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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hey everyone,

My girlfriend and I decided to go the cheaper route for now and use the tank that I had stashed away in the attic. (We were planning on buying a new 20 gallon long and making a stand) This is a 20 gallon high tank that my family has had for about 15 years or so. Its still in great condition silicone wise and holds water fine. See:



Filtration
Unfortunately the ancient HOB that went with it is not very conducive to planted tanks. Which gave me an excuse to order this from Bigals (they had a sale) $125 for a 2217, quite the bargain.



Now, I know what you are thinking, how in the world is this little 20 gallon going to contain all the flow from a 2217? Well I plan on more evenly dispersing the water with one of these (I ordered both) and throttling down my outflow by half.





These are Eheim's versions of the stainless steel outflow pipes that people like so much, and better yet, they are only $10 a pop instead of $70.

We also plan on adding a Cerges reactor to the system to help reduce the flow even more while adding diy CO2. I'll be going double bottling changing one every week.

Lighting
We also wanted to have a good light fixture capable of handling a wide variety of options so we chose the Nova Extreme T5HO 2X24 Watt 24" freshwater fixture.



We plan on doing mostly crypts and sword species and perhaps a buce or two with anubias and moss. So we will probably only be using the 10k bulb to start off with. We'll see how it looks and see.

Substrate
Yesterday we had a lot of fun playing with dirt! We just started our mineralizing process for MTSoil and its looking good so far!



We will then cap it with this:



Pretty good buy 100lbs for $10.00

Plans!

So we are still very much in the works with this as far as layout and plants go:
We definitely want heavy root feeders to avoid the hassle of stem plants. I am very familiar with Crypts and sword species so we will probably do a bunch of those. (I've had my eye on E. Kleiner prinz, a big pocket of Ballansae, C. affinis metallic red, C. Wendtii Florida Sunset, and a big ole carpet of C. Parva(At least 15 pots worth, I want it lush, thankfully a 20 gallon high's foreground is rather small) and if I'm lucky some C. 'flamingo'.

My girlfriend also wants some DW and rocks tastefully placed in their too.
(Its so awesome that she's into doing fish tanks with me) :)

We are going to be doing a light EI dosing, with weekly or bi weekly water changes. I'm going for lowest maintenance high tech tank as possible. I'm thinking 7 day medicine organizer for fertilizers. So doing the weekly water change and fixing the food and medicine for the week should hopefully stay around 45 minutes of tank time only a week.

We haven't quite decided on fish, although starting with Neocaridina shrimp is a must. I reckon with all the over filtration we have and the predicted plant mass, that we will be able to fit quite a few fishies. :hihi:

Things Left to Buy

-Dry Fertz
-Dolomite, Muriate of Potash, and Clay
-Drop checker
-Pinch, Dash, and other irregular teaspoon measure tools.
-Plants
-Drift Wood
-Going to try and find rocks locally and give em a good vinegar soak.
-Maybe a hydor heater, we have several submersibles and I think I'd rather shell out money on my parva carpet than a heater. (If flow is too great with my eheim 2217 however, I will get a hydor just for the decreased flow).
-Still have to chug my 2 liters of coke for the reactors and get the airline hose.
-Also need to order 4 check valves for co2 and 1 T valve.

I reckon that's all for now folks!
I'll update it as we get closer to Easter and Spring break!
TTFN!
Please comment! I'll be happy to hear your opinions.
~Joshua
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
So I'm trying to decide on DW for the tank and I was wondering if anyone has good experience with collecting it locally, (besides manzanita(it doesn't grow down here)). I was thinking that perhaps live oak or water oak branches would be a good choice, I would debark it and give it a good boil and scrub first before putting it in the tank. What do y'all think?
 

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Any updates? I want to know what the flow is like with that 2217 on the 20H. I have a
20L that will have a 2217
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Any updates? I want to know what the flow is like with that 2217 on the 20H. I have a
20L that will have a 2217
UPS stopped by to give me the little note saying that you wont get your package until Monday because we need your signature.... :/ But that's okay!
So no right now I don't have the eheim set up yet, I will test it out as soon as I get the chance on Monday. I have a feeling that you will be fine with a 20L especially if you are going to use lily pipes, the longitudinal flow to the other side glass will decrease the overall system flow I'd imagine.

