First Nano: Planted Spec V
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Old 11-06-2014, 03:48 PM   #1
GreenNinja
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First Nano: Planted Spec V


I scored a Spec V on Freecycle a week ago, so I decided to make it a planted nano. I've been reading a lot on TPT and am still working on the scape. In fact, this tank is what led me to join TPT. My score was extra awesome and included an upgraded light and heater that fits in the compartment. I DIYed some slate decorations and started planting a few days ago.



Current Specs:
  • Substrate is CaribSea Eco-Complete (I think the color said "onyx" or "midnight")
  • Sand is from my LFS and is called "garnet"
  • Plants are: Coffeefolia (Anubias barteri var. coffeefolia), Broadleaf Ludwigia (Ludwigia repens), Bacopa (Bacopa australis), and Egeria (Egeria densa). The little tree is made from Amano branches and some Java Moss (Vesicularia dudyana). (The terra cotta pot is just hanging out temporarily, housing some extra Java Moss. It will get moved to another tank.) I have since picked up some water lettuce (Pistia stratiotes) and some sword-like plants (the names escape me at the moment and I don't want to go hunt for my receipt) to sort of fill in the front/sides of the tank a bit more. I'll post an update after planting.
  • Light appears to be a Fluval LED Strip Light, or at least that's the closest match I can find.
  • Heater is a Top Fin 25watt adjustable and is doing quite a nice job of keeping the temperature where I want it.
  • Current fauna is a snail, most likely a Ramshorn (he was free and unidentified). The guppy in the picture was just being temporarily housed there for an hour while I made some adjustments to the 10 gallon.



The tank got a cycle boost with water and filter media from my 10 gallon. Once the levels even out, I'm most likely going to move my school of eight Strawberry Rasboras (Boraras naevus) into this tank. They're currently housed in the 10 gallon with three male guppies, but they don't seem very happy with their tank mates. They spent two weeks in there prior to getting the guppies and their behavior changed dramatically with the addition. Originally, I was hoping the Spec V would be a betta tank, but I'd rather make my current fish happy. Being a micro fish that tops at 1/2", the school should fit nicely in the Spec V and still be easy on the bioload. If that works out, I'll give them some shrimp tank mates for a bit more color.

If you made it this far, thanks for reading. Questions/comments/suggestions welcome.
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Old 11-06-2014, 05:02 PM   #2
NotCousteau
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Nice tank!
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Old 11-07-2014, 10:53 PM   #3
GreenNinja
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Default Tank is cycled!

I'm really excited to report that I think this tank is cycled! When I did the preliminary planting, I refilled it from my big tank. It's also been a temporary home for the carbon filter from that tank due to fish medication.

Today's test results are as follows:
pH = 7.6-8
Ammonia = 0ppm
Nitrites = 0ppm
Nitrates = 0-5ppm

Now I just need to finish a bit of planting and decide on fish. Do I move the strawberry rasbora (Boraras naevus) school or bring in a betta? The rasboras nearly disappear in the 10 gallon and I think they'd look great in this Spec V. I'd replace them with a flashier community fish (tetras, maybe?) to go with the guppies. But that would mean my future betta would be relegated to the 2 gallon Spec. I know folks do that with a lot of success, especially when heavily planted. I'd also like to bring in a frog at some point, but I worry the 10 gallon is too tall (it's a bow-front and taller than it is wide). If I go with rasboras in the Spec V, then that means I can put shrimp in there too. Originally I was planning for shrimp in the 10 gallon, but I think they'll get lost even more so than the rasboras unless I change out the substrate or add a layer of sand.

For reference, my current fauna (all housed in the 10 gallon, save one snail) are: 8 strawberry rasboras, 3 fancy male guppies, 1 assassin snail, 1 suspected ramshead snail.
Desired fauna are: a betta, a frog, shrimp.
Tanks available: 10 gallon bow-front, Spec V, 2 gallon Spec (not yet up and cycled).


