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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So it's not really my first planted nano, but all I did before was root a few anubis and baby swords for my dwarf africian frogs ... there was no design really behind it and it was "okay" but wasn't what I'd call anything pretty.

But this IS my first stab at a shrimp paradise (it's cute my other half is soooo getting sucked into this - I have been showing him the bowls and vases and little tanks and now he's getting excited and thinking we could put a tank here or there or in this or that - freaking LOVE it! lol) so trying to wrap my brain around all the techie stuff to some degree.

I kinda like my undergravel filter - I'm not sure I'm really to do the whole soil and sand route (bad bad past experiences with a deep sand bed as my substrate) and honestly all my best planted tanks had a UGF.I kind of want to go old school low tech on this one though I think.

I really LOVE the whole carpeting effect. LOVE that. So I was thinking HC but not sure if my existing light is okay for that (do fish fluorescent lights have anyway to mark what kind of a light it is once the package is thrown away?) and I always used liquid fertilizers as it always hits the root systems because of the UGF- so getting it to the roots has never been an issue.

But I know I'm trying new ground here for myself - so wanted to have some measure of success. It will have a lid, so short plants will be wanted or ones that I can trim back and that can handle the grooming.

Plant or equipment ideas? I don't think I'm quite ready to deal with c02 yet ... so looking for a simple step into the nano spectrum ... for now anyways. and the only plnts I've ever tried before were the ones that I'd stumble across in the wild or at the LFS, so my experience is likely fairly limited in scope.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Here's what I'm dealing with so far equipment wise:



And then with it all together ...



I know, kinda a repeat - I will take cleaned up pics of it tonight ... need to find my bag of gravel still too although not entirely sold on what I will do for substrate yet ... I do really adore my natural gravel in terms of how it looks as it always looks so natural, especially under dappled light.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I wouldn't mind root tabs.

I'm not fully sure what substrate I'll be going with yet either but my other half is getting *quite* interested in the tiny tanks ... soooo might wind up plunging into everything a lot faster than I had anticipated LOL.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Bought a few things that might work for this tank (if not - I'll just stick it inot my 30 gallon, orrrrrrrrrrrr I'll just set up another tank lol) sooo excited to see plants I've never had before!

Can't seem to find any aquarium substrates in my immediate vicinity - might have to jump out to Sac and see if any of the stores carry it. Got the tank all cleaned up though so yay!
 

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I am diggin that little tank. I am going to end up rescaping my 2.5 gallon soon. Can't wait to see where this one goes.

My advice would be this. Deep six that undergravel filter and get a power filter. You will be much happier about it.:proud:

If you want HC you can do it in that tank. As long as your lighting is right and your substrate and ferts. Take a look at my thread, My nano tank in my sig.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
No luck on the substrate and I got baby tears that I *have* to get into it ... so I am soooo not sure what to do!

I got it all cleaned up though - here's a pic of it with the light on:



I might just go with the UGF and and gravel for now as I have plants coming in the next few days and one already and I really need to get *something* going even if I wind up tearing it down and going in a substrate direction once I get my hands on some!

NO idea how good this light is, and I'm a tad worried that it will be TOO much light. Fairly certain this is a plant light though as I got it for the plants that were in this for my African frogs ... but NO idea what wattage or anything else ... and no idea if there is a way to tell from the bulb itself.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Undergravel filters are great for shrimps. If you don't use yours...PM me and Ill be happy to take it off your hands. I've been looking for a UGF for my 2.5g. Thanks.
I'm pretty sure that was fairly easy to find in my area - the *real* PITA for me to find was the LIGHT! 7 years ago ... small tanks were NOT easy to come by and MOST of them ONLY had incandescent lights available and I was hardcore (as I was told at the time anyway LOL) to be absolutely determined to get a fluorescent setup.

The tank, the UGF and the light I bought separately from each other, and it took me months to get the light ballast and then get the tube lol.

If you like I can keep an eye out for another one for you! As I recall it was pretty cheap but then UGFs never did cost too horribly much lol.
 

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I say ditch the UGF, get yourself some Fluval Shrimp Stratum or Eco-Complete, fertilize it, and use a tiny sponge filter or Red Sea Nano HOB.

You can find good deals online for all of the above.

I think it's going to look pretty great once you get it going. (I've got three 2.5gals in dry start at current - there's a journal of it all here on the forum if you're interested)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I would if I could find some local substrate ... but I have this issue with paying shipping for dirt (or the equivalent) - i'd be much more likely to try to wrap my brain around making organic soil suitable before paying shipping for substrate ... I'm a little weird that way, I know! LOL
 

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You could always do some dirt capped with some sand. I have inert black reef sand in my 2.5 and my HC loves it. I am getting ready to redo the tank and put some dirt in it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Depending upon the vendor, you won't have to pay shipping.

Pet Mountain, Foster & Smith, Amazon, et al have shipping deals.

The only thing I've ever paid more than $5 to ship is Aquasoil.
REALLY?

Hmmm I'll look into it then! About to head into a place in Sacramento and poke around and see if they carry anything like that ... cuz in addition to my HC (that *is* dwarf baby tears, right?) I just got my first plants in the mail today so I just HAVE to get this tank set up *somehow*.

BTW - I noticed baby snails ... in the past I hated ALL snails other than the ones I bought like Apple Snails (which actually have personalities) because I'd end up with an infestation - so as a rule I have always done a very heavy salt bath for ALL plants being introduced to kill off any stowaways ... is there a better method for that? That's just what I dreamed up as a kid ... and then I just always did it that way (it's fairly simple yet effective) but maybe there is something better I ought to be doing?
 

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Yep - that's dwarf baby tears.

Snails aren't necessarily a bad thing, in my opinion. As long as you don't over feed, they won't get out of control. Lots of people freak out over bladder/pond/et al snails but I enjoy them. They keep algae threats down and are great scavengers.

If you hate them, you can always pick them off by hand in a bowl of water. It's time-consuming but fairly effective. Salt and bleach dips also work to some level of success.

If you decide to keep them and they ever do get out of control, it's easy to set a snail trap to remove them.

As far as substrates go: definitely shop around online. Even some of PT's sponsors and participants occasionally have great sales that make shipping next to nothing. I recently bought 100 pounds of Fluval Shrimp Stratum and paid no shipping. Feel free to PM me for more info, if you wish, as I don't want to turn anything into a vendor review/advertisement.
 

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Was digging through my fish room earlier and found a couple 12" light strips that I used on my 2.5gals before switching to clamp-style fixtures with daylight CFLs.

One of them was a $9 deal I ordered from Petco - it handles up to 15 watts. Had forgotten I'd done this but I added another fixture on the opposite side of the strip/hood so I could run two bulbs.

If you have difficulty finding proper bulbs for your strip, it may be something you could consider. Wouldn't be difficult at all to add a screw-in fixture or two and it'd be cheap. A daylight CFL or two and you'd be good to go on a tank that small.
 
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