Need advice and guidance for a 5 gallons - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 07-28-2017, 01:38 PM Thread Starter
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Need advice and guidance for a 5 gallons

Hi!
I'm starting a 5 gallons tank for a Betta and a couple of snails. I still have some questions before buying everything.

The aquarium has a cover for lightbulbs. I was planning on putting one Lifeglo compact lightbulb, 15W 6700k or I could buy some 12w 5000k regular fluorescent lightbulbs at the store. Which one would be better?

For the substrate, I am looking at flourite dark or black, but I'm affraid it will always get the water messy everytime I'll touch it. Is it worth it or simple fine black gravel would work as well?

I do not plan on putting Co2. I can add liquid fertilizer or roots tabs. Would that work for most plants or will it cause me too much Algea?

Finally, I still don't know what plants to get. I have some vallisneria, and I love moss so I was planning on making a moss wall or carpet. But I don't know what other plants to get that will look good and are easy to take care of.
( Don't know if it changes anything, but I have really soft water, pH of 7)

Thank you very much,
(Not sure if I should have posted in low tech...sorry! And English is second language, in case I wrote weird sentences.)
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 07-28-2017, 02:43 PM
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Hi B, welcome to The Planted Tank, and your English is excellent, no worries.

Regarding the lights, I think either one would be a good choice. With compact fluorescents you get a bit more punch, while the regular tubes give a a more distributed light. Sometimes you just have to try and see.

Personally I think Flouride is a great choice. You don't even have to wash it much if you are patient. Just put it into your dry tank, wash the top layer before adding it. Then - here is where patience comes in - fill the tank VERY slowly, almost dripping, using a sponge or something to avoid any water movement, over the course of several hours. This will keep the loose particles in the substrate layer, and over the next day or so, they will move between the cracks towards the bottom. Plant, and only after that, turn on your filtration, carefully avoiding to point the outflow towards your substrate. After a few days there should be clear water and no big issues replanting (unless you pull out some giant Echinodorus or such).

You don't need CO2 for low light setups, even though it does help. We often use a bottom layer of potting soil, top soil, or such to have a continuous source of nutrients. Search on the forum for details. You can also use some root tabs on the bottom of your tank. Many of those don't supply macro nutrients. I have often used "Jobe's Plant Sticks" as they provide NPK as well. Not sure what's available on your side of the planet.

Regarding plants, I would look for faster growing ones in the beginning, Vallisneria and mosses are not bad, some Hygrophila, Limnophila, Bacopa, etc and later when the tank is established replace them with slower growing plants like Cryptocorynes and Anubias and such.


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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 07-28-2017, 05:15 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you !

That was a really clear answer.

With +-15 watts for 5 gallons I would be considered low light? And there is no better choice between 5000k or 6700k? Everybody seems to be aiming for the last one.

And I don't mind rinsing the flourite 10 times lol. I just don't want my water black if I ever move plants around etc.


I'll look at the plants you named, I am not too difficult as long as I can keep them from dying. Thanks
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