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New planted tank. Feedback?

1919 Views 27 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  rcl7

Tanks a 20 gallon with aqua flow 50 HOB Filter. A couple RCS running around and some otto's. Will get a school of tetras once my shrimp colony is well established. Have java moss anchored to the driftwood in hopes of a tree look but not sure how I feel about it yet.



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Just a thought but looks like you need more substrate.
I agree. Also, I'd suggest getting more plants and/or hardscape to fill in the dead space.
Was considering the same on substrate. May add another 10 lbs of sand to boost it up. As far as plants everything so far is fresh so may give it a bit for these to fill out then see what I'm dealing woth

Added about 12 lbs of substrate. Added a few more RCS (3 are berried), and got my plants situated. Also made the jump to dual T5 fixture, I'm very pleased with it this far.

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Not sure you'll stay happy with the JM, I didn't and ended up removing it. It just makes a mess of the tank and is not very good looking.

How above an Anubius or two on the wood, they're kinda cool.
How easy is that to anchor? Haven't tried my hand before
could use some elevation in areas, just looks flat. Maybe add some rocks right if from of the driftwood, just a small stack or something.

anubias are easy to anchor, most of the time you can wedge a root or two into the wood and it will stick. That's how most of mine are attached.
Anubius is easy in every sense of the word. My suggestion is anchor them very tightly to the wood if you use them. They are very tough and can take it.
I like the idea of getting some rocks into that right side where the fern is, just need to find some I find tank friendly. Would like to get a downward slope from right-to-left with the tree at the base.

Being new to anchoring, will the anubius literally root into the wood or rock over time? Or is it just growing while tied?
They actually attach to the rock/wood. Mine send roots down to the substrate. If the anubias is up high enough in the tank, the roots add a very nice natural feel to the tank. Click my sig, I have some close ups of mine on driftwood.

If you have a walmart near you, in the arts and crafts section (decorative rock) they have little mesh bags of "tiger rock" which I have in my 29g, I think they would look fantastic with your substrate. Give them a short fall into the tank and aim for a pile lol. You have a great concept, with a little work and tweaking. Your tank could be stunning. I think some stargrass planted around the driftwood, trimmed to be short up front and taller behind it would make the wood pop.
The roots attatch themselvs to rock or wood. The Risome is that long root looking thing which runs across the bottom. Tie that to your object you want the plant tied to. Try to spread the roots which come down from that on either side as much as possible to get it better anchored. Your light is too high and green water is in your future unless
you only have the lights on for about 6 hrs. Some Mom & Pop pet stores buy and re-sell
used equipment and you might get two T8 strips for cheaper than new. Having the light spread out works better for me and that set up won't be too high of light.
You can also reduce the light by raising it or putting screen wire between it and the tank. Splitting up the light period like 3 hrs in Am an 4 hrs in pm works somewhat also as far as algae is concerned.
Java moss looks to wild for my taste...goes every direction. Christmas moss is better
to me as it drapes a bit so has at least some containment. Fissidens are more to my liking but still a moss and any of them occasionally loose pieces which will start a new
plant somewhere else in your tank. If it bothers you it can just be picked out.
But the Fissidens grow very slowly(perhaps a bit faster in your light) so it won't take over your tank like Java moss will if left alone and not cut.
I like your idea of letting what you have grow a bit before adding.
BTW Tetra's will eat all the baby shrimp and may learn to get the molting shrimp also.
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Great recommendations! I'm already annoyed with the java moss ironically haha. The shrimp obviously love it but it constantly comes apart and makes a mess of the tank.

I think I'll be trying another sort for that "treetop" for sure. Thanks for the anchoring tips, that seems like my next project!

As for the tetras, I know any fish ( excluding my ottos) will go for shrimpettes, but are tetras particularly bad about this? If so are there some better options? My hope is to have a steady enough breeding colony to make up for occasional losses.
is your tank cycled? seems like a new tank and I am wondering how your oto's will survive with no algae. Oto's need alot of food and need to be kept in schools of 6 or more.
5 ottos, I let it run 3 weeks before adding. There's minor algae and currently supplemented with wafers
If you want you can paint the back of the tank or use the window tint for those car windows :p
Not sure if that would help or not.

And you got lot more space for plant!

No rocks yet, but certainly some cool plant upgrades. Also one of my shrimp's eggs hatched. I have at least 10-15 shrimplets swimming around. So fun to try and find these tiny little guys!
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No rocks yet, but certainly some cool plant upgrades. Also one of my shrimp's eggs hatched. I have at least 10-15 shrimplets swimming around. So fun to try and find these tiny little guys!
baby shrimp are very rewarding. Perhaps try some taller plants like a sword, or rotala in the back. It weill help look fuller and the more plants the merrier for shrimp especially.
Have some beautiful crs with my rcs now. Both are thriving. Also plants are starting to perk up and grow
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Looks like you're off to a good start. You might want to add some more hardscape (rocks/wood) as others have recommended to give multiple broken lines of site. This is useful to the fauna as well as gives the tank a natural look. You can use rocks to terrace the rear of the tank to give it levels to plant and will definitely help fill up a lot of "white space" that you have going on. Anubias and Crypts are an easy addition and will give some green to the driftwood besides the moss and depending on the Crypt species they can be tall or short and will grow nicely in the sand.

I'm with Steve with the JM, when I started planted aquariums it was one of the first things I got. It started to over take the tank and is next to impossible to remove 100% unless you do a full tear down and remove hardscapes its mounted to to let dry then scrub off.

Consider some hardy stemmed plants as well to give some lush background flora as well.

Again, great start! Just needs a little more ;)
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