New 5 Gallon Top Fin Retreat Tank Day 1 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-01-2020, 07:52 PM Thread Starter
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New 5 Gallon Top Fin Retreat Tank Day 1

My first Nano Planted Shrimp tank. Ive got Fluval Stratum substrate. Im thinking of just doing some type of black or gray rock and some dwarf hair grass. Im wanting to keep Blue Velvet Dream Shrimp and Cardinal Tetra. Havent decided if i want to add sand on top or just leave it like it is.

Any thoughts and tips.

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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-03-2020, 02:32 AM
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You might to add a bit of Flourite Sand (or darker Sand) to this, though it will eventually fall through the larger granules of the Stratum and remain at the bottom. Hairgrass will have a difficult time growing in Stratum, I find that the substrate size won't keep the Eleocharis in long enough to root. Stratum is nice, but if I were to ever use it again, I'd mix an equal amount of Flourite Black Sand into it as well.

Hardscape, a Seiryu Stone would be nice in there. They are a nice Grey rock with interesting features.

5GAL is way to small for Cardinal Tetras, in fact other than a Boraras species (or any fish that barely hits an 1") would be comfortable in there. Cardinals can get to 1.5", need to be in groups of at least 5 and require space to swim, something a 5GAL can't accommodate.

You'll also need to heat this tank, how are you accomplishing that? Is there a heater in the overflow section? Without heat, you are going to be really limited on fish species. Never rely on Room Temperature as it can vary too much and stress the fish/inhabitants.

Gary
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-04-2020, 08:06 AM Thread Starter
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You might to add a bit of Flourite Sand (or darker Sand) to this, though it will eventually fall through the larger granules of the Stratum and remain at the bottom. Hairgrass will have a difficult time growing in Stratum, I find that the substrate size won't keep the Eleocharis in long enough to root. Stratum is nice, but if I were to ever use it again, I'd mix an equal amount of Flourite Black Sand into it as well.



Hardscape, a Seiryu Stone would be nice in there. They are a nice Grey rock with interesting features.



5GAL is way to small for Cardinal Tetras, in fact other than a Boraras species (or any fish that barely hits an 1") would be comfortable in there. Cardinals can get to 1.5", need to be in groups of at least 5 and require space to swim, something a 5GAL can't accommodate.



You'll also need to heat this tank, how are you accomplishing that? Is there a heater in the overflow section? Without heat, you are going to be really limited on fish species. Never rely on Room Temperature as it can vary too much and stress the fish/inhabitants.



Gary
I was thinking about doing some sand also. I do have a heater shoved down where the pump is behind the gray wall. Was thinking of getting another internal filter of some sort. The rock you mentioned is exactly what i was looking for.

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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-04-2020, 02:42 PM
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You can definitely dump some sand in ontop of the stratum and that will help hold down plants. I recently capped stratum with an equal amount of pool filter sand. It worked fine with the exception that the stratum being much lighter likes to get up to the surface so expect it to mix a bit. You can see the results at the end of my Spec V journal thread linked in my signature.

If you like the look of black substrates then certainly you could use black sand of your choice instead of lighter colored sands.

Other things to consider, I would modify the filter a bit by taking out the little cartridge it came with and throwing it as far away from you as possible. Then get a dog to carry it farther away and bury it. Then hire someone to put a 2 ton rock over it with a marker in 3 languages saying not to dig it up.

Then take some filter sponge and shove it in there instead. Just make sure it goes down deep enough to cover the inlet slits at the bottom. The filter sponge will be good forever, just once every few months take it out and rinse it in some used tank water when doing a water change.

According to an old aquarium co-op review the stock light should be good enough to grow hairgrass at around 30 par at substrate.

Good luck!
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-06-2020, 03:55 PM Thread Starter
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You can definitely dump some sand in ontop of the stratum and that will help hold down plants. I recently capped stratum with an equal amount of pool filter sand. It worked fine with the exception that the stratum being much lighter likes to get up to the surface so expect it to mix a bit. You can see the results at the end of my Spec V journal thread linked in my signature.



If you like the look of black substrates then certainly you could use black sand of your choice instead of lighter colored sands.



Other things to consider, I would modify the filter a bit by taking out the little cartridge it came with and throwing it as far away from you as possible. Then get a dog to carry it farther away and bury it. Then hire someone to put a 2 ton rock over it with a marker in 3 languages saying not to dig it up.



Then take some filter sponge and shove it in there instead. Just make sure it goes down deep enough to cover the inlet slits at the bottom. The filter sponge will be good forever, just once every few months take it out and rinse it in some used tank water when doing a water change.



According to an old aquarium co-op review the stock light should be good enough to grow hairgrass at around 30 par at substrate.



Good luck!
What is the best filter media to put in place of the stock filter cartridge?

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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-06-2020, 04:55 PM
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What is the best filter media to put in place of the stock filter cartridge?

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Filter sponge, also called poret foam. Any fish store you go to will sell it in sheets (typically oversized square sheets) just cut it to shape and size and shove it in. You want it to take up as much space as possible without being so tight that you need to use real force to get it in or remove it. It comes in different densities, you will want a relatively fine density without being the finest available, if that makes sense.


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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-06-2020, 05:08 PM Thread Starter
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Filter sponge, also called poret foam. Any fish store you go to will sell it in sheets (typically oversized square sheets) just cut it to shape and size and shove it in. You want it to take up as much space as possible without being so tight that you need to use real force to get it in or remove it. It comes in different densities, you will want a relatively fine density without being the finest available, if that makes sense.
Is this good and does it have to be used in combination with some polishing cloth?

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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-06-2020, 06:38 PM
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This will work. If you find yourself needing more water polishing you can get a finer mesh.


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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-07-2020, 11:23 PM Thread Starter
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So this is the Black Seriyu Stone that I ordered from ADA Tank supply. 6lbs of stone for 25 bucks free shipping. Not bad i didnt think. But not all the smaller stones really match yhe larger stoner. Almost looks like a different stone if you didnt know any better. But my question is is it turned my tank cloudy after I put it in and I just started the cycling process with Dr. Tims Ammonium chloride. I do have some black onyx sand from seachem to put on top of the Stratum. What do yall think of the rock design. I know it hard to see. Please any feedback will be appreciated. I plan on taking some of the Stratum out before putting the black oynx sand in and planting dwarf hairgrass.

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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-08-2020, 02:52 AM
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I like the layout. Too bad the smaller pieces weren't what you expected. Some smaller pieces around the larger rocks would finish it. Other than that, cool. What are you considering for a carpet plant?

Gary
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-08-2020, 04:23 AM Thread Starter
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I think dwarf hair grass. And maybe some moss on the rocks

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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-08-2020, 10:24 AM
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Eleocharis acicularis 'mini' is the smallest of the lot. I have this in my Nano. Only grows to 1.5" Tall. Though trimming it is a pain the end result is a nice looking tank.

Gary


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