10gl shrimp / nano fish: lighting / plants? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-17-2018, 11:55 AM Thread Starter
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10gl shrimp / nano fish: lighting / plants?

Hello all,

I've just gotten back into the hobby after a ~ 12-year absence. I've set up a 5gl planted nano to house a betta. I did several orders for hardscape and plants to set up that tank and unfortunately, some of the pieces I ordered (driftwood) ended up being way too large for a 5gl. I also had an anubias come in that was about 8" tall, so too tall for the 5gl tank. That said, I've got a couple spare 10gls lying around, so I'm going to put the unused driftwood and anubias towards a good purpose and set up a shrimp/nano fish tank. My goal is to have a heavily planted tank that will allow the shrimp to breed and hide well, but still be aesthetically pleasing. I don't want to tackle CO2 yet, but will be using root tabs, ferts, and flourish excel.

I would love your advice on a few aspects of the 10gl because I feel that I could have planned better for the 5gl.

Please feel free to comment on any of the aspects below.
1. Lighting- the 5gl has a finnex fugeray planted+ clip and I really like the light color temp. Would this same fixture be enough for a 10gl? Is there a different fixture at around the same price point that would also work for a rimmed (old school) tank? I'd prefer one that sits on a glass canopy or right above.

2. Plants- I love crypts, and already have an anubias coffeefolia, but would love your advice on stem plants that would suit medium light and look good in a small setup. In particular, I'd like some small-leafed stems and some red stems. Also, if you know of any crypt varieties that are more exotic and would work, I'd love to hear about those as well... My other setup has some wendtii and some parva, but that's it.

3. Substrate- The 5gl has onyx sand. I was considering doing black flourite sand for the 10gl but am open to other options..I don't think I want to do soil, but if there is something similar to sand, but enriched for plants, that could work. I prefer darker substrates.

4. Filtration- What are you using on your 10gl tanks? I have only ever had either HOB filters or small internal filters. I'd love opinions on which filtration you feel works best for plants, which is easiest to maintain, etc. When I left the hobby, Aqua Clear HOBs were the best HOB available and what I generally used.

Thank you for your time and help!
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-18-2018, 06:57 PM
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Welcome back to the most rewarding/relaxing hobby I’ve found. I made a long answer here, sorry to the ADHDers out there.

1) Lights: You could likely be just fine with the same light. If not enough (judge after watching plant growth), one more of the same, perhaps. There’s also longer lights in the same series, but I think just one of the same is enough. I have always started with lights on a fairly short ON time: 5 hours, e.g. After plants are settled and growing, more time is just fine.

2) Plants: Crypts and Anubias are great, I love them. For stems, I’ve had great luck with Bacopa - easy to propagate, and even looks good if it gets above the surface. For red, alternanthera reineckii. It likes nutrients at the roots and more light, so consider placing it right under. Anubias does not like tons of direct light, in contrast, so it can be placed at the sides, etc. Consider some moss and/or moss balls, to give shrimp a nice home. Flame moss is my fave, as it is easier for me to keep contained than Java moss or others. Maybe some floater plants too, esp. if the surface waterflow is low (most don’t like to be pushed around).
I would recommend planting as much as possible right from the beginning.

3) Substrate: I have a variety in use, with varied results. All can be OK. I have BDBS (inert black sand) with a wide variety of plants - including all of your list, and root feeders like Amazon sword, Aponogeton, Dwarf Sagittarius, and some type of Marsilea. I put some Osmocote Plus under it in a sparse layer when I set it up, nothing else in a year of running. I also have tanks with Fluorite Black - lots of plants, no issue, but a bit slower. Sand-capped dirt seems to be best/fastest, especially for the a. reineckii, though really not required - I have a bit of that growing in every tank at different speeds. I even have crypts growing just fine in old ‘natural’ aquarium gravel, and Bacopa, java fern, and some more in just sand.
Pick what you like, work with it.
After plants are growing well, some type of water column fertilizer is good to add. I use Easy Green at about half to full dose, based on what I see happening. Lots of other options, too.

4) Filters: Aquaclear are still the best HOB, you’re perfectly safe there. I’d put an intake filter on it, to keep a stray leaf from choking up the inlet. Shrimp would prefer the prefilter, too - especially the babies. I have (just like substrates) a wide variety of devices in use - airlift sponges (purchased and DIY), foam matten, Fluval canisters, diy canisters, several HOB, and one sump currently out of commission (never got it quiet enough). A 10g is small enough to be OK with a single sponge, or an AC20 is my #2 choice. Both create enough flow, house enough filter surface, and are easy to service.

The 10g is about as easy as it gets for setup, and has a nice footprint for aquascaping on-the-cheap. Shrimp are a great choice for fauna - they’re never boring.

Please, take pictures of every step, good or bad. Future-you will be thankful for the record, and you’ll be able to really see the progress over time. If you want, post ‘em here for encouragement, feedback, advice, and some bragging, too.
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I can only grow plants when they're completely under water. Everything else is doomed.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-18-2018, 07:29 PM Thread Starter
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Proteus10- Thank you so much for your help and time! I'm thinking I will go with the AC filter with a pre filter...It is what I am familiar with. That said, I have also seen cheap sponge filters, so I may also purchase one and play around with it in a hospital tank to see if I like it.

I will look into the plants you mentioned. The only moss I've ever had was java moss and I'm not all that fond of it...too messy IMO, so I'll be glad to have another option.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-23-2018, 10:28 PM
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Dwarf rotata looks really nice in smaller tanks imo. Hydrocotyle S. Japan is also one of my favorites. Just looks so delicate and perfect

I use play sand but BDBS will work too. Since I started using inert substrate and root tabs or column ferts I have't looked back.

I love the Fluval series HoB I run a AC 20 on my 5 gallon and a AC 30 on my 10 gallon. I'd say definitely get a size up from what you need. An AC 30 turned up all the way is the perfect amount of flow for my 10g. They're super easy to clean and maintain
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-24-2018, 11:30 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rnasty View Post
Dwarf rotata looks really nice in smaller tanks imo. Hydrocotyle S. Japan is also one of my favorites. Just looks so delicate and perfect

I use play sand but BDBS will work too. Since I started using inert substrate and root tabs or column ferts I have't looked back.

I love the Fluval series HoB I run a AC 20 on my 5 gallon and a AC 30 on my 10 gallon. I'd say definitely get a size up from what you need. An AC 30 turned up all the way is the perfect amount of flow for my 10g. They're super easy to clean and maintain
Thank you for the advice! I'm looking into getting some BDBS and also shopping around for HOBs. I'm thinking either an AC or a Marina filter. I'm liking the slimmer design of the Marina, but not sure if they work well.
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