Desktop 5.5 gallon (first planted) - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 11-19-2014, 08:14 AM Thread Starter
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Desktop 5.5 gallon (first planted)

Hey Guys!
Been a longtime lurker.
I am a long time reef keeper gone planted.
I happen to be in the process of selling off my reef because I decided I like the planted and it's so much cheaper even for a pimped out setup. And I have a couple other hobbies that would love a little more funding.

This is my first planted tank.
I picked up the tank from one of friends that was moving. (Score!!) and modded it a little.

Upgraded:
The light to a plant friendly to a 13watt 6500k CFL
Made a vary nice DIY Co2 sugar and yeast reactor. After multiple failures I got it perfect for a DIY.

Substrate: I used flora-max because I like Caribsea sand as a reef keeper and figured it can't be half bad.

Plants: nothing too crazy yet.
Amazon sword
Ribbon plant
Dwarf hairgrass
Java fern
Moss ball

The tank is cycling it looks to be done by this weekend I hope.

I had this tank 2 weeks and I am going to be upgrading Black Friday I see some deals coming up.

As it stands pretty much.

Thanks for reading this planted noob post!






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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 11-19-2014, 09:32 AM
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Nice start! Lots of potential there!

That Dracaena, or I believe you listed it as 'ribbon plant' is not aquatic and will die if you don't expose it's leaves to air. It's quite a pretty houseplant and very easy to take care of ( I really enjoy mine). You should probably take it out and just have it as a houseplant. Alternatively you can lower your water level so it's leaves can breathe and grow it emergent.
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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 11-19-2014, 06:04 PM
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Welcome!

If you're stuck on what to do once you move the "ribbon plant" you could spread out the dwarf hairgrass plantlets so it'll form a carpet faster. Also, your java fern won't survive with its rhizome buried like that; it'll do much better tied to the driftwood. Just some tips, but it looks like a great start! Good luck!


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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 11-19-2014, 06:12 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys I am removing the ribbon plant and about to tie the Java fern.
On the dwarf hairgrass how do you get it to stay down if you you break it up more?


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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 11-20-2014, 03:41 AM
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Check out my bedroom tank in my sig you can see how I broke them down. I insert them using tweezers. Push into substrate and let go.

First time dealing with grass I was totally like wtf! Seems impossible.

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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 11-20-2014, 03:49 AM
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Did you DIY Co2 make your water cloudy? I just installed my own DIY CO2 and noticed that it did this. I don't think any of the mix shot out through the top.

What other plants do you plan on getting?
Do you plan on getting any fish? There is so many interesting nano-fish options nowadays. I started keeping fish around 2006-2008 and I don't remember there being some of the neat species we have now like Celestial Pearl Danios, Pea Puffers, Dario dario, Pygmy 'sunfish,' Painted fire red cherry shrimp, the list goes on!

How are you liking the size of your tank? I have a 2.5 gallon nano tank, but I think the 5.5 like you have is a definite upgrade from that.
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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 11-20-2014, 03:53 AM
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Turns out I lied about my thread having pics, I remember taking them and thought I uploaded them but clearly I did not.

Here's a video on it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XJHk6bbUwuE

Co2 has never made any of my tanks cloudy.

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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 11-20-2014, 05:58 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Squrl888 View Post
Did you DIY Co2 make your water cloudy? I just installed my own DIY CO2 and noticed that it did this. I don't think any of the mix shot out through the top.

What other plants do you plan on getting?
Do you plan on getting any fish? There is so many interesting nano-fish options nowadays. I started keeping fish around 2006-2008 and I don't remember there being some of the neat species we have now like Celestial Pearl Danios, Pea Puffers, Dario dario, Pygmy 'sunfish,' Painted fire red cherry shrimp, the list goes on!

How are you liking the size of your tank? I have a 2.5 gallon nano tank, but I think the 5.5 like you have is a definite upgrade from that.
My DIY Co2 doesn't make mine water cloudy. Could it be the nasty yeast and sugar water getting in the tank?

On the Plants I need suggests!

Fish I am Still checking out my options. Suggests are welcome!
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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 11-20-2014, 07:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andyntx View Post
My DIY Co2 doesn't make mine water cloudy. Could it be the nasty yeast and sugar water getting in the tank?

On the Plants I need suggests!

Fish I am Still checking out my options. Suggests are welcome!
Just a few suggestions of plants that I am keeping:

-Ludwigia repens is very very easy to care for, grows like a weed, and can add some really nice bronze, orange, red, and even purple color (i notice purple on the underside of the leaves that grow at the top of the tank) to the tank.

-Echinodorus parviflorus is a type of amazon sword that stays really small. I do believe that the amazon sword you have now might grow too big. Most amazon sword plants are just MASSIVE, but a few grow small like Echinodorus parviflorus. I am not that great at identifying species so I can't tell what type you have.

