I'm currently using the stock filter that came with the tank. I do have an Aquaclear 20 on it that I was deciding between it and the stock one to run. I think it AQ puts out too much current even on a low setting for the small 5g tank so switched back to the little factory one instead. The downside is that is mounted inside the frame so it blocks a lot more of the light from the good. Will probably end up moving back again to the AQ 20. Sure not helping my cycling / setup to keep being undecided, but the plants and snails are doing okay. Been diligent about holding off on fish and shrimp, but a few starters are going in soon. Need to move the last of the sag to the middle/back, just not enough room with the temporary holding pots in there now.
Dwarf hairgrass is growing well in the tank. The one in the stored pot awating transport is already reaching the top of the waterline which equates to almost 3" of upwards growth since I put it in. The planted stuff looks to be doing well also. I'm not sure if the HC is going to make it, I stuffed it into the substrate with some of the rockwool left as I couldn't get it to stay down any other way.
Tested the water yesterday and here's what I came up with:
GH 25 (yeah, Vegas has hard water)
Nitrate .1 ppm
Ran a quick test of GH for the bottled water in our office and it shows a GH of 10 so maybe that would be a better choice for water changes? I need to do a sample from home as we have a water softner installed that I'm curious what difference that makes.
Some morning pics of the snails doing their thing:
Don't bother removing the snails. You'll never remove all of them, so they will just keep coming back. Save your sanity. And their numbers usually remain constant if you feed normally and keep other aspects under control.
Tank is doing good. Hairgrass got a trim yesterday, it had grown up over 3" since planting.
Danio's are busy fish and very curious. They always seem interested in the pruning tools when I'm trying to clean up the tank.
Really hard to photograph this tank between the bow front and light color gravel. I really want to redo it with black Eco-complete, but the plants and fish are happy currently. Might end up moving everything to either a 6g or 10g rectangular tank.
Picked up 4 Zebra Danio's at the LFS today so the tank has it's first fish!
I don't believe Zebra Danios are the best choice for that tank considering it's size (assuming it's standard 15x9x14 minibow) and how hyper they are. I personally would rather go with a few guppies or endlers (all male so there's no breeding), maybe White Cloud Minnows, or a betta and some shrimp or a larger snail. They'll probably be fine, assuming you keep up on water changes, but in my first 10 gallon I had zebra danio and even in there they were a little too zippy & active to really enjoy it.
That said, I'm always impressed by how nice some people can make nano tanks look, well done.