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My first planted tank

2612 Views 15 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  SearunSimpson
Hello aquascapers,

I just bought my first tank today. woohoo!!

Its a 22L about 6 gallons Aquaone AR-126. I know that the lights are PL lights and 11W. Is it sufficient? its about 1.8 Watt per gallon

3 driftwood with some plants sticking on them (not sure what kind is it)

Gravel. But i think my gravel size is to big. I dont think i can plant any plants. So i didnt add any substrate. maybe get some java moss. i am going to the LFC i might get finer gravel and substrate and re do the whole thing.

What do you guys think?

Ohh yeah another thing, with a 6 gallon tank, how many fishes can i put?

here is my pics


Side 2




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Nice job Mervin! I'd say you've done better with your first tank than some of the "veterans" on here :hihi: Gravel obviously wont be the best choice for growing plants in the substrate but with the plants that are on the wood now that doesn’t really make a difference . Good job.

11w is going to be on the low end of lighting. The watts/gallon rule doesn’t really apply to nanos so I would say watch and wait. If you see the plants starting to look bad then go get a bigger light otherwise it is sufficient
those are fine anubias you got there... if you go neons, you can put in about 6-8 fish there.
Very cool, I like the anubius. You still have time to change the sub before the cycle starts kicking.
just bought some extra stuff today.

1 driftwood
3 small rocks
java moss

1 hairgrass

i think its a bit too much. what do you think?

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I liked it better before. It looked good with just the anubias. It looks a little crowded now with the extra rocks and wood
I agree, it had nice simplicity and composition before. Maybe some shorter ground cover if you can grow it in that gravel, but that's pretty much all I would have done to it, maybe some flame moss on the branches.

You should raise your water level to lessen the gas exchange and hold in more CO2.
I did a bit of rearranging and also bought some hairgrass to try it out. I also added a 14 W 6500k lamp. So now i have a 11 W and a 14 W. I hope its enought wattage for my 6 gallon tank

I manage to setup my own diy co2 reactor/diffuser for my new nano 6 gallon tank using a cheapo internal filter from my local department store $17.00. a small siphon $8.00 and some filter material

Its not perfect. I can see bubbles escaping. I guess its better than just using airstones

Any thoughts?

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That looks better than the last scape, only thing I would say is tie the moss to the uprights of the wood, the way it is now will result in a huge moss ball in the center of the tank.

25 watts is a good amount of light, especially compared to 11. A good polished reflector can make that go a long way, you might want to look into getting a reflector and a few other parts from and incorporating those bulbs into a DIY canopy.

The diffuser looks very efficient to me, only tests and plants will tell. Are you familiar with the various ways of testing CO2 content?

I've found bell diffusers to be a good, somewhat unobtrusive way to diffuse in a small tank. A DIY bell diffuser would consist of the bottom of a cup or 16 oz plastic soda bottle with some suction cups (I like to use multiple suction cups for a corner mount since the buoyancy when filled with CO2 is strong enough to rip the bell off the glass), mount upside down, then run the open ended CO2 tubing up under the bell. Drilling a hole in the top of the bell to purge some CO2 can help keep it from being too buoyant as well as expel other unwanted gases that can build up in the bell, but it takes a bit of trial and error to drill a hole big enough for CO2 to escape yet small enough to keep it all from escaping at once rendering the bell useless. I run a small powerhead under my bell to make sure there is good circulation under it for better diffusion.

Here's a pic of mine in action on my 30gl, hasn't been tended to in awhile, so some of the suction cups are releasing, but still effective. There's no question about it's effectiveness, when the reactor stops producing or the tubing pops out, the bell quickly becomes empty as the CO2 absorbs into the water column.
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The diffuser looks very efficient to me, only tests and plants will tell. Are you familiar with the various ways of testing CO2 content?
I am not very familiar with testing co2 content. But i guess i can find methods here or around.

Well only time will tell. I am not sure if this will work I will give it time

1. PH and KH test results compared to this chart.

2. CO2 drop checker (blacksunshine sells nice ones in the swap and shop)
Thanks mymonkey,

I rearrange and replanted my hairgrass today. I just found out that my hairgrass will not grow well because of my top layer gravel. Its too big. So i had to brush the top layer off to reveal my second layer which is a finer grain.

I bought an 18 W bulb today and also some cloudy ammonia to do a fishless cycle.
I also just ordered a Eden 501 nano filter :biggrin:
Man.. i know i dont need it. Its an impulse buy... arrrghh.. there goes my tax return.

ehehe.. Its on its way.. *rub fingers.

Next i will get a better reactor. to hook up to my nano canister filter **rub fingers.
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...some cloudy ammonia to do a fishless cycle...

First of all, love your tank.

Second, the plants should absorb the ammonia, so you shouldn't have to resort to ammonia to do a fishless cycle. In fact, some people claim that using ammonia in this manner in a planted tank could set up a condition ripe for an algae bloom. If you want, you can always use some media from an established tank in your filter or just add more plants. If you are testing your water, you shouldn't see a ammonia or nitrite spike in a planted tank. Also, if you are going to keep such few plants, start slow with the fish cause your plant mass may not be enough to handle a heavy bioload off the bat.

Also, if you still decide to try ammonia, I am not sure if cloudy ammonia is a good idea. For fishless cycling, ammonia should be clear and not foam when you shake it. It should have no additives. I have succesfully used the Goldex Brand Ammonia from Wal-mart(I think it was $1.68) to do fishless cycles in the past.
I also just ordered a Eden 501 nano filter :biggrin:
Man.. i know i dont need it. Its an impulse buy... arrrghh.. there goes my tax return.
you wont be dissapointed im running one and its brilliant
cant wait to see your tank grow out it looks promising :)
That bottle Co2 bell was an idea i tried a few months back, and im sure you've already noticed this, is that the trapped bubbles lift the bottle up and the bubbles escape, or theres so much in it that the whole thing just comes off. I went out and bought a Hagen bubble ladder for only $20. It is very effecient and easy to maintain. You could probably google "aquarium Co2 ladder" and find similar products. I just find this way to be hassle free and very effective.
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