Spec-V noob - I need advice - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-04-2016, 05:42 PM Thread Starter
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Spec-V noob - I need advice

Well, I've been reading and researching for about a month and am almost ready to put stuff in my tank. I need a stand but I have currently:

Tank: Fluval Spec-V with stock light and filter
Substrate: Black Diamond blasting or Quikrete Pool Filter Sand
- Petrified wood from Arizona
Heater: Hydor 50w

I want to do some simple plants and dry dosing for now. What do you recommend for plants and getting it going with it being filled in general? What types of fertilizers would be best to get? I'd like some java fern and something with red leaves if possible. Perhaps Monte Carlo if it will grow.

When I do fish they will be tetras and maybe some shrip and oto for cleaning purposes. I am more interested in the scape at the moment.
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-07-2016, 06:14 PM
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Javn fern(s), anubias, crypt, etc. are good starter plants. Check out the Seachem ferts (Flourish and Excel). I'm not getting much growth with the stock light, but it may just be me. Sounds like you are on the right track. Give an update when you can. Thanks!
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-07-2016, 06:21 PM
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Originally Posted by manfjourde View Post
Well, I've been reading and researching for about a month and am almost ready to put stuff in my tank. I need a stand but I have currently:

Tank: Fluval Spec-V with stock light and filter
Substrate: Black Diamond blasting or Quikrete Pool Filter Sand
- Petrified wood from Arizona
Heater: Hydor 50w

I want to do some simple plants and dry dosing for now. What do you recommend for plants and getting it going with it being filled in general? What types of fertilizers would be best to get? I'd like some java fern and something with red leaves if possible. Perhaps Monte Carlo if it will grow.

When I do fish they will be tetras and maybe some shrip and oto for cleaning purposes. I am more interested in the scape at the moment.
That tank is really too small for any tetras. They're fast, schooling fish that prefer numbers and more swimming room than this tank provides. A betta would be a better choice.

As for plants, java fern, Anubias, and crypts are all good choices -- little else will grow well with the stock light (and nothing red is going to work with it). Bucephalandra species are good too, though pricey.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-10-2016, 03:02 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you for the replies and suggestions. I rinsed my sand today and put in some egg crate, sand, and stones. Let me know if you have suggestions on stone placement. I like the petrified wood but not sure if I need more/taller pieces or if I should take it out and go with some seiryu that I was gonna do later in a different tank. I wanted more of a nature look and less iwagumi though.

I'm thinking a small buce around the stones, petite anubias in front, and java fern in back. I have some excel and flourish on the way and should be here Friday. Any suggestions are welcome!
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-10-2016, 05:55 PM
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I like the rocks, but you're right -- I think they are too short. They'll be covered by plants pretty quickly unless you go with really light planting, and aesthetically, it's just going to look better if some of them are closer to 2/3rds of the tank height.


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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-10-2016, 07:34 PM
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Just so you know, you'll need more than flourish to grow plants well. Don't use the carbon in the filter either. The stock light isn't going to grow anything. It will be capable of keeping low light plants alive, but growth will be extremely slow at best.

You could go for the Finnex Planted+ Clip Light, which would give you decent light on a budget. I just don't like the look of a twisting light hanging over my tank.

I went with the 16" Finnex Planted+ Fugeray and it gave me fantastic light. It is a nice warm hue, unlike a lot of LED's which are cool blue or bright white. This one has some nice red LED's in combination to the white and it gives it such a warm welcoming color. And the light is BRIGHT for this tank. Heavily plant it and keep up with the excel. I do get some algae on the side of the tank which I scrape with my weekly water changes.

As far as nutrients I have found NilocG's DIY fert to be very cost effective. It is as simple as getting some RO water from your LFS and filling the bottle. According to my calculations, the doses I use on my Spec V and the amount he sent me should last me several years. For $29 shipped! Shameless plug here, I think his product is great. I dose 1/4 of the doses he recommends as I am not running CO2.

I also dose excel, but will be moving to pressurized CO2 as I am doing a rescape very soon.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-11-2016, 01:40 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you for the help. I have a few other rocks I can try and will try to get up to the 2/3 area or just scratch the bigger rocks and have a soft wood be the main focus.

