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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, so I'm 3 days into this one, and it is my first nano. It also happens to be my first scaped tank. I have had some adventures. I'm thinking of calling it "Crossing Over." The concept is a rock arch over a dry riverbed in a desert climate.

Here's my hardscape.



I liked the way the rocks were laid out, drawing focus to the arch in the middle. I also worked on bringing in some depth by creating a diagonal dry riverbed beneath the arch. Here' s how it looked yesterday after 1st planting.



Here, I discovered that I hadn't enough room for the plants. The substrate was stacked on top of the slate pieces and only to a depth of about 1/8 inch in places. I removed two of the stones (the two in the back corners and a few of the smooth rocks in the riverbed) I liked the look, but it seemed to lose all depth when I added the sand. I lined the dry riverbed with some smooth stones about 4-5 mm in diameter to create the look, but I think it all got lost in the sand. The plants are xmas moss and HM, with what I am told are Tonina Lago Grande (thanks, Minsc) in the background. Here's where the first disaster happened.

I filled and installed my CO2 bottle a little too eagerly and it bubbled bready milk right into the tank. I immediately bailed it out, and refilled it. In my panic, I neglected to remember the whole inertia thing, and disturbed about 40% of the sand in the tank. oops. I have a feeling I will have to wash the slate clean and start over, but I'm not too concerned about that right now (as a matter of fact, I'm looking forward to doing it a little better this time). What I'm worried about is whether or not the milky bath damaged my plants. If anyone can set my mind at ease, I'd love that. It was only in the yeast/sugar/water/baking soda mix for about 5-10 minutes. Here's how the whole thing looks today, post-disaster and after a little rearranging. I broke up the bunch of HM at the front and scattered the individual plantlets. Hopefully it will fill in a bit. Also relocated the Lago, but I'm not sure I like it there. Last, I just got a glass diffuser and installed that in place of the ladder. Much more attractive, and it added room. Suggestions and feedback are welcome! Thanksw, all!

 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Oops, forgot the specs:

2.5 Gal
ADA Amazonia
2.5mm sand
Slate stones
26W EcoTerra CF @6700K
CO2 canister
Whisper 10 filter
Hydor MiniHeater
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
One week in, and things are a little greener. I've had some algae explosions that threatened to devour my Tonina, but I pulled them and gently brushed them off. I have a couple varieties of the stuff in there now. There is a blue-green fuzz that came in with the Xmas moss that can be seen in the center of this shot here:



This has been spreading all over the moss, and has been my primary source of pearling. I'm a little concerned, as I'm not sure how to fix this just yet. The CO2 is flowing nicely, though I have yet to check the levels.

After the accidental restructuring of the substrate, I removed everything and tried to separate the Amazonia from the sand. It just wasn't working for me. After removing most of the sand (using a 14" kitty litter pan like a gold miner and scraping the aquasoil off with a spoon if you can, picture that) I replaced the stones and substrate. The arch I had tacked together with some silicone, but I removed that and just balanced them together. They have been holding well. Here is a shot of the tank this evening:



I attempted a DIY canister filter with the Lock and Lock brand containers from Wal-Mart, but I have yet to find a substance that will make anything stick to it. Cyanoacrylate flakes off, and silicone won't bond at all. I gave up for now, and picked up this from the good Doctors: http://www.drsfostersmith.com/product/prod_display.cfm?c=3578+3579+16742&pcatid=16742 I haven't seen anyone here mention it as an option yet, so I'll let y'all know how it works for me.

I'm aware that aquasoil is treated for quick cycling, but this tank has only been up for a week. Is it safe to get some otos for algae control, or should I wait?
 

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I've been curious about that canister so I'm interested in how it works out for you. The plants have already filled in a good deal and I like the new positions for the Tonina.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Ok, so here goes:

The learning curve on the nano was a little steep for me. I took it down a notch after transferring everything to a 10 and having the same algae problems. I'm pretty sure it has to do with too much light, too heavy ferts, and new tank issues combining to give me algae soup. As a larger tank is easier to balance than a smaller one, I am concentrating on honing my skills on my 90 gallon.

Thus, this will be the last entry on this journal until I'm confident enough to approach it again.

