I used to keep a few fish (guppies) a decade ago with fake plants but loved the look of aquascapes and the process of caring for them. I had a little bit of space on my desk so starting my first planted tank with a nano. I've read nano tanks, especially one as small as a 5 gallon, are not beginner friendly but I'm hoping I can figure it out quickly with lots of research and advice. And lots of water changes
I had taken notes and pictures since day one but have only gotten around to making an official tank journal 2 weeks later so I will backfill the history with posts
Here are the starting stats of the equipment:
AquaOne Nano 30 all-in-one glass tank with curved edges (30cm x 30cm x 30cm with a built-in sump thing, 5g/22L)
Built-in powered by the included AquaOne Maxi 101 Powerhead (400L/h). Filled with sponge and 600g of AquaOne BioNood (ceramic noodles)
Not used for now
A DIY system made of yeast, sugar, and gelatin. Stainless steel diffuser that feeds straight to powerhead intake
Chihiros WRGB2 30cm
Gravel base to lift the back, ADA Amazonia v2 (about 4cm deep throughout the tank)
LCA All-in-one Shrimp Safe. Sounds like it's an EI recipe
It was advertised as Seiryuu stone but I have a feeling they're actually Ryoh stones
Starting plant list
- Eleocharis 'Belem'
- Bacopa monnieri
- Lindernia rotundifolia 'Variegated'
- Micranthemum sp. Monte Carlo (I later find I actually got pearlweed (Hemianthus Micranthemoides))
- Staurogyne repens
- None. Planning on shrimp and eventually fish
Since this is my first tank after awhile I started with 2 weeks of a dark start to give the filter bacteria a head start. Filled with aqua soil, hardscape, and filter media and kept at 28 degrees with the filter running and API QuickStart. Only did a 30% water change after a week.
Received the plants on Jan 12 and did a 90% water change. A lot of these plants seem like they were grown emersed judging by the earthworms in their roots so I am fully expecting some melt. They came sealed in some Ziploc bags that were further heat sealed with a little water in them, pretty decent condition on everything.
Water params via test strip:
GH- 180 ppm
KH - 120 ppm
pH - 7.5
NO2 - 0.5 ppm
NO3 - 20 ppm
Local water is pretty soft so I'm guessing the sky-high GH is the stone leaching whatever limestoney goodness into the water
Wow, so many problems. I tried to set up my DIY CO2 system the night before my plants arrived but the silicon sealant had a hole and pressure wasn't building up. Slapped on some extra sealant and hope tomorrow it holds. Plants should be Ok, I think
I had so many problems actually planting everything. I tried planting the foreground and midground after draining down to the substrate, then filling up and planting the stems. My struggles to plant the stems just uprooted everything. Some of the "Monte Carlo" I just left as a tuft sitting on the soil or held down with pebbles, hoping their roots would grow into the soil. As long as it doesn't float away, I'm hoping they'll catch? I'm pretty sure I mauled the Bacopa monnieri stems with my tweezers. I dunno if you can see, some of the Stauro is sideways, the roots were sideways on the stems so I planted as much of the roots as possible
I'm starting with a 6-hour photoperiod, 1 hour ramp, at 50% power to ease into it