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cdunson82 01-25-2012 01:46 AM

12 gallon long first timer
So this is my first shot at a planted tank and thought I would do a journal. I have experience with saltwater tank, have had a 29 gallon reef, AGA 75 Gallon Reef and now a 75 gallon rimless reef tank. The 12 Gallon that I am using now started out as a reef nano but started looking like my 75 so I decided to try something new. This tank is in a cubby that is built into the wall in my living room so hiding equipment has been a challenge. All opinions and advice is welcome, because I am completely new to all this.

Now onto the tank -

Tank: Mr Aqua 12 Gallon Long
Filter: Rapids Mini Canister Filter
Light: 36" dual T5 Light fixture
Co2: Fluval 88g Kit
Substrate: Eco-Complete black

Eleocharis Parvula
Still undecided on what else to use

Open to suggestions, looking for a good shoaling fish for this tank.

Finished aquascape and substrate:

Dry starting my first plants: Day 0

CAM6467 01-25-2012 02:36 AM

You certainly have done your homework. This hardscape is very nice! The wood really looks nice. Not to dismiss the beauty of this layout, but I would try to create more slope front to back if possible. The open space to the left would look amazing with a low-lying carpet plant of some sort!

Hiding equipment does seem daunting in this space, but with the black painted background atleast you can cram stuff behind the tank and not see it. I would suggest painting the plumbing parts within the tank to help hide them better.

Is that fixture a t5HO? If so, then you may want to consider a pressurized co2 system in the future as you will need it to help your plants out. Otherwise you could reduce the light a bit...

This is an awesome start. A dry start is often an easier way of establishing a nice carper foreground. Congrats on the start and I'm looking forward to watching this tank go!


ArabTanker 01-25-2012 02:37 AM

It looks great. Simply perfect i might say.

For the fish, i would get 10-15 neon or cardinal tetras. I love a big school of small fish.

cdunson82 01-25-2012 12:36 PM

Thank you both for the kind words.

CAM6467: Are you talking about creating a slope on the left side of the tank only or the whole thing? I really have never done a slope in a tank before, saltwater you typically put the substrate where the powerhead pushes it. I will have to play with it but if you can give me more of a visual idea.

One way that I have been able to help the equipment issue alittle is the fact that the piping for the filter as well as the Fluval 88g are all clear and black, so they should blend in pretty well with the background, we will see when I have everything installed and adjust from there. It is a T5HO fixture, it is off of ebay so its not the best reflectors I have ever seen so I am testing where the light should be. I have seen posts on here of people with the 12 gallon long whose tanks thrive with the light right on the tank like I have it and others who have had to raise the light. So again I will play with it and adjust as needed. I do have pressurized Co2 with the Fluval 88g Kit, I was planning around size which is why I chose that kit.

ArabTanker: The Cardinal Tetras where the exact fish I was thinking. It is still amazing to me that I can get 15 fish for about the same price that I normally pay on just one fish in my saltwater tank. It is sooo nice.

hnabhi 01-25-2012 02:39 PM

Hi cdunson82,

Thats seems like a great tank in the making... I like the dimensions of your tank.. could you tell me the dimension in inches cm or feet.

Hawkian 01-25-2012 02:58 PM

Very nice indeed! Cardinals are great but you could also consider some rummy-nose tetras... How long are you planning your DSM to be? Can't wait to see it filled :)

cdunson82 01-25-2012 03:12 PM

The tank dimensions are 35.4" x 8.3" x 9.4 inches. I love shallow tanks which is why I got it.

The Rummy-nose Tetra looks really cool, are they shoaling fish as well? Excuse my ignorance but the planted world has a whole new set of acronyms to learn, what is DSM?

endgin28 01-25-2012 03:34 PM

I have a GLA 91-b, which has the same dimensions. A few notes on the arrangement. First off I agree with the previous poster(s) adding some height to the slope will definitely help with creating depth in the arrangement. It will make it seem much larger than it is if you do. When building the slope I found it useful to insert toothpicks cross wise and vertically to maintain the the height without sagging.

