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Hello all, new member here.
I've been keeping cichlids for 2 yrs now but last week, I picked up a 20G long from Petco for $20. I have already de-rimmed it which turned out amazing. My plan is to build a low tech aquarium out of it with Neon Tetras and some cherry shrimp.
So far, I have Beamswork LED rated at 400 lumen and 7W, Leslie PFS, Baja Cresta rocks (color and texture can be seen here http://tinyurl.com/aon8zc4), heater.
For the plants, I'm thinking of getting Rotala nanjenshan, java moss, micro swords, Alternanthera Reineckii, and maybe anubia.
So the question is will my plants able to thrive with the lighting and PFS? I honestly like the black substrate look better.. so maybe I'll go with something like Eco-complete.
 

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Have a look in the lighting forum to see if anyone has checked out the PAR for that light.
The 20 long is quite shallow, so you will get a lot of light.
I like the idea of Eco Complete, but another way to go with black sand is to look into the Pebble Tek product line. This is a quartz material that is added to swimming pools to make them different colors. There are some with real sea shells added, this is not good for a soft water tank, but the pure quartz color blends are good.
Really, though, I would use Eco Complete.
Much better for holding the nutrients for the plants.
You should probably plan on using substrate fertilizers to get started. Neither sand, no EC have any nutrients.
 
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