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Thread: New 20 long set up: Advice Please!!

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    SCAPE Member Jr. SCAPEr Flighty Zeus's Avatar
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    Exclamation New 20 long set up: Advice Please!!

    Hi All!

    Ok, so I've posted before about my 20g long that I'm setting up. I'm waiting for a few things to arrive so I can start. I'm waiting for the light and lid and some sand. I have the tank, filter, some wood, some sand, & some pebbles. I'm also wanting to go to a landscape rock yard and get some medium and small rocks for the tank.

    So, here's where I need advice:

    Substrate.

    I've ordered 20lbs of sand and 20lbs of CaribSea Eco Complete [in addition to the small amount of sand that I already have], as I have decided not to do dirt. QUESTION: Can I put sand on top of Eco Complete ? I used the Eco Complete in my 10g that I'm upgrading from and it really worked out for almost 10 years. . However, I used gravel as a substrate in that tank. I'm moving towards sand for the sake of my cories and any other barbled fish I may acquire.I'm trying to avoid having a smelly mess. What do you guys suggest with what I already have? Do I have enough substrate? I'm feeling like I might need more sand.

    Heater

    I bought a 75w heater because it seemed to be the right wattage. It's too long. So, I'm sending it back in favor of a 50w. Unless anyone has a better suggestion? I'm looking at the Hygger ETL Certification Aquarium Heater, 50W and the Fluval M50 Submersible Heater. Does anyone have any opinions on these or other heaters for a 20g long? I live in the Inland Empire, so I really only need the heater in the winter for a couple of months.

    I'm totally open to suggestions!! Help me!!

    Thanks!!!

    Kim!

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    SCAPE Member Jr. SCAPEr Flighty Zeus's Avatar
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    Really folks?? No one has any advice?? Almost 100 people have looked at my post, but 0 people have answers? Heck, if you have only answer to one of my questions, answer it! I'm not picky!

    Seriously, let me know what's worked for you:

    1) If you're running a tank with Eco Complete and sand, let me know how it's going!

    2) If you're running a 20 long, let me know what heater you've got!

    That's pretty much all I need for now.

    Give a girl some advice, you guys!!

    Thanks!!!

    Kim


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    SCAPE Member Pro SCAPEr Bongox3's Avatar
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    Hi Kim… I am worried that your Eco complete will continually pop up from beneath the sand substarate… especially if you have bottom feeders, shifting through it… may I ask why you chose Eco complete? What are you planning on growing? you could consider using the substarte to build depth in the back of your tank with sand up front and visible…just a thought… but you will probably be plucking out pebbles from your sand constantly if capping. Right now I’m just using sand, root tabs, and fertz in the water column without any issues….and no pebbles.

    As far as heaters go… I never owned a 20 long so I’m no use there…

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    SCAPE Member Just Planted Kmu's Avatar
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    Heater size depends on how many degrees above room temperature you want to heat the tank. I have a 20 tall for Endlers and I use one Tetra HT 50 watt preset heater. The tank has a cover which holds heat in and reduces evaporation.

    Heaters fail when the on-off switch gets stuck, which is why I prefer undersized heaters. They switch less frequently and if it gets stuck in the on position, it won’t cook the tank. If I needed more power, I would get a second small heater over one large heater. I like the Tetra because it’s small enough (~5 inches) to put in plastic tubs I use to grow out fry.

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    SCAPE Member Pro SCAPEr geektom's Avatar
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    Having done this multiple times, I can *guarantee* you that the substrate will end up mixed. Even if your fish donít do it, the first time you need to adjust a plant or a piece of hardscape, it will be all over the place. Doesnít mean you should do it- just know it is a major upkeep to keep it looking pristine.

    100w heater on a 20 long is more than enough
    I am an old dog trying to learn some new tricks...

