20 Long Cheap Scape - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-28-2018, 04:15 PM Thread Starter
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20 Long Cheap Scape

This is a repost/relocation from Low Tech. I would like to keep sharing this tank’s progress, and should have probably started the thread here instead, to begin with. Seems a more appropriate place to do my own repeated posting.

I started a 20 Long tank on 9/8/2018 for my Daughter to have as ‘her tank.’ Mostly, she gets to choose what fish are in there, name them, do some feedings, and brag to friends about her pets. I do all the work (...which I love anyway).

Equipment:
20L Aqueon, $20
Imagitarium stand, $40
Aqueon glass lid, $30
DIY LED light, $25
HOB filter with sponges, ~$30
Aqueon 100W heater, $18
Timer power strip, $15

Scape: a ‘slice of nature’ type, with no effort toward a biotope.
Pool Filter Sand, $5 (used less than half the bag)
Osmocote Plus sprinkled under the sand.
Landscape Rocks, $2
Small tumbled stones, $3
Small pots, $2
Wood, $5? (est. I bought a bunch for $10)

Flora: added 9/18/2018, mostly, and then more, then more, etc.
total, $30 perhaps, some plants spread to many tanks.
Several anubias, Top Fin tube packaged, $5 each
Java fern propagations.
Various Crypts, propagated.
A. Reineckiii mini, $15 (tissue culture, just some of it here).
H. Pinnatifida, $13 (total purchase, only some in here)
Wisteria propagation.
Pogostemon or other stem (unsure), propagation.
Moneywort propagation.
Grassy stuff propagation.
Algae, total freebie.

Fauna: added 10/6/2018.
Rasbora Heteromorpha x12, $24
Black racer nerite, $2
Bladder snails, freebie.
Amano shrimp $5.
Cherry shrimp extras.
Will be adding Sunset Honey Gourami, Daughter’s favorite fish.

Maintenance: easy-mode.
Weekly 20-30% water change, manual excess algae removal.
API Stress Coat conditioner.
Aquarium CoOp Easy Green liquid all in one fertilizer.

Temp set to 75C.
Filter at far right end, on back, to give a mix of fast and slow areas for fish to choose, depending on mood (they do use the whole tank).
Lights on 6 hours. A small amount of filtered daylight comes in the left side.

This tank is a great canvas for me to play with different plants, try out a bit of casual aquascaping, and to finally keep some Rasbora hets.

Lemme know your thoughts.
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I can only grow plants when they're completely under water. Everything else is doomed.
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post #2 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-28-2018, 04:18 PM Thread Starter
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Rasbora Hets spawning behavior seen after WC on 10/20. I have no real hope for successful breeding, as the tank does not have the micro food to sustain fry, I won’t be separating the parents, and I don’t run a breeding program. Whatever succeeds will be very welcome.

These fish are having a lot of fun chasing each other around, finding a few moments in little private areas to enjoy some companionship, and then moving on to other fun. Like college freshman.
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post #3 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-28-2018, 04:25 PM Thread Starter
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Found some free swimming fry 10/27/2018. Look closely - one is looking right back at you. Hope they succeed. I’m using a rotation of bug bites, color flakes, frozen bloodworms, and sera o-nips to feed - hope they like something offered.
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post #4 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-28-2018, 09:06 PM Thread Starter
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A FTS from today. All things looking good and stable. Happy fish, got all excited to see me - and then all I did was take their picture, no food. I’ll feed them in a bit.
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post #5 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-07-2018, 09:32 PM Thread Starter
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At this point, most of the plants have done well, a couple failed to thrive. I’m particularly happy about the A. Reineckii mini doing well. Algae is just about gone, with just a few thin surfaces on rocks left (I’ll leave that be). I have a bit of cleanup to do, but the tank just happen to make me especially happy today. This is a very low maintenance low tech tank that looks good enough to show guests, and with enough interest to keep my Daughter engaged.
All the fish are doing well, though no babies seem to thrive (eaten perhaps?).
A few bladder snails are around, but not a ton.
I may add some neo. shrimp, see if they do OK, as biofilm has had time to build up. LFS has black neos for $2, or I’ll pull from my red cherry stock.
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post #6 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-07-2018, 10:15 PM
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Excellent tank! I like it very much!

