5.5 Gallon (First Planted Tank) - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-12-2016, 03:55 AM Thread Starter
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5.5 Gallon (First Planted Tank)

Hey all, so this is going to be a journal about my first real planted tank. I've got another 5.5 gallon and a 13 gallon with plants in them but they started as fish only tanks so they're lacking. The wife gave me the go ahead to start looking into a smaller tank for our room and she was very specific on it being 20 gallons or under. I started scouring the internet for the best prices on what I needed/wanted and she was quickly getting discouraged with the whole idea. Long story short, as I was looking around at pet stores and thrift stores for any deals today I came across this!



Like the title says, it's a 5.5 gallon that came with a 16" Finnex Stingray and a SunSun 602b canister filter. I got this for an absolute STEAL at only $25! Thats the price of the filter alone!

Now that I've got the tank and most of the hardware for it I need to come up with a plan on how I want to do this. I was thinking dirted tank capped with flourite or maybe EI dosing with just flourite. Not totally sure and open for suggestions. I'm a little worried about the light being too bright as I saw someone post a par reading for a 12" stingray and they got around 56 par at 12". I do have a glass lid though and im not totally opposed to using floaters, so maybe that should help from growing an algae farm. I'll be using excel, pressurized co2 just isn't in the budget. Anyway, suggestions of any kind are welcome and encouraged! Journey along with me in my first true planted aquarium!
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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-13-2016, 02:17 AM Thread Starter
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Painted the back of the tank black today, turned out really nice.



Just have to let it dry completely and see if I can get this thing looking brand new. Any suggestions on how to clean a tank and used filter? I was thinking white vinegar or bleach diluted with water. Can I soak the spray bar and return pipe in vinegar to remove the gunk?
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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-13-2016, 03:05 AM
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Put everything in the dishwasher.
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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-13-2016, 08:39 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the tip! Did a little more today. The glass lid I have was a little too big and I didn't feel like filing it down so I de-rimmed it. Also there was a lot of gunk stuck between the rim and glass and I didn't like seeing it.



I like this scape, just need substrate. I think I'm going to be ditching the dirted idea, maybe some Osmocote and chelated iron sprinkled on bottom then capped with flourite black. Im thinking lining the back with different kinds of stem plants and then some kind of carpeting plant in front of the wood and around the rocks. Does this sound like a good plan?

Another thing is my filter is missing more pieces than I thought and I found replacement parts but they're almost the same price as some lily pipes I found on evilbay. Anybody use these inexpensive lily pipes? They're around $13 so no idea how the craftsmanship would be or if they would look just way too big on my tank. Thanks in advance to any replies!
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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-15-2016, 04:35 PM Thread Starter
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Wow... This forum is dead... Anyway, was playing around with scape designs today and I came up with this.





So the first scape I posted I would probably try a little dutch style and the second one would be nature/river style with sand and substrate separated with rock and wood.
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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-15-2016, 05:07 PM
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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-15-2016, 05:11 PM
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I haven't used the lily pipes you mentioned, so can't comment on those. Your ideas look interesting, will be interested to see the scape with some substrate. What plants are you thinking of using?
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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-15-2016, 05:11 PM Thread Starter
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Most likely its just my inpatients.. Haha

As for plants I'm not sure, up front I was thinking some anubias Nana petite around the rocks and wood. I also already have some crypt wendti green, bacopa Carolinia, corkscrew val, water wisteria and rotala rotundifolia. The rotala is in really bad shape and I only have a few stems that are covered in bba so I'm not sure if I can salvage them.
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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-15-2016, 05:19 PM
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If you can pick off the leaves on the rotala with bba, and just keep the healthy tops, you may salvage them. They grow pretty fast.
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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-15-2016, 05:22 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah I'll see what I can do, this new tank will be a way better environment for growing plants so hopefully they bounce back. Thank you for your input!
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post #11 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-16-2016, 06:15 PM Thread Starter
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The wife caved and let me order this, http://www.co2art.co.uk/collections/...ium-co2-system

Co2art complete kit, I'm also getting their paintball adapter with open and close valve. Should be a pretty sweet system no? I also picked up a stand today.

Ignore the tank, everything is just kind of in there still messing with hardscape and waiting for all the goodies to arrive in a couple weeks hopefully.
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post #12 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-20-2016, 03:35 AM Thread Starter
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So I think I found a scape I like.



Also I've picked out some plants so here's the list
- Rotala rotundifolia
- Hydrocotyle tripartita "Japan"
- AR mini
- Eleocharis sp. Mini

I also already have
- Corkscrew val.
- Crypt Wendtii green
- Bacopa caroliniana
- Water wisteria
- Java moss

Do you think that my finnex stingray will have enough par to grow all these plants? Especially the hairgrass?
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post #13 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-23-2016, 07:50 PM Thread Starter
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post #14 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-23-2016, 08:24 PM
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Nice start! I'm so jealous of your filter and CO2. What fish do you plan to add?

With CO2 you could probably grow anything. I use excel in my tank and I've had no problems growing regular DHG. Watch out for that java moss. It likes to take over everything and in nano tanks it tends to look messy. Make sure you stay on top of your macro dosing. The Stingray is on the low side, but still enough to grow algae if you let the ferts slip.

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post #15 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-23-2016, 08:55 PM Thread Starter
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My LFS normally has a good stock of exclamation point rasboras so I was thinking a shoal of those, maybe like 8 or so. They also have cherry shrimp, some kind of blue shrimp and black shrimp (can't recall the names). I'm leaning towards the blue if I can find out what they are and their care level. Funny you say that because when I got this tank I had to scrape the glass because it had a lot of green spot algae. Haha
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