I'm definitely open to suggestions on this. I just can't make up my mind and the advice of some experienced TPT members would be very welcome.

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Last edited by GreenNinja; 11-08-2014 at 12:36 AM.. Reason: Adding picture.
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Old 11-11-2014, 04:56 AM   #4
GreenNinja
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Default New flora and fauna!

I added some more plants and took a few things out today. This was also the big day of adding some more inhabitants!



New flora:
Mondo grass
Cryptocoryne beckettii (I think)
Beheiri sword

New fauna:
Betta (not sure on the variety yet, he wasn't labeled)



African dwarf frog



8 Strawberry rasboras (Boraras naevus) from my 10 gallon

My snail is still quite happy as well.



Keeping an eye on my levels with the addition of so many at once. If things seem too crowded or there are compatibility issues, the betta will get re-homed to my little Spec.
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Old 11-11-2014, 07:24 PM   #5
GreenNinja
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Just a quick update.

My beautiful little snail was the victim of antenna-cide. The suspect is the gorgeous new betta. The internet says they'll grow back, but he'll be sad in the meantime. He is so depressed and nervous. Working to get the 2 gallon Spec up and running so he can have a safe home again.

Learning experience. Glad it wasn't worse.
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Old 11-12-2014, 03:24 AM   #6
Knotyoureality
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The mondo grass is, unfortunately, not an aquatic plant. While it'll survive for awhile submerged, it will eventually rot. Cyperus helferi would be a potential alternative for a tall grassy plant. The tall, thin leaved plants you have at the front of the tank are a variety of vallisneria.

Lovely betta and he looks good in this layout.
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Old 11-12-2014, 05:17 AM   #7
GreenNinja
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Interesting about the mondo grass. It was sold to me as an aquatic plant and they had them all fully submerged at the LFS. I'll have to look into replacing it in the future. Perhaps that was why it was such a bugger to keep submerged (I had to add substrate to keep it down). Yes, the ones in the front are vals! Checked my spreadsheet and the LFS listed this variety as "Corkscrew Vallisneria".

I'm very pleased with my betta (other than his appetite for snail antennae). He has a very complex color that is hard to capture with my phone camera. He also has bits of red that really set off his blue. Originally, I wasn't going to get a betta because they had sold the color I was looking for. But when I saw him in the big tank, I knew I couldn't leave without him.



This is the best shot I've managed to get that comes close to accurately capturing his color. When I stop to watch the tank, he does a little dance at the front of the glass, hoping for a pellet. He's a smartie, that one...
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Old 11-15-2014, 10:34 PM   #8
GreenNinja
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Default Tank update 10/15/14.

Just a little tank update:

New plants have been added. I picked up a lace leaf java fern on lava rock on sale and Potamogeton gayi for half price (LFS was clearing out for a new plant shipment). The Potamogeton gayi replaced the mondo grass. Not wanting to waste a plant, the mondo grass is hanging out in the top of the tank with the roots in the filter compartment. I swapped out the water lettuce for some salvinia because the roots were just too long for this shorter tank.

Bad news: I'm mysteriously missing two rasboras. I suspect the betta, because his mouth is the only one big enough.
Good news: The clean-up crew (two otos) is not adding too much to the bio-load with that recent fauna reduction.



Bad news: I've got a bit of brown algae due to various factors (young tank, new critters, figuring out who eats what and how much, lower current, higher temp, etc.).
Good news: The otos love it and are crazy happy with their new buffet.



The frog (henceforth known as "Jazz Hands", a name given to him by some visiting friends' children) has become very active and is quite fun to watch. He regularly crashes through the school of rasboras and is very uncoordinated.



This one corner of the tank seems to be a favorite. The clam has not proven to be destructive in the spot I've placed it and often pokes out of its shell a bit. Jazz Hands loves to crash into the clam and hide around it. The betta (also newly named, "Mr. Fancy Dance") seems quite pleased with his domain.

I'll get a full tank shot once the otos finish up the front glass a bit more. They've already made a lot of progress in 24 hours.
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