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Low light low tech 20g beginner advice

1083 Views 4 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  philipraposo1982
Hi. Longtime lurker, first time poster.

Complete noob here and am starting my first tank.
I have a 20g long that I'm setting up for my cats. (They looked bored.)

I put 40# of CaribSea Eco Compete that looks to be about 2" deep or so, an Elive 30" 6 pod LED Track Light with 2 additional plant pods, and an Aquaclear 50 for filtration/aeration.

Should my choice of filter be sufficient to provide enough dissolved oxygen, or no?

I'd like to keep a school of guppies or tetras in there and some others as a clean up crew with a few shrimp thrown in because hey look so neat. (If you think there are better choices please say so.)

Aside from the fish, I'm totally lost about what plants to use and possibly where to get them.

What would be appropriate for ground cover? I was thinking Java Moss.

The rest, and how many, I'm really lost. (Internet overload.)

Thanks in advance.
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Howdy! That's very similar to my set up. The AC 50 will give that tank plenty of filtration. I have an AC 50 and AC 20 on my 20-L, but the I like redundancy and extra filtration.

I'm not familiar with that light, so I can't say if it will support carpeting plants, but you fish selection sounds nice. :)
Welcome! I had an AC30 on my 20 long and that provided sufficient aeration for my school of Rasboras and guppies. Your fish will let you know if there isn't enough oxygen in your tank. They'll start hanging out and breathing at the surface, so it's good idea to keep a close eye on them during the first few days.

Everything else seems good, but just know that eco complete is an inert substrate which means it holds no nutrients brand new, but holds them well once introduced. So I would recommend scattering some root tabs around the substrate to help seed the eco complete with nutrients. Once that's done, eco complete is a fantastic substrate.
look at doing a non moss for carpet, dwarf sag, but it grows to tell for a smaller tank as a carpet imo. there are other options as well but they are more demanding. dwarf hair grass can be done but its challenging at times.

personally i would go with cpd or rasboras or something similar (nano fish, good that and look at all the pretty fish pictures :)
keep some shrimp with them and call it a day. one large school and one type of shrimp would be my choice as i enjoy that to a large variety looks to unnatural and busy.
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