can you help

Discussion in 'General Planted Tank Discussions' started by HODDY, 19 Aug 2008.

  1. HODDY

    HODDY Newly Registered

    Messages:
    13
    Hi all, new to thie forum but some should no me from others. I did have a fish house setup up for just fighters which i bred for a while,but shtu down fish house. Now im starting to get into plants. But i dont have the courage to try and setup a big tank with loads of plants that just die on me! i dont want to spend hundreds and then find out it all dies on me! so i am going to start small,witha little nano, But i have no idea which is a good nano tank! cant find any that fits my liking.I want to keep a tank,with main centrpiece being wood,thn having a carpet of either, riccia fluitains, or dwarf hairgrass, qhich is better for a low tech nano? And what is a good nano tank?

    Lastly i want to keep just some shrimp and a small shoal of fish, but really small fish!

    Any help on these questions :?:
    Thanks

    Ben.
     
  2. Superman

    Superman Member

    Messages:
    1,804
    Location:
    Cheltenham
    I'm under the impression that smaller tanks are harder to start off with as there's not much margin for error whilst with a big tank there's a bit more.

    Maybe you could look to get a middle size tank of about 60cm in width?

    Apart from that, I don't have a nano yet, but I'm sure someone will pop along soon who'd be able to help.
     
  3. Garuf

    Garuf Member

    Messages:
    4,959
    Location:
    Leeds.
    I don't know what you would consider a nano but for about £160 you can set up a really good nano tank of 30x20x20
    Here's a price break down
    Filter eden 501 or a tetratex ex400 £40
    Substrate AdA £17
    Co2 glassware £15
    Tank £7-£18
    light clip on 18 or 11watt from ebay £20
    Co2 regulator from ebay £30
    Fe £20somthing from Dan Crawford.

    If you go with these I'm certain you'll find you can grow anything.
     
  4. Garuf

    Garuf Member

    Messages:
    4,959
    Location:
    Leeds.
    Just read that you want a low tech, sorry, the set up I mentioned is decidedly high tech. :oops:
     
  5. HODDY

    HODDY Newly Registered

    Messages:
    13
    HI guys,Thanks for the advice. Yeah i know bigger the better, but bigger the more money lol, Im selling my vision 450 so will have money. Think i have decided to go for the rekord 70? Well its the jewel tank which is 2ftx12x15 which i think is a good size.Can someone explain the hole co2 system to me? as i have this little bottle. tetra optimat. Used for small tanks. Thanks,Ben. :D
     
  6. Garuf

    Garuf Member

    Messages:
    4,959
    Location:
    Leeds.
    The optimat though presurised CO2 by default is actually useless, the most of us use co2 from a fire extinguisher via cheap Malaysian or German regulators this go then either to a diffuser or to a reactor either internal or external.
    I Personally would enquire about a Clearseal version of the tank you mention for the simple reason that you will throw away 80% of what you've just bought.
     
  7. Ed Seeley

    Ed Seeley Member

    Messages:
    3,262
    Location:
    Nottingham
    Personally if you're on about injecting CO2 then you're really not going for a low tech tank. If you're injecting CO2 then go the whole way and add ferts, get a good substrate and have lighting of about 2WPG of T5 lighting. There's a guide to setting up a tank like this in the tutorials section and one on using a Fire Extiguisher for your CO2.

    I have a Rio 180 tank and I have kept the filter and the new T5 lights are just right for a set up like this with good reflectors. As long as you don't overstock the tank or mind the black box in the corner the filter can work fine, but you'll need another pump for more turnover and replace some of the foam with a media with a higher surface area IMO.

    Or you can get a plain tank with overhead lumiere and an external filter. You can get the lighting off Ebay for very competitve prices.
     
  8. Wolfenrook

    Wolfenrook Member

    Messages:
    336
    Location:
    West Midlands UK
    If you can get there, Hollybush garden center sells ClearSeal Panoptic 560 kits for £49.95. These are a 60 litre tank, 200 watt heaterstat, 24 watt power compact overtank luminaire and 700lph internal filter. No ugly hood, as they are designed to be open topped, with a similar style to the much smaller Arcadia Arc Tanks. Considering that these usually retail for about £160 it might be worth the petrol even to get there, they're not far from J11 of the M6.

    Ade
     
  9. HODDY

    HODDY Newly Registered

    Messages:
    13
    Hi all, well have spoke to a friend who is selling my a 2ft tank for 20 quid qith lights and heater. Not sure on lights but if there not strong enough i can buy some t5's. When it comes to all this co2,regulator stuff it really confuses me! is there more of a simpler way to keep pplants successfuly without all the fire extinguisher stuff? I am thinking of getting a small external aswell, Asi it is just pipes shown. Plus i pernaly think it pushs the water round the tank better..

    Thanks for the geat help!

    Oh and does anyone know were i can get some good plants from? Any members on here? shops round the west midlands? or off the net.


    Thanks.
     
