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20 gallon high planted?

Discussion in 'Aquatic Plants & Planted Tanks' started by chickadedede, Sep 30, 2010.

  1. chickadedede

    chickadedede Thread Starter New Member

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    I've got a 20 gallon aquarium I just finished cycling, and I'm finally starting to figure out what I want to put in it.

    An oscar, 2-3 betas, maybe one of those nemo fish...maybe a stingray. I like stingrays.


    Seriously though, I think I might like a pair of something like these guys. They live longer than some of the other killifish, they look like they wouldn't be too hard to breed, and they aren't particularly demanding.

    Alternately, I think I'd like to try either Honey Dwarf or Sparkling Gourami. Maybe throw in some peaceful schooling fish and either a school of Cory Cats or a small pleco.

    I'm not in a huge rush on getting things together, but if I'm going to be buying fish online, I need to do it before winter hits.

    I kinda want to do plants, but my setup's not particularly great. I've got Flourite for substrate, but I don't think there's enough of it. I'm thinking about picking up a bag of Eco-Complete and putting that on top. The real issue is my lighting setup. All I've got at the moment is the hood that came with the tank. The bulb I've got in there was fine for java fern and moss, (then again, java fern seems to tolerate anything short of being soaked in bleach) but I'd like to try some different stuff. $60 seems to be the absolute minimum I'd be spending for a better setup though, and that's not counting new bulbs. Do I have any better options that don't involve permanent fixtures in walls?

    Oh! One other thing. I've had driftwood before, but had problems with it eventually smelling horrible. Did I screw something up?
     
  2. MOD_Dawn

    MOD_Dawn Active Member

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    This info may help ya:
    I've personally kept a Male Orange Australe Killifish, A Male Crowntrail Betta, and a kerri tetra together in a semi-planted 10g. Can see photos here--> 10 Gallon Betta Tank

    You could definately do all of the above (of which I've had) for sure in a 20g and even add a small school of something like pygmy corys or standard corys.
    ----
    Your 2nd plan would work as well, I love the dwarf honey gouramis (have them in my 90g). If ya wanna breed them be sure to have some Canopy/Cover plants (live or fake) and consider running a lunar spot light at night (worked for me). Mine also love tall plants that are placed against the back wall to "hide" behind and of course there's plenty of fish that are easily compatible with them too (can check my 90g thread to see what I all keep with mine).

    Ps. Caution with purchasing fish online (ie. health issues, arriving sickly, acclimating poorly, etc).
     
  3. MOD_Dawn

    MOD_Dawn Active Member

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    The black eco-complete planted is great stuff...no need to rinse either!

    What type/watt/and size bulb do you have in their- some fixtures you can simply swap out the bulb for one that's more acceptable for plants AND are you planning on using Co2?

    You'll need a 24" fixture unless you don't care about hangover, bulb-wise Imo t5's are the best, with compact flourescents coming right under them and as for fixtures you can get creative using gooseneck lamps and swapping out the bulb, LED lamp, Shop Lights etc (can check Craigslist, Aquabid, Ebay, Thriftstores for actual aquarium fixtures too).

    Here's a few that should work depending on what TWPG your looking for (keep in mind you can check elsewhere to see if you can find them cheaper, use coupons, or utilize click throughs for extra cash back):

    [*]$45.99 & includes bulbs

    [*]$59.97 & includes bulbs
    Pet Supplies - Pet Supply Store - Pet Products | PetMountain.com ... erm=521913

    [*]$63.99 & includes bulbs
    Pet Supplies - Pet Supply Store - Pet Products | PetMountain.com ... erm=512405
     
  4. MOD_Dawn

    MOD_Dawn Active Member

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    Depends, woulda needed the tanks readings (liquid api freshwater master test kit) and I know theres some places that are selling driftwood which isn't aquarium safe/appropriate wood type...then you have your sterilization too (where some powerwash the wood with..hold your breath..SOAP!).

    I try to boil my driftwood before using it and make sure I use a good toothbrush to clean out the nooks and crannies...then drill a couple small holes through the slate and attach it using galvanized screws to keep it "down" and never had a problem.

    Tannins- the browning of water from driftwood is natural and completely safe, if you don't like it then simply keep "soaking" the driftwood which should help it release "most" of it.

