24l/5g Nano

Discussion in 'Journals' started by Mowze, 4 Mar 2010.

  1. Mowze

    Mowze Member

    60cm x 20cm x 20cm (24ins x 8ins x 8ins) 24L/5g Clearseal rimless aquarium

    15w Undergravel cable heater
    Hagen GLO T5HO Linear lighting system 2x 24w T5 Daylight tubes
    Fluval 103 external canister packed with bio media (Old school!!)
    DIY Acrylic lilly pipe and intake (Coming soon)
    Hydor 25w Submersible heater
    DIY stand (Coming soon)
    Black PVC background
    Flora grow CO2 Nano kit (Pressurised)

    Substrate and Hardscape:
    Mini landscape rock
    JBL Manado substrate

    JBL Ferropol (Weekly)
    JBL Ferropol 24 (Daily)

    Hemianthus callitrichoides
    Eleocharis parvula
    Pogostemon helferi

    Undecided yet, probably
    Caridina dennerli


    The aquarium, I chose this for its slightly longer narrower dimensions to your usual nano aquariums. I quite fancy setting up an aquarium of similar dimensions but much longer say a custom 140cm x 20cm x 20cm wall mounted on a shelf with reinforcing legs at each end and a small weir and sump to maintain water level but that is a project for another day!


    With black backing installed, I used an off cut from an old PVC pond liner and good ole selotape to stick it on!


    15w Heater cable installed, I know a lot of planted aquarium keepers don’t bother with heater cables these days or think that they are of any benefit but I believe considering the substrate is more or less inert and nutrient free at least a little circulation through the substrate will be beneficial in providing the roots with nutrients. Also in the case of dry start planted aquariums (which I will be doing here) I usually use a heat mat anyway as I have found there to be a noticeable difference in the growth rate and health of emmersed plants when provided with greater warmth than those just left at ambient room temperature.


    Substrate goes in, this is JBL Manado a relatively new substrate on the market. I would have used aqua soil but as I have a 25L sack of this stuff I might as well make the most of it rather than spending even more on expensive substrates! Iv had pretty good results with this substrate (Pretty good might actually be an understatement!) However in aquariums before now it has been used to cap a fertile base substrate so the results using the substrate by itself as it is intended to be used should be interesting! The theory behind this substrate is that it is extremely porous both helping the growth of roots, acting as a biological filter to some extent and actually absorbing excess nutrients through cat ion exchange from the water which in turn both prevents algae (my worst nightmare) and passing those nutrients directly to the roots of the plants further increasing plant growth.


    Substrate contours and hardscape, I will have a bit of a play around with this later tonight before I plant it, I am pretty happy with it but feel that something isn’t quite right yet.


    Right hand hill


    Left hand hill


    Middle valley
  2. ghostsword

    ghostsword Member

    Cape Town, South Africa
    Hi, it looks really nice.. Are you going to fill it half with water so that plants can emerge? That would look amazing.. :)
  3. Mowze

    Mowze Member


    Built a small stand and put up some shelves to suspend the lights from. Due to the narrow profile of the tank it had to be fixed to the wall with shelf brackets to avoid it toppling over. At the moment the lights are a bit wonkey but as soon as I get some decent galvanised wire rope and smaller hooks I will sort that out!


    Planted out using HC, Pogostemon helferi and Eleocharis acicularis taken today after trimming the 200L aquarium I set up in a garden centre restaurant.
  4. AdAndrews

    AdAndrews Member

    Kidderminster, Worcs
    looks great!, after using a fairly tall tank(compared to the width) im very tempted to have a go with these longer and shallower type tanks.

