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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, this is the second time I'm getting back into the hobby. I had two aquariums back home in India (one with plant - couldn't really call it a planted aquarium) and I tried to keep a 55-gallon cichlid tank going when I moved to school here, but that didn't really materialize. I've just changed aparmtments and being a lurker on the Fluval Edge thread, I jumped on one when I found it on clearance at PETCO. So far all I have is the stock Edge and a bag of Fluorite Black. I have a few leads out on rocks for the hardscape from members of this forum, but I'm definitely aiming for an Iwagumi style aquarium for now.

Since I'll be out of town for about three weeks at the end of this year, I was planning on making a first relatively simple run with a single foreground plant only, which would make it easier to take apart before I leave. Which brings me to my lengthy series of questions -

1. For the time being I'm planning to keep the aquarium relatively simple (budgetary constraints). I was thinking of using Jello CO2 for this aquarium. Would I need a diffuser with it or would the pressure not be enough? Would a bubble counter be meaningful for a DIY CO2 setup?

2. I was looking at EI as a fertilization regime given it alleviates the need for expensive testing kits. Does anybody have an opinion on this? Is there a simpler method?

3. Any suggestions for quick-growing, hardy plants that might grow reasonably well in the Edge's stock lights? I'm planning on eventually replacing stock lights in the edge with either a 13 W CFL + 2 x MR11, 2 x 13 W CFL or 1 x 27 W CFL (Hampton Bay light). But I was thinking it might be easier the first time around to just stick with the stock lights. I was considering DHG (Eleocharis 'belem' etc.) or as an alternative pygmy chain sword (Echinodorus tenellus).

Thanks ahead of time!
 

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The stock halogen Edge lights are definitely low-light and shouldn't be used in a Co2 setup. They can really only grow low light plants like Anubias, Java ferns, Crypts, and Java moss.

If you want to do high-tech with Co2 I would recommend the MR16 LEDs (higher lumens than the MR11s) and a 13w CFL, or perhaps a desk lamp to augment it.

Otherwise, just skip the Co2. I've had good luck growing Anubias nana, Java fern, Java moss, Fissidens Fontanus, Crypt Parva (although it grows slowly) in my edge with just the MR16s and no Co2.
 

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One other thing - I wouldn't recommend the Edge for a first time planted tank. Due to the small opening it's very hard to do any aquascaping in there. Especially if you have tall plants near the opening, it's almost impossible to trim or plant in the foreground without disrupting the background plants.

The nano that I have my eye on as my next project is the Eheim Aqua Style 9 gallon/35 liter. It has a 7 watt LED light that is good for low/med. plants, but might not work for high light plants. It's an awesome tank and you can get it online for about $112, or about the same price I paid for the Edge on clearance at Petco. Another great nano is the 4 gallon Finnex tanks which can be found on eBay as a complete kit for about $48 + shipping. The Finnex has a 29 watt light that is great for growing the high light plants you mentioned like DHG, and would work well with a Co2 setup.

If you do go with the Edge, plant your foreground first, then work your way back. Try to keep tall plants to the two sides so that you have enough open space in the middle to keep it maintained more easily.

As a first timer, don't underestimate how nice it is to be able to reach every part of the substrate easily. With the Edge that just isn't really possible, without lowering the water level and being very careful.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The stock halogen Edge lights are definitely low-light and shouldn't be used in a Co2 setup. They can really only grow low light plants like Anubias, Java ferns, Crypts, and Java moss.

If you want to do high-tech with Co2 I would recommend the MR16 LEDs (higher lumens than the MR11s) and a 13w CFL, or perhaps a desk lamp to augment it.
I might as well upgrade the lights now then. I don't think the mod is too difficult. I'll probably do 2 x 13 W CFL or 1 x 27 W CFL, and drop the LEDs, unless I want nightlights.

As a first timer, don't underestimate how nice it is to be able to reach every part of the substrate easily. With the Edge that just isn't really possible, without lowering the water level and being very careful.
Thanks for the advice. I got the Edge on clearance for about $80, and I really like the way it looks. I'm not planning (at least now) to go for particularly tall plants. I'd like to on the next iteration do glosso/HC/DHG with blyxa and pygmy chain sword, so plant height shouldn't be too much of an issue. But I'll definitely keep what you said in mind.

Do you have any suggestions for simple, relatively inexpensive fert regimes for a nano? Also would I need to use a nano diffuser with the DIY CO2?

Thanks,
 

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If you're going with all short plants and an Iwagumi layout, it might be easier to aquascape in the Edge. I put a big piece of driftwood in mine so it's kinda tricky. :)

I would recommend reading the fert dosing sticky. You can just divide the 20 gallon recommendations by 4 for the Edge or Finnex.

I'm not really an expert on Co2 because I have all low-tech non-Co2 tanks, but you might want to check out this guy's tank because he has a Finnex with most of the stuff you want in it (HC, DHG):

http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/planted-nano-tanks/146789-my-first-planted-nano.html
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the input Storm. I put a Finnex 4g v. Fluval Edge poll up and so far it is overwhelmingly in favor of the Finnex. I think I'm going to send my Edge back to PETCO and get myself a Finnex.
 
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