Fluval Spec V-A Natural Escape - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-01-2017, 01:58 PM Thread Starter
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Fluval Spec V-A Natural Escape

Hey Everybody!

I'm in the process of starting my first planted tank and wanted to go ahead and set up a journal to document the process along the way! I'm sure there will be tons of trial and error, calamities, proud moments and times I'm left just scratching my head. Hopefully, somewhere along the way I'll have learned enough to develop at least a halfway decent looking tank!

So to start things off, I decided to go with a Fluval Spec V all in one tank. I went this route because eventually I'd like the option of running this tank in my office and wanted a minimal amount of visible equipment.

In my research and just general browsing of this site and others I've been most drawn to a "natural" style tank so I am hoping to steer my tank in that direction.

The tank will start off low-tech, possibly medium light and may transition to high tech down the road depending on how things go and how I feel about the maintenance schedule.

So on to the good stuff that you all care about! (I took advantage of lots of memorial sales)

Equipment:
-Tank: Fluval Spec V
-Light: Finnex 20" Planted+ 24/7 SE
-Heater: Hydor Theo 50W
-Pump: Aqueon Quietflow AQ600 (memorial day sale brought the price of this pump and the tank lower than the price I could get just the tank anywhere else)
-Co2: May happen in the future (paintball tank system from Co2 art with inline diffuser)

Hardscape:
-Substrate: Flourite Black Sand
-Wood: Hopefully Manzanita Wood
-Rock: TBD

Fauna (Big TBD Here so very open to suggestions, some combination of the following):
-Centerpiece Fish 1-2 (Thinking Betta or maybe Dwarf Gourami)
-Schooling Fish ~6 (Thinking CPD's or maybe Chilli Rasboras)
-Bottom Dweller (Not sure if I can fit anything else given the above but possibly pygmy cory)

Invertebrates:
-Amano Shrimp: 2
-Cherry Red Shrimp: 6
-Nerite Snaile: 1

Flora:
-Honestly no idea at this point need to figure out my hardscape and go from there
-Will be heavily planted to support the stocking above

Fertilizers:
-I purchased some basic Seachem fertilizers to get things started but will transition to an E.I. based regime with chemicals from either GLA or NILOCG

Overall Plan:
I like the look of manzanita wood supported/surrounded by Seiryu stone. This would be near the back corner of the tank obscuring the filter wall. Long stem flants/ferns would be extending up around the back of the wood feature, with plants getting smaller as you progress to the front of the tank until reaching a hopeful carpet at the front. I would love for moss to coat some of the branches as well. This scape may be ambitious without Co2 so we shall see how things change over time. As far as fish go, I'm planning to get my tank and plants established then slowly introduce fish/inverts starting at the bottom and working up. Hopefully this will result in a centerpiece fish who wont mess with the smaller livestock in the tank.


Anyway I look forward to hearing your feedback on my plan and eventually my tank itself!

Full Tank Shot:
(future home for pics, still waiting on the equipment to get here)


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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-03-2017, 01:49 AM
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Sounds great so far! I love the invertebrates you've chosen, but sometimes the shrimp don't do so well with: a) a new tank, or b) the water you're using, or c) all of the fertilizers used on the plants. Do you plan to use tap water? If so, be sure you know what's in it.

Also love to see people planning everything out rather than jumping right in. That's the really fun part, right? You'll do great already just from that.

CO2 recommended. A 20oz paintball tank should last several months in a tank that size.

Cories are awesome in planted tanks and keep the bottom clean, but they prefer to be in groups. What about something like Kuhli Loaches? I wonder if those are compatible with cherry shrimp.

Oh, yeah, and the other reason I wanted to reply to your thread: *Really Sorry* about getting your first thread cancelled. :-( I posted an Amazon link and the moderator terminated the whole thread.

Good luck and keep us posted on your progress!
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-03-2017, 04:00 AM Thread Starter
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Definitely plan to take things very slowly! It will be quite a while before I introduce any kind of wildlife to my tank. I'm still waiting on all the basic equipment to come in (should be next week). Once I get the hard goods setup and my tap water tested I'll start figuring out/finding my hardscape. Then I'll work around that figuring out plants, still deciding on if I'll try to dry start or not. Hopefully, once I've gotten the plants happy in the tank I'll start adding either the shrimp or some fish depending on what the consensus says is best. It's a long journey but so far the planning stages have been really enjoyable!


