Newbie 20 gal L Dirted
This is a journal of a soon to be planted tank newb.
My goal is to transform a brand new 20 gallon long tank into a well-cared for planted tank and will hopefully last for a couple of years. I have spent countless hours pouring over articles, reading and re-reading threads, and contemplating the comments of other planted tank enthusiasts. Most of these folks have accomplished what I hope to regarding everything and anything related to a successful planted tank that's not just awesome to look at, but thrives as well. I understand it's not as easy as some seem to make it out to be and with hard work and perseverance, I'm excited to see where this journey will lead to.
This first entry will primarily be used to keep track of all the necessary items and material I have or need until I am ready to add the substrate, place the hardscape pieces, plant the various plants, and fill with water. I cannot wait to begin this weekend!
Here is what I have so far:
Tank: 20 gallon long
Substrate: MG Nature's Care organic raised bed soil, CaribSea Eco Complete to cap the soil
Hardscape: Seiryu Stones, spider wood (currently soaking in 5 gallon buckets), small volcanic rocks in mesh bags for hills
Lighting: Beamswork DA FSPEC LED Aquarium Light
Filter: Eheim 250 cannister filter (arriving early next week), Penn Plaxx Cascade Power Filter 150
Heater: Tetra 100w (preset to 78 degrees F)
Misc items: Various Seachem bottles: Prime, Flourish, Excel, and tabs, Equilibrium (my tap water is naturally very soft), crushed coral just in case PH needs a little boost.
For now I have not purchased any plants yet but I have a pretty good idea of the ones I would like to plant. I definitely want to go with foreground plants that are not too challenging to maintain and will carpet under decent conditions. For this I was thinking of s. repens, dwarf hair grass, or baby tears but out of those three I am leaning more towards the s. repens. I am interested in the monte carlo, but that plant seems to be a tad harder to find than the others.
For mid-ground plants on and around the rocks and driftwood, I was thinking tying annubias nanas, java ferns and moss. Also thinking about micro planting micro swords around the base of the rocks, but I'm not entirely sure that would work -might be better as a foreground plant. So the jury is still out on that.
Finally, the background will contain the usual suspects -amazon sword, red flame sword on one side and red leaf ludwigia on the other, crypto wendtii, and some moneywort.
There is an aquascape store near where I live and I am going to visit it Saturday to scope out their plant selections. I was also going to stop by the local petcos and petsmarts too as some of them have a decent selection of live plants as well.
Once the tank is completely cycled and ready for fish, I am planning on moving my daughter's betta to the planted tank. We'll also be adding some type of cory catfish (5-6?), some shrimp, nerite snails, and an algae eater or two (thinking Siamese algae eater or a possibly a pleco -though on the fence for it). It will really depend on what the local fish stores have in stock.
So far I think I have everything I need. I'll go through my list again before I get started just to make sure.
I'll be starting this weekend and will have pics up when I do.