  10. HODDY

    HODDY Newly Registered

    Messages:
    13
    well was looking up some plants i liked on java-plants and this is what i like

    american pennywort
    riccia fluitains
    creeping jenny
    hairgrass
    Micranthemum Umbrosum
    cabomba
    wisteria\

    would t5 lighting be good for these?

    thanks all.
     
  11. Egmel

    Egmel Member

    Messages:
    724
    Location:
    Guildford, Surrey, UK
    Hi Hoddy,

    Welcome to ukaps :D

    There are 2 main options when going for a planted tank.
    Low Tech = no CO2, low lights, low fertiliser
    High Tech = CO2 or some form of organic carbon substitute (eg flourish excel or EasyCarbo), more light, more fertiliser

    Low Tech means a smaller range of plants to choose from as you'll need ones that can survive with the low light levels but it also means less maintenance and less equipment/cost.

    More lighting means the plants need more carbon and nutrients otherwise the algae will take over.

    I can't say whether those plants are good for T5 as it depends on how many watts of T5 you get. It's a bit like asking if a vauxhall is any good for lots of motorway driving... it depends on which size model you get ;)

    So as a rule of thumb, work out how much water your tank holds in US gallons and how many watts of light you have. Divide the number of watts of light by the number of gallons, this gives you the watts per gallon (WPG) have a look at this post for more information on lighting.

    If you have more than 2WPG then you will need to add some form of carbon for the plants. If you have under 2WPG then look for low light plants, there is a good selection of these and you can make some stunning scapes with them. When you've decided on whether to go high tech or low tech then we can help you choose the plants to suit your setup. :D

    An external filter is always a good bet IMO, they are nice and easy to look after and provide good filtration without taking up space in the tank and looking ugly. 8)
     
  12. HODDY

    HODDY Newly Registered

    Messages:
    13
    WELL, it will be my first planted so i will go low tech. Someone i know is dropping me some dward hairgrass and some others tomorrow. If i go low tech how will i feed the plants? Will i need this special plant soil/substrate?

    Thanks,Ben.
     
  13. Egmel

    Egmel Member

    Messages:
    724
    Location:
    Guildford, Surrey, UK
    If you can add a good substrate then it will help your plants, things like crypts especially like a good substrate. Depending on how much you want to spend you can either buy an aquatic specific substrate or you could go for a cheaper option and do something like a pond soil base layer covered with argos play sand. Both are nice and cheap :) The only difficulty with the latter option is that eventually they mix and you end up with messy sand. Mine was ok like that for a couple of years, but I didn't rescape often. Have a look at some of the threads in the substrate section which talk about low tech tanks.

    As for feeding, Tropica Plant Nutrition Plus (TPN+) seems to be the star of the moment but it's quite expensive to buy. You can however make your own version using dry powders which works really well. There are instructions on the bottom of this page.
     
  14. beeky

    beeky Member

    Messages:
    879
    Location:
    Chippenham, Wiltshire
    Regarding CO2, there are basically two forms: The "DIY" approach and pressurised.

    DIY
    This involves putting sugar and yeast in a bottle to ferment and produce carbon dioxide. You can go fully DIY and use 2l lemonade/coke bottles with a tube attached to the cap which goes into the tank releasing the bubbles into the intake of the filter. A more commercial version is to buy a kit from companies such as JBL or Hagen which work on the same principle, although they provide sachets of "activator" and "stabilizer" etc which are an expensive way of buying sugar and yeast! The problem with coke bottles etc is that leaks are difficult to eradicate. I prefer to buy the kit for £15 or so and then use your own yeast and sugar.

    Pressurised
    Again, you can buy kits from companies which include the CO2 cannisters and a regulator and usually also include a diffuser. These tend to be pricey though. A cheaper version which you've probably seen is to buy a regulator from ebay and a fire extinguisher.

    The fermentation method has the downside of not providing a consistent amount of CO2. You tend to get a rush of CO2 for a couple of days, a steady amount for another couple and then it gradually tails off until you mix some more. Inconsistent CO2 can promote algae, although many people have used this method very successfully for many years. Pressurised CO2 of course if very stable and lasts alot longer but has a much higher initial cost.

    Hope that helps a bit.
    Graham
     
  15. HODDY

    HODDY Newly Registered

    Messages:
    13
    Hi thanks for the replies.

    Well i have just brought a nutrafin co2 cannster, and ladder etc off aaronnorth, So should get it soon. Meaning i am having co2 now. Does this class my tank as high tech? Not sure on lighting yet. Any help on lighting for a 30inch-3ft tank. t5's are pricey, As im only 15 i havnt got that much money unfortunatly :( lol.

    Any help is much appreciated.

    this forum is very helpful :D :D
     
  16. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,953
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    Hello Hoddy,
    Glad you find the information useful. Injecting CO2 automatically makes you tank high tech, but it is not necessary to use T5 lighting. In fact, if you are new to CO2 it is better that you use the lights you have or to use T8 lights which are less expensive and which you can buy at B&Q. Figure out how many gallons your tank is and then multiply by 2. That's how many watts of T8 to get and which will work quite well.

    Cheers,
     
  17. HODDY

    HODDY Newly Registered

    Messages:
    13
    ok great, thanks for the info!
     

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