5g office aquarium - Put it together before knowing I wanted a planted, any hope?
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Old 10-09-2012, 02:37 AM   #1
potatowned
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5g office aquarium - Put it together before knowing I wanted a planted, any hope?


Hi everyone! New to this forum, but already have learned a ton! I recently set up a tank in my office. Unfortunately, I set it up before deciding that I wanted to go with a planted tank! Having done a ton of reading on this forum, knowing what I know now, I would have obviously done a few things differently, but too late for that now!

Here is what I have going on:

  • 5 gallon minibow
  • Stock filter
  • 50watt heater set to around 82 degrees (slightly high, am battling ick at the moment)
  • Regular old gravel, no substrate
  • 10 watt 5100k fluorescent light, set on a 12 hour timer. (7am on, 7pm off)


Plants:
  • dwarf anubia (Do I have it buried properly? Is the rhizome too far in the gravel?)
  • anachris/elodea (although I don't really like it, it keeps falling apart and making a mess in the tank
  • wisteria
  • some other grass looking plant I bought at Petco when I first set up the tank, don't know what it is!

Stock:[LIST]
  • 1 balloon belly molly
  • 7 balloon belly molly fry (I assume I'll need to get rid of some of these as they grow bigger?)
  • 1 lyretail molly
  • 1 fancytail guppy
  • 2 ghost shrimp


I would like to have a heavily planted tank, similar to this. I read through the thread and it looks like this guy is dosing Flourish pretty heavily, but other than that, has nothing else I don't have. No substrate, no extra lighting, etc.

Could I accomplish the same in my tank? What fertilizers should I get? Dosing? What additional plants should I look into? I assume I should get a test kit to test the water weekly? I am also thinking about buying a piece of driftwood for the tank. So many questions and so much to learn! I would love to hear your suggestions on what I can achieve with this setup!

Here are a few pics of my tank now, apologies for the crappy cell phone pics.






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Old 10-09-2012, 06:04 AM   #2
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hey looks good. flourish comp is good all around. im no expert but i finally got the hang of this planted aquarium thing. you can grow alot of plants with regular gravel as long as you are adding ferts. your tank will be low light only unless you upgraded your light. also driftwood will turn your water yellow unless you soak it for at least a couple weeks, but in such a small tank it will usually turn yellow regardless. good luck
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Old 10-09-2012, 06:13 AM   #3
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Thanks! From what I've read, I'm hoping I could still grow quite a bit even if I don't upgrade my light. Should I fertilize with Flourish Complete or Flourish Excel? I understand that Excel includes liquid CO2? Should I dose daily?

If I get driftwood, I would definitely soak and boil. I kind of want the driftwood so I can tie moss and other plants to it!
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Old 10-09-2012, 06:30 AM   #4
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you definitly need flourish comp. its an all in one trace ferts. fish food and waste usually make up the macro nutes npk. excel is a carbon source which will also be beneficial but be careful because it can definitely ruin a tank too. driftwood can be boiled soaked but that doesnt mean it will stop leaching tannins. in small tanks seems to always have a yellow tint with driftwood. agian im no expert, a pro will come soon and give you some proper advice
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Old 10-09-2012, 01:31 PM   #5
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I would also suggest getting some Flourish root tabs to help your plants with the regular gravel.

The grass plant, is that mondo grass? If so, that is not an aquatic plant and will eventually die. Also, make sure you don't bury your Anubias' rhizome otherwise, it will die too.

Great start btw!
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Old 10-09-2012, 05:18 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tiggity View Post
I would also suggest getting some Flourish root tabs to help your plants with the regular gravel.

The grass plant, is that mondo grass? If so, that is not an aquatic plant and will eventually die. Also, make sure you don't bury your Anubias' rhizome otherwise, it will die too.

Great start btw!


I could be wrong but it does look like mondo grass. If that in fact is mondo grass I would remove. Mondo grass is not a aquatic plant.
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Old 10-09-2012, 05:23 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tiggity View Post
I would also suggest getting some Flourish root tabs to help your plants with the regular gravel.

The grass plant, is that mondo grass? If so, that is not an aquatic plant and will eventually die. Also, make sure you don't bury your Anubias' rhizome otherwise, it will die too.

Great start btw!
Thanks! I'm not sure what the grass plant is, I got it at Petco. I looked up some pictures of mondo grass and it does look like it. The plant has put down roots and seems to be growing but I may take it out if it starts dying.

For the root tabs, do I have to place them near where my plants grow? Under my plants?

Also, what about mixing in eco-complete or flourite in with the gravel? I could take everything out, mix in some substrate and then put all the fish and plants back in. Would that work? Or would my water get cloudy?
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Old 10-09-2012, 09:26 PM   #8
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Boiling the driftwood is a good idea but as long as you have activated carbon in your filter, the tannins will eventually become trapped in the carbon, which is sufficient if you have the patience to put up with darkwater for a week or more. The tank's lookin good!
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Old 10-09-2012, 10:48 PM   #9
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Thanks! I do have activated carbon in my filter. That raises the question, how often should I replace the filter? I've read before that with planted tanks, the plants are essentially the biological and chemical filter, so you just need the floss for mechanical filtration. Should I still replace the floss and carbon regularly?
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Old 10-09-2012, 11:49 PM   #10
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The grass kind of look liks dwarf sag to me
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Old 10-12-2012, 07:30 PM   #11
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Ok so I bought a piece of driftwood, a TINY java fern, some amazon sword and hornwort. Here's what it looks like now:



I have one Flourish tab broken in half embedded in the gravel and I dosed with a TINY bit of Flourish. (Not sure how much to use in a 5 gallon! One drop a week? One drop twice a week?)

This morning, I came in and the balloon belly molly wasn't doing so well:
http://youtu.be/J7it1lQn3I8?hd=1

Is it going to die???
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