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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello, everyone! I am new and this is my first post. I have had both freshwater and saltwater setups. I am sort of new to planted tanks. I have researched on and off freshwater planted tanks for about 1 to 2 years. Sometime, I was about to set one up, but I just didn't have the space. But now I have finally decided to set one up completely. I am just going to do a basic setup. I am going to use Low to Moderate Lights.

Tank Size:
20 Gallon Long
OR
30 Gallon give or take.

My Substrate:
Play Sand or Pool Filter Sand

Animals:
Amano Shrimp
Endler’s Livebearer
Otos
Maybe something else?

Plants I Like:
Amazon Sword
Anubias 'Nana'
Banana Plant
Cryptocoryne spiralis
Duck Weed
Java Fern
Java Moss
Moss Balls
Tropical Hornwort
Water Sprite
Recommendations?

I have a Marineland H.O.T Magnum Canister, and I think it is the Pro System. Is that something I could use for my tank? Alone or with another pump?

I am still confused on CO2. Pretty much everything about it. I am scared to death for my future shrimps, and fish. :frown:

Any questions?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I haven't decided on my lights. I am going to a local fish store. They carry almost every bulb that is available. I don't have the tank set-up right now. I have to bring it in, clean it out, and measure it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Would a 20 long or a +/- 30 gallon be better as a first planted tank? I am thinking the 20 long might be better.
Forgot to mention! Any light recommendations are great!
 

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20 long is going to be easier to reach into and hit the substrate when planting/redecorating. However a 30 will give taller plants a lot more room to grow before hitting the top of the water, and being larger the water parameters should be more stable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
@RandomMan: That is what I was thinking. But I am just not sure.
 

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I vote for the 30; I think it will look a lot better when plants grow in.

I advise against duckweed... it literally is like a weed lol. If you're looking for floaters, there are a lot of cool floaters out there like frogbit, dwarf lettuce, and red root floaters.

If you're going to go with sand, make sure you get MTS to stir your substrate. I've been hearing a lot of bad things about sand lately though...
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
What is MTS? What kind of bad things? I have some Flourite, but it has been setting in a bucket with some water for about a 1-2 years. I don't think that would work. lol

Okay thanks for the plant suggestion. I love the Frogbit and the Red Root Floaters. I read the duckweed is like a weed, but if I get to much of it in one tank. I can always throw some in my Cichlid tank.


Edit! Found what MTS is...Malaysian Trumpet Snail. Very nice. I love the Saltwater version of them. May get some of them.
 

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Actually just play sand and how impossible it is to wash it. I never used it before so I'm not positive. Pool filter sand should be okay. One thing that I was hesitant about pool filter sand is how dirty it might start to look. I'm a huge pleco lover and they are massive pooping machines so I imagine that it will start to look 'dirty' without too many vacuums.

MTS will reproduce like mad so make sure you really want them before you get them!

Hornwort grows annoyingly fast. It will reach the top of your tank and start to bend in no time so be prepared to be constantly trimming if you get it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I think I am going to go with Pool Filter Sand. Maybe a no on the MTS, I just read a bit about them. I am thinking stirring the sand manually might be better. I wish Loaches and Banjo Catfish didn't eat shrimps, I would get them. Maybe some cories.

That maybe what is floating in one of my tanks. I got with some shrimps one time. It has grown a couple of inches.
 

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If you want dwarf shrimp like RCS or CRS, you may want to get pygmy cories. I find them adorable. Some cories get rather large, like my albino aeneus, which are probably around 3 inches. They will probably not hesitate to eat shrimplets if given the chance. If you plan on sticking with amanos though, then you don't need to worry because they get larger than the dwarf shrimps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
I planned on sticking with Amanos and probably some larger shrimps, like the filter feeders.

30" by 12" by 12"---The 20 Gallon Long
30" by 12" by 18"---Looked up, 29 gallons
 

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In regards to CO2 - it is not very confusing at all.

Basics - Plants need 3 things to be healthy - fertilizer (provides roots with elements to grow) - Light (Allows plants to photosynthesize), and CO2 - is the "food" for the plant to photosynthesize and convert into Oxygen.

Without providing C02 - you are eliminating 1/3 of the equation. Now, there will be "some" CO2 without you providing it, very small traces from fish and what not, but there are easy ways to introduce it.

1.) Dosing - You can buy a product from Seachem called "Excel" - 1 Capful per day. This is as easy as it gets but a bottle = 11.99 at my LFS. Figure the bottle is roughly the same size as "Stress Zyme" or one of those Water Purifier tyupe things.

2.)DIY YEast C02 - I suggest for a 20/30 Gallon you look into this. It is very VERY simple...

2 Liter Bottle, airline, yeast, sugar. Read the article for more information and do a couple google searches on "DIY Co2 YEast"
http://www.plantedtank.net/articles/DIY-Yeast-CO2/7/


3.) Pressurized CO2 - Dont bother with your tank.
 

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It's going to take a LOT of DIY CO2 bottles to supply 20 gallons. It should only be used if you're low on cash and need to wait until purchasing a pressurized system.

Even paintball CO2 would be somewhat of a hassle on a tank that large.

By all means, please search this form for CO2 setups and FAQs and go pressurized if you can afford it and want to maintain plants that require it.
 

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The plants that the OP are looking at all seem to be low tech. CO2 will definitely help, but I don't think it is absolutely necessary for the plants that the OP has listed.

You can set up first with the plants that you have listed and then set up pressurized CO2 when you become more knowledgeable about it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Oh okay. Like I said I may need to start out simple with substrate and low plants. Then move up.

I have also decided to go with the 29 gallon tank.
 

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The plants that the OP are looking at all seem to be low tech.
Hence the "if you can afford it and want to maintain plants that require it."

When I first started reading this forum years ago, I always found it helpful to have those sorts of details included. Seems a number of new folks always come along with the same questions without looking around the forum (not this poster) and see inaccurate information. Definitely don't want anyone to prematurely get the impression that a single two litre yeast rig is going to be enough for 20 gallons of water.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Seems a number of new folks always come along with the same questions without looking around the forum (not this poster) and see inaccurate information.
I try to research something before I try something or buy something.


About my lights. I am thinking 2x T-8 for low light plants, and maybe low-moderate light plants. I don't think 1x T-8 is enough. But I am not sure on what brand; Zoo Med, Aqueon, etc.
 

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I actually wasn't aware that 2L yeast wasn't enough for 20 gallons... I've been misled for so long :(
I wasn't being flippant in the least and hope it wasn't construed as such.

A standard 2 litre champagne yeast mix is enough for me to get good CO2 saturation in a 2-5gal tank but that's about it. Before I went pressurized, I had to use a ton more on a 20gal long.
 
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