The Planted Tank Forum banner
1 - 5 of 5 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
35 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,
I tried my hand at a planted tank a while back it went just ok, but I changed to goldfish and well that ended that

I've gotten the itch to start one again but...I see all the pretty pictures on this sight and I'm wondering without CO2 am I really just throwing my money away

I want to keep it super simple and low tech - 20 gallon, standard flourescent, substrate have small gravel but contemplating buying something better if anybody has any suggestions

I'm not looking for crazy growth just sustainable, I only have access to petsmart where I live so my plant options are pretty much limitted to cabomba, wisteria, ludwidia, java fern,

For fish just a large school of tiger barbs, maybe some cories not sure if they are compatible haven't looked that far yet

So anybody have any suggestions?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
166 Posts
Get an eyedropper and a bottle of Seachem Flourish Excel to simply supplement with CO2, standard fluorescent likely won't be enough light though. You can get a 6500k spiral fluorescent bulb and a cheap utility lamp for about $10 total at the hardware store or order an Odyssea 20" T5HO for $44 from Amazon. Wisteria is a great easy plant that will grow to fill your tank nicely and provide shade for java ferns beneath it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
369 Posts
You can buy plants here. That opens up a whole array of types to choose from.

I agree with Oxl the standard light is just to weak for even lower light tolerant plants. So if you're willing to pop for anything to make this work I would go with something like LED based light system that can be either hung from above or has legs.

BTW which 20gal are you talking about the tall or long tank style? Both have different lighting options and needs due to depth of water,types of plants you'll want to keep accordingly. Many variables here.:)

Glad to hear your not phased by your last attempt! Keep plugging along as it really is not that difficult once you try it for more than a few weeks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,721 Posts
For my 20 gallon standard shaped tanks I found I needed 2 bulbs when I used T-12. I used one 'Plant and Aquarium' and one 'Daylight'.
The plants use a lot of the wavelengths supplied by the plant specific bulb, but it did not light the tank as well as I liked. Some of the fish, especially orange ones looked funny. The Daylight bulb has some wavelengths the plants use, and a lot that humans see the most, so that corrected the odd colors, and supplied a little more for the plants.

You could keep a school of Tiger Barbs (up to about 10) or fewer (perhaps 6) and add some Cories. It is rare that Tiger Barbs attack Cories, and once you get some plants going there will be some cover for the Cories. I would not get the Albinos, though. Get the Pepper Cories, they are better camouflaged.

If they are available, get Pentazona Barbs. They are a bit smaller than Tiger Barbs, and a lot less nippy. Then you could get a dozen, plus the Cories.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
77 Posts
You absolutely do not have to supplement c02 if you choose your plants wisely. Species like crypts, vallisneria, anubias, and echinodorus species tolerate a wide range of conditions, including low c02 and lighting on a budget.

As for the lighting: I am with Oxl. You could just rig a couple of 5000 - 6500K compact florescent lights over the top or even retrofit a hood with florescent tubes depending on which style and size 20 gallon tank that you go with. As an aside, I am personally very particular and snobbish about the lights that I choose because color temperature is not as important as the nanometers at which the light glows. Plants photosynthesize at particular nanometers that some 6500K lights do not glow at, thus the growth of the plants is inhibited. However, for your the plants you are going to grow you should not have much of a problem.

For the substrate a dirt mixture would work. Here's a link to dirting your tank. It seems to work well for low-tech setups, and it lasts a long time. http://fishtanktv.com/forum/topics/how-to-dirt-an-aquarium-how-i-did-it

If you need anything, feel free to send me a PM.
 
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top