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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-22-2015, 07:12 PM Thread Starter
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super-low maintenance nano setup?

Hi all,

I'm thinking about setting up a planted nano in my office (probably no more than 1-2 gallons) that may eventually house a single betta or sparkling gourami. It would be on a west-facing windowsill that gets plenty of sunlight, so not going with any extra lighting. But water changes and filter maintenance would be pretty difficult (not close to the kitchen) and I'd like to avoid these if possible. Is there a way to set up a nano tank (or bowl?) that would require no filter, and no more than monthly water changes (if that)?


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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-22-2015, 08:50 PM
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A 1-2g is too small for sparkling gourami. With a betta and don't skimp on the heate, they are tropical fish! As for a filter consider a sponge fitter run off an air pump, they are small and don't take any work (honestly my HOBs and canisters I only clean out once every few months when flow has dwindled to nothing (but these are on tanks with snails and other fish so more bioload). I use jardin mini cylinder sponge filter on all my 2-3g nano betta tanks and tetra whisper air pump (smallest one-up to 10g). I don't have to clean the sponge filter and having the tank cycle makes for a much happier betta (also the filter helps circulate water to evenly heat the tank, in a tank with no filter you will see the betta sticking close to the heater, if there is no heater your betta will be much more lethargic and uninteresting (you're not in the mood to party and play when you're freezing right? same thing)) haha sorry run on sentence there.

You can look at getting a small paint bucket at home depot or lowes (I think lowes has a 2 or 3g bucket). Fill it to 1g, dechloriante, and walk it back to the tank.

A well planted tank can deal with a betta's biolaod during the sunny times it gets light but a filter will deal with the ammonia while its too dark for plants to photosynthesize so you don't get ammonia spikes.

Will the tank be right against the window? if so be mindful that its colder closer to the window then a few feet away from it, in winter the heater will have to work harder to warm the tank. Does the window have shades/blinds/curtians/tinting etc anything blocking/reducing light coming in?

If you insist on being filter-less I'd strongly recommend ding small water changes at least until you have established the tank for several weeks (well planted, plants aren't melting but growing). Honestly something as easy as a fuji water battle-those large ones- 1 bottle filled with tank and dechlorinated to put in the tank (make sure its close/tamp temp as tank water-I use the tank glass thermometer to check) and 1 bottle to pull out tank water every day would help, just keep a small towel/rag by the tank to wipe up drips/wipe off the bottle after removing water so it doesn't drip. Remember to dechlorinate your new water! Speaking of which if you don't have it, get Seachem Prime, great dechlorinator and also can find ammonia and nitrite for up to 48 hours according to the bottle. But most betta owning users of this product recommend dosing every 24 hours to bind ammonia and nitrites of an uncycled tank.

Due to photobuckets new bs cost for use of images on forums I have deleted all photobucket accounts. I apologize if you enjoyed or found my photos helpful.

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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-22-2015, 09:05 PM Thread Starter
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I'm definitely planning on including a heater, so no worries there.

Is there an HOB or in-tank filter out there that's both effective for a 2g tank and very small (or easily hideable)?

And any ideas for 2g or so nano tanks? I'd love a good-looking rimless of some sort, probably a cube...

Also, I'm thinking this would be a good opportunity to try out the dry start method, if there are any plants that would work well with DSM and (fairly direct) sunlight. Any thoughts?

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Will the tank be right against the window? if so be mindful that its colder closer to the window then a few feet away from it, in winter the heater will have to work harder to warm the tank. Does the window have shades/blinds/curtians/tinting etc anything blocking/reducing light coming in?
Yes, it would be on the window sill. Fortunately I'm in Georgia, so winter is comparatively mild.

The location also means whatever tank I get can't be more than 10 inches deep.

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A 1-2g is too small for sparkling gourami.
I'll stick with a betta then, unless anyone has other ideas for single fish that would do well in a 1-2g tank.


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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-22-2015, 09:15 PM
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2-gallon Fluval spec? Would be fine for a betta if you turn the powerhead at its lowest setting and put a small piece of sponge in the outflow. The heater can be hidden in the powerhead compartment. A 7.5 watt one would be plenty.

