Matthew_Machine's 5.5 Planted Nano Journal (4/28/08) - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 87 (permalink) Old 11-11-2007, 02:32 AM Thread Starter
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Matthew_Machine's 5.5 Planted Nano Journal (4/28/08)

Hi folks! After a 3 year hiatus I'm back to the world of planted tanks. This one is a 5.5 Gallon tank which is still in the early stages of life. I've got my filters starting a cycle on an empty 10 gallon while I work on the layout/stocking choices for this one.

What I know for sure:

-Will be lightly stocked: Couple small fish (Scarlet Badis, FW gobies or Killifish) and some shrimp.
-Substrate will be ADA Amazonia II powder
-Filter is an AC Mini, currently with just a sponge, ceramic biomedia is in the mail
-Currently it's got a 10w screw-in CF bulb, but I'm looking at options. Likely will be changed to a 2x13w AHS Kit.
-Would like to avoid CO2 but open for sug.
-Just going for a nice bedroom tank. No contests will be entered.

Where I need some opinions is with the following:

-Layout choices for hardscape
-Plant choices based off the above
-Anything else: I trust PTF for always giving me good help.



Here are some quick snaps for possible arrangements:
1.


2.


3.



If I go with this last one (#3), I'd like to sculpt the substrate so it makes a little hill for some nice flow left to right.

Doing #1 or #2 i'd like to have some grassy plants sticking up between the smaller stones.

Thinking dwarf Sag for the midground and HC for the front?

Any good BG plants for a 5.5g?

I saw this thread regarding Nano plants, but without thumbnails it's hard to look them all up. Any/all suggestions are appreciated!

Last edited by Matthew_Machine; 04-29-2008 at 04:45 AM.
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post #2 of 87 (permalink) Old 11-11-2007, 02:43 AM
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I don't like number one. I like number 2, but I think the rock on the left needs to come more center, then it would be perfect. Right now they are too far apart.

Don't do dwarf sag, it will overrun everything. Dwarf hairgass is nice and easy, and Blyxa might work. I don't know if HC is gonna work without the planned lighting upgrade.

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post #3 of 87 (permalink) Old 11-11-2007, 04:23 AM
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Get taller rocks. Otherwise, I like like the last one! Good luck!
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post #4 of 87 (permalink) Old 11-11-2007, 04:27 AM
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I like number 3 the most but I also think that generally you should hardscape WITH substrate and with a little more rocks or bigger ones. You want them to make a bold statement especially if you're going to go iwagumi style.


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post #5 of 87 (permalink) Old 11-11-2007, 04:42 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the input so far!

Turbosaurus: TY for the heads up on Dwarf Sag. I like the look of Dwarf Hairgrass, I just need to get the AHS Kit in there ASAP. It's 99% sure that I'll be getting it.

TRFJason: I've got a lot of substrate that might bump things up a bit.

Sandiegoryu: I'm gonna plop the substrate in there and see how deep it is. Rocks are cheap and I can always get bigger ones. I guess I'm going for Iwagumi... I suppose it would help to nail down plants if I just chose that "style." But like I said, I won't be entering any contests, just making something to view in the bedroom.
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post #6 of 87 (permalink) Old 11-11-2007, 05:17 AM
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But wouldn't you want contest quality in your bedroom? :-D. I always do!


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post #7 of 87 (permalink) Old 11-11-2007, 05:46 AM Thread Starter
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Update with substrate:

#2



#3a


#3b


So far I only put one bag of the soil in. How much does it compress? I've still got another bag sealed up just in case.
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post #8 of 87 (permalink) Old 11-11-2007, 02:39 PM
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You want a bit more substrate in there as the front is a bit too shallow.
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post #9 of 87 (permalink) Old 11-11-2007, 09:01 PM
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I like #3, I appreciate the sharp rock towards the front. Depending on what kind of plants you will want more substrate in there. 2" towards the front and about 4" towards the back I think?

-Cassie S.
No fish or invert tanks right now... just 1 H. azureiventris...
But I'm working on that!
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post #10 of 87 (permalink) Old 11-13-2007, 03:57 AM Thread Starter
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Updates:

-More substrate. It's deep!
-Started sketching some layouts

Layout 2 with more substrate


Layout 3b with more substrate


Layout 2 - possibilities


Layout 3b - possibilities


Thinking Dwarf Hairgrass for all the grassy stuff in the middle. I think the rock arrangement in 3b would look very nice with hairgrass popping up between it, so I'm leaning toward that.

Maybe a moss carpet instead of HC in the front like on 2? I'm also just debating planting a bunch of hairgrass and letting it run amuck. That could be fun!

Placed the heater in to see how big it looks in there. Big! Realized I can steal my 28w coralife hood temporarily for this tank until the AHS one arrives/gets built. That was relieving.

Last edited by Matthew_Machine; 02-10-2008 at 05:48 AM.
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post #11 of 87 (permalink) Old 11-13-2007, 07:02 PM
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I like the layout 3b with the hairgrass and how its done, then fill the rest of the open space with HC. I think it'd look great, and I'd 100% go with that, cause in my opinion it'd look 10x nicer than the others, and be pretty manageable. It's going to be a top quality Iwagumi scape I can tell, nice work with the rocks and digital editing BTW. It's gonna look great no matter which path you take.

thats my .02

Chris

EDIT: I'd also advise going for a small amount of CO2 if you want to have success with the plants your choosing. Either way, it's a small tank, so DIY or Excel would most likely provide all the CO2 you need, but going pressurized is always the right decision regardless. A couple people on these forum's, including Yoshi's 8in cube are using that micro pressurized CO2 systems that ADA sells. It's your money, so go with what you think. Regardless of what method you choose, CO2 will help. Have fun!
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post #12 of 87 (permalink) Old 11-13-2007, 07:58 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, Chris! Encouragment is the best recipe for success I think. I plan on dosing this with Excel. I'm looking at pressurized CO2 for a 10 gallon that I'll be starting on as soon as this 5.5 is up and running. I did the DIY CO2 thing a few years back and it wasn't successful. Now I've got the money to invest into my 2 tanks and pressurized seems way low maintenance. If anyone knows of a "AIO" package for pressurized that's under $205 (cost of ADA setup) I'm all ears!

AH supply 2x13w kit is in the mail. Woohoo!

Currently resetting...
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post #13 of 87 (permalink) Old 11-13-2007, 08:14 PM
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I agree that the rocks should be bigger, but I do also like 3b. Looking forward to seeing how this progresses
Rachel
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post #14 of 87 (permalink) Old 11-13-2007, 09:10 PM
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Here is a link to a couple AIO CO2 systems that run at about $100 USD, some work with regular CO2 cylinders, or paintball CO2 cylinders which might be a better choice for you due to the size of the tanks... a 20oz paintball cylinder will only cost you about $15 and will hold a TON of CO2, and make sure it doesnt have an on-off valve.

You could even just buy one system, a 2.5lb cylinder, and route it to both tanks if they're close enough! talk about low maintenance
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post #15 of 87 (permalink) Old 11-13-2007, 09:53 PM Thread Starter
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I'm glad I'm not the only person excited for this tank to progress. I'm trying to get my gf as into it as I've been. Someday maybe.

Thanks again, Chris. That's what I was looking for. I knew they had to exist without the "ADA premium." In a few weeks/months when I'm ready to "gas" I'll look at them again.

Currently resetting...
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