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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
So i just started my first planted tank. A 20 gallon long. Got my plants in today!
Here are a some shots.

With just substrate:


With the new plants:









I got the plants as a variety pack from aquariumplants.com. Not a bad number for $50. Only downside is that I have no idea what any of them are. I think a few are Swords of some sort, and a few may be some type of Rotala. I'm going to be going through the plant list here trying to identify them. If any one can help from the the pictures, that would be greatly appreciated!

Also, I know the layout stinks, but I'm probably not going to be keeping all these and will redo the layout once I figure out what I have to work with.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Update

Ok, a quick update! I've identified most of the plants in the tank. Below are some updated photos. My biggest problem right now is an explosion of hair algae.





You can see some danios in the second image I got to help cycle the tank. I have been carefully monitoring the tank to make sure it doesn't have any major water quality changes. They are doing quite well, and as all 3 are males, I get to watch their territorial displays.

Anyway, the algae. I have reduced the amount of light from 12 hours a day to 9. Should I reduce the the hours of light more? Also, as the tank seems to have steadied with nutrients and the nitrate cycle has set in, I was thinking of adding some inhabitant to help combat the algae. What algae busting animal should I add?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Ok. I'll pull back to 7 hours a day and see if I can get my hands on some amano shrimp. I was planning on getting some anyway, so that works out.

I'll update here in a week or so and let you know if its working.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hey all,
So after pulling back the light to 7 hours a day. The algae has finally started to die off. I did a few water changes to try and get most of the excess nutrients out of the water that no doubt helped the growth of the algae. I also went ahead and redid the 'scape of the tank. Got rid of a bunch of plants that hadn't made it and created a more open look for the tank. Now the fish actually have someplace to swim freely. Also got a piece of drift wood to attach the lace java fern to.



Only problem I'm having now is that one of the Danios has become extremely territorial. He spends all day chasing the other 2 around the tank and chases them away from the food at feeding time. I'm probably gonna return all three to the local pet shop and get some harlequin rasboras later this week.

What do you guys think of the new 'scape? If you have any questions, feel free to ask.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I got 7 Harlequin Rasboras and a Bristlenose Pleco a few days ago. Everyone seems to be doing well. The Zebra Danio's are still around, as after chasing them around the tank with the net for an hour, I gave up trying to catch them. Those things are freaking fast!

The Bristlenose has been doing very well, and between him and the various snails roaming the tank, the algae is now completely under control. Thanks to that I have upped the number of hours of light up to 10. I am contemplating upping it again to 12 hours, just to give the Bristlenose more to eat. The plants would probably enjoy it as well.

The Rasboras have been extremely shy. They spend all day hiding in the back of the tank. A few of them will come out when the light is on, but the others only come out at feeding time. Hopefully they will start coming out during the day as they get used to the tank.

Right now I'm debating whether I want to add a 'centerpiece' fish such as a Pearl Gourami, or another variety of schooling fish to help draw out the Rasboras. Any suggestions?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
If you want to get your "lighton" hrs back up you can raise your light higher above the tank, it also helps a lot with algae when there is a lot of strong light in a tank. Although I think 12hrs might be too much. From what I have seen and read most people do 8-10hrs on their planted tanks. I run all of my tanks on 9 hrs.
Thanks for the heads up!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Hey guys! Been a while since I posted here and figured I'd give an update.





As you can see I reduced the number of species. I also increased the density of plantings in the back and gave them a bit more height.

Plants now include Amazon Swords, Jungle Val, a Moss Ball, Lace Java Fern, Anubias Nana, Crypto Undulata(or Wenditii; not sure which), and a single Crypto moehlmanni.

Inhabitants are 6 Harlequin Rasbora, 8 Emperor Tetra, 3 Black Phantom Tetra, 5 Neon Tetra, 1 Sterbai Cory(his buddies commited suicide before I could get a top for the tank), 2 Otos, 1 SAE, and 8 Amano Shrimp.

Doing a 20% water change once a week. Dosing 1 mL of Flourish twice a week.

Want to get a pair of German Blue Rams, but I know that the tank is already pretty crowded. Also debating what to do with the open areas at the front of the tank. I could just leave it open, but I'm thinking of either putting Glosso in there, or putting some white-ish sand down. Any thoughts on that?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks for the input ~~~. I know what you mean about have too many fish in there. I would like to take out the Rasbora, Black Phantom, Sterbai, and SAE. The issue being that none of the LFS in my area accept trade-ins, and I can't stand the thought of killing the little guys. So I'm kinda stuck right now. If anyone is in the Orlando area and would like any of them, let me know.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Hehe, nope. I'm a poor college student. Don't have the money or space for a second aquarium. What is this Sns you speak of? I've never heard of it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Hey, this is my first tank! I'm still trying to wrap my head around all this stuff! :)

But yeah, I seem to be stuck as to what to do with them. Also, is there any particular reason you recommended against the German Blue Rams? Besides just the high fish count in there already.
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
Hey y'all! Just thought I'd give an update. I managed to find a store that was willing to take the fish. They actually gave me 1/3 retail price, so that was nice. I got rid of all the Harlequin Rasbora, Black Phantom Tetra, Neon Terta, the SAE, and the Cory. With the money from those guys I got 4 new Emperor Tetra (1 Male, 3 Female), another Oto, and a female German Blue Ram.

I don't have a good picture of her yet, but will post one as soon as I get a chance. I'm kinda sad as 3 of the new Emperors died. I think they were bullied to death by the established ones. One of the females has been accepted into the school though, so it wasn't a total loss. Now I'm just keeping an eye out for a nice male GBR.
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
Aaaaannnddd it turns out that it wasn't stress that killed those fish. It was Neon Tetra Disease. It claimed one of my old males last night. I'm keeping an eye out for any more fish that may be infected. It spreads when an infected fish dies and the other fish nibble at the corpse. Since there is no cure, all I can do is kill off the fish that show signs. I just hope it doesn't get into the Ram.
 
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