Serenity - An attempt at a minimalist nano planted tank

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Serenity - An attempt at a minimalist nano planted tank

Postby Revverend » Thu Aug 18, 2016 4:10 pm

Hi all

This is my attempt at building a nano tank with very minimalist scape à la the Japanese way of planted tanks.The tricky part here is my profession requires me to be travelling through the week,I would be working on setting up the tank over the weekends.I am going to take it slow and I want the tank to mature into a lush green setup that I can sit and watch for hours.

I am starting the build with the following items. I will require your collective intellectual and experience on a few questions I have in my mind before moving forward.


1. Tank : Glass tank (regular glass) - 18"x 12" x 12" .The advent of ultra clear glass and elimination of silicon fillet to join the glass at the corners is pleasantly surprising.Although,I opted for regular glass at the moment.The tank was pre-built and purchased from Aquascape Addicts,Hyderabad

For the background I am using an opaque sheet of 3 mm acrylic in black color.

2. Substrate - I am using a 3 litre bag of platinum soil along with ADA super 4.I have not used this substrate before but there are a few reviews in IAH and KAC stating the effectiveness of this substrate.The granules are 2-3 mm in size. I have sprinkled the contents of ADA super 4 onto the base before pouring in the substrate (Recommended by LFS). The susbtrate thickness is around 1-1.5" at the moment. I have also ordered an additional 3 litre bag which will be used as required in the scape.

3. Filtration - The tank capacity is close to 40 L/10 G.I understand that the filtration capacity required is 8-10X the capacity of the tank ,which comes to 400 LPH. Now for this size I am sure an internal power filter or a HOB is usually recommended.I was leaning towards a small canister filter for the reason of ample biological filtration and flexibility to add media or any other additives ,external to the tank.

Although after much deliberation, I went ahead and placed an order for Hagen AquaClear 20 at the moment.AC 20 comes with AquaClear Foam, Activated Carbon and BioMax media. I bought a small pack of Seachem Purigen which I was planning to use in the cycling phase.I am still undecided on it though

4. Lighting - The current setup is total of 30W which equates to around 3W/gallon.However the spectrum of light,10000K,I am doubtful whether this is right for plants.6500 K is the natural daylight spectrum and if it has an advantage over the 10000K lights,I would switch to the same.

I have read up on this subject further and realised it is the availability of red and blue wavelengths in the spectrum that matter and not the color temperature.Also,the watts/gallon rule is kind of obsolete and people are following the PAR method instead.

5. CO2 setup - I have decided to go the pressurised route given the fact that I will not be around much and I want to have a stable setup for something as critical. I scouted all forums,called up various vendors for the CO2 cylinder.Finally gave up on it and ordered a 3 Kg Ocean free cylinder online along with a Max Aqua regulator with solenoid ,Diffuser and a check valve cum bubble counter.

6. Flora - This is one of my weakest points and I am still unsure of what the final output should look like. I am posting a picture of the rocks arrangement at the moment.So i would like your suggestions on the Fore-,Mid- and Background plants. Do keep in mind the available setup for filtration,lighting and CO2.

I am thinking of Glosso in foreground followed by E.parvula towards the back with a spatter of E.tenellus and Java/christmas moss on the rocks.

7 Fauna - The most attractive part of the tank and I wish to have a shoal of 2 varieties of tetras in the tank (Neon and glowlight as of now),probably 5 pairs of each type.I will add RCS or other shrimps at a later date

8. Ferts - I am still trying to wrap my head around the math of EI method (the irony of an "estimative" index) suitable for my tank size.I will be dosing macros through the EI method and micros through Seachem flourish trace.

9. Other Peripherals - I will be purchasing a frontier timer for the lights and few small accessories for planting and catching fish.

And now a couple of questions for you guys

Q : Online reviews quote that the substrate leeches a lot in the initial days so frequent water changes are recommended.What is your take on this substrate and what is the kind of water change schedule I should follow ? I will be doing the initial filling along with the plants in it.Is this recommended or should I do a 1 week run with only the substrate and filtration on ?
Q : What are the your thoughts on the light spectrum and wattage ? I get the point that without listing the flora it is difficult to suggest but for a predominantly carpet plants,moss and ferns,Do you think any changes need to be done ?
Q : I am in two minds about getting the API freshwater master test kit (NH4,NO3,NO2,pH).Has anyone used this before ? What is the effectiveness and accuracy of the tests from this kit ?
Q : Should i be using RO water or a 50:50 mix of RO water would do ? I have ordered seachem prime for conditioning the water.

