6 gal. Nano diary - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 37 (permalink) Old 03-11-2016, 05:09 PM Thread Starter
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6 gal. Nano diary

First,
Hello all of you here. My name is Tommy (41 yo former aquarist) and I am atm in planning to get back to hobby in form of 6 gal (17 x 3 x 11 inch to be precise) tank. I guess that goes to this forum. I was in doubt cos I wanted low tech aquarium with loads of plants that are easy to maintain. I did a bit of Research and I have general idea what to put in (not that I have much of a choice here in Croatia lol) but I needed advice about lightning and soil/gravel/substrate. Not to mention about fish choice.


First of all I have Niagara 190 hanging outside filter, worked well and is still in operation, I think it got flow control knob on top of suction tube. I also got 25 watt heater with thermostate. I do need light since onmy old tank I got DIY lap wich did not work as intended . Ah well..
That are basics.


I would put link to my local store so you can check what they offer, but I belive that would not be apropriate I guess...


They carry Amtra Products as I see...(I can PM link if that is ok to one who is willing to assist me) guys in that shop are helpfull and I did shop there before since they are only with dedicated aquarist area( saltwater and freshwater)
Anyway. I will gladly fill you with more details.


Thanks !


Tommy

P.S. I am no shy of DIY if it Works better.

Last edited by TommyH; 05-12-2016 at 05:54 PM. Reason: title change
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post #2 of 37 (permalink) Old 03-11-2016, 05:44 PM Thread Starter
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I also forgot to add that I have in my kitchen filtered water aswell as tap one (wich is almost liquid rock lol)

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post #3 of 37 (permalink) Old 03-11-2016, 06:01 PM
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The minerals that make water hard are calcium (Ca) and magnesium (Mg). Often these are accompanied by carbonates and bicarbonates. There is a lot of limestone in your area, and limestone is mostly calcium carbonate.

These materials make the water great for hard water fish such as most live bearers, many rainbow fish and a large group of cichlids. Unfortunately your tank is so small, it would be hard to recommend anything more than perhaps a few Endlers Livebearers, and males only. Shrimp could work, but not all will handle hard water.

If you use the softened water, this treatment usually removes the calcium and magnesium that are required for the fish and plants. Perhaps a blend of filtered and unfiltered water would make it soft enough for other livestock, yet still have some of the minerals needed.
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post #4 of 37 (permalink) Old 03-11-2016, 07:46 PM Thread Starter
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That was my thoughts too on water. I remeber that I used some liquid for water preparation before...maybe that caused problems I had. I guess i could try some fish that likes harder water. Thanks for tip

I will get test for water hardness. For start...I will try to learn as much as possible and figure out what light clip to get... since as I see I do not have too many options.
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post #5 of 37 (permalink) Old 03-12-2016, 02:51 PM Thread Starter
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Well..I kinda hoped that someone can assist me, but I guess flow here is slower

Anyway... I have been thinking ANd I will mix tap and filtered (since my filtered water tap have reverse osmosis filter) that should give me some more space with fish.

I saw that ppl keep dwarf rasboras in tanks of that size. So I was thinking of small school of say 6 of them but I am worried about large bioload. For now alternative is beta (giotta have something flashy inside). I did have chinese algae eater before in tank (water back then was regular tap treated with sera - cant remeber wich one).

As for design I have solid idea and I hope that it will be preety in Reality as it is in my head. Due to not so big suply in my shop I have in mind two designs, both will have grass carpet and loads of plants.

I would still need idea about led lightning. Classic system watt per gallon I guess is not working here so it must be lux/per gallon I guess but i was not been able to have good calculator. Since it will be low tech (aka no CO2) I read that it is advisable to have less light in that kind of tank to prevent algae burst.

So if someone is willing to assist please let me Know on PM and I will send you link of my local hobby shop so you can advise me what to buy. I do now much about substratesand what is needed to keep my plants happy.

