My Spec V Journey - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-25-2017, 10:34 AM Thread Starter
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My Spec V Journey

https://imgur.com/gallery/QNW6q

I'm half way through week 7 and I've wanted to do this since week 5. Here's a journal of my tank from dry start through 6 weeks flooded. Hopefully some find it interesting or encouraging for there own new setup. If love to hear feedback, tips, or stories of your own setup!

**Setup (today):**

- Tank: Fluval Spec V with upgraded pump and shrimp-proofed
- Light: Current Satellite Plus Pro
- Substrate: Flourish black sand
- CO2: Paintball advance kit from co2art w/ inline diffuser

**Flora:**

- Anubias Nana Petite
- Anubias Nana Golden Petite
- Micranthemum Monte Carlo
- Staurogyne Repens
- Alternanthera Reinekii Mini
- Ludwigia Repens
- Hydrocotyle Trippartia (Japan)
- Fissidens Fox
- Bucephalandra Brownie Brown
- Red Root Floater)
- Dwarf Water Lettuce
- Lobelia Cardinalis (cardinal plant)

**Fauna:**

- Neocaridina blue rili x?
- Sulawesi Malawa x?
- Horned nerite x7 - I only want 2 but 5 are so small it makes more sense to grow out before I rehome
- Celestial Pearl Danio x7
- Chili Rasbora x6

I know I'm probably overstocked but the plants seen to be doing a great job with the bioload. If it doesn't work out, I can rehome some of them to my brother's 30 gallon across the street. Or maybe my with will let me upgrade to a 20 gal.
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-25-2017, 11:06 AM
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I love my Spec V, very versatile and great light! I've found it to be my most stable 5 I've ever had too. Can't wait to see how your build works out!

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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-25-2017, 11:56 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sfsamm View Post
I love my Spec V, very versatile and great light! I've found it to be my most stable 5 I've ever had too. Can't wait to see how your build works out!

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Yeah, it's an awesome tank and I always appreciate seeing others. I plan to post weekly updates in this thread.

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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-25-2017, 01:42 PM
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Looks great so far, really like the moss on the wood! Nice to see the inline Co2 diffuser is working well and not sending tiny bubbles everywhere! I'm about to start my first planted tank in a Spec V so will definitely be checking in on yours for inspiration and help if I need it!

A couple questions, first, how much of the Seachem Flourite Black Sand did your tank need?
Second, are you using any water treatment, ferts, root tabs, etc?
Finally, what did you use to shrimp proof the grate and the lower pass through in the filter wall?


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Last edited by JollyRogers; 05-25-2017 at 01:56 PM. Reason: Added questions
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-25-2017, 02:45 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JollyRogers View Post
Looks great so far, really like the moss on the wood! Nice to see the inline Co2 diffuser is working well and not sending tiny bubbles everywhere! I'm about to start my first planted tank in a Spec V so will definitely be checking in on yours for inspiration and help if I need it!

A couple questions, first, how much of the Seachem Flourite Black Sand did your tank need?
Second, are you using any water treatment, ferts, root tabs, etc?
Finally, what did you use to shrimp proof the grate and the lower pass through in the filter wall?
Thank you. The diffuser has been great so far but for some reason, there is a slow leak somewhere in it that's causing a small stream of bubbles in the filter chamber. I though it was because the tubing wasn't snug enough but I replaced it and still have. Slow leak. I'm going to mess with it this weekend.

Regarding your questions:
I used about half of a bag of the sand, perhaps a little more, but one full bag is definitely overkill.

I am dosing the following:
- Mon, Wed, Fri: .5ml Excel and 1 pump ThriveS by nilocg
- Tue, Thur, Sat: .5ml Excel, .5ml Seachem Iron, 1ml Flourish Advance
- Sun: Water change day, no dosing
In a week or two, when things settle from the rescape, I plan to cut ferts from Wed and Sat from my regimen, but keep dosing Excel, to try to reduce algae.

I followed this guide to shrimp-proof the filter intakes: http://spec-tanks.com/how-to-make-a-...spec-aquarium/

I used the excess mesh shoved between the sponge and the compartment wall to cover the lower intake. I'm​ now wishing I would've gotten a piece large enough to just slide along the full height of the compartment to cover both intakes and be invisible in the main tank.

I apologize if the formatting is bad, this was hard on mobile.

I can't wait to see your project!

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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-25-2017, 03:09 PM
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Great idea on getting a full length piece of mesh! I planned to use the same guide!

Would love a picture showing the filtration compartment of your tank showing how you fit everything in and whatnot!

Keep up the great work.


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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-25-2017, 04:44 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by JollyRogers View Post
Great idea on getting a full length piece of mesh! I planned to use the same guide!

Would love a picture showing the filtration compartment of your tank showing how you fit everything in and whatnot!

Keep up the great work.
There's really nothing to see in the compartment. It's just a pump and the inline diffuser turned diagonally to fit. So here's a pic of how I organized all my supplies and routed the cords. My tank is on the kitchen counter and I decided to put everything in an unused cupboard. I want to put a plant in the filter compartment to hide the cords as the come directly from the tank.

I don't have a heater, but there is a "Betta Stick" made by Deep Blue that's easily small enough to fit in there with the diffuser. I have no idea if it's a quality product and its a fixed temp heater set to 80 degrees so I decided not to use it since shrimp don't like water any higher than mid 70's.

