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Hello, n00b here in Orlando, FL

821 Views 12 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  trenac
Hello, everybody.

I'm definitely new to the hobby. I just started my first aquarium about 2-3 months ago and got it stuck in my head that I wanted to make it planted. It just seems like a good idea to give the fishies something real to swim around in. This place seems like a wealth of information, so I'm looking forward to lurking some and learning as much as possible.

I've got a fully cycled, healthy 20 gallon high tank that's pretty much stocked, fish-wise. Four neon tetras (gonna add 2 more, I think), four white skirt tetras, two dwarf gouramis, and a panda garra. I'm still trying to locate plants that will work with my stock low-light setup at my lfs. Right now I've got some java fern, a ruffled sword, and some something-tropica rosette plant that seems to be growing a lot. Unfortunately my favorite fish place around Orlando is recovering from an algae bloom and hasn't restocked in a while, so I haven't found much more to add. I definitely need to add both tall and short plants, just haven't figured out what will work yet.

Thanks, and I'm happy to be here :)
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Welcome to the forum. You're find this very helpful, as I have. I started this hobby in June and have learnt a tremendous amount here.

What lighting are you using and what substrate are you using for the tank? Also, please share your water change frequency.

My substrate is 100% flourite. I love the look, and from what I've read it's good for the plants. I'm sure there are better combos of substrates, but I figured this was better than plain gravel without getting too fancy.

As for lighting, I just have the stock 18" 15w light fixture, with a 20,000k coralife fluorescent bulb that I was told would help compensate for my very low lighting. Based on what I've read I'm now thinking either the guy didn't really know what he was talking about or I was a sucker. Chalk that up to a rookie not doing his homework, I guess. I've been considering buying another light, like this one:

Money's an issue, so I can't go crazy with it. I don't really want to go crazy with it, for that matter. I'm not even sure what type of tank cover to use with a light like that one. One of those plain glass covers?

I change about 10-15% of the water every week and a half or so with de-chlorinated tap water. Once cycled, my water has been pretty good. I don't have exact numbers, but the only problem seems to be low ph. Around 6.0 or just a little above, according to the fish place that checked it last for me. I haven't bought any test kits myself.

Sorry for the long post. Didn't want to leave anything out
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Here's a pic of my current setup, btw. Not much to look at right now, but the fish are active and there's a little green in there. Sorry for the poor quality. The camera on my phone blows.


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Thanks for the link
Yeah, I'd rather have a cover of some type on there. So I guess my option if I went with this light would be a glass cover? I've never actually seen/used one before. I'm assuming there's space in the back for the filter and heater?
Thanks, I've seen them in boxes at my lfs, but they're usually just plain cardboard boxes with very little additional info, so I wasn't sure what to expect with them.
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