20G Tall - Update 6 April 09.. Still Learning - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-01-2009, 01:04 AM Thread Starter
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20G Tall - Update 6 April 09.. Still Learning

Updated 6 Apr 09 - See end of thread... Here is a quick chronology of pictures from inception..

2 Jan 09


11 Jan 09


24 Jan 09


18 Feb 09


29 Mar 09

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Well folks.. Been getting some help over the last few days in the lighting forum.. I have most likely bitten off more then I can chew and will be cursing in a few days.. But here is my very first planted tank.. Really one of my first aquariums but who is counting :-)





Any comments, criticism or suggestions are greatly welcomed... Over all I am quite happy. I really do not know what I am doing... But I have to start somewhere.

20 Gallon Xtra tall (20 Wide, 24 Tall, 10 Deep)
Eheim 2213
Coralife 65 watt CF 24" long (overhangs the tank a bit)
Strap on heater (want to replace with inline)
Eco-complete substrate
No CO2 right now.... Cannot afford pressurized, and laziness will cause me to regret trying home brew... Might try CO2 Reactor if/when needed.

Don't mind the wet backdrop. It has been dried now just need a new photo.

Thanks all in advance!

Mike

Last edited by Bedpan; 04-07-2009 at 12:30 AM.
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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-01-2009, 01:16 AM
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Looks good...of course with deep tanks lighting will always be difficult, good luck!

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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-01-2009, 01:19 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks kindly. hoping the 65watts on the 20Gallon will overcome the depth... Time will tell.

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Looks good...of course with deep tanks lighting will always be difficult, good luck!
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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-01-2009, 01:21 AM
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You might get more out of your moss balls if you spread it out more on the rocks. I found that if it is layed out too thickly, it tends to die out. Just a few fronds across the rocks, thread tie like you have it there.

Tank looks good. I started out like that too. Learn, read, watch and read some more.
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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-01-2009, 01:30 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the advise.. I actually started pulling the ball apart and thought it might not be the best idea but I was already committed. I was worried I had killed the poor thing. Did a little read and decided that it should live.. I will take the advise though and see what I can do. Would love to see all the rock overgrown eventually.

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You might get more out of your moss balls if you spread it out more on the rocks. I found that if it is layed out too thickly, it tends to die out. Just a few fronds across the rocks, thread tie like you have it there.

Tank looks good. I started out like that too. Learn, read, watch and read some more.
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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-01-2009, 01:45 AM
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Yes, it works wonders. I just did all my rocks like I said with Christmas moss and it has filled out very fast in two weeks time. Believe me it works! Pull the balls apart, take each rock and tie the stuff on the outside of the rock so it gets light. Within a month you will be surprised!
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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-01-2009, 12:34 PM Thread Starter
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Well happy to say all the fish have lived the night. None appear any worse for wear. The tank was coverted yesterday from just a plane fish tank to a planted tank. All the gravel was pulled out, new lights installed, new substrate, plants added, water topped up and fish put back in.

I will try and work the moss a bit today onto the rocks. Here is a list of the plants added (based on the little plastic cards that came with them):

Microsorum pteropus
Cryptocoryne Wendtil Mi Oya
Echinodorus bleheri (Bleherae)
Hygrophila Corymbosa "Angustifolia"
Utricularia graminifolia
Large Moss Ball

Time to do some reading on each. The Utricularia graminifolia seems to have transplanted pretty poorly. I tried to pull the first one out of the basket then out of the wool substrate it was growniing in and it desintigrated. The second one I just buried the wool....

Speaking of the wool. I left most of the plants in the wool. I am starting to think I should pull them apart a bit more to help them spread. I guess some reading is in order...

Happy New Years all!
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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-01-2009, 01:51 PM
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you said you dont have CO2, so dont worry about the UG. i hear it dies very quickly without it, and is a very sensetive plant overall.

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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-01-2009, 02:12 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the comment Marko. Still lots of learning to do. I picked 10 plants when I was at the fish store yesterday. Most I tried to select were easy to grow. I did pick a couple of the harder ones just to see what happens. I would love to see the UG live and better yet fill out.. But by the sounds of it I might not have wish..

Cheers,

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you said you dont have CO2, so dont worry about the UG. i hear it dies very quickly without it, and is a very sensetive plant overall.
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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-03-2009, 01:59 AM Thread Starter
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Well folks.. Spent some more time working away today and added some more critters to the mix.. I am sure I am near the upper limits of what this tank can handle so I will most likely not be adding anything major from here.

8 x Neon Tetra
1 x platy (orange with black stripe on tail)
2 x Molly's (1 x black, 1 x white)
2 x Rummynose Tetra
2 x Oto Cat (New)
2 x Sailfin??
8 x Shrimp (New, Bought as "Algae eating shrimp, some appear to be Amano, some have a bluish colour to them)

All said happy with where things are right now. I could not believe how quickly the shrimp cleaned the tank. Had it scrapped clean in a couple hours. Amazing little critters. I may track down some new flavours of shrimp to add in the coming weeks once I confirm today's addition lives ok.

Would love some help naming some of the fishes here so I took some pics...


tank - 02 jan 08 - Still working on the Moss at the tops of the rock tower. I am nervous to pull it out to thin but I might take another run at it again.




The shrimps - 8 in total. About half are bluish, the other half are like the first one and last one.