Thanks
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post #6 of 37 (permalink) Old 03-13-2016, 10:18 AM Thread Starter
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Question

Well since I have no response..after some Research and from what I have aveliable in my area here is list of stuff I want to put in my nano..or can put to be more precise:


Lightning


RASVJETA ORION 2,4W MARINE Black
or
RASVJETA SOLARIS MARINE 9 W (11w or 18 W)
Neon Tetra Fish






Quick Stats


Minimum Tank Size: 5 Gallons (10 Recommended)
Care Level: Easy
Water Conditions: PH 5.5-7.5 and Soft to Medium
Temperature; 68-78F (20-25C)
Maximum Size: 1.5 inches (4 centimeters)


Substrate


Seachem Flourite Black (not sure if I need anythign else for plants)


Chemicals


Easy Life Easystart
Easy carbo...most likely for ease of use


Since I have access to filtered water i will most likely mix it so I get in range for tetras wich will depend on my measurement.


Watter from tap is somewhere in between 7,2 and 7,55 Ph and dH is at about 22 (eeek!!) according to data from Internet wich suggest that i should be using 30/70% mix in favour to filtered water.


As for plants I plan to use all easy to keep but I will heavy plant aquarium. Carpet infront from HC or Anubias nana petite and mix od medium ones for back that grows fast to keep my biobalance in healthy range.


I guess it is not that "low-tech" as I wanted..but it will be better. Water change...not sure...I read that if I do large water change weekly I will make imbalance and most likely cause algae growth...and then again if I do not make at least to 1/3 water change i might hurt fish..


Suggestions are welcome.


Hopefully someone will see this post



Tommy
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post #7 of 37 (permalink) Old 03-13-2016, 02:55 PM
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It sounds like you're off to a good start. I'm a total noob too but from what I've researched fluorite is fine other than its good. I'd get some water column ferts because a lot of low light plants need it.

Not sure if you decided on a light but the Finnex stingray is a good cheap option and the planted+ has a little higher PAR and a bit more expensive too. Anyway I hope that helps and hey I saw your thread - I agree it's either less flow or noob rejection lol. It seems to happen on some forums unfortunately.
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post #8 of 37 (permalink) Old 03-13-2016, 05:36 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks

I will look for that Finnex stingray. I am little limited but I will look up dana on box of lamps what I have avaliable here. I see ppl use lamps like that one in their nano's. Mine is classic elongated shape , so i would preffer one that will cover whole aquarium better. I also plan DIY project for cover once i get lamp. (What can you do..Once maodeler..always modeler hehe).

I will keep ypu posted, so if I mess up, maybe that will help others. My usual method is to buy gear over time to prevent house budget problems (aka it keeps my wife happy and I think i will have to use Beta (wife hehe..luckily I am ok with it.) That shop here in zagreb is as i Know best in area and all big time aquarists buy there, personell is helpfull as I remeber. I would offer link, but It my be against house rules so i will avoid it. (thou I doubt that there are many Croats here.) Shop does not work online so thex have mostly listed stuff they sell and It might be out of date so that data is aproximation.

Btw.. fluorite is complete substrat as I read? I might only buy small amount of white or light Brown stones for decoration.

I actualy made First step and prepared area for aquarium itself, wich is problem in 36 square meters of my apartment. It is near window, but in complete shade and I do not expect sun to shed light on it. my Brother have small Company that installs water filters in houses and he says that water here is at about 24 dH so our rough calculation is that 60/40 in favour of filtered water (that one is dH 2) should be ok for most fish. exact nubers will follow next week after I get testers and starting batch of chemicals ( I remeber using previously one that gave water bluish/greenish colour and it prepared water for tanks. I am not sure will I use that or just allow chlorine to evaporate naturaly over course of few days ( I have 30 lit canister always ready for water changes wich i plan to do less amount but weekly so I do not make too big fluctuations of numbers. I guess I could start with cleaning of my filter for start. I will use sponge and that ceramic stones for bio filtration. (it may be that nowdays they use something different).

Picture below is my usual filter setup (right version).

http://www.tiendanimal.es/images/des...ro_niagara.jpg


P.S. Good thing about it that it also have active carbon clip that can be inserted inside if some extreme situation arise. And wife likes it due to not being too loud lol

Last edited by TommyH; 03-13-2016 at 05:38 PM. Reason: additiona thought
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post #9 of 37 (permalink) Old 03-15-2016, 07:11 PM Thread Starter
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Hello again!

