Progress/Journal newly setup 20Gal Long - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-21-2006, 05:50 PM Thread Starter
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Progress/Journal newly setup 20Gal Long

Ok here we go,

I have done pretty much as much research as possible for my 20G Long. Today I am going to Sailfin Pet store (My LFS) to find some cheap shorties like anubias and crypts that I am going to start out with and begin aquascaping. I am also going to look for a nice pieve of driftwood as the center piece. I am thinking about just adding 3 or so plants at a time so I can develop an aquscape more effectively. After I am done adding plants I will stock up on some fish. I am planning to get 3 Bettas (1m/2F) and 2 cleaner fish. (I was thinking some clown loaches or something. If you have better Ideas let me know.)

So basically that is the plan for today and I will update this with photos step by step when I get home. Stay Tuned!!

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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-21-2006, 06:23 PM
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I don't know about keeping a male betta with several females, but when it comes to the females you want to get either one or three. With just two, the more dominant female will constantly pick on the weaker one. If there are more than two the aggression will spread out between them when they establish their pecking order. Also, personalities will differ and you may end up with a fish or two that will just not tolerate any others, so be prepared to return/seperate them if needed.

Good luck with the tank!
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-21-2006, 07:24 PM
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I would reccomend adding any driftwood / rocks before you start adding plants- its much easier to add plants around your hardscaping than the opposite. If you get both thats fine too.. just don't start off with a bunch of plants and try to add the driftwood later

I'm not sure on compatability with the betas, but if they get along, dwarf loaches may be better for a 20g because of their smaller size.

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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-21-2006, 09:56 PM
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Mmmm... yeah - you might want to forego the male betta and just have a colony of females. I have had a male who got along fine with females but I've also had a male who killed a female.

I asked in the plants section regarding my 20 long and got a small list of suggestions, so I ordered the ones I couldn't find locally as well as an assortment for a 20 - have a 20 high that needed plants too. Egad - both tanks are now jungles. Anyway... I already had an A. coffeefolia, some C. wendti, and a smallish sword with red leaves. I found locally an E. "ozelot" and some marsilea.

That plant assortment was interesting though. I ended up with another crinium natans and a C. balansae, a couple of sword plants, several different crypts besides the balansae, an interesting anubia with skinny leaves, and an example of just about every stem plant I'd never heard of. LOL! I recognized the cabomba and maybe some foxtail. I have a feeling I'm going to spend a lot of time pruning that stuff - can't imagine any of it being polite enough not to totally fill a 20 long in a week.

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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-22-2006, 02:48 AM Thread Starter
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Ok everone.. I went to the fish store today and got some stuff. I got

One small piece of driftwood that is about 8-10 inches long and about 7 inches high, and mounted. My LFS said it was presoaked for 2 months before shelved for sale, so I just did a boil and have soaked it for an hour before putting it in.

Plants wise, I started off small to make sure I got my water parameters correct, but anyways I got

1: Dwarf Hair Grass (About 1.5X1.5) How do I plant these since it is grass?
1: Red Wedtii Crypt
1: Anubia Barteri (This plant is by far my favorite and is in extremely well shape and color for being sold at a LFS specializing in Cichlids....)

So I will get pics posted in about an hour or two with the plants before I put them in and afterwards!!

PS Would an Ozelot Sword plant be too big for a 20G Long? I'm just asking because the one that my LFS had was pretty small (smaller than my anubias), but then again it could have been young...I am just asking because I thought it looked very good.

So updates in just a little while!!!
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-22-2006, 06:14 AM Thread Starter
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I got everything set up. I am going to start formatiing these entries just so it will be easier to read everything. The format will go as follows.

Writtin list of new additions/changes/ect.
Pics of new additions/changes(if applicable)
Reply to comments (That is, if there is any..hahaha)
Current list of tank setup (number of what plants..Fish...)
List of near future plans to tank (going to get XX from LFD Tomorrow/WED...)
Questions I need help with
And final updated pic of what the overall tank looks like

ok well lets start...


Just set up whole new tank (well it has been running for a few days, parameters all good)

New additions!!
Piece of small driftwood about 7-9 in X 8-10 in tall
1 bunch of Dwarg Sag Grass
1 Crypt var. Red Wendtii (not sure if i spelled it right)
1 Med-Lrg Anbuias Barteri

Pics of new additions!!

Before anyone criticizes me for my lack of camera skills (even though I really, do not have any), the in-tank pics look hazy because my tank isnt all the way clear from the sand.. I will update the in-tank pics on this post tomorrow when the tank should be looking much better)

1. Pic of tank empty with water and heater and filter (Whisper 40)..

2. Profile of Dwarf Sag before I put it in tank

3. Profile of before I put it in tank Crypt var. Wendtii (again, not sure if i spelled right)

4. Profile of Med-Lrg Anubias Barteri before I put it in tank

5. Profile of Driftwood (wet, that is why dark..I forgot to take pic before I soaked it...)

6. Pic of Dwarf Sag after I put it in tank

7. Pic of Crypt var. Red Wendtii

8. Pic of Med-Lrg Anubias Barteri

9. Pic of Driftwood in tank

10. Pic of finished progect (well for tonight anyway!!)...(that white spot is a glare from the TV..I was watching the Cardinals game! Go cards!!)

Current Tank Setup
20 Gallong Long
Custom cover (Have a whole new tank cover comming in sometime this week)
Standard Light Strip (Just for the next few days until i can go back to LFS..plenty of WPG even with stock, so not too many worries)
Whisper 40 Power Filter
Rena Cal 100W heater
Sand substrate

1 Piece of driftwood
1 Bunch of Dwarf Sag grass
1 Crypt var. Red Wendtii (can someone plz tell me if I spelled this right!!)
1 Anubias Barteri

Near future plans
If all goes well in the next day or so, I will be getting some more plants from LFS (not sure which yet, but i will have to see what they have in stock)

Also will be getting a few Corydora sometime within the next week or so (2-3)


1. How big does an Ozelot Sword get? I saw one at the LFS and it was pretty small (about 4 in). Are these tall growers like other swords? I forgot to ask the gentleman helping me when he finished with the lady he was helping when I came in. It very well could have been a young plant that hasn't had time to grow, so dont think I am an idiot for asking if a sword plant will stay small!! I just figured I'd ask.

2. How do I plant the Dwarf Sag grass? I think I saw a thread about it in the plant section, so I will look there too.

3. What should I do with my crypt? Is it too small to plant out of the container? Should I just plant it in the container as is (except mabey to the rim of the container). Take it out of the container and plant it? Wait for it to get bigger then take it out and plant it?

Any help is GREATLY appreciated!!

Any Comments and Questions are welcome!

PS I didnt put an updated photo at the end because there is one under new additions! I will post an updated photo either : After new additions/changes, every week or so if has been too long since additions/ Or when asked to do so!

Thanks for looking.
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-22-2006, 06:21 AM
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1. The ozelots I have in my 20L get pretty "Big" and overwhelm the tank. Otherwise, though, it can be a very nice focal point if you keep it small (leave it in the pot),

2. Remove the dwarf sag from the pot. That is a very small plant sample, btw. If possible, separate the individual plants and plant them several centimeters apart so that they may have room to grow and fill in.

3. Remove the crypt from the pot carefully by trimming away or tweezing away the rockwool, then do the same as the dwarf sag. If it "melts" just leave it be as the roots will put out new shoots in no time.

Cute start.
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-22-2006, 06:29 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks I appreciate it. another concern I had was the Anubias. Is it burried too deep? I think I might have accidently put too much Rhizome in the sand, either way before I go to bed I will raise it up a little.

Thanks for answering my questions!! I really do appreciate it.

And wow, such a quick reply!! haha
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-22-2006, 06:32 AM Thread Starter
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Very small...hmm do you think small as in very young, or small as in I got jipped? I did actually ask for that individual pot because for some reason I was thinking how small my tank was and I figured that the smaller they were when I got them the longer they would stay small... I wasn't thinking that it was grass.... X-D ...They did have some larger ones..... Thanks again
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-22-2006, 06:33 AM
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Yeah leave the rhizome out of the sand or it will rot.

and sarahbobarah isnt a 20L only about 5 gallons?
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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-22-2006, 06:35 AM Thread Starter
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I bet she meant 20 Long
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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-22-2006, 06:41 AM
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Oh boy.......

Nate, dude, you should have called me beforehand, we could have went to Sailfin together, and stopped at Illini FS to pick up ferts, then went to Leisure Time to pick up yeast......

Driftwood looks way better in groups rather than the monolithic center piece. They also look better when you don't buy the kind with the base.

We'll also see about getting some rocks, and some moss for that driftwood. Don't buy the moss from Sailfin, it looks like crap, I have better types anyway.

And a better substrate. You're going to have it longer than your tank, might as well get the good stuff. That Schultz looks like shi*t.

Your hairgrass is emersed, it may take a while to convert to submersed growth.

In no aquariums for a while.....
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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-22-2006, 11:22 AM
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Originally Posted by mrbelvedere
Driftwood looks way better in groups rather than the monolithic center piece. They also look better when you don't buy the kind with the base.
I agree that driftwood usually looks better in groups, but I really like that piece he selected (sorry Fishboy, don't mean to talk about you like you're not here). It's got beautiful lines and an elegant simplicity to it. For a small tank, I'm not sure it would be aesthetically pleasing to pile in the driftwood.

I can't quite see, though, how any given piece of driftwood is going to look better without a base, as long as the base is covered up. Unless you're saying that the type of driftwood that is self-sinking and doesn't need a base always looks better than the other.

I'm glad you explained why the dwarf hairgrass looks so different than expected. I was just in Sailfin Thursday and wondered about it.

Good luck, Fishboy. I think you're going to want tons more plants to fill up your tank, but you're off to a start. Sailfin's plant selection right now seems very limited, but they should get a shipment in soon.

Edited to add: clown loaches aren't really suitable for a 20 gallon tank. They get huge (well over 6"). Corydoras, on the other hand, stay around 2", and they'll poke around your substrate and generally entertain you day and night.
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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-22-2006, 02:14 PM
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Mmmm... that's the smallest darned C. wendti I've seen in a while. Depot it. Actually, depot everything.

Something I'm finding frustrating is with the advent of all the nano tanks, everyone assumes 20L = 20 liters. Have they forgotten ye ol' 20 longs already? Surely not.

I find it interesting that there is so much driftwood available now. A LFS I used to frequent would not carry it - they'd seen problems with it rotting in tanks and causing fish deaths. That was their diagnosis when I started having problems in my tank. For sure, when I broke it down, I noticed some of the wood was awfully soft. These days, all the apparent wood in my tanks is synthetic. Some looks more realistic than others, but the truly fake looking stuff is used as supports for rockwork and stuff where it's not so obvious.

Aaanyway... Always remember - it's your tank, so do what you wanna with it.

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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-22-2006, 06:31 PM Thread Starter
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Lots of replies!!!

Lane, I didn't even think I was gonna be able to get to Sailfin yesterday. I was in town running errands, and there was barely enough time. I walked in at 6:45 (the store closes at 7), and I barely made it at that. Driving 50 down Neil Street probably isnt the safest to do, but hey I made it before the store closed!! I don't know what you mean about this driftwood, I think the piece I picked out was great. I just wanted a small centerpiece that looked natural (except those colorful castles and whatnot....), just to give it a classy look. I agree about some rocks, not alot, becuase I want this tank to be somewhat dense so it will make the tank seem bigger... Yes, I will indeed need some new substrate soon, I just didn't have enough money to get the good stuff, especially from Sailfin, because their equipment, while they have good stock, is jacked up to a price in h*ll. As for Ferts, I did buy "Seachem Excel" I have heard many people using this, and it seemed like a good buy. I wasn't sure about getting a bunch of ferts because alot of people I have talked to say that if you are running a small tank with no CO2 Injection, you dont want to run alot of ferts...mabey I am mistaken about that. What are you talking about when you say that the hairgrass is emerssed? Do you mean grown out of the water? Because when I went in there it was submerged....

Hey don't worry about it, its cool that someone else at least agrees with me that the piece I picked out is cool. I thought so too. I wanted to create a classic centerpice that looked natural. I think that piece was perfect with my tank. Oh yes I do indeed already want more plants. And as a matter of fact, they were stocking back up as I was in there yesterday. I couldn't stay to find out what all was there cuz I had to meet my family for dinner at like 7:15 so I had to be in and out. I did also ask the guy that helped me about the clown loaches. He said too that I'd be better off with the corydoras. So I will grab about 2-4 next time im in.

Yes I did unpot and plant everything last night after the reply from sarabobarah. I will get an updated pic of the planted plants sometime this afternoon.

I really do appreciate all the replies/suggestions/comments..keep them comming!!!

Ok everyone I unpotted the plants and planted them in the tank. I left the anubias where it was. I tried to spread the Hairgrass around the driftwood, and it turned out that there was about 4-5 individual hairgrass plants so hopefully it will fill in nicely. Same with the Crypt. It turned out to be about 4-5 individual plants also. I grouped them all up in the front right corner to start densing up my tank when they grow out. The are approximatley 1-2 inches apart. I will get some updated pics this afternoon, so everybody tune in soon!!

Thanks for the support so far guys!!
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