A planted tank for a 5 year old! Need help/suggestions please... - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-15-2010, 03:10 AM Thread Starter
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A planted tank for a 5 year old! Need help/suggestions please...

Hello everyone!
I need some suggestions on setting up a tank for my goddaughter who is 5 and a half. She is been bugging me about the planted tank for about a year now, she loves little critters and I think it's a great educational thing for her I am giving her my 14g because I want to downsize, I don't think I will be able to handle 4 tanks when baby comes here. I need suggestions on what light and what plants should I get so it's a very low maintenance for her parents, they live like 45 minutes away from me so I can't just go there if something is wrong.
So far I have fluorite as a substrate and a regular florescent light that came with the tank, the plants I have in there are not doing good at all they mostly yellow and not growing properly, the plants that are in there are Ludwigia repens, dwarf sag and brazilian pennywort. I think the plants are doing bad due to luck of light and ferts. I also have some brown algae on the glass in some places...
I need help/suggestions on what substrate should I suggest that they get and what kind of light? The light I was gonna suggest is coralife lights the same what I have on my 10g but I been looking for them online and can't find it Substrate I am not sure about, maybe eco complete since flourite didn't really work for me. What plants would be best in there for low maintenance? I was thinking Java fern and Anubias nana, and maybe something else but what?
Thanks!


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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-15-2010, 04:07 AM
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What are the dimensions on the 14gal?

Just a single T8 flourescent strip would probably be the best choice- good light level for a very low tech and low maintenance tank.

Java fern and Anubias nana 'petite' would be excellent choices, along with some Crypts, mosses, Marselia minuta, and/or Echinodorus tenellus.

Eco would be a good substrate choice.

What's going in the tank for livestock? I suspect the biggest challenge may be keeping your goddaughter from overstocking the tank... lol





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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-15-2010, 04:30 AM
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Another good idea is to get a good GFI (Ground Fault Interrupter) for the lights, pump, etc. They sell the plug in kind at Lowes that'll work. When I heard 5 year old, I just immediately thought about safety. If by chance she knocks the light into the water with her hands in the tank, she'll be safe from electrocution. Sorry to bring it up, but it was the first thing I thought of when I read the post.


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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-15-2010, 04:56 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lauraleellbp View Post
What are the dimensions on the 14gal?
I think it's a 14g tall so dimensions the same as a 10g but taller.



Quote:
Originally Posted by lauraleellbp View Post
Just a single T8 flourescent strip would probably be the best choice- good light level for a very low tech and low maintenance tank.

Java fern and Anubias nana 'petite' would be excellent choices, along with some Crypts, mosses, Marselia minuta, and/or Echinodorus tenellus.

Eco would be a good substrate choice.
That sounds easy enough. Any suggestions on fertilizers? I was thinking some Seachem florish, would that be enough?

Quote:
Originally Posted by lauraleellbp View Post
What's going in the tank for livestock? I suspect the biggest challenge may be keeping your goddaughter from overstocking the tank... lol
For livestock I am giving her my 6 cherry barbs, maybe a couple of cherry shrimps, some snails and thinking of couple more fish but what kind I don't know yet. I was thinking of giving her some of my CPDs but I don't think that will happen.
LOL She is actually pretty good at understanding once you explain to her why she should not put more fish in there, it's her mom I worry about LOL


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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-15-2010, 04:58 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lycosa View Post
Another good idea is to get a good GFI (Ground Fault Interrupter) for the lights, pump, etc. They sell the plug in kind at Lowes that'll work. When I heard 5 year old, I just immediately thought about safety. If by chance she knocks the light into the water with her hands in the tank, she'll be safe from electrocution. Sorry to bring it up, but it was the first thing I thought of when I read the post.
That's an excellent idea! I didn't even think about it, I am putting it on the list. Thanks


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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-15-2010, 04:59 AM Thread Starter
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One more question would it be better if the tank covered or open top? I think covered is a better choice in their house since there is a 2 year old as well, but will it affect the light?
Thanks


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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-15-2010, 05:24 PM
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I think either a hood or at least a glass canopy would be a good idea, and that's how I run all my own tanks to discourage carpet-surfing fish.

Dosing some Flourish Comprehensive after water changes may be a good idea, though not absolutely necessary depending on your plant choices.

My cherry barbs loved dwarf shrimp. Unless yours are already mixed together and leave the shrimp alone I probably wouldn't try that mix. Mine would gang up and rip the shrimp apart.





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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-15-2010, 05:31 PM
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A hood, T8 fixture, over powered HOB, some guppys(?) Anubias, java fern, and Cryptocornes and maybe a small peice of driftwood or two would be what I would do. A hood is a deffinant must. One thing I have had problems with, with my 2 year old sister is "fish feeding". I have had several occasions of a container of food on the floor or in the tank because of her. So I would get a locked drawer and give the parents the key.
Regards,
Jake

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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-16-2010, 04:41 PM
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I gave my 5 year old niece a 10 gal tank with a single small goldfish and the tank is planted with anacharis (elodea), with a simple LED lamp. They love their fish, of course their mom takes care of cleaning chores, but they feed the fish.

Very simple for a small kid.
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-20-2010, 11:57 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lauraleellbp View Post
I think either a hood or at least a glass canopy would be a good idea, and that's how I run all my own tanks to discourage carpet-surfing fish.

Dosing some Flourish Comprehensive after water changes may be a good idea, though not absolutely necessary depending on your plant choices.

My cherry barbs loved dwarf shrimp. Unless yours are already mixed together and leave the shrimp alone I probably wouldn't try that mix. Mine would gang up and rip the shrimp apart.
Thanks Laura for all your help!


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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-20-2010, 11:59 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JakeJ View Post
A hood, T8 fixture, over powered HOB, some guppys(?) Anubias, java fern, and Cryptocornes and maybe a small peice of driftwood or two would be what I would do. A hood is a deffinant must. One thing I have had problems with, with my 2 year old sister is "fish feeding". I have had several occasions of a container of food on the floor or in the tank because of her. So I would get a locked drawer and give the parents the key.
Regards,
Jake
I actually was thinking about some guppys, I think they wouold be fun fish for kids very colorful and fun
Good idea about locked drawer too


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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-21-2010, 12:05 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blackandyellow View Post
I gave my 5 year old niece a 10 gal tank with a single small goldfish and the tank is planted with anacharis (elodea), with a simple LED lamp. They love their fish, of course their mom takes care of cleaning chores, but they feed the fish.

Very simple for a small kid.
No goldfish for these kids. I am against keeping goldfish in anything less than 30-40g, and I already had an educational talk with my goddaughter and her parents on that matter.


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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-21-2010, 12:33 AM
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2 15w t-8 bulbs should work great with plenty of Java ferns. They're easy to grow.
Lights on a timer would be great too if it wasn't mentioned.

And kids love bettas.


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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-21-2010, 12:47 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by mistergreen View Post
2 15w t-8 bulbs should work great with plenty of Java ferns. They're easy to grow.
Lights on a timer would be great too if it wasn't mentioned.

And kids love bettas.

Thanks mistergreen
Didn't think about timer but it is a great idea, thanks! And how I didn't think about bettas

I got a question... I been looking for lights but I can't find a 20" t-8 double light fixture Please help anyone! Any links will be appreciated


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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-21-2010, 12:52 AM
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If you want a low light, low maintenance tank IMO there's no reason to run a dual bulb fixture. Just one will be enough light.





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