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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Alright so this will be my first go at a high-tech planted tank. Ive had plants before in aquariums but always super easy stuff that's impossible to kill. I was going to turn my ugly eyesore 125g into a planted community tank but after looking at the costs to light it and get it heavily planted I decided it'll just be driftwood, sand, and fish lol. About the time I decided that, our favorite $1 per gallon sale started and I picked up a 20L and 40B. The 40B is going to be for my bully of a cichlid in the 125g so I can turn it into a community tank and not a 4 fish affair that it is now. In this tank I plan on a 1-2" sand bed with Flourite on the bottom and a play sand cap. I want the white sand to be whats seen that why im capping it, I know its not necessary. Will have a piece of Manzanita driftwood on one side and stacked slate caves on the other.

My planned stock list for the 20L is going to be:
Male Betta
A Mystery Snail or 2
Neon Tetras x6
Ember Tetras x4
Kuhli Loach x4
Ghost Shrimp? x6
I haven't decided on the shrimp yet, I know i'm pushing my limit on the stocking list so we will see if it all makes it in.

My plants list is currently:
Monte Carlo
Dwarf Hairgrass
Hygrophila
Java Fern
Anubias Hastifolia
Amazon Sword
Ludwigia
Hornwort
Rotala Rotundifolia
Maybe some moss on the slate if I can get it to stay
Hoping for a carpet in the front half of the tank with a jungle in both rear corners.

Equipment list:
FZONE CO2 regulator
CO2art drop checker
CO2art flux diffuser
5lb CO2 tank
Nicrew SkyLED+ 30-36"
For filter I was either going to use a Fluval Aquaclear HOB that I already have thats rated for up to 30g or buy a Marineland Magniflow 160 canister filter.

So my questions for now, will the one light be enough? Its 30 watts, 6500k, says 95 [email protected]" in air. Itll be sitting on top of tank, so itll be closer than 12". Also, what do yall think about the filter? Should I stick with the HOB or buy the canister? Was also possibly considering the Fluval 107 canister filter, but its a little pricey.

Thanks yall.
 

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Just a word of advice on your stock list- some of the stock you have listed are incompatible with temperature parameters. Betta have a pretty high temp requirement, kuhlis may not be a good choice. On top of that kuhlis will tear up any carpets that aren't super well established- if you're going for a monte carlo carpet you might want to rethink burrowing fishes. This is coming from quite a bit of choosing between carpet plants and loaches... I almost always chose the loaches lol
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Just a word of advice on your stock list- some of the stock you have listed are incompatible with temperature parameters. Betta have a pretty high temp requirement, kuhlis may not be a good choice. On top of that kuhlis will tear up any carpets that aren't super well established- if you're going for a monte carlo carpet you might want to rethink burrowing fishes. This is coming from quite a bit of choosing between carpet plants and loaches... I almost always chose the loaches lol
Thanks for the tips. I did read that about the loaches and plants. I was going to plant the tank and not add fish for a few months to let the roots establish, not sure if thatll help any though. I didnt think about temp differences though, thanks for that. I just added kuhlis because I saw a few sites say they are good companions for a betta and seemed like a neat fish from what I did read about them.
 

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I've found that when you have a betta in the tank they are the ones that decide who their tank mates will be lol. I love betta and they can definitely live with other fish in community settings it's just a matter of keeping hiding places for everybody and kuhlis will almost always try to dig themselves into plants and substrate if they feel threatened. You're basically going to need to keep fast moving, non aggressive/ nippy fish with short fins in betta communities. I, personally, wouldn't go for the kuhlis. May favourite betta community combo is harlequin rasbora and snails lol. The only critter that I can 100% guarantee the safety of in a betta community is snails 😆
 

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kuhlis like warm waters.... 80 is fine for them. My kuhli mostly swim in the open area. That doesn't mean they won't disturb the plants but i would be more concern about the mystery snail than the kuhli.
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Having said that you should reconsider some of your plants. For example most sword plants in a hi-tech tank are a very bad choice for a 20 L that is only 12 inches high. There are a few that will fit - such as 'tropica' parviflorus which is only about 2 inches high and makes a fantastic carpet plant. This is a very different type of plant than pygmy sword and unlike pygmy sword or micro sword it has a reasonable size nicely shaped leaf (pygmy sword looks pretty much like dwarf hair grass). I would also drop the ludwigia unless you want to trim it 3 or 4 times a week as most variety would be happy to grow 24 inches high. Rotala is another plant you might have to trim several times a week however you can grow rotala like a vine and try to get it to wrap around some drift wood or similar. Also if you are going to put a rotala in a high tech tank i'd suggest sometime like h'ra which is a lovely red shade. Another smaller sword plant that is a very deep red/purple is kleiner prinz sword. This one also seems to do best in a high-tech tank with lots of light but the colour is brilliant. It will get around 8-12 inches high so in a 20 long would make a nice back ground plant just make sure not to shade it.

Just a word of advice on your stock list- some of the stock you have listed are incompatible with temperature parameters. Betta have a pretty high temp requirement, kuhlis may not be a good choice. On top of that kuhlis will tear up any carpets that aren't super well established- if you're going for a monte carlo carpet you might want to rethink burrowing fishes. This is coming from quite a bit of choosing between carpet plants and loaches... I almost always chose the loaches lol
 

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kuhlis like warm waters.... 80 is fine for them. My kuhli mostly swim in the open area. That doesn't mean they won't disturb the plants but i would be more concern about the mystery snail than the kuhli
Good to know, I've never kept kuhlis outside of the 74-76° temperatures. My snails have always just surfaced for a bit when they've been too warm and that's only been in 90°+.
 
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