Planning for a 20 long!

Hugooo

Member
Hi all! I am planning on getting a new tank soon (well, not too soon, in about a month or so), and I want some help on where to begin. Even though I've (officially) been on FishLore and the hobby for over a year, I am still very new, as I have not had much experience with live plants, and no experience with bio-media, ferts, root tabs, fish other than livebearers and bettas, etc. I want to know the most important components to starting a new fish tank. I know this sounds silly, but I just want to sort of be steered in the right direction. My tank is still in the very early stage of actually being tank; 100% of everything—including fish, plants, ferts, substrate, filter, etc.—is still in my mind, except the aquarium itself.

Some fish I have in mind are otos, shell dwellers, ember tetras, cardinal tetras, rams, chili rasboras, CPDs, apistos, cherry barbs, gouramis, etc! I got these fish from my thread I made back in March asking about stocking ideas. Feel free to start it back up if you want! As you see, my list is all over the place. Schooling, shoaling, and singular(?) fish are all okay. My criteria are that the fish are somewhat small (2-3 inches or less), have easy to moderate care, are somewhat easy to access, and are not expensive. I'm still in middle school, so my funding is tight. My parents would be paying for some of it, but I would be paying for most of it. So basically, I need ideas for fish.

Then there are plants. I want it to be moderately planted. The plants need to be somewhat easy to access, not expensive, not require CO2, not require an expensive substrate, have easy to moderate care, and not require expensive lighting. Ferts are okay, but again, as long as they're not expensive. I don't have any experience with plants other than hornwort and moss balls, so I'm definitely a big newbie with plants. So just give me suggestions for plants that meet those requirements and where I can access them! And substrate. Of course, it needs to be suitable for growing plants. Pretty much any substrate will work for me, as long as it's not expensive, not hard to access, and doesn't leak ammonia. Tannins are okay. Same goes for filters. Oh and btw, I need suggestions for bio-media, as I now know cartridges are not the best. I also need suggestions for lights, ferts, and food. Same criteria for them. :p

Sorry for this long and probably confusing thread. I hope you understand it... if not, please be sure to ask any questions you may have!! I will gladly answer them!

TL;DR - I am in the process of setting up a new aquarium: a 20 gallon long. I am still a beginner in all aspects of fishkeeping. It can be your stocking, suggestions, good aquarium supplies, or even a one sentence tip. Anything will work. I am essentially looking for:
- Fish
- Ferts
- Filters
- Plants
- Fish food
- Substrate
- Good materials for plants
- And any other tips you may have!

Thank you in advance!
 

Broggy

Member
I would say go with a cheap substrate, and then get more plants that are not heavy root feeders, such as, hornwort, guppy grass, hygrophillia dimorphis ( which can usually be found at petsmart for about $5 ) java fern, anubias etc. non root feeder plants would enjoy seachem flourish phosphorus, which is around 6 to 10 dollars for a 250ml bottle. or, if you would like to spend more on a high nutrient plant substrate, it opens you up to a lot more plants

I am a big fan of marineland 75 and 100 filters, they are quite cheap and worth it.
 

Mandy627

Member
If you want a planted tank, or any control over your tank I wouldn't get cichlids. Lol... I would make sure you have a proper balance of fast and slow growing plants. This will help stabilize amount of nutrient usage and will help curb algea breakouts. (Having all anubias will usually end in algea bloom if you're dosing since they are so slow. Dont overdo nutrients or let people trick you into thinking you need special stuff. I use aquarium co-OP on youtube for help too.
 

Noroomforshoe

Member
It is a 5 gallon tank, not ideal to those small schooling fish especially not if its your first tank. I recomend you get a betta, maybe some shrimp and snails as well. You still have plenty of options to go with, so dont be discouraged.
 
