First planted tank plans, 5 gal - The Planted Tank Forum
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  • 1 Post By darren in tacoma
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-19-2020, 11:04 PM Thread Starter
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First planted tank plans, 5 gal

Hello Peeps.
This is my first planted tank project. Having kept reef tanks for several years I thought I would get this party started with something small so my mistakes won't be so costly. As you know, there is a plethora of advice to wade through before buying so this is my plan:

I already have the tank, a 5 gal Aquatop with a 4.3w led.

I doubt this light is designed for growth so I am assuming output is in the low to med range.

So I am starting with a substrate of Amazonia aqua soil with some inert black sand over the top in strategic locations. The centerpiece will be a bonsai tree with weeping moss as a canopy and christmas moss for ground cover. Some Dwarf Hair Grass along the rear of the display to cover up the back panel and give a little depth. A few rocks for a little more structure for the livestock and to compliment the Bonsai.

For fish I'm thinking of 5 to 10 Chili Rasboras, perhaps some Cherry Shrimp if this little tank can handle the bioload.

Does this sound like a reasonable little tank, you know, just to get my feet wet?
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-19-2020, 11:33 PM
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Protip: Don't cover aquasoil with sand. If you want to cap something, just use Miracle Grow Organic potting soil. Aquasoil is meant to be on its own.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-19-2020, 11:49 PM
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I've capped aquasoil in 2 tanks now and it works fine with the exception that aquasoil is lighter then the sand so it has a tendancy to work it's way to the surface. I've never heard of any reason not to cap aquasoil, it's just dirt that's been treated is all.

Anyway your plan sounds fine except for the christmas moss for ground cover.. That one is challenging because the moss doesn't like to grow on say sand or aquasiol. It's going to want to cling to something with structure. You can put down mesh and have the moss cover that but its going to take many months to get it to fill in and in the meantime its not going to look great... Low tech doesn't do carpets very well unless you either a) do a dry start, b) use a LOT of plants, or c) wait a long time (years not weeks). You may wish to take this into account when figuring out your aquascape and plan accordingly.


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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-21-2020, 01:28 AM Thread Starter
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Good info. Thanks.

I researched dry start and that is a bit too much for my inexperienced self. I think Monte Carlo would be a better choice than the moss. I look forward to posting pics in the coming months.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-21-2020, 02:46 AM
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You can try a marsilea species for a low tech "carpet" - I think hirstuta stays smallest.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-21-2020, 06:37 PM
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Are you not afraid the shrimps will just multiply in such a small tank, I am starting 8Gal, and i was thinking about 3 Amano shrimps.


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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-22-2020, 02:16 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pompiduk View Post
Are you not afraid the shrimps will just multiply in such a small tank, I am starting 8Gal, and i was thinking about 3 Amano shrimps.
I have no idea. I guess I can just trade or give them away if they multiply.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-25-2020, 09:01 PM Thread Starter
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Plans changed and we finally got this thing going. My wife and I decided to use plants we could buy locally so we have some Dwarf Hairgrass, S. Repens and some Roseafolia. We have a lot of ammonia leaching from the substrate so we are doing a lot of water changes and dosing Stability, thus, no fish yet.

We dumped the little light that came with the tank and bought a 15 watt Fluval Nano. I wish the light had it's own remote instead of relying on a smartphone app to control it, but still a pretty nice little light.

We are also dosing iron and we have the Co2 reg and diffuser coming on Friday.

Last, but certainly not least, my wife has been begging for a campfire all winter, so there ya go baby!
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