10 gallon first nano build! - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 34 (permalink) Old 04-20-2019, 11:44 PM Thread Starter
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10 gallon first nano build!

Hello All!

I'm starting a journal for my first nano tank build. It's "9.98" gallons, so we'll just call it 10.

The hard scape is dragon stone, purchased from ADA Tank Supply on the Bay.

Substrate is Fluval Stratum, however that may change. I need to see how much this stuff will change my water parameters because the main focus when it comes to livestock will be neocaridina. I tested it in a bucket and dKH never fell below 2.5 and pH never fell below 6.8 so if that remains true in a tank, it'll stay. If not, it'll be scooped out and traded for something inert...

Light is the Chihiros RGB. The amount of PAR it pushes out is impressive. What's not impressive is it doesn't go as far into the red spectrum as I'd like it to. The amount of PAR it is giving me is about 90 in the center of the tank, 14.5 inches from the light to substrate. In the front it bumps up to about 100, I'm guessing that's due to reflection of the glass. In both front corners, I'm getting a reading of 80-85, in the back corners about 50. Again, I'm thinking this could have something to do with the glass, as the back panel is black, plus the stones may be having some effect there.

The next steps are to cycle it, get co2, and plant it...not in that exact order, of course, as the cycle is a long process. I'd like the tank to be aged a bit for the shrimp.

Planned inhabitants are golden back yellow neocaridina, pygmy cories, and various snails (most likely MTS and pink ramshorn). Other fish may be added as well, but the main focus will be the shrimp. However it's hard to say no to pygmy cories because they're so dang cute! lol

Planned plants are echinodorus aflame, crypt pink flamingo, dwarf hairgrass, staurogyne repens, buce, anubias, and alternanthera reineckii mini OR rosanverig - plus some moss for the tops of the rocks, maybe in lines while leaving the sides bare. The plants list isn't finalized but that's what I have in my mind's eye so far.

Here are pictures of what I have so far. PAR data and the scape. Any comments or criticism is welcome!
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post #2 of 34 (permalink) Old 04-21-2019, 04:07 PM Thread Starter
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Update: co2 diffuser ordered and shipped through Amazon. (https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/...?ie=UTF8&psc=1)

After measuring, I determined that the UNS 45U glass lid should work perfectly on this tank. It has been ordered and will hopefully ship very soon. (https://buceplant.com/products/uns-r...nt=46102586957)

Living in a desert, evaporation becomes a big problem, so hopefully a lid will help with that significantly.

I already have co2 tubing and check valves on hand - as well as a regulator (UNS mini) and paintball tank adapter. All that's left for the co2 system is the paintball tank itself - I'm hoping on a tank this small, the co2 should go far.

The water has already cleared up significantly! However, I expect that to cloud up again once bacterial blooms are in full effect during the cycle.
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post #3 of 34 (permalink) Old 04-22-2019, 03:17 PM Thread Starter
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The water has cleared up significantly. I should have everything I need to get co2 up and running today. Iíll get it all put together and tested for leaks so itíll then be ready for plants. Iím really looking forward to the lid because thereís already been significant evaporation in just the short amount of time itís been up and running.




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post #4 of 34 (permalink) Old 04-23-2019, 03:58 AM Thread Starter
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Well, I had co2 for a minute. Got the diffuser dialed in to a satisfying 1bps or so. Then I turned off the solenoid and heard an audible hiss. Gas was leaking out of the pressure relief port!

Hooo boy, unscrewing the paintball tank gave me a good scare! Liquid ice sprayed out for a split second and I thought for sure it was gonna hurt. Luckily I came out unscathed only needing some clean underwear.

The cylinder was the last 24 oz one they had today, and it was a refurb. They did give me a warranty so the wife is being kind enough to take it back tomorrow since the shop is right next to her office. It did look pretty while it was up and running though.

Odd thing is it wasnít leaking at first. I turned the solenoid on and off a few times...but after removing the cylinder, itís hissing from that stem in the center.

