First attempt at a nano tank
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Old 09-24-2013, 02:42 PM   #1
Brian041
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First attempt at a nano tank


Felt a bit sad since I had been downsizing and getting rid of some of my bigger tanks in preparation for moving and to pay a few bills. So when I saw the Aqueon Evolves at work go on clearance, I snatched up the last Evolve 4 for dirt cheap (plus employee discount ). I decided to go with low tech plants to start out with since money is a bit tight, and I figure the less going on in a small tank, the easier it will be to keep everything looking great and healthy. Anubias are usually a safe bet and I've seen some gorgeous tanks that were planted solely with different types of the stuff. Luckily my workplace carries about 3 or 4 different varieties. Java fern also being in the same place. I have some Windelov Java Fern that I rescued from my Severum, but it hasn't grown back to the point that it looks big and full yet. Soon though. I also threw some clippings into the betta tank at work in the office that seems to have taken off, so I'll probably bring some of that back at some point. As for stocking I was on the edge of if I wanted to do Pea Puffers or other tropical tiny fish. The normal LFS I get my nice fish from is having his first son this week so no new shipments in. I was poking around in another one I drop by from time to time at and spotted some Pygmy Corydoras which were one I was considering. So I might look for some pygmy rasboras, scarlet badis, and/or some Celestial Pearl Danios. Trying to keep stocking minimal since it is a tiny tank. So far the Corydoras have seemed really active and happy. They're eating readily and like to take naps on the Anubias Nana leaves.

So some questions I have on this tank are
1. What do you think is a decent carpeting plant that does well in a low-tech setup? (if there is one)
2. In a nano setup like this, if I decided to do a small CO2 system down the road, how long would a small paintball CO2 cartridge (about 20oz.) work before needing to be refilled?
3. I've looked at a few nano CO2 systems and Fluval seems to have a decent one. Has anyone used this? Thoughts? Other recommendations? (If I do upgrade to using CO2, I'll be upgrading the lighting as well)








Last edited by Brian041; 09-24-2013 at 06:04 PM.. Reason: Better full tank shot
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Old 09-25-2013, 01:28 PM   #2
livebearerlove
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I love it. Great job- I opted for a granulated soil, but not a day goes by I reconsider sand. Do you have a medium below the sand?
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Old 09-25-2013, 01:45 PM   #3
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It looks great! My experience with the Evolve 4 is that you will need a new light ASAP. A desk light with a CFL is sufficient, but the one that comes with the tank is not great. Mine also broke after 6 months.

Is this tank dirted? If so, and with another light, dwarf hairgrass would work.
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Old 09-25-2013, 05:52 PM   #4
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Thanks for the feedback. Yeah I remember reading the stock light with the Evolve 4 was fairly lacking, but I figured it'd be alright for low light plants. I was eyeballing one of Fluval's nano lights for planted tanks, but I could definitely rig up something with a CFL. And no dirt. I did it once before and it was just a hassle for me to deal with. It did make plants grow fast, but any time I had to move anything I'd get dirt flying everywhere. Plus I'm not sure if I just didn't cap it right, but it stained my water like driftwood does.
VJM> I really want to grow hairgrass but I've had awful luck with it. The first tank I set up was high tech with Co2, nutrients, high light, good flow, the works and it just either would not spread or get choked out by algae. I tried it in a few other tanks and it just died each time (or my Severum in my 55 got the munchies, which for some reason he eats everything but my sword plants). I actually have had more luck growing Baby Tears than DHG. I'm thinking either Hydrocotyle tripartite or Pogostemon Helferi. The Pogostemon we sell at work so I can easily get that if I can find a healthy looking bunch. The Hydrocotyle I'll have to do some looking around for. If I need to upgrade my lighting a bit, that's doable. I just don't have the funds for CO2 right now so I was trying to keep everything low tech.

I didn't go with aqua soil or anything because it's really hard to find other than online and it's crazy expensive. I did gravel with a few tanks, but I keep coming back to sand. I love the way it looks, how much easier it is to plant in, and any bottom feeders I have seem to love it. The Bichirs in my larger tank love to burrow in the stuff too.

