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Getting back into Aquariums, planning 20G

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Getting back into Aquariums, planning 20G
Old 04-03-2014, 10:29 PM   #21
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doubleatheman View Post
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.




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.



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)



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!

Yup, one 50lb bag will be more than enough! Don't go much deeper than 2 inches :)

You can still use the gravel vaccuum, just don't touch the sand with it. You just wanna hover over it, and the mulm will be sucked up while leaving the sand in place. Nah, roots don't get in the way. Just be bit more careful around plants that haven't rooted firmly in place (like new stem plants or very small plants).
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Old 04-03-2014, 10:37 PM   #22
 
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Originally Posted by doubleatheman View Post
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.
The debate on airstones has raged on for ages. If you like the airstones, keep 'em. I've seen some lovely planted tanks that also use airstones and bubble wands. I really don't think they make much impact at all on Co2, tbh.

Carbon can remove ferts from the water column (did we discuss ferts? You'll wanna pick up a bottle of Seachem Flourish Comprehensive. It'll last you ages, tho.) No such thing as too much bio media, I promise.

Vaccuum your sand, please. The mulm can really accumulate, plus dead leaves can add to ammonia levels.

I know that there is a lot of differing advise out there, it can be difficult!

Carbon doesn't really help much imo, unless you're using it to remove meds from the water. Removing it won't harm anything, and gives you more room for bio media which is the most important part of the filter.

I really do advise against platies though, as they do get pretty big at 3 inches, and a group of them in a 20 gallon can be a heavy bioload.

I don't remember if you've said, what the ph/gh/kh of your water is?
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Old 04-04-2014, 12:03 AM   #23
 
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Getting back into Aquariums, planning 20G

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flint View Post
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. (;

I agree with everything, but a 20 high (24x12) has a ~45% larger footprint than a standard 10 (20x10). A 20 long (30x12) has a 25% larger footprint than a 20 high.

Last edited by jaysee; 04-04-2014 at 12:05 AM..
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Old 04-04-2014, 02:35 AM   #24
 
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Originally Posted by doubleatheman View Post
TLDR: I'm planning a new 20G tank with Platies and 1 Male Betta, and live plants. Below I am seeking advice on stocking, and live plants.

Well its been a good four years since I posted here, of which my Betta that I purchased at that time just died 4 months ago , He was pretty old (I had him just shy of 4 years ). That is the extent of my fish keeping for the most part ( a two gallon betta tank), beyond the tanks I had (that my mom took care of) when I was way younger.

I currently live in a college dorm, but I am moving in a few months to my own apartment, and well Its time I get a proper aquarium going again.

I will have cycled media from my shrimp 1 gallon tank, and a friends betta tank to get the cycle started on the 20g.

Hardware:
I'm planning on purchasing one of the new walmart 20G tanks, with the low profile LED hood, and internal filter (I always hated tanks with filters that hang outside off the back of the tank.) For $74 you cant go wrong right? And the tank stand will be the $29 stand walmart sells that fits that tank. Aqua Culture Aquarium Starter Kit, 20 Gallon: Fish : Walmart.com

I already have a nice submersible 100w heater I can use, Also I have an air pump that I will be using to add some decorative airaration to the tank.

As for odds and ends I got lots of test kits and old water conditioners, but I dont know how good that stuff is after its been sitting in storage for almost ten years? I will likely buy all new stuff like that.

Stocking/Fish:
1 Male beta that my other roommates girlfirend has, she is moving soon, and needs a home for him.
6-8 Platies? (The exact amount I'm seeking advice) (obviously not all at once, probably only two at first.)

Decor:
I really want all live plants and natural rocks, but live plants are $$$ at all the stores in my area. I can't afford 10 plants at $4.99 each (thats $50 just on plants!!!) (I have a large pile of fake plants already, but I simply hate the looks of fake plants.) Does anyone here have advice or tips on where/how to get enough plants to fill a 20g tank on the cheap? I also think the LED lights on the tank I want are likely no good for keeping plants alive, so I may have to give up on the live plants for now.

