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I want to set up a small planted tank(help?)

559 Views 6 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  Fish on Fire
Ok, I am going to set up a small tank, max size would probably be 20 gallons, gotta ask my RA.

Occupants: pair of German Blue rams, 5 dwarf rainbows, 5 rummy nose tetras, 7 neon/cardinal tetras, 3 small corys, and maybe a few other fish, but those will be in there for sure.

As far as the aquascaping goes:

Substrate: Black moon sand and maybe a few rocks.

Decor: A piece of driftwood that can appear to be almost like the trunk of a tree with roots, located near the center and a bit further back in the tank. Two branch-like pieces of driftwood pointing towards the front center of the tank with multiple branches sticking out to create a slightly wild look. Hopefully I can get java moss and java fern to grow on these pieces.

Plants: I'm not too sure yet, but nothing too fancy. It's gonna have to be low lighting plants, I want to create a sort of mountain to valley effect, Taller plants on the outside moving in to shorter grass-like plants in the center. I don't want anything that would require a CO2 emitter (Don't really want the plants to grow super fast, just thick enough to create a nice natural look). I know that I'm going to have java moss and java fern for sure since this will be my first real planted fish tank, but can anyone help me in trying to figure out what other plants to get that'll do well and help create the look that I'm going for?

I was thinking about using a Nano cube, but being a college student, those are a bit too expensive for my budget. XP Unless I could buy one off of a member on here, lol.

Please help me out with this, I would appreciate it, thanks.

And I apologize if I'm not being too clear about what I want, cause I have no idea what I'm talking about when it comes to plants, despite being in the hobby of raising fish ever since I was 7.
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If you want all those fish, you'll need atleast a 20g. ;) I wouldn't go with anything less, unless you cut down on the fish you want.
I can overkill the filtration, but I guess it would cut down a lot of the cost by not putting 5 rainbows in there cause they do cost about $6 each if not more around these parts.

Having a little setup like this without the stand, how much would the estimated cost be? Given that I'll probably buy some plants from members here to avoid pet store costs. And the plants I'll try to get aren't rare or anything (Java moss and java fern, and whatever else you can suggest.) But since I'm not going to have a CO2 thingy, wouldn't it be advisable to have a slightly higher fish population?
I'd get a 20 gallon long, more surface area, as opposed to a 20 high. Check out Craigslist in your area for stuff, there may also be local members here in your area that have equipment.

Good and cheap starter plants are hornwort and anacharis. They went nuts in my tank and helped keep the algae at bay (somewhat). I have water wisteria that is also out of control and easy to grow.

Aquaclears are cheap power filters (hang on back type) and they are the best, in my opinion (for cheap filters at least). If you have Petsmart near you print out the online price and they have a policy that they'll price match in the store.
I probably do have a Petsmart near me, but I have no idea where it's at, lol, I'm in the Bay Area for college. And I was told that the max tank I can get is a 20 gallon, and that's better than I expected. :) Might try to get away with a 29, lol, not likely though, but whatever. :p Don't wanna get kicked out of the dorms.

How much would hornwort be? I would like to have some java moss and java fern, but what would be the best carpeting plant for me? I won't be using any lights made especially for a planted tank, so low light plants would be preferable. I did some searching on the net and I came up with a general idea for plants:

Java moss
Java fern
Lace Java fern
Narrow leaf Java fern
Horn Wort
Some Cryptocoryne plants
And some Anubias plants

What would be a great carpeting plant?
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Hornwort should be about 3-4 bucks for a bunch, at least around here, maybe post a request in the Swap n Shop for some? If I still had tons I'd send it your way, but I already gave them away :(

Regarding carpet plants, I have 3 wpg and DIY CO2 and still can't grow anything carpet-related, so I can't help you there ;)

Good luck!
Do you think it would be fine to just buy those moss balls, or whatever, and place them around the bottom of the tank? Like cut them in half and create some type of river rock effect? Idk where to get some moss balls though, lol.
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