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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm new to planted tanks but have been dealing with saltwater reefs for many years and freshwater fish for years before that. A friend of mine at work challenged me to a contest to see who could set up the best pico. We'll have a couple of folks around the office judge and the loser buys lunch for the winner. I have a tall 1 gallon tank that I scrounged from a friend, I'm planning on putting a 50/50 compact flourescent screwin bulb into a desk lamp for lighting, and will fertilize regularly.

I like simple so let me describe my vision and see if somebody can fill in the missing plant.

I have a base of gravel with dwarf hairgrass covering. I have a small (obviously) piece of driftwood. I have 2 or 3 white clouds. And, here's where I need some help, a plant that will be planted relatively central and will remain slender for the 1st third or so of it's height before it branches out, think of the shadow of an oak tree. I want the leaves to be slender, possibly a little lacey.

So, with that info, I'll readily take recomendations on anything and everything from fertilizers to plants, to lighting, to photoperiod, to whether or not to dose CO2, etc. With what little I know about planted tanks, any tidbit you give me will be useful.

Ken
 

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dont use a 50 50 buld go with a daylight plants wont flourish under atnics.
as for co2 excel would work nicely.

as for the mystery plant hemathius micranthemodes might work depending on your lighting intensity also trimming will be a key part in making sure it grows outwards.
 

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Alright, well, to begin, I second that you have no need for a 50/50. Just go out and get a 25-15w cf (5700k+) from HD or Walmart. A good photoperiod would be 8-10 hours. In addition, with such a small system, it's difficult to provide enough CO2 to make your plants happy without overdosing the fish. I'd go with excel because it's relatively inexpensive, easy to dose, and very manageable.

As for the substrate, I would actually opt for enriched over inert, simply because it makes your plants flourish and produces better quality plants. For a nano, it's very affordable, and is well worth it in the long run.

For your layout, it balances the design if you include odd numbers of whatever elements you use (think fung-shui.) I would probably advise that you have a foreground, mid, and background plant, just to provide a transition between the various levels of the taller tanks. The hairgrass would make a great mid-ground plant, and if you used Hemianthus micranthemoides or Hemianthus callitrichoides in a little grove in the front (just off center,) it will help the overall look of the aquarium while creating the illusion of a larger space. For a background plant like you described, you might want to look into plants of the genus Cryptocoryn, as they may meet your criteria. Also, you might want to look into members of the Rotalia genus.

Finally, for fish, you might want to look into smaller species, like Microrasbora in order to, again, give your aquarium the illusion of a larger volume. You might also want to add a shrimp and snail cleanup crew to help keep the layout algae free.

Good luck with your competition (and I hope this doesn't count as cheating:flick: )!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I doubt this would count as cheating. My competitor has had a, I think it's a 70 gallon, planted tank for many years. He's worked in the aquarium industry and just generally knows more about this stuff then I do...we just thought this would be fun and brighten up our offices.

I like the crypts, a couple looked almost exactly like what I had envisioned.

I also liked the idea of the third plant plant species, I could add a cove of something.

I had thought of white clouds because I was hoping to not have to heat the tank. The office stays a consistent temperature, but it's certainly not mid to upper 70's.

Finally, I've been getting mixed messages about the substrate. I fear that the planted tank world has the same substrate debates as the reef tank world with the deep sand bed, shallow sand bed, and bare bottom argument that never seems to end...I'll dig a little deeper into the forum here and see what I can dig up.
 

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Hi, I am new here... not new to tanks though hehe

I recommend going with something between 5500 - 6700K. I suggest 6500K.

As for substrate, go with Seachem Flourite or Carib-Sea Eco-Complete.
What are the dimensions of the one gallon tank? Fertilizers, I would recommend Seachem's Flourish. For a carbon source, use Seachem Flourish Excel if you do not have CO2. Since your tank is a one gallon, lighting is very limited in the lower wattages, but definitely not in the higher wattages if you are going on heavy planted. The smallest screw in 6500K bulb I found was only a GE 10W. 10 watts per gallon may seem significant, so be sure you keep up with algae problems if you do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
this is fun! I miss designing tanks when I know absolutely nothing.

So, from that link, most of those tanks are not my taste. I set up my reef tanks the same way I want to set this up, lots of specimens of very few species...it takes HUGE amounts of self control to not buy every cool brightly colored coral I come across. So, my favorite was entry number 34 which was a monoculture of Anubias bareri caladiitolia but was layed out superbly! I also liked 64 and 96.

The tank I'm working with is about 4x8x12. It's not in front of me right now so this is just a guesstimate and a rough one at that. I think that entry number 64 is closer to what I'm shooting for with mostly dwarf hairgrass on the bottom, maybe a small patch of glosso (I think that's what I'm thinking of, shorter then the HG, kind clover like?) and then a tall plant. Because the tank I'm dealing with is so columner (sp?) I'm actually trying to excentuate the height by adding a tall plant smack dab in the center with a tiny piece of driftwood just to the left and foreground of that plant. But, having said that, I do like the idea of using a smaller species of fish to give a roomier feel.

It looks like some of the crypts do what I want. They have bare stems on their lower third transitioning to long slender leaves the fill out on top.

Does pruning encourage this shape?

Can any of these substrates be purchased in small quantities? I do not want to buy 20 pounds of substrate when I only need 2 pounds.

I'm excided to have you guys pulling me back on the lighting, I like it when advice has me spending less money, not more.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
What about Red Rubin (Echinodorus rubin)? The shape is ideal, I like the idea of it being emergent since the tank is open top (it would add some very cool texture). My one concern is how to control its propegation if it's doing so under a mat of hairgrass and glosso?
 

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The "red rubin" sword is too big for that size tank. I would consider the following:
Cryptocoryne blassii (large crypt that grows slow)
Cryptocoryne undulata (large crypt)
Cryptocoryne pygmaea (smaller size, great for nano)

Crypts need no pruning in order to get to this shape, they are naturally.

I would post up a want ad on the swap and shop part of the forum for substrate. I suggest you stay away from Seachem Flourite and go for a smaller granules in order to get the scale you are looking for.

The glosso you mentioned will work as a forground plant, but takes patience to really fill in nicely. (if you use this as a forground plant, plant alot of it in the beginning)
 
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