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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I started fishkeeping four years ago, and kept low tech nano tanks. This year I decided to consolidate all my tanks into one; this time I started dosing CO2 for the first time. I'm amazed how it's come out so far. I've gotten a lot of help and advice from people on these forums. Suggestions on how to make it better are definitely welcome.

April 16, 2021:


Tank: 20 gallon long
Light: Finnex FugeRay Planted+
Canister filter: Eheim 2213
Substrate: ADA Aqua Soil - Amazonia Ver. 2
CO2: CO2Art PRO-SE Series
Heater: In-Line Hydor ETH 200, 200w
Auto-Doser: Jebao DP-4

Hardscape:
Various pieces of driftwood (spiderwood, manzanita, etc.)
Universal Rocks 3d crevice background

Fertilization:
Previously I was using Seachem Phosphorus, Flourish, and Flourish Potassium but I am moving toward dry ferts and an auto-doser in order to try Ei dosing.

Plants:
Vallisneria americana "Asiatica"
Anubias barteri "Petite Golden Nana"
Anubias barteri "Petite Nana"
Lilaeopsis mauritiana
Staurogyne repens
Alternanthera reineckii 'Mini'
Dwarf sagittaria subulata
Water wisteria
Micranthemum tweediei 'Monte Carlo'
Hydrocotyle tripartita 'Japan'
Cryptocoryne parva
Cryptocoryne (type unknown)

Stock:
x12 Red neon blue eye rainbowfish (Pseudomugil luminatus)
x8 Male-only endler's livebearer (Poecilia wingei)
x2 Nerite snails
Dwarf shrimp (Neocaridina davidi)

The Uninvited:
Mini ramshorns
Bladder snails

At first I was attempting to use two 50W Jager heaters but they just took up too much space in the tank, and couldn't be placed vertically due to the height of the tank, so they were replaced with an in-line heater that I just love.

I was dealing with staghorn and hair algae but my fertilization dosing has gotten better (and should be optimal once I start mixing my own dry ferts). I had to clean out the filter hose often in the first few months due to algae caking in the tubing.

I am considering a single assassin snail to add in the future, because I do tend to overfeed. It was very difficult at first to get the dwarf rainbowfish to realize what was food, and I was worried they would starve. I still tend to overfeed because the endlers are much faster than the dwarf rainbowfish in eating food (although the endlers have figured out they can eat food off the surface, while the dwarf rainbowfish won't do this).

I also need to find an easier way to do a water change rather than hauling around buckets.

The CO2 has yieled some amazing results versus my past low tech plants. Pruning can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours:
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
well, for water changes you can't beat the python system.

As for your tank. It's beautiful man. The only thing I could suggestion is some more colour, but that's me; i'm constantly striving for more colour.
I would definitely love some more color, I'm just not sure what to add and where. Ironically I did just add the python system to my shopping cart, it's going to make water changes so much easier!
 

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Looks great. Could use some stem plants. Ludwigia is east and comes in just about any color and forms.

For me, personally, I like the shades of green in a tank with a touch of red as you have. Maybe some darker green in there.

Right now I have too much color...orange red pink...and the shades of green with wood and soil to me look better than splashed of color everywhere. Just my opinion, everyone has they’re thing.

I have an amazing price of driftwood and when I rescape - it’ll be based on shades on green. I say we’ll done. I also like your plants are all fairly easily satisfied. Something I have had to learn the hard way. Difficult plants are great and all but the novelty wears off after constant pampering if your goal is the entire scape itself and not just a plant.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Awesome, thanks for sharing. I have 6 x 20 gallon longs on a unified system.... Cool tech, but the scaping is poor... really like what you've done. Thank you for including the plant list as it gives me a direction for 1 or 2 of my 20 gallon long display tanks...
I've never had such luck with plants until I started using the CO2, it really made a difference. I had a weak clump of wisteria I kept in a low tech nano tank, and when I moved it to the 20 gallon, it just exploded. Now I have to prune the plants every week becaues they're out of control!

The only plants I'm not sure about are the lilaeopsis mauritiana, staurogyne repens, and the taller cryptocorynes off on the right. The lilaeopsis mauritiana isn't growing in as lush in the area I want it to (it'd rather just spread outward sparsely rather than get dense like the monte carlo did), and the staurogyne repens is a bit of a pain because to propogate it, I have to cut off the top half and replant it (so it takes forever to try and fill in those areas). It does grow pretty tall pretty fast, but then the lower leaves don't do as good as the higher leaves, and it can look weird when I divide and replant them. My only issue with the cryptocoryne is it wasn't doing as well as the other plants; staghorn algae made me pull much of it out. I read that they require much more fertilizer in the substrate than other plants, so I added a bunch of root tabs (about 21) in intervals of 6" around the tank. One of the cryptocorynes is some kind of brown (doesn't seem dead or dying) color, possibly from the CO2, but it's not a color I like.

The water wisteria is an absolute beast but manageable, I just trim it back weekly. The dwarf sag is very invasive when it comes to staying in its own area, and I often have to go in with long scissors to cut back the runners from invading the val and alternanthera reineckii 'mini'. I really like the Vallisneria americana "Asiatica", it just looks so cool all twisty like that, and it puts out plenty of runners and gets nice and dense.

I'm still learning a lot about aquascaping, and trying to grasp the "Rule of thirds" concept, and where to put a second colorful plant in the tank.

The tank layout that inspired me looks way better than how my aquascape came out. Mine looks pretty different but I'm happy with it. I hadn't really planned on the 20 gallon long dimensions to be so short and long, but the fish and plants are happy about it and it fits nicely on my industrial shelf.

At some point I'm going to glue the rest of the petite anubias to the driftwood on the left, like I did with some on the right, but only after the staghorn has definitely passed. It seems to like my petite anubias and the driftwood most of all; when I see it, I spot treat it with Excel but until I get the ferts right, it's probably going to be a reoccuring thing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
This is one amazing scape. Congrats and good luck.
Thank you so much!

Looks great. Could use some stem plants. Ludwigia is east and comes in just about any color and forms.

For me, personally, I like the shades of green in a tank with a touch of red as you have. Maybe some darker green in there.

I would definitely like a bit more color variety. Not a lot, but just a little more. Maybe something orange-red.

Right now I have too much color...orange red pink...and the shades of green with wood and soil to me look better than splashed of color everywhere. Just my opinion, everyone has they’re thing.

I have an amazing price of driftwood and when I rescape - it’ll be based on shades on green. I say we’ll done. I also like your plants are all fairly easily satisfied. Something I have had to learn the hard way. Difficult plants are great and all but the novelty wears off after constant pampering if your goal is the entire scape itself and not just a plant.
Chalk it up to dumb luck on my part; in my low tech tanks I was always picking the wrong kind of plant. Even when tropica said low CO2 and lighting, the plants would never do that great. I expected the worst when I planted this one. Aside from teh algae, it's been such a drastic change to what I'm used to.

Also, I'd love to see your tank!
 

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I would definitely love some more color, I'm just not sure what to add and where. Ironically I did just add the python system to my shopping cart, it's going to make water changes so much easier!
You have a good scaping eye. Find a plant that suits your style/leaf pattern with colour and go for it. That's the beauty of this, it's not permanent, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. You don't know what you'll like or hate til you try it.
 
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