Alright well here goes nothing! - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-06-2018, 04:52 PM Thread Starter
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Alright well here goes nothing!

So growing up we had numerous tanks (from fresh to saltwater) and I kind miss having an aquarium. At a point in my life now where I quasi have the room for one and have kids of my own now and want to show them how awesome tanks can be. I will contain a list below of what I am going to do and what I am thinking of doing. Any tips/recommendations would be awesome, and as a reward for all your work I will share pictures of our progress lol. What I am wanting to do is create a planted 20g tank to be as close to self sustaining as possible. Understand I will have to supplement food/O2+Co2 etc. Want to try my luck at creating something that will fun to watch grow and be fun to watch the creatures growing as well. Planning on running around 16-18 (unless otherwise recommended) fish total all around the 1" mark.

For Equipment
20G Tall 24"Lx12"Wx16.5"H
Marineland Stealth Pro Heater 100w
Caribsea ECO complete black aquarium substrate
Caribsea Peace River Gravel
Marina Floating Thermometer
Aquaculture Multi-tool (tweezers/cutters)
Finnex Planted+ 24/7 Autmated LED (debating this still as its a bit pricy)

Dwarf Hairgrass - on bottom
Java Moss - on the structures within the tank (branches/rock havent decided yet)
Duckweed on the surface.
Will be picking up Javafern, Narrow Anachris (Since the broadleaf variety is illegal here and an invasive species), and some Hornwort(wart???).

What is the recommended # of plants for a tank of this size?

Fish (Current plan need to continue research living conditions for the following fish and confirm compatibility)
Cycle Stage - 5-6 RCS, 1 MTS, 1-2 Harlequin Raspbora, 2-3 White Clouds

First Stage addition - school of 6 tetras will prob split 3 Cardinal and 3 another variety, 1 Zebra loach, 1-2 Cory Catfish, and 1 bristle nose catfish.
Final Addition (once I know things are stable enough to support the #s) - would love some Chili Raspbora (havent found any here in Columbus OH yet).

Lastly I am thinking of just doing the DIY CO kit and getting a bubbler for it, and getting some of the 'Thrive' nutrients for the plants.
Other than that any recommendations for someone just getting into the hobby and wanting to be successful? I would love all and any tips that can be given.

My FAVORITE memory was our Fire Eel we had. Named him Capt. Nemo. That fish had so much character to him. He use to play peekaboo with us and his PVC tubing/hole we made for him. Hoping to create something similar for my boys!
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-07-2018, 10:00 PM
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Avoid duckweed, it grows like a plague, their are better choices if you want a floater plant.

Instead of using a thermometer, get yourself a temp controller. You can get one for about $30, and it provides extra protection in case your heater decides to malfunction. It happens more than you would think and is well worth the cost.

Their is no set recommendation for plants. I would look around the tank journals and see what others have done for inspiration. Some go minimalist, some put so much plants in the tank their is barely room for fish, you need to decide what you want to shoot for (and then expect it to change over time). Speaking of which you might ask the mods to move this thread to the tank journals section and regularly update us on your progress.

Any hardscape you are planning (rocks, driftwood, exc)?

My personal opinion is to avoid livestock during your cycle, look at fishless cycling.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-08-2018, 04:25 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the tips Jorge! Avoiding fish during the cycle period would you recommend adding inverts then? like 1 maybe 2 Nerites and the handful of RCS? Or just let it go straight as is with just plants?!

As far as hard scapping I am still looking and trying to decide what I want to do. The LFS has SOME choices but nothing spectacular so going to make another trip today for pricing and to try and make my decision.

Also you mention better floater plants, which would you recommend?

Really appreciate your input thanks again!
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-11-2018, 04:51 AM
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No inverts either, just source of ammonia. Cycles are hard on fauna. Certainly no RCS, they are sensitive to ammonia. Search for fishless cycle for more info.

For floaters I like red root personally. Frogbit is a reasonable choice as well.

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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-22-2018, 07:58 PM Thread Starter
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Alright well its been about a week of the tank being on its own. Still trying to balance out the temperature and may need to pick up a second heater as the tank sits in the basement which tends to stay cooler than the rest of the house REGARDLESS of AC/Heating. Things are looking good. Got some good plant growth already and think things are starting to balance out incredibly well. Was looking around and thinking I need to get a good algae cleaner when I noticed a little hitch-hiker cruising around the tank...A lone snail has been making its way across the glass of the tank (so apparently something is going right). Hornwort's are looking a little haggard. Think its the amount of sun they have been getting, approx 10-12 hours of high light. I've read (dont know how true it is) that they tend to get a reddish color if exposed to too much light. Going to do a couple more water changes and testing before I will post any pictures. Hoping the hornwort recovers well enough for pics by then!

So here is to you little solitary snail. Keep on chuggin' little buddy and eat that algae thats starting to develop. *Shrug* Tried doing a non-stocked cycle for the tank and this little bugger popped up!....oh well!

Scratch that we have 2 hitch-hikers. Here is to hoping I dont discover a snail-splosion any time soon.
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Last edited by MadMaxi; 06-22-2018 at 11:06 PM. Reason: adding picture and changing info
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