5 Gallon (Low budget) - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-21-2009, 01:16 AM Thread Starter
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5 Gallon (Low budget)

Hi, i've been out of the hobby for about 3 years. A couple of days ago something struck me and I decided to start something simple up. I went through all the tanks/ equipment in my basement and garage and settled on a 5 gallon. The only thing I couldn't find is any of my small heaters the smallest one I found is for 20-30 gal, but i'm not sure if i'll need a heater on this tank.

The filter is a small internal filter, I have several others lying around but for now i'm leaning towards this one, although i'm tempted to try my 2213 but think it might be a bit much for a 5gal.

Lighting is a fixture designed to hold a single incandasent bulb, I found this years ago whil helping clean out my high school biology lab. I've put a 13 watt CF bulb into it.

Hardscape will be mostly rocks i've had lying around from my various tanks.

I can't decide on a substrate and open to suggestions but am trying to stay on a low budget.

My experience with planted tanks is somewhat limited, my last attempt had DIY co2, play sand substrate with terralit and jobes berried near plant roots, so I want to keep this fairly simple (ie no CO2 and fairly low light).

Java ferns have always been my favourite plant so I want to include them.

The plants I'm considering are
a) Narrow Leaf Java fern
b) Windelow Java fern
c) java moss
I'm also thinking some sort of stem plant for the back left corner but not sure what considering the low light.

I went to my LFS today and didn't see any of the plants i had in mind or anything I even liked...I'll have to check out some other stores as i don't plan on ordering anything online.

What do you guys think of the basic hardscape, I'm planning to bury the base of the lacerock in the substrate so it'll be at the same height as in the pics. I'm thinking to loose the driftwood as it seems a bit crowded

In terms of fish i'm not really sure currently i'm thinking of a coupple of male guppies and an otto. The main isse i've come across is that i'm a strict vegetarian and can't find any staple food that doesn't have fish oil or fishmeal, so this tank might end up being just plants until i get that sorted out.

Any comments or suggestions are greatly appreciated. sorry about the pics, the tank was straight out of my garage so its quite dirty.
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-21-2009, 02:06 PM
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Good start for a low budget project. Personally I do not like to mix and match rocks of different types. Especially in a small tank. Low budget substrate for those plants could be just about anything. They are pretty easy to grow. Try sand that would be about as cheap as you can get.

Good luck and keep the forum posted on your progress.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-15-2010, 01:02 AM Thread Starter
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Finally made some headway on this project. the only things I've purchased are the substarte and plants for less than $30.

Substrate is a layer of terralit under hagen geosystems river substrate.
plants are narrow leaf hygro, dwarf. sag, java fern, java moss, and anubias nana.

Originally I just put the hygro in to cycle the tank for algea blooms but I really like it lets see if keeping in in such a small tank will be too much work.

Any suggestions or comments?
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-15-2010, 01:46 AM
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Looks like your off to a good start.

As far as filtration goes, i have a 2213 on my 5.5g (as do many other members with similar size tanks) and it provides great flow. It may be a bit much but you can never over-do filtration.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-16-2010, 07:59 PM Thread Starter
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I'm not sure i want to hook up the 2213 just yet i don't really have a place for the big canister right now. I do plan to add some of the little ceramic tubes to the current filter as it curretly just has filter floss. I'm pretty happy with the flow this gives, but i did leave some space behing the tank in case i decde to use a HOB (I have a few lying around).

Only planted the tank two days ago and plan on adding some more plants, my lighting is 1 13w PC bulb, is this enough for Ludwiga repens or rolata?

Also the java fern was a really good price it was in a tank with african cichlids so its a bit worse for wear, I know it needs some nutrients in the water column any reccomendations? I'm hoping I can get away with one of those all in one liquid ferts. Should I wait until my tank is cycled to start dosing?
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