Planted Tank Enthusiast
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Garden City, New York
5.5 Gallon Planted Dorm Aquarium
Hi everyone. I had mentioned in my last activity on these forums that I was hoping to start a nano planted aquarium in my college dorm room. I'm currently a sophomore finance student at Boston College and, now that I'm within about a month of the 1st semester's end, I think the tank has finally gotten to a picture-worthy point. Let me know what you guys think.
This is my first time uploading via iPhone so hopefully there are no picture sizing issues. Let me know, if otherwise.
Some of the specifics:
? 5.5 gallon tank
? 3 single bulb (?) LEDs with suction cups and adjustable necks for precision's sake. I forget the wattage of each to be totally honest, but it's low-tech and I've had virtually no algae, so I'd imagine it's fairly minimal
? ZooMed 501 canister filter
? Cheap pet store heater to maintain temp at 76'
? One male dwarf gourami
? Three otos
? One cardinal tetra (I had seven but the first six died within the first week of being introduced. I imagine it was something they carried over from the store.)
? Java moss foreground, adhered via buried egg crate squares that I cut beforehand. Some is also on the upper left, tied to the driftwood at the water line.
? Anubias coffefolia on the driftwood
? Ludwigia repens (center back behind the driftwood)
? Crypt wendtii (front left)
? Crypt lutea (back right)
? Java fern (regular; right side on driftwood)
? Java fern, needle leaf (right side on driftwood)
There's a third crypt which I believe is different from wendtii in the front right. It has much longer stems and a greener, lighter appearance relative to the wendtii on the front right, which has more of that classic darker color. So any identification help would be appreciated. That wendtii in the front left was grown from a single sprig of about two inch and a half long leaves, so I'm definitely happy with the progress.
The Ludwigia has been growing to the extent of needing trimming about once a week. The Java moss has gotten pushed down and trimmed back every other week. It's by far surpassed my expectations, as I never really had great luck with foregrounds.
Being an open top rank, evaporation is substantial, so I do water changes once or twice a week every time the level gets to be an inch or so below the rim. I'm right near the bathroom, which has a filtered water spigot for drinking, so I fill from there. I dose every 2-3 weeks with Pfertz as I see necessary. I've dosed minimally with phosphorous and excessively on the nitrates and micronutrients in an effort to bring out the reds in the ludwigia. Additionally, when I was first planting, I put three Pfertz root tabs beneath each of the three crypt groupings, considering they're such root feeders.
Other than that, any questions and comments would be awesome. As a sidenote, I live in a double and my roommate and all my floormates know this tank is essentially my child, so they've been super respectful (i.e. no vodka showers because "it'd be hilarious"); just thought it was worth mentioning for those that were curious about the feasibility of keeping a tank at school.