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20g Long First Tank: Any Advice?

Discussion in 'Beginner's Corner' started by Yayoshi, Dec 10, 2017.

  1. Yayoshi

    Yayoshi New Member

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    Location:
    Arizona
    My name is Trevor and after nearly a year of watching youtube videos and browsing forums I finally bought a tank during the $/gal sale at petco. I've always been very interested in planted tanks and went waist deep into the hobby.

    I was wondering if I could getting any advice/critique on my first scape. I know the driftwood is way big for the tank but I fell in love with it as soon as I saw it. I'm pretty happy with the left side but I think my hardscaping on the far right by the crypts might need some work or adjustment. I'm asking for advice because I think it'll look better once everything is VERY grown in but I'd hate to commit to it if someone can see some future problems with my scape aesthetically. I know as long as I like it is all that matters but I'd just like to see where I stand in my own judgement of my abilities.

    The gravel, small rocks, and main rocks were all collected from my local lake to save some money. I've had the tank and most of the plants (lobelia, hygro, ludwigia and wisteria) for a month but the micro swords, bacopa and crypts I've only had for a few weeks. Also I've got zinnea, ivy, fern of some sort, and umbrella sedge in my hobs for those interested. I might remove them to grow out my plants because I feel like they are eating up all my ferts.

    I've read the tips for first posters so hopefully I've addressed everything and that these pictures end up working.

    Equipment:
    Aquaclear 30
    Fluval QuiteFlow 30
    Fluval Aquasky 18w 24" LED
    Aqueon 50W Heater
    Airpump (hopefully to put CO2 during the day and O2 at night, I know this is a heated topic among planted tanks but as a chem student I know if there's less CO2 in the water I can diffuse some into it, regardless if I use lots of surface agitation or an airstone which is also surface agitation. I just want it at equilibrium for the most stability in water parameters either way.)

    Ferts:
    Easy Green (Aquarium co-op) I'm still working on dosing schedule
    NO CO2
    Less gravel vacuuming to build up nutrients in inert gravel

    I also included my other 10g for fun, that I let my gf scape. We are planning on putting the dalmation molly in there with two others and some cherry shrimp in the future. I think she did a pretty good job for only ever seeing a few aquascaped tanks on google and my 20g. Future stocking for the 20g is the two pearls gouramis (i know its a bad number but they get along) the two amano shrimps plus maybe 3 more shrimp and a school of espiei (porkchop) rasboras. If I ever get the oppurtunity to, I might replace the rasboras with pygmy cories, hopefully the midwater schooling one (pygmaeus/hasbrosus ive got it written down somewhere?) but maybe any other small cory.

    Front
    upload_2017-12-10_17-21-16.png
    Front left
    upload_2017-12-10_17-22-4.png
    Front right
    upload_2017-12-10_17-22-22.png
    Top left
    upload_2017-12-10_17-23-17.png
    Top right
    upload_2017-12-10_17-23-43.png
    Left
    upload_2017-12-10_17-24-9.png
    Right
    upload_2017-12-10_17-24-28.png

    upload_2017-12-10_17-24-54.png

    upload_2017-12-10_17-25-27.png
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Dec 10, 2017
    Tim Harrison and keithgh like this.
  2. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    Hello Trevor

    When a beginner posts their first attempt at Aquascaping you would have preferred if they posted on what they would like to do or buy.

    In your case it looks like you have done plenty of research.
    I actually like your Aquascape very much, it looks interesting and balanced except the back RH corner it looks like it has been made very carefully.
    The DW is an interesting piece and works well with what you have done.
    The rocks are different shapes yet full of character a good choice for this or other Aquascapes you will do in the future.

    The only fault that stands out is that piece of DW is too central but other than cutting it up it works in with your rocks.

    All your plants are looking healthy use this tank as a learning curve for plants.

    Inhabitants
    Cories might not be suitable for your tank reason the substrate is too course for them they prefer a sandy area where they can hunt for food.

