Newbie with questions - The Planted Tank Forum
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-16-2012, 05:43 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Canada
Posts: 35
Newbie with questions

I tried my hand at a planted tank a while back it went just ok, but I changed to goldfish and well that ended that

I've gotten the itch to start one again but...I see all the pretty pictures on this sight and I'm wondering without CO2 am I really just throwing my money away

I want to keep it super simple and low tech - 20 gallon, standard flourescent, substrate have small gravel but contemplating buying something better if anybody has any suggestions

I'm not looking for crazy growth just sustainable, I only have access to petsmart where I live so my plant options are pretty much limitted to cabomba, wisteria, ludwidia, java fern,

For fish just a large school of tiger barbs, maybe some cories not sure if they are compatible haven't looked that far yet

So anybody have any suggestions?
crazydeweycat is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-16-2012, 05:56 PM
Planted Member
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: SWFL
Posts: 166
Get an eyedropper and a bottle of Seachem Flourish Excel to simply supplement with CO2, standard fluorescent likely won't be enough light though. You can get a 6500k spiral fluorescent bulb and a cheap utility lamp for about $10 total at the hardware store or order an Odyssea 20" T5HO for $44 from Amazon. Wisteria is a great easy plant that will grow to fill your tank nicely and provide shade for java ferns beneath it.
Oxl is offline  
post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-16-2012, 07:25 PM
Planted Tank Obsessed
Imi Statue's Avatar
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Monroe WA
Posts: 369
You can buy plants here. That opens up a whole array of types to choose from.

I agree with Oxl the standard light is just to weak for even lower light tolerant plants. So if you're willing to pop for anything to make this work I would go with something like LED based light system that can be either hung from above or has legs.

BTW which 20gal are you talking about the tall or long tank style? Both have different lighting options and needs due to depth of water,types of plants you'll want to keep accordingly. Many variables here.

Glad to hear your not phased by your last attempt! Keep plugging along as it really is not that difficult once you try it for more than a few weeks.
Imi Statue is offline  
post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-16-2012, 10:05 PM
Planted Tank Guru
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Contra Costa CA
Posts: 11,721
For my 20 gallon standard shaped tanks I found I needed 2 bulbs when I used T-12. I used one 'Plant and Aquarium' and one 'Daylight'.
The plants use a lot of the wavelengths supplied by the plant specific bulb, but it did not light the tank as well as I liked. Some of the fish, especially orange ones looked funny. The Daylight bulb has some wavelengths the plants use, and a lot that humans see the most, so that corrected the odd colors, and supplied a little more for the plants.

You could keep a school of Tiger Barbs (up to about 10) or fewer (perhaps 6) and add some Cories. It is rare that Tiger Barbs attack Cories, and once you get some plants going there will be some cover for the Cories. I would not get the Albinos, though. Get the Pepper Cories, they are better camouflaged.

If they are available, get Pentazona Barbs. They are a bit smaller than Tiger Barbs, and a lot less nippy. Then you could get a dozen, plus the Cories.
Diana is offline  
post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-17-2012, 02:01 AM
Algae Grower
IntrepidAquarist's Avatar
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Texarkana, TX
Posts: 77
You absolutely do not have to supplement c02 if you choose your plants wisely. Species like crypts, vallisneria, anubias, and echinodorus species tolerate a wide range of conditions, including low c02 and lighting on a budget.

As for the lighting: I am with Oxl. You could just rig a couple of 5000 - 6500K compact florescent lights over the top or even retrofit a hood with florescent tubes depending on which style and size 20 gallon tank that you go with. As an aside, I am personally very particular and snobbish about the lights that I choose because color temperature is not as important as the nanometers at which the light glows. Plants photosynthesize at particular nanometers that some 6500K lights do not glow at, thus the growth of the plants is inhibited. However, for your the plants you are going to grow you should not have much of a problem.

For the substrate a dirt mixture would work. Here's a link to dirting your tank. It seems to work well for low-tech setups, and it lasts a long time.

If you need anything, feel free to send me a PM.
IntrepidAquarist is offline  


Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Planted Tank Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome