20 Gallon tank, want to do a planted need info.
I am cycling my 20 gallon and I have picked my stock. I want to finally start a planted tank but have some questions.
-Am I going to need CO2 for such a small tank?
-What type of substrate would you suggest for growing plants?
-Should I feed the plants anything?
-What are some good plants to start with for 20 gallon (that has driftwood) and would give it a nice river look.
here is 50% of answers you don't need to feed them anything almost all plants are filter feeders(photosynthesis) For substrate anytthing from gravel to bold sand.(antonym for fine?)
I believe you may need to address three parameters to have a planted aquarium. Lights, CO2, and nutrients. Lights are expensive - and it appears that many of the elite here think that T-5 or compact fluorescent are the answer. Aim for 2 watt per gallon in the T-5 range - this should be considered high light with a reflector.
Sure run CO2. Just one DIY reset weekly or when your Ph starts to raise and level off to the non-CO2 Ph injected level.
Pick a great substrate. Do your research. Then dose your plants with weekly feedings. Again research.
Also - prepare for algae of some sort. Avoid activated carbon as a filter medium. I think one should avoid PO4 and accept GSA green spotted algae. Find a product that filters PO4 in a way you are happy with.
Plant the tank very heavy. With fast growing plants. Then cross your fingers and prune and hope for the best!
I have a 20 gallon planted community tank which is my favorite tank. I actually just updated my profile with 2 pictures of it and updated the info about it.
Few things about my tank that seems to work for me:
Co2: Nutrafin Plant System Co2 that hangs on side of tank, my plants grow much better when Co2 is present. Ive also found a constant Co2 injection over dosing with Flourish Excel is better, least in my case.
Filter: Whisper Power Filter for 20 gal
Ferts: I dose with Flourish Comprehensive Plant Sup. & Flourish Trace
Plants: Mostly fast growing plants, which I trim every week or so when i do my 20% water change. Those plants grow nicely and usually I have to trim them because they will cover the surface and then it gets dark in the tank.
Few slower growing plants, like java fern. My java fern leaves dont get real big, but there are lots of little leaves growing off of the mother fern that I first put in there, which I have used to decorate 2 other tanks in my house with.
Light: I tried fluorescent lighting over the tank, but didnt see great results, granted I'm a college student and dont have the money for some of the higher end stuff. I got an older incandesent top out of storage and put 2 spiral bulbs in it, in the range of 3-4 wpg. Works pretty good for me.
I see very little algae in the tank, and whatever does grow, usually happens when my co2 runs out(which is a good hint for me to start a new batch of yeast), but I have 2 oto's in the tank amongst some shrimp and they keep it pretty nice looking. I also have several Rams in the tank that find it pretty comfortable since they spawn just about every week and a half.
Plants, just like fish, need to be fed. For such a small tank, I would recommend our sponsor's product, pfertz. Good stuff and very user friendly.
CO2 is not necessary but is a nice touch. Good for the plants during the night cycle. Many low tech tanks do just fine without CO2 injection. Lighting, water quality, and fertilizing are the big deals. The addition of Flourish Excel will usually take care of the carbon end of the plants needs.
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