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jrlyons21 02-03-2013 05:32 AM

New Nano Planted
Hello Everyone. Newbie to the forum, but not to the hobby.

I found some 3/16" glass scrap at a local glass shop for free. I will be building a small desktop aquarium out of it. No worries, I have built several in the past, and it will only be a ~5 gallon at 16" x 8" x 8" because the widest pieces of glass were 8". Not too sure I'd feel comfortable building much higher anyways. I know its small, but the glass was free, and it will be housing a 4.5 year old betta so...

I will be setting this new tank up planted freshwater. Here's the plan...input requested.

Tank: DIY 16"x8"x8"x3/16" (5 gallon)
Lighting: Finnex Ray2 16" (ordered 2/4/2013)
Filtration: Rapid Canister 80
Heater: Theo 25W
Substrate: Most likely dirted with Flourite on top
CO2: Please advise...I've had DIY in the past, but I'm interested the mini pressurized kit from fluval?
Fishes: My 4.5 year old Betta, no negotiaion! Most likely some shrimp as well.
Plants: Please advise for this shallow tank.

On lighting: Anybody had any experience with this module form Ecoxotic or other Cree 3W LED setups?

In the past, I have had a hard time with getting HC to spread with Eco-Complete, but I can't really say that Eco-Complete was the definite assignable cause. Any recommendation for substrate is greatly appreciated.

The pressurized CO2 could be way to much for the small tank, but it is pretty neat how it's setup. The flow of the gas is regulated by you daily and dissolved via reactor. You can dose the reactor as much or as little as you like.

Thanks for taking the time to read all of this.


joey24dirt 02-03-2013 07:26 AM

Hey there. Welcome to the forum. I'm relatively new myself but have found it to be a wealth of knowledge. I have just started off my own 5 gal nano. I too wanted co2 so I put in the fluval mini 20g. It's a handy idea but the trouble is the reactor for me was too big and bulky. Plus the refills are a little expensive. I think I paid 14 for three refills. Which doesn't seem too bad but they do run out fairly quick. I also had a few issues with the valve leaking. Fluval replace them so it's not too bad. I quickly upgraded to a refillable setup and just kept the mini 20 for back up. It's way cheaper in the long run doing that. Hope this helps.

JimmyZ 02-03-2013 02:18 PM

Sounds like a great build! I agree with Joey, though. You're better off skipping the Fluval CO2 and going with a 5lb tank and regulator/solenoid if you have the room. It seems expensive to start but that setup will save you $$$ over time. I'm running pressurized in my 5 gallon spec with upgraded lighting and couldn't be happier with the results.

jrlyons21 02-03-2013 04:45 PM

Could you both post some links maybe to the setups that you suggest for a small tank. I have a large CO2 refillable canister from paintball...

joey24dirt 02-03-2013 05:40 PM

I just use a refillable tank with a regulator valve I got from that popular auction site. It has a solenoid valve on it so it runs on a timer. Then from there to a bubble counter and then into the tank through the co2 diffuser. Not sure if there's a link for that set up anywhere but it's pretty simple to sort out. A lot of the stuff I use has come from china. It's not any brand I've heard of but I've got two of the regulators now and they work fine. I have it running at around 1-2 bps and that's in the fluval spec v and I'm getting pearling so it must be doing its job :-) have a look at my spec thread and see if there's anything there that may help :-)

JimmyZ 02-03-2013 05:42 PM

I'm using a Milwaukee MA 957 regulator and a SMS 122 pH controller. I've heard mixed reviews about the MA 957 but mine has been fine so far. You could use a timer instead of the pH controller. I just happened to get a good deal on a combo package so I'm using the controller. If you look around on bid sites you can usually get a good deal. I also run an Azoo regulator and Pinpoint pH controller on my 29g planted. That was a combo deal from Drs. Foster and Smith and was quite expensive but has worked flawlessly for the last 5 years.

jrlyons21 02-04-2013 03:32 PM


Went to Lowes to pick up some GE aquarium safe silicon. I already have the tools needed to put this little guy together. Just decided to use to fresh silicon.

Today, I ordered a few things from Amazon:

Lighting: Finnex Ray2 Daylight LED light (7,000K)
Heater: Hydor Theo 25W
Chems: Flourish Excel
Substrate: Flourite

Should be here this Friday???

On the other hand, anybody have any plant recommendations for this setup?

jrlyons21 02-05-2013 02:02 AM

Pictures of my built aquarium
2 Attachment(s)
Another update. Built the little tank up this afternoon.
Attachment 80722

Attachment 80730

Green_Flash 02-05-2013 02:46 AM

Nice work on the glass.

jrlyons21 02-05-2013 02:52 AM

Thank you! Now I just need to find what I will be using for hardscape...gonna go walk through the woods tomorrow...probably my favorite thing to do.

GMYukonon24s 02-05-2013 03:18 AM

Nice build!

jrlyons21 02-09-2013 03:07 AM

2 Attachment(s)
Just a quick update

Picked up a very small crypt and some pygmy chain today. Oh and the other day when I went walking through the woods, I ventured to a stream and found some cool striped river rock.

Attachment 83338

Attachment 83346

JimmyZ 02-19-2013 07:16 PM

Julian-Any updates to the progress of this tank?

chou 02-20-2013 07:06 AM

haha those rocks are like tombstones.

jrlyons21 02-21-2013 02:21 AM


Originally Posted by JimmyZ (Post 2589250)
Julian-Any updates to the progress of this tank?

JimmyZ, I completely changed my aquascape. Ill put up pictures tomorrow when the tank clears up.

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