I was looking at some of the ferts in that thread so good to know that the DIY is a good route to go.

For now I'm just trying to get it set up and cycled so I can get some fish. My daughter is dying to get fish in it. I do plan on a new light though to hopefully get some actually growth as well. Would you say that Finnex Planted+ is a warmer light than stock or about the same?

Another question, I didn't mush the sand around or poke it when I put the rocks in and today I liked it a lot with a skewer and a lot of bubbles came out. Should I pull the rocks and mush the sand more to remove the air? Or should I remove the egg crate to have less places for bubbles to be?
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-11-2016, 04:56 AM
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Originally Posted by manfjourde View Post
Thank you for the help. I have a few other rocks I can try and will try to get up to the 2/3 area or just scratch the bigger rocks and have a soft wood be the main focus.

I was looking at some of the ferts in that thread so good to know that the DIY is a good route to go.

For now I'm just trying to get it set up and cycled so I can get some fish. My daughter is dying to get fish in it. I do plan on a new light though to hopefully get some actually growth as well. Would you say that Finnex Planted+ is a warmer light than stock or about the same?

Another question, I didn't mush the sand around or poke it when I put the rocks in and today I liked it a lot with a skewer and a lot of bubbles came out. Should I pull the rocks and mush the sand more to remove the air? Or should I remove the egg crate to have less places for bubbles to be?
You can stir up the substrate a bit before getting your fish in, yeah. As you saw from your photo, a lot of trapped air is common when you first set up a tank. All those bubbles will disappear.

The Finnex light is WAAAAAY warmer than the stock one. The stock one is pretty neutral to neutral-cool. The finnex light is neutral-warm to warm. Now it's definitely not yellow/orange or as warm as a fluorescent fixture, but for LED's it gives a really nice shade. In my opinion well worth the money it costs.
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-22-2016, 05:51 AM Thread Starter
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A little update, I scratched the petrified wood and will use it later. I got some spider wood and some local rock from a lava flow. I have 3 basic setups, give me some opinions on what is better and improvements to be made. I have an idea of what one I like more but want to get others' thoughts. Also, I didn't realize how horrible the reflection is with the room lights on. Note to self, turn them off next time! Don't mind all the rocks, most are for holding down the wood but I'd like some thoughts on them too. Thanks.

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When I get it set I will grab some anubias petite and some short/narrow java fern. Any other recommended plants are welcome.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-22-2016, 06:42 AM
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for those saying the stock light won't grow anything here is my mc carpet with the stock light and oil dry substrate. Was also growing ar and ar mini that didn't get great color because I wasn't dosing but still grew well otherwise.

Last edited by maverickbr77; 03-22-2016 at 06:47 AM. Reason: add subsrate info
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-22-2016, 06:07 PM
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for those saying the stock light won't grow anything here is my mc carpet with the stock light and oil dry substrate. Was also growing ar and ar mini that didn't get great color because I wasn't dosing but still grew well otherwise.
Kudos! Looks good.


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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-22-2016, 09:35 PM
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for those saying the stock light won't grow anything here is my mc carpet with the stock light and oil dry substrate. Was also growing ar and ar mini that didn't get great color because I wasn't dosing but still grew well otherwise.
Wow, extremely nice Marsilea. Do you add any form of carbon?
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-23-2016, 03:30 AM
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Wow, extremely nice Marsilea. Do you add any form of carbon?
it is Micranthemum Tweediei aka Micranthemum "monte carlo". There were no additives or CO2 of any kind on that tank.
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-23-2016, 09:08 PM
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it is Micranthemum Tweediei aka Micranthemum "monte carlo". There were no additives or CO2 of any kind on that tank.
My bad--what I get for looking at it on a phone. Still extremely nice nonetheless and without any extra additions.
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-26-2016, 04:20 PM Thread Starter
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Well, I didn't get the input I was hoping for so just went with it. My parameters checked out and I had a GC and coupon to petsmart so I grabbed 5 neon tetras, 2 oto cats, 2 nerite snails and some narrow java fern. I'll order a few more plants and hope to get them in the first part of next week. So far so good.
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