Need help with first nano aquarium. - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-22-2010, 03:35 AM Thread Starter
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Need help with first nano aquarium.

Hello everyone. I need a little help.

My 18-year old son purchased a male Betta fish. All was well for the first several months, until he lost interest. My wife and I decided to try to teach him some responsibility by making him take care of the fish even though he no longer had an interest. Well that didn't work very well. Never cleaned the tank. Rarely fed the fish.

About 3 weeks ago, we decided to intervene to save the little guy. Thankfully he survived and is doing very well. Unfortunately, he's been swimming around in a 1-gallon tank without heat or filtration; only aeration. Today, my wife and I decided that we're going to give this guy a bigger home, some real plants, and even a few friends.

We were getting ready to purchase a Marineland Eclipse 6 when I came across this forum. Over the past several hours, I've read numerous posts from many experienced and helpful members. From what I've read, it seems like I'm going to need a better tank if I want to grow plants. Here's where I need your help. I'd like to setup a 6-gallon aquarium as cost effectively as possible. Here's what I'm thinking about purchasing:

1. Nano Cube 6
2. Nutrafin Plant Gro C02 System
3. Marineland Visi-Therm 50W Heater

Are these good choices? What other equipment should I get? Thank you in advance for your help and time.

Kelly
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-22-2010, 04:34 AM
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If you go with low-tech plants, you can forgo the CO2 system. The growth will not be as good and there may be a bit more algae, but this will cut down cost and maintenance. If you are positive you want CO2, then you can save money by creating a DIY CO2 system which is basically the same thing yet cheaper.

If it was me, I'd purchase an AGA 5g aquarium ($5-10 at PetSmart), a Red Sea Nano filter ($11-14), some polyfill from Walmart ($2 for a pound, which will last you several lifetimes) as media for the filter, and a simple desk lamp with a daylight bulb - such as the Hampton Bay light that can be found at Home Depot and Walmart for $20. Not only will you have an adequate system that is likely better than the Eclipse 6, but it may also save you a few bucks.

I do not use heaters so I cannot help you there.

Lastly, you have to think about substrate and plant types, and also of the lighting needs for the plants. Since you haven't provided details on what plants you are thinking of, I will not go into detail concerning that subject.

Hope you find some of this helpful. I'm sure other members will chime in.


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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-22-2010, 04:40 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks DJ. I'm not sold on C02 yet. I've read that Flourish Excel will work as well. I am concerned about aesthetics though, which is why I was considering an aquarium kit instead of a DIY setup.

I've also read that the Eclipse may not be very good for plants because of it's limited lighting capability. As far as substrate, I was considering Laterite or Flourite. In terms of plants, I'll probably go with something that's easy to maintain. BTW, nice aquariums. I especially like your 10-gallon one.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-22-2010, 05:01 AM
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For small tanks, such as this, I am a fan of Excel. Be warned that it can damage certain plants and will not produce as good of results as actual CO2. However, it is aesthetically pleasing since there is(are) no physical object(s) constantly present and it is easy to work with. kensfish.com has a good price on Excel and many other aquarium supplies, as well as excellent food.

Yes, the lighting on the Eclipse is poor for a planted tank, which is one of the main reasons I recommended a more DIY approach. Some people have retrofitted a different, higher wattage lighting system in their Eclipse 6, but that adds to the total cost and I was not a fan of how the new bulbs and their respective ballasts had no protection against evaporation/condensation.

Flourite and Laterite will work fine. Just be sure to rinse, rinse, and rinse some more before adding it to the tank.

I think there is a sticky thread with a list of low-light/tech plants somewhere on this forum. Since this tank will be new, you can speed up the cycling period with fast growing plants and any media/decor/etc from an established tank, which you likely already know.


