5 Gallon Rimless / Edgeless Nano - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 12-28-2013, 03:06 AM Thread Starter
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5 Gallon Rimless / Edgeless Nano

Journal for my 5 gallon Nano:

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Tank: Found it at Meijer, all glass, rimless and rounded corners. Thought I was going to do a micro reef, but decided to try my hand at planted tanks intead.

Lighting: LED Par 30 Daylight (5000K)

Filter: Aquatop PF25-UV (5 stage filter with built in UV light)

Substrate: 1.5" organic potting soil covered in .5" fine gravel.

Plants: Moneywort, Dwarf Sag, Java Fern, some type of sword (not sure yet still smaller and the sales associate wasn't much help), Purple Waffle (yes, I know it is a dreaded plant, but got was not informed of this when purchased, no signs of decay after a month though). Corkscrew Val, Wisteria, tiger lotus, and some dwarf baby tears.

Fish: Small school of cardinal tetras.

I have keep reef tanks for years, but decided on a whim to give a planted tank a go. After having this for a month I am hooked, love seeing the fast results of growing plants as opposed to the months of waiting to see small progress in coral. Looking to possibly add a few red cherry shrimp next. No chemicals/ferts used. Everything at the moment seems to be happy and growing. The camera makes it seems as though the LED is making a "spotlight" effect, but it is not that noticeable in person.

Open to all suggestions and opinions!
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 12-29-2013, 04:21 AM Thread Starter
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I found the mini CO2 kit from fluval at petsmart today.


Most of the reviews state that it works well yet the cartridges need to be refilled often. I an hoping with a small tank this will be less of an issue. Either way it seems to be an interesting start into the realm of CO2 dosing a planted tank.
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 12-29-2013, 06:46 AM
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Nice tank. I'm actually pondering getting another 5-8 gallon nano as a shrimp tank soon.

Here's my years worth of experience of co2 in nano's:
I own 2 45g Ista co2 kits and 2 Fluval 88g kits.

Just a little background info, I have a 3 gallon nano a 8 gallon cube and 12 long tank that I co2 inject daily. All are injected 1-2 bubbles per second and run from 1 hour before lights on for about 6 hours or so or when the drop checker reads green. The 3 gallon has a 45g Ista on it and the 8 and 12 gallon tanks have Fluval 88g.

I have gone with kits instead of buying big regulators and huge co2 tanks for the following reasons: Being a beginner having everything come in one box is easier than reasearching what regulator works with what canister and where I can even refill the thing. The replacement cartrages are convenient to purcahse at local shops (help support them) or online for cheap. The kits usually look a lot sleeker than a huge canister the size of the tank itself so for esthetics I went with the kits. Provided you'd save more money in the long run with a big kit (3+years with a 5g tank) I feel the kits are still nice and easy for the money. Here's a breakdown of my experience.

Ista 45g: At $45 for the kit at Petco it was easy for me to go for this as a start into the world of co2 injection. I quickly learned that this system is fairly challenging in the regulating aspect. The slightest fraction of a turn makes this thing go from 0 to 60 bubbles per second and no thats not a racing joke haha. Anyways I've had trouble in the past with blowing the airline tubing off and either waisted a canister or killed fish :-(. I must say their 2 in 1 bubble counter/ defuser is very sleek and second to none that I've seen so far.

Fluval 88g: These range around $100 and I feel are a good buy for the money. The regulator valve is easy and consistent which in turn leads to a more steady bubble count. The inline bubble counter is also helpfull but have to say the defuser is OK. I've had the airline tubing blow off these a little easier than other defusers and actually purcahsed the 2 in 1 bubble counter/ defuser from Ista to replace both of the Fluval defusers. After I added the Ista 2 in 1 with keeping the Fluval in-line bubble counter on, co2 on this tank has been a dream. With two places to check the bubble count I have yet to blow the airline tubbing off the defuser.

Fluval 20G: Not having any experience I can't say too much about this system but I have seen it often and feel it would be a decent buy. I have heard it goes through canisters quite quickly but it really depends on how much you run your co2 at what bps and how big the tank is. I do find the co2 defuser on this to be a bit bulky so in a 5 gallon it might take up a decent chunk of room.

After some time of using the Ista system and un satisfied I decided to make my next purchase based on cost and effectiveness. Here's my breakdown that you might find useful

Running my tanks at 1-2 bps (or till drop checker hits green) each day I've concluded the following:
12 long tank best example:
1 Fluval 88g canister every 25 days which is 3.5g a day. 3.5g x 365 days a year = 1,277. 1,277 / 12 gallons = 106 grams of co2 you would use a year per gallon so with that your tank calculation for cost of each system to get replacement canisters would be as follows:
Your tank would use about 106g x 5 gallons = 530 grams per year.

Ista: $10 45g canister = $.22 per g 530 x .22=$117 a year
Fluval 20g: 3 pack $20 = $.33 per g 530 x .33=$175 a year
Fluval 88g: 3 pack $50 = $.19 per g 530 x .19=$101 a year

These are just projections based on what I pay to run my systems but regardless shows you the price difference between the systems using the same numbers. Also note these numbers are based off what I typically see for prices around me. I recently bought 4 Fluval 88g 3 packs for only $27 each with free shipping so my costs to run my 12 long for a year will only be $130 as apposed to $250 or so. Definetly look around but with co2 systems it really is you get what you pay for.

I know this is probably a lot to read but I've been in your exact shoes. If I had to do it all over again I would have bought the Fluval 88g and the Ista 2 in 1 bubble counter/defuser for all 3 tanks.

Best of luck!

75G, 29G, 20L, 12L, 10G, 5 Nano's, 3 Betta bowls

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Last edited by NanoDave; 12-29-2013 at 06:54 AM. Reason: typo
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