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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I made my first attempt at a planted tank last year and it failed miserably because I went about it the wrong way. I decided to do it right this time and actually put some effort into it. I have a 75g saltwater reef/predator tank that's been up for a little over a year and has been doing great and that's helped me a ton with understanding proper lighting and such. For this tank I wanted to go low-tech and dirted with a DIY stand and cheap shoplights for lighting. Excuse the rocks ziptied to the driftwood. Its not waterlogged yet. The rocks will be moved underneath the driftwood once it sinks on its own.

Supplies:
-AGA 20gallon high (standard?) 24"x12"x16"
-2x 8" diameter shop lights
-2x 23w micro-cfl bulbs (6500k)
-1.5" Miracle Grow Organic Choice Potting Mix
-1.5" Black Diamond Blasting Media 20/40 sand
-Driftwood I found on the coast of Nova Scotia
-Rocks from same place

Plants:
-Camboba
-Anubias barteri
-Kleiner Bar Sword
-Crypt Wendtii
-Hygrophila sp. (not sure)

Fauna:
-Dwarf livebearer. Only one right now that was leftover from my last netting trip. Going to catch more of them.
-Numerous grass shrimp
-Hoplo cat (netted it too. unsure about putting him in though. I've heard they dig anyone have any experience with them?)
-Ctenopoma acutirostre

And now the setup:

Painted the back of the tank black



Stand built. Checking out placement in room



Red Mahogany stain on stand



Moved back in place



Dirt in



Black Diamond layer in



Plants!





Filled. Water is surprisingly clear



Dwarf Livebearer and Shrimp


 

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Welcome to the forum and welcome to the dirty side of tanking :proud:

Should grow into a nice green mass of plants in no time.
That wood makes a nice center point and once the goose egg leaves will look great (imo).
Suggest you consider adding some floating plants for the first few months as that reduces algae issues for most on a new setup.

Planning on any water movement at all?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks. I'm going to add a small HOB filter tomorrow. I was debating between that or a powerhead but the powerhead took up too much space. I have some duckweed and another species of floating plant in there already.

More pictures of the plants:

Anubias barteri and Camboba

Kleimer Bar Sword and Crypt wendtii

Alternathera reineckii (Not sure)

FTS
 

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Anubias rhizome is best kept above the substrate.

Liking dark substrates, dirt tanks and wood in a scape I'm an easy sell so looking forward to the updates.
 
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