Upgraded fluval spec V - first high tech tank, watch me make mistakes! - The Planted Tank Forum
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 66 (permalink) Old 12-28-2013, 05:39 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: USA
Posts: 36
Upgraded fluval spec V - first high tech tank, watch me make mistakes!

Hi everyone! Like it says, this is my first time with a high tech planted tank. I decided on the fluval spec v as it's a pretty cheap deal for an attractive little tank. My intention is for this tank to be a learning experience, in preparation for a larger display tank. I'm planning on planting an Iwagumi style tank. I grow a lot of bonsai and have been painting a lot of Bierstadt studies, so that's clearly the right idea - bonsai mountain range.

Looking for some inspiration, I'm drawn to these tanks:





Now, my first thought was 'what makes these work?' First thing I see is lots of different, lush grasses. There's a wealth of color shades and textures that add to the design, creating a symbolic depth. The moss can be read as grasses, the larger stem plants as trees or even continuations of the cliff. Rocks are exposed promontories or cliff faces.

It's a first tank though, so maybe I need to scale back my ambition.



Perfect! Four types of plants! Let's do that!

First thing to do was purchase an upgrade to the light and a heater. Fluval aqua life and plant multi spectrum LED seems to be just what the doctor ordered. Hope I'm not wrong on this count!



This is where I am now. I've ordered some rocks from online, in my opinion they have the character necessary to carry the composition of the tank, while also being cheaper than say unzan stone. Someday… someday…



I'm planning on making a DIY CO2 reactor out of a Voss water bottle, painted black, and fertilizing with Flourish Excel. I've started reading up on fertilization schedules, and I gather that it's much more stringent than simply dumping some fertilizer in once a week (if anyone can recommend threads to read, I would really appreciate that!). My substrate is Fluval stratum, and I do not currently have any tabs or anything in the substrate.

In terms of plant life, I would dearly like to do dwarf baby's tears, but understand that these are difficult to grow for beginners. I'm looking to set myself up to succeed, so will change my plans to utilize either Riccia or Marsilea as the foreground plant - recommendations appreciated. Highlights will be created using Lilaeopsis in and around the rocks. The background will be made from dwarf and regular hair grass. If any of this sounds unrealistic, please say so.

In terms of stocking, I'm planning on keeping celestial pearl danios. I have a good source from the local fish store. I'm worried though that these fish may feel very exposed in an Iwagumi set up, and would rather forgo fish than needlessly stress animals out. The LFS said that I could keep 10 CPDs in the tank, but this seems like quite a lot. 5 will still be a good school and may not crowd them as much. A few amano shrimp will serve as the cleanup crew, as well as perhaps a juvenile otocinclus. I'd like to shoehorn a few pygmy corydoras cats into the tank, but will take your advise, helpful reader, as to whether I should include them or not. A friend has a 55 gallon tank and has been meaning to buy one, so the oto will be only a very brief resident, if and only if I find that I have trouble with the algae.

Edit: Current tank shot!


Last edited by Philosoraptor; 01-23-2014 at 10:38 AM. Reason: Wanted to put updated tank on first page of thread.
Philosoraptor is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 66 (permalink) Old 01-14-2014, 10:21 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: USA
Posts: 36
Rocks arrived, played with a lot of aquascapes, found one I like enough to leave for a few days. Critiques and comments appreciated.



Edit: Tweaking the layout already. Is this a better layout? I wonder…


Last edited by Philosoraptor; 01-14-2014 at 10:36 AM. Reason: adding extra option for layout
Philosoraptor is offline  
post #3 of 66 (permalink) Old 01-14-2014, 11:18 AM
Planted Tank Obsessed
 
jlfkona's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 397
I like the second one better.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
jlfkona is offline  
 
post #4 of 66 (permalink) Old 01-14-2014, 12:00 PM
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
Dantrasy's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Australia
Posts: 626
I really like the way you had the two large rocks arrange in the outdoor pic. The dramatic 'V' shape works for me. And then a few of the small rocks scattered around the bases.

