I just started fish keeping a few months ago. I cleaned out my quarantine tank (12 x 8 1/4 x 6 inches and the specifications are exactly like this tank
) a few weeks ago and it's been collecting dust ever since.
I've been considering converting the quarantine tank into a nano-planted tank because 1) I've spent so much of my limited money on it already(I'm a university (OR college equivalent for US) student living at home) , 2) nano-planted tanks look awesome (at least in Takashi Amano's setups--edit:and of course the ones I've seen on this forum!
), and 3) it seems quite budget-friendly. If my fish ever got sick I could always just use a plastic container to quarantine them in.
Filter: red sea deco art nano filter (up to 3 gallons / 12 litres)
that I bought with the quarantine tank.
Lighting: either buying a new 27W Home Depot desk lamp or current desk lamp (looks exactly like this and website says 20W
My tap water is treated through ion-exchange resin filtration (sodium based).
Tap water specifications (approximate):
Carbonate Hardness: 4-7 dGH (70-125 ppm)
General Hardness: 4-7 dGH (70-125 ppm)
Nitrate: below 10 mg/L
I want to do things right the first time, so I want to ask a few things from you friendly forum friends!
Any recommendations for a nice, reliable cheap heater? And I emphasize cheap.
2. Test kits:
I already have pH, kH, gH, ammonia, nitrite, nitrate test kits, don't want to spend any more.
3. Substrate: Aquasoil
appears to be hard to find in Toronto and mail order is too expensive. I'm thinking of EcoComplete
because I've seen it around before, but do they sell it in quantities that are just enough for this 2 gallon tank?
I'm thinking of DIY Yeast-based C02
in a plastic bottle with a regular airstone. I use this set-up for my regular lightly planted (contains Hygrophila polysperma, java fern, Cabomba caroliniana) 20 US gallon tank just to see what it does. It seems to lower the pH to about 7.0 when combined with peat filtration, decaying fish food/plant matter, driftwood tannins.
5. Plant fertilizers:
I don't know much about this. I've thought about getting bulk dry ferts but it seems like overkill getting many pounds of chemicals (family members might suspect I'm doing a THC grow-op or making a bomb or something) for a 2 gallon tank. And if I'm getting liquid ferts, I don't know much about dosage. Since I won't really test the tank water conditions, I read about the EI method so I might do that.
6. Plant stocking:
I'm thinking of some combination of:
- java moss, anubias and java fern attached to a small piece of driftwood
Cryptocoryne balansae or Vallisneria
Echinodorus tennellus (pygmy chain sword) and/or Rotala wallichii
Lileaopsis or Glossostigma (yes I know hard to care for but challenges are fun)
By the way, I don't know these species' names/spellings from the top of my head.
7. Fish/invertebrate stocking:
I read the nanofish list but haven't thought about what to stock it with yet. I'm thinking of getting the plants settled down and water cycled a bit before adding fish/invertebrates.
I'm willing to dole out big bucks for the substrate, but everything else would be on the cheap side if possible. Thanks for reading all this! Hope it wasn't too long. Any suggestions would be helpful and greatly appreciated!