There's also a 2" or so gap under the sponge side of the compartment that'll allow you to place a heater horizontally under there and have the added bonus of water flowing directly past the heater instead of only heating the stagnant water in the pump compartment.

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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-29-2017, 10:35 PM Thread Starter
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05/29/17 - 7 weeks

Dwarf water lettuce can turn a small tank into a jungle in a hurry! I also experienced way less algae this week - I didn't even have to scrape the glass. The extra nitrates must've allowed the floaters to soak up any other excess nutrients as they EXPLODED this week.

I was worried about being overstocked after adding 5 snails and 13 fish, and while I may be, my plants really seem to love the increase nitrates and all other parameters remain steady after not touching anything for a day over a week.

pH - 7.2 (a bit higher than usual but I just noticed my CO2 is empty)
Ammonia - .25 (as always - false positive from the API test)
Nitrite - 0
Nitrate - 5
KH - 4
GH - 11

Here's a pic before a ~10% water change and minor cleanup. I'm not sure why it came out so yellow.

Once I get a TDS meter, I will use that as my indicator to do a water change since it looks like my plants can easily keep the nitrates under control. I'd like to reduce WC frequency to every other week, if possible, to keep my shrimp as happy as possible.

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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-06-2017, 01:13 AM Thread Starter
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06/04/17 - 8 weeks

A day late because I wasn't going to post an update this week because it looks the same and the parameters held steady, but there have actually been a lot of changes this week:

- I decided to downgrade back to the stock pump and reinstalled the spray bar because I really want to get some circulation into the water column. The Shrimp have gone back into hiding but the stock pump on the lowest setting isn't blowing everything away like the Aqueon 600 was so I'm hopeful they'll come back out.

- I also did a little work on my diffuser to fix some slow leaks - hopefully the super glue holds because I was too impatient to use silicone. I'll be glad to stop wasting CO2.

- I added a new Amano shrimp to help with hair algae since my other jumped ship. Hoping he sticks around; so far, so good.

- I left for a long weekend and came back to a mini disaster. The filter intake got clogged up and the pump pretty much ran dry, meaning no CO2 into the tank since I have an inline diffuser, which lead to major algae issues. I did my best to clean it up.

- I had to give the floaters another heavy thinning. They're going nuts now that there's a noticeable bioload and they're doing a great job of keeping it in check. I also had to remove most of the lettuce roots due to the algae explosion.

- I decided to skip the water change this week to avoid disturbing the shrimp more than necessary. I bought a TDS meter and will use it to determine when to do water changes once it approaches 400. Hopefully this isn't a stupid idea. I'll obviously still test the water each week and top off with distilled water.

- Decided to make a change to my light and ferts. I decreased the light intensity to 75% (from 100) and will be dosing 4 days/week instead of 6. Again for the shrimp and to maybe reduce algae further.

- Perhaps the biggest and by far the most exciting change: I'm FINALLY seeing new growth on some S. Repens stems that I decided to leave on the driftwood! Hoping the rest that I trimmed and replanted decide to make a comeback. The new tissue culture I added a few weeks ago has pretty much melted away but I kinda expected that. Hopefully it'll come back soon.

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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-12-2017, 01:24 AM Thread Starter
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06/11/14 - 9 weeks - I can't leave things alone!

Still battling algae. It got into the Monte Carlo pretty bad. Due to the tiny leaves, it's all but impossible to manually remove so I gave my tank a 48 break from the light, 32 of which were under complete darkness. After a heavy trim of the Monte Carlo, things look much better. I wonder if reducing my ferts is leaving some imbalance to help feed the algae...

I added some Crypt Parva and Crypt Lutea 'Hobbit' - a VERY cool little plant. Too bad the eBay seller gave such unbelievably skimpy portions. I stupidly assumed I was ordering 2 pots, not 2 individual, tiny plants. Hopefully they both survive the transition. On the fill side, I have WAY too much Parva. I'm beginning to think there is such a thing as too many plants...

I decided to yank the Lobelia Cardinalis. My tank was looking chaotic and disorderly and it was the biggest contributor, besides my obsession with cramming as many plants into a nano tank as possible. I trimmed the Ludwigia Repens and dropped it in its place to clean things up a bit.

I added some lucky bamboo, and California Fan Ivy (everyone does pothos) to the filter chamber, both of which were impulse buys at Lowe's. I swear I'm done adding plants to this damn tank.

Lastly, I'm going to quit using Excel. It obviously hasn't been preventing algae, I have no idea if it's helping my plants, and my shrimp still hide all day.

Edit: Almost forgot to mention that I did my monthly cleaning of my filter sponge and replaced the Purigen for the first time. Hopefully cleaner water helps on the algae.


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Last edited by Riekk; 06-12-2017 at 02:04 AM. Reason: Date fix
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-14-2017, 12:50 AM Thread Starter
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2 days without Excel and the shrimp are already coming out and swimming around more. The fish are less shy, too. Idk why I didn't believe the countless posts about this online.

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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-21-2017, 01:10 AM Thread Starter
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06/20/17 - 2.5 months

It was a crazy week and I really neglected the tank. A lot of the new crypts began to melt, which was expected but disappointing nonetheless. I'm certain it caused a nitrate spike as the floaters really exploded over the last week.

Oddly, the shrimp went back into hiding after a few days of rambunctious behavior. I'm hoping they appreciate the clean water and show themselves again.

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