Reefer setting up a basic office tank - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-12-2017, 04:51 PM Thread Starter
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Reefer setting up a basic office tank

hello!

I have had an aquarium in my life for at least 30 years in one way, shape or form. For the past 17 years, I have been strictly Reef only. Currently I have a very low Maintenance bare bottom 66 Gallon mixed reef with a 40 gallon sump at the house. I have attached a photo below. I feel the need for a box of water at work and have always longed for planted tank. I have the below equipment that has been sterilized and cleaned from a previous pico reef I had at the office that didnt work out.

1. Fluval Chi 5 gallon tank with the top removed
2. Aquaclear 20 HOB filter with surface skimmer attachement (may or may not use the surface skimmer) Filter will have the standard sponge, ceramics and carbon used.
3. Small heater

For the light I had been planning to purchase an Astra 20 Clip on light from amazon. it is an 18 watt COB led that from the reviews it looks decent for what I want to accomplish.

for Substrate I planned to purchase the Seachem Flourite Black Dark Gravel.

For Inhabitants, I had hoped that I could get 3 or 4 neons and some snails. Not really needed anything else.

For plants, I do want live plants in it because after all, it is planted! Just quite sure what plants to get as of yet and how easily they are available to me. I live in a rural area and since it is the office it may be harder to get them in. I relish any advice on some simple easy to care for Greenery I can get. I do prefer long grasses/Leaves that the fish can swim through.

Goal of the tank would be to provide some peace and enjoyment at the office. I hope it to be a Low maintenance tank that I can just sit and look at when Alice from Finance is driving me crazy. Sinc eI passed on the Amazon Prime Special on the marineland AIO system for $40, this is a Budget conscious build.
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-13-2017, 05:39 PM Thread Starter
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Something changed on the light so now I am looking at the finnex Fugeray Planted+ light. the clip on version. this look like it will fit my little tank and from the reviews looks like a good medium intensity light.


thoughts?
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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-13-2017, 08:26 PM
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Nice reef setup.

So, in the planted world, a lot of it is going to be similar in terms of difficulty. The biggest difference being that you don't have to mix RODI water and monitor water quality quite as extensively. However, the biggest thing to look at is that while in Reef tanks you can kind of slowly add corals over time and still have something good looking to attract attention, you can't quite do the same in the planted aquarium. The biggest mistake I see is that people simply don't start with enough plant volume at the beginning - causing the tank to struggle with problems that could've been avoided with extra volume.

I'd suggest giving this thread a read that I created some years back. While it uses some of the more expensive equipment, it'll give you a good foundation to work with.

As far as actual recommendations for products, that all really depends on what you mean by low-budget - are we talking under $100? under $500?
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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-13-2017, 08:52 PM Thread Starter
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Francis,

Considering I have the Tank, Filter and Heater already, the fact that I am getting a $40 light, I would say that I have ~$100 or so to spend. I dont plan on CO2 right now and was looking more to moderate to low light plants. this is my office tank.

as for the plants, I will take that advice to note when I go to purchase them. I hope to get the light ordered tomorrow (going with the Finnex Fugeray) and also the seachem Flourite substrate. I should get them in early next week, then I will bring 5 gallons of water from the house (I will bring myself to use tap and prime) and fill it up and have it running. Sunday I will likely run to the Petsmart that sells plants in the neighboring town and get some plants. I hope to get some tall ones for the back and then some shorter ones from the front half. Mixed variety of stuff. this way I can bring them in Monday, drain the water a bit and then plant them. I thought about getting some bacteria in a bottle while i am there to jump start the cycle process and then get some Neons in the tank.

Ill go look over that thread and see what I can learn.


EDIT.. Let me pick my JAW up off the floor here for a minute! wow. I have alot of reading to do. Just some food for this thread, the tank I am doing is 10x10x12. not much floorspace.

Last edited by Pickupman66; 07-13-2017 at 09:07 PM. Reason: added to discussion
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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-14-2017, 04:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pickupman66 View Post
...

Ill go look over that thread and see what I can learn.

EDIT.. Let me pick my JAW up off the floor here for a minute! wow. I have alot of reading to do. Just some food for this thread, the tank I am doing is 10x10x12. not much floorspace.
Extensive yet a page turner from front to back loaded with good info .
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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-14-2017, 04:21 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you guys for the advice. I went ahead and got my lighting ordered, however I decided to go the Flourite route as I think it fits me a bit better. Ill continue to read that thread and move forward. I will plant it heavy as suggested. I dont think much surface cover but we will see that the store has available to me.
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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-14-2017, 07:26 PM
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Be careful when you go to petsmart for plants - they're notorious for selling non-aquatic plants as aquatic. I would look up their offering online and cross check / make a list of true aquatics online.

