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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-05-2005, 05:45 PM Thread Starter
 
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Hello, I'm new here. I have been doing aquariums for years off and on and recently started up a 3-gallon Eclipse planted tank. I used red flint sand as substrate (should have used plant substrate but was all excited about the tank and had a bunch of sand leftover from a previous tank) and have some lace rock and driftwood. I plan on using the standard small fluorescent bulb in the hood so I'm doing low-light plants. I've already got an anubias nana and a couple crypts. I'm gonna pick up some java fern at work today.

My question is, is what kind/s of additives would you recommend? I've got the pH down to about 6.5 and the temperature is about 78. I heard too much iron can harm crypts so I want to be careful if I do end up adding some. Also, I was thinking of adding a small plecostomus to the tank and was looking at clown plecos. Do these eat plants (like bristlenose)? Thanks in advance and I look forward to checking back here often.

Joe
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-05-2005, 06:04 PM
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Hey joe,
I have the same tank. I am planning to turn it into a planted tank as well. I am going with 26watts of PC light. I dont really think you will have to worry about adding anything to that talk as far as ferts. The factory light setup in that tank is so weak. You may not even be able to grow much in it at all. I believe the lighting is a 8 watt NO bulb. Hopefully some experts will come along and suggest if this is enough light. I am interested in hearing what they have to say as well. If you can grow plants in there, they will be fairly low light plants and you might do well with some general ferts. Lets see what the masters have to say.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-07-2005, 05:05 PM Thread Starter
 
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Jason...

Thanks for the reply. The other day I added some java moss, three small java ferns, and a banana plant. Everything seems to be doing well so far. I'm going to stop by the store today and pick up a couple algae eating shrimp. The tank hasn't even been up a week and it's nearly covered in algae. I enjoyed your website, BTW. I play drums and I love recording too (though I haven't done so in...oh, about four years). Thanks for the info.

Joe
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-07-2005, 09:31 PM
 
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Hi Joe, I'm fairly new to this forum as well, nice to meet you
The only algae-eating catfish I'd add to a 3g would be an oto or two. They stay really small and do a fantastic job. You said your tank is covered in algae (sorry to hear it!) - algae is a sign of imbalance in the tank. There's lots of great info here on algae, if you haven't checked it out already, it might help to do a search or read through old posts.
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Originally Posted by Twist
Do these eat plants (like bristlenose)?
Just had to clarify here - bristlenose (Ancistrus) catfish don't eat plants, they're great for planted tanks. They get too large for a 3g though, around 4-5".
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-10-2005, 06:33 AM
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Something is definately out of wack if you have a massive algae buildup in only a week's time. If you don't have any fish in the tank, here is what I would do:

1. Empty the tank completely and start over. Since you don't have that much time into it, then it might be a good idea to start fresh. This shouldn't be a big deal since it is such a small aquarium. It sounds like there might have been a phosphate/nitrate imbalance (possibly due to tap water if that is what you used).

2. Get some RO (Reverse Osmosis) drinking water from the store. Look for RO or Reverse Osmosis on the label on the bottle. I tend to use Deer Park drinking water.

3. If you are going to go with plants, then consider a different substrate. One of the benefits of having such a small tank is that you don't have to pay so much for the "good stuff". Normally I wouldn't say to ditch everything, but since I am suggesting a do over, then might as well do it over right.

4. When you get to the point where you can add fish after the tank cycles again, I would not use a pleco in the tank especially since you are going with plants. Plecos eat a number of different species of plants, and it might be better for you and the fish if you just avoid that entire experience. Go with some Otto's. They are great little fish and they will get the job done for you (for the most part). I have also have good luck with Rosy Barbs (not Neon Rosy Barbs). They tend to "pick" at other types of algae like hair and staghorn.

5. See if there are some other lighting options available for this setup. I have seen the built-in lights that the Eclipses use, and to me, they look to be extremely weak. If there is a way to retro fit the hood with some additional lighting then that might be the way to go.

6. Try to stay away from PH buffers. They tend to throw the phosphates out of wack and sometimes can lead to algae issues.

Are you using any ferts for your plants yet? That too might explain the new algae growth. Sometimes people get a little carried away dosing nano's with ferts, and it winds up causing an imballance which leads to extreme algae growth. The other thing is that when you add plants to an aquarium, and then you get an algae breakout, then that could be an indication that the plants are not consuming resources at the rate that they should be because of some condition within the tank, i.e. not enough lighting. Let us know what happens and keep us posted. Hopefully, your nano will be thriving in no time.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-16-2005, 08:25 PM Thread Starter
 
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An update

Well, it's been a few weeks now and everything is doing great. The algae problem I initially had has been eliminated. It simply...disappeared. I raised the temperature to 82, I think that may have helped. Anyway, the plants are already showing signs of growth. The java fern and java moss is slowly rooting into the driftwood and the banana plant is doing better than I thought. A plant book I read said banana plants typically gain a new leaf a month, but mine has grown four in a week (and shed one large leaf). My anubias is greener and the leaves are full and bright. I picked up five trifaciatus (sp?) pencil fish and three small algae-eating (milano) shrimp. Everything is doing really good. Thanks to all the advice from you all. I'd really like to get pictures soon and post them, we'll see. If anyone has any photos of a three-gallon nano planted tank, please post. I'd be very interested in seeing the potential. Thanks! I'll check back soon.

Joe
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-16-2005, 08:28 PM Thread Starter
 
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oh...

Forgot to add- my experience with bristlenose plecos is very different from yours. We got some medium ones (3-4 inches) in a while back and tried them in one of our 75 planted tanks at work. Within a week, nearly all of the broad-leafed plants (mostly various swords) had been devastated by these plecos. We saw them eat them like they were going out of style. Perhaps this isn't typical, but it happened at least once, so i won't take the risk

But thanks for the advice!
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