My First Planted - 20L - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-05-2015, 06:54 PM Thread Starter
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My First Planted - 20L

This is my first tank journal for my first planted tank! I am really looking forward to your comments/advice/criticisms! Again, this is my first planted tank so I certainly don't claim to have done it 100% right! I definitely made some mistakes along the way and hopefully you can aid me in reducing those mistakes from here on out. I have a photo album for this tank, too. https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/al...?albumid=18937

On to the journal.....

I had bought this 20 gallon long aquarium impulsively during one of Petco's $1/gallon sales and it sat empty for a while. As it sat, I had a few ideas of what I wanted to do with it including a dwarf cichlid tank. Obviously, I eventually decided to go planted and I'm glad I did!

So, I had the tank, a heater, and a Current USA Satellite Freshwater LED+ light bar from a previous setup just sitting around. I purchased an aquarium cabinet, a Fluval 206 canister filter and a Finnex Planted+ LED light to complete (or so I thought) the hardware. At the time I was unaware of what I was doing with that much light! I added 3 pieces of driftwood (purchased at the LFS) and 5 rocks from my family's lake house and ended up with the hardscape below. (My photos are washed out due to excessive tank light and a cell phone camera, but overall, the rocks are a reddish tone)



I ordered almost all of my plants from Live Aquaria with a place in mind for each of them. When they arrived, some of them were MUCH larger than I had expected them to be. Specifically, the anubias plants -- they were nearly 10" tall! Due to this, the plant arrangement I had in my head had to be changed on the fly and I didn't like the outcome at first, but it grew on me. See the HUGE anubias in the right corner? They ended up dying at the rhizome, but the initial planting is below.



The first fish I added were the rummy nose tetras. It took me a while (by my standards) to pick out the first fish for the tank. I picked the rummy nose tetras because they are known to school tightly and I wanted that look for my tank. Next came a school of otocinclus. My tank was starting to get a lot of algae at this point and those 5 otos cleaned it ALL up overnight. I was shocked at how efficient they were! Some time went by and after a lot of research, I decided to get a pair of german blue rams for this tank. I started with just the female and when she didn't make it but a few days I abandoned that idea. I then added a school of CPDs (my favorite and hope to keep adding to this school in the future!!). The worst decision I have ever made in regard to this tank came next -- the gold gourami . I think the gold gourami is an awesome fish, but my tank is much too small for one. Read the full gold gourami story here... https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...634&highlight=

I've now gotten the gold gourami out of the tank and the other fish are starting to show some confidence swimming in open water again. Here's what the tank looks like now. (Although all of the fish are hiding in the photo...)



So, what's in the works? I'm still missing two elements that I'm aware of -- CO2 and fertilizers! (I'm using Excel, but I mean REAL CO2!) Now that I'm a bit more knowledgeable when it comes to planted tanks, I think it might be a miracle that I made it this far with this much light and no CO2 or ferts...

Anyway, my 5lb CO2 injection system arrives TODAY and I'm very excited to get that going. I bought the pH controller with the hopes of having a fully-automatic system. We'll see how that goes. Members on this forum have already given me great advice on setting it up. I also decided to start EI dosing and my Green Leaf Aquariums ferts have been ordered. I expect to wait a week for those to get here.

I'll post here again once the CO2 is set up, but PLEASE leave some comments and tell me what you think of my tank so far. It's my first planted tank so I doubt you can offend me. THANKS FOR READING!!

Greg
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-05-2015, 07:13 PM
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I think it looks pretty good. Not a fan of the water sprite in the middle of the left side though. I guess it does block some of the hardware, but it is too far forward if I am picturing it right. That is A LOT of light though haha. Glad you made it. I have a SAT+ light on a 24" deep tank and it puts me in the low light range, so I can't imagine what kind of light you have in this!

Good luck.


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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-05-2015, 07:22 PM
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Tank looks great , good job. Looks way better than my first planted tank.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-07-2015, 12:43 AM
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Sweet!!

What is the foreground plant?
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-08-2015, 04:44 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Freemananana View Post
I think it looks pretty good. Not a fan of the water sprite in the middle of the left side though. I guess it does block some of the hardware, but it is too far forward if I am picturing it right. That is A LOT of light though haha. Glad you made it. I have a SAT+ light on a 24" deep tank and it puts me in the low light range, so I can't imagine what kind of light you have in this!

Good luck.
The water sprite used to be my favorite plant in here, but I tend to agree with you on it now... It's the biggest pain to trim, the roots grow above the substrate everywhere and it isn't placed exactly right. I may replace it one day. I've actually already removed a water sprite that was planted almost dead center. You can see it in the initial planting photo.
Quote:
Originally Posted by rick dale View Post
Tank looks great , good job. Looks way better than my first planted tank.
Thanks!
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Originally Posted by Hilde View Post
Sweet!!

What is the foreground plant?
Thanks, mostly dwarf baby tears and three patches of pogostemon helferi.
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