New hobbyist needs help to setup a planted nano tank!

FrankR

New Member
Joined
7 Sep 2018
Messages
8
Location
Hertfordshire
Hi there!

I'd like to setup a nano tank for my study.
I already have a 30l Dennerle Nano Cube. So, what equipment should I buy (filter, light, etc) to be able to grow a nice carpet of HC and a couple more plants?
I'd be very happy if I could achieve something like the photo below.

Thank you in advance,
F

sample.jpg
 

dcurzon

Member
Joined
4 Jul 2020
Messages
138
Location
Essex
Hi Frank

Thats quite an ambiguous question...
Filter: You could get a Hob (hang on back) or internal filter, or an external canister filter (which would allow the use of glass lily pipes)
Lights: These range vastly in price and quality.
Etc. Well you'll need some for of dirt at the bottom, some wood and/or rocks to put inside, some plants, and chemicals!! A dechlorinator to treat the water your putting in, fertilisers which could be off the shelf pre-made, or diy. Probably also want to consider a heater as well.
Oh, co2 or no co2? ? Thats another factor!

No fish. Not yet. If its a new tank, then you're going to have to wait a bit for things to settle in and for the filter to grow the good bacteria to be able to handle the bio load of the fish.

I think we'd all like to produce something like in your picture :D

Loads of YouTube tutorials on how to set up a nano, look up George Farmer
 
Joined
3 Jan 2016
Messages
370
Location
Woking, UK
If you want an HC carpet, you need injected CO₂. You will also need a decent amount of light, but the CO₂ is the key, along with good water flow and distribution.

If you go for a minimalist look like in your picture, then distributing CO₂ to the carpet plants is not too difficult because you don’t have lots of stem plants and hardscape obstructing the flow.

If you do go for a minimalist look, I’d recommend using as much external equipment as possible to keep the tank as visually simple as possible. That probably means an external filter and external CO₂ diffuser. I’m not a fan of hang-on-back (“HOB”) filters because they often restrict your options for positioning the inflow and outflow.

For my nano tank, I also opted for an external Hydor heater. The problem with that is that they’re only available in a minimum of 200 Watt power, which would quickly kill a nano tank if it stuck “on”. So I also use a temperature controller so that if either that or the heater sticks on, the other should switch off the power to the heater. I personally think this arrangement is a wise precaution for any smaller tank.

I also made my own spray bar out of a length of clear plastic rod, into which I drilled small holes. It was important to me that the spray bar is colourless (hence less visible), unlike the typical Eheim ones.

Personally I hate tanks that look like chemistry sets, with loads of tubing, glassware and equipment everywhere. Some stuff you can’t avoid because it has to be inside the tank, such as a drop checker.
 

FrankR

New Member
Joined
7 Sep 2018
Messages
8
Location
Hertfordshire
Thank you for your replies!

I've been doing some research for the past month. Until I got confused, so I thought I could ask the community for some straight answers. I will definitely take a look at the journals as well.
So far the only thing that I've made up my mind about, is the filter. I've decided to go for a JBL e402. But I have no clue about the rest of the equipment.

So, here we go.
What kind of light would you consider decent for HC? A desk lamp? An LED light from eBay? Or do I have to bite the bullet for a more expensive light like Twinstar, ADA, etc?
What kind of CO2 diffuser would you recommend for a 30 l nano?
And lastly, which soil would you recommend, ADA Amazonia Powder or Tropica Aquarium Soil Powder?

Cheers,
F

PS. Thank you for moving my thread to the correct forum.
 

FrankR

New Member
Joined
7 Sep 2018
Messages
8
Location
Hertfordshire
Today I ordered some lava rocks, 3 l of Tropica Aquarium Soil Powder and a canister filter. I went for a Fluval 107.

Is anybody kind enough to share some advise on the rest of the equipment?

Cheers,
F
 

FishKeeper55

Member
Joined
20 May 2020
Messages
87
Location
UK
Hi FrankR

Personally I'm still learning about all this aquascape stuff but I was in similar position little while back and my advice might not be 100% accurate but will share my finding, first of all like others have said what you trying to scape is minimalistic look and I will tell you straight up that picture looks good but there is no equipment in this tank, no pipes from canister filter/heater ect., once you fit your Fluval you will need custom clear pipe or glass pipes and any kind of internal heater will be sore eye in this setup, all your efforts would be wasted because will stick out like a sore thumb, If I was trying to achieve this look I would go for Oase external thermo filter, this will provide good filtration with heater inside the canister so less stuff inside tank, I haven't tried Co2 yet my self but for diffuser Neo Acrylic Co2 Diffuser small, lights you would want something that you can control a bit, don't think you need very powerful lights to grow MC and other might be able to advice a bit more on this, you have to think what type of plant you will place on that tree, no point having strong light for MC if you will have plant that likes low light placed higher up, from my reading around this forum and looking at youtubes in fine balance between light/Co2 and water flow to achieve good carpet. I had some grow with MC in low light no Co2 tank but it was growing more up then side ways, this would indicated the light wasn't sufficient enough and the plant was growing towards the light, You could look in to going for Chihiros lights from aliexpress as I don't know any UK stockist or twinstar if budget allows it, you will need dimmer/timmer to control the light a bit if is to strong.

Sorry I can't be more help but there is tons of info in this forum, failing that go for a chat with someone from Aquarium Gardens just make sure you have your credit card ready 😀 and I mean this in good way.

Couple of link

Filter I know you have bought the fluval 107 already but I would return it and get this, I made a mistake getting JBL e402 very good filter but for nano tanks lot better oase due to heater is outside the tank https://www.oase-livingwater.com/en...ducts/p/filtosmart-thermo-100.1000078340.html

Co2 diffuser https://www.aquariumgardens.co.uk/twinstar-diffusor-co2---small-2314-p.asp

Lights I would look at the Chihiros or Twinstar
 

FrankR

New Member
Joined
7 Sep 2018
Messages
8
Location
Hertfordshire
Hi @FishKeeper55,
Thanks for your reply.

You're right. It wouldn't look nice having any equipment in the tank. I bought the Fluval because I've read many good reviews. And I like the design.
I found out that there are ways to hide the equipment. I'll replace the ugly black pipes with clear ones and add lily pipes or an acrylic spray bar (haven't decided yet). Should I ever need a heater (my study is 20-21 C and higher during summer) I'll add an external. As for the CO2 diffuser, I'll add an in-line. If things go as planned, then only the outlet/spray bar will be almost visible.

Generally I don't want to rush things, but I'm on the fence about kickstarting the whole thing. So what should I do:
1) Should I go with the dry start method (set up scape, add plants, spray with water for 4-6 weeks, then fill with water and cycle it)?
or
2) Try the dark start method (set up the scape, fill with water, hook-up canister, add bacteria, let it run for 3 weeks without lights; then drain the water add plants and refill)?

Cheers,
F
 
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