  5. Dan Walter

    Dan Walter Member

    Salisbury, Wiltshire
    I really like this, Mowse :clap: The GLO units look so much better suspended. Good choice of plants too, will look great once established. I've often looked at these tanks in my LFS and wondered what a properly 'scaped one would look like!? Nice one. :thumbup:
  6. JanOve

    JanOve Member

    Ålesund, Norway
    Love the dimensions on the tank, this is going to be a beautiful Iwagumi :)
  7. Mowze

    Mowze Member

    It feels really nice to scape, kinda like a scaled down 120 x 40 x 40cm 200l tank and looks a lot bigger than it actually is when you view it from a distance!
  8. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

    Leamington Spa, UK.
    I think there is definitely a trend in "widescreen" tanks on the horizon! Very interesting to scape and create a nice vista.

    Great looking scape Mowze :) Welcome to the society!
  9. Jase

    Jase Member

    Those dimensions look familiar :shifty: Looks great Mowze :clap:
  10. LondonDragon

    LondonDragon Administrator Staff Member

    Very nice indeed, I am liking this long tanks too, specially that I am a shrimp fanatic and these give a lot more space for the shrimp rather than the taller tanks :) Another one to watch, congrats :)
  11. Mowze

    Mowze Member

    I'm really suprised I haven’t seen many more aquariums of these dimensions or similar, it seems the trend with nano aquariums is usually cube or wider deeper rectangular ones. I did once have a bowfronted aquarium of exactly the same dimensions made by aqua one (Think it was 60 x 25 x 20cm including the bow front.) Absolutely amazing unique aquarium with loads of potential for scaping as a nano unfortunately I broke it and have never seen these anywhere since.

    I'm quite looking forward to getting some shrimp, iv never really kept shrimp before outside of work and havent been very interested in them. I fancied trying CRS about a year ago when they were worth a fortune but that was only from a money making perspective and now they are common as mud and pretty boring. Personally I really like Caridinia dennerli (Caridina sp. cardinal) sold as matano blue dot by importers and LFS, they look stunning and have much more character than CRS and RCS which just seem to bumble about aimlessly eating algae.
  12. Mowze

    Mowze Member

    A week on…


    Its 8 days since I planted the tank out (9 days since I set it up) I have been misting it twice daily with RO and airing it out to replace any “stale” air. Yesterday I started a “flood-drain” regime which makes the HC pearl like crazy! I will do once a day basically filling the tank entirely for 30 mins and then draining it again entirely with 25L RO dosed with NPK stock, micro and macro nutrients. The idea of this is to let the substrate absorb any nutrients and moisture to its full capacity as well as to help remove any harmful fungus, bacteria and other nasty’s that might develop in such a moist and humid environment. Also when draining this draws fresh oxygen back down into the substrate and to the roots promoting health basically the same principle as a hydroponic ebb flow system! Whilst I’m not about the heater cable keeps the water constantly evaporating and then condensing on the cling film lid which keeps the entire substrate moist from the “rain” that is constantly falling, it also keeps the whole thing warm which I’m SURE speeds up growth hugely compared to many other dry start planted tanks.


    HC is growing out a treat! Almost all of this was from rootless cuttings of individual stems and from the few bit iv pulled out they already have grown roots! Quite a bit of new growth at the top of the plant also developing where it is growing out of the water.


    Pogo isn’t doing too badly considering its been in a week, a few bits have fresh new growth at the top of the rosette but I think they might take a fair while to spread. Lost quite a lot that melted probably where it was rootless cuttings that had been growing immersed and the shock of being cut and going to emmersed at the same time probably didn’t do too well. However today I planted a load of mature rooted pogo taken from another display tank at work which I hope will fare a bit better!


    Here is the tank half full for its evening “flood” just before lights out with the HC pearling like mad!

