Beginner Starting a 20gal long. - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-03-2014, 02:22 PM Thread Starter
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Talking Beginner Starting a 20gal long.

Hey guys! This is my first post on this forum so a little intro first: began keeping tanks around a year ago. I'm a betta person and its it's a quickly growing obsession. My first tank started evolving to planted a few months after I got it and now I have 2 five gals and a 3 gal bowl planted. I've been planning this new 20gal for months and I finally have it set up! I'm a complete beginner to a tank this big, so I would love advice here and just to track it's progress. I will especially need advice with aquascaping. The details: low tech, miracle grow organic capped with black sand and some leftover eco complete, fluval m100 heater (got it on mass clearance. Hope it's good), buying a filter today (can't remember the name. changed my mind about the fluval u2), homemade raised light holding two ottlite 20 watt plant bulbs (made out of a gutter, jb weld, black spray paint and two 75watt capable work lamps from homedepot). Plants: Amazon swords, creeping Charlie, bocopa (?), anubius nana, red rotola. Also bought cherry hedge on accident. Hoping I can return it. I bought WAY too many plants....I figure I can just remove them as they grow and give away/sell. Especially when I want to replace some of the big swords with more interesting plants. Planned fish: school of cardinal tetras (captive bred), cories, my mystery snail Fargo, and one of my lucky bettas (whoever does best). We'll start off with just that. Pics will be up later!


Ps: don't really know ferts well. Do you think with this setup I will need something in particular, or do I have to just wait and see? I own flourish. Do I need anything else? Thanks!

*EDIT* FOR PICS AND TO SAY THAT NIKO THE VEILTAIL GETS THE TANK!

I'M AWARE I GOT WAAAAY TOO MANY PLANTS. LOL

Tank is still cloudy in all pics. This is day two on setup and day one on fish.
Just to show where it is:







Last edited by alyssaanne; 05-05-2014 at 12:59 AM. Reason: adding pics
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-04-2014, 05:39 AM
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(*sigh* I just lost my entire post... here goes again...)

First off- welcome to TPT!

Sounds to me like you've done your homework well- you have a very good start for a nice low tech tank.

Which Flourish do you have? (Seachem's labelling is misleading, but "Flourish" is actually the name for their whole line of ferts.)

If you don't have a bottle of Excel, I would recommend that- it's great for plants and also will kill many of the algaes that are common to pop up during new tank setups.

Some root tabs would be good for your swords.

You may not need much else at first in terms of ferts, nutrient demand is not as high under lower light levels.





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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-04-2014, 02:31 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the welcome! And I think my flourish is the plain? Just says flourish-a comprehensive supplement to the planted aquarium. I don't have excel but thought I might need some. My other swords are doing ok in miracle grow but do have some spots so I will probably do tabs. As for light: I keep all my tanks on for 10hours. This is a new bulb for me and I've been considering it moderate light. The reason I went with them is because on my bowl I have a 15 watt of the same brand and plants grow well and algae isn't *too* bad. It's the equivalent of two 75watt incandescent bulbs. So does that make my moderate light assessment correct? Is that too high for low tech? I'm already having balance problems in my two 5gals that's giving me bloom and I really don't want to deal with it in this tank. So I'm just left guessing about any light/nutrient weak spots I may have.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-04-2014, 07:57 PM
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Your lighting may be a bit on the high side. I'd try lowering your photoperiod to around 8 hours first, though, to see if that helps.

If you think your DIY fixture for the 30gal is still a bit much, you can try raising it a bit higher off the tank. Raising and lowering light fixtures is one of the easiest ways to control light levels.





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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-04-2014, 11:18 PM Thread Starter
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Ok. I'll change to 8. Thank you. When I get home I'll have pics up
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-05-2014, 04:55 AM
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Looks great, subbed! Do you ever plan on making a write-up on that DIY light? I'm thinking of making one very similar to it. Also a close up shot of that light would be very appreciated
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-06-2014, 02:31 AM Thread Starter
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Sure! I'll get working on it soon. I stole the idea from another forum post and modified it for my lights.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-06-2014, 02:57 AM
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Just wanted to say ... Niko is one lucky betta! And very good looking, too.

Will let others answer your technical questions, but I'd say you are well on your way to a beautiful tank.

Deborah
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-29-2014, 02:05 AM
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Hey Alyssa, any chance of an update? I'm curious to see where your tank has gone!


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