  • Thread Starter

Hugooo

Member
Noroomforshoe said:
It is a 5 gallon tank, not ideal to those small schooling fish especially not if its your first tank. I recomend you get a betta, maybe some shrimp and snails as well. You still have plenty of options to go with, so dont be discouraged.
Oh no! I'm so sorry that I didn't make it clear! I meant 20L as in a 20 (gallon) long! Haha! :oops:

Edit: I made sure to change the title so no one else would get confused.
 

AcornTheBetta

Member
Following!
 

jkkgron2

Member
I would get the hygger full spectrum light. It’s about the same price as Nicrew but from what I’ve heard (and from personal experience) it grows plants better. Plus, it has a timer. ThriveC would be a good fert. Water wisteria, crypts, Java ferns, and anubias would all be good plant options :)
 

FishBoy101

Member
jkkgron2 said:
I would get the hygger full spectrum light. It’s about the same price as Nicrew but from what I’ve heard (and from personal experience) it grows plants better. Plus, it has a timer. ThriveC would be a good fert. Water wisteria, crypts, Java ferns, and anubias would all be good plant options :)
I agree, hygger is an amazing light.
Hugooo said:
Hi all! I am planning on getting a new tank soon (well, not too soon, in about a month or so), and I want some help on where to begin. Even though I've (officially) been on FishLore and the hobby for over a year, I am still very new, as I have not had much experience with live plants, and no experience with bio-media, ferts, root tabs, fish other than livebearers and bettas, etc. I want to know the most important components to starting a new fish tank. I know this sounds silly, but I just want to sort of be steered in the right direction. My tank is still in the very early stage of actually being tank; 100% of everything—including fish, plants, ferts, substrate, filter, etc.—is still in my mind, except the aquarium itself.

Some fish I have in mind are otos, shell dwellers, ember tetras, cardinal tetras, rams, chili rasboras, CPDs, apistos, cherry barbs, gouramis, etc! I got these fish from my thread I made back in March asking about stocking ideas. Feel free to start it back up if you want! As you see, my list is all over the place. Schooling, shoaling, and singular(?) fish are all okay. My criteria are that the fish are somewhat small (2-3 inches or less), have easy to moderate care, are somewhat easy to access, and are not expensive. I'm still in middle school, so my funding is tight. My parents would be paying for some of it, but I would be paying for most of it. So basically, I need ideas for fish.

Then there are plants. I want it to be moderately planted. The plants need to be somewhat easy to access, not expensive, not require CO2, not require an expensive substrate, have easy to moderate care, and not require expensive lighting. Ferts are okay, but again, as long as they're not expensive. I don't have any experience with plants other than hornwort and moss balls, so I'm definitely a big newbie with plants. So just give me suggestions for plants that meet those requirements and where I can access them! And substrate. Of course, it needs to be suitable for growing plants. Pretty much any substrate will work for me, as long as it's not expensive, not hard to access, and doesn't leak ammonia. Tannins are okay. Same goes for filters. Oh and btw, I need suggestions for bio-media, as I now know cartridges are not the best. I also need suggestions for lights, ferts, and food. Same criteria for them. :p

Sorry for this long and probably confusing thread. I hope you understand it... if not, please be sure to ask any questions you may have!! I will gladly answer them!

TL;DR - I am in the process of setting up a new aquarium: a 20 gallon long. I am still a beginner in all aspects of fishkeeping. It can be your stocking, suggestions, good aquarium supplies, or even a one sentence tip. Anything will work. I am essentially looking for:
- Fish
- Ferts
- Filters
- Plants
- Fish food
- Substrate
- Good materials for plants
- And any other tips you may have!

Thank you in advance!
Food substrate, you can use play sand and wash it, then use it in the tank.
For fish, any ideas?
 
