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Old 06-07-2016, 01:56 PM   #1
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My 20 gallon long - update 2016

This is my original build thread, but apparently it's been too long and I can no longer post a reply:
Tank journey: 10 gallon > new 20 gallon long build

This tank has definitely been through some changes this year. Some photos:



January 27, 2016



February 24, 2016



March 22, 2016


April 22, 2016


Today, June 7, 2016

More photos, from the very beginning to today can be viewed here: Planted tank progress - 20 gallon long - Album on Imgur
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Old 06-07-2016, 02:11 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PerfectDepth View Post
This is my original build thread, but apparently it's been too long and I can no longer post a reply:
Tank journey: 10 gallon > new 20 gallon long build

This tank has definitely been through some changes this year. Some photos:



January 27, 2016



February 24, 2016



March 22, 2016


April 22, 2016


Today, June 7, 2016

More photos, from the very beginning to today can be viewed here: Planted tank progress - 20 gallon long - Album on Imgur

Awesome tank! Thanks for sharing.


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Old 06-07-2016, 04:01 PM   #3
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OMG, that's beautiful! Well done!
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Old 06-07-2016, 04:22 PM   #4
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Looking phenomenal!!!
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Old 06-07-2016, 11:24 PM   #5
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That is a really beautiful job you've done there, both plants and fish. The Rasboras and Neons make a great combination.
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Old 06-08-2016, 12:44 AM   #6
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I can't tell which scape I like the best. They are all nicely done.


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Old 06-08-2016, 01:10 AM   #7
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Very nice

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Old 06-08-2016, 01:34 PM   #8
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Thanks folks!

Fresh20, you're too kind but you're not helping my indecisiveness! Gonna do some major trimming soon, not sure if I'll resist the temptation to do some rearranging again while I'm at it. hahaha. I only hope the glosso will fill in as impressively as yours. You weren't kidding about how quickly it can take over. I started with just a few tiny trimmings a month and a half ago.
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Old 06-09-2016, 11:32 AM   #9
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Can you tell us a little more about the species you're using and the technology of the tank?

Also, I see you're using (I think) glossostigma. I can't say I've had much positive experience with it. Are you planning on keeping it?
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Old 06-09-2016, 12:34 PM   #10
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Can you tell us a little more about the species you're using and the technology of the tank?
Absolutely! Current stock: 9 or 10 CPDs, 5 harlequin rasboras, 4 neon tetras (started with 7 about 3 years ago), 1 otocinclus, and dozens of red cherry shrimp

Plants: crypt wendtii, anubias barteri nana, ludwigia repens, ludwigia red hybrid, stargrass, rotala rotundifolia, alternanthera reineckii, ammania bonsai, bacopa caroliniana, staurogyne repens, brazilian microswords, glossostigma, fissidens fontanus

Lighting: 30" Finnex Planted + 24/7
Filtration: SunSun hw-402b canister
Substrate: Floramax midnight
DIY CO2

Quote:
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Also, I see you're using (I think) glossostigma. I can't say I've had much positive experience with it. Are you planning on keeping it?
It's relatively new to the tank, added it in April. I can already tell it might become a nuisance if I let it get out of hand, but I'm doing my best to keep it contained to one area. Same with the micro swords, but they don't seem quite as ambitious yet.
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Old 06-09-2016, 01:01 PM   #11
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Mine either grew way too aggressively horizontally or way too aggressively vertically. It ended up being to weedy in both direction and I chucked it. Did you ditch the c. helferi because it was too tall for a 20L?

Are you satisfied with that amount of light? It looks a bit dim from the picture but your plants don't appear to be complaining.
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Old 06-09-2016, 01:36 PM   #12
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Mine either grew way too aggressively horizontally or way too aggressively vertically. It ended up being to weedy in both direction and I chucked it. Did you ditch the c. helferi because it was too tall for a 20L?

