Any Suggestions? :( - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-29-2020, 01:02 AM Thread Starter
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Any Suggestions? :(

Tank size is 2.5 gallons, Sits at 70 Fahrenheit, I have no test kit (Any suggestions), dosing the tank with API leaf zone, no stocking other than a few pond snails holding the "fort" down. I already have some clovers and moss balls. But I plan to put in some rotala indica, anubias nana petit, and a red ludwigia. Id like to put some RCS in maybe? Please excuse the childlike drawing. Any suggestions? also, light with 6 watts a gallon ish.
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-29-2020, 01:35 AM
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What is the light (manufacturer)?
What is the substrate?
Do you plan on having fish?
What is your filter setup?
What is your water source and do you use a water softener?

You may benefit from a better option than API Leaf Zone, but let's get some answers first.

Please look up each of your plants to determine what, if any, special needs they may have. With this, you can see better if you are meeting the needs of the plant. Here is a website that may help: https://www.flowgrow.de/

I'd get these basic test kits:
NO3: Salifert
PO4: API
GH/KH: API or Sera
Total ammonia: Salifert

You will also need a heater that is good for your tank size if you plan to have fish.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-29-2020, 01:48 AM Thread Starter
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Nicrew is the light manufacture. The substrate is "polymer-coated silica sand" it has no special qualities I'm aware of. I'm planning on having 5 to 8 red cherry shrimp once I have gotten the tank settled. I trying to use plants as the only filter with water changes every 5 days. I use my tap water as a water source and use Fluval total protection. I don't think I will need any co2 from the research I've done.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-29-2020, 02:43 AM
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OK. The Nicrew will be fine for your low-tech tank (low-tech meaning low-medium light and no CO2 injected). Depending upon your fauna load you may need a filter, but you can try without one and see if your plants can handle the organics, so long as you keep up with the water changes and watch the ammonia. If I were you, I would get Seachem's "Ammonia Alert." It is placed on the inside of the tank and will allow you to see ammonia levels with a quick glance. You can remove it once you're confident you have a stable, ammonia-free, environment. Filters can do a lot in terms of keeping the organics down and trapping debris. So, keep in mind that even a small one could do a lot for you.

Sounds like the substrate is inert, so all of your fertilizer can come from the water column. When you get your test kits, test your tap waters' GH. In the meantime, check this forum for the ideal GH and pH conditions for your shrimp. You may need to use something like "Salty Shrimp" depending upon what you find your GH to be.

For the plants, they will need the three macros: N (nitrogen), P (phosphorus) and K (potassium). The Leaf Zone only supplies K and iron. In a low-tech setup, fish waste will usually supply enough N and P, but I don't know how many shrimp are needed to do that job. So you will probably need to add N and P. Additionally, plants need trace minerals. If it were me, I'd get rid of the Leaf Zone and buy something like NilocG's "Thrive S" to feed your plants everything they will need.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-29-2020, 12:40 PM Thread Starter
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I don't think I will be able to get a sponge filter in because the airline tubing will get squished between my lid and my tank.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-29-2020, 02:54 PM
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I don't think I will be able to get a sponge filter in because the airline tubing will get squished between my lid and my tank.
I didn't notice the lid. I agree that putting a filter in the tank would be an unnecessary eyesore. I would suggest the smallest HOB you can find (I have one on a 2-gallon QT). You may have to cut the lid or find a different lid if yours can't be modified. One of the primary benefits of a filter, in your case, will be to provide much-needed circulation. You will need to move the water around to get the nutrients to the plants and you should have the water surface rippling to get good gas exchange.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-29-2020, 03:00 PM
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My advice is to either get a filter (best choice here would be a small submersible internal filter, smallest one you can find), or to tear everything out and redo it with an active substrate (like aquasoil) and more plants. It is possible to do a tank with plants only and no filter, but you really need to have nice healthy plants. Right now the only fertilizer your plants are getting is whatever is in api leaf zone which is not particularly well thought of. Without an active substrate you will struggle.

Your tank is only 2.5 gallons so for less then 20 dollars you will have more then enough aquasoil to put in this aquarium.

You also need more plants especially those stem plants. Without them you will get a lot of algae blooms that will be difficult to deal with.

With any active substrate you will also need to do a lot of water changes at the start. If you want to go this route let us know and we can give you more advice.

