08-31-2010, 08:42 PM
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Originally Posted by TFish
Thanks for the explanation, it helped a lot
. I'll put as much wood as I can in there. I just have three quick questions:
1) How much gravel or sand or whatever should I need?
2) As for stocking, can I switch the ottos with hatchetfish?
3) Can I put some sort of carpet plant along the bottom or do the cories need to be able to reach the substrate?
Depth of substrate depends upon the plants; as this is Amazon-geared, you will want swords (Echinodorus species), and they have extensive root systems. Two inches minimum at the front, with 4 inches at the back. You can slope it front to back, or if you have some flat-like rock (inert, nothing calcareous remember) it is nice to build terraces which keeps the substrate more where you put it (it does shift over time). So for a 20g tall, I would think probably 20-30 pounds. Eco-complete comes in bags, I've seen it in stores but can't remember the weight, but one of the "larger" bags would suffice.
Yes on the hatchets, a good idea. Otos if needed can be added later, but there are several neat fish that will eat algae the same as otos, like Farlowella, whiptails, so that's something for later consideration.
My 90g flooded Amazon forest tank is the most plant-thick tank I have, and I try to keep some open substrate along parts of the front for feeding corys and other bottom fish. I'm not much on "carpet" plants, but I have the pygmy chain sword in the 90g and it is ideal. It would do well in your 20g. Check the profile for info, or have a look at photos of my tank under my "Aquariums".