Any ideas or advice?



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post #5 of 34 (permalink) Old 04-24-2019, 12:01 AM Thread Starter
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10 gallon first nano build!

Paintball shop is closed today, so I couldnít get it fixed or replaced. Bummer, but I donít have plants yet so itís not that huge of a deal. The tank is still hissing today from the stem, so 24 oz of co2 is a lot more than I thought it would be. Either that or it was really overfilled and thatís what caused this issue.

Lid arrived today. Itís the one manufactured by UNS for their 45U/45S tanks, same dimensions.

It fits perfectly! I was worried something would be a bit funky because itís for a different brand of tank, but nope! Fits like they were made for each other. I might get different plastic clips down the road for cosmetic/OCD reasons but itís not something Iím bothered by right now, so it isnít a priority.

Being that the tank is for neocaridina, I didnít want the soil to soak up all of the KH, so I added a tablespoon of baking soda. Brought the dKH to about 23 degrees! Hahaha. In 24 hours, the KH was down to about 17.5 degrees, so I gave it an additional 24 hours and it remained the same. So I did two 100% water changes last night as a hard reset. Tested dKH and pH after the water changes and they were 4.5 degrees and 7.4 respectively.

The odd thing is today, 24 hours later, the dKH is still 4.5 but the pH is 6.8. Is it possible the soil can still alter the pH without buffering out the KH?





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post #6 of 34 (permalink) Old 04-25-2019, 12:52 AM Thread Starter
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So for todayís progress, the paintball co2 tank was repaired with a new valve. I called the shop and they said theyíll reuse valves if theyíre not leaking when they refurbish the tanks, and after explaining what happened, she installed a new valve for free. Canít hook it up until tomorrow, though, because they use blue locktite and it needs to cure, fair enough.

So I added some tank water to a small bucket and squeezed out the sponge filter in the established quarantine tank thatís currently housing the shrimp. Gave that filter a good cleaning and poured the muck into the nano tank, creating a beautiful tank of brown water. Then I added about 2.5ml of clear ammonia which should have been in the ballpark of 3-4 ppm.

Interesting thing is I tested ammonia at 0.25 ppm before doing that, added the muck and ammonia, waited 10 minutes, then tested again...0 ppm ammonia? No way it can work that fast...

Gonna give it until tomorrow and retest and dose ammonia appropriately then test again. If it still shows 0 Iíll dose a second 2.5ml to see if that gives a reading. If not, it may be time for a new test kit.

Hereís a picture of the nasty tank. A couple MTS probably made it into the tank as well, so it has its first inhabitants.


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post #7 of 34 (permalink) Old 04-26-2019, 01:02 AM Thread Starter
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10 gallon first nano build!

Well, I got co2 hooked back up today, and so far so good (about an hour and a half). Fingers crossed it stays that way.

Got the first bit of plants in there as well. Echinodorus aflames that werenít getting enough light in the main tank, and I pulled all the dwarf hairgrass from the main tank because the cories are abusive and wouldnít let it fully establish.

Planting in the Fluval Stratum was way easier than some of the reports claimed. I didnít have any issues getting plants in and staying put, but this is only preliminary, we shall see long term how it goes.

I donít like the placement of the diffuser, Iíll play with the position some more but for now it stays where itís at.

Ammonia tested 0.25 ppm again, so I added 2.5ml of pure ammonia and tested five or ten minutes later, and got the same reading. Either the dollar store ammonia is weak as hell or my kit is bad. I can smell the ammonia from the bottle so Iím leaning towards a bad kit. What Iíll probably do is fill a 5 gallon bucket and add 5ml and see what happens. Bacteria doesnít work THAT fast. Nitrite is testing 0, havenít tried nitrates yet. Probably tomorrow.

Hereís a progress picture.



Edit: I couldnít stand it so I moved the diffuser now lol. A lot less of the bubbles, if any, are making it to the surface. Doing 1 bps right now, it might be too much for livestock, but Iíll start there and adjust accordingly before animals are added (besides snails, but if they die, they die).




