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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-23-2018, 06:15 AM Thread Starter
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Brand new (and seeking advice)

So I found a jar, yes a jar, and decided to try to make it a planted nano tank. It's about 5 gallons with a convenient spigot at the base.(it was clearly meant for serving tea or whatever at a party.)
I used aquatic plant soil over a coconut mat as strata, there are various types of rocks to create hiding areas, a tall thin green plant that grows from bottom to surface, butter lettuce floating about, 4 guppies, a clam, 2 African dwarf frogs, 2 snails, and Click image for larger version

Name:	15402752098564460037444746800434_1540275252734.jpg
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ID:	8710833 shrimps of various species.
I'm fully aware it's rather crowded. My true concern is the lighting. I bought it at a chain pet store but tossed the box without recording the specs. It's a National Geographic clip on if that helps. I was using a cheap strip LED with 4 blue and 6 white but my plants weren't flourishing. I switched to the aforementioned light 3 days ago. Should this help my plants or should I keep looking for a better light?
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-23-2018, 11:40 AM
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Hi!
I am part of the less experienced here but I will reply because I know how we as newbies wish for replies to our questions.
I think that your plants do not need a great amount of light and the one you have covers the whole tank and reaches the bottom.
What do you mean when you say your plants were not flourishing? In what way?
Do they have nutrients as in fertilizer and how often do you change the water?
I see you have algae on the rocks and wood. I will let the more experiensed help you with the balance.

My first consern though is the spigot. It looks to have the colour of copper or a copper alloy? This could kill your shrimp, especially if your water is acidic!
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-23-2018, 05:31 PM
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Hard to tell from the pics but I struggled at first with lighting, using stock led on a fairly tall tank. I'm sure there's better people on here to advise but it may be worth giving your current setup a go initially, you can read as much as you like but sometimes its trail and error. Worse case scenario is you loose a few plants.

If that fails I know a few people like the beamswork LED's which can be purchased on a budget. I'm assuming of course there could be other factors. It would be good to see an update after a few months.

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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-23-2018, 05:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Boris Swede View Post
Hi!
I am part of the less experienced here but I will reply because I know how we as newbies wish for replies to our questions.
I think that your plants do not need a great amount of light and the one you have covers the whole tank and reaches the bottom.
What do you mean when you say your plants were not flourishing? In what way?
Do they have nutrients as in fertilizer and how often do you change the water?
I see you have algae on the rocks and wood. I will let the more experiensed help you with the balance.

My first consern though is the spigot. It looks to have the colour of copper or a copper alloy? This could kill your shrimp, especially if your water is acidic!
Never even noticed the spigot, I think it's possibly brass as most are.

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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-23-2018, 06:48 PM
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Cool little jararium. I think the plants in there now are probably just fine with the light you have. How long has the tank been set up? A few days is not enough to diagnose some kind of trouble with nutrients or light, I think. Plants in many cases will need to convert themselves to your water, nutrients, and lights. Look to any new growth for indication of plant health.

Algae will need your hands on it at first, perhaps the plants and fauna will take it out after some time.

The spigot may become an issue, depending on lots of variables (pH, dissolved Oxygen, CO2 content, the actual metal composition of course, etc). I’ve had brass fittings in tanks with no issues, though these were designed for plumbing. Who knows about your spigot.


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I can only grow plants when they're completely under water. Everything else is doomed.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-23-2018, 07:46 PM
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To be safe I would smear some aquarium safe silicone over the spigot on the inside of the tank.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-24-2018, 12:46 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Proteus01 View Post
Cool little jararium. I think the plants in there now are probably just fine with the light you have. How long has the tank been set up? A few days is not enough to diagnose some kind of trouble with nutrients or light, I think. Plants in many cases will need to convert themselves to your water, nutrients, and lights. Look to any new growth for indication of plant health.

Algae will need your hands on it at first, perhaps the plants and fauna will take it out after some time.

The spigot may become an issue, depending on lots of variables (pH, dissolved Oxygen, CO2 content, the actual metal composition of course, etc). I’ve had brass fittings in tanks with no issues, though these were designed for plumbing. Who knows about your spigot.
The tank has been up for a couple months. I change the water 50% weekly at minimum. I treat the new water with a conditioner as well as a chemical specifically for nitrates/nitrates. The picture is a bit misleading as the algae is barely there, mostly on the actual glass. The snails are not earning their keep.
My concern is the tall plant losing leaves randomly as they decay and ruin water quality. Also I can't seem to grow any shorter plants to house the shrimp and baby guppy. Not sure why they won't flourish. I'm hoping the new light solves this but also very open to suggestions.
As for the spigot concerns, the 3 shrimp have been doing very well for weeks so I don't think it's an issue but it is something I had failed to consider.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-24-2018, 02:45 AM
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I’ve had no trouble growing various mosses and crypts in quite low light, perhaps try those? Maybe some emersed growth out the top can help, like pothos or anubias.
Snails definitely help me with algae control, but not all of it. If they find better food, they’ll eat that instead.

A desk lamp or other light can be added as an experiment to see if that perks up your sag/val/grassy plant. I’ve had lots of plants grow under a ‘40w replacement’ led desk lamp bulb. Other than that, perhaps some mineral is missing from your soil and water that it wants. In the meantime, keep up with removing the leaves that aren’t doing well, and enjoy.


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I can only grow plants when they're completely under water. Everything else is doomed.
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