    Keith:cat::cat:
     
  3. Yayoshi

    Yayoshi New Member

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    Location:
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    Thank you for your prompt advice!

    I've cut the DW several time to get it to even fit nicely in the tank so I don't oppose doing more. Would you suggest cutting a couple inches of the left side to slide it over? I've messed with this tank a lot ever since I got it so I'll have to ask the fish to hang out in the 10g so I can get in there and mess around with the RH corner. For balance sake would you suggest keeping it around the same height or raise/lower it?

    Also I just wanted to get my setup in the begginers corner so that people know that you can use gravel and rocks that don't cost an arm and a leg. Proper substrate sure helps but I already made such an investment in the lights/equipment that it makes it easy to dive in head first with hardier plants and make it work. I feel that low tech tanks are just a lot less daunting as well. (the tank only has 2 filters because one is getting super cycled for when I stock the 10.)
    Thanks for pointing out the substrate problem with the cories, I've know that they like sand but I guess I totally forgot!
     
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  4. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    Yasoshi

    I only ever had Low Tech Tank with a 1-3 natural river gravel and I grew plants very successfully.

    [​IMG]
    I would try to move it to the red line which would be about the centre of the trunk part.
    It does not have to be square on it can be twisted so one end is closer to the front. Only you can tell which looks best. The piece/s you have can also be used where you think they look the best.
    Its the LH corner I would consider rising the Substrate. The RH corner height OK its the rocks are all in a curved line, I have suggested moving one forward but the other area to the right is not clear.

    Keith:cat::cat:
     
  5. Yayoshi

    Yayoshi New Member

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    I've cut and move the DW a few inches to the left and built up more substrate.

    I tried to break up that curve into three distinct points. Some the the rock are sitting on the surface just to get a feel for the new arrangement. Did I make forward progress with the rocks?

    Also for the time being I put my anarchis on the LH hill but I love the look of your picture so much I will look into getting some vallisneria. Did you have a specific plant in mind when you drew them up in the picture?

    upload_2017-12-11_18-31-16.png

    upload_2017-12-11_18-31-41.png

    upload_2017-12-11_18-32-8.png
     
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  6. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    Yayoshi

    DW placement excellent.
    Substrate LH back corner can you lift it up about another 10cm?

    Yes. It looks all good.

    [​IMG]
    Another small move my suggestion would be move the largest back rock to the front and swap for the smaller rock. This will help to create the illusion of depth of field.

    That is some thing I will leave to the plant experts.

    Keith:cat::cat:
     
  7. Culprit3

    Culprit3 Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Vallisneria American Asiatica I believe is one of the shortest vals. Any bigger vals will not fit well in such a short tank. Some other easier options back there, which would look more like the photo, would be sagittaria.
     
  8. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    Yayoshi

    Vallisneria sp. Asiatica has twisted, green leaves that make a beautiful contrast when planted in groups. Its shorter leaves (20-30 cm) differ from most other Vallisneria species and do not overshadow other plants in the aquarium. An easy plant that readily propagates via runners.

    One requirement.
    CO2 : Low [​IMG]
    A medium need in CO2 is 6-14 mg/L.

    I don't think it will be suitable at all as you have stated you are going "Low Tech"

    Keith:cat::cat:

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Yayoshi

    Yayoshi New Member

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    That Val species is beautiful but I would like to go without CO2 for awhile. I'll have to make that rock move once finals week is over! I will probably end up finding a Sagittarius sp. for the corner in the future.
     
  10. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    Yayoshi

    I tried it for a while it never grew very well at all reason being I only ever had Low Tech tanks.

    One point to remember Flourish excel is highly toxic to Sp. Vallisneria.

    Keith:cat::cat:
     
  11. Aqua Atelier

    Aqua Atelier New Member

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    wow i like the gravel color contrast with the actual plants
     

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