Repost of a low-tech question
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Old 04-18-2006, 03:37 PM   #1
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Repost of a low-tech question

OK, I posted this question in the nano forum earlier, but I'm hoping to get some low-tech experience here:

I'm going to be shortly seeting up a low-tech nano, and was hoping for some input from those who have already been there.
Tank: 5 gallon
Light: 11 watts of T-5 @6700K
Eclipse style filter with Bio-wheel (no co2, no need to worry about outgassing.)
Substrate: Flourite
Flora: Java or weeping or Christmas moss tied to driftwood. Petite Nana eventually.
Fauna: A few (~10) cherry shrimp to start, 3 guppies (1M to 2F).

Can I cycle this the same way that I cycled my high tech tank, or should I take a slower approach?
I was planning on putting the filter material (no carbon) in one my current canisters to seed it with the good bacteria for a few weeks. Add the plants, then followed by the shrimp, then finally the guppies.

If anyone can see any problems with my plan, or if you can suggest some other lowtech plants I'd love to know.

I was also wondering if anyone thinks some Pygmy chain swords transplanted from my big tank will do OK here.
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Old 04-18-2006, 04:16 PM   #2
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As you set up the tank, I would give your existing canister filter a good cleaning (by squeezing the sponges in a bucket of tank water) and use the sludge that collects on the bottom of the bucket and incorporate it into your new substrate. I had good luck by using a 75% layer of unwashed (whatever your substrate will be) flourite, then add the brown goody, then top it off with 25% thoroughly washed flourite. Suck out all the water you can, then SLOWLY add water (without filters and such running of course) and there will be no issue with water clarity, or lack of it.

Secondly, I would use "used" tank water from your other tank initially. Or maybe 50% and 50% tap water.

That will give microorgs a headstart in your new tank, important for reaching a balance without explosions of various algae.

I did something similar in my 36 gal tank, worked out very well. However, it has CO2 so it doesn't qualify as low tech and I should not mention it here.
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Old 04-18-2006, 04:57 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by tazcrash69
I was also wondering if anyone thinks some Pygmy chain swords transplanted from my big tank will do OK here.
Ditto on the cycling. Just take it slow. Only bad things happen quickly.

I've transplanted quite a few plants from high tech tanks to my low tech 55g and some plants don't respond too well. Chain Swords do pretty well, though. The new growth will be smaller, and the larger old leaves slowly wither and die away, but once they've made the transition, I actually like their appearance better in low tech than high tech tanks.
- Sam P -
plantedtanker in limbo - all tanks currently in storage
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