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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-31-2017, 05:33 PM Thread Starter
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9G planted nano tank

I want to preface this entry by saying that I am complete noob, so please pardon any errors or omissions on my part. I want to say that I am highly impressed by the aquascapes that people in this community have created, so much so that I was compelled to try this out myself.

I was thinking about buying a nice,starter tank for a while so, when black Friday rolled around and I found some good deals, I pulled the trigger on an Eheim 9G nano tank.Light and filter came with the tank but I did get an Eheim adjustable heater and a thermometer. I used eco-complete as my substrate to create a contrast in the tank.


Starting up the tank was fairly easy, but this journey hasn't been without its trails and tribulations. Due to budget constraints, I couldn't invest in a high setup, but for now I think I am happy with my tank. I have a few plants in there viz. anubias nana, java fern, rosette sword and some dwarf sag and right now all in are in various states of acclimation, meaning dead brown leaves.(You might have seen my post about my java fern recently). I do use dry ferts 2x week and dose iron weekly.

For fish, I started with a school of 6 neon tetras and 2 ghost shrimp. However, that turned out to be a bad idea, the bigger of my shrimp attacked and killed a fish right in-front of my eyes. So, now I am in search of some cherry shrimp/bottom feeder that will not hunt my fish.
One of the fish bloated up, turned out it was constipated. I treated that with an Epsom salt bath and a mushed-up pea.The tank parameters are mostly stable but there are fluctuations in the nitrite levels.

I will admit that I didn't plan my aquascape through. So, I dont know where to put my java fern. Right now, its sitting behind my driftwood, kinda balding.

That's about it for now. I am attaching a few pictures, constructive criticism is very welcome.

Thanks!
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-31-2017, 05:51 PM
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Nice tank, although if you have nitrite readings then maybe it is not fully cycled?

For the java fern, you could put it in the corner where the filter and heater are and once it grows in it will hide them
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-31-2017, 05:59 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by oscarlloydjohn View Post
Nice tank, although if you have nitrite readings then maybe it is not fully cycled?

For the java fern, you could put it in the corner where the filter and heater are and once it grows in it will hide them
Yeah, quite possibly its not fully cycled. I used one of those insta-cycle products

The ammonia is consistently 0ppm but nitrite is not coming down to zero. So, for now I do partial water changes to keep it under control.

Re. java fern, right now it doesnt look pretty at all, its down to its last few leaves, I had to prune the rest because they looked ugly, dead and invited algae in my tank.

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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-01-2018, 12:14 AM
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If you bought the Java fern from a fish store recently, it could be transitioning from emersed to submersed state where basically all the leaves die off and it grows new ones (I'm not sure if this applies to Java fern however so don't take my word 100%).
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-01-2018, 02:35 PM Thread Starter
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If you bought the Java fern from a fish store recently, it could be transitioning from emersed to submersed state where basically all the leaves die off and it grows new ones (I'm not sure if this applies to Java fern however so don't take my word 100%).
It was actually grown submerged, however, it was an ebay purchase. So, it spent a few days traveling, so for now, I too am assuming transfer shock.

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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-01-2018, 02:44 PM
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It should perk up, they are pretty tough, look for tiny new leaves coming in along the rhyzome - they are quite cool they start off as just a little curled lump at first.

You might like to consider a row of faster growing stem plants along the back - they'll help with the water quality and fill it in quickly, something like rotala rotundifolia is easy and looks good.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-01-2018, 03:12 PM Thread Starter
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It should perk up, they are pretty tough, look for tiny new leaves coming in along the rhyzome - they are quite cool they start off as just a little curled lump at first.

You might like to consider a row of faster growing stem plants along the back - they'll help with the water quality and fill it in quickly, something like rotala rotundifolia is easy and looks good.

rotala rotundifolia, I had never considered this plant at all. I just have to make sure that excel wont kill it.