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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-03-2017, 06:47 AM
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Fluval Spec V-A Natural Escape

Looks like everything is in order and you have done your homework! For fish the Betta/whatever with maybe the small shoalers will be the maximum you could go for, bottom dwellers would be pushing it. It is more of a swimming space issue rather than bio-load issue. Kuhlis are definitely way too big for this tank, and Pygmy Corys may prefer a bit more room. A Betta may also not like tank mates, different Bettas have different temperments. They may be especially mean to the shrimp. May be give the RCS a headtstart to build their colony. There is a sticky on the forum for more nano fish options, and Rachel O' Leary has a good Youtube channel, or you could contact her personally. Sticking to maybe just the shoalers may yield the best results, but I've always been a light stocking kinda guy.
As for plants if you want a carpet obviously going the CO2 route will be the easiest and most fullproof way to get it. Not impossible in low-tech though, Monte Carlo, an Eleocharis species or a Marsilea species may be your best bet. The dry start will allow you to have a full carpet on filling, but you may see a lot of melt when you flood.
Other plant suggestions from me would be small Crypts like C. parva and C. walkeri/lutea 'hobbit'. They will be good mid-ground plants for a tank like yours and Crypts are probably one of my favourite genuses; very low-tech applicable.
This tank should turn out good! If you have any questions related to anything ask away.

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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-06-2017, 02:48 PM Thread Starter
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Just a little update, equipment started arriving!

First up from Drs. Foster & Smith, took advantage of their 25% off memorial day sale and free shipping!


I got the Finnex Planted+ 24/7 SE 20", Python Gravel Vac and Squeeze Bulb, Mag-float glass cleaner, Seachem Ferts, Prime and Root Tabs, API Master Test Kit, Hydro 50W heater, some filter foam to shrimp proof my filter, a thermometer, and some purigen.





There was a little mixup with the order, I recieved a bag of reef sand instead of the flourite black sand that I ordered, but Drs. Foster & Smith quickly rectified it and upgraded shipping to get me the proper sand by Friday! (If anyone needs a bag of reef sand hit me up lol)

Now just waiting on my tank from Big Al's Pets which should be here friday as well!
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-06-2017, 03:35 PM
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For cleaning the glass I recommend an old plastic membership card as well. The mag float will be a bit too big to get into some of those nooks and crannies later on.


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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-06-2017, 03:57 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Opare View Post
For cleaning the glass I recommend an old plastic membership card as well. The mag float will be a bit too big to get into some of those nooks and crannies later on.
Yea the mag-float is definitely bigger than I expected! I imagine I'll not be leaving it in the tank and only use it if necessary! Thanks for the suggestion on the plastic membership card, I'll keep that in mind!
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-12-2017, 07:23 PM Thread Starter
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Tank has arrived! Along with the upgraded pump (which is still TBD on if it will be used) and the correct substrate!



Next step for me is sourcing hardscape materials so that I can get a better feel for how much plantable space there will be and what types/sizes of plants I'll want.
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-24-2017, 12:53 AM
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Any new progress??
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-24-2017, 04:19 AM Thread Starter
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Any new progress??
Currently in a holding pattern waiting on a hardscape source, had a seller stop responding. But got Msjinkzd lined up and we should be getting some good layouts worked out! Did a leak test and function test of all the equipment so we will be good to start planning plant layouts once I get the hardscape!
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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-06-2017, 03:34 AM Thread Starter
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Small update, and big thanks to Rachel over at Invertebrates by Msjinkzd who set me up with some awesome hardscape materials! She was great to work with, and took my description and came up with exactly what I was looking for. A great resource for anyone who doesn't have easy access to hardscape materials, and great prices too!

Here's the mockup she sent me of my future hardscape! Looking forward to getting the materials in and finally getting this tank rolling.

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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-06-2017, 03:51 AM
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She is a wonderful and amazing resource!!! That mock up looks very nice. You have been really working this plan through.
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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-26-2017, 03:17 PM
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Just found this thread now, awesome hardscape. Did you get the tank up yet?

-DAN


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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-26-2017, 09:40 PM Thread Starter
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Recieved my hardscape from Rachel, it's exactly what I pictured (and matches the picture she sent). I've been traveling a bunch lately and will be traveling a good bit over the next 2 months so I probably wont setup the tank until October. That will give me 4 months to get the tank established before I start traveling again.


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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-06-2017, 04:53 AM
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Any updates ?


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