NYfishies

FW Planted 5.5g Custom OceanBox/Nano Box Build

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Hey all,

 

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I know this is a reef forum and we have 2 nano-reefs of our own that we simply adore. This is the only forum that I am active on and I have noticed a few people interested in nano/pico planted freshwater tanks. I hope that it is ok to post this here!

 

After I have spent the majority of the last 18 months working in salt water my girlfriend has grown the desire of a tank of her own. She loves our reefs very much, but I must say I am selfish with the maintenance. :happy:

 

We decided to work closely with OceanBox to have a fully customized tank (he really did everything I asked for!) and also with Nano Box to have a perfectly matching light fixture of top quality. This will be our first OceanBox piece and 3rd Nano Box light. I will start off by saying both of these guys are out of this world good at what they do. It is worth every penny to pay for the craftsmanship and to know for a fact who and what you are spending your money on. This tank thread will be an ongoing review of both. So far I love them!

 

Equipment List

 

 

 

 

OceanBox Designer's Radioactive Rimless 5.5G Long AIO Tank
Petco Newport Wooden Tank Stand, 20 Gallons
Nano Box Flare - White/Green Acrylic Lid, 13" Rimless Gooseneck
Cobalt Neo-Therm Heater 25W
Eheim Compact Pump (300 GPH)
Digital Thermometer

Substrate / Hardscape / Aquascape

ADA Aqua Soil - Amazonia Normal (3 liters) x2
ADA Power Sand Special-S (2 liters)
ADA La Plata Sand (2kg)
ADA Yamaya Stone (5 lbs)
SubstrateSource 12-Inch Stainless Steel Aquarium Aquascaping Kit 5-Tools

Filtration

Seachem Purigen 100ml
Fluval Pre-Filter Media - 750 grams
South Ocean Five 4" x 12" Nylon Filter Bag

Testing

API Freshwater Master Test Kit

Plants

Lilaeopsis 'Mauritius'
Eleocharis acicularis
Micranthemum tweediei

Utricularia graminifolia

Cryptocoryne spec. 'Flamingo'

Alternanthera reineckii 'Mini'

Fish / Inverts

Guppies
Catfish

Here is the post of the tank that OceanBox made: http://www.nano-reef.com/topic/366876-designers-radioactive-rimless-55g-long-aio-tank/

 

Here is where we will put the tank in our living room.

 

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Still need to organize the wires and level it. I must say we are very happy with the stand. It is very sturdy and overkill for this size tank, but it provides some cool space in the front and along the edges. Almost like the tank is a lamp on the table.
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Here is all of the equipment minus the heater and pump which have already been placed into the tank for the water test I had run. These tools are very nicely built and have a good feel to them.

 

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After a lot of research we decided to go with the ADA substrate system. I know that the Power Sand is not required, but we find the idea to make sense. You put rocks/pepples at the bottom of a planter so why not in a planted tank? I had meant to order the Powder size of the soil, but for some reason I added the Normal size to the shopping cart and here we are. I still think we will pick up 1 bag of Powder for top layering. where we want to have the Baby Tears grow. Smaller roots hold better in the smaller substrate.
We still need to pick up some driftwood, but will grab that from one of our LFS's when we go to purchase the initial plants.
The sand will cover some small portion near the front (no plant growth) to add some contrast to the otherwise dark bottom. The rock and driftwood will be seperated to add some depth.
We are very excited to get this tank filled and starting to cycle! It has been since October in the making.
Thanks for tagging along. We would love any input, advice, positive criticism, etc you have!
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Been waiting to see this every since I saw the pics of the custom tank!

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What equipment are you going with for dosing CO2?

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Leaning more towards dosing dry or maybe liquid ferts than equipment.

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I'm SO looking forward to seeing this tank start and I can't wait to see it in person.

 

Have you thought about a temperature controller? I highly recommend Reef Solutions nano controller. They are a sponsor on this forum, I actually have 2 of their units, they work great, when you come over Friday I'll show them to you.