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    SCAPE Member Just Planted h20shrimp's Avatar
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    IMO I would use a buffering substrate like UNS controsoil. It's makes life much easier and plants love it. You can use the sand and Pebbles you have as the Cosmetic features and cover the the soil. I'd figure out what type of scape you want or the fish you want to add to your tank.

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    SCAPE Member SCAPEr phuchuynh92's Avatar
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    I have little experience with most of what you are doing, but I do have a suggestion. why don't you put the Ecocomplete into the mesh zipper bag and use that as a base layer so it doesn't go everywhere.
    Then you can overlay sand and stuff and it'll stay still better.

    Note: not my idea, I see this on MD Fishtank channel

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    SCAPE Member Jr. SCAPEr Flighty Zeus's Avatar
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    Substrate

    Geektom & Bongox3

    I realize that there's a high possibility that the EcoComplete will come through the sand. My basic idea is to put the bag of EcoComplete in one corner and the two bags of sand in the opposite corner and blending the two sides diagonally in the middle or so. I'm planning on putting a bunch of rocks, plants, and wood in the EcoComplete side with the sandy corner having few to no plants, just a rock or two and some pebbles. I do like phuchuynh92's idea of a mesh bag. I could stack bags and that might keep the rocks from shifting too much. Though, again, with fish with sifty type mouths (corys and plecs) might shift the sand away from the "pyramid" of mesh bags. I'm still in the planning stage. I'm pretty open to suggestions. I'm using the EcoComplete because I have had success with it in the past, though I mixed it with gravel 7 years ago because I didn't know any better at the time. In retrospect, I feel sorry for very bottom feeder I've had since! Also, the ratio of sand to EcoComplete is 2 to 1. It will 20lbs of EcoComplete and 40lbs of sand. Honestly, since I'm putting the rocks, wood, and plants in the EcoComplete section, I think it won't be much of a problem. I also could be completely insane! I have lived with the black with pink/green glo-fish gravel mixed with EcoComplete for 8 years now. I only started to hate it last year!

    h20 shrimp What I really want is nano fish for the most part. I want the tank to look like a river bottom. I already have some plants that I got at SCAPE auctions! They're living in a 10 gallon bucket with two tiny BN plecs I got from the last SCAPE auction.

    Heaters

    So, if the room is 70 degrees, what temperature do I want the tank? 74? 78? 80? In my 4.3g shrimp tank, which is the best looking out of all of my tanks, I have a Tetra preset heater and as far as I know, it's fine. In the 10g that I'm upgrading from, I probably have a tetra heater that I know nothing about anymore. I really didn't take any notes that long ago! Time has flown since 2013 when I set up the 10g. I never thought I would be using sand in an aquarium; it always seemed so exotic! So, if Geektom says that 100w heater would be more than enough. What would be just enough to keep the aquarium water warmer than, let's say, 69 degrees. So, maybe up to 10 degrees higher? I guess? I like the suggestion of 2 smaller heaters over 1 large one. Especially since the 75w heater was too long to go vertical. So, maybe two 50w preset heaters would work best if I keep them in the corners. Maybe if it gets too hot in the summer, I could take it out or unplug it or something... We try to keep the house less than 80 in the summer months mainly for the aquariums. It's a lot easier to warm them up than to cool them down. At least not without a frozen bottle of ice or something.


    Thanks everyone so far!!

    Kim ��
    Last edited by Flighty Zeus; 11-14-2021 at 09:11 PM. Reason: I'm a goofball!

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    SCAPE Member SCAPEr jayo's Avatar
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    I have a 20G high that I have a 50W heater on. I'm able to keep the temperature at or above 70 year round, and my house gets into the high 50's at night in winter. I would expect a 20G long to lose heat more quickly than a 20G high (more surface area), but unless the fish you choose need higher temps, plants and shrimp will do well between 68-78. I keep my tank between 69-74 year round unless we have a heat wave, in which case I try not to let it go over 82.

    You might consider having one 50W heater year round and have an extra to throw in in winter if you find you need it.

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