College planted tank - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 62 (permalink) Old 11-19-2015, 08:25 AM Thread Starter
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College planted tank

I'm currently at college, and am about to get off for Thanksgiving "Break" (because professors.isequalto(homework)); I'd like to bring one of my old 2.5 gallon aquariums back with me after break, and set up a planted tank. My dorm has a no-animals policy, but plants are fair game (hehe, I love loopholes). Would it be realistic of me to set up a 2.5 gallon planted tank, that gets 3-4 hours of direct sunlight, 4 hours of indirect sunlight, and is at room temperature? Preferably without water movement, since I don't want to bother my roommate too much.

Alternatively, would an emersed setup work?

Q1) What are some good plant species? I'm currently at college in California, so I'd like to not get arrested for illegal plant species.

Q2) Can I get by with liquid Flourish supplements in a planted tank, or a spray bottle of flourish infused water in an emersed setup?
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So many fish to keep, not enough aquaria.
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post #2 of 62 (permalink) Old 11-19-2015, 12:14 PM
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I'm doing something similar, but like 150g, so I can tell you what I've found. You can absolutely set it up with ease. I'd go with a soil substrate capped with sand. Get a small variety of plants. Something like anubias may be too slow since sunlight is like 2million par. If you put it in only indirect sunlight, you can probably grow plenty of plants. I read some threads of people with outside tanks (basically what this will be without the issue of winter) and they have them under patios and receive zero direct sunlight. If you want to leave it in some direct sunlight, go with some fast growers. I'd think dwarf sag may make a good background plant in that tank. Pearl weed would be neat too, since you could trim it to carpet. If you go with soil, you can get away with only topping off the water most likely and no need for supplementary ferts.


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post #3 of 62 (permalink) Old 11-19-2015, 01:27 PM
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In my experience you will have much better success growing things (especially water column feeders like stem plants) with water movement. There are plenty of small power filters you could purchase that run in complete silence. Turning the water over allows the plants to feed on the fertilizers found within the water column so its something youll definitely want.

More importantly, if you dont want a TON of algae (its getting direct sunlight, and I have a tank that gets about 2 hours/day and is caked in algae) you need to have high water movement.

I second the pearlweed (it's sweet) and I think you might have great success with a hairgrass carpet especially if you did dirt capped with sand.

Subbed to this thread, good luck. I'm in college too and thinking about setting a tank up so I am interested to follow your progress.
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post #4 of 62 (permalink) Old 11-20-2015, 10:04 AM Thread Starter
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Freemananana (nanana?) Thanks for the tip! I'm thinking that I'll probably just use a single fertilizer tablet or two for the tank rather than go through the hassle of dirting the tank. I do have to keep in mind that I'm bringing my materials (substrate, fertilizer, aquarium, possibly pump, possibly plants) with me from home. Additionally, I still need to find a site that explains what exactly I can bring from home, and what I can't. I also need to check if I can bring things like fertilizer, dirt, substrate, etc. on planes. I'm pretty positive that plants will probably be banned because almost everything's invasive in California.

Oghorille, since California's in a drought, I was planning on using a glass cover on the tank, maybe stirring the tank twice a day, to reduce the amount of water that evaporated from the tank. Also, I don't need people pouring stuff in my tank...

Would water from a Brita filter work? It's definitely not RO/DI, but chlorine/chloramine wise, am I good?

So many fish to keep, not enough aquaria.
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post #5 of 62 (permalink) Old 11-22-2015, 07:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ichthyogeek View Post
Would water from a Brita filter work? It's definitely not RO/DI, but chlorine/chloramine wise, am I good?

No, it would likely take some of it out but not all, it's just a carbon filter. Since this is a nano tank you could just fill up a pitcher of water, minus the Brita, and let it sit overnight the day before you change/add water .
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post #6 of 62 (permalink) Old 11-22-2015, 09:40 AM
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I love the idea of Aquariums and such however college is not really the place to have such a thing. Too many factors out of your control. You might have some Ahole guy screw with your tank for giggles.

One guy on youtube said his fraternity would throw hot dogs in his aquarium when he was not around.

Even if everyone is cool with it, what do you do at spring break, Christmas break, Thanksgiving break, Summer break,etc..

