First Timer. Thoughts/Advice Appreciated! - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-13-2009, 05:01 AM Thread Starter
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First Timer. Thoughts/Advice Appreciated!

Hi everyone. I've been lurking for awhile and really enjoying the awesome planted nano's you all have. I've been thinking about adding my own ideas to the mix and keeping a small planted tank at the office. Trying to plan it out has been really fun and I would like to see what you guys and gals think about this setup. Here goes...

The Tank:
Finnex 4 gallon with the 13w light and hang-on filter

C02:
Regulator - I like THIS one. I've used paintball tanks with great success on my other planted tank. $3 to fill up every 4 months or so is just fine by me. Price is right and I don't want an integrated bubble counter.
Diffuser - I like the GLA Spiro-300. I would plan to use this for my bubble counter. I'm fascinated by watching the bubbles. I plan to use the drop checker and check valve that GLA has to offer as well.

Substrate:
Eco complete or black Flourite. I've used Flourite so I might try the eco complete just for something new. I've got some cool volcanic rock, slate rock, and all the manzanita I can get my hands on so it will be some combination of that.

Heater:
I don't know! Any suggestions?

Fauna: RCS (I have lots of them from another tank), maybe an otto, small schoolers. Maybe 5 neons.

Flora:
Anubis Nana (petite), micro swords, taiwan moss (I've been growing some meshed to rocks. Any other suggestions would be very welcome as I am not sure what the 13w light will accomodate.

So? What do you think? Am I missing anything? Thanks for looking! Once I get started I'll get a journal going.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-13-2009, 05:06 AM
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I say try something other than neons.
Try microrasboara.
This tank will if done properly will be a great low maintenance tank.
With 13w + Pressurized CO2 shouldn't be too hard.


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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-13-2009, 06:48 AM
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Another candidate for the finnex 4 gal club.

I think you are on the right track but I do have a few suggestions. I am not a fan of flourite, I used it in my finnex at first also and i didnt like the look of it. I do like eco alot but you will only need half of the bag. Why not get a 3 litre bag of aquasoil, its actually cheaper than a bag of eco and you can use the whole bag and not have any left over.

I dont know much about the reg you have there but it looks nice and its more affordable than the Red Sea one which doesn't have a selenoid. TOFTT and try it out and then let us all know about it.

As far as the diffuser take a look at this one I posted about in another thread.

Heater, you live in San Diego. I've never been there personally but come on. If anything you should just go with the little hydor that regulates the temp a couple of degrees. I have one if you need one. PM me.

5 neons are definately too much for this tank, plus I think they suggest at least 6-7 of them together. Microrasboras are definately the way to go if you want fish in there. Holla at Pedro he has them. The RCS and otto shouldn't be a problem though.

As far as lights go remember the 3 watts per gallon rule doesn't apply to nano tanks so the 13 watt light that comes with the finnex doesnt grow many high light plants, especially foreground plants. I would suggest at least the Home Depot $20 light to go along with the finnex light or the Ott - lights that Ugly genius uses. You should be able to grow anything with that. Plant selection so far looks great though.

Hurry up and get this thang going and post plenty of pics.

Thanks,
Rekles75


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Finnex---ALL SCAPES HAVE BEEN RETIRED.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-13-2009, 07:41 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the great tips so far! You're right about being in San Diego. Heat is not much of a problem at all, though the office is usually a bit cooler than I'd like it (74), so a little Hydor would probably suffice. I'll send you a PM.

I like the look of the micro rasboras. I've never tried them before. The
Endler's Livebearers are kinda cool looking as well.

As for substrate. I've never had experience with Aqua Soil. I've always considered ADA stuff to be out of my league price-wise. But after taking a look, it does seem to be a better fit (no left over!) and I like the deep dark color.

Reckles75, I'll definitely check out those diffusers. Although I'm still sort of loving the spiral design of the GLA one, plus the dual purpose as a bubble counter. Thanks for the tip.

So one more question that I hadn't thought about...with a tank of this size, what sort of ferts do you all use? I've seen a wide variety talked about here, but how about something simple like flourish tabs?

I'll get some pics as I build this thing...still have to order it all though.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-13-2009, 10:00 AM
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not sure where in san diego you live, but over on convoy st. there's a place called aquatic warehouse that sells aqua soil for not that much more money than other brands like eco complete. also, check out socalaquascapers.com (the website for the SCAPE club). you can join for free and there's actually a meeting coming up that would probably be very helpful.

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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-13-2009, 11:11 AM
 
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I think a lot depends on what kinds of plants you want to grow. With the lighting you mentioned and the c02 to boot, the plants you listed should be fine if that is all you plan to grow. And even on this issue, you will find that there is a good variety of low light plants including carpeting plants that you don't necessarily have to feel pressured to take the high light plunge.

If you increase light, things such as c02 diffusion to ensure adequate stable c02 levels and appropriate fertilization become that much more important as you will be quick to see any nutrient deficiencies, algae growth if you do not keep on top of things.

Also keep in mind that if you increase light levels, co2 is appropriate and you fertilize accordingly, you will have to ensure that you keep up with your water changes to prevent build up of ferts and long term harm to your shrimp. With lower light levels, it would not even matter if you don't hit that magical 30 ppm c02 number, plants will continue to do well, and it will be likely easier to maintain stability. When I set up my office tank, low maintenance and long term stability was the most important thing to me. Last thing I had time to do was mess with c02 diffusion, monkeying around with lighting and ferts and keeping on top of 50% weekly water changes.

I learn by observation and doing things so when everyone says don't worry about increasing lighting to super high levels on nano tanks, after setting up a few nano tanks with only 15 watts and in some cases 13 watts of 6500 K fluorescent lighting, no one has been able to explain why I get green spot algae, which is typical of high light setups. Also, for those that say it was due to low phosphates, my tap water phosphates measure off the charts using a calibrated phosphate test kit. Don't always believe everything you read. Best way is to do something and see what happens for yourself.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-13-2009, 05:02 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amano101 View Post
not sure where in san diego you live, but over on convoy st. there's a place called aquatic warehouse that sells aqua soil for not that much more money than other brands like eco complete.
Thanks amano101. I actually work about 2 minutes from there and stop in regularly. I'm lucky that I can get almost anything I need there. I haven't ever noticed the aqua soil but I wasn't looking for it either.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Homer_Simpson
When I set up my office tank, low maintenance and long term stability was the most important thing to me. Last thing I had time to do was mess with c02 diffusion, monkeying around with lighting and ferts and keeping on top of 50% weekly water changes.
I am in a similar situation. I'd like to start with something that is relatively low maintenance (maybe medium maintenance) and move up from there, since it's my first nano.
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