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6 Gallon nano

Discussion in 'Aquascaping' started by PK1, Mar 10, 2013.

  1. PK1

    PK1 Guru Class Expert

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    Hi folks,

    After a 5-6 year absence from the hobby I recently came across the picture of a planted tank while doing an unrelated search on line and almost instantly got the itch back... I then went on this forum and started reading and that sealed the deal, so here I am!

    Before I quit the hobby I had a 90-gallon planted tank but with my work schedule and heavy travel that proved to be too much to handle, so I got rid of the big tank but hung on to a 6 gal. nano tank (picture attached), and I am thinking I'd get a nano-scape started. My work/travel schedule hasn't changed much, if anything it is more hectic now than it was before, so I am looking for advice on a nice looking set-up that is primarily low maintenance: little pruning, if any, and using stuff that doesn't grow out of control. I have a CO2 system and will be using EI.

    Any suggestions on the type of plant(s) I could be using? I read a post here about starting new tanks dry (water below substrate level until plants are established) which sounds like an awesome idea and I'll be trying that. I have a few bags of Eco-Complete substrate from CaribSea (picture attached) that I'll be using for the set-up.

    Also, as for other live inhabitants, I was thinking of the small schooling fish variety, but I am not sure how many I can safely put in a tank this small (plus a few Amano shrimp), so I'd welcome suggestions on that as well.

    Thanks for the suggestions!

    Edit: forgot the mention lighting: my set-up will have two 24W fluorescents, one 6700K and the other 10000K. Is this OK or should I swap out the 10000K and use 6700K for both?
     
    #1 PK1, Mar 10, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 10, 2013
  2. PK1

    PK1 Guru Class Expert

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    Here's another question while I wait for some suggestions on the above!

    My 5 bags of Eco-Complete are all sealed but they are also about 6 years old... I am not sure if I ever believed in the value of the live bacteria even when the bags were fresh, but at 6+ years all I'd have would be long dead bacteria so I was simply going to rinse the substrate really well before I used it.

    Having done a quick search it seems there is a reference to expiration dates with Eco-Complete. I haven't checked but I highly doubt the expiration date is 6 years so mine are most certainly long expired. Is the expiration date related to the bacteria life or the substrate itself? If bacteria, then I am not concerned as I'll be washing it out anyway, but if the substrate somehow degenerates over the time then that's a different matter altogether. And oh by the way, this stuff has been stored in different places throughout the years, including in the attic in the summer...

    Wasn't looking to go buy new bags of substrate but if the old stuff could cause me trouble then I'd reconsider. Thoughts?
     
  3. thegasman

    thegasman Subscriber

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    Since it's only a 6 gallon tank, why not just buy 3 liters of ADA Aquasoil for about $20 and not worry about it? It's a better substrate anyway.
     
  4. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    6 gal is pretty easy to deal with.
     
  5. PK1

    PK1 Guru Class Expert

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    I guess I need to read up on Aquasoil, I don't remember it being talked much when I was in the hobby last. I did a very quick search for now and apparently it clouds the water? What are its advantages over EC?
     
  6. PK1

    PK1 Guru Class Expert

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    Alright, I did some reading on Aquasoil, seems like a good choice. The only question that remains is, do I also need the powder variety if I want it plant HC? Can I use only the powder?
     
  7. puopg

    puopg Guru Class Expert

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    Get the regular amazonia aquasoil. Powder doesn't have as many nutrients and is more expensive. Aesthetically pleasing yes. I think just aquasoil will be fine though.
     
  8. PK1

    PK1 Guru Class Expert

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    Yes, it is more expensive to begin with and also means I have to buy two bags instead of one, hence the question. I have never seen the ADA Soil up close so it's hard for me to judge how large the granules are and whether they would adequately support HC. I read up on this a little and it seems people have done it both ways so I'll just use the regular granules and see what happens.

    Is it fair to assume that I can do without the Power Sand? Seems a lot of marketing effort has gone into the substrate "system" ADA has successfully launched!
     
  9. UDGags

    UDGags Lifetime Charter Member
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    You don't need the sand. Just get the regular AS.

    Sent from my DROID BIONIC using Tapatalk 2
     
  10. PK1

    PK1 Guru Class Expert

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    Ordered!

    While on the ADA website I looked at their rock selection or the aquascape I want to create. So... yes, they have it all, but I want to avoid paying $50 for a few pieces of rock delivered to me. Anyone can point me to a place where I can buy rocks, driftwood, etc. online at reasonable prices? I am in an urban setting so it ain't easy to go out looking for them in the sides of the road...
     
  11. UDGags

    UDGags Lifetime Charter Member
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    Tom Barr sells wood (stickied in the buy/sell section). I've bought a few times from him and have always been happy.

    Unique rocks are a bit tougher to come across. You can look at landscape stores in the spring/summer and see what they have. I see you're in PA and I know here in Ohio the picking is slim in the winter. LFS will also sell your basic lava rock, holey rock crap, etc. but I know personally I don't like the looks of those.

    The rocks I use I bought online and bit the bullet with the cost/shipping.
     
  12. thegasman

    thegasman Subscriber

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  13. SkinnyWhitekid

    SkinnyWhitekid Junior Poster

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    Why so small with such a large passion?? haha. I agree with the admin here :D
     
  14. PK1

    PK1 Guru Class Expert

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    Haha! Last I was in it I went large and ended up with a small passion, so I am flipping things upside down :D
     
  15. PK1

    PK1 Guru Class Expert

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  16. PK1

    PK1 Guru Class Expert

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    I've been doing some more reading about lighting, and have a question: it seems that 2 x 24W bulbs (standard included in the nano's canopy) may be way too much light for a 6 gal tank. I can always take one of the bulbs out for a high-tech set-up, would this be adequate lighting? What if I do low-tech with non-CO2, would this still be adequate or too high??
     
  17. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Adjustable lighting is the most ideal.
     
  18. PK1

    PK1 Guru Class Expert

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    True, but in this case my lighting is built in the canopy and is an integral part of the tank so my preference would be to stay with the current set up. I can either have 2 x 24W bulbs or just one. My thought is to take one of the bulbs and do the set up with 24W, will this be in the ball park?
     
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