldAlkaline View Post
So I should add the fish from my 10 gallon in already? The platys and Tetras that is.
don't do it. (this is another way) Get your Bettas water, or another fishes water (next WC) and pour it into the tank, then it will begin to cycle. Right now it isn't cycling.
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post #13 of 40 (permalink) Old 04-04-2017, 07:03 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doc7 View Post
wish to add one or two of your planned fish and maintain frequent water changes while growing your plants and cycle. .
Just saying, may be lightly planted since it was setup a day or two ago, I don't agree with whats in the quote though. Causes ammonia burns and can easily kill your favorite fish. Its basically a in fish cycle, which is in water torture. Go to Petco and by some ammonia im sure they sell it, they're other ways to do this other than "sacrificing" your fish.

Quote:
Originally Posted by EmeraldAlkaline View Post
So I should add the fish from my 10 gallon in already? The platys and Tetras that is.
don't do it. (this is another way) Get your Bettas water, or another fishes water (next WC) and pour it into the tank, then it will begin to cycle. Right now it isn't cycling.
I can do that. Would putting in something like a mystery snail rather than a fish help?
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post #14 of 40 (permalink) Old 04-04-2017, 07:28 PM
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I can do that. Would putting in something like a mystery snail rather than a fish help?
Not many reports on it, also sorry I didn't reply sooner it didn't notify me that I was quoted. Been doing that lately.
But yea not many reports on putting snails into an uncycled tank, I think actually Waterlife?? or someone with a similar name to that, put snails & shrimp in his tank (inverts) and they didn't make it. I wouldn't put your snails in that, or any life just to make it even more clear lol. Just wait it out until its fully cycled. should be about a month, if you can to help further take filter media from your other filter (in a tank that is cycled) and put it in your current filter. Just shove it in the filter though with the media already there.
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post #15 of 40 (permalink) Old 04-04-2017, 07:38 PM
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google "fishless cycle" and do that.You can buy a bottle of ammonia at ACE hardware.You want the "janitorial strength ammonia" with no surfactants,no additives,just 10% ammonium hydroxide.

I consider a tank cycled when I can add enough ammonia to get to 1ppm and there are ammonia and nitrites are 0 the next day.Usually takes 3 weeks or so.

Using a 10% solution,1 ppm per 10 gallons will get you around 1 ppm.

You can add some filter squeezings from an established tank,or tetra safe start or something similiar to help get it started.You have to be patient while doing this,but It sure beats killing fish.
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MTS? no,I just need one more tank...
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