New low-tech nano. - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-23-2006, 11:07 PM Thread Starter
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New low-tech nano.

I'm going to be shortly seeting up a low-tech nano, and was hoping for some input from those who have already been there.
Tank: 5 gallon
Light: 11 watts of T-5 @6700K
Eclipse style filter with Bio-wheel (no co2, no need to worry about outgassing.)
Substrate: Onyx Gravel
Flora: Java or weeping or Christmas moss tied to driftwood. Petite Nana
Fauna: A few (~10) cherry shrimp to start, 3 guppies (1M to 2F).

Can I cycle this the same way that I cycled my high tech tank, or should I take a slower approach?
I was planning on putting the filter sponge (no carbon) in one my current canisters to seed it with the good bacteria for a few weeks. Add the plants, then followed by the shrimp, then finally the guppies.

If anyone can see any problems with my plan, or if you can suggest some other lowtech plants I'd love to know.

Thanks,
Walter

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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-24-2006, 01:32 AM
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sounds good.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-24-2006, 05:59 AM
 
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From what I can see, you should be just fine.

Make sure you take your time with the cycling which should be similar to a regular tank. Test and test. Nothing worse than putting together a nice tank and having it crash on you.

The java ferns are super easy to grow so I believe its a good choice.

I am all for CO2 though. Either a DIY or using some Excel. I prefer the DIY method.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-24-2006, 05:09 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the confirmation, and ideas.

I've done the DIY CO2 in the past (on a 55), and if I went that route, I would end up outgassing via the biowheel. I'm also hesitant because of the scale.

If it looks like CO2 is needed (algae growth, plants dying), I plan on going with the Excel because I really want this as low maintanance as possible.

Walter

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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-24-2006, 09:35 PM
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Definitely pack it in from the start and watch the algae. I have pretty much the same thing going cept I have 18w pc over it, and my petite nana is overrun by spot algae.
Baby tears are another good if not a bit fast growing plant for nano tanks.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-26-2006, 02:25 PM Thread Starter
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In general, surface turbulance will outgass CO2. That's the reason we generally don't use airstones (although some do at night). Bio-wheels generate a lot of turbulance, not just on the surface of the tank water, but in exposing the water to the air.

If you are using Excel for carbon, this becomes a non-issue.

HTH.

Walter

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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-26-2006, 06:11 PM
 
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I have almost the same set-up awaiting some cherry shrimp from White pine. Might want to make sure the filter intake is covered with a sponge or some such to prevent baby shrimp from getting "filtered" out!

Figgus soxus
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-27-2006, 01:14 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the Idea figgy, Sponge on the intake.

Walter

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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-28-2006, 12:37 AM
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Awesome. Glad to see a few people here interested in low-tech.

If you're serious about low-tech, you don't need a filter in a tank that small. Seriously. It may go against what lots of folks will say here, but it's true. There's a lot of "common knowledge" that works. But there's a lot of "uncommon knowledge" that also works.

I have a 2.5 gallon with no filter, planted well with a variety of plants. By the 1" to the gallon rule my tank should have crashed long ago. But it's easily the healthiest tank I've ever owned. Been running for well over a year now. My shrimp are reproducing like crazy. Very little algae. Very few water changes (once a month max). Zero ammonia, nitrite, nitrate. Stable ph, hardness. If you want to see more, just check my signature.

If you're serious about low-tech, the best place to start is to read Diana Walstad's Ecology of the Planted Aquarium. Be warned, it's not a pretty looking book. But there's nothing else like it. Aquabotanic Wet Thumb is also a good forum dedicated to "Walstad-style" aquariums - see the "el natural" sub-forum. There are some very experienced folks there that I've learned a lot from.

Also, just because you're not injecting CO2 doesn't mean the biowheel won't have an impact. You'd like to retain CO2 no matter what, whether it's naturally produced by respiration or it's artificially injected. Folks seem to like Excel... I've had some issues with it, so I don't see it as a magic cure all. To me, low-tech means not having to deal with stuff like that.

Anyhow, good luck and keep us posted!


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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-28-2006, 12:43 AM
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By the way, I think you're selection of plants/fish is great. Moss and shrimp were meant to be together IMHO . You might try a couple of rooted plants that will take nutrients from the substrate and keep it oxygenated. I know the nana has roots but I'm talking something like crypts, swords, vals.


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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-28-2006, 02:42 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the input littleguy. Maybe I'll use some compact chain swords for background plants. Not sure if I ever saw vals that will stay small enough for the 5 gallon. I really want to makea min-world scale in this tank.

BTW, You do make a good point on the Bio-wheel. The problem I forsee is that this is my Wife's tank, she wants guppies, and guppy babies. So I'm figuring that will put a higher bio-load.

I've been looking up some info from Diana Walstad that I can from the net. I might actually buy her book (first time for everything).

I'm a member at Wet Thumb, but haven't been there in a long time.

Right now, I'm chomping on the bit waiting for my driftwood order so that I can soak it a few weeks, add most to the 125, and order my shrimp and moss to get things going.

BTW, I just took a look at your tank thread, and actually read your thread when I first decided to go low-tech. It looks great.
I'm really trying to keep this as a low-light, low chemicals, low-maintainance tank. I have enough work with the big one.

Walter

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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-28-2006, 03:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tazcrash69
The problem I forsee is that this is my Wife's tank, she wants guppies, and guppy babies. So I'm figuring that will put a higher bio-load.
You might be surprised what a low-tech tank can do.... I certainly was. I have 6 shrimp, 3 male guppies, dozens of baby shrimp, and probably at least 30 malaysian & pond snails in my 2.5 gallon tank. Never would have believed it unless I saw it myself. Like I said - no ammonia or ANY problems with bioload. In fact, I notice the plants grow better and the algae grows even slower when I add MORE food than I think I need. Although I should point out that I'm using soil mixed with my substrate, and my lighting's a bit on the high side... but bottom line - plants can do a pretty amazing job filtering...

Quote:
Originally Posted by tazcrash69
BTW, I just took a look at your tank thread, and actually read your thread when I first decided to go low-tech. It looks great.
I'm really trying to keep this as a low-light, low chemicals, low-maintainance tank. I have enough work with the big one.
Wow I guess the net isn't such a big place after all . Glad you liked it. I hate maintenance too!

My philosophy is to make a tank that you can handle the maintenance on, then see what grows and thrives - and try not to get upset about stuff that doesn't like it... I think most folks do it the other way around... try to make the square peg fit in the round hole - and get tired of the maintenance eventually.

Good luck!


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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-08-2006, 04:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by littleguy
You might be surprised what a low-tech tank can do.... I certainly was. I have 6 shrimp, 3 male guppies, dozens of baby shrimp, and probably at least 30 malaysian & pond snails in my 2.5 gallon tank. Never would have believed it unless I saw it myself. Like I said - no ammonia or ANY problems with bioload. In fact, I notice the plants grow better and the algae grows even slower when I add MORE food than I think I need. Although I should point out that I'm using soil mixed with my substrate, and my lighting's a bit on the high side... but bottom line - plants can do a pretty amazing job filtering...
I totally had the same experience as you did littleguy. It's amazing how good the plants can grow without CO2 although just slower and different looking then their high light Co2 injected counterparts the growth is healthy and algae free. I also like only having to trim plants every 3 months.
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