I was in my First Shopping trip today and here are stuff I bought:

Aquael Leddy Smart 6 W (bright as hell!) light

Nice branched wood piece for main part of scenery

Amtra Glax mini rings for my Niagara 190
and his sponge filter

I also grapped general Dh tester so i can mix water propperly in days to some.

Edit: this is also table where all will be placed once all is done

Total proce of that stuff was 67 $ wich was significant amount fo my budhet...but i totaly enjoyed relaxed Shopping.

I also noriced that I have loads of fish and plants to choose from, almost 20 nano type plants
And they carry Black Master soil wich i am gonna use for substrate along with some cosmetic sand..(most likely nature looking one)

next step will be, most likely plywood hood that will cover lamp too.
It will be a bit bigger than usual store ones (all Black with hood and hole for lamp and filter) but I hate parasitic light that comes from open lamps. And i then can all tinfoil inside (or silver spray paint to add more light aswell.
I will keep you posted and i will open thread in diy section about hood when i start. Nothing complicated, all wood, acrylic spray paint and hood (square design) but functional.

Wish me luck...
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post #10 of 37 (permalink) Old 03-15-2016, 08:34 PM Thread Starter
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Here is fast update. This is rough sketch of hood made in paint.
Total area sgould be about 45 by 23 cm roughly (I still need to measure tank precisely. I left opening for lamp since top of lamp is fropm metal and is most likely meant to be cooler. Ans most of that cole will be filled with lamp anyway so it doesnt matter too much. Big cover leaves ample off acess for maintenance and can be totely removed anyway.


gap planned between tank and hood wall is 2mm. Next step is precise measurement and visit to my local lumbershop. (I will have all main cuts there).
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post #11 of 37 (permalink) Old 03-16-2016, 04:30 PM Thread Starter
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New update, an hour and half of cleaning and tank with basic gear (except heater forgot that) is in place. I am still uncertain where to put filter. I tend to front due to better water circulation and filtration that way. Light looks dim, but in person it looks much better than on my Sony

As always I would like to see some suggestions.

Since now as I saw, parasitic light outside of tank is minimal to my eye, I decided against tank hood, so only glass cover will be made .

Btw, how do you like my centerpiece wood? I am totaly happy that I found it. Few amano type rocks and Monte carlo carpet and my tank will be awsome. Can't wait.

Scape idea will be arround wood on that place ...on sloope with one smaller gray rock on right side and "alley" made from natural sand most likely or some material like that. I admit I just love Amano scapes where he gets awsome depth perspective via that underwater path.

I read also that it is good idea that carpet plant with slightly bigger leaves should be planted in front row of tank and Cuba (or monte carlo) in mid and back area aswell so depth perspectuve will be even better. Arround wood I have plan ver 1 or 2..depends on plants I will be able to buy when I finalize my tank. Most likely some plant that grows up to 20 cm ( aquarium is 28) and maybe 2-3 more types of small plants max. I dont plan to have more that 3-4 types of plants inside to avoid messy look. I guess real challenge will be to fit all that in 6 gallon tank and make it grow.

Co2 just got 2nd option (besides easy carbo ) by the way. Guy in shop told me that they will get CO2 set that should be cheap and based on gel that lasts about one month. THat sounds solid, but only if I can hook it via my digital timer with light, so I dont kill fishies in future.

Anyway...nuff of me babling, I will keep you posted as always...

hmmm...maybe mossy tree would be better idea that big plant....beter perspective..
Next step is making list of plants and make sure that they will work together. Thank god that nowsays I have app my my cellhhone with all dana lol..I wish that I had that 20 years ago .
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post #12 of 37 (permalink) Old 03-17-2016, 04:40 PM Thread Starter
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Exclamation Amtra gH test warning

Hello all. New update and warning at same time. THis already becamemore like my aquatic diary that help topic..hopefully nobody minds that.