My tank journal.

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post #7 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-08-2018, 01:19 AM
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Very nice!


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post #8 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-08-2018, 03:38 PM
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Nice tank and the fish seem to like it as well if they are breeding.
Perhaps you would like to give the fry a better chance? I might look at adding something simple like a clump of Java moss glued to a stone back in a corner as it does give tiny fish a thick mat where they can duck in and avoid being eaten. Perhaps not something to worry too much but it does add major interest for younger fish folks.
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post #9 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-13-2018, 11:41 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the kind words. It wasn’t really my original plan - but another goal is to make an example for co-workers for simple success. We’re all doing 50-75 hours a week, so a bit limited in pet capabilities. I’m even keeping water changes at a 25% every two-week pace, and feeding flakes or Bug Bites only 4x a week - easy pinch and drop foods. Ferts are still a squirt of Easy Green once a week. I don’t even scrape the glass.

I’ve considered moss (‘cause you’re right, it’d be better), but I don’t really want it in this tank, to keep it tidy with very little maintenance. Moss can really take over, and will never leave. Great when I want that (in my 5 nano tanks), but not my goal here. Along the same lines, I don’t have riccia, frogbit, duckweed, minim, fissidens, cladophora balls, or even valisneria in here. My hope was that the hardscape and existing plants would be enough for hiding. I may add some small pieces of dragonstone for more small hides.

I have guppies in my 40b, doing what guppies do best - lots of fish babies to see there. Started with 2m, 2f, have a dozen plus now, and more on the way.


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post #10 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-13-2018, 12:22 PM
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Very nice tank and simple. Subscribed !!
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post #11 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-13-2018, 12:27 PM
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Do you have a link / info on how you did your DIY LED light??

"No Ice? Just Freeze Some Water"

My 30g (25g after learning how a tape measure works) Journal:
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post #12 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-13-2018, 02:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Proteus01 View Post
Found some free swimming fry 10/27/2018. Look closely - one is looking right back at you. Hope they succeed. Iím using a rotation of bug bites, color flakes, frozen bloodworms, and sera o-nips to feed - hope they like something offered.
Great! Petsmart sells an in-tank fry trap for around $5. You could siphon any fry into the fry trap and get some fry food; they might live.


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post #13 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-14-2018, 04:53 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quagulator View Post
Do you have a link / info on how you did your DIY LED light??
No link - this forum already pushes the boundary of what I do socially online.
I took an Aluminum door threshold, a “low dome” type, trimmed to length, and stickyback LED strip (the “waterproof” kind, cool white), attached them together and plugged it in. I have six strips of LEDs taped onto the underside - it’s a tight fit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Quagulator View Post
Great! Petsmart sells an in-tank fry trap for around $5. You could siphon any fry into the fry trap and get some fry food; they might live.
That’s my thought, too. Haven’t done it yet, but I will likely try next time. Thanks.


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post #14 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-24-2018, 04:44 PM Thread Starter
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Thought I’d show something as proof of a concept. This is my 20l tank in daytime (right at noon), 4 hours before lights come on, and 10 hours before they turn off. You can see the Christmas tree reflected, sorry. This isn’t a glamour shot.

This tank gets lots of window light for the daytime, and tank lights on for 6 hours into the evening. Still, no algae issues.

Why? I have no CO2 injection, no snails or shrimp (but I may get some shrimp). I haven’t even scraped the tank walls in a month or so. I don’t add any weird chemicals to chase parameters around. I dechlorinate my Ohio liquid limestone tap water, and I add two squirts of Easy Green fertilizer a week, after the ~30% waterchange. I believe the plants way overcompete the algae for nutrients, and maintain a great balance. I also believe I need more plants...and more tanks, and more fish.

I set out on this project to make a very easy low tech, no-concern tank - one my Daughter could enjoy in particular. Beyond my expectations, I think I got it.

May all your tanks be as merry, relaxing, and enjoyable this Christmas.
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post #15 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-24-2018, 04:47 PM Thread Starter
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Also, while I’m admiring my tank and being overly congratulatory to myself, I took a couple of shots of the light. As I said before, just a daylight LED strip glued to the underside of a door threshold.
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