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Just another 20 Gallon mess...

41760 Views 117 Replies 16 Participants Last post by  Bree
So this is my first planted tank. Its a regular 20 gallon tall created by a person with no idea what she is doing apparently...:confused:

Basically after months and months of tampering with the setup, even getting new substrate a few times and spending WAY to much money on the whole setup, i am still lost. I have come to you for help and ideas, below is the tank ( :angryfire ) as it is right now, i have flourite dark as the substrate, water wisteria taking up almost the whole left side along with moneywort, amazon sword and 2 other kinds of plants i don't know the names of. The piece of driftwood i ordered from big als i put on its side even though there is now a slate piece against the glass...

I was thinking of getting dwarf hair grass and cover the rest of the open gravel places, sorta like a forest with a meadow on the right. Problem is my LPS 'has been ordering' the many plants i have places with them for about 1/2 year, everytime i go in there they say it will be on its way soon...But it never is...

All that aside i will now let you say what you think, all bad (and good) thoughts are welcome, HELP!


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Oh and i will post my tanks specs if that helps at all:

Aquatic Life T5-HO fixture with 48 watts total.
Penn-Plax cascade 500 canister filter.
I dose with the whole flourish line minus trace.
I have 6 black skirt tetras, 5 neons, 5 peppered corys, and 2 aldolfi corys.
Temp. is at 76 degrees F.
Plants are in my above post.

And the plants on the right back are just there right now because i have nowhere else to put them...
The thermometer is intrusive. Try moving it.

Also, try to top off your water because it is getting low.
Don't forget to trim your plants. It looks like a great tank!
I think your tank looks great! sooner or later you'll get the ground cover. The one thing that stands out to me is the background (atleast its not a picture of plants) have you considered painting it a blue or black. But honestly its not that noticable.
Thanks you two! Thats funny, i normally have the thermometer hidden, but i just moved it to where it is, i will move it back though!

I am keeping the water level down where it is for now because i haven't a top on the tank yet, and am afraid if the water is to the top like normal my fish will feel the greater need to jump ship. ^^

I have thought of putting a black BG on it, but i am afraid it will become to dark? And i find the one i have on now looks relatively natural and doesn't draw any attention to it...But then again you noticed it. lol
I will again think about trying out the black BG, maybe now that my substrate is not black it will not look so depressing. ;)
I second the water top off :) I usually bring the water right up to the top of the rim with my open top tanks.

A black background would help the plants pop more. A contrasting plant to the light green you have would be good, maybe a Red Tiger Lotus, or similar shade of red plant. of course a good carpet will finish off the tank. It looks great the way it is :) Just a tiny bit of tweaking.
The tiger lotus looks beautiful! But can i meet the plants requirements? I haven't CO2 nor high light (I assume i have moderate lighting) I do also have a red plant in the middle of the green plants to the left although now that i look at the picture, i can't even see it! The red plant was given to me by a very nice individual when he did a trimming on his tank.
I believe it is Red Hygrophila...Or something like it anywho. I am hoping to grow that trimming out till i get a nice amount of them, i just hope i can look after it!
I think the Red tiger lotus would survive, Many people have kept them even in low light tanks. A small group of Red Ludwiga might look good too, it will do decent in lower light tanks too (I had some in my 36 gal low light at once point)
Awesome thanks for that! Good news is that my fanwort (i think thats what it is) has been turning red at its top, thats very exiting for me, i have had horrible luck with plants up until now and so signs of these guys not dieing on me..Well that makes me very happy!!

By the way, your tanks are fabulous! Your 5.5 looks so much bigger than what it is, my poor 5 gallon is just sitting there will some dead looking plants in it and a couple of fish. I hope to go to Home depot and get a light fixture for it, then i may be able to grow something! lol
Instead of a Tiger lotus I would get a dwarf lily. You can get 2 bulbs at Wal-mart for a few dollars. It can be trained to stay low. I think sagittaria subulata would look good in there.
The left side of the tank, and the driftwood look great. I agree that a plain black background would look nice. If you're going to keep the stems in the back right, trim them to encourage them to branch out become bushy.

Dwarf hairgrass or some other ground cover might look good in the front right. Hemianthus micranthemoides might look good. If you're not having any luck with your LPS getting the plants you need, you might consider posting a "Wanted to Buy" post in the Swap and Shop.
Hmm, are the lilys you are talking about come in a box, or in the fish section? Because we made the Walmart up here get rid of there fish. ^^

Sadly i live way up in northern Canada, in the Yukon, and literally the only person i know that has a planted aquarium other than me is a person i just met a few weeks ago...
So i don't suppose i would have much luck with that. lol Thanks though!!

And i know, i have let the wisteria grow a little long, i started all my wisteria with just a few sad looking stems i bought from the fish store a few months back. lol

So for today i will try out a back background, trim my plants, top off the water, move the thermometer, and head down to the fish store for the thousandth time and complain. lol
Hmm, are the lilys you are talking about come in a box

Sadly i live way up in northern Canada, in the Yukon, and literally the only person i know that has a planted aquarium other than me is a person i just met a few weeks ago...
The lillys come in a bag in the pet section. I will send you some if they don't have them. Just reimburse after you get them. Probably about $6.

Post a thread to seek those near you.

For background I tape material on the back with Gorilla tape. Cheap and easy to change.
Hmm..I think i know what you are talking about, the lilys are beside the pet section with the other flowers. lol They should be in stores in a month or two, can't wait!!

Ya, i never thought of fabric, i have some black poster board though, thats what i used for my mini 1.5 gallon a little while ago, i shall go see if i have enough...If not, i will be heading to staples as well this afternoon. lol

Well i just finished the trimming of plants and i rearranged some of them as well, i will post a picture in a minute...
Here is what it looks like now:
(Have to go and get the black poster board in alittle while though.)


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Looking better! Didn't even know you had the nice red plant before. Now you just need some foreground for the right side. How about a few rocks from outside or a Dollar Tree store? Then some moss on top of it. I will see if I have some to send after rescaping my moss.
Haha i know, the poor plant was stuck in the back not scene! I hope it bushes out more though...
Hmmm, i do have some java moss in my 5 gallon just sorta hanging around, i could look into that going in the scape? I love the look of petrified wood, i hope the pet store has some when i go down there, i will be getting a couple pieces for my 5 gallon if they aren't to pricey.
I should post a picture of the original scape of this 20 gallon tank. lol You will get a kick out of it i'm sure.

Would you really do that? Like send me a few plants? I do live in the Yukon remember, way up in northern Canada, shipping rates are pretty bad. I would pay for shipping of course, but i'd have to see just how much that would be! ^^
Would you really do that? Like send me a few plants? I would pay for shipping of course.
Just Taiwan moss. If I have some left after taking it off its present holder to form trees. For I love your scape.
That moss looks lovely to work with! Well i am going to be going to the store in a little while, so i will update when i get back! lol
Oh goodness.

Well i am now back from the petstore, with what do you know... 3 new fish! Haha
Why must i do this to myself, they were just to cute to pass up! lol

Well i talked to the store owner (who i know very well) and he apologized for him ordering the plants so late, and said that he will be ordering my plants next week! Yay!!

Sadly there was no petrified wood, but i will be going to walmart and Canadian tire tomorrow i think and taking a look at the stuff they have there.

Have any of you had honey gouramis? I bought 2 males and they are getting along very well (i was worried about them being a bit aggressive) but in fact they won't separate from each other, they swim side by side! And i bought a new beautiful yellow and black betta for my little tank i set up and gave to my mother a while back. So far all the fish are doing very well!
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