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Want to start a nano or two

1555 Views 12 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  ringram
Hello -
I currently have a 25g set up for a CRS and RCS breeding tank, but I'd like to set up two smaller tanks and dedicate each to just one type of shrimp. It would be something I would want to enjoy looking at also, so I would be using Co2 and some type of light to grow HC, maybe some hairgrass, etc.

Equipment / ideas:
I saw a thread on here about someone who used a 5g AGA tank. I'd like to do something similar and buy either a clip on PC or the 13wx2 from ahsupply.
I'd like to try and keep cost down, so that's where your suggestions come in. I've seen those clipon's also that use the screw on PC bulb, but not sure how good those are.

I looked at Petco and Petsmart websites and they only seem to carry Eclipse and Penplax for the smaller tanks and ask $50-60 even for a 5g tank. I'm not willing to pay that much. I've already looked around on the local craigslist, but it's usually a crapshoot. I generally just see 10g tanks, anywhere from $10-$30 and rarely see any decent sounding (rarely are pics posted) nanos.

I also added up what it would cost for a 13wx2 from ahsupply and including the bulbs it would cost around $50 not including shipping.

As for filter, I'm thinking about using the Eheim 2222 I'm currently using on my 25 (too low flow for that tank) and boring some bigger holes or using larger PVC to cut down the flow a little. It's really not that powerful of a filter, so I'm not worried.

Co2? Either going to buy a 5 lb Co2 tank and a manifold (+2 needle valves, etc) so I can run it on both tanks, or maybe just Excel if that would work...

Any ideas from people who have done successful nanos? Thanks!

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If your considering the 13w x2 kit keep in mind you will still have to make an enclosure or figure out a way to hang the lights. If you have a way to mount the 13w kits from ahsupply then they might be better since the reflectors are nice.

Another light to consider would be the home depot 27w desk lamp.
You would be able to get 2 of the home depot lamps for around the same price as the 13w x2 from ahsupply.

There is another desk lamp that uses the same bulb as the home depot desk lamp but I'm not sure where you can get it on the west coast. Here's a link to amazon I know it is available from a hardware chain called Menards which is in the midwest. You might be able to find it at a hardware store in your area. I think this desklamp look much better than the home depot lamp. Its not as bulky and it is much more flexible so you can position the light closer to the top of the tank.
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Hey, thanks for the update. The second desk lamp you posted does look better, but I'm not exactly sure where to find it. I guess I could try OSH or Ace Hardware. I agree that it looks a little better than the Home depot light, but if it's $10-15 more, it's not worth it to me really...

As for the filter, I like this one:
but I wonder if it would be enough for a 5g tank? It says up to 3g...I'm not totally sold on getting 5g tanks, I may get 2.5g's.

The Eheim I have would work for one of them. It is rated for up to 40g I believe, but it's not even enough flow for my 25g tall, in my opinion.

I have a 5g bucket about 1/3 full of aquasoil leftover from rescaping my 90g.
I also have a thin layer of aquasoil in the 25g, which will (at least temporarily) come down. I'll need to rinse it real good and dry it out again, to kill all the snails and planaria that are taking residence.

I'll probably buy some 2x4's and plywood and build a stand and then sand & stain it. Total water weight would only be ~80 lbs if they're two 5g tanks, so nothing to really worry over.

No heaters will be used as the ambient temp in the house has been in the low/mid 70s, which is ideal for the shrimp. When summer rolls around, that will be different, but nothing that a heater could help...

I'll pick up some rocks at a LFS or maybe at aquaforest if I make it out that far. I may even look around my area (outside) and see if I can find anything that will work.
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My local petsmart had 2.5 g tanks for $9.99 that came with a glass top (no hood) and it also sold generic 10g for $9.99 but it didn't have the glass cover. For some reason the 5g were $14.99 lol.

Since you are going to do your own lighting rig anyway, no use buying something with a hood.
Ok, I didn't see anything on their website, but I should just go and look. There are two Petsmarts within about 10-15 min from my house. lol. I'm hoping for an AGA (or similar) tank either 2.5 or 5g.
You're right. No need for a hood. I'll either buy the Home Depot one, or find something else.
If youre going to start up two smaller tanks then why not put them side by side and get a larger lamp that will cover both? I have three sub 3 gallon nanos of various shapes lined up underneath a 96w AHsupply kit. Even with no CO2 and minimal fert dosing i manage to keep them relatively algae free and low maintenence. Nice part is you can lower and raise the light to control the intensity of the light, downside is when you do that alot of light is lost and brightens the room.
Yes, that was something that I considered. I'll have to see what lamps are out there.
I was assuming that a 27w or 36w bulb would be good for a single 5.5g, but if I'm using it to light two tanks of that size, I should shoot for something closer to 55w or so, right? I'm planning on injecting Co2. Those size tanks should allow even a 5 lb Co2 tank to last quite a long time.

I checked out another site to get aquarium dimensions (
and discovered that the 2.5g is a 12"x6" footprint, whereas the 5.5g is a 16"x8" footprint. I'll probably be making a stand for this, but I do have a 24x12 metal stand that holds my 25g tall, which will be coming down. That would be perfect to have two 2.5g's side-by-side.
What do you guys think about this for a nano light?

25w and it can clip onto the back rim. Only about $8.
I am certainly not a lighting expert, but I think those lights get kind of hot which may or may not be a factor for you. And if you were going to use a fluoro bulb may look funny sticking out the end lol.

If you are on a budget and want a clamp on light, I would suggest one of these:

They come in all different shapes and sizes and have a grounded plug that will allow for more types of bulbs so if you wanted to use a fluoro you could and it's got a much better reflector than the little spot light. They also transition into hanging lamps pretty easy too. :)
Personally, id go with the most common bulb type that would work. An AHsupply 55 bright kit would be perfect and those bulbs are easy to come by almost anywhere. The reflector by itself lends itself to a modern design and IMO looks pretty good hung by itself. Plus, the 22" length would fit well over your 24" stand. You could get the light you referred to, and then realize its not what you want, so go ahead and get something good the first time. Even if it is more expensive than what you planned on spending, most likely it will save you time and cash in the long run.
Well, I went to Lowe's today and didn't see much. They had one that might have worked for about $35. I ended up finding a neat little desk-style black lamp at Target for ~$12 and I think it'll work fine. I also picked up a 27w 6500k spiral bulb for ~$4. Then I went to Petsmart and bought a neat little AGA-style 2.5g tank for $9.99. It's plastic, but it looks so nice I thought it was glass initially. I have some aquasoil at home and will probably use plant cuttings from my other tank and also pick up some HC.
Do you think Excel will work for this size tank to grow higher light plants?

I'll try to snap some pics when I get it all set up. This will house the 4-5 CRS from my 25g and the few babies they have. I may pick up a few more also.

I've seen lots of high light picos with just Excel... I know that's what I'm going to try, and I have Downoi, HC, Ludwigia "guinea," Blyxa japonica, some dwarf Crypts, and Lobelia. All these plants do best and show their best colors at higher light/carbon levels, so I hope the Excel and 27 watts of CF will be enough in my tank. the nice thing is that one can always DIY a CO2 system later, if the Excel doesn't seem to be cutting it.

Oh, and I sent you a PM about some plants you might want.

I have a couple possibilities for background plants to use with the HC, that I've been growing out in my 90g. One is "regular" rotala macandra and another is (I believe) r. macandra "narrow leaf".
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