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5 Gallon beginner

Discussion in 'Aquascaping Journals' started by Carbo Narapa, Sep 27, 2013.

  1. Carbo Narapa

    Carbo Narapa New Member

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    I'm going to start a small tank and learn the basics of what truly goes into the tips and tricks I aquascaping. I understand I can read the master manuals, but I'd rather mess around, learn from mistakes, yet not face many problems due to the fact it's only 5 gallons I'm dealing with. So, pictures.
    photo 1.JPG photo 2.JPG
    Went to my local PetSmart. Although I prefer shopping at local fish stores, I chose PetSmart due to my ability to save on a small tank and other products. I chose the best substrates offered in the store for plants. Many other products are offered for plants. I was wondering, since there is a CO2 booster chemical treatment, if I should purchase it. Why should I/not?
    photo 3.JPG
    Any who, this is what I came back from, barely by gift cards and spare cash:
    photo 4.JPG

    The hardscape consists of river stones I collected during some trips up a creek, from which my crawfish (who resides in my native tank) came from. The hardscape is some bits of wood I have had chip or broken off intentionally during recent tanks. I purchased pogostemon helferi, dwarf anubias, and java fern. I plan to anchor some to smaller hardscape, such as hollow pieces of wood.
    I unpackaged all the good stuff. I was very impressed with what came with the tank. A top, 10 gallon filter with cartridge, bulb for lid, freeze dried blood worms, a net, and a small white capsule to transport water for treatment analysis at my local PetSmart. I thought that was really convenient, food, net, capsule...the company is very considerate. But back on topic.
    7 (3).JPG I put everything together and -
    7 (2).JPG this was the turnout. The light (I need to see what the light even is...) is a bland yellow, which I perceive will inevitably need to change. The substrate turned out well, and hope to enjoy the ease of burying plants into it.

    Attached photo is a shot of the treatment for the hardscape; nothing much.

    This is the beginning of a little practice which I hope pays out in the future.
    I wanna hear everything guys! This is the first I have ever participated in a forum like this, nevertheless a forum as great as this one. Thanks
     

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  2. Ed Villagracia

    Ed Villagracia Active Aquascaper

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    i am having difficulty looking at your posted photos:D
     
  3. Carbo Narapa

    Carbo Narapa New Member

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    Haha, yeah, the best I could use is an iPhone, and the files weren't cooperating.
     
  4. Ed Villagracia

    Ed Villagracia Active Aquascaper

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    Carbo,..........welcome to ASW:)
    hope to see your tank scape soon ;)
     
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  5. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    Carbo
    That is what manuals are for you have it we do not it will eliminate a lot of what could be costly mistakes.

    Its only a 5g I hate to tell you the smaller the tank the harder it is to get spot on and maintain.

    I suggest you use Photobucket for posting photos.

    When I saved your photos for some reason they were all right side up.

    My suggestion for you long before you start doing any plan it out in every detail and set it out as a journal.

    By doing that we can go back if we have to check on any detail.

    Is this your first tank?

    If it is can I assume your knowledge about tanks and its inhabitants is very low.

    The reason for asking is very simple we know what level you are at and know where to start from.

    Keith:):)
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2013
  6. Carbo Narapa

    Carbo Narapa New Member

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    I understood the problems I'd face using a small tank. Around the house, and my family, is a little cramped for space, and they both agreed that I should shoot for something small. In the future, though, I aim to set up something larger. I have a 20 gallon tank, which is currently a native tank. I have a crawfish who lives in the tank, and unfortunately I am unable to set up live plants. This is really my first attempt at successfully raising plants, and eventually using them in projects. I am very familiar with fish, the natural side of it though I could use some insight. I also plan to cross over to a ten gallon I have, raising the bar a bit. And yes, I have started a plan of what I aim to do.
     
  7. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    Carbo

    That is a good start then at least there is no need in explaining the Cycling process and how to it correctly.

    Planting you can go three ways.

    ADA type of Substrate/speciality soils.
    Natural river stones 1-3mm
    No substrate every plant on Driftwood.