  • Thread Starter

Hugooo

Member
Thank you everyone for the responses! So far so good!

jkkgron2 said:
I would get the hygger full spectrum light. It’s about the same price as Nicrew but from what I’ve heard (and from personal experience) it grows plants better. Plus, it has a timer. ThriveC would be a good fert. Water wisteria, crypts, Java ferns, and anubias would all be good plant options :)
I looked into it on Amazon. Would the 9W (12-18 inch) be a good size for my tank? Also, would those plants you mentioned do well in sand, specifically Black Diamond Blasting Sand (BDBS)? I really like the look of it, and I think it would really make the fish and plants pop. I can also buy root tabs if necessary. Do you have a good brand you would recommend?
FishBoy101 said:
I agree, hygger is an amazing light.

Food substrate, you can use play sand and wash it, then use it in the tank.
For fish, any ideas?
Please see my questions for jkkgron2 above :D
I already put a list of fish I think I'd like in the OP, but I'll insert it again :)

"Some fish I have in mind are otos, shell dwellers, ember tetras, cardinal tetras, rams, chili rasboras, CPDs, apistos, cherry barbs, gouramis, etc! I got these fish from my thread I made back in March asking about stocking ideas. Feel free to start it back up if you want! As you see, my list is all over the place. Schooling, shoaling, and singular(?) fish are all okay. My criteria are that the fish are somewhat small (2-3 inches or less), have easy to moderate care, are somewhat easy to access, and are not expensive."
 

FishBoy101

Member
Hugooo said:
Thank you everyone for the responses! So far so good!


I looked into it on Amazon. Would the 9W (12-18 inch) be a good size for my tank? Also, would those plants you mentioned do well in sand, specifically Black Diamond Blasting Sand (BDBS)? I really like the look of it, and I think it would really make the fish and plants pop. I can also buy root tabs if necessary. Do you have a good brand you would recommend?

Please see my questions for jkkgron2 above :D
I already put a list of fish I think I'd like in the OP, but I'll insert it again :)

"Some fish I have in mind are otos, shell dwellers, ember tetras, cardinal tetras, rams, chili rasboras, CPDs, apistos, cherry barbs, gouramis, etc! I got these fish from my thread I made back in March asking about stocking ideas. Feel free to start it back up if you want! As you see, my list is all over the place. Schooling, shoaling, and singular(?) fish are all okay. My criteria are that the fish are somewhat small (2-3 inches or less), have easy to moderate care, are somewhat easy to access, and are not expensive."
I would stay away from shell dwellers, I don't have much experience with them :/, I've just heard that they get large? But just my 2 cents. Maybe 18 embers, and a trio and honey gouramis?
 

Fish5234

Member
I'm not sure where you plan to buy your supplies but one tip I found helpful to save some money if you are shopping at Petsmart or Petco is to check the online prices and ensure they match the prices online or at a competitor. I'm that person who asks the cashier to change the price on each item I purchase because I've found the online prices so much cheaper.

While I am just beginning myself, I am using the Super Naturals sand from Petco (online it's about $5 a bag and you'll only need 2 and you'll have a little extra).. it requires minimal cleaning as opposed to some other sands. My plants seems to like it.

Also my favorite fish are cory catfishes and they come in a variety of different types (you'll want to keep the breed similar and not mix and match). In my 20g I have 6 emerald green cory catfishes, 7 bloodfin tetras and one honey gourami to give you a sense of my stocking levels.

I'm not sure what type of decor you are envisioning or if you'll just be going for the plants but I recently purchased dragon stone which comes with several different pieces and I figured once I want to change the design of the tank, I can use the stones I have instead of buying more decor and re arrange them for a different look.

Good luck and have fun planning :)
 

jkkgron2

Member
Hugooo said:
Thank you everyone for the responses! So far so good!


I looked into it on Amazon. Would the 9W (12-18 inch) be a good size for my tank? Also, would those plants you mentioned do well in sand, specifically Black Diamond Blasting Sand (BDBS)? I really like the look of it, and I think it would really make the fish and plants pop. I can also buy root tabs if necessary. Do you have a good brand you would recommend?

