Setting up my 1st nano questions
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Old 12-15-2008, 09:38 PM   #1
LeTigra
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Setting up my 1st nano questions


Hello
I've decided I'd like to set up a nano. Its been whirring around in my brain for a while and now I've decided I really want to do it. If I put it in the spare room where my computer is then my housemate might not even notice hehe.....

I've done Google searches and forum searches for guidance on setting up a freshwater nano but the results keep coming back as marine! Arghh! So any tips/hints, or just general info, I would much appreciate. I'm sure you get this from nano-newbs all the time so sorry if I'm asking questions that have been asked 50 times over already.

I'm thinking 18 x 10 x10 which is approx 7.5gal. These tanks come with nothing. So I'm figuring the following equipment -
Fluval 1 filter (I like these, small and silent)
2 x 15W tubes, 18 inches each - I would need to figure some way to fit them on. I've looked at the ones that you attach to the top rim of the tank but they just don't have enough wattage - and they're expensive! If anyone has any tips on lighting.....
Fluorite Black - I've had some really good growth from root feeders using regular Fluorite mixed with plain gravel, so I figure just Fluorite alone would be ace! And i like the effect of the black.
A regular 50W heater - do they come any smaller?

And then for ferts etc I was considering Excel or Easy Life Easy Carbo, both of which are available over here, with Flourish. Will I need to dose anything else? I don't want to go high tech and I don't want to have to dose 300 different ferts every day. I currently have a 79gal low tech and I don't want to get much more complicated than that.

With 4w/g over a nano would I be able to grow most plants? I know the w/g rule goes out of the window a bit with nanos. I'm really in this tank for the plants. I'll probably get some cherry shrimp and a few non-shrimp-eating small fish too, maybe a few snails, but its mostly about the plants with this tank, although obviously little fishy lives are more important and they will not be put at any risk.

Is there anywhere I can find a good list of nano plants?
And I love sunset hygro. If I ATTEMPT to train it into a foreground plant, is it still going to look wrong size-wise?

Thank you in advance. Sorry it was so long!
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Please excuse my spelling and lack of paragraphs - its my phone's fault! 80gal low light planted tiger barb/columbian tetra/BN plec tank 29gal just changing to heavily planted low tech, lots of bogwood causing "natural" terraces, pebbles, sand, pair of GBRs, ember tetras and otocinclus. Eek! Can't wait til its finished!
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Old 12-17-2008, 10:06 PM   #2
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Ok then
*LeTigra hums quietly to herself trying not to draw too much attention*

No-one just to say hi? Or even a "sounds good so far..."?

Or just a link to a list of small plants that I could use?

Anything..... anything at all?
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Please excuse my spelling and lack of paragraphs - its my phone's fault! 80gal low light planted tiger barb/columbian tetra/BN plec tank 29gal just changing to heavily planted low tech, lots of bogwood causing "natural" terraces, pebbles, sand, pair of GBRs, ember tetras and otocinclus. Eek! Can't wait til its finished!
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Old 12-17-2008, 10:13 PM   #3
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go for it
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Old 12-18-2008, 10:31 PM   #4
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Old 12-21-2008, 10:05 AM   #5
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Default Some quick thoughts

Here's a few quick pointers based on my own experiences:

Lighting:

You can get a Tom's Aquatic small CF lamp that's 13 watts and looks decent. It attaches to the side of the tank and comes in silver. The only place I have seen that sells them in the U.S. is this place:

http://www.thatpetplace.com/pet/prod/215657/product.web

It's about $27. Drawbacks are that it requires a special lamp (with a cover attached) so you have to buy replacements there and that it's only 13W.

A popular choice is the 9Wx2 (18W total) mini Aqualight from Coralife. It's 6700K and plant-ready, but does not come with any nice way to mount it. I have come up with a couple options but nothing I am real happy about.

I am also working on a high-tech LED option that's brighter than the Coralife 18W unit, and will end up costing about $40 - $50 in total. It uses a 10W 650 lumens single LED unit that gets so hot it must be attached to a CPU heat sink and fan. I'll post more info later on this.

