Starting 5 gallon planted tank - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-04-2014, 11:00 PM Thread Starter
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Starting 5 gallon planted tank

Hey guys, just getting back into the hobby!

I'm thinking of starting right off with a small planted shrimp tank, probably CRS. I only have the tank itself essentially, so I am totally open to any suggestions. Just a few things:

1. Please keep it simple! That means no CO2, preferably no complicated/expensive lights or substrate.
2. I'm not gonna say "as cheap as possible", but a balance of quality and reasonable price is best. I will get high-end products only if I have to.
3. I would love this tank to be full of life, so a variety of plants would be great!

So, how should I get started? I know it's not very specific, but I really do want to start from scratch. Help me out, post something, if you can! If you've only got time for a suggestion or two, even that would really be helpful!

No matter how hard you try, you cannot escape this hobby. You have been warned.
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-05-2014, 03:44 PM
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Shrimp tanks awesome.

Since you want to go low tech, I've had the benefit of having a 5 gallon and not needing to spend an incredible amount of money for lights. I've found the marineland LED light, that you can get from petsmart or petco, to work well. It also comes with moon lighting (30 bucks, it was on sale).

As for the substrate, I would not recommend going cheap with substrate. But if you want something affordable, I've had great success with eco-complete which is like 20 bucks at a petsmart and since it's 5 gallons, it'll definitely be more than enough. But if you want something more expensive, you could go for aquasoil. Just mentioning because I know for low tech tanks, a rich substrate is preferred.

In terms of plants...I've had a lot of success with:
dwarf sagittaria
java fern
bacopa carolinia
Fissidens fontanus

All of the above mentioned plants, with the exception of bacopa carolina, grows VERY slowly and in moderate to very low lighting.

I think this is a good conceptual start!

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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-05-2014, 03:55 PM
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I just set up my 5.5 gallon for about $50. I bought some Flourite Black, a small assortment of plants (going to receive more from trades and from my other tank), two small pieces of driftwood -- that's all. Now it's all good for cycling/growing and I'm going to add some fancy guppies in a month from AquaBid or eBay.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-05-2014, 03:56 PM
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+1 urbguy.

Those look like great plants to start off with. Crypt plants, certain hygrophila, rotala, and ludwigua species would do well too.

20 gallon - Sulawesi Golden rabbit snails/Japanese Trapdoor snails/RCS/Marbled crayfish tank
55 gallon - Rainbowfish Dutch scape low-tech planted tank

250 gallon - Community Tiger Oscar/Red hook silver dollar/Silver dollars/PB Jack Dempsey/Clown loaches/Tinfoil barb/Roseline sharks/Bala shark Monster fish tank
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