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Discussion Starter #1
Ok, so I pretty well have in my mind what I am going to do. I have the tank all cycled with 5 black neon tetras in there.

There are only fake plants that will slowly be removed as real plants are added (I know tetras love to hide)

I am looking for low light plants only and I prefer to not have to add CO2 but I know I may need to down the line.

Please let me know if these will do ok:
dwarf hair grass
baby tears (dwarf or regular)
and some sort of moss (maybe java) for the piece of driftwood I plan to get.
I would like some input on other low light plants that grow higher, and I would also like a plants that grows well on the surface. I like the shimmer effect that fish have in and out of shadows.

As for my fish stocking list there are a couple ooptions with some being mandatory to me.

I have my 5 black neons already
I plan to add:
10 Endler's Livebearers (mandatory)
10 Cherry shrimp ( which may not be compatible with a further option)
5-10 Harlequin Rasboras (mandatory)
5-10 panda corys (mandatory, but could be switched with a different cory, I just like their pattern)

The AqAdvisor says this is fine with 2 Aqueon QuietFlow 10s, which is what I have.

One option though is to add one or two German blue rams. I love these fish and they would be the center of attention in the tank. I think in order for these to work out though the shrimp would have to go or risk being a treat)

Any input would be great. Also if you have any suggestions for community cichlids throw them out there because I do love them but they have to compatible with my mandatory options.

Thanks
 

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Is the L in 20L for long or liter? either way your putting waaaay to many fish in there. General rule is 1 inch of (fully grown) fish to a gallon.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
So i put in two 20 lb bags of activflora it's been several hours with no signs of the dust settling... I currently have 5 pigmy corys and a GBR. It's an established tank but I didn't take them out to do the change. I decided that it wouldn't hurt them but now I am starting to worry. The cloud won't affect them right? I also have one plant in there. Will that be affected? I really like the substrate but it's a mess.
 

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did you have to rinse the substrate before you put it in the tank? im no pro at this but iv read about alot of substrates you have to rinse before putting them in your tank.
 

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I think you should either drop the endlers or the rasboras as that will be too many fish. Endlers won't school and will quickly fill the tank if you have females with them. I know that for a fact since I have loads of them myself. I started out with 10 and before a year was up I had over 500.

I wouldn't suggest rams with endlers anyway as they have different requirements when it comes to water.

Dwarf hairgrass and baby tears do much better with medium light. I would suggest crypts, anubia and java ferns. The anubia and fern could be tied to driftwood and grown that way. If you want a floating plant I would suggest frogbit. Its larger than duckweed and easier to control.

On the water, put some floss in your filter and rinse daily. It would also help to do a few water changes to help the cloudiness. Fish and plants will be fine for a short time while clearing up.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
thanks. After buying the GBR my plans changed. I love his behavior so much that I think I am going to buy him a mate. I know that when they breed they get very territorial so I plan on only keeping some sort of longfinned danio with them. He LOVES the pygmy corys. They will come over and clean him off and he lets them. It's so fun to watch. I was worried about that mix at first.

Anyway, list of inhabitants shall be:
- GBR mating pair (hopefully there's no fighting and they are happy together)
- 10-15 pygmy corys (5 pygmys, what I currently have, in a 20 long is like nothing. seriously, I don't have much as far as hiding goes and they are still hard to find at times because they are tiny.
- 5-10 long finned danios of some variety. I saw ones that were multicolored and they were pretty intense. I don't like the blue or the standard long finned... they are too bland. Although, the GBRs are the main focus.

Please let me know if the danios are good tank mates for a mating pair of GBRs.

I don't plan on attempting to keep the eggs or fry unless they make it on their own. Although, in case the fry are hatched, I have 3 LFSs that are more than willing to take fish off my hands. So I have backup in case I have fry problems.

As far as plants go I still want the same plants BUT guess what... I got new lights (well half new lights and plans for more...)

I got a 24" Coralife T5 Freshwater light with a full spectrum bulb and a plant bulb. Thats 28w of light right there. The plan is to get another 30" coralife T5 fixture with one full spectrum and one plant bulb which will give me an additional 36w of light. So, the grand total will be 64w of light, or 3.2wpg. I should be in good shape for MOST plants... And since I have a 20 long, the shallowness should greatly up my chances of succesfully growing a wide variety of plants.

Small Update (I have been writing this over about an hour span in small segments =P): I did a 25% water change about 20 min ago and it has already cleared up greatly. I also cleaned the filter pad off which should help it catch more.

Anyway, back to plants. I just bought a Ludwigia palustris (water primrose). I didn't have a whole lot of knowledge on this plant but it was rather inexpensive (I know you AREN'T supposed to do stuff like that... but at least it's not a fish? lol)

Is this a good plant? feel free not to answer I'll probably Google it.

Anyway, still looking at ground covers. I like the four leaf clovers now. I still like the DHG and some sort of midlevel plants like java fern or something else (any suggestions?)

