A beginner with a 20H - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-19-2005, 08:16 PM Thread Starter
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Arrow A beginner with a 20H

Hello,
I'm new to planted tanks and i was woundering if you guys can help. Let me start off by saying I have a twenty gallon, penguin 330 filter, bubble wall, gravel 150wt heater, glass canopey, and a hang on light fixture with a 18" 15W Nutrigrow Plant Bulb (ESU). I was wondering what will I need to start a planted tank?!?!

P.S. excuse the spelling and grammer
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-19-2005, 08:29 PM
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Depends on what you want to grow. If you're going to grow the anubias/java fern/amazon sword commonly seen in most nyc petshops (stay away from the "green hedge." it's not a true aquatic), you're set.

If you want to grown anything else... You need stronger lighting, a better substrate than plain gravel, and some CO2.

I'm a newbie too, so I chose eco-complete due to it's simplicity (the tradeoff is price, of course). DIY CO2 info can be found HERE and HERE. And depending on the type of plants you choose, you're going to need a minimum of 40 to 60 watts.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-19-2005, 08:32 PM
eds
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I'd recommend you start off with a little research. This has been addressed many a time here and elsewhere. There are all kinds of beginner guides just a google away.

You will have issues with your filter, no need for the bubble wall, and will need more lighting if you want to do anything more than keep a few low-light plants from dying. A pure gravel substrate should be supplemented, and then you will need to consider whether you wish to use CO2, and what you want to do in terms of ferts. If the tank holds water, at least you have that part covered!

Sorry if this sounds harsh. But I'd recommend you read up a bit on the topic, and then give us some more specific questions. JMO.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-19-2005, 08:39 PM
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Which reminds me:

http://rexgrigg.com is a good place to start.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-19-2005, 08:48 PM Thread Starter
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thanks

am i fine for low lights

(plant in a box??)
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-19-2005, 10:29 PM
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IMHO no. Low light plants MIGHT survive for a time in a 20 gallon tank with 15 watts of light. But they really won't grow.

The first place to start is head to www.ahsupply.com and get a 55 watt upgrade kit.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-21-2005, 02:53 AM Thread Starter
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thanks guys
what will be the worse is i add a plant in the box
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-21-2005, 03:11 AM
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Research before you buy! Also research everything, read all these articles except the salt water ones http://www.aquahobby.com/e_articles.php
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-22-2005, 01:20 PM
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Rex Grigg Stated:

"The first place to start is head to www.ahsupply.com and get a 55 watt upgrade kit."

I would disagree here. I maintained a successful lowlight 20H by purchasing a second 15w light strip from the LFS, along with some decent bulbs. Granted, that is overpriced but you could find a cheap one.

In addition, for someone new to planted tanks I don't think having 55watts over 20 gallons is a very smart idea, excluding the very well-researched!

My advice: find an additional 15watts or so for CHEAP, and read up on different plant species, water parameters, and equipment, and go for your first low-light tank!
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-22-2005, 02:07 PM
eds
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There are several options for upgrading one's lighting. You need to consider all factors to ascertain the true cost of your upgrade. For example - are you using a glass top? If so, will it accommodate a 2d strip? Or a 2 bulb strip?

When I was upgrading the lighting on my 30gal, I considered every option I could think up, including a 2d strip, a 2-bulb std flourescent, cf fixtures, and retrofits (AH and others). I went with the AH 55w. It was the cheapest way to get that amount of light, and since it fit into my existing strip fixture, it worked with all other aspects of my setup. Also, it was a single purchase/shipment, instead of buying a fixture, plus a glass top, plus whatever else.

As far as the lighting amount - 55w on my 30 is okay, but it does impose limitations. I do not think it would be at all excessive on a 20H - even for a beginner. YMMV. I'm undecided on whether I will go with 4x55 or 4x65 on my new 55gal.
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