This tank was a long time coming. I had a 2.5g for the longest time because I didn't want to pay $30 for a 5.5g kit (which is all the LFS carries) when a 10g cost $13. A few months ago, in preparation for moving from a house to my current apartment, I bit the bullet and got the 5.5g. I wish I had gotten it sooner. It's just the right size for a nano - large enough to hold some fish and create a decent scape, but not so large that water changes become a hassle.
At first I used the kit light, but that was a measly 10w CF right over the center of the tank. In the middle the light was bright enough to grow any algae you wanted, but on the sides even an anubias would have trouble. I know this because I had anubias in this tank at first. A lot
of anubias - at least 5 nanas, 8-10 petites, and one barteri, plus four or five genuine narrow leaf java fern. Unfortunately, I stuck the tank in an out of the way spot and completely ignored it for two or three months before the move, thinking a bunch of anubias and java fern wouldn't care.
Well, maybe they didn't mind the neglect, but in the last few weeks of the move the air conditioner broke. In August. It was over 90 degrees in our house for three days. The air conditioner was repaired, we moved into the apartment, and the power was turned off in the house.
I had left the tank behind along with some of our stuff in the expectation that we would go back the next day to finish moving. Unfortunately, we weren't able to get back until over a week later (this was not my fault- I didn't care that much about the rest of the boxes, but I was very
anxious to get my tank out of there). When I finally got into the tank, the water was black and all but four or five of the petites and two java ferns were mush.
So basically I had to start over. The idea now is that this will be my fun tank. I had set up my previous 12+ tanks primarily for breeding guppies and shrimp. Let me tell you something: breeder tanks are ugly. I sold all of them before the move and could console myself only with the idea that I would really enjoy this tank. I would make sure that I got plants and fish that I liked and equipment that did what I wanted it to do without endless modding. And so, this tank has been named Bon Vivant
in reference to how I am indulging my preferences instead of pursuing utility.
A warning to those of you who are bothered by overstocking: I like the look of an overstocked tank and have always overstocked my tanks. This one will be no exception.
16" Finnex Stingray light
Aquaclear 20 filter with sponges and carbon to absorb driftwood tannins
Black Tahitian moon sand with root ferts from RootMedic
Feeding ring (to be added)
Weekly or fortnightly 30-60% water change
Pinch of dry CSM+B mixed with iron dosed weekly
Flourish nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus dosed weekly or biweekly
Flourish excel dosed daily (may switch to DIY CO2)
Daily feeding (rotation of freeze dried daphnia, decapped brine shrimp eggs, Omega One flakes, NLS pellets; piece of NLS wafer for pleco)
Long fin albino bristlenose pleco (will outgrow the tank, but staying for now)
Castrated male endler named Roger
Half-thumb dorsal blue grass guppies (ATFG strain but bred by Prontodelivery)
One large blue ramshorn snail
Amano shrimp (eventually, if I ever find them locally or cheaply online)
Ludwigia sp. "Red"
Water sprite (temporary)
Narrow (not needle) leaf java fern
Crypt. wendtii "Green"
Lilaeopsis brasiliensis (may switch to DHG Belem if I can get it cheaply)
Unknown stem (ID would be appreciated)
All plants except the anubias and java fern came from Bamaplants.com. I highly recommend this site because the owner will answer your questions as carefully and thoughtfully as a hobbyist would. He won't just tell you to google everything. Some of the plants may have algae or snails, though he dips them in potassium permanganate before shipping.
Full tank shots:
Ludwigia sp. "Red" - This has turned orange because I was accidentally underdosing the tank. It's starting to turn red again now that I've increased the ferts:
Baby water sprite leaf:
Unknown plant (Rotala sp?):
Roger together with the male guppy to show the size difference between endlers and guppies. Note that Roger is full grown and the male guppy is only 2 months old:
The male guppy's color varies depending on if he's directly under the light or not:
And for the grand finale, my favorite fish, the long fin albino bristlenose pleco! *Fanfare*
He's about the same size as the guppies:
But his fins are pure awesome: