desktop kit that can grow plants? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-04-2016, 08:23 AM Thread Starter
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desktop kit that can grow plants?

hi guys,
i'm looking for a small (under 5) gallon kit that will support plants. i noticed the Fluval Spec III says it can grow plants. i don't need an explosion of plant life, i just don't want them to die.
i love the look of dwarf hair grass, but my understanding is it's a high light plant. will lower light kill it, or will it just not grow quickly?
will something like the Tetra 1.5 gallon cube be terrible for plants?
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-04-2016, 10:23 AM
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I have a current solo 5 gallon. Kinda expensive though. It is 10"l 10"d 12"tall. Very nice size for a desk. Growing anubias, hygro tropic sunset, Rotala Indica and crypts in it for last year. Trying Marsilea Crenata and dwarf sag now.

Like i said its kina expensive but i found mine for 63$ on sale.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-04-2016, 02:10 PM
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Most of the nano tank kits' weakness is the under powered lighting. The Spec tanks will grow low light stuff like java fern & moss, anubias etc.. None of this means you couldn't have a beautiful tank. You would just be limited in plant selection. You could always upgrade the lighting to support more light hungry plants if you are not opposed to spending extra $. I replaced my stock SpecIII light with 2 Deep Blue Professional 3W 6700k Micro LED lights and had very good results growing medium light stuff. There are a lot of lighting choices out there. Some folks have used desk top lights with LED bulbs from the hardware store and had great results. If you are looking for a lower maintenance tank I would stick with lower lighting. Check out the nano tank section here: Planted Nano Tanks - The Planted Tank Forum to see what others have done and get some ideas as to how you would like to proceed. Good luck and keep us posted!
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-06-2016, 07:26 PM
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I have a Fluval Spec V. I bought the newer kit with the upgraded lighting for around $100. It can grow low to medium light plants great. I think I set it up fully with substrate and parts for around $200. I would highly recommend it.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-07-2016, 02:25 AM
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Mr. Aqua 1.5 gallon on amazon seems like a good setup. Customer review shows the light growing some HC and Stauro.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-07-2016, 02:27 AM
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Max - it would help to know where you'll have the tank. If it's near a window you'll get some additional light. I had a Spec III in my office near an east facing window. I was able to grow plants using Excel and Flourish liquid ferts.

Have you succumbed to the pleasure of Multiple Tank Syndrome? I feel your pain!
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-07-2016, 06:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Max Hanckel View Post
hi guys,
i'm looking for a small (under 5) gallon kit that will support plants. i noticed the Fluval Spec III says it can grow plants. i don't need an explosion of plant life, i just don't want them to die.
i love the look of dwarf hair grass, but my understanding is it's a high light plant. will lower light kill it, or will it just not grow quickly?
will something like the Tetra 1.5 gallon cube be terrible for plants?
those kits are fine for plants. they will grow, they wont die. they wont grow as awesome as the high tech tanks you see online.

the main concern for those tanks will be the stock LED lights it comes with. depends which brand you buy, they will usually be considered "low light" tanks. hairgrass can and will grow in low light, but super slow. talking about 5-10x slower than a high tech tank. some people do LED upgrades on their desktop tank.

the plants will need co2. You can do water changes to replenish the co2 (cheapest) or a nano co2 injection system ($40ish) or go all out on the pro stuff $125
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-07-2016, 07:23 PM
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I like the Eheim Aquastyle for looks and lighting. The light is 6000 lumens. I am able to grow more than just anubias and crypts which is all I have in my Fluval Specs. As a matter of fact, the light is a little bright for anubias. The leaves are lime green.

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