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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I'm planning on taking the plunge sometime very soon to get my 20 gallon, low-tech setup started. Before I start ordering things I would love to have some of you more experienced members take a look over my list of things and see if there's anything I've missed, over done, over looked, etc.

Google Doc List
*I wanted to keep it below $300, but that's not happening haha

No decision on lighting yet, but it will either be a 24" Finnex Stingray or a 24" Finnex Planted+.

Plants will be some of the following : Anubias Congensis, Anubias Nana, Anubias Barteri, Christmas Moss, Java Moss, Phoenix Moss, Water Sprite, Java Fern, Amazon Swords, Small Crypts, Dwarf Sag, Water Wisteria, Melon Sword, Corkscrew Val, Green Hygo etc.

**If you look through that list of plants and see some plants that simply won't do in my tank due to size/lighting etc. please let me know as I'm still learning and figuring all this out! Also, I would love to know which of those plants would be best to get in the tank right off the bat!

Thanks!
 

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All the flora you mentioned will do just fine under a Finnex Stingray, if you had a 20 Long Tank. Since you have a 20 High, light penetration in the water will not be sufficient for some plants (Green Hygro, Dwarf Sag, maybe even the mosses). For your case I do suggest going with the Planted+. I know you said you're going low-tech, but I do suggest using some ferts because although the plants you mentioned will live just fine with just light and nutrient rich substrate, plants just explode with extra fertilization. Have you thought of Excel? The Planted+ is a pretty powerful light and you may run into some algae problems.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
All the flora you mentioned will do just fine under a Finnex Stingray, if you had a 20 Long Tank. Since you have a 20 High, light penetration in the water will not be sufficient for some plants (Green Hygro, Dwarf Sag, maybe even the mosses). For your case I do suggest going with the Planted+. I know you said you're going low-tech, but I do suggest using some ferts because although the plants you mentioned will live just fine with just light and nutrient rich substrate, plants just explode with extra fertilization. Have you thought of Excel? The Planted+ is a pretty powerful light and you may run into some algae problems.
I had considered Excel. I had PM'd Hoppy trying to discern lighting and he advised the Planted+ would most likely be powerful and I would definitely need to dose Excel and the Normal N, P, K and trace elements. I don't really want to have to do that. But It seems the Stingray is too little and the Planted+ is too much, there's no good middle ground.
Although I had PM'd CoryWM who did this video, and he advised the Stingray would work just fine as the light would only be 16" away from the substrate.

Also, I'll note the tank came with a single T8 15W Aqueon Full Spectrum bulb, I was looking into LEDs because I wasn't sure a single T8 would cut it.
 

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Fist off, welcome to the dark side! haha.

I think a melon sword is too large for your tank.

As far as equipment goes, you need a heater. I would recommend any submersible that you like along with a temperature controller (My 300W controller was $26).

I would also recommend a different direction in your lighting. I believe a Current USA Satellite +pro would be a good light for you. The programmable full RGB is great. I had my son's on my tank and I got it to look like my plants were on fire. Also since the light is fully programmable, you can turn it down to whatever value you desire.

Best of luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Fist off, welcome to the dark side! haha.

I think a melon sword is too large for your tank.

As far as equipment goes, you need a heater. I would recommend any submersible that you like along with a temperature controller (My 300W controller was $26).

I would also recommend a different direction in your lighting. I believe a Current USA Satellite +pro would be a good light for you. The programmable full RGB is great. I had my son's on my tank and I got it to look like my plants were on fire. Also since the light is fully programmable, you can turn it down to whatever value you desire.

Best of luck!
I got the Aqueon Pro Heater on there ;)
 

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20 Gallon High Aquarium
-I think this will be fine. It will be a great starter tank.

Black Diamond Blasting Sand
-Best substrate ever.

Miracle Gro Organic Potting Soil
-I suggest Oscmocote+ Root tabs over this. Dirt makes for messy replanting for a beginner.

AquaClear 50
-Aquaclears are great hang on back filters, if you have $45 or so I do suggest a SunSuncanister

SeaChem Purigen
-You can never go wrong, particularly in a aquaclear

Aqueon Pro Heater
-This is fine. If you go with a canister, I do suggest an inline Hydor heater

HDE LCD Digital Thermometer
-I have one and it matches my mercury thermometer, so it is fine.

SeaChem Prime
-Best in the biz!

API Master Test Kit
-This will do you just fine!

Mag-Float Glass Cleaner
-I've never had one. For a tank this size, a dish sponge (not treated and new) will work just fine.

Aqueon Siphon 10-inch
-I suggest an aqueon 'python style' water changer. They are $25 or so on Amazon. Worth every penny.
Finnex Stingray or Planted+
-For this depth, go for the Stingray. It will keep you in low light (most likely) and grow plenty of plants

Neocaridina Shrimp
-Don't know what these are.

Amano Shrimp
-Great idea.

Nerite Snails
- I like these too. You are going a bit heavy on the clean up crew.

Pygmy Corydoras
-My favorite fish species (cory). They are entertaining!

I do suggest you look into budgetting for a canister filter. It really is nice compared to a HOB. I can probably hook you up on a used SunSun if you are interested. PM me. Other things to note, the heater controller. Get one for sure! Heaters fail regularly. $30 is cheap insurance. The sword (and all swords for that matter) will consume this tank. I suggest cutting your plant list down substantially. Pick like 3-4 to start with. Less is more when you are planting a tank. It will make it more uniform. Lastly, live stock. Pick up 2 otos for this tank. They are adorable little fellas that will help clean up the tank.

Java Fern
Java Moss
Vals
Dwarf sag
Crypt Wendti

That would be my suggested starting list on plants. That gives you a little bit of everything from tall back ground to the foreground.

I saw the mention of the SAT+ Pro. It is a fantastic light. It is way more light than you need though. The stingray will be about $100 cheaper too.

Do you have a hardscape in mind? Any driftwood? Rocks?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for your reply!

For the Osmocote+ Root Tabs are those the handmade ones in the clear capsules? About how many of those do I want to put down prior to the blasting media? Or do I just push some into the substrate near my plants?

I was actually just watching some videos on the Python water change and vacuum, I will definitely add one of those to my list!

I keep getting mixed replies from various members about whether the Stingray would work or not. I think I'm just going to have to give in and go that route, I can always add more light if need be.

Neocaridina Shrimp are Cherry shrimp, the little ones that come in red, green, yellow or blue.

Is it a problem to go too heavy on the cleaning crew? and I'll definitely add otos to the list as well.

After doing some reading I will definitely be adding a heater control to be on the safe side. On a related note I'll shoot you a PM after I finish this post!

I really would like to do some driftwood for sure, I like the natural look of the Malaysian Driftwood, and wouldn't even mind 1 or 2 small rocks to balance it out some.
 
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