Are you close driving distance to your house?
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post #7 of 62 (permalink) Old 11-22-2015, 08:32 PM
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Bro I kept a tank throughout 4 years of college in my apartment and it worked out. It's chill dawg.

Sunlight == inconsistent == Bad
No water circulation is bad too. The aqua clear and azoo mignon filters are pretty quiet

Chicks dig planted tanks if they're not ugly
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post #8 of 62 (permalink) Old 11-22-2015, 08:38 PM
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Also, assuming you're some kind of computer science related major, you're probably inherently patient. Patience is the most important and valuable trait of a successful planted tanker so that means you can grow a sick Emersed hc carpet which takes forever to grow but looks dope in the end. And it's low maintenance while Emersed.

Check out my college tank holmes
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post #9 of 62 (permalink) Old 11-23-2015, 01:32 AM Thread Starter
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I got the go ahead to have an aquarium, residence administration only asked for a minimal amount of water, and no animals. Right now, I'm coding, but when I have the time, I'm going to research into dirted tanks. Helpful links would be appreciated! I haven't kept HC before, so this will definitely be an adventure. I'm thinking I need a spray bottle, a small bottle of Prime, and my tiny bottle of Flourish.

What I'll think I'll do, is I'll emerse grow some sort of small carpet plant with some sick anubias on rocks/a piece of old driftwood for a feature. If I like it enough, I'll add water, etc, but since I'm so busy next quarter, I'm just growing out an HC carpet with a potential Anubias nana tree. Anybody know where to find emersed HC in California near Palo Alto/Oak Grove/ Redwood City? I'm pretty sure there's a petsmart nearby for anubias.

According to the Barr report article, I'm good to go with emersed growth since it's low maintenance, only a few spritzes of fertilized water a day. Sunlight's free, and if I get odd growth, I'll turn the tank around! During breaks, I'll either stay, or probably ship the plants home and either pack everything else back up, or store it for the next year, I haven't planned that far yet.

So many fish to keep, not enough aquaria.
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post #10 of 62 (permalink) Old 11-23-2015, 06:14 PM
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You're better off buying plants from someone on the forums. I've been to about 5 hundred thousand million (+/- 5) fish stores west of the Mississippi and have yet to encounter healthy algae free plants.
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post #11 of 62 (permalink) Old 12-15-2015, 09:47 PM Thread Starter
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Well, I'm back home, and man I missed my tanks! I'm looking into mineralized soils now, but I may just end up using miracle grow that I've treated for fertilizers. I'll need to make a trip to Petsmart to get a nice Anubias plant. Expect pictures maybe soon if I can swing this by my parents.
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So many fish to keep, not enough aquaria.
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post #12 of 62 (permalink) Old 12-15-2015, 10:00 PM
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how about a wabi kusa setup like this guy?

https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/10...aladurium.html

or these
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/12...ollection.html

https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/12...kusa-cube.html

https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/8-...t-we-grew.html

here's a green machine tutorial

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gIdNqcj8Rio


It's somewhat close to what you want to do but with a different sense of organization.


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post #13 of 62 (permalink) Old 12-17-2015, 06:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by miogpsrocks View Post
One guy on youtube said his fraternity would throw hot dogs in his aquarium when he was not around.
That's actually a pretty funny image. (and way nicer than I'd expect from college kids)
I'd love to see a scape of hot dogs entered into AGA contest!


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post #14 of 62 (permalink) Old 01-02-2016, 05:24 AM Thread Starter
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Sooo...due to lack of space in my luggage, no planted tank...maybe next fall? I got the dirt mineralized, but I don't have space in my luggage to bring the actual tank back, and no way am I buying another tank. On the plus side, I'll be able to restart that emersed tub setup that I had going awhile back with the soil!

So many fish to keep, not enough aquaria.
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post #15 of 62 (permalink) Old 01-02-2016, 02:50 PM
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Both my brother and I had tanks in college, but we lived close enough that we could drive to and from school. Moving a tank back and forth is definitely possible, but only if you can drive or have a friend who lives close that can care for it over long breaks. If you have to fly, you should wait until you're out of school. Do you really want 5-10 lbs of rocks and substrate in your luggage?


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