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Iotari 02-10-2013 09:36 PM

Starting a Fluval Spec V. Newby advice.
Hey everyone, I'm a long time reef tank keeper and after a 2 year hiatus I'm making the switch to nano and planted. I've bought a Spec V and heater and my plans are to use ECO complete substrate with some sand on top in spots for decoration. I am not ready to go right into using CO2, but I have a few questions about the low tech method. I plan on planting moderately definitely want to use some dwarf hair grass for foreground, along with stem plants in the back. What sort of dosing should I get for this type of set up, I would also consider suplimental carbon dosing if it would work/help in this set up. Should I have any additives for my substrate besides ECOcomplete? And given the stock lighting what are some plant suggestions? Budget is going to keep me stuck with the stock lighting for the foreseeable future.

difrent7 02-11-2013 03:45 AM

Hey I think you are off to a great start. I have a Fluval Spec V but only have java fern, java moss, flame moss, and H. polysperma. Everything has been fine with stock lighting no real growth besides on the H. polysperma but that is pretty much expected. I think for now you should try it out and see how it treats you without adding anything. I think you might be able to keep DHG alive with the light but the growth might be super slow. It is kinda trial and error, some people have great luck with the stock light while some don't. Either way keep us posted on what you end up doing!

Oneiros 02-11-2013 07:44 PM

Iotari, I'm going to be watching this thread closely since I'm going to try the same thing in a couple of weeks :D

Does anyone know what the watts/gallon of the Spec V is out of the box?

Iotari 02-11-2013 08:53 PM

Went around today pricing everything. Looking to try and start up this weekend. Should I use root tabs or and kind of base layer substrate, or is ECOcomplete enough?

defender.TX 02-11-2013 09:29 PM

Depending on what you're stocking I would definitely dose Flourish Excel (if you aren't going CO2 route). It will go a long way towards keeping your plants happy and the algae away. You have to be really careful not to overdose and I would only recommend a bi-weekly dosing schedule if you're keeping shrimp. The anti-algae component to Flourish Excel is not great for shrimp, but if you keep it below the recommended dose it can be a nice benefit while still being shrimp friendly.

Iotari 02-11-2013 09:55 PM

I will be dosing excel and flourish, the cost won't be prohibitive due to low water volume. Ideally, I would like to mix a few shrimp and some fish but my knowledge on compatability isn't good, and I haven't read much on caring for FW shrimp. I have expirience with gouramis, and chichlids and thats about it on the FW side of things.

Green_Flash 02-12-2013 02:42 AM

Excel and root tabs are always good to have on hand. for shrimp, I heard cherries and amanos are easy.

Iotari 02-17-2013 04:30 AM

Tank is cycling with some anubias, driftwood, and java fern right now. Hurry up and wait. Pics soon.

Iotari 02-18-2013 11:07 PM

Hello Everyone,

This is my Spec V which was filled on Friday. I bought a piece of driftwood from an LFS near my work along with an anubias and a stem plant I forgot the ID on. I will be getting the heater, ferts, and a test kit tomorrow afternoon. The plan going forward is to buy a lot more plants on Thursday. I will drain the tank to plant and adjust the substrate a little bit as this scape was done as a temporary. Then hope to add a fish or to early next week. Any suggestions on plants to looks for would be much appreciated, as would any tips for someone new to the planted scene. I am planning to keep a small shoal of tetras along with a few ottos and shrimp as the cleanup crew. Also, would I be able to get away with a dwarf Gourami with weekly 50% changes? I have a shrimp (cocktail) in there to help along the cycle.

Set Up:

Stock Fluval Spec V
50W Hydor heater

10lbs Eco Complete
Root Tabs

Dosing Excel, Flourish, and Seachem N, P, K

daylily 02-20-2013 01:01 AM

my Spec V has been going since Sept. 2012

I have a lot more plants than you do, and at least half are stem plants. I'd say mine is medium to heavy planted, with half being stem plants.

I have a betta and two nerite snails. That's it.

otos are supposed to like bigger tanks, and they like to be in shoals. I have 4 in my 15 gallon and rarely see them.

While I was waiting for the 15 to cycle, I had 6 cherry barbs in the 5 gallon. Betta was in a bowl. The cherry barbs needed more space. Even when I put them in the 15 they needed more space, and I traded them to someone with a 40 breeder.

The Spec V really is small. You might want to really put some thought into what you stock it with. I've been thinking of getting another Spec V just for cherry shrimp, as I enjoy them so much.

Iotari 03-14-2013 07:25 PM

Got my Finnex in today. Ordered Monday night and amazon shipped free from California in 3 days, I love that site. The first reaction to the light is simply amazing, small, light, rigid, and puts out a great color and intensity considering it was 60$ shipped. Also coming from a background in reef tanks I love turning the actinics on along with the daylights. We will see how the plants respond.

Perfect fit

kazu_sf 10-29-2013 05:50 PM


I was thinking about following your lead. I was wondering what your tank looks like today, and if you had any updates? New plants, fish, shrimp. etc?

Beautiful tank btw.

kazu_sf 10-29-2013 06:11 PM


I was thinking about following your lead. I was wondering what your tank looks like today, and if you had any updates? New plants, fish, shrimp. etc?

Beautiful tank btw.

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