I am posting a few pictures of the current setup below

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Regards
Revverend
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Re: Serenity - An attempt at a minimalist nano planted tank

Postby mr_feynman » Thu Aug 18, 2016 6:10 pm

Missing slope in substrate... depth of substrate in back glass panel must be higher than the front glass panel. Please check.
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Re: Serenity - An attempt at a minimalist nano planted tank

Postby Revverend » Thu Aug 18, 2016 6:44 pm

mr_feynman wrote:Missing slope in substrate... depth of substrate in back glass panel must be higher than the front glass panel. Please check.

Sure Mr_Feynman. I'll rescape it to adjust the substrate levels.

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Re: Serenity - An attempt at a minimalist nano planted tank

Postby bappa » Fri Aug 19, 2016 4:18 am

:-bd
Thanks
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Re: Serenity - An attempt at a minimalist nano planted tank

Postby Venu » Fri Aug 19, 2016 7:29 am

Bro i want that light stand where can i get it ?? please guide me
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Re: Serenity - An attempt at a minimalist nano planted tank

Postby sugatasen » Fri Aug 19, 2016 5:26 pm

I think a lesser number of rocks can create a more minimalistic feel , like the amazing Iwagumi tanks with only carpets and a few rocky outcrops with plants like HM for background or accenting around rocks .

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Re: Serenity - An attempt at a minimalist nano planted tank

Postby Revverend » Sun Aug 21, 2016 6:22 am

Venu wrote:Bro i want that light stand where can i get it ?? please guide me


Hi Venu,the lights and fixture are part of one package.The model is Sunsun HDD 500B. Various models in the HDD series are available online.

sugatasen wrote:I think a lesser number of rocks can create a more minimalistic feel , like the amazing Iwagumi tanks with only carpets and a few rocky outcrops with plants like HM for background or accenting around rocks .

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Well you spoke my mind on the carpet and accents to the rocks :-bd That said,I'll move the rocks around and see how it looks.Thank you !
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Re: Serenity - An attempt at a minimalist nano planted tank

Postby Venu » Mon Aug 22, 2016 5:45 am

Revverend wrote:
Venu wrote:Bro i want that light stand where can i get it ?? please guide me


Hi Venu,the lights and fixture are part of one package.The model is Sunsun HDD 500B. Various models in the HDD series are available online.

Thanks Man
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Re: Serenity - An attempt at a minimalist nano planted tank

Postby adhish1995 » Sun Feb 19, 2017 4:11 pm

Im also planning to setup a Low tech Non CO2 Planted Nano tank.Im a beginner for planted setups.
So,Can u help me in choosing a right substrate,co2 fertilizers,light setup and plants......?
Thanks in advance
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Re: Serenity - An attempt at a minimalist nano planted tank

Postby Raj » Tue Feb 21, 2017 2:29 pm

Good hardware,and an informed mind.It will be a pleasant journal to read as days pass by I'm sure.As for your queries,and some additional suggestions:-
Some soils like ADA leach ammonia in beginning days,so the water change schedule is usually 50% daily for a week.Plant heavily from beginning,and you'd be good to go.Introduce fish when ammonia and nitrite readings are 0,or after 3-4 weeks of setting up tank.In filter,using media which are active adsorbents,such as charcoal and zeolite are not really needed.Just lots of mechanical filtering.Sponge,foam,dishwashing scrub,bioballs and stuff.If you are going for canister,invest in a small external reatcor,though not really necessary for a tank this size.
Spectrum of light is not a very crucial issue as long as its not extremely blue or red.8000K looks particularly pleasant to eyes,however plants may be grown easily between 5000K to 9000K from my experience.If you have two tubes,then replace one with normal 6500K tube.It'd give a pleasant appearance to your tank.Though this much light is high for a tank of this size,so you'd have to stay on top of your water change schedule,and ferts.In beginning week,dose only 1/3 of EI suggested.CSM +B,or a mix of Rexolin CXK II,and Iron EDTA 13% in a ratio of 1:1,dosed 1/3 the reqd. amount of CSM+B is perfect for micro,and much cheaper than any commercial micro fert.However I see you have time constraints so dosing is up to you.
Eleocharis parvula and glosso are very fast growing plants,and will readily invade other plants.But they aremy favorite plants so I'd be a little selfish and recommend you to grow them :D.May be you could grow Eleocharis acicularis (tall hairgrass) in back,and glosso in front?May be use reineckii mini for red contrast.Hydrocotyle triparita Ammania bonsai,pogostemon helferi,staurogyne sp, are good for nano set up as well.
Test kits are not really a necessity in planted tank if you dose by EI,since it is a method of maintaining nutrient solution just a little above what plants can use maximum in a high energy set up.And you remove nutrient buildup with weekly water changes.But yes,API is fairly reliable as far as test kits are confirmed.
Unless you have very hard water,TDS in excess of 350-400 ppm then mixing RO water is suggested.Or if you are planning to grow tonina and synognathus sp :D.Why would you remove calcium and magnesium from water only to add them via dosing?Use tap water,stay rich!
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