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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-03-2013, 05:02 PM Thread Starter
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Question New and Looking for Advice

Hey everyone,

I haven't had an aquarium in years and never one with plants but I just set up a new 20 gallon freshwater tank. What I was hoping for is advice on which plants and fish to go with (for a beginner) if I give specifics. I'd really appreciate any help.

Tank size: 20 gallons
Filter: Fluval 104
Heater (yep, got one of those too)
Substrate: Black Aqua Terra sand mixed with standard gravel
Ph: 7.6
Ammonia levels are down (yay)
One ornament and one medium sized piece of Malaysian driftwood so far

Now! I've been reading dozens of books from the library on fish and plant profiles but I know that us normal folk have different experiences than experts writing these books (can't expect a fish or plant to Always react the same way).

I would like to stay away from any form of Sword plant and it's likely I'll need plants that are low to medium light. I want to create a proper habitat for whatever fish and plants I end up with.

For fish, I would really prefer something that both is and looks a little hardier. It's not a huge tank so I want to keep the amount of fish down but I'd like them to have some size, over 2.5 inches as adults if possible.

I'm not in a rush to get this going, it's enough to have the water circulating already and I'd like to have it stabilized for a good month before adding fish. I just want to make sure it's a healthy tank!

Thanks for any help you guys can give me!

-Grey


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20 gallon planted tank.
- 1 Cabomba plant
- 3Alternanthera cardinalis
- 1 (Lg) Gold Gourami
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-03-2013, 05:24 PM
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What kind of lighting are you using?
Plants for low to medium light, I would suggest java fern sp., anubias, bunch of crypt wendii would be good too, some stem plants (rotala, ludwigia)
Fish for that size of tank, I like a schooling fish like tetra and some bottom fish like cory, you can get small algea eaters (my favorite is otos)
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-03-2013, 05:49 PM Thread Starter
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I'm not sure of the lighting right now. I need to switch the bulbs for something I know, I bought them tank secondhand and it came with the lights.

I like java fern so I might try that out to start. Don't really want to fill up the tank with plants only to kill 'em by accident.
I've thought about a Zebra Pleco but my Ph isn't right for it. I'm not really looking for small schooling fish though. Thanks for your help! I'll consider the options you suggested.

-Grey


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20 gallon planted tank.
- 1 Cabomba plant
- 3Alternanthera cardinalis
- 1 (Lg) Gold Gourami
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-03-2013, 07:43 PM
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There is a great sticky in the Low-Tech Forum for low light plants. Here is a link....

https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...ad.php?t=56042

I also have a low light / low tech tank. I personally like java fern, java moss, anacharis, bacopa, frogbit, and hornwort. There is a "Plant Profiles" tab near top of the page, where you can search the different plants to find their care sheets and others comments, pros and cons, experiences with the different plants.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-07-2013, 05:43 PM Thread Starter
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Well! I really appreciate the advice, thanks! I ended up taking a risk and trying Alternanthera cardinalis which is actually working out somehow despite the fact I didn't think my lighting would be sufficient. Also trying Cabomba caroliniana which was hell to plant but also seems to be doing surprisingly well. My best guess is that being in a sunlit room must be helping supplement my aquarium lighting.

As for fish, I'm gonna be asking for helping again here! I bought 3 Gold Gourami's which was a mistake, I'm taking two back to the store today. I asked if they'd be alright in a 20 gallon but the store was just trying to sell them so they agreed to whatever I said, I guess. Anyway, the male is not pleased with having the two females around so they're going back to the store tonight- I'd rather not have them at all than put them through that kind of stress.
My next question is what fish would you suggest that will be ignored by my male Gourami? I've read that a small (emphasis on small) pleco or some corys could work. I'd like to stay away from anything fancy looking in case he feels peckish for some fins.

Thanks again!

-Grey


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20 gallon planted tank.
- 1 Cabomba plant
- 3Alternanthera cardinalis
- 1 (Lg) Gold Gourami
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-08-2013, 02:37 AM
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bristlenose are easy to come by and stay about 4-5 inches. But if that's too big for you than pretty much any cory will work. Just make sure you get 5+ for better effect. A really nice platy or variatus would work. Actually you could get about 3 of them. I think some rams might work too but a second opinion might be needed on that one since rams have nice longish fins. But with say a pair of rams you might need to hold off of the cories because the rams want their space and cories don't care what the rams want. Might cause a cory to get injured. This is assuming you're fully cycled, of course.
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