Are you satisfied with that amount of light? It looks a bit dim from the picture but your plants don't appear to be complaining.
Glosso is behaving in that regard so far and filling in nicely. The new growth tends to stretch upward when the lights are off at night, but eventually settles and roots closely to the substrate. I'm sure it helps that it's a very shallow tank and the fixture is mounted directly on the rim. The fast horizontal growth could be an issue eventually.

I knew the c. helferi would outgrow the tank, and the long leaves swept horizontally is what I was going for. I had some crypt spiralis in there too for the same effect. I liked it at first, but once the plant really filled in it was just way too much. It was taking up a lot of space and always had dead leaves and crap getting caught up in it at the surface.

The 24/7 fixture is actually on either the 'Max' or 'Sunny' setting in all the photos. It's much brighter in person. I use exposure compensation to avoid blown highlights in the photo.
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Old 11-01-2016, 12:06 PM   #13
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Been a while.. I'll share some recent phone photos, day and nighttime. Aqua_chem, you called it. The glosso became too unruly, so I pulled it out and let the micro-swords take over instead.Click image for larger version

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Old 11-01-2016, 01:19 PM   #14
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Your red plants (Alternanthera?) look quite nice.
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Old 11-01-2016, 10:09 PM   #15
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Tee-hee... I once thought glosso was a great carpet plant. But it never stopped growing. When it ran out of real estate it started to grow upwards. I banished it and went wit DBT/HC Cuba instead.
Glad to see an update on this tank.
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Old 11-01-2016, 10:15 PM   #16
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Amazing looking tank! Love the colour in this thing!
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Old 11-03-2016, 01:36 PM   #17
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Thanks folks! Yeah, it's the variety of a. reineckii sold at petsmart with ultra-red color. It seems to be more finicky than other varieties. It only really thrives with lots of cropping and doesn't like being uprooted and moved. It does much better if I just leave it alone other than regularly pruning the tops and patiently waiting for new growth. It also needs plenty of co2, or else the new leaves will start twisting and curling and take forever to recover.

Fresh, I've been quietly following your thread. Your 20 long is looking great as usual. Growing that HC like a boss!
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Old 11-05-2016, 04:15 PM   #18
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After a trim & water change today-Click image for larger version

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So after all this time spent wondering why the star repens was struggling- I was thinking maybe I used too many osmocote root tabs, or it just wouldn't tolerate my hard water any longer.... it seems to be starting to finally show healthy growth again after switching back to leaving the in-tank co2 reactor running constantly instead of on a timer.

Other than that and the fissidens moss that has never seemed to like my tank and doesn't even look as it should, almost like a different species of moss entirely, I'm very happy with how the plants are looking. I might just pull out the moss and the small chunk of wood it's on.
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Old 11-05-2016, 04:46 PM   #19
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Such a great contrast in this tank. Placement is perfect. Won't running co2 full time build up to much and gas your fish? My drop checker goes bright yellow in the last 2 hours and I've been worried that if I push it any longer it will gas out the fish.
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Old 11-06-2016, 05:52 PM   #20
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My 20 gallon long - update 2016

This is my DIY in-tank reactor that uses a small powerhead. As co2 concentration increases the rate that it dissolves decreases, so co2 builds up in the reactor and reaches an equilibrium where the rate it's dissolving is equal to the total rate it is being used up and gassing off at the surface. Even as the light intensity ramps up and plants start using it up quickly, co2 starts dissolving more quickly again so the tank pH stays steady at 6.6 the whole time. You can see in the photo that the reactor is full, and there's a section of airline that leads to the intake of the powerhead. Excess co2 bubbles slowly up the tube and gets chopped up by the impeller, otherwise it would fill up completely and possibly become too buoyant to stay put.

Even overnight and in the morning there's not much difference in the drop checker or when testing tank pH. the pH only drops slightly more if any, sometimes measuring 6.5 with a pH pen. Baseline pH of the tank is always 7.7 or 7.8.
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