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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-01-2018, 03:19 PM
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rotala rotundifolia, I had never considered this plant at all. I just have to make sure that excel wont kill it.
I always found Rotala hard to grow in a low tech tank, they just take a while to really fill in places. I have used excel with a different Rotala (can't remember what it was). It did grow fairly fast but ended up taking it out because it always looked a bit spindly especially because it was grow emersed Maybe that was because I started with a small portion! I'm sure you'll have success with it though
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-01-2018, 03:31 PM Thread Starter
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I always found Rotala hard to grow in a low tech tank, they just take a while to really fill in places. I have used excel with a different Rotala (can't remember what it was). It did grow fairly fast but ended up taking it out because it always looked a bit spindly especially because it was grow emersed Maybe that was because I started with a small portion! I'm sure you'll have success with it though
Well I did some googling, wohoo, and found some consider it low tech while others believe its strictly high tech. Is there some other plant you'd suggest for my tank?

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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-01-2018, 06:26 PM
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If you can lay your hands on some spiral vallisnaria (not the straight kind, that stuff is huge), and you dont mind some leaves reaching the surface, it would go great in the back. I suggest using a small pot for it though since it spreads by runners and can really multiply once established, and you can tuck it behind the driftwood.

You could also do bucephelandra (which grows like anubias), or bolbitis (sold as "el nino fern" at some stores, grows like java fern). The buce is a bit pricy unless you can get it as an in vitro cup, but it's absolutely beautiful colors as it grows in. The bolbitis will have smaller leaves than the tubes at the store when submerged, and looks pretty sorry while transitioning, but it's a very pretty small fern once established, and it's rhyzome will bounce back from most anything IME.

Brazillian pennywort is a good, easy stem plant, though it can take off pretty fast if it's happy. Actually, most stem plants can do that. Bacopa caroliniana stays under a foot though, and has generally topped out at 6" in my low tech setups, which would give you the fullness without eating your tank. Pogostemmon helferii stays short too and looks pretty cool. I've grown it low tech as well, and it did fine, though not as tight looking as in high tech.

If you have a local aquarium club, you may be able to find people who will swap stuff, or even donate cuttings to your cause. If I have learned anything, it's that folks love getting others hooked on the hobby.
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-01-2018, 11:08 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by MissCris View Post
If you can lay your hands on some spiral vallisnaria (not the straight kind, that stuff is huge), and you dont mind some leaves reaching the surface, it would go great in the back. I suggest using a small pot for it though since it spreads by runners and can really multiply once established, and you can tuck it behind the driftwood.

You could also do bucephelandra (which grows like anubias), or bolbitis (sold as "el nino fern" at some stores, grows like java fern). The buce is a bit pricy unless you can get it as an in vitro cup, but it's absolutely beautiful colors as it grows in. The bolbitis will have smaller leaves than the tubes at the store when submerged, and looks pretty sorry while transitioning, but it's a very pretty small fern once established, and it's rhyzome will bounce back from most anything IME.

Brazillian pennywort is a good, easy stem plant, though it can take off pretty fast if it's happy. Actually, most stem plants can do that. Bacopa caroliniana stays under a foot though, and has generally topped out at 6" in my low tech setups, which would give you the fullness without eating your tank. Pogostemmon helferii stays short too and looks pretty cool. I've grown it low tech as well, and it did fine, though not as tight looking as in high tech.

If you have a local aquarium club, you may be able to find people who will swap stuff, or even donate cuttings to your cause. If I have learned anything, it's that folks love getting others hooked on the hobby.
Hey MissCris!

I took you advice and bought some Brazillian pennywort and some Anacharis Elodea( I am thinking of putting in my betta tank, which a truly low tech tank).

I,unfortunately, dont have any clubs close to where I live.

I will add more pictures once I plant it in the tank!

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Last edited by glitterSmudge; 01-01-2018 at 11:08 PM. Reason: added sentence
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-06-2018, 10:43 PM Thread Starter
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Hi people!

I am back with an update. Last night, I got my new plants - Brazillian pennywort and Anacharis Elodea. I have them in the tank and I think the tank looks a bit better now. Please let me know if anyone has some criticism, ideas, suggestions etc.

In other news, my tank parameters have finally stabilized. 0 ppm ammonia. 0 ppm nitrIte 10-20 ppm nitrAtes.

I will let it mature for a month more and then I am thinking about adding more fish, how many more neon tetras can be accommodated in this tank now, along with at least 2 cherry shrimp(currently, i have 5)?
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eheim, nano aquascaping, nano tank, neon tetra

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