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Old 08-18-2018, 02:04 PM   #1
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Tasleus' first 20 gallon long planted freshwater tank

Hi everyone! New hobbyist here (aquarist?!) and already feeling some multiple tank syndrome coming on. I'll add pictures at the bottom.

When I started out, I didn't know the first thing about getting an aquarium going so I came to this site and read until my eyes cross. I did a full 8 week long nitrogen cycle, got real substrate, was careful about allowing the pH to just be natural and unmodified, and instead chose plants and fish around what the natural pH of my water was already (I of course treated the water with a conditioner for every change).

I used the Fluval black sand and black gravel substrates and rinsed that out for several hours and STILL had clouding hahaha. Took about a week to fully settle that out, then I went ahead and planted some amazon swords, microblades, and a few dwarf hairgrass clumps. I kept a couple clumped and propogated a couple of clumps into tiny sprouts. So far things seem to be growing, but it's only been a short time, so I'm being patient about it.

I am using a full LED hood with a beauty max light and the default that came with the hood as well. I also have an Aqueon QuietFlow 20 filter on there as well as a 78 degree preset heater.

I set it up with 6 zebra danios at first, waited about a week and then introduced 5 sunburst platys and 5 neon tetras. So here we are~!








This next one was BEFORE I added in the backdrop and the hood light, so forgive the weird quality:

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Old 08-18-2018, 03:19 PM   #2
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Your plants look so healthy!
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Old 08-18-2018, 03:27 PM   #3
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Thanks for the compliment, JackBinimbul~! The swords are growing mad quick, and starting to kinda bush up a little, so I've been careful to prune almost obsessively lol. I kinda did things a little backwards with the dwarf hair grass, but I'm hoping I'll see runners soon enough!
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Old 08-18-2018, 06:33 PM   #4
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Nice job!

I hope dwarf hair grass will grow for you without co 2. You might try and break it up some more. In order for this plant to spread you almost have to individually plant each piece of grass
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Old 08-18-2018, 07:16 PM   #5
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Nice job!

I hope dwarf hair grass will grow for you without co 2. You might try and break it up some more. In order for this plant to spread you almost have to individually plant each piece of grass

Attached a new image for you. Did more reading this morning and I cant help but agree so I got a co2 system and a couple of extra plants ! I'll keep you all posted~!
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Old 08-18-2018, 08:44 PM   #6
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Attached a new image for you. Did more reading this morning and I cant help but agree so I got a co2 system and a couple of extra plants ! I'll keep you all posted~!


Nice! Co2 is a journey that is worthwhile
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Old 08-18-2018, 10:40 PM   #7
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Nice! Co2 is a journey that is worthwhile
I have no doubt. I've just started doing some reading and I have a lot to learn lol. Please dont hesitate to PM or reply with any tips. I'll try to remember to jump back in here in a week or 2 with an updated tank pic.
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Old 08-19-2018, 09:30 AM   #8
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My best advice is buy the best regulator you can. I would not buy a tank. Rent one from a welding supply place like praxair

Co2 is not magic. I off set my lights by at least an hour in order to get enough co2 into the water before lights come on. You can use a diffuser or a reactor.

You need to ensure enough flow so the co2 does not just go straight up and out.

Lots of people will chime in with their how too. Each tank is a little different so you have to tinker a little to find balance
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Old 08-20-2018, 08:34 AM   #9
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Aim for a 1.0 drop in pH from your completely degassed water

I test mine in the am after CO2 has been off for 12 hours - I test again at peak of the photoperiod 1 hour - 30 minutes before CO2 shuts of for the day.

Start at a 1.0 drop, can go up to 1.3 but each tank / testing method is different. Do this slowly if there is livestock.
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Old 08-20-2018, 09:43 AM   #10
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Aim for a 1.0 drop in pH from your completely degassed water

I test mine in the am after CO2 has been off for 12 hours - I test again at peak of the photoperiod 1 hour - 30 minutes before CO2 shuts of for the day.

Start at a 1.0 drop, can go up to 1.3 but each tank / testing method is different. Do this slowly if there is livestock.
Oh, nice, that seems like a much better way to understand how much CO2 is going into the tank. I'll give that a shot today.
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