Lighting a 5.5 litre - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-09-2020, 10:16 AM Thread Starter
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Lighting a 5.5 litre

I know another how much light question, but I have struggled with lighting in the past and have a habit of over lighting

Anyway, I have picked up a tiny little 5.5 litre tank that I plan to house a few shrimps on my desk. The light it comes with is only a tiny little 1W HPLED and I am guessing it is not going to cut it.

The tank is going to to be less the 5.5ltr once substrate and hardscape go in, I am looking to plant quite heavily with hardy plants like anubias and mosses etc.

Any advice on a decent little light. Also, would Co2 be of benefit in such a small volume?

Any other tips on a tank this size also appreciated

Cheers
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-10-2020, 05:36 AM
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If you know for certain that the lamp that came with the tank is 1 watt, it's certainly sufficient for low light plants like Anubias and mosses, note: as long as it's well focused and the rendering color is decent.


Is this one of the Koller or Imagitarium tank kits with the tiny inside filter and modular, battery powered multi colored light? Some of those kit lamps can be run off of a USB charger, saving you having to replace batteries every other day, they do have a problem of having a cheap switch that malfunctions so a tiny LED USB reading light would possibly replace this lamp, if it is equal in brightness to a typical 1 watt LED lamp.


Tiny tanks have a bigger issue: wide temperature swings if your home temperature doesn't stay stable. Room temperature in the UK versus the USA? Keep your house around minimum 68~70 degrees F.

CO2, even if in a tiny DIY setup would be hard to control, and could suffer a lot of pH swings that could stress plants and shrimp. Not recommended. Shrimps like stability, it would be better to keep them in a 19 liter tank with a small sponge filter. Cycling tiny tanks is often times fraught with the cycle stalling or even reversing.

Starting small, keeping it simple..(?)
250 gallon stock tank, "pond"
20 gallon H CBS Shrimp tank

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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-10-2020, 05:42 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by GrampsGrunge View Post
If you know for certain that the lamp that came with the tank is 1 watt, it's certainly sufficient for low light plants like Anubias and mosses, note: as long as it's well focused and the rendering color is decent.


Is this one of the Koller or Imagitarium tank kits with the tiny inside filter and modular, battery powered multi colored light? Some of those kit lamps can be run off of a USB charger, saving you having to replace batteries every other day, they do have a problem of having a cheap switch that malfunctions so a tiny LED USB reading light would possibly replace this lamp, if it is equal in brightness to a typical 1 watt LED lamp.


Tiny tanks have a bigger issue: wide temperature swings if your home temperature doesn't stay stable. Room temperature in the UK versus the USA? Keep your house around minimum 68~70 degrees F.

CO2, even if in a tiny DIY setup would be hard to control, and could suffer a lot of pH swings that could stress plants and shrimp. Not recommended. Shrimps like stability, it would be better to keep them in a 19 liter tank with a small sponge filter. Cycling tiny tanks is often times fraught with the cycle stalling or even reversing.
Thank you Gramps.

The tank is this one (ad says 5W light but box states it's a 1W light)

https://www.therange.co.uk/pets/fish...ALw_wcB#400373

I do have a fair bit of experience with small tanks but not in the freshwater/planted world. I have kept a number of pico reefs over the years. (not this small but only slightly bigger)

Regarding temp, the room is pretty stable but I am happy to add a nano heater to the tank,

If not shrimp, I can't think of anything else I would want to keep in such a small space. I am happy to run the tank with just plants for a few months to let it mature, but if you have any suggestions I am all ears.

Would liquid carbon be a good option over injected, or are the plants I am thinking of not needing it?
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-10-2020, 06:47 PM
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According to my calculations that tank is closer to 2 US gallons. 7.6 liters.


Granted that, it's still a tiny tank.

If you're new to fish and shrimp keeping, it would be preferable to try this with a larger aquarium like a 38 liter or US sized 10 gallon.

But that's not saying you can't give it a shot with some hardy snails or few "cleaner" quality Neocaridinas. It's just too tiny for any fish, even a pair of feeder White Cloud Mountain fish would be pretty hard pressed to live comfortably within this tank. Nano tanks require some prior experience with aquarium keeping success.

The UK, being that most of it's land is on limestone, has a lot of GH and KH out of the taps. This means your water is going to be alkaline and although this is good for Ammonia>Nitrate conversion cycling, if the tank starts to build up ammonia even in small amounts, it's going to stress the new creatures living within it. I'd pick up an API water test kit, possibly a TDS water conductivity pen, so you can check the water every half month or so.

The 5 watts consumption would be pump and light's total current draw, looking at the filter that comes with this tank it's a bit large for a tiny tank.

This tank seems like a better deal, it comes with a cover and it has more volume. It's nearly twice the volume. I'd ditch the neon colored gravel and plastic plant for some darkish substrate and a 25 watt controllable heater..https://www.therange.co.uk/pets/fish...ter-kit#535691

You're still going to have to source a small LED light. But a small book reading LED desk light with a flexible neck would be far better, even if it's 2 watts. Most LEDs are approaching 120+ lumens per watt. A simple 6500 Kelvin reading light would suffice and you could moderate the light by bending the neck further away from the top. The little tank's light would be a hassle to replace if the electronics running it get wet and stop working.

P.S. OK, I missed reading that you're experienced with pico reef-keeping. You're far more experienced with fussy little tanks than I am I'm going to say if you could keep a tiny reef happy, you've got the chops to make a 2 gallon or smaller freshwater tank thrive.. Sorry if I sounded a bit dismissive of the size of the little tank.

Starting small, keeping it simple..(?)
250 gallon stock tank, "pond"
20 gallon H CBS Shrimp tank

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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-10-2020, 10:03 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by GrampsGrunge View Post
But that's not saying you can't give it a shot with some hardy snails or few "cleaner" quality Neocaridinas. It's just too tiny for any fish, even a pair of feeder White Cloud Mountain fish would be pretty hard pressed to live comfortably within this tank. Nano tanks require some prior experience with aquarium keeping success.

P.S. OK, I missed reading that you're experienced with pico reef-keeping. You're far more experienced with fussy little tanks than I am I'm going to say if you could keep a tiny reef happy, you've got the chops to make a 2 gallon or smaller freshwater tank thrive.. Sorry if I sounded a bit dismissive of the size of the little tank.
Thank you again Gramps for the tips and no need to apologise.

Been fishkeeping for about 15 years now, mostly saltwater and general community FW. I did try my hand at hi-tech planted for a while but found plants a lot more demanding than most corals

I've ordered a slightly stronger light and will test with that, I can add floating plants to reduce light levels if needed.

Think I am going to set this tank up and leave it running with just the plants for a while and then maybe try a couple of hardy shrimp and see how it goes.

Thanks again
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