I have a twin tube T-5 arrangement over my tank and I would suggest looking into an adjustable suspension kit for yours. The substrate is very close to the light and the T-5's are very powerful. Algae issues are pretty likely without moving the light further up. During the emersed growth this is not a problem, but once submersed it may rear its ugly head and quickly.

Personally, I feel that that the tank is underfiltered with a rapids. (In fact I feel the rapids isn't enough for most planted tanks other than true nano's, advertising aside.) Getting sufficient water movement in a tank this long, in my experience, required more filtration than an XP1 could provide, which is in turn far more filtration than a rapids. I will be using an eheim 2026 for mine once the emersed period is finished. Again, this is my opinion and your experience could be far different. A powerhead could alleviate the issue of water movement.

One other thing I have noticed with this tank style, is that evaporative loss is really fast with this tank. I had a custom glass top cut for it to slow the rate, and really think it is helpful with this type of tank. I know not everyone likes the look of it, but if well done it can be nice. Of course I live in a very dry climate and this contributes to the problem but I think it is something worth mentioning.

Anyways, best of luck. It is a really nice tank to work on, easy to maintain and certainly gets more attention than most little tanks.

cdunson82 01-25-2012 07:48 PM

Thats for the help. I will play with the slope tonight and see what I can get from it. I am worried about algea with the light, so I will see what it does and am currently planning a hanging kit of some sort just in case. I am going to see how the filter works out and if it doesnt work then I will look into getting a new filter.

I had this tank set up as a saltwater tank that had a internal filter, skimmer and a lot more light and it didnt evaporate that much so I dont think this freshwater will be any less then that. I am in Florida so its pretty humid but we will see, thanks for the heads up.

On a side note, when it is time to use pressurized Co2, how much should I be looking at using? How many bubbles per second?

endgin28 01-25-2012 11:22 PM

Depends on what your drop checker tells you. I over filter the heck out my tanks, so I have some out gassing. I would start at one BPS and see what that does. Less surface agitation will mean more gas, so I would go for emerald green and see what it takes.

cdunson82 01-26-2012 12:39 PM

So I used the rest of the substrate that I had to do as much of a slope as I could, mainly was able to do a slope in the left corner. Ill take pictures tonight and see what you think but I really like it.

I finally got tired of trying to find HC locally so pulled the trigger on 3 pots from Ebay. Has anyone ever dealt with Planted Aquariums Central from ebay? They were a pretty good price and cheap shipping compaired to everything else that I saw online. My vision for these two plants is to have the HC in front and the Hairgrass in the back.

Hawkian 01-26-2012 05:56 PM


Originally Posted by cdunson82 (Post 1692066)
The tank dimensions are 35.4" x 8.3" x 9.4 inches. I love shallow tanks which is why I got it.

The Rummy-nose Tetra looks really cool, are they shoaling fish as well? Excuse my ignorance but the planted world has a whole new set of acronyms to learn, what is DSM?

Sorry about that... the problem with acronyms is that we all get used to them and then we forget that not everyone uses/knows them. Dry Start Method.

Yes the rummy-nose is a shoaling fish.

endgin28 01-26-2012 08:50 PM

For what its worth, you can get some exceptional good deals on plants in the SNS, and quality is usually as high or higher than other sources. Lots of interesting stuff comes up, HC is usually very common given that trimming is frequent. It usually means that you are by plants that are in the immersed form, versus pots that are usually grown emmersed and will require an adjustment period when dunked. Since you are using DSM this is a non issue, but often helps with initial immersed planting.

cdunson82 01-26-2012 09:05 PM

Yes thank you - I realized what DSM stood for following my post. Felt a little like a retard lol

I tried posting to see if anyone was selling HC in the SNS section but no one responded that is why I pulled the trigger on the ebay ones. I should get them early next week so I will post pictures after I get them.

cdunson82 01-31-2012 12:20 AM

SO I got my HC today and put it in. I love the way this stuff looks.

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