Also, I'd highly recommend trying to go Co2 route - Fluval has a nice cheap setup for $25 or there abouts. It has its flaws from the reviews I've seen on it, but it's at least something, and supplement that with some basic fertilizer regime.

The reason I say that is because it just makes the whole process a lot easier on yourself to get something that looks amazing. A Low-tech / non-Co2 setup is actually supremely difficult to pull off to a good quality standard compared to a co2 option. It can be done, but it just requires a lot more research and planning, with a larger margin for error at the start than a "high tech" setup. But it's really about, at that point, what you're most interested in doing. Are you in it for challenge or pure enjoyment?

In fact, I'd say the primary benefit of using Co2 and a nutrient rich substrate is to simply even out the results and get them to be more consistent from tank to tank. Low-tech can have a high hit-and-miss ratio.
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-14-2017, 07:59 PM Thread Starter
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Hmmm.. OK. well Ill be sure to google really good what they have as I peruse it. thats my ONLY source I can purchase from locally without an hour and a half drive or Liveaquaria.

I am not opposed to the Co2 option as I have used it in the past with my Reef tanks. Albeit for use in a Calcium reactor. Inject CO2 into a reactor chamber filled with calcium carbonate media to hold the PH at 6.8 so that the media would slowly dissolve into the water passing through the reactor to provide calcium and Carbonate hardness to the tank for a stable Ca and Alkalinty (dKh).


I assume that you are referring to this Fluval Kit? about how long would that small tank of co2 last in a 5 gallon system?

that small of a system probably would not be too bad on a 5 gallon setup. Would the light i purchased be sufficient?

I guess I am not looking to necessarily make a full blown planted masterpiece. more so looking to have a tank in my office with some fish and live greenery to be able to afford me a little peace and enjoyment. Im SURE it will morph into a more intricate matter as I got into it.
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-15-2017, 12:23 AM
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I can't speak from first hand experience on how the Fluval Kit works (yep thats the one I meant). I've heard people say it's crap, others say it's fine.

From what I can tell is that it's just a bit sensitive on the adjustment phase, but in a 5g those little canisters should easily last 4-6 weeks.

As long as the light is 6.5k-8k it should be fine. Only concerns are light spread and overall par, but keep to the easy stuff anyway. Hair grass / dwarf hair grass, anubias, stuff like that and you can't go wrong.
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-15-2017, 12:28 AM Thread Starter
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Gotcha! Suggestions for stuffs for the back that is tall that the neons will hang out in?

Here is what I am working with. Nice and cute!

The light is 6500k. Has true 650nm reds, blues and whites. Supposed to be a good light that is same width as the tank.

Sent from my Nexus 6P using Tapatalk
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post #11 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-17-2017, 06:59 PM Thread Starter
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Light, some filter media and the Flourite arrived today. taking the Flourite home tonight so I can run the garden hose through it. Tomorrow, I plan to add the flourite and then maybe I can either add a large stove from our creek (that has been bleached already or find a piece of driftwood at the store. hopefully i can have some water in it to get a cycle started by the end of the week and get some plants ordered.
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post #12 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-19-2017, 12:34 PM Thread Starter
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Flouite in.

Rocks In.

Fung Shui? Thoughts?

it should give me room to plant tall grassed in the back and sides and then some shorter stuff in the front. Maybe a fat leafed plant on the let side in front of vertical rock.
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post #13 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-20-2017, 05:31 PM Thread Starter
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Water in yesterday. I really like the way it looks. I cannot wait for greenery this weekend. Going to Huntsville for a swim meet and will have time to shop at a local store. will have to bring back home, setup in a temporary 10 gallon system and then bring to office monday morning. May also get some seeding bacteria while there and a handful of neon tetras.

on a salty note, I took a video of the anemone last night. it just looked good. this is under my Gen 3 Radion xr30. watch it in 720 at least.

https://youtu.be/peOb0NFgCpY
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post #14 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-24-2017, 03:31 PM Thread Starter
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went plant shopping. Local Store in Huntsville didnt have alot of variety or exactly what I wanted but they had some Crypt and some others. They had a ton of a floating plant and some other free growing stuff that was not planted. THEY HAD ALOT!! wow.

anyways, I dont remember what the tall leafy stuff in the back is called. I also dont remember what the grassy stuff in the front is called. I have some small pieces of crypt in the middles that was hard to plant because I could not get it to stay in the dirt.

ALSO, when I got to the office this morning, I noticed a single little spring that seems to have naturally sprouted. as if it was in the flourite when I started it. ill see what it comes out as
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post #15 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-25-2017, 12:27 AM
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I might take the rocks out and see if you can get some Cyperus Helfiri to make a nice tall grass background as you mentioned you like that.
I'd be very reserved with your photo period right now too, that light looks quite bright and you don't have much plant mass.
A good amount of Crypts would look good too I bet!


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