5 gallon Bonsai newbie - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-06-2018, 01:12 AM Thread Starter
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5 gallon Bonsai newbie

Hi, First post so go easy on me.

I've decided to try my first planted tank, hopefully get some good advise and learn as I go. I have successfully kept a reef tank for the past 5 years so no stranger to difficult aquariums.

So, of course I saw a picture of a bonsai tank and decided I need to have one. I wanted a small, all in one, rimless tank. I found a Top Fin 5 Gallon Glass Aquarium at petsmart for only $45, did a little research to find the light was capable of growing some plants so I went ahead and bought it. I also ordered a piece of bonsai driftwood i really liked (cost more than the tank lol) and 3 types of moss. golfball sized pieces of java moss, christmas moss and phoenix moss.

From what I have read moss is one of the easiest aquarium plants to grow. Hopefully this is true, I would like to keep this tank as simple as possible.

One thing I'm not sure about and definitely need advise on is what to use for substrate. I want to do 2 different colors and create a stream or path like in the pic below. Which is the pic that inspired me to do this tank.


And here is the empty tank on my kitchen table, which is probably where it will stay.
[IMG][/IMG]

Any other advise is appreciated thanks!
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-07-2018, 12:53 AM
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5 gallon Bonsai newbie

Youíre gonna want to use pieces of plastic and/or small rocks on the edge to stop the substrate from mixing. If moss is your only plant, I donít think youíd need any special planted substrate for the moss so two different colors of sand for the path would work.


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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-08-2018, 03:04 AM Thread Starter
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Sounds good, I jumped the gun a bit and ordered a bag of fluval stratum soil off amazon because I think i might want to do some actual plants eventually not just the moss. I also got plenty of rocks to create an edge between the 2 substrates as well.

The more research I do though on these tanks the more I realize you really need co2 to be truly successful. So now I cant decide weather I should buy something like the Tropica disposable co2 kit, or just run the tank for a while and see how i like it first.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-08-2018, 03:21 AM Thread Starter
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Just was reading through another thread and saw someone mention flourish excel. Sounds like the perfect in between for my situation, do you guys agree?
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-08-2018, 03:33 AM
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Flourish Excel? It's an algicide, algae killer.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-08-2018, 04:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by odyssey350kc View Post
Just was reading through another thread and saw someone mention flourish excel. Sounds like the perfect in between for my situation, do you guys agree?


Try DIY co2! What you do is take a bottle, add sugar and yeast so that the yeast produce co2, then feed a tube from the bottle into your tank! I just got mine started two days ago and canít wait to see the results.


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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-08-2018, 05:51 AM
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For DIY CO2, theres also the citric acid + baking soda recipe.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-08-2018, 08:03 AM
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Before you go out buying a co2 system, observe your tank first. If you're just planning on using moss for your plants, you don't have to spend money on co2. Just maintain the tank well and trim it and it will grow beautiful. I'd go buy flourish excel though, because it can come in handy in many ways. If you're thinking of using ferts, i'd go for the Seachem's Planted Aquavitro line or Evolution Aqua's Aquascaper Complete Liquid Plant Food. Those two I have the most success with.

I was gonna suggest Dennerle's scapers soil along with deponitmix professional 9 in 1. Hands down the best substrate I have ever experienced. It helps out a lot with the cycling and balance in the aquarium so well. It just works so well.

"Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience"
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-12-2018, 12:45 AM Thread Starter
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I finally got everything in the mail today to setup the tank. Had my wife start soaking the bonsai driftwood before i got home. Went to michaels to pick up some little stones for the river, the rest was picked out of my yard and disinfected with a vinegar soak earlier this week before going in the tank.

I ended up using the Christmas moss on the tree. I had planned on using the java moss I ordered in another part of the tank, but I really didn't like the look of it and i heard it will spread like crazy from a few people. Overall I am pretty pleased with the look of the tank though

As far as Co2 I'm definitely gonna hold off on that for now. I realized with the size of the tank i don't need fast growth, with the amount of moss ordered i can cover everything i want fairly well right off the bat.

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[URL=http://s682.photobucket.com/user/odyssey350kc/media/Mobile%20Uploads/20180810_065724_zpsd65ggngr.jpg.html][IMG]http://i682.photobucket.com/albu

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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-12-2018, 12:52 AM
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Looks good though personally, I would've gone for some moon sand instead of gravel in the middle. I have the SAME tank as you do but mine is a Walstad. Just be careful of the filter intake as it is a little low so after some time your filter might be sucking in dirt :P

I ended up putting hot glue in all the slots except the top centimeter or so.
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-12-2018, 12:57 AM Thread Starter
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Yeah, I put a good side rock in front of the bottom intake slats of the filter, which will hopefully will keep most of the dirt out.
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-13-2018, 12:10 AM Thread Starter
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So I want to have a few shrimp and a couple fish in my tank. Which should i add first?
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-13-2018, 12:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by odyssey350kc View Post
So I want to have a few shrimp and a couple fish in my tank. Which should i add first?
I'd say put the shrimp in first after you acclimate them (drip acclimate or the shortcut). Then the fish. I say because the shrimp should find places they're comfortable or can hide in.
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