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Amphiprion 01-30-2016 09:12 PM

My Low Light, High Tech Spec V
After breaking down my marine seagrass tank and selling all my stuff, I got the bug again. However, due to circumstances, it needed to be low to moderate maintenance with decent results to stay motivated. It also had to be less expensive and quick to care for when I had to perform maintenance. The final requisite was the ability to be able to go on a weeklong vacation as needed without complete worry of problems when I return. Thus, my fluval spec v was born:

Finnex Planted+ 24/7 dimmed to 50% (sometimes 40%), currently 6hrs

CO2Art top-tier dual stage regulator
5lb cylinder
Intense Atomizer as diffuser (2 so I can swap while cleaning)
~.5 bps to 30ppm via drop checker

EI style dosing at half volume
Seachem Flourish for microelements
Seachem Flourish Nitrogen and Phosphorus for macroelements
All dosed 3x weekly with weekly 50% water change using Prime
I like the convenience these offer and as long as growth isn't explosive, the cost is reasonable

Aqua Soil Amazonia
Mixed grade gravel
CaribSea super naturals Rio Grande gravel
Estes brand natural sand

Hardscape materials:
River stone assortment
Spider wood

Vallisneria sp. "nana"
Cryptocoryne wendtii "green" and "bronze"
Cryptocoryne lucens
Microsorum pteropus "WindelÝv"
Anubias nana "petite"
Marsilea crenata

Wishlist plant: Bucephalandra species, will have soon enough

(Planned, not purchased) Tanichthys albonubes x5

Neocaridina davidi (cherries, also planned)

The tank was setup a couple of weeks ago with small plant specimens to allow for growth. Hoping this will meet my goals I outlined above. I guess time will tell.


Initial planting:

This week:

Some of the stones naturally slid into place. I left most of them, but I did move one or two back in place. I think that is a reasonable compromise, since I actually want it to look roughly like it has slided down a small bank or the like during a flood. Also, the Cardamine has mostly melted. Not a big deal, as it felt out of place to me. I originally wanted Hydrocotyle, since it can creep along. I thought that might look nice encroaching over the Marsilea a bit.

Thanks for looking :)

Amphiprion 02-06-2016 07:34 AM

Re: My Low Light, High Tech Spec V
A few things I forgot to add include:

Temp: ~70-72 F. This will vary with room temp in the summer, but won't be more than 75-76 F. Not only is this more comfortable for the fish chosen, but is also another factor in keeping growth manageable and hopefully keeping algae at bay longer in the event of a maintenance lapse (which should be very infrequent, but realistically can and will occur, especially if I'm out of town).

Depending upon how things go once grown in, I may also reduce intensity to 30-40% to maintain the look longer. Then, after a good trim, I may crank it to 50-60%, coupled with a slight fert increase for a while to grow a little. Growth now at ~50% intensity is pretty manageable with the tank moderately planted. I'm getting new Marsilea leaves around 1x per week, maybe two on a given patch. Just musings, but so far I'm liking the way things are going.

Waiting now to make sure the tank is habitable for fish. Should add some much needed liveliness.

Also wanting a pump upgrade. An lfs has a now-discontinued minijet 606, so hopefully an improvement there without resorting to powerheads in an already cramped environment.

fishfan 02-08-2016 03:15 PM

Re: My Low Light, High Tech Spec V
Cool. Looks like a mountain stream.

Amphiprion 02-08-2016 04:57 PM

Re: My Low Light, High Tech Spec V

Originally Posted by fishfan (Post 867778)
Cool. Looks like a mountain stream.

Thanks a lot!

That was kinda the look I was going for. Sparse for now, I know, but I know the potential for all these plants, so I definitely want to give them space to grow--at least in the medium-term.

Fish Enthusiast01 02-09-2016 08:28 PM

Re: My Low Light, High Tech Spec V
That tank looks very natural! I like it!

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Amphiprion 02-11-2016 03:10 PM

Re: My Low Light, High Tech Spec V
A few minor, but exciting changes coming!

I'm ordering some more plants--probably the last round of plants for this tank as it is now. I've got several kinds of Bucephalandra coming:

opera mini
super mini catherinae

Also have a few more Anubias nana petite and a portion of Fissidens fox, the latter of which will be on some of the upper branches of the spider wood. Should look fairly nice when I get them in.

Edit: Also getting one of the Ecoxotic E-series LED fixtures that are on sale. Since the fixture is brighter, I'll have to dial the intensity down to probably 30%. I'll have to experiment judiciously to get comparable results. Will keep the Finnex fixture for another future tank or may eventually combine the two on a larger tank.

Also, the intended fish species has changed from white clouds, as my LFS has started ordering celestial pearl danios. I'll get a small shoal of them in a few weeks, along with cherry shrimp a bit after the danios and tank settle.

Amphiprion 02-16-2016 05:27 PM

Re: My Low Light, High Tech Spec V
Well, looks like I've got some micro critters roaming around now. The past week has seen the growth of some planaria. They are small and there are wuite a few, but their numbers are beginning to taper. I've also started seeing a lot of harpacticoid copepods--and many gravid females. These little bugs are flitting all over the place. I guess in response to some of the smaller organisms in the water column, I also spotted some Hydra on my plants. I'll see if I can snap a photo of the latter--all very small.

Amphiprion 02-20-2016 06:59 PM

Re: My Low Light, High Tech Spec V
Update with new plants:

Edit: should probably give new arrival list:

Fissidens fox
Bucephalandra "valentine" (larger leaf on right side)
Bucephalandra "opera mini" (center foreground)
Bucephalandra "super mini catherinae" (smaller narrow leaf on right side)
Anubias nana "petite" (got 4 more to help fill in)

I'll be doing one more update when I get fish and shrimp. That will likely be my last update for a few months, as I want everything to grow and fill in. I may still take progression shots in the meantime to post all at once, though. I think it will fill in nicely--already trimming the vals, too, as I expected.

Amphiprion 03-07-2016 05:56 PM

Re: My Low Light, High Tech Spec V
Okay, spoke too soon. Couple of updates while everything looks nice. Will be due for a trim soon. Already culled some older leaves. No fish, as I'm still getting a tiny bit of ammonia.

Tihsho 03-07-2016 06:37 PM

Re: My Low Light, High Tech Spec V
I must be doing something wrong. In one of my dry starts my Marselia Crenata is taking FOREVER to spread.

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