Budget:
Im trying to keep my out of pocket under $100 (I am an uber poor college student), the actual tank from walmart is on my birthday list, so the tank cost is not likely to come out of my pocket.

But I will need to buy:
Gravel (Pure black)
Plants/Decor
Fish
New Siphon Gravel vacuum (my current one is super slow and tiny for my little tanks)
Tank Backdrop (I plan to get a stick on all black or blue backdrop)
And plenty of other things I am likely forgetting.

Thanks for reading!
Greetings, I read your post and enjoyed it. What caught my at attention was your comment about not going wrong at Walmart. This is just a comment, take it or leave it. If you have a Petco store in your area, then here is a good deal for you. From March 30 thru April 12 (2 weeks) you can get a 29gallon kit which includes filter, hood/light, heater and the tank for 1/2 off which comes to roughly $60. Now there is a deal one can't go wrong on . I bought the same kit to start w/ on FEb. 7 and I paid 120. Good luck
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Old 04-04-2014, 06:41 PM   #25
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flint View Post
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. (;
I dont think the 20L will work in the space I will have.

Yeah, I need a new test kit, my ammonia test right now says 1ppm of ammonia when Im testing tap water that's been treated with prime.... which I know its a bogus reading.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jentralala View Post
The debate on airstones has raged on for ages. If you like the airstones, keep 'em. I've seen some lovely planted tanks that also use airstones and bubble wands. I really don't think they make much impact at all on Co2, tbh.

Carbon can remove ferts from the water column (did we discuss ferts? You'll wanna pick up a bottle of Seachem Flourish Comprehensive. It'll last you ages, tho.) No such thing as too much bio media, I promise.

Vacuum your sand, please. The mulm can really accumulate, plus dead leaves can add to ammonia levels.

I know that there is a lot of differing advise out there, it can be difficult!

Carbon doesn't really help much imo, unless you're using it to remove meds from the water. Removing it won't harm anything, and gives you more room for bio media which is the most important part of the filter.

I really do advise against platies though, as they do get pretty big at 3 inches, and a group of them in a 20 gallon can be a heavy bioload.

I don't remember if you've said, what the ph/gh/kh of your water is?
I like airstones, I like the additional cheap water movement it provides, I'm gonna keep it.

We did not talk about ferts, but I was planning on using Seachem Comprehensive, and some plant tabs.

I will vacuum the top of the sand to remove mulm.

Looks like I will end up with guppies... (see below)

I have not yet tested my water beyond PH, which is 7.6

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Beard View Post
Greetings, I read your post and enjoyed it. What caught my at attention was your comment about not going wrong at Walmart. This is just a comment, take it or leave it. If you have a Petco store in your area, then here is a good deal for you. From March 30 thru April 12 (2 weeks) you can get a 29gallon kit which includes filter, hood/light, heater and the tank for 1/2 off which comes to roughly $60. Now there is a deal one can't go wrong on . I bought the same kit to start w/ on FEb. 7 and I paid 120. Good luck
Please don't encourage me to get a bigger tank lol!!!

---------------------------

So last night when at petsmart, my roommates girl friend was with us and decided she wanted guppies to put with her betta. I had to stop her, and tell her she needed a bigger tank for guppies than a 2G. So I showed her the $29 Grreat Choice 10g kit, I told her I would pay for half the tank (Because the filter in that tank is worth $15, which I will use in my 20G I'm planning; so I will have two filters in my 20G) (Also the 10G hood and tank will become mine when we move out of the dorms in a month, and that will become my isolation/ 2nd tank.... oh god Im planning more than one tank now...)

So needles to say, We now own two guppies and a new 10G tank, The gravel/plants/heater from the betta 2G tank moved over to the new 10G. The Betta has been super relaxed around the guppies, he just goes up to them and looks curious, and then swims off.

So this Betta and the two guppies will become the basis of the stock for my 20G, which means I will have guppies, not platies in the planted tank I will have.

The 10G is super basic, plastic plants, and will just be for the next two months until we move; I didn't get to pick the decorations, this was for his girlfriend, so its not the planted tank I had in mind for now...
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Last edited by doubleatheman; 04-04-2014 at 06:50 PM..
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