The Planted Tank Forum banner

1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
23 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone,

My name is Leo and I have been interested in planted aquariums for at least 2 years now. This is my third aquarium and my smallest one yet. If you could take some time to answer my questions it would be truly amazing.
It is an Aqueon 5.5 (16 3/16, 8 3/8, 10 1/2 inches).
I wasn't sure where to post this, since I want to try low tech, relatively inxpensive, red cherry shrimp tank. Breeding is not a huge concern but would be a plus.
I'm going to use java fern, crypts, moss, and easy/low requirement plants. I haven't found any lighting system yet I will probably buy a desk lamp and put in cfl. I'm forgoing co2 and want to use a minimum of fertilizer. I am thinking of buying a glass cover, eco-complete, and aquaclear 20 powerfilter (23 dollars).
Now whether i should have a HOB or sponge filter I am not sure but a HOB looks more efficient and less noisy.
Just to be sure I need to cycle for a month roughly with a couple hardy fish and fast growing plants ?

Thanks again,

Killi
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,419 Posts
With the AC 20 filter (formerly the AC Mini, I think) just make sure that the flow is adjusted so you're not blowing stuff everywhere, especially the shrimp. Also, with cycling, you don't need to add fish. Fishless cycling is just as easy for you, and alot easier on the fish. Its not neccessary to use livestock- sure it speeds things up, but its alot nicer on the fish if they don't need to undergo an amonia bath.
Just let it run its course. Be patient young padwan, lol. Instead of cycling it for a month with hardy fish, go a month and a couple weeks without fish.
Overall, I think you're more than off to a great start! Post pictures when you can!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,378 Posts
I used a Red Sea nano filter on a 5g once, and even though they are rated for 3g tanks or smaller, it did everything I asked it to. Never had a problem once. Also, over the same tank, I used one of those $20 home despot desk lamps that everyone around here uses.

The tank was planted to the brim with nothing but various crypts, and stocked with a small school of hengel's rasbora, and it lasted a year and a half before I had to tear it down simply because I moved to a new house.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
23 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Hi Church and SearunSimpson thanks for the quick replies !
I can't get to HD so i'll check out Bed bath and beyond tomorrow. Now for java ferns, mosses, crypts etc... do I really need eco-complete?
What kind of fertilizers do I need, with low light and no co2 or can I bypass it with a couple fish ? And around how much light should I get, around 15?
I would just like to minimize costs since this will be a shrimp only tank with low tech plants (My Drfosters bill is at 120$ without tank, plants and shrimp).

Thanks again for your time it means a lot to me,

Killi
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,378 Posts
Java ferns and mosses don't really require any special substrate, but crpyts are heavy root-feeders, so it wouldn't hurt to use eco-complete. But if you choose not to, it's okay, just put some fert tabs down in the roots under your crypts.

You'll still probably need to supplement your fish poop with other ferts, but I admit having fish poop in there will supply some of what you need. I'd recommend having some bottle of liquid ferts around to add once a week or two. I also don't think it's necessary to use Excel for that plant selection, so that should save you some money.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
23 Posts
Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Church,

I will buy eco-complete then, so i don't need to buy root tabs, when you say some bottle do you mean something like flourish, kent marine, tetra flora pride etc... that aren't specific but general ? Those will supply micro will I need to dose macros? If I decide to not have fish but just shrimp would one of these bottles cover standard fertilizing needs too ?
What wpg should I be going for 2-3?

Edit: I am on the pfertz website, although expensive they have a simple solution for 25$ what do you think? Or would I need another package? Or is this getting too expensive and too high maintenance?

Thanks Church,

Killi
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
23 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Hi Lauraleellbp,

I will try and see how the plants do without fertilizing, although I think that to skip ferts all together i'll need to get some fish :)

Thanks,

Killi
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,580 Posts
Leo,

If you don't mind brownish natural looking substrate. Head to Home Depot this weekend and pick up a bag of SAS. I just saw bags of it on sale.. 4 bucks :biggrin: Should be enough for a nice slope in a 10g.. so a 5.5 you'll have extra.. just give it a cool rinse and you're ready to go.

(Shultz Aquatic Soil)


While you're at HD, you can pick up a cheapo desk lamp.. they sell the CFL ones.
If you head to the Southbay HD, you'll be right next to Skiptons.. so you can buy some plants/fish too~!



If you are close by, hit up Economy Hardware on Mass Ave.. you will find a good selection of CFL desklamps for ~20 bucks each!!

HOB's.. I would probably do a cheapo sponge filter to keep the shrimps safe.. But a HOB would be nice because you would break the surface and keep it from getting all filmy.


I'm attending BU btw. I'm in the area.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
567 Posts
HOB's.. I would probably do a cheapo sponge filter to keep the shrimps safe.. But a HOB would be nice because you would break the surface and keep it from getting all filmy.
.
Wouldn't using some sort of a sponge cover over the intake of the HOB help keep shrimp from getting sucked up by it? (If that's the danger you are referring to?) I used to use sponge filters in my breeder tanks when I was breeding angelfish, because they're cheap to set up in mass quantities, but they were noisy. My fishroom sounded like it was boiling with all the bubbling, and the air pumps, especially cheap or old ones, made horrible buzzing noise. So my choice would be the HOB, and if you're worried about the shrimp, cover the intake with some sponge. You can just rubber band some sort of sponge or maybe even something like old pantyhose around the intake. I do this in my planted tank anyway, to keep my HOB from sucking up plant trash and clogging. Someday I will be able to afford a canister filter, someday...

I'm not a shrimp expert, so those who are can correct me if there's still an issue with the HOB. Shrimp would be a quick lunch if I put them in my tank lol.

I have crypts growing in my tank, my substrate is a mix that has accumulated over the years...every time I take the tank apart I try something new...so it's potting soil, sand, kitty litter, and very fine gravel. The crypts seem to thrive in it. So I don't think you necessarily need to spend a lot of money on substrate for a low-tech tank.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
23 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for the responses,

I attend BU too currently sophomore in South. I went to the hardware store and got a 15w 6500k spiral light, and I am using a friends old desk lamp. I read that with spirals you lose around 15% of the light, so im still okay for low lighting a 5.5g. Home depot is a bit far since I don't have a car, and I went to skiptons to buy my tank for 15$. Skiptons was a cool place but again it's a bit far, i'll go there for big purchases. I already ordered from Drfosters the eco complete :s but thanks for the information on HD i'll definitely look at it for next time. I went with the aquaclear 20 hob since it was only 20$, and sponge filters are quite noisy! I'll try and put a sponge over the intake.

Thanks for the advice Downshift and Ariel
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top