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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Alright I am on a $142 budget here :D And I want to setup a 20g tall tank. I already have the tank so that is not part of the cost. I have $142 to spend on lights, filtration, plants, and fish/inverts.
Foreground/Carpet Plant- Dwarf Hair Grass
Mid-Ground Plant- Java Fern and Java Moss or other Moss.
Background-
Hardscape- Large petrified wood
Substrate- ADA Amazonia?
CO2- No CO2 system but I will be dosing Excel
Light-
Here is basically what the layout is going to be in the tank for now:

What plants should I use for the background? What would be the best substrate? What light wattage would be best? Any other help would be much appreciated too!
 

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Deng that looks TALL:icon_eek:
 

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shouldn't you start with the plants and fish/inverts you want, and then decide what hardware (lights and filter) you need? sounds like you are starting at the wrong end of that equation...if you are doing anubias and ferns for example, that effects your lights (you can go cheaper). lots of inverts vs. say, dwarf s.american cichlids obviously can affect filter choice. so, develop a goal, and then select the tools to reach it, ESPECIALLY if you are on a budget. Mistakes = $

also, ADA anything makes no sense if you are on a budget, IMHO. Bag of eco or flourite, $20, no shipping fees, and yer done. no snobbish japanese dirt. :p
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I obviously made some quick choices based on appearance that where not very rational. But since my first post I have done some more researched and realized my mistakes. I still have plenty of time to decide on everything since the tank is not even cycling yet.

1. I want low-maintenance, hardy plants for my tank and I will be looking into Crypts since they don't need much light.

2. I definatly do not any big fish. I want small fish like guppies or tetras. Zebra Danios look cool.

3. Please give me any ideas you may have for my tank based on what I described above.
 

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i am keeping several varieties of crypts, anubias, and java fern with good success. 1.8wpg. no trimming ;)

A normal HOB filter is adequate for such a small tank, and far cheaper than canister. lights are tricky for that tank size. the 36w Ah supply would work, but might be a bit pricey for you.

One look you could consider is using white sand (home depot pool filter sand $5) and not having any carpet plants. a nice 'clean' look. maybe add some richer substrate in the back if you go with crypts, assuming you don't have to buy any.

crypt spiralis looks nice, but I bet you could get spiral vals far easier (and cheaper). these do well in low light and send out runners like crazy once established.

hope some of that helps. gl
 
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