So good news folks, I got the tank and stand cleaned today! 4 hours, 1 window razor blade, 4 gallons of vinegar, and a pot scrubber later....



Here's a close up: (the heater, and the filter are just being tested, won't actually be used, same goes for the light fixtures)





I put some of my sand in ziplocks so that I can begin to see how I want to scape it and which plants and how many I want to go. I plan on having some Manzanita branches coming out of the rock pile heading towards the left. Behind that in the right corner will be 8 or 9 C. Ballansae plants. I plan on planting some C. retrospiralis in between some of the rocks in the rock pile for a neat look. I think I will shift the pile over a hair to the left and leave me some room for either C. Rosanervig or E. Aflame on the right.

Starting in the back left corner, I will have 4 C. Blassi
In the middle back I will have either E. Red rubin 'narrow' or E. Kleiner Prinz.
On the left midground in front of the Blassi I will have a pile of C. Pondertifolia.
To the right of that will be a smaller pile of rocks / thicker piece of manzanita. In the very front I will have a massive carpet of C. parva.
Then surrounding the parva, I will have a few C. Nurii on to the left. C. Wendtii green gecko in the middle midground and then C. Willissi on the right midground.

Eventually when that all grows in, I will thin some out try to acquire some affinis metallic red, and perhaps some C. flamingo.

I may start out with some Hygrophila Corymbosa instead of the sword plants just as a nutrient vacuum until the crypts get established.

Please shoot me some insights! :)
 

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Wow that tank really cleaned up nicely. I'm looking forward to the end product especially since I have a 29T I'm looking at re-doing as a planted tank.
 

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I would choose another substrate. BGA loves to grow on that stuff. Just do a blue green algae search on u tube & you will see everybody using fine sand has the bga problem. Also you do not need to have a nutrient rich substrate if you dose EI method. This will help you cut costs. Flourite makes a decent high CEC cation exchange substrate that contains many minerals that the plants can grow on. It is not considered a nutrient rich substrate but it gets the job done for less money & maybe less nutrient leeching can mean less algae!!! Its all I use & I love the stuff. Its not fancy like eco complete but its good. Good luck new tanks are always exciting , just make sure to QT your fish before stocking your tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Wow that tank really cleaned up nicely. I'm looking forward to the end product especially since I have a 29T I'm looking at re-doing as a planted tank.
Thanks man, It probably won't be for at least another 2 months until its all planted, but I appreciate you looking! I'll update as I test things out.


I would choose another substrate. BGA loves to grow on that stuff. Just do a blue green algae search on u tube & you will see everybody using fine sand has the bga problem. Also you do not need to have a nutrient rich substrate if you dose EI method. This will help you cut costs. Flourite makes a decent high CEC cation exchange substrate that contains many minerals that the plants can grow on. It is not considered a nutrient rich substrate but it gets the job done for less money & maybe less nutrient leeching can mean less algae!!! Its all I use & I love the stuff. Its not fancy like eco complete but its good. Good luck new tanks are always exciting , just make sure to QT your fish before stocking your tank.

Its okay, I'll cross that BGA bridge if/when it comes. I've had planted tanks before and I like this method. I am really just having crypts and swords in the tank, so nutrient rich is more recommended for the growth and colors that I'm looking for. The EI dosing will be very minimal and really just there to supplement the moss and anubias. I've had flourite before and my girlfriend and I wanted something more natural looking. Thanks for the heads up with the BGA. I'll be ready with my H2O2 when the time comes ;) .
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Big Update!!

Had a lot of stuff happen recently!
Including the first orders of my plants, as well as getting the tank primed and ready to go!

I guess I'll start with the plants currently on their way!!!! :) So pumped.

From CrazyDaz (such a swell guy):
C. Affinis "Metallic Red"
-Coming in not this but next wednesday or Thursday.

From Ghanzafar Ghori:
C. Nurii "regular compact"
C. Nurii "pahang mutated"
C. Pontederiifolia
-Coming in Wednesday or Thursday.

From chrisnif:
C. Wendtii "Green Gecko" (A nice big chunk)
-Coming in Thursday or Friday of this week.

From sketch804:
C. Ballansae "red"
C. Lutea
-Coming in either this weekend or early next week.