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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-22-2010, 05:04 AM Thread Starter
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So, do you think I'm better off with the Eclipse? The only reason I was considering the Nano Cube was because it didn't require any retrofitting, plus I like the fact that it's glass. I also like the fact that the Nano Cube has a moonlight feature.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-22-2010, 05:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kcrossley View Post
So, do you think I'm better off with the Eclipse? The only reason I was considering the Nano Cube was because it didn't require any retrofitting, plus I like the fact that it's glass. I also like the fact that the Nano Cube has a moonlight feature.
For some reason I was thinking you wanted to purchase the Eclipse 6 and didn't see that you stated you want a Nano Cube 6. The Nano Cube should work fine as I've seen a couple planted tank journals using them successfully, or so I think I have. As for the Eclipse 6, no I do not recommend it for a planted tank.


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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-22-2010, 05:17 AM Thread Starter
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How about the new Fluval Edge? That's a pretty cool looking setup as well.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-22-2010, 05:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kcrossley View Post
How about the new Fluval Edge? That's a pretty cool looking setup as well.
People seem to enjoy it. My only concern is the stock lighting isn't very good, but it can be modded. Lots of pictures of setups and mods in the Edge thread: https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/pl...ge-thread.html

Personally, I'd go the cheap way and do what I listed in my first reply.


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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-22-2010, 10:13 PM
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I saw that you wanted to purchase friends for your betta? Not a good idea as he'll end up killing or eating most things that you would put in there. I had one who would even try to eat the snails! Shrimp are no good either, he'll eat those. Other fish if smaller he will harass and kill them and if they are bigger they will eat at your betta's fins. So be prepared to set up your 6 gallon tan and have only one fish in it. I would suggest getting the betta 1 3 gallon aquarium and buy a 6 gallon for more peaceful fish.

2.5 Gallon Iwagumi
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-22-2010, 10:25 PM Thread Starter
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Yes, a friend of mine just said the same thing. Are you referring to an Eclipse 3-gallon tank?
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-22-2010, 11:01 PM
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In regards to stocking a tank that also houses a beta, you should be more concerned of the beta getting hurt more than anything.
A lot of people have the misconception that betas (Siamese fighting fish) are killers and naturally like to FSU. This is hardly the case.
Most of the fighters are of the plakat strain, which used to be line-bred for fighting (sorta like cock fighting, aqua style).
There are tonnes of beautiful beta's, and they do quite fine with other fish, granted the tank is big enough, and it is comfortable.
Beta's do not like a lot of current/flow in their tanks.
Beta's are also more than fine with small fish, or even bigger fish, granted the bigger fish won't try to eat the beta.

The problem I see more often than not, through personal experience, and through what others have dealt with, is that smaller fish, such as some tetras and barbs for example, like to nip away at the beta's long flowing fins. This is usually more of a problem in itself than the beta being agressive.

Of course, you can't expect to keep RCS/CRS with a beta and expect the shrimp population to grow, or house it with live-bearers and expect the fry to survive, as the beta will eat the fry, naturally.

To say that you can't house beta's with other fish and to say that they're little terrors would be a little too extreme.


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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-23-2010, 01:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kcrossley View Post
How about the new Fluval Edge? That's a pretty cool looking setup as well.
It looks cool, yes. BUT it is not very betta friendly. This tank looks best filled to the brim and I think that is the whole point. To house a betta, you'll need to lower the water for the betta to breath atmospheric air, which totally defeats the whole purpose of the Edge. Plus, from what I hear, the only way air can get into the Edge is a small hole somewhere near the the light and where the filter current is strongest (bettas hate currents); so the surface area for the betta to breath from is very very limited especially if you choose to fill the Edge to the brim and he'd be lucky if he could take a breath.

As for friends for the betta, it absolutely depends on the personality of the betta and his friends. Some bettas are really docile and could care less, while others are mean mean mean. And the same could be said for his potential friends. I have bettas, and my late male CT betta Mr. Red beat up an ADF. My female CT betta hunts down ghost shrimp. And my male HM betta hasn't had any friends, just in case I keep picking mean bettas lol.

So basically it depends on the betta and the other dudes, really. You'd probably be safe with snails though, none of my bettas have attacked in snails.
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