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post #1 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-06-2011, 02:34 PM Thread Starter
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Office Nano

So I'm sitting here at work, wanting to get home and start construction of my DIY CO2 system, and wishing I had a tank to look at right now. Thus my sudden interest in a small 1 or 2 gal nano tank for cubicle use. Couple of questions, as I'm no expert.

I see the nano fish list sticky, so I won't ask about those... and I intend to just clip some java fern from my home tank to start here. My questions are more on substrate, lighting, filtration, and the tank.

I was intending to just go to PetSmart and buy the smallest tank they have. What substrate would you recommend for it? I use eco-complete on my main tank, but I don't want to buy a whole bag of it for this nano. My office lights are on probably 10 hours a day, and the tank would not be exposed to direct sunlight. Is that adequate, or should I look into an LED strip or something?

Lastly, I imagine for filtration they just make little mini sponge filters? Being in a quiet office, I would need it to be basically silent... I don't know if that's even possible. Is a filter even necessary?

I'm sure these questions have all been answered before, but I didn't see any comprehensive guide. So any advice on a small nano setup for beginners would be much appreciated!
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post #2 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-06-2011, 04:43 PM
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tank wise you can always do the fluval spec... it may not be the cheapest tank you can find but IMO its worth the extra money. I have been running mine with the stock lighting for about 4 months and I have had no issues. plus it would be a clean look for your office.
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post #3 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-06-2011, 04:44 PM Thread Starter
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Well now I'm looking to do something similar to this Walstead bowl.

https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/pl...wl-office.html

Sounds like the perfect way to get a little life at the desk without bothering anyone.

Still looking for advice on what to make the substrate out of and what to do for lighting. I guess I'll just have to go to Home Depot and buy the smallest bags of top soil and play sand I can find. Does anyone have alternate suggestions that don't involve me buying 20x more sand than I need?

As for lighting, would an LED desk lamp work? I don't know how well LEDs work for plant growth. If not, what kind of wattage on a CFL desk lamp should I be looking for?
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post #4 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-06-2011, 04:47 PM Thread Starter
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Hmm thanks that is an option for sure. Is it noisy at all? My office is really quiet, trying to keep the buzzing to a low, hence my new interest in a Walstad bowl with no filter.
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post #5 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-06-2011, 04:54 PM
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Originally Posted by buffheman View Post
Hmm thanks that is an option for sure. Is it noisy at all? My office is really quiet, trying to keep the buzzing to a low, hence my new interest in a Walstad bowl with no filter.
The tank is actually very quite. There is basically no buzzing. It truly is a great tank. Everything you need is basically right behind the false wall. The only thing I wish was that it came with a heater.
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post #6 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-06-2011, 04:58 PM Thread Starter
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My office is pretty regulated in the mid 70s all the time, so I'm not worried about temperature. I don't know how they'd feel about me having an aquarium plugged in vs just another desk light to go with the bowl idea.
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post #7 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-06-2011, 05:02 PM
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well if you dont need a heater then its basically 2 plugs... One for the light and one for the return pump.
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post #8 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-06-2011, 05:10 PM Thread Starter
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Cool... well maybe I'll just do both! Then decide which one is more office appropriate, and keep the other at home on an end table or something. It definitely looks nice.

What do you use for your substrate in there?
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post #9 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-06-2011, 05:12 PM
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no such thing as too many tanks
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post #10 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-06-2011, 06:46 PM Thread Starter
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Regardless of what setup I decide to go with, can someone help me with a practical way to get a substrate for this? I don't have anything sitting around, used all my eco-complete on my 29gal.

Is there anyway to get sand/potting mix without buying a 50lb bag? Or anything other good substrate ideas for a nano tank? I've considered just buying another bag of EC, but I'd kind of like to try something different.
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post #11 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-06-2011, 07:17 PM
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the organic soil costs $4 or so for a standard sized bag (i'm guessing its below 5lbs). the sand you could get from a playground or shore or something easy like that. you wont need much at all for a bowl.




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post #12 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-06-2011, 07:26 PM Thread Starter
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Ah that's a good idea. I'm sure I can find a sandy playground somewhere... they won't miss a couple handfuls.
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post #13 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-06-2011, 07:33 PM
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just remember to rinse it real well and maybe boil the sand before using.




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post #14 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-08-2011, 11:17 PM Thread Starter
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Ok... so it begins. Thanks to inspiration from Ozydego, I went the bowl route... the same bowl, to be precise. Right now, I have some java fern and anubias planted, with some anacharis and miscellaneous other plants floating around... the anacharis isn't floating as well as I thought it would. So it looks kind of messy right now... but it's up and going. Don't really know what to do next... just give it some time I suppose. Oh, and I got the light from Home Depot with a 14W CFL. Seems kind of bright, honestly...

Not sure what kind of life I'm going to put in it... I'd like to have a beta and maybe something else it won't kill. I hear betas are hit and miss with shrimp. We'll see... that'll be a while. I'll move it to my office once things are established and I deem it office worthy.

Thoughts?
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post #15 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-08-2011, 11:26 PM
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no betta in a 1 gallon...but shrimp should be good.

also you seemed to have missed the organic soil part that makes these bowls so practical/easy as planted tanks, but i suppose you could remedy with root tabs or something like that...

looks like a good start. i recommend salvinia or frogbit for floaters though. they multiply fast and will block out the bright light to create the perfect environment for lower light plants.

also a DW piece with some moss on it would look great




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