20 gal Long journal.. - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-25-2008, 02:41 AM Thread Starter
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20 gal Long journal..

hey!
so i have been looking into tfw tanks for some time now and decided to give it a try..
so far i have a 20 gal long tank tht will be redone
but before i put in the substrate i bought today i have a few questions..
for substrate i am using a 20 lb bag of eco complete
now when i set up the substrate.. i would like to be able to put in plants and drift wood but im afraid 20 lbs not might give me the base(depthwise) im looking for..
so i have black aquarium pebbles... can i lay those down first in one spot where i want my drift wood so i can plant the base of it in a thicker substrate area? im just looking for depth.. so the pebbles will supply that with with eco on top.. will this work?
should i rinse the eco?

i will post pictures tomorrow when i find out what to do..


thanks again!
cant wait to get it started
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-25-2008, 03:29 AM
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Keep in mind that whatever is largest in size (probably the pebbles) will rise to the top over time.

If you don't mind the look, that will work, however.

I'd personally go with 2 bags for a 20L, but I also tend to like deep substrates b/c I usually have swords in my tanks.





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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-25-2008, 04:42 AM Thread Starter
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Keep in mind that whatever is largest in size (probably the pebbles) will rise to the top over time.

If you don't mind the look, that will work, however.

I'd personally go with 2 bags for a 20L, but I also tend to like deep substrates b/c I usually have swords in my tanks.
i wish i could afford it at the moment.. i just paid 35 for a 20 lb bag of eco. what els could i use tht is black and would mix nicely just to get some depth?
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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-25-2008, 04:57 AM
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If you're on a budget, a 50lb bag of black Colorquartz would mix in well and run about $25 if you can find it locally. I went to www.3M.com and found a local pool supply company that let me buy a bag. The stuff needs to be washed VERY well, though. 50lbs would be enough to do several tanks, too.





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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-25-2008, 02:54 PM Thread Starter
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If you're on a budget, a 50lb bag of black Colorquartz would mix in well and run about $25 if you can find it locally. I went to www.3M.com and found a local pool supply company that let me buy a bag. The stuff needs to be washed VERY well, though. 50lbs would be enough to do several tanks, too.
is that the only possible sugestion?
is what you are suggesting just black sand? could i find this stuff at a craft store?
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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-25-2008, 04:34 PM
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The black sand at a craft store might have toxic paints and dyes used to color the sand, and they may leach into the water, depending on the product. I wouldnt risk it. Black sand purchased at a pet store though, would be fine. Colorquartz is aquarium safe.

As far as cheap black substrates, I think Colorquartz is the way to go, but the plain black aquarium gravel should be fine. You might be able to find black flourite or black flourite sand for cheaper than Eco-complete, and you could mix that in, but flourite still isn't cheap.
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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-25-2008, 05:31 PM Thread Starter
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The black sand at a craft store might have toxic paints and dyes used to color the sand, and they may leach into the water, depending on the product. I wouldnt risk it. Black sand purchased at a pet store though, would be fine. Colorquartz is aquarium safe.

As far as cheap black substrates, I think Colorquartz is the way to go, but the plain black aquarium gravel should be fine. You might be able to find black flourite or black flourite sand for cheaper than Eco-complete, and you could mix that in, but flourite still isn't cheap.
ok thanks
does the eco need to be rinsed at all?

has anybody ever used driftwood out of a lake?
i live on a lake and there are boats and what not since its a big lake but if i soaked it and rinsed it alot would it be okay? or is driftwood cheap? i havent really priced it out yet..
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-25-2008, 06:34 PM
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eco does not have to be rinsed. from my knowledge you can boil lake driftwood. though sometiems they will become brittle in the long term.
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-25-2008, 09:07 PM Thread Starter
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eco does not have to be rinsed. from my knowledge you can boil lake driftwood. though sometiems they will become brittle in the long term.
okay. i just scrubbed it in a rubbermaid with hot water after letting it soak
pics will be up by tonight.. im just emptying the old tank and cleaning it..

now for a cycle?
do i have to? i have my emperor filter with all the bacteria in the pad and on the bio wheel..
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-26-2008, 01:35 AM
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I wish there were a different black sand I knew for sure was aquarium-safe, but ColorQuartz has been the best I've found so far (and actually, I really like it; good grain size for growing plants, not too big or too small)

Has the filter been in continuous use? Using an established filter will help shorten your cycle. If you can use that, put some tank mulm underneath your substrate, and pack your tank full of fast-growing stem plants you may be able to avoid cycling your tank at all. That worked for me in my 90gal.