    Here's a few links that may help
    [*] Small Planted Tank / Aquarium Setup Guide
    [*] Common Available Aquarium Plant Requirements
    [*] Aquarium Plant Dealers List Online
     
  5. chickadedede

    chickadedede Thread Starter New Member

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    That looks like a really fun setup!

    Hm...Think I could get away with the Sparkling Gourami and the Killifish? Probably not, Bettas are probably more tolerant of temperature ranges.

    T8 17 Watt(I think) 5500K bulb. I was thinking about doing a DIY CO2 setup. Thanks for the links, if I do need to replace the hood, I'm going to go with the third one.

    I think I got Mopani wood last time. I don't know if they said I didn't need to boil it or I did and don't remember or if I didn't. It's been awhile. Would silicon work for attaching the driftwood to slate? I'm worried about breaking the power drill.

    Thanks so much, you've been a huge help.
     
  6. MOD_Dawn

    MOD_Dawn Active Member

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    I've honestly never kept the Sparkling gouramis (though I've had numerous other types of gouramis), but from the little I know about them they're similar to the betta>rice paddys/breathe oxygen/ok community...so unless I'm missing something they should be okay?

    yea, 17W won't grow much of anything in a 20H for sure! just be sure to price around first and utilize online coupon codes (I use Tjoos) and click throughs (I use BigCrumbs) when/if you can.

    Mopani should've been fine, maybe it had something on it (ie. laquer coating or something?)..can't imagine clean natural wood giving off a smell if it was sold for aquariums (as in found in a fish store).

    I'd think no (but it wouldn't hurt to try), I use my powerdrill all the time and have yet to break it- if anything you make break a drill bit if you use too skinny of one to drill the pilot holes.
    Here's a link that might help you with the driftwood Manzanita Burlworks - Aquarium Wood (they have sample orders too).
    If buying online I'd simply ask if A) the wood is aquarium safe (not pre-treated), B) will it sink immediately upon adding it to your water C) if not, ask to see if they'll mount it for you to slate <I know I did that once and they did the pilot hole and included the slate and screw...all I had to do is screw it in when it arrived with a phillips screwdriver>

    Ps. the 3rd light is what I have on my 20L (can check the my signature link to see how the lighting would look/ amount of light). I'm quite please with it myself! I like having 2 bulbs that give me some options no matter what I choose to do with the tank and that it has openings for air to get through and NO noisy running fans ;)
    Ps. if you have a Petco nearby check them for x-tra bulbs (I know several of my local petco's are clearancing out the bulbs to that fit this fixture) :)
     
  7. chickadedede

    chickadedede Thread Starter New Member

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    They aren't quite compatible on temperatures. Honey Gourami are though. I'm still trying to decide if I should do both or just one of the two. Killifish and/or Honey Gourami that is. If Gourami species were compatible, I think I'd just stock the whole tank with them.

    It was the best I could do at the time. Now though, I'm almost more excited about plants than fish!

    It's been awhile, I don't remember. I may or may not try it again.

    Just get the slate from a hardware store or something, right? I might try the silicone first out of laziness. Couldn't hurt to pick some up anyway, I kinda want to make caves because I can't find any that I like.

    When I first read that I thought you had discus in a 20 Litre tank! That's an amazing thread though. If you like it too, I think that's the one I'll go with.

    May as well go see, I'm headed over there anyway.
     
  8. MOD_Dawn

    MOD_Dawn Active Member

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    yep, can get slate from hardware store, rock quarry, or even pet store...I know others have used tile (the heavy rock like kind, but I'm iffy on that cuz I;m pretty sure it would be treated with something for anti-mildew?).

    Theirs a bunch of diy caves here (for ideas)-->
    DIY - Do It Yourself Aquarium Caves
    DIY - Do It Yourself Aquarium Cave / Breeding Cave
    DIY - Do It Yourself Terra Cotta Pot Cave (just see the links within the thread)

    If your going planted and want a natural looking wall you might wanna give this a whirl-->
    DIY - Do It Yourself Moss Wall Aquarium Background

    *If no moss wall, to cut costs you can simply either spray paint the back of your tank or use something such as a doubled over plastic party banquet tablecloth from wal-mart for $1.50 (that's what I have on all my tanks).

    <--I'm guilty of being downright giddy when it comes to setting up new tanks :eek:)
     
  9. chickadedede

    chickadedede Thread Starter New Member

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    I'm kinda torn now. I just found a decent deal on a 30 gallon tank with a stand. I'm probably going to get it no matter what, but I don't know whether to leave it in the attic for awhile or to tear down the 20. I bought a new strip light like three days ago. Do I send it back or do I wait and set them both up as planted tanks? I can set one up now, but money's going to be tight as it is.

    Then the 10 gallon I was planning to use to quarantine I think has an okay low light setup, so now I'm tempted to make it another planted tank and find something else for a quarantine tank.

    Oh god why did I get back into fishkeeping. I get one tank set up and I immediately start planning for three more.
     
  10. MOD_Dawn

    MOD_Dawn Active Member

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    If it were me (which is isn't) I'd have both tanks set up.
    Can use 1 for planted community and maybe other to either grow additional plants for the main tank, use as a breeder, or use for some other types of fish that won't fit into the main.

    And as far as the lighting goes, I'd run seperate lights to them UNLESS you plan on keeping them right next to each other (in that case you could just get away with 1 long light fixture).

    Eh, don't feel bad...I'm the same way! Forever changing my mind/rearranging things...trying to find room for yet another tank when their is no extra space. haha!
     
  11. chickadedede

    chickadedede Thread Starter New Member

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    I hadn't thought of using a single light fixture. Thing is, I have room for either the 20 or the 30. There definately isn't room for both in one spot. I think I'm just going to stick with the 20 for now, I'll wait until I have the money to do a decent setup with the 30 gallon before I start that project.
     
  12. chickadedede

    chickadedede Thread Starter New Member

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    I HATE STEM PLANTS. Is there a way to weigh them down or something? They refuse to stay in the substrate.
     
  13. Anthony

    Anthony Active Member

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    They make plant weights you can attach to them until they root. You can also tie a rock to them with some thread.
     
  14. MOD_Dawn

    MOD_Dawn Active Member

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  15. chickadedede

    chickadedede Thread Starter New Member

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    I didn't to start. There's plenty now. And most of the dust has settled from the flourite, so I'm happy. Keeping those stems is still awful. I'm going to go buy some rocks today, I've never seen the pots before and I'm guessing they don't have them in local stores. No time to buy stuff off the internet. Maybe next time.

    Thanks for the help! It's certainly been a learning experience!
     
  16. chickadedede

    chickadedede Thread Starter New Member

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    I got my strip light today!

    It doesn't work.
     
  17. chickadedede

    chickadedede Thread Starter New Member

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    Good news! It was mostly just the outlet!

    One of the bulbs doesn't work though. Hopefully my plants won't die and it'll probably be easier to send back.
     
  18. chickadedede

    chickadedede Thread Starter New Member

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    I braced myself for the torture of calling customer service. I was put on hold for almost an entire three seconds. It was almost a minute before I was told a replacement part would ship out on Monday.

    Pet Mountain's customer service is pretty awesome.
     
  19. MOD_Dawn

    MOD_Dawn Active Member

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    I agree on their customer service, I ordered a fixture from them and the bulbs were shattered despite being taped in place...they told me to toss the broken bulbs and they sent me an entirely new fixture (all I had to do is put the one that had the broken bulbs into the new ones box. slap a shipping label on it, and call fedex for pickup).

    Plus they are easy to go to when you have a "warranty" issue (my 90g light fixtures built in lunars died in less than 4 months and I knew it had a 1 year mfr warranty)...they gave me the mfr number who told me to go through the distributer where I purchased and they offered to send me either replacement parts or a new fixture.
     
  20. chickadedede

    chickadedede Thread Starter New Member

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    It's the ballast.

    I'd gotten everything aquascaped like I wanted it, actually managed to get the plants to stay down this time, and was trying to assemble the light fixture. I tried the working bulb in the other slot and...nothing. I've got my old crappy lamp running and a desklamp that says it's full spectrum. Any tips on how to not kill my plants until the new setup gets here?