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Old 11-04-2011, 06:35 PM   #1 
bastage
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How should I setup my plants/tank

Ok so I just started this tank not long ago & now I am about overflowing with everything & not sure where I should plant what or what should not go in the tank.. With plants I am an definite newb so here goes..

Tank is a 20 long so its 30" x 12" x 12", but only filled up to about 9".
Filter is a Marineland Duetto DJ-100 internal filter with the tank return re-routed to the other end so there is always a light current.
Heater is an 100w Elite Submersible
Lighting is still in shipping (will be here next week) is a Aqualight T5 Freshwater Dual Lamp Fixture, 30-Inch
Substrate is currently a fairly course gravel
Tank is also divided into 4 parts so each is about 7.5" wide

So then for the plantlife..

Amazon sward (small) x2 or 3
wysteria (small) x3
4 leaf clover (small) x2
Unknown Betta Bulb's (came in a pack from petco) x3
Red Ludwiga (medium/large) x10+

Also have Duck Weed & salvinia floaters.

If anything here will also survive on crap light My sorority has a MarineLand single bright LED bar and black sand substrate so I wouldn't mind putting some in there too.

My Goal is simply happy fish & low maintenance. I am going to be pulling the tank apart next week (or maybe this weekend) to replace the tube running from one side to the other since currently the tube is 1/2" OD & I should be using 1/2" ID. So essentially with the flow maxed its very light. I would rather have the option to turn the flow down as desired then not be able to turn it up at all. If I have to get new substrate I would like to before then so i can knock it all out at once.
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Old 11-04-2011, 07:16 PM   #2 
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I'd go clover in the front, you don't have enough for all but you should get new growth soon enough to divide. Use the amazons as a midground. Use the wisteria as a midground until it fills out (it'll grow FAST). Use the ludwigia in the back. It also grows like crazy. Keep the bulbs where you can see them. Sometimes they mold. Once they start to grow, you'll know what you have and you can decide where to put them.

You may want to look into root tabs. I think all of those plants feed from the roots and they'll really enjoy the extra nutrients. I use Flourish tabs and have lots of success.

Hope that helps. :)
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Old 11-04-2011, 07:22 PM   #3 
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The unknown betta bulbs be careful with, because most of them tend to be non-aquatic plants, and most people have trouble getting them to grow. But I have never used them personally, so I can't say for sure- just read what many have mentioned about them.

Java fern, Java moss, Naja Grass are very easy to care for- they don't require substrate at all, just need to be weighted down/tied to a rock or driftwood. Some such as the grass and moss, you can just have them floating on top as well. They don't need a filter, nor a whole lot of light. Anubias is very easy from what I heard as well.
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Old 11-04-2011, 07:42 PM   #4 
bastage
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Oh I Forgot to mention.. There is no front or back. Tank is Viewable from both sides

Myates I keep thinking about getting some other ground covering like that, but I have yet to see any locally that looked like it would survive..
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Old 11-04-2011, 07:48 PM   #5 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bastage View Post
Oh I Forgot to mention.. There is no front or back. Tank is Viewable from both sides

Myates I keep thinking about getting some other ground covering like that, but I have yet to see any locally that looked like it would survive..
True carpeting plants need CO2 and heavy lighting in order to survive, if not kept in the right situations they'll usually melt. .

If you need a carpeting plant I would suggest a moss type, java, Christmas, etc. Moss are generally easy to take care of, low light plant, no need of fertilizers and such.

And I agree with vaygirl I would suggest putting in some root tabs since all of your plants are root plants. Healthy strong roots!
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Old 11-04-2011, 08:05 PM   #6 
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Oh I Forgot to mention.. There is no front or back. Tank is Viewable from both sides

Both, do you mean all? Or is tank between 2 walls? Either way, my strategy is the same. Put your tall plants in the middle, and then have them get shorter towards the front. Of course this is just if you are into aquascaping. You could just let the whole thing go all jungle like. Plenty of options!
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Old 11-04-2011, 08:54 PM   #7 
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The tank is basically on the bar between my kitchen & living room.. The 20g tall (sorority tank) is in the dining area which also borders my living room so aesthetics must be observed for the sake of my wifes sanity.
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Old 11-05-2011, 12:05 AM   #8 
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Then bunch taller plants in the middle, like Kyt said so that the fish can be viewed from both sides, with smaller plants on either end. Clover CAN be a ground cover but you have to trim it down and let it regrow. It should stay small. Or at least, that's what I've read. Mine didn't make it. But I have a 16 tall, so the light had way too far to go. You'll do better since your tank is long.
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Old 11-05-2011, 10:47 AM   #9 
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I would look for small size substrate...too large and the nutrients for plants can get flushed too fast....root tabs for the swords but the other are water column feeders...since you want plants-why not invest in plant specific substrate.

Your light bulbs are what are important for successful plant growth....you want 6500k daylight type bulbs for the proper color temp for plant photosynthesis

Sometimes it can be hard to get a nice lawn like look unless you inject CO2-but you can get a fairly nice lawn with moss, micro sword type plants without it...I used E. tenellus or pygmy chain sword and was able to create a nice lawn in my soil based 75gal without CO2...it took about 3 months...

Planting..as everyone else suggested...center planting since all sides are viewing walls....

Planted tanks are often failures due to the wrong lights and photoperiod...get the proper light bulbs and stay on 10-12h/day PP...start at 10h/day and if you start to see too much algae-increase to 12h/day...its a balance-the plants have to be able to out compete the algae for nutrients and light.

But remember-some algae is normal and expected in a container of water that has nutrients and light.....some species of algae can be a sign of a healthy system, it can help make the tank look more natural by softening the edges, provides for the microorganism..etc....however, since this is a closed system some manual removal may be needed with the weekly water changes...
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Old 11-05-2011, 11:35 AM   #10 
bastage
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The fixture I am getting comes with 6700k bulbs so I believe I will be OK there.. For the Substrate spending another 40 bucks on it is not in the cards, but I can swing some pool filter sand (was going to pick some up today) & I can definitely grab some tabs for the swards.
I am not too worried about having a "lawn", but I do like the look of the clovers creeping around (I am not opposed to getting something else if there is another more hearty creeper type).
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