Advice For 20 Gallon Planted Tank?

Discussion in 'Aquarium Plants' started by Fishbro5, Mar 13, 2019.

  1. Fishbro5Valued MemberMember

    Hello everyone! I am setting up a fish tank rack in my room. On that rack will be a 20 long planted tank that I just bought on impulse today:)
    My only concern is that the plants will not grow too well. I will be using Eco Complete substrate and maybe Co2. My issue is the pH and the hardness. My pH sits at about 8.2-3 out of my tap and I think the water is pretty hard but we do use a water softener. I have a ton of questions about the tank also.
    1: Recommended light for the 20 gallon planted tank?
    2: Will plants grow in this pH and hardness and if so what kind?
    3: Should I use Co2? The tank won't be high tech but I really want lush, green plants.
    I have Amazon Swords, Anubis, and Bamboo in a 75 gallon and they get a ton of algae and aren't the green that I like but are getting better after I starting dosing with Flourish. I still want this planted tank to be dedicated to plants. I will be dosing with Flourish Comprehensive and Flourish Excel just in case you guys need to know. Please ask any questions!
  2. bryangarWell Known MemberMember

    I’d be more worried about using a water softener. It uses sodium chloride or salt to soften it, which tends to be bad in planted tanks. BTW, most plants wont care about Ph and harder water would technically be better as it has more minerals for plants to use.

    lighting depends on your budget. And if you have the option for pressurized Co2, then go for it, it helps your plants alot. That being said, you can also have a nice planted tank with out it. Look into a more nutrients rich fert, like Nilocg Thrive or dry ferts might be better for your tank.
  3. Fishbro5Valued MemberMember

    I think I will do pressurized Co2 but will the planted tank not work because of the water softener? Do you have a recommendation for a good light? I have heard a lot of good things about Nilcog Thrive but is it worth the $26?

    I should use Nilcog Thrive not Thrive Plus right? It says that Plus is meant for aquariums with a pH of 7 and below.
  4. bryangarWell Known MemberMember

    I don’t think it’ll work with certain plants, but there are some that are really hardy. ie crypts, anubias and ferns. Is it possible for you to get a reading for GH and KH?

    For light, probably something like the finnex planted+ would be good. I havent tried it myself, but from looking at the nutrient percentage, it’s probably the best out of all that are available. definitely worth it. Yeah, normal Thrive is best.
  5. Fishbro5Valued MemberMember

    I will order a GH and KH tester off Amazon but if it isn't possible to grow a lot of plants should I get a RO machine? The Buddy machine is on Amazon for $60.
  6. toekneeWell Known MemberMember

    Here's a video of my old 20 long for idea's on what you can do without CO2. It's since been turned into a hospital tank for my 55 gallon. In this tank I had a PH of 8.1. A Current USA Satellite Plus LED. Substrate was a mix of regular sand and seachem flourite sand mixed. I used DIY Osmocote plus root tabs, dosed Seachem Excel and used to dose a handful of seachem liquid ferts (I've switched to NilocG all on one fertilizer and would recommend that for your tank as well.) No CO2. I also have pretty hard water. You don't need to mess with RO water or CO2.
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2019
  7. -Mak-Fishlore VIPMember

    You actually want water on the harder side for plants. Hard water (in GH) is usually a result of calcium and magnesium being dissolved, both of which are important macronutrients. The water softener isn't really good for plants or animals, all it does is replace needed hard water ions like calcium and magnesium with sodium or potassium. Potassium is also a macronutrient but sodium isn't, maybe check what yours does specifically.

    Also I recommend you skip the eco complete, it's not very nutrient rich, more like buying porous gravel.