My 20g start - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-14-2005, 02:39 AM Thread Starter
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My 20g start

A few weeks ago my friend gave me his 20g aquarium (that's why it's
scratched oh well free is free). Originaly I had not planned to plant it that is
why I got a HOB filter, not the greatest but I live with it. I started out using
some large white gravel that had the plant sustainability of a blacktop
parkinglot.

Anyway a after a few weeks of having the aquarium I figured I needed to
buy some more plants. I was goingt to buy fake plants until I wandered into
the live plant section. While I was in there I decided to buy an amazon sword
to try as my first plant.

Keep in mind that at this time I was still using the large gravel and a punny
15w light. While I was looking around on the internet I found a cheap way to
upgrade the lights by using screw in type compact fluorescents. By using this
method I was able to get 69w for less than $20.

Now I had the correct lighting and a DIY CO2 system. I realized that if I
wanted to be serious about planting I needed a better substrate. After
reading around this site and some others I decided on a flourite pea gravel
mix(15kbs if flourite 25lbs of pea gravel). After changing substrates I
replanted all of my plants and instantly fell in love with the look of the flourite
mix.

That pretty much gets everyone caught up to today. I know have the
amazon sword, anacharis, and val in my tank. I havn't finished putting plants
in yet do to the fact that I have very little money left over after getting my
aquarium setup. Wow that ended up being longer than I thougt it would be,
so now here are the pics.

Just ask me if you want any specific pics.

OH yeah I also plan on getting rif of the fake cave and getting some driftwood.

setup:
-3 23watt socket CF
-DIY CO2 generator
- Flourite pea gravel mix

Plants:
-Amazon sword
-Argentine sword
-anacharis
- Val

Fish:
-3 Platties
-3 corry cats
-6 neon tetras
-2 otos

Tank as a whole

Substrate
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-14-2005, 03:09 AM Thread Starter
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another pic
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-14-2005, 03:40 PM Thread Starter
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I just ordered a few more plants off of eBay. I got a great deal I got three
plants for $10 including shiping. I ordered bacopa amplexicaulis,didiplis diandra, and wisteria.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-14-2005, 04:37 PM
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Nice beginning for such a tight budget, Intermision.

Now you've got the substrate, CO2 and light, those currently-baby Amazon and Vals are going to grow huge and fill your tank with green in no time! Along with the Wisteria you've just ordered too, you've picked three of the most rampant growing real estate hogs available now you're giving them the right conditions! Wisteria I think is a really great looking plant, but darn it grows so fast!

If I may offer some plant position advice based on my own brief experience, to give the swords the space they're going to eventually need I'd suggest spreading them out a bit more and moving them a bit away from the glass or their leaves will grow crushed up against the sides and each other. Maybe also place the vals at the back because they'll eventually block the view in time.

A trick you might want to use in the near future that I read about which I use on my vals now is that when the leaves reach the surface, instead of letting them keep growing and covering the surface, blocking out the light, is to trim them an inch or two above the waterline (hold the leaf up out of the water when you trim). That way you can keep them trimmed without having jagged cut leaves visible below the surface.

I'm looking forward to watching your tank grow.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-14-2005, 04:47 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all of the great advice.

I decided to take out two of the amazon swords since they get so big, and I moved the largest one into a little more room. I also moved the vals to the back.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-14-2005, 10:03 PM
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Good start! Nice cave!

What is the airstone for?
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-14-2005, 10:45 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LoveBoatCaptain
Good start! Nice cave!

What is the airstone for?
I used to run air at night, and I just haven't taken it out yet.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-15-2005, 01:54 AM
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Now that is a great start!!! Keep it going but dont get too many plants in such a small tank. Once you get your other plants let them grow out then see what you have.


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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-15-2005, 01:58 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aquaphish
Now that is a great start!!! Keep it going but dont get too many plants in such a small tank. Once you get your other plants let them grow out then see what you have.
I'll make sure to keep that in mind. It's kind of wierd people always talk about impulse buying fish, but fir me al of my plants have been impulse buys.

I have a question though, what would be a good groundcover?
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-19-2005, 01:11 AM
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hehe i know someone who has that exact same cave.
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-20-2005, 06:56 PM
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the amazon swords will totally get too huge wehn the get too big mabey tanke one out and put the other one in the center so it has more space. you could try glosso, hc ,ricca, or mico sword. the micro sword takes a while to grow but if you keep trimming it it will slowly spread! keep up the good work !
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-20-2005, 08:19 PM
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Cool!

I have that same cave feature in my 29 gallon for my goldfish. The coloring does wear off eventually, but mine has grown algae on it which gives it a nice affect. You placed things pretty well, just be warned that the swords wil grow to big after a while. Otherwise, the plants looks great, and the fish look happy. Also be ready for fry if you have male and female platies- they are very close to guppies breeding wise, but in my experience their fry grow up much more quickly.

Good luck!,
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-20-2005, 08:22 PM Thread Starter
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I don't have to worry about fry I only have female platties.
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-20-2005, 09:45 PM
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Unhappy Uh...

I'm sorry to say but livebearers only have to breed once and can have several batches of fry... How long ago did you get your platies?
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-20-2005, 09:48 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goldfishcrazy11
I'm sorry to say but livebearers only have to breed once and can have several batches of fry... How long ago did you get your platies?
About a month.
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