Decided 4gal planted 56K - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 65 (permalink) Old 10-03-2007, 10:12 PM Thread Starter
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Decided 4gal planted 56K

Hello,
I was given a 5 gal tank a few years ago and it has been used as a betta tank, guppy fry tank, terrarium, etc But now I want to use it for a planted nano. I measured it and the volume came out to be 3.80. So I guess my 5 gal tank was really a 4; but I am going to count it as a 3gal.
Heres the issue:

The only gravel I can get is inert gravel... unless i want to get laterite in which case its $40 at the LFS for just a teeny little bag of it. So im stuck with inert gravel. Shipping fluorite or eco complete here is just rediculious for prices so unfortunately thats a no as well.

I have a desk lamp that I plan on using to light the tank. Previously it had no light whatsoever except what it received through a window (but that was in another house). I have seen mixed answers. Some people say 11watts CF some say 18wattcf and some say 23. Which is better for a tank this size?

To help out the plants I would like to keep... If i can find them are pearlweed, nana, and rotala rotundiloia (is that even the right spelling?? lol)

There is a filter, however there is no heater and currently the temperature stays at 65F. When I turn up the heat in the room a bit more the temp should rise more however I want to use this temp as my base.

So the questions are:
What light would work best? (its a curly flourescent bulb),
Would these plants be okay in such a cold temp (65F)?
What others could you suggest for such cold water if these dont work?
How the heck am I going to fertilize them? (no Co2) Would just liquid ferts be okay? I also have Jobes fern plant sticks would those be okay in such a small tank?

Oh just for future reference which I havent decided yet nor am I gonna get any time soon is fish.
I am looking at Zebra danio, and white clouds. Only 1 species for the tank and only 3 or 4 of them.

Thanks in advance
-Ska

Last edited by skabooya; 10-19-2007 at 08:17 PM.
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post #2 of 65 (permalink) Old 10-04-2007, 12:13 AM Thread Starter
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So I checked out this site: www.aquatic-gardeners.org
And I wish i had seen it sooner It answers most of my questions... I think. Tell me if im on the right track.

4gal tank
Black inert gravel
13watts CF
Pearlweed or hemianthus micranthemoides
petit nana
and some other plant not sure which yet
Ferts are root tabs prob Jobes (becase my LFS caries bleep) and whatever the LFS has for water column fertilizing

Okay so what do you think?
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post #3 of 65 (permalink) Old 10-04-2007, 12:15 AM
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4 gal tank, check.
Black inert gravel, check
I'd go with a higher wattage CF bulb.
Ferts? I'd just dose a little Excel now and then. If it's too much light, just move the desk lamp a bit farther away. =p
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post #4 of 65 (permalink) Old 10-04-2007, 01:13 AM Thread Starter
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What wattage would you suggest?
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post #5 of 65 (permalink) Old 10-04-2007, 01:50 AM
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i have a 26w twist fluorescent bulb over my 2.5g.


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post #6 of 65 (permalink) Old 10-04-2007, 02:13 AM
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If you use a screw-in style CF bulb, I would see if you can try and find full spectrum "U-Tube" lights, with uses two or more "U-Tubes", rather than spirals, which provides better light and less restrike.

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post #7 of 65 (permalink) Old 10-04-2007, 03:45 AM Thread Starter
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I have only seen one of those which is a trilight bulb. But that is 32 watts. That is way way too much wattage.
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post #8 of 65 (permalink) Old 10-04-2007, 06:33 AM
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I had 27 over my 3 gallon.
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post #9 of 65 (permalink) Old 10-04-2007, 02:43 PM
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I have 27w over my 3g...works nicely. I use DIY CO2 and ferts. I have some algae issues, but so do all my other tanks (some that aren't high light).

Excel will work well in small tanks too.

*Kristin*
Planted tanks:40g breeder, 20g long, 29g
38g Reef tank


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post #10 of 65 (permalink) Old 10-04-2007, 06:10 PM Thread Starter
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Well it looks like the best light that I can find right now in stores is 23 watts. I am going to the next closest town some time later this week to see what they have for lights... and plants

Im gonna see if they have excel and if they dont then I am just going to use whatever brand they have.

I am not going to use CO2. It just seems like a hassle to me re filling the bottles every week or every other week.

My little 3 gal is set up now temporarily on a filing cabnet with the inert gravel and some fake branches. I know not good but they dont have any nice pieces of driftwood right now and their next shipment will most likely be next year (its not a big seller). They are all mutant potato shaped believe it or not.
I have yet to add water... need to empty out the cabnet with all the important papers
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post #11 of 65 (permalink) Old 10-06-2007, 01:39 AM Thread Starter
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Well I found 26watt CF spiral bulbs so I bought them. My little tank is now set up... I couldnt wait.
I have:
4gal tank
26watt CF spiral in a general desk lamp
Black inert fish gravel
15-20gal HOB filter (I know it seems like a lot but trust me it isint... cheap brand)
Fake branches (doesnt look too bad)
Flourish excel
Aqua Plus
Fish food (various kinds)

Still need to get:
Black background
hemianthus micranthemoides
petit nana
rotala rotundiloia
maybe another plant too??? I dunno
And later on some white cloud mountain minnows, 99 cents each! much better than $3.39 for a zebra danio
How many fish do you think 3 or 4?



Last edited by skabooya; 10-06-2007 at 04:52 AM.
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post #12 of 65 (permalink) Old 10-06-2007, 07:38 PM
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look for soil master select at you local home depot for substrate. Or use unfertilized potting soil toped with sand or small size gravel. Stems wont do good on inert large gravel. Moss does good in cold water stems with broad leafs do ok also but will look out of proportion in that tank. I say add a heater for more plant options. I use 24watts PC on my 3.5 gal and I plan to use 36watts on a 5 gal Im going to start.

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post #13 of 65 (permalink) Old 10-06-2007, 08:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MARIMOBALL View Post
look for soil master select at you local home depot for substrate. Or use unfertilized potting soil toped with sand or small size gravel. Stems wont do good on inert large gravel. Moss does good in cold water stems with broad leafs do ok also but will look out of proportion in that tank. I say add a heater for more plant options. I use 24watts PC on my 3.5 gal and I plan to use 36watts on a 5 gal Im going to start.
I've kept rotala sp., anubias, and many other stem plants outside without a heater and it dropped to about low 50's. Plants are very hardy if you get the right ones.


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post #14 of 65 (permalink) Old 10-06-2007, 09:17 PM Thread Starter
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Marimoball: the nearest home depot to me is about 8 hours away and all soil is now put away because the season is over for anything gardening related. All potting soil I have seen around here has fertilizer in it and most potting soils are specialized (violet mix, orchid mix, tropical plant mix, etc) So this option is out.
Trust me I have looked for small sized gravel but the best I can find is not inert. It will raise my ph and currently mine is at a nice 6.5. I dont want sand because I will constantly need to stir it around and the smallest bag I could get would weigh the limit i could carry.
As I have previously said my only option around here is inert big ugly gravel. Black is the hardest to come by. Most common is clown puke.

Since adding water, the temperature has kept steady at 68-70F depending on how long I leave the light on.

32 gal planted amazonian-ish tank
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post #15 of 65 (permalink) Old 10-06-2007, 09:26 PM
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Forgot to mention I have stem plants in inert black gravel and they are doing fine.


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