plants for 20 gallon tank with neon tetras

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the loach

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Aug 6, 2018
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Well who wants to scrub algae? Now that I've seen your tank, this is what I recommend;
Change the substrate to a fine gravel/coarse sand ±2mm grain size. What you have isn't good for either plants or kuhli loaches.
Get rid of the fake plants, replace them with real ones. Fake plants will only grow algae. Check the lighting, what is it exactly (it has a weird color on the first pic, but it might be the pic?) in terms of Lumen/Watt/color temperature? You want to make sure you have proper lighting for real plants to grow well, not just algae. Check pH, KH and nitrates.
Get another 6 neons and half a dozen of kuhlis and a couple of platies to stock the tank. Also I saw your snail jar topic and I recommend you put the shrimp in this tank, not in that gallon jar.
 
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the loach

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Aug 6, 2018
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Sand has its own challenges like difficult to vacuum, not ideal for aquatic plants and risk of anaerobic spots. If you insist on sand only make it only 1/2" thick. Your plastic plants take up quite some space that could have been real plants, if you don't want algae you either have live plants or have lights on for a short time and do water changes.
 
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