Pair of Low Tech Spec Vs - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-29-2015, 06:09 AM Thread Starter
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Pair of Low Tech Spec Vs

Hello all,

I started up my first planted tank in May of this year - a 32 gallon, medium light, CO2 injected set-up. A few months ago I came across a good deal on Fluval Spec Vs and bought two of them, so MTS has begun.

With this pair of 5 gallon tanks I figured I'd go toward the other end of the spectrum and try to learn about low tech methods. Besides keeping these tanks low tech, another goal is to keep them relatively low budget by using as many leftover and inexpensive materials as possible. I'll be using this journal to document my experiences.

One of the tanks (Tank 1) has been up and running for about a month, the other (Tank 2) for about two weeks. I'm now in the process of adding flora and fauna.

Tank 1
For the substrate in this tank I'm using a mixture of leftover Aquasoil and pebbles that I collected from a creek. The hardscape is minimal - just a few leftover branches of manzanita. The lighting is a desk lamp with a 26 watt compact fluorescent bulb, raised at a distance above the surface so as to achieve (roughly) an average of 40 PAR at the substrate.

So far, all of the flora in the tank have come from trimmings of the 32 gallon, with the exception of some java moss that came with the shrimp that I ordered. Over time I will likely swap out the current plants for new species to try.

The fauna include about 12 fire red cherry shrimp, a few nerite snails, and two assassin snails, in addition to some nuisance pond and mini-ramshorn snails. I am undecided as to whether I'll add any fish.






Tank 2
This tank will have a different look than Tank 1, but it is not as far along yet, so no FTS. The substrate is pool filter sand, and the hardscape consists of some largish rocks - I believe some type of quartzite (I know very little about geology) - collected from a creek. I'm going to try getting by with the Spec V stock light (for now).

The only plants currently in the tank are a few squares of stainless steel mesh covered in java moss. I'm considering making this a moss only tank. The fauna include a few nerite snails and some unwanted worms (nematodes maybe) that mysteriously appeared within the last few days and which I'm hoping I can find a way to eliminate. I haven't decided on fauna yet. Black diamond shrimp, ember tetras, pygmy corydoras, and micro rasboras are the ones I'm interested in - one of these will likely end up in here.

Tiny snake-like swimmers in the water column. Nematodes?
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-29-2015, 06:20 AM
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Nice start. I like these Spec V tanks. Super simple and tidy.
Nematodes, yes. Came in the soil probably. Or plants.
Some fish will eat them, so you should be fine once you stock with fish.

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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-30-2015, 03:27 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks, Daisy Mae. I think you're right about the nematodes coming in on plants - probably hitchhiked on the moss. Actually, I don't see as many tonight. There can't be much of a food source for them in the tank yet, so maybe they won't survive.
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-30-2015, 08:27 AM
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Clean and simple scape. Have you considered adding more wood to add height?
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-30-2015, 09:04 PM Thread Starter
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Clean and simple scape. Have you considered adding more wood to add height?
Thank you. I hadn't considered more wood, but had planned on adding more height. I was thinking let the Ludwigia repens grow up in the left corner and behind the rotala and maybe let the crypt grow up about two thirds of the tank height in the right corner as I've drawn in the picture below. What do you think? Or would you suggest adding another piece of wood?

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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-01-2015, 08:31 AM
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I would add more wood.


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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-02-2015, 03:14 AM
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Very nice!!


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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-02-2015, 05:29 AM
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I need to get me a couple spec V's, those things are so nice!
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-10-2015, 06:13 AM Thread Starter
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I would add more wood.


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Thanks, I'm definitely considering it. Going to let it grow out more first and see how it looks.

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Very nice!!


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Thanks!

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I need to get me a couple spec V's, those things are so nice!
I'm liking them!

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Tank 1
The shrimp already bred, and I've got shrimplets all over the place. They're too small yet for me to get any pics, but here are some of the adults going after an algae wafer.



Tank 2
The nematodes are completely gone as far as I can see, and I've finished laying out a simple hardscape that will soon be covered in moss. Other than some frogbit this will be a moss only tank. I've got a bucket with four different moss species that will be going into the tank tomorrow.
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-10-2015, 06:42 AM
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I like the scape in tank 2. Those wood pieces look like snakes peeking out of the rocks. Looking forward to seeing the moss placed.

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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-11-2015, 06:44 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, @Daisy Mae.

Moss is in the tank. Now it's a waiting game...

(A) Flame; (B) Java; (C) Weeping; (D) Christmas

Going to stock with blue neos and ember tetras.
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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-24-2015, 02:40 AM Thread Starter
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Getting some new growth on the moss in Tank 2, fully stocked now. I added 6 ember tetras and 10 cherry shrimp. Ended up going with cherry instead of blue shrimp, because I realized the ember tetras and blue neos would look like Florida Gator colors


Tank 1 is filling out a bit. Growth is very slow as expected, but things look healthy overall. Many baby shrimp. I drop in part of algae wafer about once a week. Rest of the time everyone lives off the fat of the land.

Both of these tanks are extremely low maintenance. Weekly KNO3 and Seachem Equilibrium, monthly KH2PO4. A couple light trims on Tank 1. No water changes yet, just top offs.


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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-08-2015, 01:14 PM
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Both of these are super cool.

Fluval Spec V
Imagitarium 3.7G
Marineland 10G Half-Moon
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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-09-2015, 04:45 AM Thread Starter
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Both of these are super cool.
Thank you!

The moss is starting to fill out in Tank 2. I've been surprised how fast it's coming along.



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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-10-2015, 07:54 PM
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What are you running in your filtration area? I'm running mine bone stock. Sponge, carbon and media. I wouldn't mind mixing it up a little for the better. I have thought about cutting the sponge into two pieces. One at the top for the overflow, and one at the bottom for the tiny hole. Then I could just stack my media and carbon between them. I would double or triple up on the media though. If there is no benefit to his though, I would just leave it stock.

Fluval Spec V
Imagitarium 3.7G
Marineland 10G Half-Moon
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