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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-18-2011, 12:25 AM Thread Starter
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New Around Here

Hello All,

First off, I have been lurking for a while. I found my way here via nano-reef.com and have been enjoying the community there for years now. Currently, I have almost four years of reef experience, though last fall I left my beloved 20g mixed reef in the care of my mother at home so I could begin work on finishing my degrees (B.A. in history and M.A. in education). The tank has done alright under her care, though the green hair algae has become a bit of a problem, it is easily remedied. I chose not to take my tank with me because I live in a fairly small dorm room and I didn't want to move a large tank back and forth. I thought briefly about setting up a small reef, but I don't really have budget or an easy means of mixing saltwater in the dorms. Which brings me here.

I have been interested in planted tanks for some time, but I have no experience worth mentioning in freshwater aquariums. While browsing the Foster & Smith catalog that came in the mail the other day, I spotted the new Fluval tanks; the ebi, the flora, and have become aware of the spec. A brief search here revealed some great looking tanks. I realize that small tanks present a unique set of challenges, but I feel like I would be able to manage a small planted tank here in the dorms, despite moving back and forth twice a year (only a 3 hour drive). The fluval tanks interest me because they seem to be fairly inclusive of what I would need to get started and they look pretty good too. While my budget is small, I am open to suggestions and still plan to do plenty of research before making any purchases. So, what manner of small set-up would you recommend to a planted tank newbie that would be relatively simple to maintain, while still being attractive? As far as general direction goes, I am a very big fan of the biotopic approach, but have nothing specific in mind as I am just starting my research.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-18-2011, 02:12 AM
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welcome to the site!

thats a real tough question. i would get the fluval with the co2 system.
as far as plants and such are concerned, i dont know what you like so i cant offer you suggestions. here is a pretty decent library of plants http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/f...finder/all.php
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-18-2011, 04:23 AM Thread Starter
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Hmmm, I like the looks of:

Hydrophila polysperma 'Sunset'
Lilaeopsis brasiliensis
Ludwigia arcuata
Ludwigia repens
Ludwigia repens 'rubin'
Microsorum pteropus
Sagittaria subulata
Anubias barteri var. barteri

By no means would I include all these plants in the same aquarium. Ideally, I will have a foreground, middle, and background plants. I'm not sure about rock or driftwood arrangements yet, but I think it would look really neat to have a red plant be a kind of focus or centerpiece for the aquarium.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-18-2011, 07:35 AM
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Welcome to the forum

I'm actually away at college(B.S. In Biology) just like you are and Im currently in the process of setting up a new fluval edge in my campus apartment.

Are you willing to go high tech or do you want to stay relatively low tech? I'm personally doing a high tech tank
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-18-2011, 10:18 AM
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Welcome!

"Aquarists are a brave lot. We mix water and electricity every day."
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-18-2011, 10:40 AM
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Welcome to.....the dark side


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...DIY co2 sucks
...ricca sucks
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-18-2011, 01:39 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boredouttahell View Post
Welcome to the forum

I'm actually away at college(B.S. In Biology) just like you are and Im currently in the process of setting up a new fluval edge in my campus apartment.

Are you willing to go high tech or do you want to stay relatively low tech? I'm personally doing a high tech tank
I'm not sure about high or low tech yet. My reefing experience tells me that I will be more satisfied with my aquarium if I don't cut any corners during the initial set up though, so I will probably go for high tech. However, I don't want to break the bank in the process.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-18-2011, 07:40 PM
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One thing I would consider is the hardness of your dorm water, since using RO water or buying it would probably be difficult. Most fish and plants will be fine but a few require very soft water.

Also that fluval kit looks like it includes Co2 and a decent light so that pretty much makes you high-tech. Just read up on fertilizing methods.

This is a great site for biotopes:http://fish.mongabay.com/biotope.htm
But in a small tank like that you probably want to stick to a shrimp tank or a small school of fish.

Oh, and WELCOME TO TPT!!


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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-18-2011, 08:33 PM Thread Starter
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It recently occurred to me that I have an empty JBJ Picotope in a closet at home, so I feel like I should probably do something with it rather than buy a new tank. A search has yielded many interesting picotopes that have been set up, so I think I'm going to operate on the premise of using mine.
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