Setting up a 20g. Detailed plan w/ pics. - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-24-2006, 08:52 PM Thread Starter
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Setting up a 20g. Detailed plan w/ pics.

So I have a 20g high that I inherited from my sister. Currently it's sitting in my computer room with a bunch of granite and a mixture of sand, laterite, and mulm that I was less-than-ambitiously going to set up as a low-light, low-maintenance aquarium. I decided to scrap that idea, however, and this is where I need your help. My tentative plan:

Substrate
Here, I have essentially 3 options.

1.) Most economical.
I could reuse the sand-laterite mixture and possibly put a thin layer of garden loam or peat moss underneath it, as well as some more laterite.

2.) Schultz-aquatic soil.
Doing some research, it seems that this stuff doesn't have any added iron or ferts in it, just a high CEC rate. I could "enrich" it, however, with my laterite that I have.

3.) Ordering a substrate.
If I went this route I'd probably go with eco-complete because it's cheaper and people seem to be having success with it. Although I'd love to have the ADA stuff, I don't really have the money.

Lighting
I've decided on getting the 2x 55w kit from AH supply. I could rig up a DIY hood pretty easily I think, but I'd be worried about excessive heat. This would give me 5.5wpg, probably enough to grow anything.

CO2
DIY. 2x 2liter bottles connected to a single ladder diffusor. The bottles would be allowed to go for 2 weeks, I'd change one in alternating weeks to get as much constancy as I can. I know pressurized is amazing, but sugar and maintenance-time is cheap, pressurized systems are not. Most of my budget-money will be going to the lighting, anyways. Besides, I've seen some pretty amazing results with people using DIY.

Ferts
Greg watson ferts using the estimative index and 50% water changes every week. seems to be the most economical and effective method.

Fauna
5-6 otos
10-20 shrimp (are ghost shrimp effective algae eaters? otherwise I'll need to order others.)
3-4 cherry barbs
5-6 platties
Malaysian trumpet snails?

it's a relatively low bioload but I think it'd be good because they all potentially eat algae.

Flora
Glosso
Brazillian micro sword (already got a bunch of it)
Riccia
Wisteria (also, already have a lot)
Parrot's feather
Lobelia

-or-

just glosso and microsword (lot less wpg needed too?)

Filter

Although I already have a HOB filter, I was thinking about just getting some cheap internal filter and then taking the carbon out. This would just give a little extra biomedia room as well as some water movement. I don't know how inexpensive canister filters can get, but all the ones I've seen are pretty pricey.

would that be ok?
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-24-2006, 09:00 PM
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I have a bunch of ghost shrimp in my 29G. They don't really eat any algae. They mostly just scavenge for flake food dropped onto the substrate/plants.

I intend to try some Cherry and/or Amano shrimp next as they are reputed to be the algae eating champs.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-24-2006, 09:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fome View Post
So I have a 20g high... Lighting
I've decided on getting the 2x 55w kit from AH supply. I could rig up a DIY hood pretty easily I think, but I'd be worried about excessive heat. This would give me 5.5wpg, probably enough to grow anything...
5.5 wpg is way too much light for this tank IMO unless you are a pro. I'd go with the 1 x 55w kit. AHSupply has finished enclosures for your tank if you don't want to make one. Finished Enclosures
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-24-2006, 09:16 PM
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I am going to say that have way too much light for DIY CO2. I am not saying that DIY doesn't work. With that much light over the tank I don't think DIY is going to be able to keep up.

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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-24-2006, 10:36 PM
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Hey Fome, Im no expert by any means, but 2x55 watts is insane for that size, you could do a reef with that much light

I just started a 20 Gal last weekend. I have 30 lbs of eco complete, and put a bunch of plants in to start.
I have a 36watt 67K AHsupply retro on there now, but after I get my pressurized CO2 going,
I will switch over to a 55 W retro with 67K Bulb. For filtration I have a Fluval 204

Im getting some serious growth after only 2 days with the eco-complete, and Im using excel for now.
Keep the lights on for 10 Hrs / day

Here a pic for your review, this pic was taken on Sunday 10-22, and my plants have grown at least an inch since then and are much greener already.

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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-24-2006, 10:58 PM Thread Starter
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updated.


Thanks for the responses.

I guess I'm starting to get worried about the whole CO2 bit, but the stubborn part of me still really wants to try it.

I suppose I could do 2x 36 watt kits for 3.6wpg. That might be a bit more difficult to engineer a hood though since the dimensions don't quite matchup.

Any feedback on my sand idea? or the schultz idea? Money is a factor but I don't want to be limited by my substrate.

I really want a densely planted aquascape.
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-24-2006, 11:14 PM Thread Starter
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Hope this works.






This is my 20g in it's current abandoned form. As you can see I just threw some granite and sand in there as a tentative hardscape. Think more sand with glosso and micro sword where that sand would be. I think it might be neat.

As you can see, the previous lighting was very dim. Although it grew wisteria like a champ.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-24-2006, 11:16 PM
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or 55/65 watts lightning is enought to grow anything you want, i agree 2x55watts is way too much you can grow Corals with that lightning and im sure you'll need a Pressurized co2 when you choose that option.

For Shrimp, i'll go for Amano Shrimp or Cherry Shrimp

For the substrate i'll go for Eco Complete or Flourite i use both on my tanks and im satisfied with the result maybe 2 bags is enough, I use 3 bags for my 29 gal.

20 Gal. JBJ 2x65watts CF, ADA Aquasoil, JBJ Pressurized Co2, Rhinox 3000 and Aquaclear 50 (Current Tank)
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Last edited by xcooperx; 10-26-2006 at 10:06 AM.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-25-2006, 12:09 AM
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i have the rh supply 55 watt 6700k and it grows plants really well!! 55 is a good number being that its good enough to grow most higher light plants but isnt overkill to where pressurized co2 and strict fert dosing is a must
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-25-2006, 01:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saint27 View Post
I am going to say that have way too much light for DIY CO2. I am not saying that DIY doesn't work. With that much light over the tank I don't think DIY is going to be able to keep up.
Yeah, I have to agree that 110w is too much light for that tank if you're not using pressurized. I have that exact same setup (see sig) and if I was injecting any less Co2, that tank would be an algae garden in a matter of a few days or a week. You could always buy just 1 x 55w and leave a space in the hood to put another 55w x 1. Doing it this way will also allow you to hook them up to separate timers, if that is something you want to do.
greg watson ferts are great. I use the CSB+B *extra iron*, KNo3, K2So4 and I bought some epsom salt. I've had it set up for about 1 1/2 yrs and I still have plenty. Good luck!

-Ryan

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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-25-2006, 03:05 PM
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I have a 5.5g tank that is nothing but Schultz and I have had really good luck with it. It is a little light in color and weight but I really have no complaints. Since it has no nutritional value I put some root tabs in the bottom to help out the rooting plants a little bit. The micro swords I have in there have taken off. I just gave some away not to long ago and I am getting ready to do it again.

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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-26-2006, 07:22 AM Thread Starter
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K, new plan:

1x 55 watt 6700k from AH supply.

DIY co2.

Greg watson ferts using EI.

Glosso, microsword, maybe riccia.

Schulztzzjkaj blah, aquatic soil enriched with laterite -or- eco-complete.



Sound good?
I'm going to go with ringram's idea and only buy 1 55watt light but I'll leave room in my DIY hood for another if I ever get the chance to upgrade to pressurized CO2.

I'm stoked. Ordering soon.
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-26-2006, 08:59 AM
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Stagger, what is that plant in the far right corner? I have it but don't know the name of it?
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