Here's a link to my fave spec v

http://www.aquariumlife.com.au/showt...ghlight=spec+v


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Last edited by Dantrasy; 01-14-2014 at 12:14 PM. Reason: added link
Dantrasy is offline  
post #5 of 66 (permalink) Old 01-14-2014, 12:48 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: USA
Posts: 36
Thanks guys! Boy that spec v looks great. I'll give some other layouts a shot.

Last edited by Philosoraptor; 01-14-2014 at 12:59 PM. Reason: Misread
Philosoraptor is offline  
post #6 of 66 (permalink) Old 01-17-2014, 03:04 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: USA
Posts: 36
More potential landscapes!











Thanks for looking!
Philosoraptor is offline  
post #7 of 66 (permalink) Old 01-17-2014, 03:06 AM
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
Bserve's Avatar
 
PTrader: (2/100%)
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Los Angleles, CA
Posts: 762
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philosoraptor View Post

I like this the best.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Bserve is offline  
post #8 of 66 (permalink) Old 01-17-2014, 03:15 AM
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
Dantrasy's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Australia
Posts: 626
Wow, these new ones look great! Something must have really inspired you.

The last one looks very natural to me, but the the height is a bit low.

My preference is #2, i can't just imagine dhg between the rocks.
Dantrasy is offline  
post #9 of 66 (permalink) Old 01-17-2014, 05:15 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: USA
Posts: 36
Thanks guys! I'm playing around with that first layout again, I like it quite a bit too. It seems to create some real distance with the layout and work with, rather than against, the small amount of substrate I have.

I'm still kind of torn on stocking. I'd like the 'lawn' to grow in quickly, and I'd like to skip the dry-start step. Should I go with riccia or glossostigma to accomplish that? Does dwarf baby's tears need a dry start? In terms of 'detail' plants, to attract some attention I think I will puchase some dwarf hair grass and maybe some hydrocotyle.

What's the upper limit for the number of celestial pearl danio I can stock? My local fish store is insisting that ten will be fine and they'd appreciate the added security of more fish to school with, but I wanted to get some other opinions.
Philosoraptor is offline  
post #10 of 66 (permalink) Old 01-17-2014, 05:44 AM
Planted Tank Guru
 
HybridHerp's Avatar
 
PTrader: (12/100%)
Join Date: May 2012
Location: New York
Posts: 3,890
Dude, you have an amazing amount of planning done already, bravo.

As I'm terrible with scapes, I shall only comment on plants. I wouldn't do HC if you aren't at least doing a paintball co2 thing, but, I would go either glosso or maybe even monte carlo (if its not too large a leaf size) or maybe even dwarf hairgrass. I've done DHG and glosso without co2, glosso especially is one hell of a weedy plant when it gets going.

How many gallons is this tank? I don't see why 10 celestial pearls wouldn't work...they are very, very small fish. Honestly, if anything, you might be able to add even more lol

Doing any shrimp at all?

My 75 gallon High Tech Tank:
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

My 10 gallon High Tech Tank:
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

My 5.5 gallon nano College Dorm Tank:
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Mom's Spec V:
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
HybridHerp is offline  
post #11 of 66 (permalink) Old 01-17-2014, 06:05 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: USA
Posts: 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by HybridHerp View Post
Dude, you have an amazing amount of planning done already, bravo.

As I'm terrible with scapes, I shall only comment on plants. I wouldn't do HC if you aren't at least doing a paintball co2 thing, but, I would go either glosso or maybe even monte carlo (if its not too large a leaf size) or maybe even dwarf hairgrass. I've done DHG and glosso without co2, glosso especially is one hell of a weedy plant when it gets going.

How many gallons is this tank? I don't see why 10 celestial pearls wouldn't work...they are very, very small fish. Honestly, if anything, you might be able to add even more lol

Doing any shrimp at all?
Thanks man! I'm still playing around with new rocks capes (it's become my new obsession):



Might be my favorite so far. Leaving it for a few days while my plants come in.