As far as CO2, there are a couple options I have worked with that seem to work well for me:

1. If you think you will have more than one tank sometime in the future, it's best to invest in a 5lb. CO2 tank and regulator. It will last a really long time and is cheap to refill (at your local welding supply house). You can get the tank from them as well. I have two that cost me about $80 each from a Airgas, a welding supply place. The regulators come from eBay (new) and are about $65 as well.

2. You can also use a paintball CO2 canister with this one special regulator:

http://www.thatpetplace.com/pet/group/4530/product.web

That product is much less than the Red Sea paintball canister option, but you will have to add a solonoid. I think I have seen them less, but this one is $50:

http://www.petsolutions.com/CO2-Sole...16805+C13.aspx

In either case, you will also need a diffusor. Fortunately these are not expensive if you get something other than the ADA models. Here's one that I personally like and use in several of my tanks:

http://www.greenleafaquariums.com/co...dazs-nano.html

That one is $15. Oh yeah, you'll need a bubble counter. They're cheap. If you want something cool, and have a 10 gallon or larger tank, get the spiral bubble counter, it looks really neat and does make bubble counting and setting the count easier:

http://www.greenleafaquariums.com/co...e-counter.html

It's $30 compared to ADA's version which is over $120 - wow!

I have not personally done the "biological co2 generation" thing, like the yeast mixes and such, primarily because the CO2 tank option is great and really gives you a lot of control and flexibility. I do use the ADA manifold splitters to get the output of one tank to into several needle valves for several tanks. One input with 4 outputs was something like $36.

Hope some of this info helps,

Dennis
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Old 12-21-2008, 02:51 PM   #6
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I think 30 watts is the least you'd want to go on your 7.5 gallon if you want to have the option of growing basically anything you want. Any less than that, and I think you'll start seeing your options reduced. The dimensions of your tank are a little strange. It sounds like a "bookcase" aquarium we have on the market here in the states. Because your tank is so low, you can get away with reduced wattage, since the plants will be growing closer to the light source. But it will also make growing stem plants a little bit of a pain, since you'll have to trim them so frequently.

With 30 watts, though, you'd probably want supplemental CO2. You could try going without it, and see if algae becomes a problem. You might do just fine without. If this is your first planted tank, I'd give DIY CO2 a shot, with the soda bottle & yeast, etc. It's a fun little science experiment, and once you see your plants pearling for the first time, you'll probably end up wanting pressurized CO2.

One thing to consider: I've heard mixed things about dosing ferts in shrimp breeding tanks. I've heard that it has no effect on the shrimp, and I've also heard that it's detrimental in the long run. If your primary interest is the plants in the tank, before you even start planning on your lighting and fert regime, I'd think about what plants you want to grow and what type of aquascape attracts you. It sounds like you want to go "medium-tech" on this nano, but if you want a moss-scape with anubias nana petite and narrow leaf java fern, you won't need much to get them to grow. If you want a really low tight HC carpet with an Eriocaulon forest, plan on the works.
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Old 12-21-2008, 05:05 PM   #7
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Thats really helpful.
Thanks guys. I'm off to read all those links!
What I've noticed is some of the things you guys get in the US for your nanos aren't available over here. Lighting options particularly are terrible! Small CO2 units are easy to find but trying to figure out decent lighting is not easy!
As for the size specs of the tank, they are made by Clearseal. They're fairly cheap and come bare so you can do exactly what you want with them. Another size I considered is 18" x 12" x 12" which is a 10gal. There are nano "kits" but again, lighting seems to be an issue - they don't seem to come with decent lighting, plus the kits are expensive.
Thanks again!
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Please excuse my spelling and lack of paragraphs - its my phone's fault! 80gal low light planted tiger barb/columbian tetra/BN plec tank 29gal just changing to heavily planted low tech, lots of bogwood causing "natural" terraces, pebbles, sand, pair of GBRs, ember tetras and otocinclus. Eek! Can't wait til its finished!
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