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Old 12-15-2012, 12:22 PM   #1 
Trackpadtactics
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Starting a low tech planted 5 gal tank.

Hello there! Alright so, I wanna start another tank. While my beta is happy where he is i wanna make him another home, mostly planted. What i wanna know is what would i need? I have the lighting and so on but what gravel do i use? What plants do i use for low light/LED? Later on i will more then likly replace my other filter/light when the time comes but thats a few months from now. Im mostly confused on the gravel side of the tank and what i should get. I have small rocks right now but should i add fert? if so what kind?

Also, should i expect Cloudy water? If so how long?

Also should i boil water from the tap and let it cool done then add it in there? or would that not make a difference at all?

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Old 12-15-2012, 08:47 PM   #2 
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For planted tanks low tech is also really easy, I just use 2" dirt with a 1-2" cap of sand. You can use topsoil from your yard for the dirt, or buy some from your local Home Depot/Lowe's, just make sure you buy 100% organic soil/potting mix WITHOUT fertilizer of any kind. For sand, I love Quikrete's Play Sand (mostly brown) or Fine Grain sand (which looks like beach sand).

Good low light plants include anubias, cryptocorynes, bolbitis heudelotii, java fern, java moss, some types of swords, and many floaters like duckweed and frogbit.

After you add your water (I suggest you put down a plate on top of the sand in the tank and pour the water onto it to avoid disturbing the sand or even worse, the dirt under it), the cloudiness should clear up in a couple of days. Faster if you rinse the dust out of the sand, although if you use fine grain it should clear in less than 6 hours even if it's not washed.

Boiling your water won't affect anything, cloudiness at the beginning is caused by dirt particles that haven't settled down yet.
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Old 12-17-2012, 09:59 AM   #3 
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check out youtube loads of videos on how to set the tanks up
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Old 12-17-2012, 10:15 AM   #4 
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jamesfromcali has an extensive list for low light plants he put together with the plant nerds(love you) on theplantedtank.com. there is also eco complete ,aqua team amano and fluval substrates that are great. mind you, a lot more expensive. zone out and watch some great youtube aquascaping videos with oliver knott, james findley,and takashi amano. even if you are doing a simple low-light, this will help you get ideas. i watch them when i can't sleep.
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Old 12-17-2012, 10:50 AM   #5 
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jamesfromcali has an extensive list for low light plants he put together with the plant nerds(love you) on theplantedtank.com. there is also eco complete ,aqua team amano and fluval substrates that are great. mind you, a lot more expensive. zone out and watch some great youtube aquascaping videos with oliver knott, james findley,and takashi amano. even if you are doing a simple low-light, this will help you get ideas. i watch them when i can't sleep.
Yeah i did watcha few of them. I have my tank done and what m going with is normal gravel with liquid fert. here is a pic of it!

https://dl.dropbox.com/u/4347574/Fsh/New/DSC00047.JPG
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Old 12-17-2012, 12:36 PM   #6 
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nice. hey, is that an aqueon evolve? what size? i 've been looking at a few tanks. this being one of them. let me know how you like it(or not). that'll look nice when its all grown in.
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Old 12-17-2012, 03:07 PM   #7 
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nice. hey, is that an aqueon evolve? what size? i 've been looking at a few tanks. this being one of them. let me know how you like it(or not). that'll look nice when its all grown in.
Hey sandy!

Well, so far i like this. Since this is my first planted tank im not sure how it will run but i do love it! Since i have had other tanks i find this one a lot easier to work with, If you watched my time lapse video the set up was easy as can be. The only other thing i had to get for it was a heater and it was set! I will say as others have. For a betta the flow is a little rough. I am looking into ways of lowering the flow with the stock things now. So far i have seen people use sponge in the flow tube to lower it but i don;t this due to the fact i dont wanna have to check it and keep a eye on it incase it does clog. I am looking at a very thin foam padding to zip tie to the out valve.

Over all i am very happy with this tank! I will say. DONT get the fluval chi, the filter system is kinda bad and its not worth it if you ware going to run a planted tank. Let me know if you have any more questions!
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Old 12-17-2012, 03:45 PM   #8 
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thanks for the heads up. so far for me it's between this one, aquatop zen nano and the eheim nano. the fluval v is kinda cool too. i wish someone would make an ultimate betta tank kit, you know, where everything would be ideal. the perfect heater, a great filter that is adjustable, maybe some prime and some nls food. oh and a mini water test kit. all the essentials. most of us have been suckered into buying kits thinking they were a good deal. only to replace 75% of the misfit crud they supply in them. but, they are slowly getting better. thanks for the review.
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Old 12-17-2012, 04:53 PM   #9 
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thanks for the heads up. so far for me it's between this one, aquatop zen nano and the eheim nano. the fluval v is kinda cool too. i wish someone would make an ultimate betta tank kit, you know, where everything would be ideal. the perfect heater, a great filter that is adjustable, maybe some prime and some nls food. oh and a mini water test kit. all the essentials. most of us have been suckered into buying kits thinking they were a good deal. only to replace 75% of the misfit crud they supply in them. but, they are slowly getting better. thanks for the review.
Not a issue, The Evolve 4 has everything but a heater and test kit! It came with food and water conditioner for tap water! Let me look at what you have and ill let you know what is good. Also, are you going to be using real plants?

edit: Just looked at them. I like the Evolve more, The eheim nano is kinda like the Evolve but i have yet to see one kit that has a heater too. I guess people need difrent heaters for diffrent setup and room temps. ( i use a 25watt heater for mine )

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Old 12-17-2012, 08:18 PM   #10 
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right now i have a ten gallon planted with ecocomplete. i need new lights for this tank. and i'm getting a new uv hob with a skimmer on it for x-mas. if it works well i will replace all of my filters. then i have my 15 gallon goldfishx2 grow out with play sand and a little gravel. they are 2" long right now. a five gallon qt. and a one gallon plant/bulb tank. next tax season i will be getting a 40-55 gallon for the goldies +1 ranchu. and also a new nano tank. all will be planted. right now i'm growing red tiger lotus,anacharis,onion,a couple types of java fern,anubius,marimo,apongeton,swords,hygro.all low tech low light. daily co2 fert, weekly plantgro,and monthly florapride. so far, so good. will work on pics.
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