Still waiting on ordering:
Bucephelandras
Christmas moss
20 pots of C. Parva for my carpet
A dozen C. Ballansae for my background
and some Hygrophila Corymbosa to keep the girlfriend happy ;)


On to more recent things...

My girlfriend and I have been looking for a good source of inert rocks and my pops brilliantly suggested that we try calling a marble and granite store to see if they would give us some granite scraps for cheaper than buying granite rocks from a landscaping store. So I called around and it turns out that no landscaping store has granite rocks period. But, at the granite countertop store we hit the motherload. They told us that we could fill up our 5 gallon bucket with as many scraps as we wanted. They had a huge pile the size of a large SUV all jumbled together of beautiful granite leftovers. We proceeded to smash many into more appealing shapes and look at what we got!





We have so much stone, I really don't know what to do with it.
And the best part is, that everything you see there was jim dandy free! :)
Thank you granite people!

Today's other main objective was to plumb up the tank... This took alot longer than anticipated.

My main system is run off of a eheim 2217 classic canister filter with a hydor inline heater (coming in the mail on Wednesday), cerges reactor, an inline reducing tee valve for the co2 inlet, and 2 extra inline ball valves for easy maintenance. After much planning and effort, I plan on having the inflow and outflow on the same left side (lily pipe style) and then have the water flow down into the canister up the right wall, into a suspended hydor heater, through the co2 inlet tee, and then down through a ball valve into the cerges reactor, through another ball valve and then out through the outflow.







Full tank shot


We also put on some of that black window stick that you can easy peel it off. Looks good so far.

Other knicknacks,
-got 2 metal check valves
-got a glass dropchecker
-ordered the hydor inline 200w heater
-got all of my EI fertilizers in!
-got all the fertilizers for the dirt in!
-got a pair of 12" stainless steel tweezers

Tomorrow's objectives:
-rinse sand
-Mix dirt with fertilizers
-Come up with final rock scape and then put it all into the tank along with the dirt and sand to have everything ready for planting.
-Order driftwood pieces to be added later.
-Test out the plumbing and make sure everything works.


Let me know what you think!!
Joshua
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Here's some new pics!

I got in some plants from Ghanzafar Ghori, and boy did he come through. He gave me way more than I bargained for and even some freebies.

Total I got:
At least 9 C. Nurii normal
3 C. Nurii "Pahang Mutated"
2 C. Ballansae
7 or 8 C. Ponterderiifolia

In the mail, I have coming:
C. Ballansae
C. Retrospiralis
C. Wendtii "green Gecko"
C. Lutea
C. Ballansae "red"
C. Affinis "metallic Red"
Hygrophila Corymbosa (Just to suck up nutrients, and well because my girlfriend really likes it).

I know I'm gonna have to do some picking and choosing... My tank looked soo much bigger when it didn't have plants in it lol.

So far so good.

I plumbed up my Canister to hydor heater, to cerges reactor back to tank. Its all working so far! No leaks yet!

Here's some pics of the tank with the polished granite in the tank.





Tank with plants


C. Pontederiifolia


C. Nurii "pahang mutated"


C. Nurii Normal




Happy lookin!
 

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Looks really nice so far! I think a nice branching piece of driftwood on the left side would look pretty sweet.

Also what's the mineralizing of the soil? I've never heard of anyone doing that before.

Good Luck! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Nice piano!...its going to be cryptocoryne madness!
Thanks Coltonorr! I am going for a sort of Asianish stream look. I think the rasboras and the gobies along with a little school of corys is gonna look sick swimming in and out of your balansae!


Looks really nice so far! I think a nice branching piece of driftwood on the left side would look pretty sweet.

Also what's the mineralizing of the soil? I've never heard of anyone doing that before.

Good Luck! :)
I have driftwood on the way from Tom Barr! :) I'm gonna put a few pieces coming down from the left corner back. Mineralizing the soil is a process of getting rid of the organics found in soil in order to more readily have the nutrients available to plants. It makes for really fertile silt underneath my sand that the crypts just love haha.