Here it is. This is the light fixture I had seen that some people swapped out I think. I like this one because it's got the red LEDs which help growth
http://www.finnex.net/index.php?opti...&Itemid=61

Last edited by Brian041; 09-25-2013 at 10:06 PM.. Reason: link to lighting
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Old 09-29-2013, 01:04 AM   #5
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I've added a few crypts. My main LFS just got back from his kid being born, so no new shipments of fish.
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Old 10-01-2013, 04:59 AM   #6
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So one of my coworkers brought me some Telanthera and pennywort from some of the trimmings I gave him a few months ago since it had been growing like a weed for him. Added a few small bit of the Telanthera and the small pop of color makes a huge difference. I still haven't figured out what I want to do with the Pennywort since it's such a big piece and my Severum in my other tank would eat it if I put it in there. Livestock on this tank will probably be on hold while I try to get a bigger tank as my girlfriend decided to buy me an Endlicheri Bichir to go with my Senegal and Albino Senegal (<3). Right now I've got some grape wood soaking trying to waterlog it and leech the tannins. Though I've heard grape wood sometimes decays quickly, so I don't know if I'll keep it in there permanently. In the meantime, updated photo.

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Old 10-01-2013, 05:25 PM   #7
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Looks great. What kind of Nano and what lights are you using? thanks
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Old 10-01-2013, 05:46 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danbayne View Post
Looks great. What kind of Nano and what lights are you using? thanks
Hey, thanks for the response! It's an aqueon evolve 4 with just the stock LED lights. I'm considering swapping them out for a Finnex Fugeray with the Red Boost. If I do, I'll probably go ahead and get one of the Fluval Nano Co2 Systems.
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Old 10-01-2013, 05:51 PM   #9
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Again, great job... Awesome you could get such nice growth running stock everything. I hesitated and lost out on getting an evolve when Petsmart was doing their evolve clearance ($20 for the 4 and $40 for the 8). I'm interested to see where this goes with the new light and CO2. I have a 3G Nano sitting here at work just begging me to work on it. Once I feel confident I won't kill the plants, I'll definitely work on it. Still gathering much needed info and inspiration from the forums...

Last edited by danbayne; 10-01-2013 at 05:52 PM.. Reason: grammer
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Old 10-01-2013, 06:00 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danbayne View Post
Again, great job... Awesome you could get such nice growth running stock everything. I hesitated and lost out on getting an evolve when Petsmart was doing their evolve clearance ($20 for the 4 and $40 for the 8). I'm interested to see where this goes with the new light and CO2. I have a 3G Nano sitting here at work just begging me to work on it. Once I feel confident I won't kill the plants, I'll definitely work on it. Still gathering much needed info and inspiration from the forums...
Most of this is just how it came out of the package. I haven't seen much growth yet. I think some of the Cyperus has grown a bit, but on the plus side, no die off or algae issues. I still see Evolves on clearance at some Petcos from time to time, so I'd try looking there. Petsmart's store brand (grreat choice is going to replace the Evolves). So they'll be cheap. I'll let you know when they come in and give ya the rundown. The biggest thing I can recommend for starting planted tanks is start small (as in low tech) and work your way up. Unless you plan on starting with some of the hardest plants right off the bat, I really recommend T8s. I watched Dustin's Fishtanks and his suggestion of T8s rather than T5HOs. I've used both, while the T8s don't promote as rapid growth as the T5HOs, I don't have the issue with algae, they're not blinding bright, and don't run up my electric bill). When doing nano tanks like these, it's all about scale. The stones I used are about the size of my fist for big centerpiece type stone. If I remember right they are blue stone I found at a local gardening center. I looked up to see if they leeched anything into the water and there weren't any reports of them doing that. Smaller plants like Anubias Bateri var. Nana work well because they keep small leaves. I think the Cryptocorne Wendtii Tropica stays relatively small. Might need some pruning from time to time. Pennywort grows like a weed in all my tanks, even ones not set up for plants. Fry and other fish seem to love snaking around the stems, leaves, and roots. Small fish help keep the idea of scale. Ditch the neons and most common tetras. Look for fish like Celestial Pearl Danios, Chili Rasboras, Pygmy Corydora, Pea Puffers (I'd recommend a species only for them), and shrimp. Pencilfish are good too from what I'm told. Let me know if you want anymore info. I'll be glad to share.