Or you can just get a filter.

To clear up your water you have a few options. Right now you have a bacteria bloom (likely) and that is why your water is so cloudy. There are a lot of things you can do to fix it but probably the easiest (if it works) is to go buy some tetra safe start. Its a bottled bacteria product that will give your aquarium the "right kind" of bacteria it should have. This will potentially solve your water clarity issue.

Good luck.


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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-29-2020, 08:08 PM Thread Starter
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I don't think I could change the soil. Could I just use a fertilizer pellet that goes into the soil or a good fertilizer?
also for the water circulation, I could maybe drill a hole in the glass and put a pump in.


https://www.amazon.ca/Jebao-PP-377-S...20418376&psc=1
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-29-2020, 09:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A Small Brain View Post
I don't think I will be able to get a sponge filter in because the airline tubing will get squished between my lid and my tank.
Quote:
Originally Posted by A Small Brain View Post
I don't think I could change the soil. Could I just use a fertilizer pellet that goes into the soil or a good fertilizer?
also for the water circulation, I could maybe drill a hole in the glass and put a pump in.


https://www.amazon.ca/Jebao-PP-377-S...20418376&psc=1
Alright, let's take a step back here. First of all, if you have a lid that completely covers the top, you need to make a change. If you're not going to be able to get an air hose in the tank, you won't get a power cord for an internal filter in. And obviously, this rules out everything else filtration wise - HOB and canister. Since you don't have any fish, you don't need a lid at all currently. This will allow better gas exchange which is an important piece of the puzzle. With a closed box, as it is now, with stagnant water, there's virtually zero gas exchange. Beneficial bacteria need oxygen to reproduce, plants need oxygen, animals need oxygen, etc.. So, unless you're getting fish that are a leap risk, or maybe Amano shrimp, you don't need the lid. And regardless, you need a lid that doesn't completely cover the top.

You'll need water movement, and I think you've got some good recommendations here already. I'd just ditch the lid and stick a mini sponge filter in there or a small HOB. Sponges are shrimp safe, HOB's would require a sponge or other modification over the inlet to keep shrimplets out.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-30-2020, 01:15 AM
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Sponges are shrimp safe, HOB's would require a sponge or other modification over the inlet to keep shrimplets out.
...or a stainless steel pre-filter.
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-30-2020, 01:40 AM Thread Starter
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well, thanks for the tips. I'm kinda new-ish and just was looking to not screw up again.
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-30-2020, 02:17 AM
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Another thing about the lid, if it has the tank completely covered it will interfere with gaseous with the atmosphere, this is where low techs get most of their co2. A little surface agitation goes a long way here too (still need an open space in the top).

Leaf Zone has iron and potassium. It can be OK for tanks with a decent fish load, which *can provide all the other nutrients except those two. Really its for fish tanks that have a couple live plants and thats it. Its not going to support a heavily planted tank with no fish or just a few shrimp.

With your set up you're going to need a more complete fertilizer. Ive never used it but from what I understand 'Easy Green' from Aquarium Co-op is a pretty good all-in-one for low techs


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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-30-2020, 02:49 AM
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Another thing about the lid, if it has the tank completely covered it will interfere with gaseous with the atmosphere, this is where low techs get most of their co2. A little surface agitation goes a long way here too (still need an open space in the top).

Leaf Zone has iron and potassium. It can be OK for tanks with a decent fish load, which *can provide all the other nutrients except those two. Really its for fish tanks that have a couple live plants and thats it. Its not going to support a heavily planted tank with no fish or just a few shrimp.

With your set up you're going to need a more complete fertilizer. Ive never used it but from what I understand 'Easy Green' from Aquarium Co-op is a pretty good all-in-one for low techs
There are a number of different all-in-one liquid ferts--each with their own fan base. I've been fertilizing my low tech with NiloG's Thrive, and it's living up to its name. It comes in a few different versions, and even in dry form so you can customize and "roll your own" as they say. He's a member on here, and I like supporting forum members. And he's very patient about answering newbie questions.
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-31-2020, 07:07 PM Thread Starter
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Would Tropica Specialised Fertiliser be a better fertilizer? I can't find any other of your suggestions in my stores.
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-31-2020, 07:13 PM
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Would Tropica Specialised Fertiliser be a better fertilizer? I can't find any other of your suggestions in my stores.
Absolutely


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