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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Tank: 20g high
Substrate: Pea gravel from Petco (didn't do my research beforehand)
Lighting: 15 watt hoodlight. Coralife 6700k bulb.
Filter: Aqueon Power Filter
Heater: Aqueon Submersible Heater 150 watt

Plants:
2 Java Fern
2 Lace Java Fern
2 Anubias that I don't knwo the name of.
1 Floating plant I also do not know the name of.
1 X-Mas moss on rock.

Fish:
1 male Swordtail
2 Female Swordtail (1 died after giving birth) :(


First image with plastic plants:


Second image with Java Ferns, X-Mas Moss, and unknown floating plant. Plastic Plants moved to the left:


I will upload updates when I get home from work. These are just pictures from my phone. I removed all the plastic plants and also moved the rocks around. Also got some new plants from Aqua Forest Aquarium. :icon_lol:

Any suggestions or advice is welcomed! Afterall, I am a n00b!
 

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looks like a good start. i would replace the substrate with aqua soil,eco complete,ect... i would also remove the air stone and do a dyi co2. but great start so far
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
looks like a good start. i would replace the substrate with aqua soil,eco complete,ect... i would also remove the air stone and do a dyi co2. but great start so far
Believe me alindeman1989, I would love love love to replace my tank with aquasoil, but I have no where to place my plants and fish while I switch out the substrate. :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
As promised, up-to-date pictures:




Anyone have any idea what those black things are on the back of the Java Fern leaf is? Should I be worried?
 

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those are spores. its a good thing. they will soon spout roots adn little plants. its how ferns make baby ferns. congrates:icon_lol::icon_lol::icon_lol:
 

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Hi N00b,

You can put your fish/heater/filter in a 5G plastic bucket ($5.00) while you quickly swap out the substrate. Shouldn't take more than a few hours and the fish will be fine during that time.

What are your goals for the tank? Do you want a low maintenance tank? Fast plant growth?
 

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Your floating plant is probably Egeria najas. The waterweed "family" has many similar species on the market, and some have different forms or grow slightly different in certain conditions... You can put it in the substrate if you want, it grows roots.

I put my fish in a rubbermaid tub or a large bucket while I changed my substrate. One time when I "rescaped" I put all the plants into a pitcher... Anyways, creativity is the key. I didn't see the post above mine at first...
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for your suggestion Seds and Topfrog007, just one question though: after I get switch out the substrate, do I have to let the tank sit there for a couple days or can I just go ahead and add the fish right after I finish filling the tank?

And I don't know what my goal is as of yet. I've seen everyone's tank and the forum and thought it was awesome! Then I went to Aqua Forest Aquarium and ever since then, I cannot stop thinking about it. I started off wanting just fish, but the plants are gorgeous. I would love to keep cost down though as I am a college student. ;)
 

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OH I guess I should mention: I have a large tank with a sump. I put a bucket of my old gravel in the sump and removed it gradually. You could try that, but it would take up a lot of room. As long as you have light stocking, stem plants growing (egeria najas in your case) and have your filter media "cycled" you should be fine. Although, almost every time I cycle a new tank I mess up somehow.

I ... had blue gravel ...
 

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Thanks for your suggestion Seds and Topfrog007, just one question though: after I get switch out the substrate, do I have to let the tank sit there for a couple days or can I just go ahead and add the fish right after I finish filling the tank?
Steps:

1. Rinse the new substrate a few times depending on what it is...
2. When your ready for the transfer, Siphon out some water in a 5G bucket or Tupperware or something.
3. Move all fish/equipment this new container try to keep as much/all water from your current tank.
4. Take out the old substrate/put in the new substrate.
4A. Do any aqua scaping
5. Pour water in very slowly, so you don't make the water cloudy.
6. Transfer fish/equipment back into the tank.
7. Finish filling up the tank.

Since the water in your tank is already cycled you'll want to keep as much of it as you can. Also, your filter has built up bacteria which break down ammonia. Your fish should be fine :proud:

I hear ya on keeping costs down, that's a major concern for me too. I'm also very lazy so I prefer low tech/no c02/no water changes. The method I've successfully used in my 55G is here:

http://www.barrreport.com/articles/433-non-co2-methods.html

Since you mentioned keeping costs down, a very cost effective solution to expensive substrate is Mineralized Soil. Read about it here:
http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/...-mineralized-soil-substrate-aaron-talbot.html
 
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