Last edited by Brian041; 10-01-2013 at 06:16 PM.. Reason: added info
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Old 10-01-2013, 06:03 PM   #11
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If I do, I'll probably go ahead and get one of the Fluval Nano Co2 Systems.
If you do, I recommend saving a bit more for an Aquatek mini regulator for paintball. Those fluval co2 kits don't have a solenoid valve and those little proprietary "cartridges" will cost more overtime than just getting paintball tanks refilled. The solenoid on a timer will prolong the life of your co2 so you wouldn't run out as fast either. Overall... good start on your pico tank.
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Old 10-01-2013, 06:06 PM   #12
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Thanks for the info. I appreciate it. I'll be following your tank and I'll let you know when I'm ready to the pull the trigger on mine....as I'll be very cautious.
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Old 10-01-2013, 06:18 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian_Cali77 View Post
If you do, I recommend saving a bit more for an Aquatek mini regulator for paintball. Those fluval co2 kits don't have a solenoid valve and those little proprietary "cartridges" will cost more overtime than just getting paintball tanks refilled. The solenoid on a timer will prolong the life of your co2 so you wouldn't run out as fast either. Overall... good start on your pico tank.
I think that was my primary concern with those systems. How much would a system using 20oz. paintball Co2 tanks run me roughly? or a better system than the fluval systems? And thanks for the compliment.

Quote:
Originally Posted by danbayne View Post
Thanks for the info. I appreciate it. I'll be following your tank and I'll let you know when I'm ready to the pull the trigger on mine....as I'll be very cautious.
Sometimes just getting your feet wet is the best way, but yeah, I'm far from an expert on the subject, but feel free to shoot me a message with any questions you might run into.
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Old 10-01-2013, 06:26 PM   #14
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Well... if you get the Aquatek mini regulator on ebay, it's $90 shipped. It comes with tubing and bubble counter w/ check valve. All you would need is a diffuser, drop checker, and cheap timer. The prices on these can vary, depending on what you like.

The paintball tank varies too. I was going to buy my 20oz tanks on Amazon for ~$17 each, the cheapest I can find. But they're empty (which has to be for shipping anyways). But I found a local airsoft/paintball field that charged $25 for a 20oz but came with a stamp card good for 5 free refills -- essentially making my paintball tanks free. I'm not sure if other paintball places operate like that or if I'm just lucky, but I thought that was a good deal.
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Old 10-01-2013, 06:37 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Brian_Cali77 View Post
Well... if you get the Aquatek mini regulator on ebay, it's $90 shipped. It comes with tubing and bubble counter w/ check valve. All you would need is a diffuser, drop checker, and cheap timer. The prices on these can vary, depending on what you like.

The paintball tank varies too. I was going to buy my 20oz tanks on Amazon for ~$17 each, the cheapest I can find. But they're empty (which has to be for shipping anyways). But I found a local airsoft/paintball field that charged $25 for a 20oz but came with a stamp card good for 5 free refills -- essentially making my paintball tanks free. I'm not sure if other paintball places operate like that or if I'm just lucky, but I thought that was a good deal.
Not sure about paintball refills around here. I'd have to ask one of my buddies who is a paintballer. But $90 isn't a bad deal, even with having to buy a few extra components. And I have some DIY diffusers left over that I made back in the day. I've got a timer that I can program by socket so I might use that for a timer, or just have it set to go off when my lights are set to go off. That way I won't need to worry about programming an airstone to run at night.
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