Want to start a nano planted tank - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-27-2017, 06:32 PM Thread Starter
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Want to start a nano planted tank

Hi all,

Newbie here to the forum, but not to fish keeping as look after a number of nano tanks here at home. One being a 55l freshwater community tank with various nano fish, bog wood plants and mosses. This has got my interest in a small nano shrimp tank that includes plants.

I have a disused 15l tank that I would like to turn into a shrimp/planted tank. After lots of research, I have kind of become stuck on exactly where to start on things like substrate.. shrimp wise, cherry red's seem like a good stable population to keep.

My main water source is RODI due to my marine tank and mixing salt, so am looking at remineralising using something like Salty Shrimp, however, this is the bit that's confusing as it comes in two versions.. GH+ & KH/GH+

If I go for an active substrate, the information seems to indicate that it contains buffers to reduce PH etc.. so would I look at just increasing GH to match the levels required for the shrimps and the plants will be fine?

For planting, I would think a low tech tank with easy to grow rooted plants as I would like it a little more 3D that you don't seem to get with plants on bog wood etc.

Filtration wise I have a double sponge air driven on that was recommended by other shrimp keepers.

Any pointers or ideas would be greatly received:-)

Thanks,

Chris
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-28-2017, 01:32 AM
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Hey mate. Followed you over from UR

I've got planted Fluval Edge in my office - CO2, stock LED, 8 rummy nose. All good. Plants grow like buggery & unlike my Reefer, it thrives on neglect. I don't use my RO - just dechlorinated tapwater.


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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-28-2017, 08:45 AM Thread Starter
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Hey Damien,

Sounds like you have a number of tanks too then :-) Why as fish keepers are we not happy with just one?

Anyway, what substrate do you use in the Fluval as this is a complete minefield for me.. I bet you have better tap water than the pure chalk we have here in the UK?

I've managed to soften the water for my freshwater tank by mixing a 50/50 & 70/30 mix with tap water, but am wondering about the PH buffering with the substrate as believe it does exhaust it after a while? I have a normal PH of 7.5 but the substrate lowers it to around 6.4ish, could be wrong..

Nice to see you over here tho too :-0

Thanks,
Chris
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-28-2017, 10:25 AM
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I'm not sure what's in the water here - it's 130tds going into my RO unit which is pretty good.

I've had the fluval edge for about 4 years and can't remember what the substrate was. It's black - I'll try and remember to check. It seems pretty good though - still solid growth after that time.

I started out with planted tanks years ago. I had one of the first Dennerle systems in the UK, would be 1989 I think.

Ultimately at some point of keeping fish you migrate to saltwater lol. Before that you don't know you're born ; )


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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-28-2017, 10:39 AM
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If your keeping cherries don't worry about buffering substrates or whatever just go with what you like.

I recommend an inert substrate.

Don't try to fight parameters, it'll just make it difficult to maintain absolute control. It's another variable that's unnecessary.

I would use a 50/50 mix of ro Di and tap with gh booster and see where the chips fall with your water, tweaking from there


RCS are very forgiving.

Your going to get 50 different opinions, though.


What specifics makes your tap water so terrible?
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-28-2017, 11:51 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anchor View Post
If your keeping cherries don't worry about buffering substrates or whatever just go with what you like.

I recommend an inert substrate.

Don't try to fight parameters, it'll just make it difficult to maintain absolute control. It's another variable that's unnecessary.

I would use a 50/50 mix of ro Di and tap with gh booster and see where the chips fall with your water, tweaking from there


RCS are very forgiving.

Your going to get 50 different opinions, though.


What specifics makes your tap water so terrible?
Great, thanks for the information.. So I can use sand and plant directly into that?

My walk is fairly hard due to living in an area where the water travels through chalk.. Nothing else is really wrong with it, but always causes limescale issue around the top of the tank

My Current parameters in my freshwater community tank is:

TDS: 240
PH: 7.5
GH: 9
KH: 4

Thats with a 50/50 mix of RODI/Tap water, do you think i would be fine to use it directly as others have advised to start with 100% RO and raise from there?

Thanks for your help!

Chris
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-03-2017, 06:44 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anchor View Post
If your keeping cherries don't worry about buffering substrates or whatever just go with what you like.

I recommend an inert substrate.

Don't try to fight parameters, it'll just make it difficult to maintain absolute control. It's another variable that's unnecessary.

I would use a 50/50 mix of ro Di and tap with gh booster and see where the chips fall with your water, tweaking from there


RCS are very forgiving.

Your going to get 50 different opinions, though.


What specifics makes your tap water so terrible?


