Planning First Planted Aquarium With Nano Fish

Discussion in 'Freshwater Aquarium Builds' started by SherryLynn82, Apr 23, 2017.

  1. SherryLynn82New MemberMember

    I have been keeping fish for a little over 4 years, and my partner has been keeping them for about 20 years. He has done planted tanks before, but he usually keeps decent sized fish (currently discus and angels with some lemon tetras in our 55, and he is putting up a 90 to keep a breeding pair of Green Terrors), so he hasn't done a smaller planted tank in at least ten years. I want to go in a different direction with my next tank. I want to setup my first planted tank, and keep some nano fish, something like Kubotai rasboras, chili or dwarf rasboras, or Endlers, and I would really like some Corydoras Habrosus. We have several tanks laying around, and I think I would like to do this in a 20 gallon. As I have so little experience with planted tanks, or with nano fish, I am not sure which size would be best. We have 20 longs and 20 talls, so neither would be a problem. My plan is to keep it low-tech to start. I am leaning towards some Java ferns, some Anubias, and maybe Crypts, depending on what my LFS has when I get it setup. We have lights for both sizes, I just need to get new bulbs for the plants. So, my questions:

    Which size (20 tall or 20 long) would be better for a low tech tank, and especially for nano fish?

    Any stocking suggestions between the types of fish that I am interested in?

    Any suggestions for what bulbs to use?

    What would be my best substrate, keeping in mind that I want low tech and corys?
  2. SherryLynn82New MemberMember

    Oh, one more question! Again, having not kept nano fish before, what would be my best filtration option? We have sponge filters and air pumps of all sizes, a canister that we used on our 20 long Kribensis tank, a couple of different sizes of Aqueon Quietflow (20 and 30) hang on backs, and a couple of different sizes of Marineland Penguins (100 and 200), or, if need be, I can get whatever I need. What would be the best for the tiny fish?
  3. -Mak-Fishlore VIPMember

    I think in pretty much all cases a 20 gallon long is better, because it gives you more space to plant, more swimming space for fish, and more light that reaches the substrate.

    If you go with any of the micro rasbora species, you'll need a good amount of them for them to be decently visible. You could probably have 40 of them in a 20 gallon long.

    With endlers maybe about 15-20? Only males if you don't want fry.

    You can have a school of 6+ corys, more depending on what other fish you choose.

    CFLs that are 6500K are cheap and easy to get, not the prettiest though. You can get nice (and expensive) plant LEDs online.

    Low tech and corys means sand, or smaller granules of plant substrate is a good choice.
  4. SherryLynn82New MemberMember

    What plant substrate has the smaller granules, or granules that will not be too sharp for the corys barbels? I have kept and bred corydoras aeneus before in my 20 long in my classroom, but it was not planted, and all of my aquariums have sand substrate. I had just read that it wasn't very good to have plain sand in a planted aquarium.
  5. -Mak-Fishlore VIPMember

    Sand is fine if you have root tabs and good liquid ferts, but plant substrate is of course even better, though not necessary. Fluval shrimp stratum, ADA amazonia, UP aqua sand, and Contrasoil, though all quite pricey, will work well.
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2017
  6. BottomDwellerFishlore VIPMember

    20 Long would be best, both for planting and fish.

    For stocking how about these ideas
    12 chili or dwarf rasboras
    3 male Endlers
    8 Corydoras Habrosus.
    8 Amano shrimp
    1 Nerite snail

    Or an idea with other nano fish
    12 Celestial pearl danios
    1 Peacock goby
    1 male guppy or platy
    3 Asian stone catfish
    8 Amano shrimp
    1 Nerite snail

    For substrate I would just use sand with root tabs and fertilizers
  7. SherryLynn82New MemberMember

    I like the first stocking idea, except for the shrimp. I am very attached to the Corys. I haven't had them since I broke down my tank at school and gave mine to another teacher, and I miss having them around. I have never been a huge fan of shrimp, but we do have nerites in a couple of our tanks now, so that might be a good idea for algae.

    Has anyone kept Kubotai, chilis, dwarf rasboras, Endlers, or Habrosus together?

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