Starting my first planted tank (5.5gal)(Need Help/advice!) - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-27-2012, 11:01 PM Thread Starter
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Starting my first planted tank (5.5gal)(Need Help/advice!)

Hey guys,

So i've lurked for a while and I've decided I want to stop messing around and get a planted tank. A little history first though.

I started off with a 3 gal plastic tank back when I was 15ish that I filled with probably too many fish but it still thrived. Plants were plastic and it had just plain gravel as substrate. I did my weekly water changes, etc. I eventually wanted a bigger tank so I could have more fish. I purchased a 20 gal and with help from my local aquarium store stocked it with probably around 12 fish, right at about the limit. Unfortunately, due to some questionable fish I bought, disease and infection set in and I was unable to stop them from basically killing my tank.

Fast forward to today and the lone survivor (my Khuli loach) is back in the 3 gal I re-purposed. Since I have plenty of room in my 3 gal, I went ahead and bought a betta about 2 weeks ago, so currently I have two fish. While I was buying the beta, I saw they had a sale of their 5.5 gal tanks, so I went ahead and bought the tank and cover.

I've recently found out about planted tanks and the idea appeals to me because it's so much more natural for the fish.

Basically want I want is a planted 5.5 gal tank, populated with probably around 5 cherry barbs (or neon's, etc), my betta, and my khuli loach, as well as an Olive Nerite Snail (don't reproduce in freshwater!).

What I need advice on is the type of lighting I should buy (or bulb), substrate, plants to buy, and fertilization techniques etc.

- For lighting, the aquarium store I bought my betta has a flourescant lighting housing that is about 35 bucks made for that 5.5 gal.

- I saw this post on substrate, seems practical? https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/su...mts-aaron.html

- I've uploaded a picture of how I want my tank to look from the top down.

- I'm also attaching some videos/pictures of cool plants I'm interested in.

Thanks guys for all your help! If there are stickies I didn't see that answer some of my questions, please direct me towards them, and then i'll update this thread

Stradevarius




Here is a video of a really cool carpet http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...&v=Hk1_NhdDJvg

These rocks are really cool (what type!) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nYto2...eature=related

I want my driftwood to look this with the plant growing off of it http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SNVNL...eature=related
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-27-2012, 11:12 PM
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Reconsider your stocking. A 5.5 is only suitable for the betta. The barbs are not. Even if you stocked in larger tank the barbs would rip apart the betta. Kuhli loach should be in numbers and the 20 long you had would be perfect for a group with the betta and some harlequin.

I recommend stick with that 20L and use that 5.5 as a quarantine tank to prevent previous disaster. And you took right step to come on here first to research and ask. Always wait before purchasing because if you don't know what your buying there is a huge chance of disaster. Don't always rely on the stores labeling as sometimes fish are labeled false.

Not sure how all of this happened on time line basis but make sure you cycle first and add several fish at a time not all at once. All I can suggest at end is take time. Be patient and research..

Good luck. Happy fishkeeping.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-28-2012, 12:39 AM Thread Starter
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Why would having some small tetras or cherry barbs (my previous cherry barbs were very docile) be bad? They are quite small and the rule is 1 inch per gallon (they will probably be smaller than 1 inch), and I have a 5.5gal. The Kuhli loach was in a group but because of that 20 gal tank mess up, the others didn't make it. The loach is quite happy though, very vibrant and loves to play.

Since i'm going to college right now, I don't really have room for my 20 gal, as much as I wish I did. I haven't planted anything yet, I just want advice on whether my layout I drew looks good and for advice on substrate, etc. I appreciate your feedback and will definitely take the combined advice these forums offer.

Stradevarius
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-28-2012, 01:51 AM
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While the tetra or barbs are peaceful they will still possibly nip the betta long fins or the betta could attack them. When housing betta with other fish its preferred to have a larger tank.. I'm just looking out for the sake of the fish.

The 5.5 doesn't provide enough room for a school of most fish. I have seen people do white cloud minnows in a 5.5 and they are supposedly hardy.

While there are nano fish out there the easiest one for you to get your hands on is prob the white clouds or a betta. You possibly could do the betta with kuhlis in the 5.5 but its not optimal. I have lost a few kuhlis as you have which were most likely sensitivity to water conditions/stress..


As for the one inch per gallon. That's not a reliable thing to base fishkeeping on. It's a basic guideline. You won't put a 20 inch fish in that 20 long. It relies on multiple factors that includes each individual fishes needs and filtration.

Im a college student and I know time would be hard and highly stocking a small tank isn't advisable. Also since your going away it would be easier to take home just the betta in that 5.5. Heavily planted 5.5 gals with a beautiful betta is simple and wonderful IMO. You might be able to find a docile betta and house with cherry shrimp but that could easily result in a full betta... some would suggest dwarf corydoras or some Otos. But that's up to your preference.

Definitely do combine suggestions it's the best way. Good luck!
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-28-2012, 01:56 AM
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Sorry forgot to suggest. Endler livebearers are a good fish for you as well.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-28-2012, 05:50 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kworker View Post
While the tetra or barbs are peaceful they will still possibly nip the betta long fins or the betta could attack them. When housing betta with other fish its preferred to have a larger tank.. I'm just looking out for the sake of the fish.

The 5.5 doesn't provide enough room for a school of most fish. I have seen people do white cloud minnows in a 5.5 and they are supposedly hardy.

While there are nano fish out there the easiest one for you to get your hands on is prob the white clouds or a betta. You possibly could do the betta with kuhlis in the 5.5 but its not optimal. I have lost a few kuhlis as you have which were most likely sensitivity to water conditions/stress..


As for the one inch per gallon. That's not a reliable thing to base fishkeeping on. It's a basic guideline. You won't put a 20 inch fish in that 20 long. It relies on multiple factors that includes each individual fishes needs and filtration.

Im a college student and I know time would be hard and highly stocking a small tank isn't advisable. Also since your going away it would be easier to take home just the betta in that 5.5. Heavily planted 5.5 gals with a beautiful betta is simple and wonderful IMO. You might be able to find a docile betta and house with cherry shrimp but that could easily result in a full betta... some would suggest dwarf corydoras or some Otos. But that's up to your preference.

Definitely do combine suggestions it's the best way. Good luck!
Thanks for the advice. I checked out the endler livebearers and they look like a good schooling fish, but I would definitely be primarily interested in establishing my betta and kuhli in the 5.5 gal first, then MAYBE add some fish.

Anyone have any recommendations as to my layout, types of plants, substrate, lighting, etc?

Stradevarius
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-28-2012, 02:16 PM
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I recommend using sand so that it is easier for the kuhli to do its thing and borrow. Whatever layout you decide upon you should make sure there are very dense areas for when the kuhli is out he can retreat into that, because when they freak out they certainly do that and fly around the tank quick. With more areas densely planted they will feel alot more secure. So also with the sand make sure you make it of somewhat decent depth and get a nice peice of driftwood for it to somewhat have a roof over its head because they like to directly borrow under things and make a little area of their own. with plants I would recommend Anubis, Crypts, Ferns. Your going to want to stick with low tech being away in school. And those types are just that.
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