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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

I am new to planted tanks and I have found this forum to be an awesome resource. Some background on the tank...

I am working with a 20g long aquarium. For substrate, I have black diamond blasting sand in the red labeled bag (I forget the grit rating). As far as equipment goes, the tank has an oase filto smart canister and a (soon to arrive) fluval 3.0 plant light. I am not running a Co2 system at this time. Current stock list: (6) young orange laser corydoras and a German blue ram. Eventually I would like to add a school of CPD’s and possibly an apistogramma pair.

I am having a hard time deciding on plant selection for the tank. I was thinking about using dwarf chain swords or dwarf sag to create a carpeting effect in the front, however since the 20 long aquarium is relatively short my concern is that they will create too much of a visual obstruction for the plants in the back of the Aquascape. I love the idea of making use of a Monte Carlo carpet, however I am concerned that running no CO2 and an innate substrate with root tabs will not be a sufficient environment for this species to thrive. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
 

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Okayyyyyy, so. That's a lot of conflicting water temperatures and parameters that you want there. Off the top of my head, CPDs like their water a bit on the cooler and harder side (7.4 pH, around 76 F). Rams and Apistos on the other hand like it warm and soft (6.0-7.0, 78+F)

Hmmm...looks like your tank is already setup, otherwise I'd recommend doing a dirted tank (they're simple as dirt!). I've gotten fairly good results with downoi as a carpeting plant, but you just have to make sure they get enough light, otherwise you start going from "downoi carpet" to "downoi palm tree plantation". This was with diamond blasting sand and fluorite tabs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you for the info! So right now I have the tank sitting at 81 degrees, I am unsure of what pH it is at. Really the CPD’s are the fish I am most captivated by, so I would not be opposed to doing a CPD and Cory only tank if it means they would be happier.

I thought about doing a dirted tank but decided against it as I am anticipating a move in the next few months and I figured that dirt would make things messier/cloudier when re-scaping. Maybe down the road I will do a conversion. Downoi seems like a great option. Were you running CO2 when you grew it?

Additionally, I have a piece of driftwood in the center of the tank and it has a lot of crevices where I was thinking of attaching Anubis nana as well as Christmas moss. The crevices are mainly on the top portion of the wood, which will be very close to the light source. Should I be worried about the Anubis nana getting algae spots or too much light in these areas, or will they be ok?
 

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Ah ok, so yes, bring the tank temperature down to like 74 F. That'll be better long term for the CPDs. For any future fish additions, you can check SeriouslyFish, which has a large repertoire of freshwater fish profiles. You can just google "[x species] seriouslyfish" and it'll usually propagate easily enough. Additionally, consider looking into a biotope-esque tank, with CPDs, rosy loaches, and Danio tinwini.

I did not run CO2 when I grew it. The tank was....very bare bones in terms of equipment. A simple sponge filter, an old light from the 10 gallon startup kit from....8 years previous?, diamond blasting sand, and fertilizer via food + seachem root tabs.

I can't comment too much on the plants, but xmas moss can handle algae. If you're super worried, amano shrimp do a good job of handling algae.
 
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