Being new to plants I will obviously take ANY tips. I do plan on dosing CO2 down the road and it will definitely be DIY.

Oh and the ActivFlora that I bought. This will make you wish you were with me that day I bet... normally at my PetCo they sell 20lb bags for $25.. got it for $1.50 on clearance... bought every bag they had. Figure I would use them eventually =] (turns out they all went into my 20 though)

Ok so.. tips on fish and plants would be apprectiated. Answering any of the questions above would be awesome although most of them are questions that I probably answered with Google... but I always love getting responses from real people.

Thanks for all your help and I do plan on getting pics up as soon as the cloud goes away and I can put my rocks back in.

:animated_fish_swimm:animated_fish_swimm
 

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Discussion Starter #7
did you have to rinse the substrate before you put it in the tank? im no pro at this but iv read about alot of substrates you have to rinse before putting them in your tank.
No, the bag just said to drain the water out of the bag (it's precycled and comes filled with water filled with amazing bacteria =P) and put it in. It ALSO said that the cloud would go down in 1-6 hours... which is a LIE lol. but yeah, water change helped greatly and I plan on doing another in the morning.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
havent bought the 30" yet lol but will do. I kinda want some natural food for my army of pygmys... is there anything they can eat besides algae tabs? Or can I just let the algae grow lol
 

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Discussion Starter #11
right on, but I swear they were eating my algae wafers... anyway, I always put enough flake in there for them since I've seen them eat that too. Would my GBR have eaten those wafers? I've seen him nipping at them.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
been thinking about co2. Does this "http://www.aquariumplants.com/product_p/am-73011.htm" create the co2 or do you have to buy refills? I would love something that I could leave be... DIY co2 would be just another demand..
 

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Discussion Starter #15
The water has finally started to clear up so I should be taking some pics before I go to bed tonight. Don't expect a lot but I did get the aquascape completed and the water primrose planted. (I also planted ANY stems that broke off while I was planting the main plant, they do grow from the stems, right?)

Also, the filter I have now is to be upgraded to either a small canister filter or I will just be purchasing a second one of what I have now. Things are slow seeing as I am a college student working part time at Target lol not a whole of $$ for tanks. Add that to my 3 gerbils, hamster, and one other, non planted, tank and you can kinda see where I have to pick and choose. I won't up the bioload much without another filter. I also won't buy many more demanding plants until I get another light as well as have a DIY co2 setup. Still indecisive about plants. I would really like suggestions, thanks guys
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Here are the pictures I promised:

Full Tank:


Left Side:


Right Side:


Water Primrose (GBR at the bottom of the plant):


GBR closeup (My personal favorite):


If I ever catch the pygmys in a group I'll have to try and get that in a picture. It sure is a sight to see them all swimming the tank together.

Here's a video. It says it's still processing but since it's 4 in the morning I doubt anyone will watch it until it's done =P

 

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Discussion Starter #17
Not too sure how many people are checking this, lol but here's a quick update. Water was crystal clear when I woke up this morning (finally!). I went to the store and bought a plant (again it was unclear what it was but seeing this won't be my only planted I figured I'll use it for now). Below is a picture, can you help me ID it? It's about 5-7 in. long at the tallest parts. Anyway, here it is:



And here is full tank shot after planting, too bad planting made it cloudy again. I'll get a clear picture sometime I'm sure:



Suggestions for plants are still welcome as well as tankmates for my GBR. Are there any other cichlids that would be ok in there? I am looking to keep it decently quiet without a whole of fighting. I have a decent amount of caves and corners for hiding. Anyway, I am looking for dwarf cichlids if possible or some other type of community fish to go with these guys. Please leave tetras out. I haven't had luck with them and I tend to steer clear of them for right now. I'd like to keep the fish around 2" max full grown. Thanks again guys, hope you're following.

*c/p*
 

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Discussion Starter #18
UPDATE: added plants: Anubias, Wisteria, Bleheri, and another type of sword. Will post pics later of the updated aquascape and I would like you guys to help ID the unknown 4th plant. Thanks to whoever is keeping up with this!

P.S. also added DIY co2.
 

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The plant looks like sageteria (sp) I'm not to focused right now. Watch your ph with those rocks since rams like low ph. As for other dwarf cichlids I wouldn't try it. Dwarfs can be very territorial and that could stress your rams enough to kill them. You might look into rasboras, cherry barbs, not as aggressive as tigers. but will hold there own if the rams decided to get territoral with other fish.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Thanks I really like rasboras so maybe I'll try that. How many would you suggest? If you don't mind me asking, how do the rocks affect ph? Also, do I have enough room for a pair of GBRs? If so, how do I got about seing the one I have so I can find him a proper mate at the store. Could you tell by looking at the pic? Also, the plant in question isn't pictured right now. Although I had forgotten the name of that one too lol. Thanks for the help.
 
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