The CO2 I'm planning on using is just this guy:

http://www.valuepetsupplies.com/fluv...FQrxOgod7jMAFQ

Not too expensive, and I really want to try the high tech route. Glosso sounds like a pretty robust plant, far as I can tell.

The tank is 5 gallons, near as I can tell. I'd like to do shrimp eventually, but I'm going to wait until my fish less cycle is done before adding them. I'm debating between red cherry shrimp and amano shrimp, from what I've read it's just about color. Jeez 10 fish is a lot though, that'll be really fun to watch.
Philosoraptor is offline  
post #12 of 66 (permalink) Old 01-17-2014, 06:15 AM
Planted Tank Guru
 
HybridHerp's Avatar
 
PTrader: (12/100%)
Join Date: May 2012
Location: New York
Posts: 3,890
You say 10 fish is a lot?
(looks at my 5.5)
(stock is infinite endlers, infinite fire red shrimp, 2 badis, 2 ottos, and 8 green neons)
sureeeeeee, 10 is a lot lol

I'll say this though, granted, that I like heavier stocking levels than most. SO there's that to consider.

As far as your co2, I am unfamiliar with it, but if it can get a drop checker green sure. Although I think in the long run it is more expensive to do it this way than to say, just get a regulator and hook it up to a co2 cylinder that you won't have to refill very often.

How much are the replacement cartridges on that thing, and how often do you think you'll need to replace the co2?

Although, I guess this would be a nice thing if its only for a temporary tank or for a tank that gets moved around a lot. After seeing that price, I'm almost wondering if it'd be worth hooking that up to my 5.5 that I keep in my dorm (but move back home at the end of semesters, it gets moved around a fair decent amount).

My 75 gallon High Tech Tank:
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

My 10 gallon High Tech Tank:
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

My 5.5 gallon nano College Dorm Tank:
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Mom's Spec V:
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
HybridHerp is offline  
post #13 of 66 (permalink) Old 01-17-2014, 09:46 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: USA
Posts: 36
Glad to hear ten is ok! I wanted a small school of the little suckers, and 9 seems like a good number. I'll watch my chemistry and maybe even add in a school of pygmy cories. No offense, but after seeing your tank I'm reconsidering using red cherry shrimp! I think the number of rcs would distract from my rockscape, which is the main draw of my tank I suppose. I figure I'll go for 3-5 amano shrimp and that'll do me.

Replacement cartridges are around $15 for 3 20g containers. According to reviews they last about a month a piece. Seems like an ok deal to me.

http://www.amazon.com/Fluval-20g-CO2-Disposable-Cartridges-3-Pack/dp/B004G46QQI/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1389955520&sr=8-3&keywords=co2+fluval
Thanks for all your help. Now, just because I'm an obsessive nerd, I think I found my favorite scape. I think it might be a bit too low though, so may invest in some additional substrate to raise it up.

Philosoraptor is offline  
post #14 of 66 (permalink) Old 01-17-2014, 02:18 PM
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Midwest
Posts: 32
I'll be following along! I have a low tech Spec 5 that I would like to upgrade eventually.
LailaSophia is offline  
post #15 of 66 (permalink) Old 01-18-2014, 05:16 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: USA
Posts: 36
Welp, I just ordered my plants from alpha pro breeders. Three pots of HC, two pots of dwarf hair grass and one mat of flame moss! As soon as they get here, I will plant and photograph the results.

In the past I have always done a fishless cycle. I bought a bottle of tetra safe start and will be taking a squeeze of one of my LFS's filter. Am I right in assuming that this +50% water changes a day will be enough to allow me to introduce fish, or should I still go out and purchase some ammonia? I am impatient and would like to introduce say, 3-5 CPD's right off the bat.
Philosoraptor is offline  
Reply

Tags
None

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the The Planted Tank Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome