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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys! I am new here and thinking of returning back to the realm of keeping fish, only this time I wanted to try and create a beautiful aquascape!

Okay, so obviously this being a rather bold statement after a break and I am not amazingly knowledgeable in terms of the science behind this but I understand the basics at least. Nether the less, i am hoping to start a 15 litre nano with a flexi m and was wondering if anyone has any insight into this lighting system? Also, is it absolutely necessary to have a high tech set up with such a small tank to create a lush and green scape?

I am trying to fit to a rather small budget so I would like to keep it as cost effective as possible but not cheating out on effectiveness or quality wherever it is necessary if that makes sense...

I am hoping to grow a selection/some of these plants; Cuba carpet (I love the Pearling) with perhaps some moss, green myrio cabomba (maybe), anubias, utricularia grami, hemianthus micran and maybe even ludwigia.

Are these suitable? I understand some plants require different lighting and such so I am concerned as to which requires what.

Now as far as co2 goes I am sort of torn, I've heard without co2 things will take forever to grow and sometimes not even grow at all and it is essential for carpets and a lush green appearance. However, contrastingly, I've heard in small tanks with decent lighting, plant additives and good substrate foundations, it is unnecessary. Any information on this subject would be amazing. I don't have the budget to spring on any fancy co2 system but I am looking into maybe the paintball method or cheap bell method, would this be effective in a nano?

For the filter I was trying to make it as discreet as possible with minimal impact on the scape and was unsure whether it would ve a good idea to splash on a external cartridge filter with lily glassware etc or just get a internal which may look ugly. Maybe even a hob that's not very large, any help regarding this would also be a great help.

I apologise for the lengthy post and if anyone can help me I would be very grateful as this is stressing me out slightly ^^

Many thanks, Ollie.
 

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I suggest reading the journal, nano and low tech forums here and taking a lot of notes to see what equipment and plants work and look good to you and of course what direction do you want your scape to take. Suggest going through all the AGA contest photos for nano tanks as well, many of them list exact equipment, plants and all which is very useful.Here's a 10L from 2007 that's very nice to get you started. Myrio, Cabomba and Ludwigia are large scale for a 15 liter nano. Anubias 'Petit', all the baby tears, all the mosses and Rotala are a better scale. UG is a difficult plant to grow. Talented aquarists can grow high light plants without CO2 as they will pick at algae, are meticulous at keeping the tank clean and are expert at dosing nutrients and adjusting the amount of light and above all else are patient. These are plants and some take longer to get to the point we envision sometimes.

For a discreet filter nothing beats a canister for a nano but you still get to hide the heater. Some use an inline one. I chose a corner mattenfilter foam for my brand new nano and incorporated the dark foam into the scape, the heater fits in there as well. Be nice if there was a small canister with heater module available. Look at the All In One nano tanks out there if you don't have your tank yet. That Fluval Spec looks great to me. I'd think your light would fit right on there.

The paintball CO2 is perfect for a nano tank. It should help the plants grow better under that very nice light you already own. Also for my brand new nano I choose to use a floating plant not just for looks but to dim the light going to the newly planted moss and Anubias.

Plants all love light but slow growing ones like Anubias will collect algae fast if in a bright spot. Moss does too but its so easy to pull out infested moss growth and leave the rest to regrow clean but Anubias leaves normally live a long time and are slow to grow. The baby tear species and stem plants sulk if shaded.
 

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This is a very personal group of decisions that will take a lot of study and is likely to have some mistakes along the way. you will be in doubt at many points so expect that as normal. But the way to proceed is a much more personal thing. I don't want to get a lot of "stuff" that I don't need so I look at things slowly and defer on buying until I find out more what I want for the level I want to run my tanks. That leaves me starting slowly and buying cheap to start.
Lighting is often one which is overtalked and over bought as a result. Light is one of the three main items but not the total answer. Lights and CO2 are the expensive items and need ferts to go with them but only IF (big IF?) you want to go high tech and get maximum growth and variety of growth. It can often be done at a much lower level and still get very good growth with lower (cheaper) lighting, etc. Selecting the less demanding plants can get you very good growth while gaining the knowledge it takes to go full out. I found I never wanted to go with the more delicate, fussy plants which require much more care.
Like working a jigsaw puzzle? Look carefully while trying to find what fits and then once more of the pieces are in place, it begins to look simple. I would start with easy plants which require little and then add to the pieces as I see some success. I see many who start big and quit because they don't find the tough stuff successful.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Really helpful answers guys, thank you. So as far as plants go would something like micran monte carlo, Anubias petite, Microsorum mini/petite and maybe some form of easy moss be viable? I am told carpeting plants such as a the Monte are difficult to grow and many say co2 is a must? Wondering what you thought about that. I want to achieve a very green environment. As far as CO2 goes, ive been having a lot of trouble as im told with a small aquarium its not necessary and can be substituted with flourish excel. Ive also seen some cheap canister filled 'bell' setup that looks fairly okay and its rather discreet. With the filter i hope i will be able to hide it behind plants to obscure the view. Thanks again, Ollie.
 
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