Adventures in the 20 long - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 05-14-2019, 04:24 PM Thread Starter
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Adventures in the 20 long

I have lurked on here for many years (I think maybe I joined in 2011?) and have posted off and on, but not frequently. Back then, I had a beautiful 75 gallon planted S.A. Cichlid tank, and a 20 long Asian biotope with pearl gouramis, danios, etc. Then we had kids, life got busy and I fell off the wagon.

Here we are in 2019, and I've got a 20 gallon long to upgrade our betta's 10 gallon. Thus begins the adventure. Little does my hubby know what he's gotten into by agreeing to this. LOL!

Aquaclear 20 HOB filter (moved from 10 gallon)
Nicrew light fixture that is too small.

Substrate: Play sand, supplemented with root tabs

Current stock:
1 dramatic betta fish
7 cory hasbrosus
3 adult Japanese trapdoors (they've been busy!)
10 baby Japanese trapdoors

Current Plants (moved from the 10 gallon):
3 dwarf lilies
Brazilian pennywart
Crypt wendtii
Some sad looking dwarf sag grass
Java moss
Anubias barteri
Anubias nana

I added some new driftwood because the stuff in the old 10 is now in that 5 gallon shrimp tank you see. The new driftwood in the 20 long is obviously still acclimating to the tank. But the snails love it. What I love about this tank is that where it is placed, you can see it from 3 sides. One side is the kitchen, so I can watch the fish while I do dishes. The other is the breakfast table, where I can ignore my kids when they're being rude. LOL!

Anyway, I'm starting this journal to learn. I have read alot of the journal threads here, and see how much expertise everyone has to share! So, questions to start out.
1. We have hard water, with a PH around 8 all the time. We're on a well. Good news is no chlorine, so no need to condition the water during water changes. Bad news is I haven't figured out the algae situation yet. I've cut down the light period, but I still get brown algae (diatoms?) on the anubias leaves and the wisteria especially. Any ideas?

2. I like the placement of the wood in the 20 long, but the plants leave much to be desired. What do you guys suggest? Aquascaping tips much appreciated here.

3. I will be adding 7 or so cories tonight to fill out the shoal at around 14. I'd like to add another small school of fish (that won't nip the betta's fins, or stress him out). I think neons are too stressful - they are fast moving and I don't much care for them. Also, I've heard they don't like hard water. I could do danios again as I do like them. But, I'm considering branching out and trying something new. Any nano fish you've had luck with and look good in a planted tank?

Excuse the lighting - as I mentioned, the light currently doesn't fit the tank. Hopefully this will help the algae issue, though!

Full view (including the 5 gallon Bloody Mary shrimp paradise):
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Left side:
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Right side:
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 05-20-2019, 01:52 AM
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Looks like a really nice start. I can't offer any aquascaping tips (looks at his own tanks, looks away and shakes head), but the brown algae will go away over time, as will the fungus on the wood.

To go with the betta, a small shoal of harlequin rasboras or the smaller espei rasboras are a possibility. I've seen them kept with bettas with no problem.

2x20-longs, one heavily planted. Platy rancher. They. Won't. Stop. Breeding.
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 05-20-2019, 02:37 AM
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I personally prefer aquascapes that are hardscape heavy. I would put in larger stones and use those to create elevations. Then plant near, and on the stones. I find that looks the most natural. Just my two cents.

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