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Thread: 5g Fluval Chi Nano (Updated 06.26.13)

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    mistahoo's Avatar
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    5g Fluval Chi Nano (Updated 06.26.13)

    I just got a Fluval Chi nano tank and I wanted to make it into a planted nano tank. As of right now, I have no clue what to stock it with. I have substrate and some LED lighting that it came with, but no filter. It's not going to be at my house, so I'd like to keep it low cost and low maintenance. I have a Marineland Penguin 170 and couple of air pumps, but I want to steer clear of any HOB filters that will take away from the sleek look of the rimless tank. No clue as to what temperature the LEDs are. If possible, I'd like to run the tank without a heater since the small heaters sold in the stores can get quite expensive unless I could find one for cheap. I'd like to keep away from bettas, guppies, and mollies. A blue theme would be great! I can't remember the names of a lot of the nano fish. I am also going to stock some shrimp, but not sure what yet.

    Any ideas on livestock, plants, and filter? Any advice or comments would be greatly appreciated as this will be my first nano and planted tank.
    Last edited by mistahoo; 06-26-2013 at 09:57 PM.

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    Nano tanks means nano fish. There are Chili Rasboras and maybe a couple other tiny species...but these will not fit into your "red" theme. You can find Pygmy Banded Sunfish in local wetlands (May - June) that are more neutral with some slight blue hues (unless you find more colorful specimens for sale from someone). These are great because of their curious activity and small size of only 1", but they tend to only eat live foods...but can eventually be trained to accept frozen foods.

    Sine your goal is low maintenance, you might reconsider the Betta idea. They don't come much more trouble-free than that in my experience. But they'll definitely eat all you shrimp. :/

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    Quote Originally Posted by davemonkey View Post
    Nano tanks means nano fish. There are Chili Rasboras and maybe a couple other tiny species...but these will not fit into your "red" theme. You can find Pygmy Banded Sunfish in local wetlands (May - June) that are more neutral with some slight blue hues (unless you find more colorful specimens for sale from someone). These are great because of their curious activity and small size of only 1", but they tend to only eat live foods...but can eventually be trained to accept frozen foods.

    Sine your goal is low maintenance, you might reconsider the Betta idea. They don't come much more trouble-free than that in my experience. But they'll definitely eat all you shrimp. :/

    Yeah, I looked at the Chili Rasboras before. They look nice, but they're red. The tank is going to be at my girlfriend's house and she doesn't like red. I could try to sneak in some red into the tank though. I might try the Pygmy Banded Sunfish if I can find some. I don't really like the betta idea mainly because they will eat all the shrimp. I know they're really low maintenance, but not quite what I want. I still can't remember the name of the nano fish, but it's some blue rasbora I believe?

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    mistahoo's Avatar
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    They're called Neon Blue Rasboras... They will be a high possibility from what I could pick from.

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    There is the Blue Neon Rasbora (Sundadanio axelrodi) and possibly the jelly bean tetra, but both are soft water species (Ph 6.0 and under). I have done a similar tank with Bororas and CBS, but the evaporation rate is crazy. In a 6 gallon open top, I was going through 3-4 gallons a week not counting water changes. I was able to drop the Ph in mine well below a 6 with just Distilled water only and Brightwell soil. I would be wary of using any C02 in a tank like that though, as it can belly it out in no time at all.

    If it were up to me, I would likely go with tap water and perhaps eco complete or just a nice looking sand substrate. I would rely on Excel for carbon and supplement with root tabs. Go with some Anubias nana petite, Flame and christmas moss, maybe some willow even. Some crypts in the rear of the tank as a backdrop. All low maintanance and require low light. Pack the tank well to settle it all in until it finishes cycling to avoid any algal bloom. For filtration maybe run a zoo med canister with some extra long hoses from Home Depot, just add a pre filter sponge in black and it should be inconspicuous. I'd go with those Blue velvet (fairy) neocaradina shrimp. Speedie on the plated tank usually has them and a few boxers have them, just somewhat new and not sure if any are selling offspring yet. Adding a small desk lamp that accentuates the tank could go far in increasing the light available for the plants. I'd certainly add some crpts to that upper area as they do well growing emmersed and would look great flowering.
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    Not using CO2. I was planning on using aged water, would that be fine? For substrate I have eco complete. For lighting I have a 12" stunner LED strip #8011 - 18 x 8K White & 6 x 453nm Blue. If more natural light is needed, I could open the curtains and give it sunlight for a little bit. Is that okay? What do you mean pack the tank well? As in with plants?

    Definitely going with the blue velvet (fairy) neocaradina shrimp now that you brought it up. Plant list sounds great! Could I put dwarf hairgrass and micro swords as well? Or do they require better lighting.

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    Aged water is perfect, shrimp dislike any rapid variance in their parameters so stick with small wcater change schedula and you'll be golden. That stunner strip should be ample lighting, especially with some filtered sunlight as well. Just be watchful on your amount of light, if algae starts becoming an issue. Usually I run an 8-10 hour cycle on my nanos and adjust as needed. Yes, try and get enough plants to 'fill' the tank properly. If you start with small plants, then algae can bloom and uses all the nutrients you intended for the plants. With enough plants they easily outcompete the algae and keep it under control.

    Dwarf Hairgrass and microswords are tough without high lighting and possibly Co2. Nearly all the 'carpeting' plants we see like HC and glosso are tough for the best of us. I would stick with easy stuff like moss and as you settle into the smaller planted nano tanks you can add stuff in and see what you think and experiment. I would start collecting different stuff from other hobbyists you know and holding it in mmason jars/flower vases in a windowsill. With such a small tank I imagine you would be able to collect enough from locals to avoid buying any plants at all.
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    Some great fish to consider with a high Ph planted tank with shrimp are the Psuedomugils (blue eyes), I would recommend the gertrudaes. The Celestial Pearl Danios could work if kept to a smaller number and even some lampeyes would be neat in a tank that size. All of them would probably eat shrimplets, so plant densely and get them properly established and breeding first before adding the fish. Even with eating a few offspring they should be able to keep up once properly established.
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    Blue rasboras are very frail. I was keeping pygmy son fish- they only eat live food- lots of work. CPDs and Chili rasboras are hardy and great but they are not blue.
    Try neon blue dwarf gouramis. They are very hardy. They are agressive so you'll need 4-5 (to dispure agression).You can try sticking some matzania branches tinto some moss balls, and super flue some java moss to the wood. This will be great natural filtration. Do 30% water change about every 1- 1 1/2 weeks. I've done this set up with a 5 gallon tank. I guessing you have the 5 gallon chi. I had something like this running for a year. Feed lightly.

    You guys might not know this but I consider myself a bit of a loner. I tend to think of myself as a one man wolfpack.

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    Use a mix of 50/50 aged dechlorinated tap and RO water. As long as your room temp stays in the 70's no heater is needed.

    You guys might not know this but I consider myself a bit of a loner. I tend to think of myself as a one man wolfpack.

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