20gal Long Planted Tank Progress

  • #1
This 20gal has been through a lot, it was used as a rodent cage before it was picked up at a yard sale, then it was a "planted tank", then a goldfish tank, a fry tank, and now it will be a true planted aquarium for my girls that are in need of an upgrade.

I kept my male plakat in there for while with mystery snails and a little pleco. Then all that was changed yesterday when I dirted the tank and capped it with sand.

Before: super low light, had a 17watt florescent tube light. The glass pie pans and fish bowl were test planters for micro swords, dwarf baby tears, ludwigia and rotala


Now: I pilled some cryt wendtiI runners from the 10gal sorority and threw them in this tank. Also switched to an LED beams-work light that may or may not be the best so we'll see. I don't mind running both the LED and the florescent light at the same time.


I use a styrofoam bowl to keep the duckweed from getting sucked up the filter.


Top view:


Baby tears, hoping to see some decent growth from these.


I won't add the girls and bottom feeders in yet. I'm waiting to see if there is an ammonia spike from adding all the soil. I have an established filter going so hopefully it will take care of things.
  • #2
Nice! Curious to see how it will develop!
  • #3
Subbing! Excited to see its growth!
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  • #4
The ammonia spike that I have been expecting for the past week hasn't occurred nor has any nitrite or nitrates been picked up by the API master test kit. This seems odd to me but I went ahead and moved the 4 females, little pleco and mystery snails into it. I'll be keeping a close eye on the levels over the nest couple of weeks. The plakat is now in the girls' planted 10gal. Of course he won't hold still, but here's the whole 10gal.


He holds still when distracted by my finger though.

I added in the pothos that was in it before the change and also tossed in a few marimo. The lighting needed a bit of adjusting as only the duckweed directly beneath was getting any light. I improvised with a cardboard toilet paper role under one end up the light.



Apparently the girls need to reestablish the pecking order. The lowest ranking girls was flaring at the second in command and the queen was chasing the youngest girl, a metallic black CT. I'll see about getting pictures of each them nest time. I plan on getting another trio of girls pretty soon, hopefully I come across some koi or marbled girls, I love seeing their colors change
Jocelyn Adelman
  • #5
Don't have a sorority myself, but from what I've seen it's all about hiding spaces. The ten is beautiful, btw, and well planted. Any chance you could move a larger crypt into this one? (Also don't have a dirted tank, not sure if it's possible to add now without a huge mess?
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  • #6
I dare not try up rooting one of the larger parent plants in the 10gal. When the original 10gal leaked and I had to tear it apart the roots on the 3 original plants were insanely long, like over a 12 inches and very branchy. I would probably end up getting a ton of dirt in the water column so I'm not even going to try it. I could buy new plants and plant them with little to no mess but I think I'll just let these plants grow out instead.

Given a few months in the 20gal the little crypts should be well on their way to becoming good cover like in the 10gal.
  • #7
Looking good! Wise to not try to uproot anything! I just re-scaped my 20 long planted dirted/sand capped tank yesterday.....it was a nightmare. Trying to remove well established carpets of s.repens and dwarf sag plus deep rooted swords jungle val etc....it took 6 hours of uprooting, gravel vacuuming, replanting, gravel vacing again, then more gravel vacuuming and finally adding a little more sand back in. 24 hours later things are back to normal and I will never re scape this tank ever again. I may never do a dirted tank again...the plant growth results are amazing but can potentially be such a big headache.
  • #8
Looking good. Doing something similar myself. Put a sponge over your filter tube and you won't suck up any duckweed.
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  • #9
A few of these photos have been posted on other thread (I like to share ) but I got 4 new bettas, 2 mature females, and 2 maybe females (baby bettas). I bought 3 at petco and 1 at petsmart on Monday. I also added a few new plants about a week ago (wistera, hygro (?) and a new crypt). I also took out the pothos, the leaves wouldn't stay above the water line so I decided to just pot them.

Note that this picture is not completely up to date, I can't take a picture w/o having the breeder baskets with the 2 baby bettas in the way. This was a few days before I got the new bettas.

First baby betta, labeled as a "baby boy" but I see and egg spot and short pelvic fins. An obvious double tail, couldn't pass it up for only $2.99. I've noticed that a lot of DT bettas have a weird little bump just before their dorsal fin starts, I'm assuming it is just the DT genetics, this little one has a tiny bump as well. My male double tailed plakat does not have the bump, but his tail isn't nearly as split at this ones.

DT in cup.JPG
Second is a HM, she's from petsmart, the only female that caught my eye. For some reasons she must be feeling very broody, she has breeding stripes on and off throughout the day and she's even trying to pick fights with the older girls. I need to get a better pic of her, her fins are a soft red, very nice looking.

HM in cup.JPG

Third is the only koi that was at petco, lucky for me it's a girl. About $12 for her, totally worth it. She's big, the same size as my older girls and she's very laid back. Has yet to pick any fights.

koi 5-8-17.JPG
Lastly my favorite, and possibly a male. I doubt it's a VT, probably a HM (maybe dumbo too). I can't really see an egg spot, but I think there's still time before I know for sure male or female. Very cute, very cheap, also $2.99. I think I bought all the only baby betta's that weren't the average CT or VT.

white top 5-8-17.JPG

So far there hasn't been much flaring, body slamming, or nipped fins. I think the HM went after the CT and nipped her analfin a bit, but other than that it seems to be going well. I don't know if I want the white one to be a male or female. If it's a male that means I have to spit one of my other male's 10gal tanks or set up another tank. But that also means I get to see some awesome fin and color development from it. Any guesses in gender based on the video?
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  • #10
All is well, I released the 2 baby bettas the other day and they are getting along well with the adults. I think its about time to skI'm off some more duckweed...

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  • #11
All is not well, I walked into the room to turn on the lights and noticed the towel was wet on the right side. I checked the filter and looked for any water trails, no luck The tanks seems to be leaking from the bottom so I went hopped to it and tore the entire tank apart. Took the fish out, drained it all, ripped up the plants (so not happy about that) then scraped off as much of the sand as I could. Now the tank is sitting in the kitchen with a towel under it to see where it's leaking.

I threw the cory doras into my sister's newly dirted and planted 36 bowfront and then put the other fish and plants in a big tote. I asked around for a spare tank and luckily a coworker has a too-big tank that was given to her by one of our regular customers. It s a little taller than the 20 long, but its the same length and maybe half an inch short on the width. I'll get it today when I get to work and then I can start on it tomorrow. I'm told it's pretty dirty.

Starting to wonder if the dirted tanks are more likely to leak due to the smaller sediment getting between the seal. This is the second tank to leak on me, both being dirted.
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  • #12
I scrubbed down the tank and set it all up, not liking how much taller it is. The light doesn't seem to reach the plants very well, but the water is still pretty cloudy so I guess we'll see how it does.


Fish and plants waiting for the move


All set up, haven't added much of the duckweed back in yet. It's actually a lot less cloudy right now, but I'm too lazy to get another picture.


On the plus side, now the taller plants will have plenty of room to grow.
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  • #13

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  • #14
The plants are slowly filling in now. I had to battle a minor case of ich a couple weeks ago but I think things are under control now.



Five 97
  • #15
Looks great!

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