Critique My Setup Please :)
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Old 09-20-2012, 03:02 AM   #1
kiera
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Critique My Setup Please :)


I've already ordered everything for the tank itself, but I want to make sure that the flora & fauna I intend to plant and stock will be ok for my setup. (This is my first planted tank--the one I was intending to buy last year went out of stock for ages, and I decided to wait until after the summer heatwave to get a slightly larger tank going.)

Aquarium
Model: Bookshelf Freshwater Fish Aquarium
Size: 8.13" L x 24" W x 9.25" H
Filtration: 4-Stage Aqueon QuietFlow 10, replacing the stock filter
Lighting: T8 15 Watts, 6500K, replacing the reddish stock bulb
Photoperiod: 10 hrs
Substrates: Eco Complete Planted Black Aquarium Substrate, Flourite Black Sand
Nutrients: Seachem Flourish Excel, Fe, P, N, K (these last 4 only if needed)
Conditioner: StressCoat
Heater: 50 watts

Planned Flora, Dry-Start Method
Hemianthus callitrichoides - Dwarf Baby Tears
Lilaeopsis brasiliensis - Microsword
Eleocharis parvula - Dwarf Hairgrass
Anubias nana 'petite'
Java Fern

Planned Fauna
12-15 Boraras brigittae - Chili Rasboras
2 Nerite Snails

Concerns:
Do I have enough light for the plants I've selected?
Should I add an oto to help with algae cleanup or will the nerites take care of it? Is the tank even big enough for an oto?

Last edited by kiera; 09-20-2012 at 05:45 AM.. Reason: Fixed my bulb information.
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Old 09-20-2012, 03:10 AM   #2
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Looks good so far. Haven't grown HC with just Excel so I wouldn't know how that will work. How is the bulb situated? Depending on it's orientation, it could either be a low light tank or a high light tank.
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Old 09-20-2012, 03:12 AM   #3
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The bulb is right on top of the tank, so I would imagine that it will be about 8 inches from the substrate.
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Old 09-20-2012, 03:16 AM   #4
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What kind of bulb is it? CFL, T5, etc?
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Old 09-20-2012, 03:22 AM   #5
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Compact Fluorescent tube, it goes most of the length of the tank.
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Old 09-20-2012, 03:41 AM   #6
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Not sure on the PAR data of the bulb. Got a link for it? You should ask the lighting sub-forum for more info.
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Old 09-20-2012, 04:17 AM   #7
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Hah, I'm a dork, I listed the wrong bulb and wattage because I was looking at the wrong list when I posted. Fixed. It's a Zoo Med Ultra Sun Trichromatic Super Daylight 6500K Fluorescent Bulb T8 15 Watt, 18-Inch.
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Old 09-20-2012, 04:37 AM   #8
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I have tried growing HC with just excel. Didn't really grow too good. Got stringy and leaves got a little burned/yellow.

Hope you have better luck.

PS-You may not need a heater for a small tank unless your house/apartment gets cold. I have a 30 gallon unheated- filled with endlers, tetras, pygmy sunnies, shrimp, and nerites and have never seen the temp get below 70.
I would be wary of cooking your tank.
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Old 09-20-2012, 04:45 AM   #9
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That is an excellent point regarding the heater and I only plan on using it during the winter, when my apartment generally sits at 64 degrees. (Ancient building, basement apartment, wind whistles through windows, too poor to keep my apartment at a proper 68-70 because it runs almost $200/mo!) I'll have to see how the water temp is once I flood the tank.

So HC is probably out--any other recommendations for nice carpets? I don't think I'll mind trimming something to keep it carpetlike.
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Old 09-20-2012, 04:47 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kiera View Post
Hah, I'm a dork, I listed the wrong bulb and wattage because I was looking at the wrong list when I posted. Fixed. It's a Zoo Med Ultra Sun Trichromatic Super Daylight 6500K Fluorescent Bulb T8 15 Watt, 18-Inch.
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...d.php?t=184368
According to the T8 par chart, you're somewhere between 30-40 par. This puts you in low light. Unless you upgrade your lighting and use CO2, you won't be able to grow the HC or microsword. You might be able to get away with growing the hairgrass though.
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Old 09-20-2012, 04:53 AM   #11
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Rats! Glad I asked before I ordered plants! CO2 is quite beyond me at the moment, so I think I'll have to do some more research on plants. I want a somewhat zen-like tank, planted with small plants with a focal hardscape element so as not to visually overwhelm the tiny fishes.
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Old 09-20-2012, 05:20 AM   #12
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How about a moss scape? With some anubias nana 'petite' or some small java ferns?
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Old 09-20-2012, 05:39 AM   #13
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I was just looking at anubias nana petite, as a matter of fact. I think that will take care of the carpet midground on its own. (I always swore that if I ever owned a house I would have local moss instead of a lawn. I like moss.) I'll still give the hairgrass a shot.

On another forum someone mentioned that they had great luck with Hemianthes glomeratus in a low-tech tank, but they didn't mention their light setup. I probably won't risk it for my first tank. I would hate to get frustrated if hairgrass doesn't work out.

Java ferns are very pretty, so I think those will be my third plant.

I'm so grateful for all of this advice and information.

Last edited by kiera; 09-20-2012 at 05:43 AM.. Reason: 2am, stupid writing
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Old 09-20-2012, 05:47 AM   #14
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Crypts are also a good choice for low-light tanks. Lucens and especially parva stay small. You'll need root tabs though.
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