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Need suggestions; IM 20g, lights, scape, plants, etc

557 Views 1 Reply 1 Participant Last post by  scottyg2890
Hi everyone, I am not new to aquaria but would like some suggestions from fellow/more experienced aquarists.

I have had plenty of planted and saltwater tanks in the past. After a move last summer I haven't had a tank set up. Although I have this beautiful IM Nuvo 20 here that is begging to get wet.

I sold all my saltwater equipment and want to keep the budget lower so I'll be using left overs from past planted tanks.

The dimensions are 24w x 13h x 15d (inch)

The depth is including the 2-3" overflow area so the display is actually around 13 in front to back.

The plan:

Dirt with blasting sand cap
(Have had a few dirt tanks and enjoyed the results) if there are other caps that might be better for carpets I'm open to change that.

Not sure here. I like simple. Led flood in a hanging clamp light would be ideal but not sure what bulbs are good/proven. Open to other suggestions as well. Keeping budget in mind. (Possibly Co2 as well)

Sun sun 303 (iirc)
Was on a 50g so will probably be over kill but I'll dial it back or dump some of the return flow into the rear chamber.

This one gets me. I'm a very mechanically inclined individual. I can build and fix most anything and it will work great, but it will look like crud. Haha. I like a few looks, excuse my lack of knowledge on the terms.

First a nice rock scape center or off to one side with low carpet plants across the substrate and up the rocks. Maybe something tall/bushy in the back.

Second a drift wood scape with the wood extending out of the water, mossy, with some nice looking plants thrown in appropriately.

I have some nice rocks from past tanks that don't leach. (Can't remember the type now) but if I go drift wood route that will be tough. I have been known to be horrible at drift wood set ups in the past (making them look bad)

It's been a while since I have done research on plants and the types/names have escaped me but it'll come right back (I hope!)

Probably some ottos and a school of some other small fish, tetras or rasboras maybe. Again open to suggestions. I like a nice clean look so only a few species would be nice.

Contemplating going with Co2. I can get the regulator and bottle cheap through work. I've never ran a Co2 tank and it's grabbing my interest. Especially for a carpeted tank.

Thank you! And again open to any and all suggestions.

Added images of the last set up right before tearing it down for the move.


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Well here it is, went to my LFS today and got the drift wood, MC, and the substrate.

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