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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-23-2015, 01:32 AM
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Glad to hear (about the heater) so many think its not necessary, but if you want a truly happy active betta a warm tank is a must ^^

Azoo palm filters are quite small and on the low setting (little knob on top of the intake you turn to reduce the uptake flow), and comes with a pre-filter sponge to avoid sucking in fins.
All my small tanks are non standards (vases, bubble bowls, cookie jars-curved glass).
My 7g cube is from truaqua.com, I'd recommend them but tank's won't be back in stock until Oct (according to site))
2.11g:
High Clarity Low Iron Glass Cube HCC-8, 2.11 Gallons

4.12g (9.84" cube):
High Clarity Low Iron Glass Cube HCC-10, 4.12 Gallons

I've not tried it yet but a betta keeper on another forum highly recommends this internal filter (from same site as the tanks):
IFS10 Aquarium Internal Filter
it a nice price, if I buy another tank from there I think I'll get the filter for it..if only I could find room for another tank ^^''


Sorry I cannot offer any real help on DSM, I do recall reading that blyxa j. and blyxa a. do NOT work in dsm (they are true aquatics, and cannot grow above water). As long as humidity levels are kept high (cling wrap) you can grow most anything else. The trick is keeping it from melting when you flood since you are not running a co2 sytem on the tank... Might try asking in the plant section for help on DSM plants for a no tech tank once flooded, emphasis on no tech-no co2, no fert dosing.

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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-23-2015, 02:27 AM
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With as little maintenance as you're suggesting. I would recommend a bio orb. It's a self contained ecosystem with shrimp in it. They are zero maintenance.
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-23-2015, 01:28 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AquaAurora View Post
My 7g cube is from truaqua.com, I'd recommend them but tank's won't be back in stock until Oct (according to site))
2.11g:
High Clarity Low Iron Glass Cube HCC-8, 2.11 Gallons

4.12g (9.84" cube):
High Clarity Low Iron Glass Cube HCC-10, 4.12 Gallons

I've not tried it yet but a betta keeper on another forum highly recommends this internal filter (from same site as the tanks):
IFS10 Aquarium Internal Filter
it a nice price, if I buy another tank from there I think I'll get the filter for it..if only I could find room for another tank ^^''
The cubes look very nice... I'll keep them in mind. Probably not doing any of this immediately -- a lot of research to do first!

Quote:
Sorry I cannot offer any real help on DSM, I do recall reading that blyxa j. and blyxa a. do NOT work in dsm (they are true aquatics, and cannot grow above water). As long as humidity levels are kept high (cling wrap) you can grow most anything else. The trick is keeping it from melting when you flood since you are not running a co2 sytem on the tank... Might try asking in the plant section for help on DSM plants for a no tech tank once flooded, emphasis on no tech-no co2, no fert dosing.
I'll ask over there. I'd really like to do some sort of carpet (planted in Aquasoil) + rocks, kind of a minimalist planted setup. But I definitely can't do CO2 (Excel and ferts would be fine). I'm hoping DSM would be a way to get around the fact that carpets usually need CO2 to spread quickly. If I could grow it quicker dry, then flood it and keep it stable...

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With as little maintenance as you're suggesting. I would recommend a bio orb. It's a self contained ecosystem with shrimp in it. They are zero maintenance.
Intriguing. I think I'm set on a cube rather than anything rounded, though.

I'm looking at the Fluval Chi II. It's dimensions work well... anyone have experiences with this one? How's the maintenance, filtration, etc?

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Originally Posted by Daisy Mae View Post
2-gallon Fluval spec? Would be fine for a betta if you turn the powerhead at its lowest setting and put a small piece of sponge in the outflow. The heater can be hidden in the powerhead compartment. A 7.5 watt one would be plenty.
I like it... except for the light fixture. I'm going for a more minimal look. Maybe the Fluval Chi II? A little more volume than I wanted, but the dimensions should work fine.


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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-23-2015, 02:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by end3r.P View Post
Hi all,

I'm thinking about setting up a planted nano in my office (probably no more than 1-2 gallons) that may eventually house a single betta or sparkling gourami. It would be on a west-facing windowsill that gets plenty of sunlight, so not going with any extra lighting. But water changes and filter maintenance would be pretty difficult (not close to the kitchen) and I'd like to avoid these if possible. Is there a way to set up a nano tank (or bowl?) that would require no filter, and no more than monthly water changes (if that)?
With a single betta and lots of plants you won't need a filter. But you will need water movement and a consistent source of carbon because you'll have plenty of sunlight. Flourish Excel might not work in this setup. I agree a small heater is necessary.
Why is co2 not practical?
You might need some supplemental lighting during the late fall - winter months. Use this site to see how much daylight occurs during those times of the year. How to use timeanddate.com's Sun data
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-23-2015, 02:20 PM
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Good morning.
Regarding the Fluval Chi, the main issue people have had with it is that the filter and light are switched together. The light is also very dim. I too, considered it for a while due to the footprint then eventually decided against it. Purchasing a kit and then promptly replacing the stock light and filter didn't appeal to me.
There's enough threads on it in this forum. I think there was one called "De-chi'd Chi" (my spelling may be wrong).

