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Beginner with 20G planted tank
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Joined: 04 Mar 2004
Location: Gilbert, AZ

PostPosted: 2004.03.04(Thu)17:04    Post subject: Beginner with 20G planted tank Reply with quote

Hello, I am new to these forums, as well as aquariums. I was directed here from the petflytrap forums. I have a 20 gallon long tank that I am planning on useing for my first aquarium. I have been reading a lot about aquariums the past days, and still have a few questions.

I decided to put this in the plant section, because I am planning on starting off with just plants. Good idea or bad? I am thinking of starting off with some java fern/moss and cryps. The other question I have is what substrates should I use, and also, what about layering? I sorta wanted to go for a tropical look. After that I plan on cycling the system, with or without fish (I don't know yet). Also, I don't know if it is appropriate here, but what type of fish are good for a 20 gal long?

one more thing, what does brackish mean? (something with salanity?)
Many thanks,
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Joined: 01 Mar 2004
Location: Southeast

PostPosted: 2004.03.05(Fri)9:37    Post subject: Reply with quote

Java moss and ferns are great. Really hard to kill. If you hurt them they will grow back as long as their rhizome (thick root-like thing) isn't soft and mushy. I found two ways to get them going. I tie them down to driftwood with black thread. After a couple months the little adventitious roots will "cling" to the wood and the string will eventually dissolve...or you can wait to cut them off. The other way is to tie them to a small rock and bury the rock so that the rhizome is ABOVE the gravel. This is really important since the Jfern gets its nutrients directly from the water. If you bury them, they will melt.

A 20 long is what I actually started out with a long time ago. I had some basic tetras...about 10-15 neons and cardinals. Some clown loaches, and congo tetras. A bit overstocked, but I had plenty of plants and a great filter to keep things going. I bought all of the fish when they were pretty small and kept them around until they got really big and old (over 2 1/2 years).

As far as adding substrates. I haven't tried that yet. The majority of my plants are Java fern, various Anubias (similar to Java) and a few swords. I've noticed that as long as you have good lighting and can rig up a DIY CO2 system, the plants will do just fine without added substrate. I'll add a bit of iron enriched fertilizer with every water change.

Good luck and welcome.
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Joined: 04 Mar 2004
Location: Gilbert, AZ

PostPosted: 2004.03.05(Fri)11:05    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks! I was hoping not to have to deal with subtrates. About the drift wood, what kind of wood should I use? Does it have to be untreated or anything? I read somewhere about how wood leaches tannis into the water, and turns it brownish, but in some cases, it can also be benifitial to the fish. So how much tannis is too much?
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Joined: 27 Feb 2003
Location: Buffalo, NY

PostPosted: 2004.03.05(Fri)11:56    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are a number of different suitable substartes out there. Flourite, Eco-Complete, Laterite, etc. If you read through the old posting in there area I believe each are discussed. Assuming you just going to stay with the plants you have it's not going to be a big concern. Because you are just starting out I would be suprised if you didn't go out or want to get other plants eventually/quickly. So, choosing a substrate now would be a good idea. There is a section for plants in the Articles. It starts with "Your First Planted Tank." by Marcos. There is some good information in there.

Driftwood. To start off with you may just want to get some from other hobbists or from the store.

Tannis: It's an acid which your correct that is leeched into the water. Different wood leeches different amounts at different rates. If you don't mind the color the only thing you have to watch out for is your pH. Just monitor that and keep up on your waters changes and it shouldn't be a problem.
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