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Greeting all,

It's summer, classes are done for a few months and I have lots of time on my hands. I was frequently on this site three years ago when I was running my 75 gallon system. I have since gone to college and lived in campus housing Which forced me to tear it down. After 3 years I've got the bug again, and since I'll be renting a house next year I can finally set up an aquarium again. It started as another 5 gallon nano. Then in the strange way that things happen I thought I might as well do a 10 gallon. Then I saw a 20 long and thought that it looked like an awesome size and pretty much settled. Stop me if this sounds familiar. Next I started thinking "well really what's 9 more gallons, I should probably get a 29." haha. now I'm stuck and don't know what to get. Anyone have any experience with a 20 long? It seems like such a cool size to do a tank. The only thing I'm hesitant on is the height. Is it annoyingly shallow or is it workable? What do you all think? Also how should I light the thing? I want to do a pretty hi-tech grow what I want type deal. I was looking at the current USA 2x24 watt t5's. They seem alright, I don't really understand the advantages of t5 vs PC but they are always made to seem better. I guess another option would be a 65w coralife standard PC. What would you all recommend? Well I'll stop throwing questions out there but I'd appreciate any feedback or pics of similar tanks ect.

Thanks everyone, it's good to be back!
 

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20's are shallow. Personally I wish I had a 55 gallon instead of a 33. 12 inches of high aren't enough for you to enjoy most plants, but you still see some really good growth.

I suggest going for a long tank, since many fish will school together.

Go large or go home, eventually you'll end up upgrading anyways. You might as well get a 125 gallon tank now come to think of it :^p
 

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I agree about a 20 long being too shallow... likewise a 10G. But that opinion comes from someone who loves stem plants. If you stick to shorter stuff, you'd be in good shape. I'm thinking some crypts, maybe some dwarf sag, anubias, Java ferns, etc. Stick to foreground and midground plants and you are good. Also, you could simply stay on top of a tall grower... R. Rotundfolia for example gets rather large, but the best pictures come from very well maintained hedges that top out at 7-8 inches.

However, you mentioned that you want to do a high tech tank with lots of light. That means fast growers to me. If you are intent on doing this, you are very likely going to need the height. It at least will let you spend more time studying and less time pruning. I suggest a standard 20 High. These are relatively cheap and pretty versatile. A nicely aquascaped 20H can look pretty sweet...

Let us know what you decide on...
 

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Just my opinion but I have loved almost every 20 low tank that has been displayed on this forum. I think it is a perfect size tank. The extra height is not that important to me. Just my 2 cents.
 

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Personally the size of tank makes no difference.LOL.

What does make a difference is the space available for your setup.

With stem plants you can keep them trimmed in even the smallest aquariums, or in larger tanks, depending on your skills in trimming and maintaining a nice look and space available.

Take the most aviailable stem plants like rotalas.You can grow them in a 2 gal nano and trim them into a well formed plant that can make the tank appear larger than it is. Or you can grow them in a 40+ tank and allow them to grow tall and form a "forest" of Rotalas. Both methods of growing looks great. This can be done with almost every stem plant.

It is obvious that you can not grow Amazon swords in a 2 gal nano, but I have seen newbies attempt to do it. But you can grow them in a larger tank.

Many of the rosette type plants are not very large and can be grown in both small and large setups. Personally I love the look of Blxya japonica but I would not grow it in a small 5 gal because it does need to grow in a larger tank to show it's beauty when grown large. But many of the plants fromt the cryptocoyne family can be grown in smaller nano to larger tanks. Again taking into account the size of the plant. But then you will not want to grow a ECHINODORUS 'KLEINER BAR' in a nano.

Epiphyte plants that grow attached to rocks and wood such as anubias, bolbitis and many mosses again do well in small to large tanks, depending on size of plants.

So the size of tank really is not an issue with most types of plants. But the space available for the size of tank you want is. If space is limited then stick with smaller setups. And if you can afford the larger ones and have the space, time to maintain and love the look of a larger tank filled with beautiful plants and other aquatic life then go for it!!!
 
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