Skylight's 20 G Tank - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 02-20-2018, 05:26 AM Thread Starter
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Skylight's 20 G Tank

Hello everyone,

I currently have a 10G Goldfish tank and I am setting up two new tanks:
- 20G tank that will eventually be my quarantine tank
- 90G tank that will sit in my living room for our enjoyment. This will be a planted freshwater tank with beautiful fish (that I am yet to decide on)
I will use this post to journal my experience in setting up the 20 G tank and will look to your expert advice for help. Thank you in advance for reading!

- Bought off craigslist: 20 G Aqueon tank, a HOB filer that has "5-15" written on it and uses Tetra filters, a 50W heater, a 25W heater, GLO T5 HO fixture with broken bulb
- T5 HO bulb ordered from Amazon (6400K) (
- A digital thermometer bought from Amazon (Pack of 3) (
- API MASTER TEST KIT Aquarium Water Test Kit from Amazon (
- Swimming pool filter sand bought from Ace Hardware ("white sand")
- Some Black Diamond Blasting Sand bought from Tractor Supply Co ("black sand")
- I washed the white sand 4-5 times in a bucket and poured it into the tank. In retrospect, I forgot to wipe clean the tank with a damp paper towel. Oops! Hope it doesnít come back to hurt me in the future.
- Set up everything and filled tank to about 80% with tap water. I am only cycling this now, fishless, so I didn't bother putting dechlorinator in it.

Feb 13: Set this up. Got everything running except the light. With my two heaters, the temperature was running around 82F, so I switched one of the heaters off (the 25W one) and adjusted temperature to around 76F using the 50W heater.
I threw in some goldfish flakes for ammonia production.
Lesson learned: The black sand and white sand don't work well together unless there is a physical barrier between then. Once I put water in, they started to mix a little - I can only imagine it getting worse. Bad idea. Should have used a separator.

Feb 14: Tested the tank for Ammonia. Got 0-0.25ppm reading.

Feb 15: Bought some plants from a kind seller. Planted them all:
- Anubias that I tied onto a couple of tank decorations from my Goldfish tank
- Flame Moss that I tied onto a couple of rocks from my goldfish tank
- Bacopas that I stuck into sand substrate
- Crypts that I stuck into sand substrate
- L. Cardinalis that I stuck into sand substrate
Since my T5 HO bulbs are not here yet, I installed my Finnex Planted plus 24/7 cc light 48 inch instead and let it run for about 12 hours daily.
Vacuumed some of the plant matter away, and I think I also vacuumed the fish flakes away accidentally.

Feb 19: Ran water test: Ammonia: 0-0.25ppm, no nitrites or nitrates. Ammonia production has not begun. Now I am considering buying DrTim's Aquatics Ammonium chloride 2 oz bottle from Amazon ( I don't want to put dead shrimp in my tank, and the flakes either didnít work or I accidentally removed them. Any other suggestions on how to get ammonia going for a fishless cycle?

Also, given that I used the decorations from my Goldfish tank to plant the anubias, is there a chance I could have brought something "bad" (e.g., some illness) from that tank into this tank? For the record, the goldfish I have are 4 feeder goldfish that I've now had in the tank for 8-9 months. They look healthy and I have no reason to believe that they are sick. Its just general apprehension that I allowed feeder fish in my tank and that they may be contaminating it.

More to come Ö I'll update you all as often as I can and will throw in any questions here as well. Looking forward to your feedback.
SkyLight is offline  
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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 02-21-2018, 03:58 AM Thread Starter
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Feb 20: 2 changes made:
1. Removed the Finnex because my bulbs for the T5 HO arrived. I've set them up for 5 hours of light per day ... Hope that will be sufficient.
2. Bought Ammonia solution from Ace and added 2 ml to the tank. Checked an hour later and saw ammonia concentration of about 4ppm! So thrilled to see this! The first step of cycling is now done and we are on our way!
SkyLight is offline  


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