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Level200 01-04-2013 05:15 PM

Fluval Spec 5Gal/19L
This is my first planted tank. I am hoping to create a planted tank for Shrimp and other dwarf In-Mates ;)

So far here is the kit that I have:

Tank: Fluval Spec 5Gal/ 19L

Heater: Fluval compact aquarium heater (To go inside the filter area)

CO2: AquaGro CO2 Pro set

Soil: Tetraplant Complete Substrate (2cm layer on base of tank)

Substrate: Fluval Stratum for shrimp (layer on top of Tetraplant substrate)

Lighting: Stock light for now, will look into upgrading the lighting

Ground cover plants: Hemianthus Callitrichoides 'Cuba'

Bog wood plants: Star Moss, Spiky Moss

In-mates: Possibly starting with Shrimp

I will post photos and thoughts as I go along with the build. Hopefully I will get some help and guidance along the way from you guys :)

Any thoughts and suggestions so far?


Level200 01-04-2013 05:25 PM

Possible hardscape layouts. Feedback and suggestions will be great please.

Layout 1_ one bog wood piece with substrate:

Layout 2_ two bog wood with substrate:

Layout 3_ two pieces:

I feel that layout 3 has a nice feeling but layout 1 has more space. Any thoughts?


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GreenBliss 01-04-2013 07:12 PM

I like layout 3 a lot. Layout 1 is okay. Maybe add the second wood to that (in empty space on right) and see how that looks. :)

scapegoat 01-04-2013 07:14 PM

i vote #3

Level200 01-04-2013 07:15 PM

Thanks for the feedback, here is layout 3 with stock lighting:

Yes I think I'll go with this layout :)
I'm thinking about having moss in the gap between the two pieces of wood. Which moss will be best?

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daylily 01-04-2013 07:59 PM

I have the same tank. Love it!

I had mine set up with a betta at first. Then, I put the betta in a temporary tank and was using for a QT tank while my larger tank was cycling. I had 6 pygmy cory, 6 cherry barbs, 2 male Endler's in it. They did fine in there for a month. Wouldn't want them in there forever, but for a little bit it was ok.

I found that with the plants and the two pieces of driftwood, there was not much room for the fish. So, I put the larger pieces in the cycling tank and put a small piece in. Worked out better. The two larger pieces took up a lot of the volume, and "floor space" of the tank that the fish needed.

Now, all those fish are in my larger tank, and the betta is back in the Fluval.

One thing I did notice with mine when I had the larger pieces in there was that I preferred the look of the upright piece not being in the center. Before I retired, I worked as a graphic artist and photographer, and I was taught not to put your main subject in the center - try dividing the tank in thirds, and put your upright piece where the line of one of the thirds is.

Of course, this is just my preference.

I'd plan on trying to put your plants more in the center if you go with the stock light. The plants I had along each end were really leaning in to get the light. I am looking to upgrade my lighting.

alipper 01-04-2013 08:06 PM

Layout 3 looks great.

Level200 01-04-2013 08:08 PM

I agree, love the way the left piece almost wraps itself around the base of the right piece. They belong together lol

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Level200 01-05-2013 10:56 AM

Plants ordered.

One question, is it best to dry start or wet start?

Level200 01-06-2013 03:40 PM

Ok heres the plan:

Foreground: HC Cuba

Back ground: Dwarf Hairgrass

On Bog wood: Spiky Moss

Can anyone suggest anything to plant between the two pieces of bog wood was thinking of java but it gets too big, another moss perhaps?

Level200 01-08-2013 06:07 PM

Spike moss arrived, I have split the mesh and tied it to different parts of the bog wood. Only filled it up a small amount til the other plants turn up.

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Level200 01-09-2013 05:09 PM

Ok guys

All plants planted and tank topped up with water. I put on the filter but the flow is too strong at the moment and is dislodging the hc Cuba. Can in leave the filter off till it takes root also should I start with co2 now?


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Lukeo85 01-09-2013 06:22 PM

Fluval specs are awesome tank. I love mine so much I think I'm going to get another. Number 3 looks awesome. But do what you like best your the one who has to look at it.

Level200 01-09-2013 07:03 PM

Time will tell now.

Should I start using co2?
Filter is too strong at the moment and dislodging the hc Cuba, can I leave it off for a few days?

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Level200 01-15-2013 10:21 AM


Tank is now cycled and I have added 5 danios to help with plant growth. I started to setup co2 but my glass bubble counter rolled off the worktop and smashed, just waiting for a new one to be delivered.

Here are a few pics to show tank and also location (under roof window)

Any feedback and advice will be great

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