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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-23-2015, 02:32 PM Thread Starter
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With a single betta and lots of plants you won't need a filter. But you will need water movement and a consistent source of carbon because you'll have plenty of sunlight. Flourish Excel might not work in this setup. I agree a small heater is necessary.
Why is co2 not practical?
You might need some supplemental lighting during the late fall - winter months. Use this site to see how much daylight occurs during those times of the year. How to use timeanddate.com's Sun data
Hm... CO2 won't work because it's in my office. Is algae the concern with too much sun but no CO2? I suppose I could put the cube on the corner of my desk instead of on the windowsill... that would block most or all direct sunlight. Then I guess I'd just need to have a light and stick with lowlight plants. Maybe moss on rocks (like the fissidens on shaman's nanos I keep seeing?) with a sand substrate and/or possibly some Anubias nana petite.

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Originally Posted by Daisy Mae View Post
Good morning.
Regarding the Fluval Chi, the main issue people have had with it is that the filter and light are switched together. The light is also very dim. I too, considered it for a while due to the footprint then eventually decided against it. Purchasing a kit and then promptly replacing the stock light and filter didn't appeal to me.
There's enough threads on it in this forum. I think there was one called "De-chi'd Chi" (my spelling may be wrong).
Makes sense. That's really annoying that the filter and light are switched together. Why would they do that? No fish wants 24/7 light, but they need 24/7 filtration...


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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-23-2015, 02:42 PM
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Your Tank

Hello end...

I've tried this type of tank several times and neither plants nor fish will do well in water that stays in the tank too long. The reason is, water that isn't removed and replaced weekly loses minerals. Fish and plants need them for good health. Your tank can easily work without filtration. You can replace that with an air stone for aeration, but not without changing out at least half the water a couple of times a week to maintain high mineral levels and remove dissolved wastes.

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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-23-2015, 02:50 PM Thread Starter
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Hello end...

I've tried this type of tank several times and neither plants nor fish will do well in water that stays in the tank too long. The reason is, water that isn't removed and replaced weekly loses minerals. Fish and plants need them for good health. Your tank can easily work without filtration. You can replace that with an air stone for aeration, but not without changing out at least half the water a couple of times a week to maintain high mineral levels and remove dissolved wastes.

B
Thanks. I'm beginning to think that I'll try a filtered tank with regular water changes. Hopefully with a single betta, I could do bi-weekly or monthly changes.


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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-23-2015, 04:44 PM
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Originally Posted by end3r.P View Post
Hm... CO2 won't work because it's in my office. Is algae the concern with too much sun but no CO2? I suppose I could put the cube on the corner of my desk instead of on the windowsill... that would block most or all direct sunlight. Then I guess I'd just need to have a light and stick with lowlight plants. Maybe moss on rocks (like the fissidens on shaman's nanos I keep seeing?) with a sand substrate and/or possibly some Anubias nana petite.

Bump:

Makes sense. That's really annoying that the filter and light are switched together. Why would they do that? No fish wants 24/7 light, but they need 24/7 filtration...
The tank could be hidden somewhere maybe. A 5lb tank would work.
Algae isn't a concern. It the possible lack of consistent carbon; Excel may not be adequate. With co2 you can be sure there is even when you're not there like weekends and holidays. Carbon is extremely important to plants I'm sure you know.
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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-23-2015, 04:57 PM Thread Starter
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The tank could be hidden somewhere maybe. A 5lb tank would work.
Algae isn't a concern. It the possible lack of consistent carbon; Excel may not be adequate. With co2 you can be sure there is even when you're not there like weekends and holidays. Carbon is extremely important to plants I'm sure you know.
Sure, but I'm sticking to undemanding plants with this tank; I'm happy to forgo anything that requires CO2 injection to grow in a healthy way. I'm thinking java moss, anubias and the like. I thought the concern might be that a tank with a lot of direct sunlight could grow algae...


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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-23-2015, 06:36 PM
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Sure, but I'm sticking to undemanding plants with this tank; I'm happy to forgo anything that requires CO2 injection to grow in a healthy way. I'm thinking java moss, anubias and the like. I thought the concern might be that a tank with a lot of direct sunlight could grow algae...
Undemanding plants doesn't mean they need less carbon then demanding plants.

How many hours at most will this tank receive of direct sunlight?
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