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New Jungle Nano...


21 Jul 2012
Ashburton, Devon

A few weeks ago I managed to get hold of a 2ft tank and decided to go even smaller.. I managed to swap the 2ft tank for a small 25x25x20cm nano tank with the full set up including a few guppies.. not my fav fish in the world but took the deal as I only paid a 5er for that 2ft tank off a mate a while ago!

So I started out trying to work out my substrate. I have a 3ft iwagumi already so know the expense of full works ADA substrate.. I was curious to find and create my own substrate and had spoken to some friends and I decided on akadama. First of all I had a single layer of irish peat moss (sprinkled on so glass is still visible) I then placed about an inch of john innes No.3 compost and finished it off with a double layer of akadama 2-3mm...

There are pro's and con's to this that now I would know to do differently. For one its very messy and had to re-scape it 3 times to get it right. The compost mixes up with the akadama which is annoying because it causes the substrate to become VERY dirty... I have all my plants in there and by the time the water had settled all my plants were covered in sh*t! So out it all came again.. this time I re-did the substrate following the same routine as before, peat moss, compost and akadama... only this time I shaped the substrate to how I needed it to be and left the water to settle.. the next day I took my red-moor wood and gently and slowly pushed it into the soil to start my scape. this worked very well and to be honest it is now extremely clear and im happy with it. Its only about 4 days old and there are still large future plans involved but the aim is to keep it as diana walstad 'esque' as I can. Once I have the correct plants and amount of balances in place I will begin to take out my filter components. I currently have a walstad bow on the widow sill for experimental purposes and have not touched it for 3 weeks. water quality is perfect fish are bright and healthy and snails are still rummaging..

Here are the photos so far.. from dirt to cleanliness...







So thats it so far.. Im planning on the current corner being busy and bright whilst getting less busier as it leads towards the front. I aim to carpet the right hand side corner with either pelia or riccia, keeping that low maintenance feel going. As I go towards the front left i will eventually have a nice creamy white beach area where my (future) crystal shrimp will chillax right out 🙂

I do have two issues that you could help me with though.. I went to pick up some beautiful plants but was unable to find the names.. Here they are.. hopefully someone can help me identify these plants..




Thanks people!

I will be keeping this up to date as I proceed with my nano. Hopefully not to long. Im open to criticism and advice too!
what u mean by hygro?? well up for the lava rock when i next see you! i just managed to get a small amount of weeping moss for the corner... its so bright.. hopefully it will bush as i trim and try and work it accrose my tank.. will let you know.

It's a plant that I've seen in the tropica book in sure of it. I'll take a look when I get home from work. Well your more than welcome to some when your up. That moss looks nice.
brilliant, thanks tim 🙂 and sure isaac, I really do hope the weeping moss takes off.. I used to start with java moss as every beginner does but its just not bright enough against the pale of reds..
Yeah and it's also not as pretty. Worst looking moss that java!!! Want to add some staurogyne repens to the mix of plants you got there?
not to sure... I am really likeing the hygrophillia polysperma... thinking about running that along the back, just love the red tinge.. how does your repens look?
Hi everyone! got some new plants in and got my shrimp safe today so a couple more weeks of checking ph & kh levels and getting the atmosphere ready in order for my new crystal red shrimp 🙂

loving the red scene at the minute. Managed to get Some more hygrophillia to bulk up the back ground. Have also managed to get hold of some beautifully healthy anubias nana to feather out the fore ground. once thats all grown up a bit Im planning on getting some nice pale cream and white gravel.. was thinking about coral sand... does anyone have any issues or criticisms about using this in a nano?


I had play sand in my earlier 3ft tank and it caused me a lot of trouble after a while, building pockets of poison as I would like to say! so play sand for me didn't work.. im also after something lighting that play sand as I dont want it being thrown around everywhere... Isaac I would be up for some ada gravel or fine natural gravel??

Have you got a tds meter? I got CRS and thought they'd be fine as we have acidic soft water up here(southwest scotland) The shrimp started dying so eventually got tds meter and salty shrimp and found out our tds was 45 out the tap. I keep it at a steady 120ish now and no more have died. Tds meters on ebay...

Good luck
Just thought i would summarise where about I am to date.. switched and changed a few things got myself a healthy riccia fluitans flooring using netting and stone pushed into my akadama... Had major issues with some cherry shrimp I got for experimental reasons before going onto crystals.. didnt last long. 3 weeks max.. I started A huge post on UKAPS and found it down to the john innes No.3 compost in-between the akadama and irish peat moss.. So had to cut the shrimp out of my project till everything settles. could be a few weeks could be a couple of months.. So for now Im just going to let it run wild and see what happens, Im still water changing nd doing the usual care routine.. Moss has taken off really well.. to the point where I was thinking about taking it out of the tank because it had been brown for about 4 weeks.. now its spurting bright green arms in all directions 🙂 Anubias nana petite looks strong and loving life, as does the polysperma which I was originally worried about. I have taken out my heater and today is the first day I start my nano with no filtration either.. I will be more frequent with posts now I have opted for no filtration as Im sure people will be interested to see how it goes..

Here is is to date...


Cheers peeps 🙂
Ok just another update, I went 2-3 weeks with out filtration or heating to experiment for my 2 nano triptych project and work very well indeed. I also bought some more hygrophila polysperma and put that in as well as more crpyts and a lovely bit of staurogyne repens. The repens is a beautiful colour an really thriving. I happy with my doasge pattern too. I have started adding 6ml of carbonated water every morning about 15 mins before lights on. All doing very well indeed. I love my little low tech. it shows you can have true affect with little work apart from your daily cleans and w/c's etc.


That is just crying out for a dwarf puffer! Course you'd need a good filter for the messy wee gits...
Ha ! I was actually contemplating that.. I know someone in the area that is selling them. She was offering 5 for 10 pound 🙂 I have a heater.. i think its the feeding that I would get annoyed with. I would have to buy snails all the time and am worried it would eat into my pocket !