Please see my questions for jkkgron2 above :D
I already put a list of fish I think I'd like in the OP, but I'll insert it again :)
Just get the size light that will be able to fit on your tank :). If you want I can show you how BDBS looks with the light! I use it on two of my tanks. Here’s my 10g community with BDBS and a bit of white sand to add some contrast! For me it grows plants great. Been able to grow carpet plants, stem plants, hardy plants, and delicate plants with that light and sand combo. The light is the hygger light at 100% brightness.

Edit: with Java fern and anubias you need to be careful to avoid planting the rhizome. The other plants can be planted in sand.

DA3BA7B4-4A50-4771-93A8-0DFAD20AC074.jpeg
 
  • Thread Starter

Hugooo

Member
jkkgron2 said:
Just get the size light that will be able to fit on your tank :). If you want I can show you how BDBS looks with the light! I use it on two of my tanks. Here’s my 10g community with BDBS and a bit of white sand to add some contrast! For me it grows plants great. Been able to grow carpet plants, stem plants, hardy plants, and delicate plants with that light and sand combo. The light is the hygger light at 100% brightness.

Edit: with Java fern and anubias you need to be careful to avoid planting the rhizome. The other plants can be planted in sand.

DA3BA7B4-4A50-4771-93A8-0DFAD20AC074.jpeg
Thanks for the pic. Your tank is really pretty! Where did you get the BDBS? I do not have a Tractor Supply Co. anywhere near my house lol. I'm assuming you use ThriveC in this tank? What about root tabs?

I was playing around in AqAdvisor a bit, and I found a decent stocking so far. Of course, this can totally be played around with.
8 x Ember Tetra
2 x Honey Gourami
8 x Oto
8 x Chili Rasbora
10 x Cherry shrimp
And stocking level is 78%. What do you think? I like it so far, but it is just s start. I was thinking maybe replace the chilis or embers with neon cardinal tetras, then that way my tank wouldn't be just red and orange fish. :p
 

FishBoy101

Member
Hugooo said:
Thanks for the pic. Your tank is really pretty! Where did you get the BDBS? I do not have a Tractor Supply Co. anywhere near my house lol. I'm assuming you use ThriveC in this tank? What about root tabs?

I was playing around in AqAdvisor a bit, and I found a decent stocking so far. Of course, this can totally be played around with.
8 x Ember Tetra
2 x Honey Gourami
8 x Oto
8 x Chili Rasbora
10 x Cherry shrimp
And stocking level is 78%. What do you think? I like it so far, but it is just s start. I was thinking maybe replace the chilis or embers with neon tetras, then that way my tank wouldn't be just red and orange fish. :p
I'm scared bout neons, they aren't very hardy... But other than that, the otos will destroy all the algae, do you have a plan for them if you run out of algae?
 
  • Thread Starter

Hugooo

Member
FishBoy101 said:
I'm scared bout neons, they aren't very hardy... But other than that, the otos will destroy all the algae, do you have a plan for them if you run out of algae?
Oops, I meant cardinals, not neons. I will do some research on growing algae, but I know there is one method where you grow algae in jars on windowsills and then put them in the aquarium.
 

jkkgron2

Member
Hugooo said:
Thanks for the pic. Your tank is really pretty! Where did you get the BDBS? I do not have a Tractor Supply Co. anywhere near my house lol. I'm assuming you use ThriveC in this tank? What about root tabs?

I was playing around in AqAdvisor a bit, and I found a decent stocking so far. Of course, this can totally be played around with.
8 x Ember Tetra
2 x Honey Gourami
8 x Oto
8 x Chili Rasbora
10 x Cherry shrimp
And stocking level is 78%. What do you think? I like it so far, but it is just s start. I was thinking maybe replace the chilis or embers with neon cardinal tetras, then that way my tank wouldn't be just red and orange fish. :p
Add a honey and remove 4 Otos. Other than that I love the stocking! I use Osmocote root tabs :). I’m not sure exactly where to get the sand, I got mine from tractor supply co.
 
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