-Cryptocorynes. All are fine. They are very very very easy to grow, I find that all they need is just a rich substrate. I would advise you get root tabs. You can buy DIY root tabs on this site from members. It is just Osmocote Plus in gel caps. Alternatively, you can buy Osmocote Plus from the hardware/garden store and make your own root capsules, or you can just freeze it in an ice cub and push that ice cube down into your substrate. Or you can use tweezers and push the tiny balls one by one into your substrate...that is tedious though. These tabs last for a few months and you really don't need a lot.
I keep Crytpocoryne parva which is very small and suited to small tanks like yours. Also I keep Cryptocoryne wendtii 'Tropica' which is absolutely beautiful, it will work in your tank too. It's not that big, but bigger than Cryptocoryne parva.

-Heteranthera zosterifolia/Stargrass. I really like the way this plant looks. It is really neat. Mine are growing really well so far. I think it will do well in your tank too.

-Anubias nana/petite. A small anubias. Looks really nice tied or glued to driftwood or rocks. It can be placed in the substrate as long as you take care to leave the big rhizome in the water, otherwise it will rot.

-Myriophyllum/Cabomba/Other 'weed' species. Much like Ludwigia repens it will grow fast. You will need to trim these way more than the others. Neat textures on them.

-Vallisneria. Easy to grow, you will need to trim it as well.

-Bacopa monnieri, easy to grow. Neat looking plant.

-Hydrocoytle, look into it....haven't grown it submerged yet.

Anyway, there are many others. These are just the ones that I keep. I tend to keep Amazon type species so there are a lot of Asian species missing in this post like Rotalas, Hygrophila, etc.

Sometimes it's best to stick to only a few species of plants. I'm about to rescape my 2.5 gallon. It is basically a plant reservoir where I keep extras of all my plants. It looks pretty busy though so I think I'm just going to keep 3 different plant types there to make it a cohesive nano-scape.

As for fish....there are a few very tiny fish like Microrasboras that school together and should work for you tank. There actually is a really nice nano fish list on this site. Look up 'nano fish list' or something. It is kept as an excel spreadsheet and google docs excel spreadsheet. You should find the post easily, I can find it for you if you can't though!

Also, I think i'm pretty sure my DIY mix isn't getting into my tank. Maybe I'll have to make a 2nd bottle to pass the CO2 into and filter it.
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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 11-20-2014, 09:05 PM
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Amazon had a Fluvel bubble counter for $3.50 or so. That's what I use between my diy bottle and the tank. If the water gets funky you know it's mixing. So far so good.

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post #11 of 24 (permalink) Old 11-20-2014, 09:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffie7 View Post
Amazon had a Fluvel bubble counter for $3.50 or so. That's what I use between my diy bottle and the tank. If the water gets funky you know it's mixing. So far so good.
Nice! Thanks for the advice!
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post #12 of 24 (permalink) Old 11-20-2014, 09:57 PM
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There you go. I put check values between the canister and bubble counter since sometimes when I disconnect the line when refueling, the bubble counter will push water back towards the diy canister. I use a glass diffuser so the line is always under pressure. Never was an issue with a ladder.
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post #13 of 24 (permalink) Old 11-20-2014, 10:10 PM
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Awesome man! I'm going to pick one up! Your tank is looking nice, btw
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post #14 of 24 (permalink) Old 11-21-2014, 11:07 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the help guys! The tanks finished its Cycle today! Perfect timing for the weekend hunt for fish stores!

On my DIY Co2 I run a DIY bubble counter to clean the Co2 and If the nasty DIY mix makes its through the line it doesn't get in the tank. I just replace my DIY mix.

I am Using This for my Mix now.

2 liter bottle recipe

2 Cups of sugar
1 Table spoon of yeast
1 Table spoon of baking soda
and warm to the touch water to about 3 inches from the top
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post #15 of 24 (permalink) Old 11-21-2014, 11:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andyntx View Post
Thanks for all the help guys! The tanks finished its Cycle today! Perfect timing for the weekend hunt for fish stores!

On my DIY Co2 I run a DIY bubble counter to clean the Co2 and If the nasty DIY mix makes its through the line it doesn't get in the tank. I just replace my DIY mix.

I am Using This for my Mix now.

2 liter bottle recipe

2 Cups of sugar
1 Table spoon of yeast
1 Table spoon of baking soda
and warm to the touch water to about 3 inches from the top
I hear brewer's yeast is good to use since they can handle high alcohol concentrations better.
Also, I have been thinking about using the yeast mixture on the bottom when it is exhausted....I want to strain it through a coffee filter and then rinse it in water to remove the alcohol. Then mix the yeast mix in with the white of an egg and 'paint' that onto some slate. Painting crushed algae discs on slate is a method I use to feed my Oto's and shrimpies.
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