Aquatic Plant Forum banner
1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
72 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is the starter thread for my journey into the world of "true" nano planted tanks. My 7 gallon is small, but this is even more fun. :D

It is a 2.5AGA aquarium with a DIY made hood and base. It isn't the greatest job, but not bad for a first attempt. I have a 13watt AH supply lighting kit in there to give me all the night I should be needing.

I have a .5" layer of flourite covered by an inch or so of tahitian moon sand. All the rocks are petrified wood and that's some african mopani wood I had left over from my old tank

My goals for this project were:
•Under $50 in setup costs (not including plants)
• Viewable on 3 Sides

So far I have spent $8 on the tank, and $26 on the lighting. Add in $7 for the rocks and another $7 for the Azoo palm filter (on its way) and I have suceeded in that goal! :D

The moonsand, flourite and wood all were free as they were for other projects. Hood was made for ~$20 as well.

Here are the pics:








My planting plans consist of a dwarf hairgrass (parvula) foreground under the wood. I am adding Xmas moss to the wood and the back of the tank, and petite nana growing near the rocks, as well as on top of them.

I'm considering planting cryps (willisi or lots of parva) on the upper terrace as well, but I am wondering how they would survive in the inert sand. Anyone with any advice?

I have cherry shrimps on the way for my 7 gallon, and a pair of endlers waiting for the completion of the 2.5 as well. This will be a fun project to watch grow. I plan on ordering plants within the next coupe days, so any advice would be greatly appreciated. More pics and postings to come as things start coming in!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
389 Posts
Ooh - that's very nice, so far. It looks so much bigger than it actually is! I saw no mention of plans for CO2 injection (or maybe I just didn't see it). It's a good idea to have that, even if it's just DIY.

I also have a 2.5-gallon planted tank, going for almost three years, but re-scaped more times than I could count. Last year I put a few pieces of E. parvulus in it, and it overtook the entire tank. I was only using 8W of normal-output fluorescent light, and I'd imagine with 13W PC, the stuff would spread like wildfire. If you want to keep it constrained to one particular area of the tank, you're going to have to watch it like a hawk. Same goes for E. tenellus and anything else that propagates by runners.

The petit nana is a good idea, but with that much light, you're going to need to fertilize diligently. Mine starts growing out hole-ridden leaves if I let it run low on ferts. C. parva will be happy with the lighting, but without a rich substrate, it's also going to need ferts in the water column.

In case you're interested, here are some of the plants I've had (or still have) in my 2.5-gallon that I've been pleased with:

Anubias 'petit'
Bacopa monnieri
Cryptocoryne pygmaea
Cryptocoryne wendtii 'Tropica'
Lobelia cardinalis 'small form'
Lysimachia nummularia 'aurea'

I like them because they are either very slow-growing or remain small. Stem plants with diminutive leaves like pearl grass can look really nice in tiny tanks as long as you keep up with maintenance. These spread fast, however, that they may be more trouble than they're worth. If I had to choose one "fast-grower" I would probably go with R. indica. It adds some reddish hues to the aquascape and won't creep everywhere the way pearl grass does.

Right now I'm trying out some Hottonia palustris. I think maybe the tank is too warm and the lighting is too dim so it's not growing big leaves, but it looks healthy enough. I'll know in a couple of weeks if I give it thumbs-up or boo-hiss as a nano-tank inhabitant.

Have you thought of trying riccia tied down to rocks as groundcover? If Elatine triandra were not such a delicate plant, I'd think it would make the ideal low-lying groundcover in a nano, but it seems that the stuff doesn't do well unless the macros are REALLY high. Moss would be nice, too. I'm trying erect moss in my 2.5-gallon tank right now. I tied it on to some small rocks. Again, I'll know in a couple of weeks if I like it or not.

Good luck with planting that tank! Tiny tanks really are fun, but you have to plan more carefully, I think. BTW, my dwarf hairgrass got as tall as 5" so you may want to work it in as a mid- to background plant. I think you're going to end up with something really nice, there.

-Naomi
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
65 Posts
I really like the terrace and the wood. This tank has some real potential IMO. One plant that might be nice to use in the front is didiplis diandra. With that much light it should turn bright red and its small leaves look nice in a nano. Some lilaeopsis might be nice in there for a small carpet as well as for a nice place for shrimp. My amano's love to forage through mine. Cant wait to see it proress! Oh, by the way, some bumble bee shrimp would be a nice addition as well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
72 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
5" for hairgrass? Doesn't seem that dwarf to me ...

The hairgrass at my LFS is not more than just a couple inches high, so I am going to try and snag some of that if I can. :D

I still have a little bit of messing around to do with the sand on the rocks, so I'll see what I can do.

As of right now no CO2 injection, but I plan on using Flourish Excel. I'll also be dosing ferts with all the seachem stuff till it runs out and then switch to dry chemicals for both my tanks.

My vision with this tank was a grassy field leading up to a big hill, with an aged trunk haven fallen over many years before and eventually having become part of the hill itself, supporting the life around it. I think that if I can get the moss to cover the log entirely and give everything a real aged look (with some of the hairgrass purposly growing up a bit onto the slope, intermixed with petite nana and other plants) that I can fully recreate what I have going on in my head.

With the pair of endlers swimming around, it will be like two birds soaring over the wood, making it seem that much larger. The red cherry shrimp I am adding I almost envision as some sort of giant reptile still roaming the lands, we'll see how it all comes together. :D

And now that I am planning on parva ... I am cringing already at the cost of plants alone for this tank, lol!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,715 Posts
Remember that size of wood will create a good deal of shading, so a "high light" foreground like Riccia or Eleocharis parvulus probably won't do terribly well underneath it.

I have very thin branches in my 20g, and they are quite enough to block the light to the lower levels of the tank --my Ranalisma has yet to grow much on the side of the tank with the over hanging branches while the Ranalisma in the fully lit spot is spreading rapidly. The girth of your wood _does_ make a difference.

Carlos
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
542 Posts
Geo,

What a wonderful idea for a nano tank. I especially like that Azoo Palm filter. Very small and Drs. Foster and Smith has it for $5.99. With the light your tank is an excellent DIY nano project.

I want to try one myself when I have time.

Thanks,

Steve Pituch
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
72 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Finally an update:

Here are the three pictures, enjoy! :D







What has changed:

Have C. Willisi in there, as the stuff in my 7 gallon was growing so well. It now houses 4 Cherry Red Shrimp (plz breed!!!), 1 Amano shrimp, 1 Dwarf Honey Gourami and 1 Otto. I have all these tiny green crustaceans in there as well, resemble waterfleas, but aren't. They make nice snacks for my Gourami it seems, but their numbers aren't going down at all. (It's so much fun to watch him hunt through the grass! :D)

I have willow moss growing on the log as well, and that's starting to take root and grow in nicely. I do have to clean out some hair algae every now and then, but I hope with a regular lighting schedule and more shrimp that those problems will take care of themselves.

Comments are welcome as always, I'm just happy to get some pics up finally!
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top