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freeleo3 06-06-2012 05:29 PM

Fluval Edge 6 Gallon Planted Aquarium (First Attempt)
Hey all,

I've been lurking on these forums for a while and finally decided to join today to get some advice about starting a planted aquarium. I recently bought a Fluval Edge 6 gallon aquarium (the newer 18 LED light version) on sale. I'm planning on setting it up in a couple of months when I head back to college as a low-tech planted aquarium. I've been keeping fish for pretty much as long as I can remember, but this is going to be my first attempt at a planted aquarium, so I figured I should ask for some advice.

First, I was wondering about substrate. I've been considering just getting the 4 pound bag of Fluval plant stratum since it's relatively cheap and about the right size. However, I'm not sure if this is a good substrate or not. Also, should I cover the substrate with a small amount of gravel, or would it be better not to?

My current plan is to get some dwarf hair grass and HC, but I also really like sword plants. I know HC can be difficult to work with, but do you think it would be possible to grow it with just the light that comes with the Edge? And I'm open to suggestions on the sword plants. I'm not entirely sure which would be best for the tank.

Of course, there's also the matter of the fish I'd be keeping in the tank. I was thinking of getting just a single pair of German Blue Rams. I've kept them before (in larger tanks), and I feel like they would be alright in a 6 gallon aquarium if they were the only occupants. I'm well aware of the inch per gallon rule, and in my experience, they've only gotten to between 3 and 4 inches long, so I think it should work. However, I'm open to input about this.

Thanks for any help!

JasonG75 06-06-2012 09:27 PM


+1 Fluval plant stratum
Hc isnt as dependant on light as it is on Co2. DHC is the one that needs better lighting.

nano fish...Green neons, pygmy / dwaft cories

sugarbyte 06-07-2012 05:07 AM

Hey, welcome to the forums :)

The fluval substrate is awesome. Depending on what plants you plan on growing, some fertilizer tabs/capsules might be really beneficial.

Keep in mind that the Edge has a major flaw for growing aquatic plants: getting light to reach the corners and edges. With this in mind, make sure you plant your higher-light demanding plants closer to the middle. There are a ton of modifications worth looking into for the fluval edge. There is also a list of low-light plants available on the low tech forum which could help you choose the right plants for the look you're going for.

I think your safest bet is to go with low-medium light plants for the fluval edge.

I've never kept GBR but I don't think I would put 2 in a 6 gallon. I don't believe the inch per gallon rule should apply when it comes to nano tanks. A Convict Cichlid can reach 4 inches, that doesn't mean you should put it in a 6 gallon. Just my opinion :)

Unfortunately one of the downsides of nano tanks is the stocking limitations.
There is a nano-fish list available on the nano planted tank forum if you're looking for nano compatible fish. I've found it very useful for myself.

Good luck and enjoy the fluval edge!

82nd_Airborne 06-07-2012 12:53 PM

My vote on stocking would be Celestial Pearl Danios and shrimp, but that's just my 2 cents.

freeleo3 06-07-2012 03:15 PM

Thanks for the advice! I do realize that the design of the edge makes lighting a bit of a challenge. I'm thinking I'll just stick to the hair grass and find some small background plants rather than throw my money at HC without the proper equipment. I did see some cool things called Marimo balls...does anyone have any experience with those?

Also, I think that Scarlet Badis would work pretty well in the tank. They're supposed to be pretty small and relatively inactive. Those might be better than taking a risk with the blue rams.

sugarbyte 06-07-2012 04:56 PM

You shouldn't have any problems if you stick to low light plants. If you want to use "higher" light requiring plants definitely place them in the middle where most of the light is! Marimo balls are awesome, they're tricky to incorporate into an aquascape though. Again, depends what look you're going for. My shrimp love crawling around and cleaning them. You just have to gently squeeze them and turn them over once in a while to make sure the other sides of the ball are getting some light. Mosses in general are a good option.

Some fish are timid and like to hide among plants and/or rocks, this helps them avoid stress and make them feel like they're in their natural habitat. Keep this in mind when choosing your plants and fish :)

freeleo3 06-08-2012 12:29 AM

Once again, thank you for the info, sugarbyte! I'll definitely need some hiding places in the aquarium for the scarlet badis since I'll be living with 3 other college students. Hopefully the fish won't be too shy!

sugarbyte 06-08-2012 04:58 AM

I'm happy if I can help :) Feel free to pm me if you have any questions.

mesohuanny 06-08-2012 08:30 AM


Just wanna chime in here for my first post as I'm a noob too and I've been running a Fluval Edge 6g too!

I'm using a mix of Fluval plant stratum and Up Aqua Shrimp sand. I'm glad I got the shrimp sand because the fluval plant statum is pretty big and light, you're going to have a hard time getting your HC to stay put. I have to be very careful filling up the tank or the HC will just go loose and float up. You'll want to use something better / finer / heavier than Fluval plant stratum. You'll also want to get a set of forceps to really get the HC down into the stratum (You'll have a hard time with just your fingers).

I haven't had much luck with HC. My first batch pretty much withered up and died. I got a second batch, added a CO2 + diffusor set up and flourish root tabs, it seemed to be okay but after a few weeks it started browning. It's been a week since I've started dosing fertilizers and it looks like things are starting to look better (greener / new buds) but there's not any spread yet.

I've been doing water changes with distilled water (that might be the problem), started doing a half distilled half tap mix. But aside from that, the only thing I haven't really tried is a better light source.

mesohuanny 06-08-2012 08:32 AM

Also look on ebay, I've seen a bunch of Fluval Edge 6g's go for cheap!

freeleo3 06-08-2012 02:57 PM

Oh wow, thanks for telling me about the stratum. I'll definitely have to add a sand or gravel cap then. I think I'm just going to stay away from the HC since I want to keep this tank low tech. I'd rather not have to worry about CO2 if I can help it.

And yeah, I got my new fluval edge for $90 at petco. They have a 30 percent off all aquariums sale for pals card holders until the 16th of this month. I was pretty happy with that since the cheapest I saw online was going for $105 new.

sugarbyte 06-10-2012 05:17 PM

In both my experiences of using Fluval Ebi Stratum I've never had to cap the substrate. If you plan on planting very small plants such as HC then it's better to separate the plant into small clumps rather than planting each individual strand (because with that substrate they will float out and you will lose your mind replanting them non-stop XD). I personally think capping it really isn't necessary.

Michiba54 06-10-2012 08:48 PM

Here is a "how to" on HC I wish I had before planting each stem for 5hrs an losing my marbles :)

LucyLoofa 06-11-2012 01:30 AM

I'm going to be keeping a close eye on this. :) Starting a nano again soon myself. I hope you have good luck with this!!

raven_wilde 06-11-2012 02:44 AM

For any of you that haven't already seen it... we got an Official Edge Thread going on.

Its been active since the Edge first came out so it is FULL to the brim with info about mods and which plants work and which don't. Also just about everyone on here keeping an Edge has dropped a link to their tank journal in it. Its a good read :proud:

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