    Each one has its pros and cons plus a massive difference in cost.

    You can either have a high tech tank and harder to grow plants or your standard low tech tank with easy to grow plants which your tank kit is.

    Keith:):)
     
  8. Carbo Narapa

    Carbo Narapa New Member

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    Thanks, that's what I thought was best, now I know. I plan a big tank, hopefully. Maybe a fluval, or just a large tank.
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2013
  9. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    Carbo

    Keep asking those questions along the way by doing that there is a far less chance of having any major problems.

    Keith:):)
     
  10. Carbo Narapa

    Carbo Narapa New Member

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    Just put water into my tank. I scaped it earlier today. Plants were trimmed and put into tank. Water is being filtered, so I will post pictures later after schoolwork.
     
  11. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    Carbo

    Thank you Pictures are always a good idea just in case there is a concern, that requires attention.

    :):)
     
  12. Carbo Narapa

    Carbo Narapa New Member

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  13. Carbo Narapa

    Carbo Narapa New Member

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    Alright so this was day one of my scape. Today is day 3. My helferi is starting to fade from dark green to bland colors. I'm suspecting that it is not successfully growing. I may need to apply some CO2, which I can make at home. What should I do? I can also purchase CO2 booster and certain tabs and fertilizers. Looking for help soon, thanks!
     
  14. Carbo Narapa

    Carbo Narapa New Member

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    I also have an otocinlus working in my tank. I've had him living in an old plant set up, so I gave him an upgrade.
     
  15. John N.

    John N. Administrator Staff Member

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    Whats your lighting setup like?

    -John N.
     
  16. John N.

    John N. Administrator Staff Member

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    This is actually quite normal as the plants like cryptocorynes adjust to the new conditions. I have had cryptocorynes die to their roots before sprouting out new leaves. Patience will yield great rewards!

    -John N.
     
  17. Carbo Narapa

    Carbo Narapa New Member

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    Boy, is that great to hear. I hope that's the case. I believe I have a 5 watt bulb in my tank. The maximum is 15. I plan to install a new and better light to benefit my plants. What light should I aim to use for my plants?

    image.jpg
    Otto, my otocinlus maintaining my plants.
     
  18. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    Carbo

    Thank you for posting those photos.

    I do not know why you photos a posting sideways I saved them and every one was correct I did not have to alter them at all.

    Yes many Crypts will die back and all of a sudden after planting then new shoots start arriving, I have found the only way to stop it happening is either a very rich substrate or use Seachem Plant fert Tabs as per instructions.
    Now in saying that I assume the same can happen to other fine rooting plants.
    Feed with the Fert Tabs as soon as possible and they will get the food directly into their root system.

    Top photo

    Several points but first is to say its a very nice tank and will certainly develop into a far better with a few minor changes.

    Most important is that big patch of the light coloured substrate I coloured it in and you should be able to see the difference immediately. To be honest it is making that front area a focal point and its hard to get away from it.

    It might be an idea to keep all the tall plants to the back LH side and corner that will a lovely steady flow from top LH to bottom RH side.

    I would also like to see more Anubias nana on that big piece of DW to soften it up a lot.

    Water level is there any special reason its so low you can take it up to where the water comes out of the filter?

    Keith:):)
     
  19. Carbo Narapa

    Carbo Narapa New Member

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    I was treating some water and had some left over to use in a water change. I forgot to set out more water and I have some left over from another treatment ready to use. I expected to have to change my tank up a bit, so I didn't bother adding more water that would just interfere with maintenance. I will, however, keep the water at maximum level. My large plants are bulbs, except for the java fern. I should be able to get more anubias to put on the wood.

    Sorry about the photos. My computer is updating photos normally, but for some reason this site is changing them sideways.

    Thanks for the input!
     
  20. greenfinger 2

    greenfinger 2 Active Aquascaper

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    Hi Carbo, Nice Start into the wonderful world of Aquascaping :) Love the DW This is going to be a fab little Scape(y) As to light 6500k Daylight is a good starting point Low energy One pic of the ones I use ;) [​IMG]
     
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