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Low tech planted 29gallon with nano fish
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all, I just started a new low tech tank: it's a 29 gallon tall, Brazilian style aquascape, fully planted and cycled now. Essentially it's the new setup for my nano fishes, which currently include:
  • 4 pygmy Corys
  • 4 bumblebee goby
  • 3 chili pepper rasbora
  • 2 amano shrimp
  • 2 cobra guppies
  • 1 rocket killifish (male)
  • 1 CPD (female)
I do intend on adding:
  • 6 more pygmy Corys
  • 4 more rocket killifish, preferably females, once they are available at my LFS.
  • At least 2 more CPD.... I haven't had the best of luck with these.
  • At least 9 more chili pepper rasbora
  • 5 to possibly 9 harlequin rasbora
Equipment specs include: fluval planted 3.0 light, eheim air pump, aquaclear hob filter for 40-70 gallon, and eheim heater.

Substrate/hardscape: a bit of pea gravel for elevation during aquascaping, but fully covered in ecoComplete. A bit of colorado sand for a beach-like feature (mainly for the gobies to enjoy). Seiryu stones, and a few manzanita branches.

Plants: 4 species of bucephalandra: mini coin, brownie blue, brownie jade, arrogant blue. Also have: anubias golden, umbrella grass, dwarf grass, s. Repens, dwarf sagg, giant hair grass, vallisneria spiralis, cabomba, java fern, and a few others I forget the names of.

Some concerns/ questions:
  1. I'm concerned that my water flow might be too strong (esp for the nanos). Initially I was back in forth on either using the aquaclear 20-50gallon or the 40-70... after research etc, I ended up going with the 40-70 since my tank was going to be heavily planted and I'm not using an extra sponge filter, like I have on previous setups. Instead, I just have the hob with a sponge on the intake. I'm now contemplating buying the 20-50 gallon. Does anyone have any suggestions? Would installing a baffle fix the problem or should I just swap out for 20-50 gallon hob?
  2. I've just added some red background plants: ludwigia natans super red, ludwigia arcuata, and Limnophila hippuridoides. I really want the reds to show and I understand that will depend on how I fertilize and lighting, because it's not running on c02. Does anyone have any tips on how do ensure the maximum coloration for these plants in a low tech tank? I currently use easy green, and iron ferts on a weekly basis. And a couple root tabs.
  3. Any tips for light risers? I've searched the interwebs endlessly and can't seem to find an option that I will be satisfied with or will fit correctly because the tank does use a glass top (I have cats). Suspension might be the best bet- but again want something that will look neat/stylish and is practical. DIY ideas welcomed.
  4. Any fish recommendations?
I would appreciate anyone's feedback on my questions above, but also any tips in general- on the plants, fish, lighting modes... on community nano tanks/ tank mates..
Water Plant Vertebrate Botany Rectangle

Premium Member
75g, 33L, 2g and play tanks
621 Posts
My initial thoughts.

1. Try and put another sponge or something around the filter intake. should reduce some of that flow. will be a nice place for shrimp to feed as well. But I think the 20-40 would be a better fit personally. Though I am sure the 40-70 has more room. I like to fiddle with mine. I don't like to use the carbon filters. I just use physical, both coarse and fine sponges/filters if I can and some biomedia. even in all of my HOB, no matter the size. though the small ones only get one kind of sponge...

2. Iron and Nitrates. Looks like you're on the right track. Just find that balance. I noticed that they also get more red with a little higher light as well. sometimes I had some ludwigia that was never red until it got to a few inches from the water's surface. If adding more nutrients doesn't turn them red and your TDS and parameters keep going up then you will likely want to add CO2 so they can take in more of everything. Or check out your potassium and phosphates (again if adding nutrients doesn't work) You should have plenty of Nitrates so these others are required by plants but in lower quantities, about 1/3 the amount of Postassium (K) and... well if you use a Potassium Phosphate as a vehicle to get the K in there you will have enough Phosphates (it's like 15 to 1, Nitrates to Phosphates).

3. Yeah, so far, this is the main thing I dislike about my Fluval 3.0. DIY...

4. The CPDs, what is the most you ever had? if you just had 3 that may be why your luck ran out. They, like the Rasboras, like a nice school. Otherwise, be up on your water changes. that's starting to get on the heavier side of bioload once all is grown up and if you get the max amount listed. But no danger in my opinion; but I love a lot of fish and Nitrates are not that dangerous. I have accidently had them well above 200 ppm and brought it down with just weekly water changes over a month or more, no fish deaths at all. Just try and add them a group at a time for nitrogen cycle balancing, all at once could cause an ammonia spike right away or a delayed one even if the first round doesn't go too bad. I would say 5-7 days between adding fish. I would add about 8-12 at a time. Okay... I would recommend doing that, but I would personally add all those in two groupings to be honest. Just watch for a couple days and make sure there is no weird behavior from them. If so, water change.
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