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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,

After a few failed attempts at planted tanks I finally threw in the towel and bought a setup that has everything required (as far as I know!). I'm just starting to take this hobby seriously and my ability to aquascape etc needs a lot of work. First off, I just want to make sure I can get my plants to a prosperous state before I worry too much about the hardscape/appearance of my tank etc.

Specs:
~20 gallon ADA rimless tank
-Standard back of aquarium filter
-Fluval Plant light, running 100% power 8 hours per day.
-CO2 running @ ~1 bubble per second
-Temp. ~78 degrees
-Diffuser located behind the red rocks attached to back of tank
-Drop checker on top left
-Aquasoil 2.0 (I think it's called) for substrate
-Fertilizing with "Flourish" and "Flourish Excel"

Fish:
-Neon tetra
-Cardinal Tetra
-Black Neon Tetra
-Dward pleco
-Celestial Danio
-Amano Shrimp
-Cherry Shrimp

(I know I likely have too many fish in here as I moved them from a different tank. Hopefully they thrive).

Like I said, I'm just new to taking this seriously and would love if anybody has any pointers for me or suggestions would be much appreciated! For now, I have a few questions:

1. Are my light parameters sufficient? Should I be making adjustments to "on time" or levels/intensity of the different spectrums?

2. The anubias is attached to a piece of drift wood which isn't visible. Does it need to be in a shadier spot of the tank?

3. Is my diffuser in a good place?

4. Any information on what type of plants I have in here or tips for them would be appreciated. How long should I expect for them to really take off?

Thanks for reading and any pointers! :)


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For plants, you know about the anubias. Also I see a cryptocoryne wendtii, and though a little ambiguous, probably moneywort, dwarf saggitaria, and maybe micro sword.

With so few plants, you're gonna want to back off on the light period, and you shouldn't need much initially in the way of fertilization.

If you add a lot more plants, then you can start to ramp up the ferts and CO2 and lighting, in response to any deficiencies you see. But your current setup is a one-way ticket to algaetown.

Should be great once it starts to grow in more, though. Don't worry about the aquascaping part too much until you've some more plants. Then you can think more about their arrangement and the hardscape and whatnot. But yeah, I'd aim for stability first, just because that's a better path to long term happiness in the hobby. With stability nailed down, then you can pursue aesthetics.

Oh, but if I had one thing to say regarding layout, it would be that you can raise the height of the substrate in the back to give a sense of a little more depth in a smaller tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks! I will post a better pic of the plants when I can later tonight. What do you recommend for light period? 6 hours? Should I be having every spectrum on 100% intensity?

I appreciate both of your insights.
 

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I would start at probably around 50% for 7 hours and go from there, the light is very strong so this may even be much for that plant mass. I also agree with gjcarew and do this. I suggest Nilocg thrive although there are other options like the APT line by Dennis Wong and aquarium coops easy green
Just FYI you may want to go with an all in one fertilizer. Flourish doesn't have nitrogen, potassium or phosporous.

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You may want to cut some of the blue light. I have been told an excess of blue spectrum can cause algae bloom. I'm currently running a max of 11% blue on my plant 3.0. Take this comment with a grain of salt though. I'm pretty new, no algae yet though..
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks bluebie.

Notes: Added some monte carlo and rotala plants today.

Question: Should I be siphoning from the gravel when I clean the tank or just the water? Not sure if it's frowned upon to suck up the fertilizers etc in the aqua soil.

LAST!!! Question: Would moving my betta into this tank be a safe move? Or should I keep it alone in it's small tank.
 

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Question: Should I be siphoning from the gravel when I clean the tank or just the water? Not sure if it's frowned upon to suck up the fertilizers etc in the aqua soil.
If you're using a dirt/clay-based substrate? Try not to disturb it. Definitely don't vacuum it, as that will encourage breakdown.

Most packages tell you not to rinse this sort of substrate and not to use a gravel vac.

Just remove anything visible that's unsightly with the siphon from a piece of airline tubing or whatever you use to do water changes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
If you're using a dirt/clay-based substrate? Try not to disturb it. Definitely don't vacuum it, as that will encourage breakdown.

Most packages tell you not to rinse this sort of substrate and not to use a gravel vac.

Just remove anything visible that's unsightly with the siphon from a piece of airline tubing or whatever you use to do water changes.
I think it was Amazonia Aquasoil 2 or something recommended by the fish store. Assuming it's clay by the look/feel but just a guess. Will do, thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hi everyone,

Just wanted to provide an update where the tank is at ~2 weeks later. I will attach a photo below.

-Moneywort seems to be thriving/growing/spreading rapidly.
-Carpet grass (could anybody help identify this plant?) seems to be doing fine and seeing minor new growth/spreading
-Moved anubias to the lava rock where it seems to be stagnant in terms of growth but surviving nonetheless.
-Some monte carlo was attached to some driftwood and some was planted in the substrate. It is not doing well and is dying.
-Rotala added about a week ago seems stagnant/slow growth/ acquiring a little bit of algae or something on it.
-3 Amano shrimp have all died within 1 day of each other. I did a 50% water change right after seeing this.
-Other fish seem to be thriving

A friend recommended I change my light specs to what I have (shown below).

If anyone has any insights as to what my tank is lacking in order for all the species of the plants to thrive please comment!!! Thanks!!!

1033092
Atmosphere Sky Product Azure Rectangle
 

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Hi everyone,

Just wanted to provide an update where the tank is at ~2 weeks later. I will attach a photo below.

-Moneywort seems to be thriving/growing/spreading rapidly.
-Carpet grass (could anybody help identify this plant?) seems to be doing fine and seeing minor new growth/spreading
-Moved anubias to the lava rock where it seems to be stagnant in terms of growth but surviving nonetheless.
-Some monte carlo was attached to some driftwood and some was planted in the substrate. It is not doing well and is dying.
-Rotala added about a week ago seems stagnant/slow growth/ acquiring a little bit of algae or something on it.
-3 Amano shrimp have all died within 1 day of each other. I did a 50% water change right after seeing this.
-Other fish seem to be thriving

A friend recommended I change my light specs to what I have (shown below).

If anyone has any insights as to what my tank is lacking in order for all the species of the plants to thrive please comment!!! Thanks!!!

View attachment 1033092 View attachment 1033091
Its actually planted a little light. If you add some fast growing plants(even if it's only temporary) you should have better luck keeping the algae at bay. Just adjust one thing at a time ie lighting intensity and duration. Fert regimen and such. It takes plants a while to react to changes. Patience and observation,and adjustments are key to success with planted tanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Its actually planted a little light. If you add some fast growing plants(even if it's only temporary) you should have better luck keeping the algae at bay. Just adjust one thing at a time ie lighting intensity and duration. Fert regimen and such. It takes plants a while to react to changes. Patience and observation,and adjustments are key to success with planted tanks.
thanks for your insights! could you recommend any plants that would be good?
 
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