Please check my plan
OK so here is what I plan to get as far as fauna, flora, and equipment...tell me if anything sounds like it wont work or is not a good idea. I am new, open to suggestion, and just looking for help.
1 Carinotetraodon travancoricus (dwarf puffer)
5-8 Cherry Shrimp
Are there any other fish that would do OK with the puffer in this size tank?
Dwarf baby tears
aquatop 25W nano heater
Please recommend me a filter that will be inconspicuous.
DIY CO2 system
Haven't made any final decisions yet except on the tank itself. I was considering an ADA tank of the same size but the shipping costs make it about $30 more than the truaqua tanks
Negative on the fauna. Any puffer, yes, even a dwarf puffer, will gladly devour your RCS. Decision time, which matters more to you?
Dwarf baby tears, AKA HC, is hard to keep alive without "real" CO2 but is possible with DIY CO2. You will likely need to supplement with something like excel/gluteraldehyde.
Depending on your home's temperature in winter you may be able to cut the heater.
I would say that the ~$30 extra for the ADA would be a wise investment (which could be saved by cutting the heater out of the question) as it is aesthetically superior, in my opinion by far, and will hold a much higher resale value if something happens and you decide to sell it.
Frogbit will shade your plants and will only make it harder to grow HC in your tank (especially without any CO2). I'd say cut it. It can be an eyesore, anyway.
You haven't mentioned lighting? That's important. If you're asking us what kind of lighting to use, I'd suggest perhaps a 27W PCL by Archaea (which you could get at the same time as the ADA tank if you get it instead of the Truaqua) or even a desklamp with a spiral CFL bulb.
As far as a filter it depends what you're looking for. I'd suggest a ZooMed 501 or similar (e.g. Tom Rapids Canister).
Overall you've got a good basis and plan, but it will need a little tweaking to yield successful results -- and this is a results-driven hobby. Best of luck!
Lighting I am probably going to use a spiral cfl to save on cost. I already have some extra from my terrarium builds.
My home temperature gets down to around 65 in the winter. This would be too low wouldnt it?
I should clarify on the CO2, it is going to be a DIY rig but with paintball type CO2 tank. So it will be "real" CO2
Is there anything at all I could keep with a puffer to add a bit more life to the tank? If not I may consider working with something dif for my first tank. Though puffers are so cute lol.
you could keep larger apple or mystery snails with your puffer... not small ones im afraid... as they would serve as a treat.
Inverts and dwarf puffer don't mix very well.
I had RCS and amanos with dwarf puffers. One day they realized that they were food and not just killed them all, they also killed 8 kuhli loaches...
I've had less aggressive puffers like the spotted puffers. However the tank is a mess with all the food you have to provide.
OK so I probably wont go with a puffer for my first tank then. Let me rethink the fauna and get back with a new list.
I def. need a heater if my room temp gets as low as 65 F right?
you can benefit from a heater in that case, yes.
You could try livestock that is under 75F. Water holds better co2 and o2.
Maybe only shrimp as its the trend now.
Then you wouldn't need a heater
Go with the Mini M if that's what you had in mind. The craftsmanship is fantastic and they look great.
Green leaf aquariums has a similar size on sale right now too if you want to save some money.
For a filter, Aquaclear HOB are good or if you want a canister an eheim 2211 (optional glass lily pipes would make it very inconspicuous)
Looking forward to this. Have you checked out the fluval specs? Mine is the 5 gallon one and has a nice built in filter. Very inconspicuous as it doesn't have inlets and outlets hanging in the tank!
As for the heater I think they are necessary in small tanks, as the temp will raise and drop a lot faster than normal. As soon as I turn my AC on I see my temp start to move lol
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