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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-05-2012, 05:32 AM Thread Starter
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Advice on Planted Nano

First time posting here, i'm not exactly new to fish, but i'm new to plants.

I'm using a 5.5 gallon aquarium with one of those light fixtures that you get from Petsmart/Co. Honestly don't care for it, but it works. I found a bulb that is 5000k and 25 watts. Is the wattage for this too much? Also, I am going to be getting a glass top for it with a few notches cut out for tubing to come out, so it can be a complete cover.

I made a CO2 Reactor out of a big apple juice bottle and it has a bubble counter as well, i'm at about 1 bubble a second.

Currently there is a big HoB Filter on it, but I want to get rid of it for a smaller DIY Internal Filter. I am making it out of one of the spice containers and it will be air pump powered, but I'm not 100% on the media I will be using.

I'm using about 1" of playsand as substrate, nothing else. Is this okay or with plants do I have to have fertilizer stuff?

I don't have a heater yet, but currently the water is 72 F, is there any way i can raise the water temp a little bit without having to buy a heater, i'm trying to make this as cheap as I can.

There is nothing living in it yet, the project is still in progress, its been up for about a week. I want to keep Red Cherry Shrimp in there. How many can I keep in something this size, I definitely do NOT want to breed them, so i'm going to try to get all the same gender, which will be a pain i'm sure.

Also, I know very little about plants. What kind of plants would look really nice and do well in this?

I don't currently have anything to check the PH or anything like that. Yet.

Advice/comments, that sort of thing? Thank you
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-05-2012, 05:59 AM
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I don't have much advice to offer since I'm still learning about all the ins and outs of a planted tank (right now I buy plants I like and hope they live) but as far as the other things go if your water stays around 72 and you are planning to get some RCS I wouldn't bother with a heater. I don't have heaters on any of my tanks and they are all between 72-76 and the fish and shrimp do just fine. A degree or two drop at night doesn't hurt anything, that's what nature would do anyway.

If you are just going to be keeping RCS in there you can build or buy a sponge filter and that would be just fine as the only filtration I would think. Getting all of one gender with RCS is probably going to be quite a chore, lol. You could always not worry about that too much and if you get more than you want there are probably people in your area who would buy extra from you. I've heard some people say anywhere from 10-20 RCS per gallon and up and down from there.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-05-2012, 06:08 AM Thread Starter
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Yea I am probably going to end up with a sponge filter either way, they're simple and very effective, plus they don't use up a lot of space. I would breed and sell the RCS, but I think it would be a lot of extra work and I mostly want this to look really nice and too many shrimp imo could ruin it. I heard its kind of easy to sex RCS anyways :3
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-05-2012, 06:14 AM
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Quote:
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I heard its kind of easy to sex RCS anyways :3
It is when they are mature enough. I can't really tell the difference when they are younger though and I got mine when most of them were still juveniles. I am a shrimp n00b though compared to a lot of people here.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-05-2012, 06:16 AM Thread Starter
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I know it has to do with size, coloration to some extent, and saddle.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-05-2012, 06:30 AM
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+1 on no heater, unless your room runs cool.

-1 on the DIY CO2 reactor. I played around with it for a while, but concluded that it's more trouble than it's worth. 1) you get huge pH swings at night when the plants aren't taking it up. 2) you might asphyxiate your shrimp. 3) huge imbalances in dissolved nutrients can promote algae growth. Overall, you're better off maintaining stable parameters by leaving out the DIY CO2.

25 watts should be fine and the color should be fine - if you add driftwood and it tints the water (yellow) heavily with tannins, 6500K or 10000K could help with how it looks.

As far as filters go, just be sure that the filter design keeps shrimp from getting sucked in. Oh yeah, and be sure that your tank is fully cycled before adding shrimp.

Substrate - Play sand is inert and while this could work, other substrates (with higher cation exchange capacity) that promote better plant growth are available.

Plants - This one is really up to you.

Hope that helps!
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-05-2012, 06:49 AM Thread Starter
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I also plan on colonizing MTS for the whole sand thing
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-05-2012, 06:39 PM
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Quote:
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I also plan on colonizing MTS for the whole sand thing
colonize is an interesting word, since you can't really stop them. lol. but def mts to keep the sand from compacting.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-05-2012, 11:09 PM Thread Starter
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People say if you don't overfeed the population can stabilize, and either way they stay in the substrate all day anywho
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-06-2012, 02:19 AM
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Walsh,

If your 25W bulb is a CFL, you're probably in good shape. I'd look for a 6700K rather than a 5000K, though -- better for plants. If it's a regular incandescent, take out the bulb and put in a CFL.

Good luck!

GBose
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-06-2012, 03:11 AM Thread Starter
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I was looking for 6700K, but couldn't find one for this type of bulb :C
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-06-2012, 03:16 AM Thread Starter
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Oh sick, I found one that is 27 watts and 5500K, that's 2 more watts and 500K more! I'm just hoping that isn't too much lighting....that's almost 5 WPG o.o
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-06-2012, 03:27 AM
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A lot of people run 27w lights on 5.5g tanks. The wpg rule is outdated anyways.
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-06-2012, 04:20 AM Thread Starter
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Ok cool, and honestly I think 5500K is the highest im going to find for a CFL
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-06-2012, 07:18 AM Thread Starter
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BOOM, found a 26 watt 6500k 82 CRI bulb!
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