Nothing exotic here I just cannot figure out/remember what it is called?
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post #11 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-04-2009, 08:25 PM Thread Starter
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Well... I am fed up with the rocks. I am thinking they are going to come out.. Every time I go to do some maintenance I end up fighting to keep them standing. So as soon as I find some nice drift wood the rocks come out I think. We shall see how it goes.. I live down by lake Ontario.. What do I do with the driftwood prior to putting it in the tank? A boil?
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post #12 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-07-2009, 01:55 AM Thread Starter
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Well my light went on the fritz today. It is a week old Coralife 24" 65 Watt CF. Not sure what the problem is.... I can get it to flicker on for a second or two by turning it off and on repeatedly. Oh well back to Big Al's today or tomorrow to see what they have to say on the mater. Hoping I can just swap it with a new one and be on my way... Guess I will find out!

Mike
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post #13 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-07-2009, 03:50 PM
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sprry to hear abotu the light . your fish selection is weak . I love the neons, if they stay alive for you great !! you need to pick a school or 2, and let go of the rest . the livebearers, (molly, platy, swordtails, ) like to live with thier own kind and breed they have lots and lots of babies !!! having 1 or 2 sounds aweful to me .
and to boot your bigger fish (molly*) are most likley going to eat your shrimp, you may be ok, but watch out. amanos are bigger than other shrimpys, but I would be wary. I like the rock castle, I myself was going to make me one, bougth the slate and everything , just havent done anything with it ... LOL ~~~ the moss can be stretched out very very thin, it wont die that way , it dies if too think the underneath part that gets no light, or not enough, dies.
if you are planning on driftwood, look around here, read other peoples tank journals !! that is where you get the great ideas, and find out the great sellers of nice items . your tank could be a masterpiece, you need to take the time to do your research BEFORE YOu buy ~ this saves $$ and makes a nice tank . good luck in the planted world . I will be watching . I have the same 20 high . I havent bought anything for it yet. I am looking for others, watching the eqiupment they buy , and seeing what they are creating , thank god I do have my 45, 55, and 10 & 5 planted tanks to keep me BZ< LOL

Good luck with your light, hope they replace it for ya . your plants need it . watch your plants too, they will tell you if they are lacking somthing . are you using ANY ferts ??

I will be watching , have a great day ~~
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post #14 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-07-2009, 04:40 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the comments... The tank needs a lot of work. I know this for sure. This is my first venture into the planted world. I keep posting here I think for myself then anything else. A nice log to keep track of the changes as things go along....

The fish selection was not my doing.. Well mostly not. The tank was originally setup for my 3 year old daughter. Without limiting her to much this is what she has chosen. I will most likely do away with the mollies when I can but she does rather like them. I guess I do, they are the most interactive fish I have met ;-) I have watch the tank for many hours and have not yet had a problem with the mollies and the shrimp. I like the neons and will likely add some more rummys when I think the tank can handle a few more.

Even the plant selection was made based on what was available and very little research. Just to get things started. Once I am confident that I have the chemistry down I will most likely start swapping some out.

I am not one to buy on a whim generally. I research things to death. I picked up a couple Paintball CO2 containers a few days ago from a family member and will eventual make this tank hi-tech. When the plants are growing well I will then work on the scape a lot more. I am still learning the basics and do not want to invest tonnes of time into the scape until I am sure I can keep stuff alive..

Thanks and hopefully as time moves on this will be a tread worth reading :-)

Mike

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Originally Posted by spiralin View Post
sprry to hear abotu the light . your fish selection is weak . I love the neons, if they stay alive for you great !! you need to pick a school or 2, and let go of the rest . the livebearers, (molly, platy, swordtails, ) like to live with thier own kind and breed they have lots and lots of babies !!! having 1 or 2 sounds aweful to me .
and to boot your bigger fish (molly*) are most likley going to eat your shrimp, you may be ok, but watch out. amanos are bigger than other shrimpys, but I would be wary. I like the rock castle, I myself was going to make me one, bougth the slate and everything , just havent done anything with it ... LOL ~~~ the moss can be stretched out very very thin, it wont die that way , it dies if too think the underneath part that gets no light, or not enough, dies.
if you are planning on driftwood, look around here, read other peoples tank journals !! that is where you get the great ideas, and find out the great sellers of nice items . your tank could be a masterpiece, you need to take the time to do your research BEFORE YOu buy ~ this saves $$ and makes a nice tank . good luck in the planted world . I will be watching . I have the same 20 high . I havent bought anything for it yet. I am looking for others, watching the eqiupment they buy , and seeing what they are creating , thank god I do have my 45, 55, and 10 & 5 planted tanks to keep me BZ< LOL

Good luck with your light, hope they replace it for ya . your plants need it . watch your plants too, they will tell you if they are lacking somthing . are you using ANY ferts ??

I will be watching , have a great day ~~
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post #15 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-11-2009, 06:40 PM Thread Starter
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Redesign...

A bit of a redesign yesterday. Picked up a piece of drift wood. Not exactly what I was looking for but I like it mostly. Replaced the rock castle with it and added a few plants. I like where it is going. Some of the plants are a bit crowded right now so I need to get back in again during my next water change and shuffle things a bit...... But I like it much better now :-)



Things todo...

  • Build hood for tank - will allow me to better hide some of the hardware at the back
  • Shuffle plants getting some taller stuff to back and allowing some of the bigger ones to spread out
  • Get CO2 setup.. Not sure when But I will eventually :-)
  • Educate myself on the plants and needs etc.
  • Better drift wood...
  • More shrimp and remove some of the existing fish stock to more tastier selections :-)
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