Getting Back Into the Hobby, Few Questions

Discussion in 'Aquarium Plants' started by DTurner, Jul 7, 2015.

  1. DTurnerValued MemberMember

    Hey All,

    So I have not had a tank set up for about 3 or so years. Previously I had been introduced to plants in the tank and I did have a few but nothing too crazy.

    The Mrs has let me set up a tank again and I wanted your guy's input on if this is a decent idea for what I have.

    So to start off its a 20 Gallon High Tank, so its not a ton of space to work with but plenty to start in the small apartment we have. I am planning on doing a 3 layer Substrate, Organic Soil, Red Florite, then Cap it with Black Sand.

    I already had a T5 light fixture and just got new 6500k Bulbs for it. But my main question on lighting is should I only run 2 of the T5 lights or should I use all 4. I don't want to over do it on the light but I am going to try my hand at Dwarf Baby Tears, more on plants later.

    I have a Fluval 106 External Filter. I figured that would be fine expecially with plants and other clean-up crews.

    So I did some research and figured on the following plants to start with in the tank. I know some like the Dwarf Baby Tears may fail just because they are a very difficult plant from what I heard, but if it works I think I like the idea of the following:
    Dwarf Baby Tears, Dwarf Hairgrass, Cabomba, Ludwigia, Red Melon Sword and Amazon Sword.

    I plan on having about a 2 to 2.5" substrate in the back for the swords, but I read that potentially the Melon may get too big, however I figured I could trim it.

    I do plan on dosing with the Seachem products and I am considering a pressurized CO2 System.

    With all that said, what do you guys think? Should I just do 2 T5 Bulbs or all 4 in the Fixture, (I know DBT need lots of light to carpet). Also does that plant mix sound sufficient or even plausible?

  2. Dom90Fishlore VIPMember

    Do you have fish in there now? Is your tank cycled?

  3. DTurnerValued MemberMember

    Hey, I have not even set it up. I am getting some of the substrates still. I plan on having a few Nerite Snails, MTS, Red Cherry Shrimp for the clean up crews and most likely a school of 10 to 15 Neon Tetra's. Not sure if that is too much for a 20 Gallon tank though.

  4. Dom90Fishlore VIPMember

    Yes that may be a bit too much with all those neon tetras. Another word of caution is that MTS breed like rabbits so be prepared for that! I have also heard of nerite snails escaping. What substrate do you plan to use?

    Oh forgot, welcome to Fishlore!

  5. DTurnerValued MemberMember

    Thanks for the welcome. I am planning on using a Organic Soil dirt base, then some red clay based flourite, capped with Black Sand
  6. Dom90Fishlore VIPMember

    I'm not much versed with aquatic plants although I do have some growing in my 75. Personally, I just like the all-in-one complete substrates like CaribSea Eco-Complete Planted.
  7. DTurnerValued MemberMember

    I was looking into something like eco-complete. But I did some research and some people are saying dirt is by far the best if done right. So I figured I would try my hand at that.

    When it comes to snails escaping I have a glass cover which should help deter it but who knows. I also heard shrimp like to get out as well.

    The mts I'm not horribly worried about reproducing because I consider them like worms in a normal garden. All that said this is going to be quite the trial by fire. I looked at all the plants and saw they all like similar pH, KH, light and temp. So I'm hoping I can get it stable enough.
  8. Dom90Fishlore VIPMember

    There are many people who are experienced on this forum who could help with your planting endeavors.
  9. Bijou88Well Known MemberMember

    If you have mts your substrate won't stay separated in layers for very long, the snails will mix all three together with their burrowing.

    If you want any of your plants to carpet I believe you will need to have a co2 system.

    Zebra and tiger nerites sometimes try to escape if there's even the tiniest gap, they don't so much if your water quality is good, though mine like to go above water to sleep so you might consider leaving an inch or so if open space at the top.

    Welcome to fishlore! :)

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G900A using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum mobile app
  10. DTurnerValued MemberMember

    Hey thanks for the advice. Probably will stay away from the mts in that case. I do plan on doing a pressurized co2 system and a small powerhead to get better circulation in the water. Can't wait to get the rest of the parts to start this up.

    My fiance isn't the most excited but I'm sure once she sees what it looks like she will come around.

    In terms of a pressurized co2 system any recommendations of how much I would need. I do plan on dosing flourish excel daily to help.
  11. PlecomakerWell Known MemberMember

    I have mts with dirt and a sand cap, the mts neverl eave the sand.
    just my experience
  12. DTurnerValued MemberMember

    Plecomaker, how deep is your sand cap? I was planning on a slope of 1/2 to 1.5 inches of dirt, 1/2 inch of red flourite, and 1/2 inch of sand cap.
  13. PlecomakerWell Known MemberMember

    Sand is about an inch even
    plants with short rootsdont cut it though.
  14. DTurnerValued MemberMember

    Okay, I'm planning on doing a crescent moon kind of, so not so deep and fingers crossed, a carpet of dwarf baby tears in the front. then the left and right will have the melon swords which will be a slightly higher mound and the center will be the amazon sword. i don't know if that is explained well but thats my thoughts right now for the main focal plants
  15. PlecomakerWell Known MemberMember

    Sounds right, mine has an ozelot, which is type of sword.
  16. DTurnerValued MemberMember

    I'm going to be putting everything together next week I hope. The sand should come in early next week and once I get the sand I'll order my plants. So when I have everything set up I'll be sure to post and show everyone.

    just need a few more items like a drop checker and I think that is it.

    One last question. How soon should I put the Shrimp and Snails in the Aquarium after I set it up. I was assuming I should let it cycle the same as I would with Fish.
  17. Bijou88Well Known MemberMember

    Inverts are sensitive to poor water conditions so after the cycle is completed is best.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G900A using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum mobile app
  18. leftswerveWell Known MemberMember

    Can you stagger the lights? 2 for most of the time, but all 4 for high noon?
  19. DTurnerValued MemberMember

    Thanks for that info Bijou88, I'll be sure to wait out the inverts.

    I could potentially stagger the lights, it would just require me to get a 3rd timer. So the fixture has 4 T5's and each Pair of 2 are on its own chord. I am going to have to get 2 timers as is, one for the CO2 and the other for the Lights, but I suppose i can try and find 3 small singular timers.

    If I can I'll place the front 2, directly over the Dwarf Baby Tears, on for 9 hours a day, and the back 2 on only for 4 hours a day.

    I also saw that running CO2 is best from 1 hour lights go on and 1 hour before lights go off, so that will have to be on a seperate timer itself.
  20. PlecomakerWell Known MemberMember

    Id agree that shrimp could be sensitive, mts though, meh.

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice