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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi there,

First off I want to say hello to everyone here, looks like a great place to get started for planted tanks.

Anyways, I have kept cichlids for about 6 years now (5 tanks), and I have gotten rid of all my tanks after not being able to keep up with how much my fish bred. I used to sell fish online, but now I can't afford to spend so much time on my hobby. I know planted tanks still take a good chunk of time to set-up but I can handle a 20 gallon long.

My plan was to set-up a 20 gallon long with mainly dwarf grass and maybe a couple other species of plants that could essentially add some height to the back of the tank (to give it that rising from front to back look when looking from the side). I want to stay very minimal with maintenance so I want some hardy beginner plants to start with. At first I wanted to start an iwagumi set-up but I don't know if that will be any easier than what I have planned.

Some other questions I have are: What kind of filter should I use? How much lighting? What other plant species do you recommend? How should I set-up a CO2 system?

Any other advice is appreciated :red_mouth

Thanks, Al

EDIT: I want to try and mimic the set-up of this tank but on a larger scale:

Fresh Fish Freak
24,403 Posts
Welcome to TPT!

Since you say you're wanting a nice carpet of hairgrass, you'll need at least moderate lighting plus CO2 for your tank. In a 20gal you should be OK to use DIY CO2, though you may decide to upgrade to pressurized CO2 at a later date.

I wouldn't go for an Iwagumi for your first planted tank, as they can be a challenge to balance correctly due to not incorporating any fast-growing stem plants.

If you want something very easy and simple, one option would be to start with just 2 species of plant; hairgrass and a nice fast-growing stem. If once you've mastered the basics and got the tank stable you want to replace the stem later on with a taller Eleocharis or C. helferi such as in your "inspiration tank" that should be easily accomplished.

I'd probably go with a canister filter for your tank, Eheim 2215 or Rena XP2 would be my personal choices.
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