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post #8 of 34 (permalink) Old 04-27-2019, 11:27 PM Thread Starter
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Update: I planted some staurogyne repens from a tissue culture and added some AR mini taken from the main display tank. Rerouted the co2 hose so the lid can sit flush again. Finally did a WC for S&Gís.

Iíve been adding a bunch of ammonia daily and it seems to all be getting consumed, not to mention this dollar store ammonia is really mild. I think itíll be enough to keep the tank cycled until biofilm grows and I can get more plants. Been thinking of adding a single fish of some kind to keep it going without dosing ammonia, but unsure of what. Maybe a male guppy or two? Anyone care to share any thoughts?

Co2 has been holding this time so I think thatís good to go now.




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post #9 of 34 (permalink) Old 04-28-2019, 08:22 PM Thread Starter
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10 gallon first nano build!

Todayís update: No pictures today because nothing has been added.

Ammonia is at 0.25 ppm, nitrite 0 ppm, and nitrate near 10 ppm. My tap has 0 across the board so feeding the tank ammonia has been working. Iím not going to dose ammonia today to see if that 0.25 gets consumed.

Things seem to be progressing nicely but the absence of nitrites is making me slightly nervous, but it could be a result from adding a sponge squeezing from an established tank.

Canít wait for the plants to establish. Still on the prowl for a crypt pink flamingo as a centerpiece plant.

Edit: I have been adding KH2PO4 and some CSM+B for the plants, but I have omitted the KNO3 right now since Iím dosing ammonia. Also used some NilocG GH booster.


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post #10 of 34 (permalink) Old 04-28-2019, 09:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by varanidguy View Post
Todayís update: No pictures today because nothing has been added.

Ammonia is at 0.25 ppm, nitrite 0 ppm, and nitrate near 10 ppm. My tap has 0 across the board so feeding the tank ammonia has been working. Iím not going to dose ammonia today to see if that 0.25 gets consumed.

Things seem to be progressing nicely but the absence of nitrites is making me slightly nervous, but it could be a result from adding a sponge squeezing from an established tank.

Canít wait for the plants to establish. Still on the prowl for a crypt pink flamingo as a centerpiece plant.

Edit: I have been adding KH2PO4 and some CSM+B for the plants, but I have omitted the KNO3 right now since Iím dosing ammonia. Also used some NilocG GH booster.


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The rockwork looks really nice. So far so good! Keep us posted.
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post #11 of 34 (permalink) Old 04-29-2019, 01:27 AM Thread Starter
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The rockwork looks really nice. So far so good! Keep us posted.
Thank you! I'm hoping to get some corydoras pygmaeus as future inhabitants once the shrimp colony is established, that way any lost younglings aren't too painful. I think the rock work will help them hide and find shade when they need it.

I want to add moss to the tank but I'm relunctant to attach it to the rocks, don't wanna ruin their look. We'll see. lol
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post #12 of 34 (permalink) Old 05-02-2019, 07:18 PM Thread Starter
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Looking for suggestions: the midground is gonna be planted with pogostemon helferi and crypt flamingo, but Iím having a hard time coming up with a plant for the background. Any suggestions?


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post #13 of 34 (permalink) Old 05-02-2019, 07:33 PM
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No suggestions. I'm simply too much of a pack rat to be qualified. Just wanted to say it's looking good!
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post #14 of 34 (permalink) Old 05-02-2019, 08:00 PM Thread Starter
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No suggestions. I'm simply too much of a pack rat to be qualified. Just wanted to say it's looking good!
Thank you! Hopefully there will be a real update this weekend. ;-)


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post #15 of 34 (permalink) Old 05-02-2019, 08:11 PM
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Go with Vallisneria for the background. It looks great and is easy to grow. Straight lines won't take away from your hardscape but if densely planted will give good sense of depth.
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