5.5 g help me get started... - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-09-2008, 04:32 AM Thread Starter
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5.5 g help me get started...

ok i want to start a 5.5 g planted i just don know much about nano tanks... want to plant hc, dwarf hair grass and prob. some moss. i just want to know best lights and small hob filters to use for this help please also i know lighting for larger tanks but i know the wpg rule doesnt apply to smaller tanks.. help please... also i see ppl with some sweet drift wood that is really branch where you all getting it????
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-09-2008, 06:36 AM
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If you're willing to spend some money, Catalina Aquariums has some nice 16 inch light fixtures that are perfect for a 5.5 gallon tank.

I personally use a the 2x24 watt fixture, which is a lot of light even for a 5.5 gallon. You can get a 1x24 watt fixture which would be good I think for your purposes.

Judging from your list of plants, the HC will probably be the most demanding. I've had issues with getting it to form a dense carpet WITHOUT high light, but that is only from my experience.

In terms of filters, many people like using the azoo palm filters. I'm using a ZooMed 501 on my 5.5 gallon, and while it is adequate, is prone to losing its flow unless you clean it and the tubes fairly often.

Are you planning on using CO2 or fertilizers? Be prepared to have some type of regimen, which would be dictated by your light. I think CO2 will always help, regardless of how much light you will have.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-09-2008, 02:53 PM
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IME with nanos, low tech can yield some great results. And you may be less prone to disaster once you get started.

If you go with any pre packed substrate (stocked with ferts) like aquasoil, I would stay away from any ferts to start. Maybe a drop or two of excel or flourish once or twice a week after you get some good growth started.

High light can be good or bad, depending on your plant load, type of plants. and the "age" of your setup. If you get a double light fixture like the one FobbyBobby talked about, you can always take a bulb out until you are ready for it. It helps to be able to make your equipment adaptable so you don't have to keep going out and buying new stuff. Just try and make sure that any light you choose is long enough to cover tank with light from end to end and front to back.

HC is so overdone nowadays, but that's your choice. It is a very demanding plant. Even though most are light demanding, there are a good many of carpet plants available. Dwarf hairgrass is a very nice plant but it will take over and invade all parts of your tank if you don't do anything to contain it. I have yet to see very many stems being used in many a nano, but they do work and can be really nice. Probably not the best plant type to start with but an eventual possibility. Some plants that grow bushy in larger tanks may spread horizontally along the substrate due to the minimized distance from the light source to the substrate. That's one thing I love about nanos.

Hardscape is totally up to you, cool looking rocks can make the tank look a lot larger than it is. The branchy wood is called Manzanita. You CAN go into the woods and pick out your own random, nice looking wood if you want to. That is what I use in my tank.

Bare minimum filtration is quite adequate. An air bubbler with will work just fine. If you go with CO2, High light and dose ferts, then you will probably want a decent amount of water circulation, so go with a tiny HOB filter or a mini canister.

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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-10-2008, 09:07 AM
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my 5.5g currently has a custom made catalina 4x13w pc (52 watts) with 2 6700k and 2 10000k. It has ADA aquasoil and pressurized CO2. I am using RO/Di water for this setup and have had extreme difficulty growing HC, which I have now replaced with glosso. Mosses shouldnt be a problem. As for filtration, take my advice and go with a canister filter, IMO it looks a lot cleaner. Preferably a ZooMed 501 or an Eheim 2011 or 2211 if you can gets your hands on one. DO NOT GO WITH THE TOM RAPIDS, mine leaked on me after a month and was extremely hard to prime. If you have any questions feel free to PM me and I will be glad to help you out!
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-11-2008, 12:46 AM Thread Starter
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thanks!!! cant wait to get started...
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