I thought I'd replied to this already, but found it in my draft items in Tapatalk!

My water is just fairly hard at 16GH/9KH, other than that it's just normal water.. all of the soil substrates appear to be buffered, so do I just mix up the water with a 50/50 mix and wait until it's exhausted? That would make it 7.5 ish as per my mix, and not 6-6.5 of the buffer.. if that makes sense?

I've now managed to get a 7 gallon experimental tank, and a sponge filter, just need to get some easy plants and start my adventure :-)

Thanks,
Chris


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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-03-2017, 07:21 PM
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Echoing Anchor's statement: don't fight your parameters. Stability is more important.
If your concerned with the substrate, you could skip it. Many easy plants to be had that don't want buried roots. You could also consider submerged containers with substrate and plants - easy to remove or rearrange, etc. Shrimp need hides and crevices, of course, so wood and rocks are great.
I use an airlift sponge for my red cherry shrimp - works well. Many folks will sing the praises of the matten filter - if one fits, it's a good option, too.
Enjoy.
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-04-2017, 01:41 AM
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Decent light an CO2 and you'll grow most things. Don't sweat the parameters - it's not like your Reef tank

My fluval edge is chock full of growing plants and I barely remember to do anything with it. The reef tank tends to suck up most of my time.


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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-04-2017, 04:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anchor View Post
If your keeping cherries don't worry about buffering substrates or whatever just go with what you like.

I recommend an inert substrate.



I would use a 50/50 mix of ro Di and tap with gh booster and see where the chips fall with your water, tweaking from there





What specifics makes your tap water so terrible?
I agree with all of this. Hell if your tap GH is 16 you might not even need a GH booster... On the other hand you could set up your tank as if you were going to keep CRS and use the cherries as practice :p

But yeah don't bother with active substrate if you aren't going to use 100% RO. Active substrate will reduce your KH to 0, or if you are using RO water, it will keep it at 0. A KH of 0 and assuming no other buffers present will help keep your ph nice and low at 6.5 or so. If you give it water with a lot of KH it will exhaust faster. I have read that active substrate can also lower GH over time but probably not at the rate which it reduces KH.

Salty shrimp boosters seem to be the gold standard for shrimp keeping so your right on there.

I'm sure there are exceptions but the easiest plants to take care of tend to be the ones that don't get planted in the substrate (plants with rhizomes) like anubias and ferns. You can almost never go wrong with these. I also love marimo moss balls and the shrimp seem to like them too.
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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-04-2017, 08:13 AM
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Can't remember when I last changed any water lol


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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-04-2017, 08:53 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys for the pointers so far!

Let me turn this on it's head and say that if I wanted to turn this into a planted tank and shrimps later with the following plants:



Could I use sand as a substrate and plant the routed directly into the sand instead?

If I did go the active substrate, what would you guys recommend to do with the water mix? 50/50 or RO plus minerals.

Just can't seem to get my head around the whole planted plus shrimps/water. I think Damien is right, keeping a reef tank means more focus on parameters!

What CO2 do you run on that the tank as I believe that it needs to be controlled via a timer to switch off at night?

Sorry for all the question, but the books and beginners guides mostly cover how to aquascape rather than what to use in what scenario !

Thanks,
Chris


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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-04-2017, 09:14 AM
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I just got the Fluval CO2 kit and have a 28 year old Dennerle solenoid valve hooked up to a timer.

I still have my Dennerle CO2 diffuser & bottle but it's massive overkill for this little tank - I had a 48x18x18 planted tank way back. I still have the dual control thermostat and under-substrate heating cable too, lol.

Sand isn't great as a substrate for plants as it tends to compact and be tough for the plant roots to get through. Also it's not great for water circulation.

I throw a few cherry shrimps into my tank every now and then.


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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-10-2017, 09:13 AM Thread Starter
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Ok, so here it is! Not sure if I'm going to need CO2, but am kind of happy with it.. still have some more plants to put in and on the woodwork.. but any comments welcome or help!




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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-10-2017, 09:14 AM Thread Starter
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(1) Micranthemum Sp 'Montecarlo' (Dennerle)
(2) Eleocharis Acicularis (Tropica)
(3) Cryptocoryne Wendtii 'Kompak' (Dennerle)
(4) Alternanthera Reineckii 'Mini' (Dennerle)
(5) Helianthum Tenellum 'Broad leaf' (Dennerle)
(6) Pogostemon Erectus (Dennerle)
(7) Anubias Nano 'Pangolino' (Dennerle)
(8) Bucephlendra Sp 'Mini Needle Leaf' (Dennerle)


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