Spec V - Rescape to High Tech - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-26-2013, 04:51 PM Thread Starter
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Spec V - Rescape to High Tech

Update: Rescape in November of 2016:



Update: Rescape on 12/6/14:

[IMG]14-002-0921.jpg by Nate Griffin, on Flickr[/IMG]

Hi everyone,

I've been dreaming of starting in the hobby for several years - doing an embarrassing amount of research. First wanted saltwater, but quickly decided that would be entirely to complex and expensive.

Decided on freshwater planted and had great things planned with CO2 high tech and the whole ball of wax. However, space and finances won't allow that so I've decided to dip a toe into the hobby with a Spec V. It's actually a Christmas gift for one of my kids. He asked for a fish tank - honest!



Bought some great sticks from Tom Barr and this is what I came up with.

Thinking of the following plants:
Bacopa Carolina
cryptocoryne parva
anubias barteri var nana
marsilea hirsuta
anubias nana petite

I'm using the stock light and flourite. I'm worried about the cryptocoryne parva as it seems to want higher light. Any thoughts on if this will work?

I have some thoughts on the animals but am scared to share. I'm sure many will scream "overstocked! A Spec is no place for fish!!"

Thanks for any help and input!

Last edited by natiedean24; 12-21-2016 at 09:45 PM. Reason: update
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-26-2013, 05:05 PM
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I find it funny here i am looking at getting in to this and am finding it more difficult then my mixed reef tank!
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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-26-2013, 05:10 PM Thread Starter
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Here it is in place. Put the flourite in and started the fishless cycle right before we left town for Christmas.





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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-26-2013, 05:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Topekoms View Post
I find it funny here i am looking at getting in to this and am finding it more difficult then my mixed reef tank!
People always seem to underestimate planted tanks. I found myself spending way more time on my planted tanks than my sps reef tanks, since i trimmed my plants frequently.
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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-26-2013, 05:27 PM
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Originally Posted by natiedean24 View Post
Hi everyone,

I've been dreaming of starting in the hobby for several years - doing an embarrassing amount of research. First wanted saltwater, but quickly decided that would be entirely to complex and expensive.

Decided on freshwater planted and had great things planned with CO2 high tech and the whole ball of wax. However, space and finances won't allow that so I've decided to dip a toe into the hobby with a Spec V. It's actually a Christmas gift for one of my kids. He asked for a fish tank - honest!



Bought some great sticks from Tom Barr and this is what I came up with.

Thinking of the following plants:
Bacopa Carolina
cryptocoryne parva
anubias barteri var nana
marsilea hirsuta
anubias nana petite

I'm using the stock light and flourite. I'm worried about the cryptocoryne parva as it seems to want higher light. Any thoughts on if this will work?

I have some thoughts on the animals but am scared to share. I'm sure many will scream "overstocked! A Spec is no place for fish!!"

Thanks for any help and input!
A 5 gallon aquarium will house a few fish just fine. Just have to keep in my the total amount of waste being produced and how the tank will be able to break it down efficiently. Fish that come to mind are Galaxy Rasboras, Chili Rasboras, and guppies to name a few. As long as you stock slowly i see no problem. Also if you already know of places to acquire some anubias petites please do share as i am looking for a bunch at the moment.
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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-26-2013, 06:10 PM Thread Starter
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Ok. Here goes.

I'm considering:
(2) horned nerite snails
Red Cherry Shrimp (don't know how many - 8-10?)
(5) Danio Tinwini

Alternative fish: green neon, ember tetra.

I like the danio tinwini because of their appearance and because they seem to be able to handle the conditions that my tap water will produce (higher ph, hard) better than the ember tetras.
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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-26-2013, 06:23 PM
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My Spec V has 9 boraras urophthalmoides, 2 otos, and too-many-to-count red cherry shrimp that swim right along with the boraras. Heavily planted and it's been running for almost a year with no problems. Plants are growing like crazy and this is what it looks like after a trim about a week ago.
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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-26-2013, 07:11 PM Thread Starter
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People always seem to underestimate planted tanks. I found myself spending way more time on my planted tanks than my sps reef tanks, since i trimmed my plants frequently.

I respect both marine and planted as being challenging. It just seems easier to wrap my head around planted. I sure am glad circumstance led me to low light as I realistically can't keep up with the growth or dosing of a high light setup.
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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-26-2013, 08:05 PM
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I would suggest ether the ember tetras or some boraras brigittae. The danios are small but need room to swim. Both embers and boraras are smaller and laid back species that you will enjoy for sure. The shrimp would add a nice touch. If you wanted some some bottom feeders dwarf corydoras are the medicine.