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post #11 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-26-2008, 02:58 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by lauraleellbp View Post
I wish there were a different black sand I knew for sure was aquarium-safe, but ColorQuartz has been the best I've found so far (and actually, I really like it; good grain size for growing plants, not too big or too small)

Has the filter been in continuous use? Using an established filter will help shorten your cycle. If you can use that, put some tank mulm underneath your substrate, and pack your tank full of fast-growing stem plants you may be able to avoid cycling your tank at all. That worked for me in my 90gal.
pack it with what?
tank mulm? and also what kind of fast grown stem plants?

im about to uplpoad some picutes.. but i have a piece of drifft wood tht wont sink. it should be be it is just to light.. i found it in water so to say its not water logged i dont think is accurate?
ne how could i use fishing line and tie it to the other piece?
also is it bad that i set it up and dont have all my plants and stuff? i have seen people do this and it seems they get all their needed substrate, and plants at once and make it along with all the driftwood they want..
i didnt do tht..
ne how here are the pics i want to get some more drift wood but those are the ones i found today (lake driftwood) tht i found
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post #12 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-26-2008, 03:05 AM Thread Starter
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pitures

here are some pictures tht i took while setting it up,,





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post #13 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-26-2008, 03:10 AM Thread Starter
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more..


and here are some bulbs i bought at petco.. yes lol petco.. it was 3 bucks.. so y not? they are some bulbs that grow into an assortment of plants. i bought them and they came dry in plastic.. what do i do with them? i have them just sitting in water..
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post #14 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-26-2008, 03:48 AM
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Tank mulm is the gunk that accumulates in filters and at the bottom of a tank. It's full of the good N-bacteria that you need to cycle a tank, so adding it will help jump-start at tank without adding any of those expensive "cycling" products.

Some good fast-growing stem plants to use especially at first to both help cycle and also keep down algae would be hygrophilias, water sprite, hornwort, ludwigia, bacopa... the bulbs are probably Aponogetons, which shoud start putting out some grassy stems given time. I've never kept them, but I think they're pretty easy to grow.

The only real issue to setting up your tank before you get all the plants is that there's good chance you'll give algae a head-start in growing. I'd leave the lights off as much as possible till you get the plants.

If you found the wood sunk in water then it will probably sink again pretty quickly. If you found the wood floating in water, then it's possible it may never really sink? You could try weighting it down with rocks or something, too.





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post #15 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-26-2008, 04:10 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by lauraleellbp View Post
Tank mulm is the gunk that accumulates in filters and at the bottom of a tank. It's full of the good N-bacteria that you need to cycle a tank, so adding it will help jump-start at tank without adding any of those expensive "cycling" products.

Some good fast-growing stem plants to use especially at first to both help cycle and also keep down algae would be hygrophilias, water sprite, hornwort, ludwigia, bacopa... the bulbs are probably Aponogetons, which shoud start putting out some grassy stems given time. I've never kept them, but I think they're pretty easy to grow.

The only real issue to setting up your tank before you get all the plants is that there's good chance you'll give algae a head-start in growing. I'd leave the lights off as much as possible till you get the plants.

If you found the wood sunk in water then it will probably sink again pretty quickly. If you found the wood floating in water, then it's possible it may never really sink? You could try weighting it down with rocks or something, too.
the wood was sunk but i broke it up into 2 parts. the 2nd wont sink. so it fishing line a bad idea?
i just added 2 plants. a sword.. and i couldnt tell you the other.. and i have some of that stringy moss stuff attached to it.

how long wil the tank take to cycle? more than a week? a few weeks? i have patience.. i have waited for 3 salt tanks to cycle lol ne how i hope im heading in the right direction so far..

i have one bottle of diy co2 going in the tank as well
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