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Spec V shrimp & plants

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So I just talked my wife into letting me get a tank again for the first time in several year years. I used to have a 39 tall high light CO2 injected EI tank, but that was torn down almost 8 years ago when we moved. Since then I've tried nano reefs and nano planted tanks a few times, but I never followed through very well, and they all ended pretty disastrously. Well, I decided that since I live right next to a great LFS now, and I have a little money to play with, I would go ahead and rekindle my love of planted tanks, and hopefully stick with it and not screw up this time.

So I went in to my LFS, and picked up one of the new model Fluval Spec V freshwater tanks, a Fluval mini CO2 system, a little 50 watt heater, as well as a bag of Fluval Shrimp and Plant Stratum, some malaysian driftwood, and few easy plants (java fern, anubias, a broken marmo ball, and a couple crypts). The C2 is being injected through a ceramic disk in the pump compartment. We'll see if I need to upgrade the light, or if the new stock light is up to the task.

Picture 1 is what it looked like when I first set it up last weekend.

Picture 2 and 3 is after I rescaped with some rocks and more stratum, and added java moss, dwarf hair grass, and some good marmo balls. Hope the hair grass does OK!

I ran water tests today too. I need to add minerals and ferts... badly! The pH is 6 or so, and the KH and GH are basically 0. ammonia is low, and there is no detectable nitrite or nitrite. I plan on pushing some osmocote plus granules into the substrate, and to start with EI as soon as my they arrive from NilocG via Amazon.

Not going to be adding shrimp until after it is full established, and I've got the water parameters all settled.

Let me know what you think, and feel free to follow my progress.

- Jared

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Welcome back! My first tank after quite a few years break is also a Fluval Spec V (although I just set up 2 more tanks this past weekend). I really like these little tanks. They have good dimensions, and the light seems to be decent for a package deal. Mine are growing Java Fern, Crypts, Anubias, and argentine sword with no problems (just dosing Excel for now).

Good luck!
Hep
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I started gradually raising my GH and KH to acceptable shrimp levles (and to buffer my pH). I'm using 1/8 tsp Seachem Equilibrium and 1 mL Aquavitro Mineralize in a half gallon water change to do so.

I decided to try Osmocote Plus and not use water column dosing at all (for now). I used tweezers to place 16 total individual granuals deep in the substrate aroumd the tank, as such: 3 granuals 1 inch apart under each crypt, 6 spaced roughly 1 inch apart throught the upper planted area, 2 spaced 1 inch apart under the mayaca stems, and 2 on either side of the end of the tank with nothing but marmo bals above. We'll see if I added enough, too much, or not enough... water tests tomorrow!

Cheers.

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I started gradually raising my GH and KH to acceptable shrimp levles (and to buffer my pH). I'm using 1/8 tsp Seachem Equilibrium and 1 mL Aquavitro Mineralize in a half gallon water change to do so.

I decided to try Osmocote Plus and not use water column dosing at all (for now). I used tweezers to place 16 total individual granuals deep in the substrate aroumd the tank, as such: 3 granuals 1 inch apart under each crypt, 6 spaced roughly 1 inch apart throught the upper planted area, 2 spaced 1 inch apart under the mayaca stems, and 2 on either side of the "empty" end of the tank with nothing but marmo balls above. We'll see if I added enough, too much, or not enough... water tests tomorrow!

Cheers.

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I also used Osmocote+, although I used Eco-Complete for substrate (which I am not super happy with). I used a LOT more Osmocote though. I covered about 1/5 to 1/4 of the bottom glass of the tank before adding the subtrate.

I'm curious to see how your's goes. I had a larger and longer ammonia spike than I was expecting when I started. I don't know if that was due to the Osmocote, the Eco-Complete, or if I just didn't remember how starting a new tank would go.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I also used Osmocote+, although I used Eco-Complete for substrate (which I am not super happy with). I used a LOT more Osmocote though. I covered about 1/5 to 1/4 of the bottom glass of the tank before adding the subtrate.

I'm curious to see how your's goes. I had a larger and longer ammonia spike than I was expecting when I started. I don't know if that was due to the Osmocote, the Eco-Complete, or if I just didn't remember how starting a new tank would go.
Whoa! That's seems like a lot of fertilizer in a 5 gal! Having any algae issues?

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Whoa! That's seems like a lot of fertilizer in a 5 gal! Having any algae issues?

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Yeah, I realized after the fact that it may have been a little heavy for this size tank. I had a small algae bloom early on, but not too bad. Mostly concentrated on a piece of driftwood and a few of the larger leaves of anubia/sword. I've gotten rid of everything but a bit of string algae and some diatoms. I added some Amano shrimp after the tank was cycled, and they cleared out most of the algae in a couple days. I actually increased the light cycle to try to produce a little more algae for them so I don't have to add algae tabs as often.

I just started a 10gal tank, so once it cycles and starts developing some algae, I'll probably move a few of the Amano over to it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thought I'd share how I set up my pump compartment. The heater (1) is a shorty, so it fits above the raised pump. Speaking of the pump (2), I cut about an inch and a half off the pump return hose to raise it up so I could fit the ceramic disk CO2 diffuser (3) under it.


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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Got a little piece of amano wood and superglued some subwassertang to it. I look forward to the subwassertang filling in and covering all the ugly white superglue. Also got my CO2 dialed so that my fluval drop checker is showing green.




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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Found some Utricularia gibba in the tank this morning. Glad I caught it early! I've had infestations of this befrore. It's a shame its so damn invasive... I actually kind of like the way it looks, and I'm a fan of carnivorous plants in general. I almost decided to leave it... key word ALMOST. Oh well... its gone now.





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