    My theory with starting aquariums out “dry” is that for the first month or so you can blast out as much light as long as you want without having to worry about algae issues giving the plants one hell of a head start! At the moment I have it on a 12/12 photo period with 48w of light over the tank giving me around 8wpg! If the tank was full of water 24/7 I would be looking at a pea soup by now but in a months time when the plants grow out a lot more in theory they will be well and truly healthy and more or less ready to take on anything! Soon as that point rolls around I will fill the tank completely remove a tube drop the lighting down to 24w and the photo period to 7/17 hours and commence full EI dosing (Something I would never do if I had started the tank “wet”) and CO2 in combination with a dosage of liquid carbon hopefully preventing algae my worst nightmare from even getting a smidgen of a foothold as it should be unable to out compete the plants. Also with warm mature water and filter media taken from my large Amazon biotope aquarium straight away I should be able to put in about 6-8 RCS (From my Amazon aquarium sump/refugium) and about 4 Otocinclus (from the Amazon aquarium itself) again giving the dreaded algae NO CHANCES!
  13. ghostsword

    ghostsword Member

    Cape Town, South Africa
    It is a beauty to look at ...
  14. Bobtastic

    Bobtastic Member

    Manchester, UK
    This looks really nice, I'm also interested to see how this method of starting a tanks works out. It seems like a lot of work but if it works out the way you expect it would defo be worth it!
  15. rad89

    rad89 Member

    As someone who is very new to all this and looking at all the different ways to bring a tank to life, this seems very promising way to beat the algae problems!
    Love the rock formation and tank dimensions as well!
  16. Mowze

    Mowze Member

    Iv done it with a few tanks now and it has worked very well every time, just give the plants that little head start in life without any competition. I also find that a lot of plants settle in a lot more quickly if you start them growing emmersed as you can tell from this by the fact that the HC has already taken root very well and even began to spread! Its also a lot easier to plant as you dont have to worry about bits floating away from the substrate when gravity is on your side!
  17. Mowze

    Mowze Member

    Another week on and its growing out even more! Pogo is still quite slow with the odd plant melting here and there but plenty of new growth, hair grass has finally started to spread and the HC is INSANE for around 2 1/2 weeks growth! Another few shots of the tank filled:




    If all goes well I am planning on filling the tank permanently this Thursday or Friday which means reducing the lighting down from 48w to 24w starting up my smallest external filter (700Lph) with mature media and water from my larger aquarium and dosing full EI and double dose of easy carbo as well as introducing around 10 or so shrimp after the weekend to keep the algae under control.

    I'm really not sure about the hardscape something just doesnt feel right its not dynamic enough, the hills don’t look right because they are the same height, too late to change it much now anything with the plants settling in moving rocks would be too destructive. Maybe once the pogo and hairgrass grow out it will make it feel a bit better.
    I also think the "valley" between the two hills needs something each side other than hairgrass/HC/Pogo to make it stand out more... I'm thinking something spiky! Blyxa?
  18. Garuf

    Garuf Member

    Do you have any links explaining the ebb and flow? I'm really impressed with the growth, I'd suggest it's the extra warmth from the heater adding to the warmth of the house making it lovely and humid in their.
    The scapes nice, but it feels like two scapes in the same tank, I'm no iwagumi expert but I'm sure you have one side supporting and the negative space created becomes the focal point.
  19. Mowze

    Mowze Member

    Unfortunately the way I learned this method was from past experiences that many users on here would probably frown upon and any links I do have would probably not go down to well. A quick google of "flood drain hydroponics" or "ebb flow hydroponics" will turn up plenty of information on how this method works and the theory behind it. Although the method I am employing is a very basic version of the automated versions many people would use for the long term growth of emmersed or terrestrial plants the same principles are there.

    I think this is where I went wrong, went a bit OTT with the rocks and the "hills" Iv learned from this just because you have a lot of something doesnt mean you should use all of it (speaking about the rocks and substrate of course!) I feel it is a bit too late to change much without disturbing the plants but next time I will go for something much more minimalistic and not have the rocks pointing in all random directions like the pile on the right! Once it fills out it may look a lot better and hopefully soften the hardscape and substrate gradients a little with some larger more "spiky" plants taking the focus off the harsh scape.
  20. Mowze

    Mowze Member

    Did a quick re-scape, its late and I really should be getting to bed but this was bugging me and I wouldn’t have slept if I didn’t!
    I feel a bit more comfortable with it, I didn’t like the big rock at the top of the right hand “hill” but it seems a little bit symmetrical now but much less chaotic.




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