Crypt.parva WILL NOT do well in low light. If it survives it will remain in stasis and virtually no growth will happen, I've tried it. You might want to try some wendti varieties for lower light application. There isn't a whole lot of plants that when ll really flourish in low light. Idk what lighting you have but simple energy saver bulb over a tank that size is an inexpensive solution. If you want to bump up into low-medium lighting you can get away with no co2 as long as you plant it well. Mosses and ferns will do really well in this range even without co2.

If you haven't yet, read up on diy co2. It would be very easy to run a tank that small and as long as you don't go overboard on the lighting it works perfectly fine so don't listen to the naysayers who say its too inconsistent. People who have problems with it are most likely living beyond their means, if you will.

I don't want to steer you away from low light, but when I think of low light I think of SLOW growth and its not really necessary to go that route unless you want it that way for some reason, but I don't get ththat vibe from you since you said you wanted hi tech to begin with.

Mull that rambling over and if you would like some more advice or info just shoot me a pm I would be happy to help you get started. I have been running diy co2 on multiple size tanks for about 5 years now for experience so check out my tank journals and if you like what you see hit me up


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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-26-2013, 08:45 PM
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I have a Fluval Spec V, and love it.

With the stock light, I didn't see much growth in Crypt parva or Marsilea hirsuta.

Crypt undulata did very well.
Anubias did great.
Bacopa carolina old growth wasn't happy, but new growth was fine.
I don't know if it was an emmersed/immersed thing or just different conditions. The new leaves were smaller and lighter in color and the new stems were thinner as well.

I also had frogbit and water lettuce as I've read those are nitrate busters.
I have a dwarf lily which I love, but it takes a lot of pruning to keep it in check.

I have about the same stock as you as well.
Orange cherries
1 horned nerite
1 p diffusa
2 amanos (but I might remove the female, as she's twice the size of the cherries and kind of aggressive)
6 Danio erythromicron, which looks like it's smaller than the one you talked about.
I think 6 CPD would also be good, but I've never kept this fish.

The Danio erythromicron is pretty shy, so they're more eager to swim out and about when they have plenty of plants to hide in and not a lot of current.

I eventually upgraded the light.



This isn't a good pic, but it shows the size of the Danio erythromicron in relation to cherry shrimp.



Again, not a great pic, but this is what those fish actually look like.


The least killifish (Heterandria formosa) is another one to consider for your water conditions.
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post #11 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-26-2013, 10:04 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks kW! I like all the thoughts. The Tinwini do seem very active and I had wondered if this tank would be too small. Will the Ember Tetras be ok in a higher ph? (around 7.6 when I tested) I really like the snails so I want to keep the ph above 7 to protect their shells.

Thanks for the heads up on the crypt parva. I'll either find a substitute or try it with very low expectations.

Interesting to bring up DIY CO2. I ruled this out early in my planning but will consider it. I'll have a hard time finding space for the container. It's in our living space and if I don't keep it very nice looking the better half will not be happy.

What about thoughts on dosing excel? It would be extremely affordable for a tank of my size.
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post #12 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-26-2013, 10:22 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the updates on your tank jrh - if my stock list seems similar that's because I was inspired by your spec. So thanks!
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post #13 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-26-2013, 10:53 PM
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Hahaha, that's so funny. I'm so new to planted tanks I feel like an impostor when I tentatively respond to someone, but I felt like I had real experience with your planned tank. And I'm really flattered that you liked my tank, so thanks back.

I've never done co2 yet either, but I've started dosing 10 drops of excel when I'm in the office. I think it helps.

Last edited by jrh; 12-26-2013 at 10:57 PM. Reason: added info
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post #14 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-27-2013, 07:18 AM
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Your ph is fine. Excel is ok but it sure isnt co2 and some plants don't like it. You could easily run a 1 liter bottle or maybe even smaller. Pretty much any addition of co2 into a lower tech tank will greatly improve plant health so I urge you to consider some diy. You will be a lot happier both because of plant growth and lack of algae if you do. Of course you can go with excel and get similar results but the plants that your looking at may not respond well.


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post #15 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-24-2014, 03:40 AM Thread Starter
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Here are some progress pictures:




Last edited by natiedean24; 04-24-2014 at 04:02 AM. Reason: image
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