I'm excited fellas! I just got some C. Green Gecko in last night and I put it in the back right corner of the tank! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Just as a quick disclaimer, I am aware that I have a problem.... I bought too many plants for my little 20 gallon to handle... but hey thats life haha. Just so you know I plan on taking all the pots out and planting a terricota basin with them to have a wabikusa of sorts outside and give it to my dad for his birthday.

So without further ado, lets get to the fun part...

Over the last 2 weeks I've been getting plant packages in the mail like crazy:
Ghanzafar Ghori-
-C. Pontederiifolia
-C. Balansae (kind with red stem)
-C. Nurii "Pahang Mutated"
-C. Nurii "normal"

chrisnif-
-C. Wendtii "Green Gecko"

Ddavila06(from APC)-
-C. Retrospiralis

Coltonor-
-C. Balansae some with red stem, some without. (I purchase 10, but Coltonor wanted to give me a hard time, so he gave me closer to 15. which I didn't mind one bit ;) )
-A big mix bag
~I think a mix between Green gecko, and maybe some nurii.
-C. Wendtii "Mii Oya" - looks more like affinis "metallic Red" See pictures on bottom.

OVT-
-Hygrophila Corymbosa
-Hygrophila Corymbosa "Siamensis"

Sketch804-
-C. Balansae "Red" (Now that I see it, I'm not positive that its the rarer, red leafed variety, but I'll see, fingers crossed)
-C. Lutea, it was soo big lol... I was hoping for a nice foregroundish plant to put in between my rocks.... Yeah not gonna happen, these are each about 8 inches tall. ( I think I was thinking of C. Nevillii or C. Lucens.
-Stem Plant #1
-Stem Plant #2

Crazydaz-
-C. Affinis "Metallic Red"
-Hygrophila sp "Brown"
-"True" Dwarf Sagittaria



So in case you didn't notice, I have alot of plants in my wee little 20 gallon.

Warning- growout pots in tank Severely damage aesthetic appeal!


PPics

FTShot


Coltonor's Wendtii "Mii Oya" which looks like affinis to me?? Its a beaut either way.


C. Affinis "Metallic Red" -I've never owned any fish plant so red before :red_mouth .They were in spectacular condition with several runners!
That was really my issue with so many plants, most people gave extras. The people on this sight are so nice to deal with!



"True Dwarf Sagittaria" interspersed with my granite makes for a nice contrast.


C. Nurii "Normal"


C. Nurii "Pahang Mutated"



Hygro Brown on left, New Stem #1 in the middle and New Stem #2 on the right.


C. Ballansae Patch, This was after the major trim, I can't wait for it to really fill in. They earn their keep by hiding the filter well.




C. Pontederiifolia


Hygrophila Corymbosa with Siamensis being very small on the right hand side. Siamensis seems to get a redder stem.



Plumbing (Intake-->Canister-->Down hydor heater--> in comes co2-->House Filter-->eheim outflow wide pipe.)


Jello Yeast co2 Reactor set up


Final Front Tank Shot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Future Plans:
1. Take out the pots and jar as soon as the tank gets cycled. (I assure you, the granite meshes with everything much better that way) ;)
2. Get about 15-20 pots of parva to plant along the front middle going all the way to the right back.
3. Adding some Driftwood as soon as my manzanita order comes in from Tom Barr.
4. I might pile the rocks up higher to where at least the back corner rock peeks over the C. ponterderiifolia.
5. Once the hardscape is finalized, I want to get several Anubias nana petites to go all over it.
6. Once everything is good and established, I'd like to get a few buces, but... thats just a dream ;)

Fauna plans:
-As soon as tank finishes its cycle, get Cherry shrimp.
-Then I'm going to get Dwarf Emerald Rasboras, probably around 12-15.
-After a few weeks as things settle in, I really want to get some neon blue gobies.
-I'd also like 8-9 Cory Habrosus.
And probably 1 or 2 Nerite Snails
and maybe 1 or 2 amano shrimp.

I know its asking alot, but I got an eheim 2217 on a 20 gallon for a reason ;)
(The cory cats and amano shrimp are optional. Definitely getting the rasboras and the gobies though. My girlfriend really likes those and they go well with the lower temperatures and high movement of my flow in the tank. My tap has a P.H. of about 7.5 so both of those fish worked out).

Let me know what you think,
Thanks,
Joshua
 
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