5 Gallon Tank - Need a Plan!
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Old 02-20-2011, 10:23 PM   #1
AquaStudent
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5 Gallon Tank - Need a Plan!


Well tPt Community, I just ordered a 5 gallon tank from Walmart http://www.walmart.com/ip/Tetra-Aqua...-Pets/12177653

I have just enough space for this 5g and it would be nice to have a second setup (I also have a 10g). It won't be here for at least a week (probably) but I'm curious on how should I set it up/stock it.

I'm going to replace the incandescent bulb with a spiral flourescent light between 10-20 watts. That'll give me anywhere from 2-4 watts per gallon (I know you could do the math but I wanted to make it easy).

I'll be doing DIY C02 with a 1Liter bottle. I've already got a 2L setup on my 10g my biggest project will be finding an efficient diffuser. I'll be trying cigarette filters hopefully sometime this week and if that doesn't work chopsticks (I have a cheap airstone but it doesn't seem to work all that well).

I'll be using fine gravel along with root tabs for supplement. eventually I may experiment with a dirted tank but that'll probably be a summer adventure.

I am still trying to decide on what I want to stock it with. I have an order of 15 Red Cherry Shrimp coming later this week that will be going into the 10 gallon betta/neon tetra community. I love having my betta in the 10 gallon but I'm having trouble keeping him healthy. For now I will probably move the betta into the 5 gallon when I get it set up and perhaps later down the road make it a purely Cherry tank

For plants I want it to be densely planted. I have java moss, ruffled sword, penny wort, moneywort (I think), anubais nana, and lots of crypts.

I'm tempted to try and go for a carpeted tank with a natural rock hardscape (I'll go hiking for some supplies). What would be a good carpet plant for 2-4 wpg and I also want a taller bushy plant, something that would make a compliment to a large rock. Or do you think a moss covered rock with a carpet would be perfect?

There are just so many options I just don't know what to do.

Please help. Also, If anybody has any experience with 5 gallons advice would be GREATLY appreciated

Thanks

Last edited by AquaStudent; 02-21-2011 at 09:01 PM..
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Old 02-21-2011, 09:10 PM   #2
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Ok well I've decided on a couple of things.

First I believe I will be going with this light
GE 89091 Energy Smart 15-Watt Daylight Spiral Compact Fluorescent Bulb

It'll give me a decent 3 wpg and with the c02 i should be looking good.

My main spotlight plant will hopefully be a Red Tiger Lotus. I'm still working on actually getting one though. Also, I'm planning on some sort of mossy area, especially if I'm eventually going with shrimps. A few anbais nana/petites would look great in there too (i'm also still working on getting them).

I'll supplement with my root tabs and then perhaps this summer, when I have time, I'll do a dirt convert and go with a dirted bottom.

On the surface I want to put in my pennywort that i have in my 10g to get it growing like crazy. If I ever go to breed bettas I'd like to have a nice tank like that to keep a few of them as healthy as possible until they get larger (and given away/donated/sold)
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Old 02-22-2011, 12:39 AM   #3
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a red tiger lotus is going to take over that small tank in a mater of no time given plenty of nutrients. but you can easily keep it controlled by clipping the outer leaves to a manageable size.

i honestly dont care for pennywort. why not go with cardamine? with that lighting it will carpet for you and is nice and lime green making the lotus really pop. then adding a few peacock moss covered rocks, being dark will contrast more and this can give the tank depth.
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Old 02-22-2011, 01:24 AM   #4
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Problem with those lights is WPG won't be accurate due to their shape.
Agreed with problemman.
Filtration take a peek at the Zoomed Canister or eheim 2211 if your wallet can handle that.
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Old 02-22-2011, 03:27 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by problemman View Post
a red tiger lotus is going to take over that small tank in a mater of no time given plenty of nutrients. but you can easily keep it controlled by clipping the outer leaves to a manageable size.

i honestly dont care for pennywort. why not go with cardamine? with that lighting it will carpet for you and is nice and lime green making the lotus really pop. then adding a few peacock moss covered rocks, being dark will contrast more and this can give the tank depth.
I said pennywort because I have a small chain of it in my 10g. I thought it would grow fast and then I could move it back to the 10 gallon to get a covering.