I have to report very bad experience I had with that newly bought Amtra Gh test. In short..it totaly sucks. now I am not daying that someone else will see better than me, but in my case in all water samples I tried...it was yellow all the time. 1st I tries with my tap water..wich is at 24-28.. I decided to stop after 38 drops when all I could see few distant shades of yellow. Virtualy impossible to determine anything , even less to precisely determine hardness of your water. I tried on my filtered 8should be at about 2) then on distilled water...all the time ...yellow. Now I did get mad cos that thing was expensive for one damn test! But at same time I am glad I discovered that before hand, rather than see melted tank in future.
Anyway, i sent Amtra mail and hopefully their support can shed some light on that subject but I have no clue how to be honest lol.


So if you have one of those at home and expect that it will work, well i would go in shop and get some other brand..if nothing else just to be on safe side. I am sure that many of you have much more expensive stuff in your aquarium collection than me.


keep those safe!


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post #13 of 37 (permalink) Old 03-21-2016, 10:04 AM Thread Starter
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Exclamation

Quote:
Originally Posted by TommyH View Post
Hello all. New update and warning at same time. THis already becamemore like my aquatic diary that help topic..hopefully nobody minds that.


I have to report very bad experience I had with that newly bought Amtra Gh test. In short..it totaly sucks. now I am not daying that someone else will see better than me, but in my case in all water samples I tried...it was yellow all the time. 1st I tries with my tap water..wich is at 24-28.. I decided to stop after 38 drops when all I could see few distant shades of yellow. Virtualy impossible to determine anything , even less to precisely determine hardness of your water. I tried on my filtered 8should be at about 2) then on distilled water...all the time ...yellow. Now I did get mad cos that thing was expensive for one damn test! But at same time I am glad I discovered that before hand, rather than see melted tank in future.
Anyway, i sent Amtra mail and hopefully their support can shed some light on that subject but I have no clue how to be honest lol.


So if you have one of those at home and expect that it will work, well i would go in shop and get some other brand..if nothing else just to be on safe side. I am sure that many of you have much more expensive stuff in your aquarium collection than me.


keep those safe!



Update!


THings got more complicated no.


After several days of exchanging mails with amtra and my shop I discovered several bad things. First of all.. that my local shop i praised very high..sudenly got to bottom. They actualy sell lot of expired chemicals in their shop. I discovered this my by pure accident since youc an clearly see if test is working or not.
Now second thing wich is even worse is that I found no date about how long are amtra test valid, nor decentlsy marked expiry date on bottle. Code goles like this and is printed on sice of cap " L.12101418 " You actualy cannot see that since bottle is inside and since I was dumb enough to trust shop keeper I got sc...ed
That was my fault. Amtra fault is ..what I did senh them my final complaint about marking of chemicals.. that number I wrote means that 12.10.2014. is manufacture date i suppose and it is worth about 2 years in optimal storing conditions. (wat 18 means I got no clue).
I found about expiry date from amtra mail actualy...not from test packkage.


I wrote this here to warn ppl affound so they can check their bottles thay have from amtra and if needed repace him. From now on I will use only Tetra and sera with dumbprioof mark on bottom 11/17 .
on my tetra Aquasafe i bought yesterday (another shop lol).


Anyway.. Keep those expensive layouts safe guys!


Also... if someone points me i would gladly copy this to more apropriate subforum if needed.


Tommy
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post #14 of 37 (permalink) Old 03-22-2016, 12:33 PM
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Sounds good to me! Thanks for the heads up. It's always good to post any of your findings or quarrels as everyone can then read up and make decisions on products from others experiences.

My 2 cents also, neons need space to school, I feel like 6 gallons may be too little for them to be kept in their minimum recommended group of 6. They can feel uncomfortable and ultimately stress out and get sick. Have a good look through the nano fish list and what not.

I really like where this tank is headed! Be sure to check the low tech section as well, some really awesome tanks in there with details on stock and substrates etc.

Good Luck!
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post #15 of 37 (permalink) Old 03-24-2016, 08:56 PM Thread Starter
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I was aiming for those smallet neons (diamond variation if I am correct). I had school of micro rasboras before..also very nice fish

For time being.. It is Premium that I made my wife liking small fishies hehe.. I have time to decide. After I get fresh paycheck.. I will buy substrate (flourite, some amano alike stones and set of predetermined plants.
It may not be perfect..but I expect no majot trouble. All ate easy to medium difficulty...Even Monte Carlo should be easier to keep than Cuba...
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