On a side note, the nano canister I picked up is pretty effective for anything from about 5 gallons up. I wouldn't recommend it for anything smaller, as the flow rate isn't adjustable, unless you increase or decrease the inlet and outlet sizes. The provided hoses are too short to make positioning it on the tank an easy task. I would recommend swapping them out. That said, for 30 bucks, it's a good buy. I swapped out the carbon filter bag that was included with some Rena filter sponges, and that handles the mechanical filtration really well. Super silent, and easy to clean.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Heyo. It's been a while, but here goes.

This tank turned into a big algae nightmare for me. I had too much light over it, and I wasn't regulating CO2 very well at all. So, after a few alterations, a new lamp, and many major rescaping missions, I figured out I need to start slower. So, I have "borrowed" a layout from one of the members here, just to focus on stone placement. I'm very interested in exploring the Iwagumi style, so this is what I did. Here is a really terrible picture:



I tweaked the layout a bit as the tank is much smaller, and the stones are totally different, but I like it. The plants are HC and Lilaeopsis Mauritania, and the fauna are White Clouds and Otos. The tank is 2.5 Gallons with 13 W of compact fluorescent light at 5500K. I'm using a Hydor mini heater under the substrate which is Fluorite black sand. I dose with two drops of Excel daily, and Flourish comprehensive once a week. Here is another nano I just planted:



Thanks!
 

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Changes are very normal, i've made so many changes to my nano omg haha.

Your latest design look good, can't wait to see it grow in.



I see your not using your diffuser anymore, if your willing to sell it i'll be happy to buy it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks, Ben. I had a hunch I wasn't the only one. It is a lot of work being a beginner, though :p

I'm actually using the diffuser in another tank right now, but I'll let you know first if I ever want to part with it :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Here is an update on the picos I have going....



The rotala has taken very well to the tank, and it is displaying some great color (the picture is pretty horrible and does it no justice). I had to get rid of the HM I had in there before, as it had an algae infestation from a previous tank that it brought with it. I got that under control and planted a fresh crop. I trimmed it back last weekend, and it bounced back impressively. The Limnophila is not doing so well. It is growing, but it is also being assaulted by some ugly algae. I'm dosing with Excel to beat it back, but I'm not sure it will do the trick as I've already done one cycle with no lasting result. I'll double my water changes and continue with vigilance...

meanwhile...



I recently added a mini pressurized CO2 setup to this one, and the difference is phenomenal. I've had no success in getting HC to thrive in my tanks until now. Even with the Excel it was only surviving. Now, I'm seeing appreciable growth and spreading. I'd like to see it faster, as it still seems slow to me, but any progress is good at this point. I'm still adding excel at the rate of three drops/day every morning 1 hour before lights up. I'm wondering if I should change my photoperiod. I have it set up for lights up for four hours, a break for two hours, then up for six. Any thoughts on this? Could this be contributing to the slow growth of the HC? I instituted the hiatus to slow algae growth, and now I'm wondering if it's strictly necessary...

Thanks!
 

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Looks good, make sure you use some kind of seperater in the substrate where you don't want the HC and dwarf HG cross and start growing into each other.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks for the patience, folks. I had some surgery and it kept me out of the water for a while. Here's an update on my 2.5G nano v2.0.


I can't seem to get my pathetic camera to focus, so I apologize for the fuzziness. Anyhow, with great patience comes progress. My HC has been coming in, but about as slowly as it possibly could. I added a mini pressurized CO2 system, and that has really helped, but it still grows much more slowly than I believe it should. I think the light I have over the tank may not have the coverage I'm looking for. I have added an identical fixture to the setup, essentially doubling the light to test how that affects the HC growth. I anticipate much algae. Currently there is 18W of mini CF light at 6500K for a whopping 7.2 WPG.

The Lilaeopsis Mauritius seems stunted as well. I'm planning on doing some research this afternoon to see what I might be missing on this, but it may also be a victim of the limited spread of the lighting, as it was restricted to the corners of the tank. Now that the light is more even, I'll see if it starts spreading and becoming more dense.

Here are a couple of close-ups for your pleasure. Again, camera is old and developing a "personality", so pardon the horrible focus issues. Not exactly going for a Pulitzer, here.




Thanks! And any tips on how to wake up the Lilaeopsis would be appreciated. I have little luck with that genus here.:confused:
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
So, the lilaeopsis became unsalvageably covered in BBA, and I needed a break from nanos, so I killed this tank. The good news is, that the HC was doing amazingly well, and I decided to transfer it to my 90 gallon. It is now a glorious foreground, and spreading madly. The nanos will have to go on standby for a while, so cheerio!
 
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