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Old 06-20-2014, 11:29 PM   #1 
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Log of my 20G Long Planted Tank

I had a journal for my old 10G tank but it's now out of commission (...for now ) and has been replaced by my new 20G L, so I wanted to make a more appropriate thread.

I'm currently working on getting a proper light fixture for it (Petco keeps sending me the wrong size!) and that should be arriving soon if they don't flub up again. Anyway, this is how it looks at the moment:


The tank is divided twice and I have three betta boys in there:

Verandi


Hunter


and Moon


I also have assassin snails because I have an ongoing bladder snail infestation. I recently attempted adding ghost shrimp (really should have waited longer to attempt them but I oopsed ) and most of them died because my params suddenly started fluctuating while I was out of town . Last I checked there were at least two left. I'm trying my best to keep things stable and will probably try to add more in a month or two, whenever I'm convinced everything is stable.

Currently I need to work on getting a new background for it and obtaining plants that can go in the rightmost section once my new light arrives. I've also ordered some dwarf hairgrass I'm still waiting on...hoping that will grow okay! I may switch to soil and sand someday but right now I'm kind of intimidated by that and keeping with my plain ol' gravel and both liquid ferts and root tabs.
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Old 06-21-2014, 10:50 AM   #2 
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Nice! How exciting :) Your betta's are all very pretty. Is Hunter a mustard gas? I love his coloring!
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Old 06-21-2014, 01:17 PM   #3 
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Thank you very much! Hunter's just a black and yellow bicolor, but yes, he is a looker!!
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Old 06-22-2014, 12:11 AM   #4 
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Did a WC today and tested params...my cycle is coming along really well (finally!)
My pH is crazy though, it's like 8.2...I'm getting worried. I have a RO system but it doesn't have that big a tank so filling half a 20 gallon tank with it would probably take at least a week. I'm looking into things to lower it. I ordered SeaChem's Neutral Regulator to try out. I'd also really like to get more driftwood but I keep spending money.....which leads me to my next update:

I've finally decided to make the switch to a better substrate!!! I decided to go with some Miracle Gro Organic capped with Seachem Flourite black sand. I've ordered everything on Amazon Prime and it should be getting here Wednesday. I'm hoping next weekend won't be too busy so I can start working on making the switch. I'm pretty pressed for time lately because I have a really heavy summer semester schedule, but my tanks are keeping me sane in between studying.

So the plan of action is that I'll probably get two of the boys set up back in my 10G and one in one of my hospital tanks, then I'll do the switch. Hopefully it won't cloud up too much!

I'm pretty excited. My new DHG is gonna do so much better!
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Old 06-22-2014, 03:47 AM   #5 
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Hmm, I can't decide if I want to go with the miracle gro or not. I'm a little worried that it's easily disturbed if you try to rescape.

The only thing is that they only had 15lbs bags of the substrate I wanted and rather than spending another $25 on a second bag I kind of wanted to double my chances of success by adding a layer of something else beneficial.

I guess I have all week to decide, anyway..
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Old 06-22-2014, 04:21 AM   #6 
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Decided to decide now and just ordered a second bag of the fluorite sand instead, I think it will be more manageable. Okay...now I need to go to bed!
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Old 06-25-2014, 12:17 AM   #7 
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Stopped by Petsmart today to pick up a proper 2.5G hospital tank because Hunter appears to have tail rot. I pulled him out today and switched him over. Now he's hanging out here on my desk so I can watch him while I study.


I also picked up a new background for the 20 L and some crypts that were on sale for $1! And I brought home some lobelia cardinalis (cardinal flower), hoping that will grow okay. When I read what people have to say about it online it seems like half said it's extremely difficult, half said it was easy, half said it wouldn't grow immersed, half said it was true aquatic. Shrugs, can't hurt.
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Old 06-26-2014, 07:28 PM   #8 
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Just installed the new substrate! Doesn't it look beautiful? lol



Anxiously waiting for the dust to settle...hurry up!
I rinsed it pretty thoroughly using a pillowcase as a lot of reviewers on Amazon suggested but who knows if it made any difference. It's okay though, I don't mind, and I really like the look of the black sand and the benefits of fluorite, so I'll tough it out.
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Old 06-28-2014, 07:55 PM   #9 
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So after it didn't look even a teeny bit better after 24 hours I decided to pull the water out and put a layer of plain Petco black sand on top, since I heard it was less dusty. The difference was enormous!! I let it settle overnight then planted in the morning, and put my fish in soon after. It's just a little bit cloudy still from some of the sand underneath getting kicked up while I rearranged things, but I think it should be fine.



Close-up of each cube:



Last edited by Pony; 06-28-2014 at 08:13 PM.
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Old 07-02-2014, 01:37 AM   #10 
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Here's the tank after it cleared up!


Everyone's doing really well, and the tank is running awesome. It looks like my cycle is being a lot more normal now...I was having a ton of issues with my cycle before but I think there was something up with my substrate before because I put it in another tank without washing it thoroughly and the same thing happened, and this tank hasn't had any ammonia since the change.

I've since cleaned the other substrate really well and now it's out getting sanitized in the sun.

I also moved Hunter back into the tank today. He's looking a bit better! I'll update soon with more pictures.
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