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21 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
This is my first freshwater tank. First aquarium ever, actually. My current setup and fish community goals are below. I ended up doing a semi-successful fish-in cycle with the zebras and golden Danios. I started out with Dr. Tim's One and Only but had better cycling results after using Tetra SafeStart.

I've been lurking on the site ever since I started my tank and didn't think I'd go fully planted but I think I'm ready to make the plunge. I got a couple of Crypts and Wisteria from some friends and I'm going to see how well they do before making a big purchase of 10-14 plants to fill out the tank.

Current Plants:

2 Crypt (brown Wendi?)
1 Wisteria

Future Plants:

I want to do a Dutch planting style. I don't have access to the great looking Iwagumi rock and I think nature tanks are great but I would want a larger tank to do it right. I think Dutch tanks look super lush and will allow me to experiment with a lot of different plants. That will keep things interesting for me. We'll see how that turns out. I'll pull all my artificial out and most of the rock once I get real plants in.

? plants still deciding

Current Photoperiod:

Split 11am -1pm and 5pm -11pm

Ferts (haven't bought these yet)

PPS setup from GLA (I think this is pretty good) or Macro Micro blend
Osmokote root tabs

Current Tank Setup:

20 gallon long glass tank
30 lbs of black gravel
AC 50 filter with biomax and sponge
Current USA Satellite Freshwater LED+ light
Aqueon Pro 100w heater
custom made artificial plants, Brazilian beach pebbles, driftwood, Cory cat house made out of slate

Current Fish Community:

1 zebra danios (7 died during the cycle)
4 golden danios
2 male red coral Guppies
1 male Endler

Future Fish To Add To The Community:

8+ Lamb Chop Rasporas
few more male Endlers
1 Powder Blue Dwarf Gourami
some yellow rabbit snails
some neo shrimps

Initial Setup Photos:

I've included some shots of my tank with the different custom light colors I've programmed. The first shot is how I had the tank in the beginning lit most of the time 6500k/blue. I've now moved over to Full Spectrum. I think it brings out the color better in the fish and the plants like it. You can seen in the photo of the light how the LED's look in the fixture. The light is super thin and doesn't take much power. I love the color it puts off.





light detail

2nd Aquascape With Black Background

3rd Aquascape with Driftwood added

This Aquascape was built around the Golden Ratio

Here it is in Purple and Teal lights

4th (current) Aquascape with plants added

Fish Photos:

Golden long fin danio zebra danio

Zebra Danios

Red Coral Guppy



21 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·

21 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·

21 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I have a big update for my tank. My plants came in last week right after the Snowmaggedon hit.

My current plant inventory:

Cryptocoryne spiralis (back far left)
Cryptocoryne Wendii brown (front middle, front far right)
CYPERUS HELFERI (back middle)
Vallisneria Spiralis, Italian Vals (back far right)
Hygrophila pinnatifida (back far right)
Cryptocoryne parva (middle front)
Ludwigia repens broadleaf (back left)
Ancharis narrow (back right)
Rotala Rotundifolia (Indicia) (front far left)

Right after I planted the tank looked like this:

After a week it looks like this:

I lost a lot of leaves off of the Cyperus Helferi and the Hygrophila Pinnatifia. There is good new grow on the Rotala and the Ancharis. The Ancharis is weepy though.

Crypt after water change

New Fish:

I lost my two original coral guppies because I added about 7 new Endlers. They kept trying to mate with the guppies and stressed them out. I'm down to only 3 Endlers now. I want to get down to less then that. They're too small to see and I'd like to keep more guppies.

I got this new blue guppy. The Endlers don't bother him much.

Current fish inventory:

4 Golden Danios
1 Zebra Danio
3 Endler
1 Sunset Guppy
1 Blue Guppy
1 Red Coral Guppy

Blown Glass Scupa Guy:

My mom got this blow glass scuba guy a long time ago. He's attached to a blown bobber and floats through the tank till he gets caught on something.


I got a few snails for fun to help clean and such. They are fun to play Where's Waldo in the tank and find them.

Ponds snails apparently hitched a ride on my first plants from my friend.

They apparently like each other.


21 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
love the progress shots, shame you're tearing it down. Will you be re-using the plants in the new tank? Btw love the wood on the left, such a cool shape to it!
I think I'll be using the crypts. The rest of the plants I'm not that thrilled with over time. I'm going with Java Fern types and Anubias in the new tank. The wood is definitely getting used but I've flipped it the opposite direction.
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