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Getting back into Aquariums, planning 20G

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Getting back into Aquariums, planning 20G
Old 04-01-2014, 04:08 PM   #11
 
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I just bought a pack of 6500k CFL bulbs from the lighting section in Lowes. You'll have to really look around for prices though, as they vary store to store-brand to brand.

I forgot to ask, do you have a testing kit, preferably the API Liquid Master Test Kit?

Glad you really like the blasting sand!! It's super pretty (reminds me of Tahitian Moon Sand, but a fraction of the cost!)
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Old 04-01-2014, 04:34 PM   #12
 
Fighters aren't expected 3-5 years anymore? What is their new projected lifespan?
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Old 04-01-2014, 04:55 PM   #13
 
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Due to the amount of 'line breeding' that has gone on with Guppies they are not as hardy as they used to be. They certainly are not hard to keep but 'defective' specimens are not particularly uncommon. You could look at something like Endlers or even wild Guppies if you are not happy with the 'regular' Guppies.
I'm still on the fence, I like the look of platies more IMHO. At first I really wanted guppies, but after researching all the types and colors of platies, I want them. I can still be swayed by what I learn here and other googling.

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As far as replacing the bulbs, Walmart sells 6500k cfls specifically for plants in their fish section for $5 a piece. That's what I have in my 10g.
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I just bought a pack of 6500k CFL bulbs from the lighting section in Lowes. You'll have to really look around for prices though, as they vary store to store-brand to brand.
The bulbs will add about $10-15 to my budget, but I am perfectly happy to do that to make my take able to support plant life much more effectively.

My new dilemma, the petsmart topfin 20G kit I was looking at online, now has LED lighting in the store. So I have since changed the tank I plan to buy. It seems its actually getting hard to find tanks with Incandescent bulb slots, I get the push for Led or fluorescent, but why can't they just include some CFLs in the box if thats the issue.

I am now planning on purchasing this tank: Grreat Choice® Aquarium Starter Kit | Aquariums | PetSmart
The 20G version is $59.99 (not even listed online)





This tank has a nice incandescent hood

Grreat Choice® Internal Aquarium Power Filter | Filters | PetSmart
The filter may be the bad part, but it does have a "bio grid" and I managed to fit a bag of fluval biomax in the space where the grid goes (The employee was wondering what the heck I was up to), and I will likely never replace the cartridge media, it looks like I can easily cut the top open and just replace the carbon only as needed. The filter is rated for 90GPH, not sure if that is enough for my 20G. I still like how much better a tank looks without a HOB on the back, I like the self contained tank with internal filters. If the filter ends up being too little for the tank, I may eventually pick up a 2nd identical filter and put one in each corner, as I add more fish. (I plan to very lightly stock the tank for a decent amount of time at first; even beyond cycling time.)

Edit: I will also have plenty of aeration with my decorative air stones too, I have like 5 air pumps from previous tanks, so I will likely have fun with a few of them. This should help keep the water in the tank moving and aerated even if the filter is a tad under powered.

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I forgot to ask, do you have a testing kit, preferably the API Liquid Master Test Kit?
I do have that exact kit, however its super old... (like from 2002 ish) (its the kit my mom used on my tank when I was young)

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Glad you really like the blasting sand!! It's super pretty (reminds me of Tahitian Moon Sand, but a fraction of the cost!)
Yeah, I'm excited to do sand (at that price! I assume 1x 50lb bag is enough for a 20G tank) But now I have questions about the sand. Do I still use a gravel vacuum on it? or will that suck up all the sand? And since I will have plants, do I even use a vacuum any more, due to the roots of the plants in the way? (I've always cleaned the gravel on my tanks out of habit, the idea of not doing it to me is weird.)

Thanks again for all the input everyone!

Last edited by doubleatheman; 04-01-2014 at 05:15 PM..
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Old 04-01-2014, 05:17 PM   #14
 
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For a black background I used two black poster boards from the dollar store and tapes them to the back. $2.00. Works for my 75g, and have worked for several years. Not sure how it compares to black paint but it looks good in my opinion and I'm picky.

(My 75g is a couple months old but on my 50g the black poster covered the top and bottom trims so they were large enough to simply transfer to my new 75g tank. Awesome.)
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Old 04-01-2014, 05:19 PM   #15
 
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For a black background I used two black poster boards from the dollar store and tapes them to the back. $2.00. Works for my 75g, and have worked for several years. Not sure how it compares to black paint but it looks good in my opinion and I'm picky.

(My 75g is a couple months old but on my 50g the black poster covered the top and bottom trims so they were large enough to simply transfer to my new 75g tank. Awesome.)
Thought about this as I was driving home today, I hatched the Idea as I drove past the $0.99 store, and thought hey a nice black poster will do. Yeah its not water proof, but I'm not sure I want to permanently paint the tank black, and if I want to sell the tank on craigslist down the road (when I upgrade to my 29 gallon or 55 gallon j/k )
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Old 04-01-2014, 05:25 PM   #16
 
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Yea you should see what they have! I think they had them when I went because I was back to school time so not sure if it's something that's always around. Mine have not gotten wet. But there's really no reason water should be spilling behind your tank. All my accidents during water changes (and I've had plenty...) and such happen in the front.
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Old 04-01-2014, 05:30 PM   #17
 
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Yea you should see what they have! I think they had them when I went because I was back to school time so not sure if it's something that's always around. Mine have not gotten wet. But there's really no reason water should be spilling behind your tank. All my accidents during water changes (and I've had plenty...) and such happen in the front.
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I know my $0.99 store always has posters in all colors.

And as far as water goes in the back, I guess I tend to overfill and water likes to seep out near the air line hoses in my old small tanks. Probably not going to be an issue in this 20G.
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Old 04-02-2014, 12:44 AM   #18
 
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I plan to buy quite a few plants from the get go with this tank, I want it to be a fully planted tank. I will likely use the classifieds here or buy an assortment for sale on aquabid.

I want my plants to be healthy and successful, but I dont want to harm my fish by over correcting the tank to foster plants. Some points below concern me.

So after reading the beginners guide here to planted aquariums I learned a few things,

* Apparently adding an air stone is bad for plants, as is too much water movement and filtration, So I guess I will forgo the air pump on this tank? Air pumps add too much oxygen, and remove Co2?

* Chemical filtration is bad for plants? Too much biological is bad? I will stick to the single sightly under powered filter that comes with the grreat choice tank? I will just shove some sponge or other media into the internal filter and call it good?

* Don't vacuum the gravel, and make sure the gravel is not too deep, don't crush the roots.

* I plan to use a mixture of plant tabs and plant ferts in the water, just whatever petsmart has (unless someone highly recommends something else.)

I feel like not having an air stone, keeping the underpowered filter, and not using chemical filtration will harm my fish... But supposedly the natural filtration from the plants will make up for that and end up being better for the fish?

I'm mostly thinking out loud, as my entire way of thinking and care for a fish seems so old school when it comes to planted tanks.
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Old 04-02-2014, 02:55 AM   #19
 
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Fighters aren't expected 3-5 years anymore? What is their new projected lifespan?
That is their expected lifespan now, go back a few years and a fighter was expected to live 7 years on average. Unfortunately those flowing fins come at a price
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Old 04-02-2014, 09:01 AM   #20
 
As far as your tank, I want to mention that if you have the room, the long version of the 20 gallon will much better suit your intended stock. a 20 high has almost the same footprint as a 10 gallon. Platies or guppies will enjoy the extra horizontal space, as will your betta. You could also look into some cories with a 20L. (:

Oh, and the API test kits expire after 3 years, it's time for a new one. (;
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