I have never heard of cardamine. which species would you suggest? I would love the color contrast between the lime and red and then mossy rocks. that's exactly what i was picturing in my head. (I was deciding between mossy DW or Mossy rocks but with the size of the lotus i think rocks would be better).

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Originally Posted by Kayen View Post
Problem with those lights is WPG won't be accurate due to their shape.
Agreed with problemman.
Filtration take a peek at the Zoomed Canister or eheim 2211 if your wallet can handle that.
What sort of light range would i be looking at then with that sort of lighting? Would I still be in the medium lighting catagory? I'm afraid I really don't have the money, room, or expertise to go with something like a canister (yet) .
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Old 02-23-2011, 02:32 AM   #6
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I think I'm going to go the dirted path on this tank. I'll be following the steps laid out by Dustin from aquascape.ning.com. He's got some pretty amazing tanks.

My substrate will consist of 2 layers. The bottom layer will be Miricle Grow Choice Potting Soil with chunks of potting clay put in there. To keep the dirt down I'll be using the leftover fine gravel substrate from my 10 gallon.

I'm still deciding on plants but right now I am planning on going with...

Red Tiger Lotus (already ordered)- I know these guys get big but I want something red and that will be large. I'll keep pruning it to keep it horizontal and from completely taking over the tank.

Peackock Moss (Need to purchase) - I'll attach this guy to some rocks to contrast the red of the lotus. The only information I have gotten on this stuff is that it's a darker green than Java Moss but can be treated just like Java Moss (low light attached to rocks/driftwood etc). Is this true?

Marsilea quadrifolia (4 leaf clover) - I'd love to see a carpet of this stuff contrasting the lotus and the moss. Is it possible to grow this plant under my lighting conditions?
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Old 02-27-2011, 04:58 PM   #7
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Miracle grow potting soil is an amazing thing i have it in 2x10's, my DIY 5 gallon and now a 55, it gives as much grawth as AS but without high lighting!

your peacock moss will need to be trimmed about every 2 weeks with mracle grow.

for this tank,to get an even amount of light go with 2x10-13w CFLs

i had 2 18's on a 10 and it was barely enough, i also have 2x13s on a 10 and all it can grow is moss
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Old 02-28-2011, 05:28 PM   #8
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I'm still not sure if I'm going to use a desk lamp or two or the stock hood. The tank is supposed to come in today but I really shouldn't touch it until after my exam later this week

I was drawing out some plans/sketches though. My lack of artistic talent is really showing but I think I can visualize it pretty well in my head.

I was planning on offsetting the Red Tiger Lotus to one side, a carpet of Marsalia Quadrifolia, and then on the opposite side of the lotus a few scattered rocks, some with Peacock Moss or Java Moss to break up the carpet a bit.

Also, I think I want to slope the substrate so that it is slightly higher in the back. Hopefully this will give the tank a little bit more depth and show off the carpet more. Also, I think I want to put the Red Tiger Lotus on a bit of a hill and angle it towards the front center of the tank. I expect it to grow towards the light so in theory it will be leaning towards the front and then curve up at the angle. Hopefully it will give the tank the extra effect I'm looking for.

I'm not sure if I am going to want to have a taller background plant or just let some of the MQ grow taller in the back. I won't have a really great way of hiding the heater or filter (depends on which side I have the Tiger Lotus on) unless I can somehow hide them both in the same spot, once again I really don't know the size of the Tiger Lotus (or two since I have a second coming for either my 10g or to accent the first one in the 5g...not sure how that will work...or even my roommates 10g).

I also was considering a small anubais nana in the back corner opposite to the tiger lotus to add a bit of color contrast to the carpet and mosses.

Any suggestions?
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Old 12-06-2012, 03:44 AM   #9
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You should try some microsorum or java fern in the far corners
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