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Ok cool because I do not know what the Temp controller would even do. :P

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I never bought into the whole ADA ecosystem, or any of the others like it. It is unnecessarily expensive for what you get and I've had good results from using inert Black Diamond blasting sand with Osmocote tablets inserted into it, and I'm not even sure how much the Osmocote had to do with it as I was fertilizing the water column, as well. :)

 

You will need a pressurized CO2 setup if you're going to be dosing for EI or any other fertilizer regimen, otherwise you will need to dose extremely infrequently and will need to reduce light down to around 30 PAR or so on the substrate to prevent algae from taking over. I would also recommend getting a gallon of Metricide, which is 2.6% gluteraldehyde, the active ingredient in Seachem's Fluorish Excel, twice as concentrated. It is a powerful algaecide and when metabolized it becomes a CO2 source, so it is handy to have, especially for black brush algae. http://www.ebay.com/itm/CIDEX-METRICIDE-OMNICIDE-14-DAY-STERILIZATION-GALLON-/141874082863?hash=item21085ab42f:g:5FcAAMXQMmJRLXH~

 

You are thinking of an algae eating fish, I would recommend Otocinclus vittatus, as they are about the only species that will stay small enough to do well in this size tank. They only eat film algaes, though, and you probably won't have enough to keep them fed, so you'll want to supplement them weekly with blanched veggies, they go apey for them. They are handled extremely poorly from capture to retail sales, so if you want to end up with 2-3 of them, then you'll need to plan on purchasing around a dozen of them. Luckily they are very inexpensive.

 

As for the killifish, where are you planning on getting them? I can only find a few for sale online that aren't eggs from another country. I've tried twice to hatch Killi eggs and failed both times. :/

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Dat Benny guy ^^

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I never bought into the whole ADA ecosystem, or any of the others like it. It is unnecessarily expensive for what you get and I've had good results from using inert Black Diamond blasting sand with Osmocote tablets inserted into it, and I'm not even sure how much the Osmocote had to do with it as I was fertilizing the water column, as well. :)

 

You will need a pressurized CO2 setup if you're going to be dosing for EI or any other fertilizer regimen, otherwise you will need to dose extremely infrequently and will need to reduce light down to around 30 PAR or so on the substrate to prevent algae from taking over. I would also recommend getting a gallon of Metricide, which is 2.6% gluteraldehyde, the active ingredient in Seachem's Fluorish Excel, twice as concentrated. It is a powerful algaecide and when metabolized it becomes a CO2 source, so it is handy to have, especially for black brush algae. http://www.ebay.com/itm/CIDEX-METRICIDE-OMNICIDE-14-DAY-STERILIZATION-GALLON-/141874082863?hash=item21085ab42f:g:5FcAAMXQMmJRLXH~

 

You are thinking of an algae eating fish, I would recommend Otocinclus vittatus, as they are about the only species that will stay small enough to do well in this size tank. They only eat film algaes, though, and you probably won't have enough to keep them fed, so you'll want to supplement them weekly with blanched veggies, they go apey for them. They are handled extremely poorly from capture to retail sales, so if you want to end up with 2-3 of them, then you'll need to plan on purchasing around a dozen of them. Luckily they are very inexpensive.

 

As for the killifish, where are you planning on getting them? I can only find a few for sale online that aren't eggs from another country. I've tried twice to hatch Killi eggs and failed both times. :/

 

A LFS i used to work in NJ sold Killifish. We used to order them from Merit i believe.

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Your HC wont live without co2. It's just going to melt away.

 

ADA Amazonia does a couple of things. Buffers your pH, leeches ammonia for the plants, and has a good amount on nutrients. Plants fall into your basic 2 categories, root and water column feeders. A carpet plant like HC is your basic root feeder and will get the majority of its nutrients from the soil.

 

Also liquid ferts and co2 are not a substitute for each other. You can carbon dose with excel for low light plants but HC is not one of them. To simplify your life I would dose pps pro instead of ei.

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I never bought into the whole ADA ecosystem, or any of the others like it. It is unnecessarily expensive for what you get and I've had good results from using inert Black Diamond blasting sand with Osmocote tablets inserted into it, and I'm not even sure how much the Osmocote had to do with it as I was fertilizing the water column, as well. :)

 

You will need a pressurized CO2 setup if you're going to be dosing for EI or any other fertilizer regimen, otherwise you will need to dose extremely infrequently and will need to reduce light down to around 30 PAR or so on the substrate to prevent algae from taking over. I would also recommend getting a gallon of Metricide, which is 2.6% gluteraldehyde, the active ingredient in Seachem's Fluorish Excel, twice as concentrated. It is a powerful algaecide and when metabolized it becomes a CO2 source, so it is handy to have, especially for black brush algae. http://www.ebay.com/itm/CIDEX-METRICIDE-OMNICIDE-14-DAY-STERILIZATION-GALLON-/141874082863?hash=item21085ab42f:g:5FcAAMXQMmJRLXH~

 

You are thinking of an algae eating fish, I would recommend Otocinclus vittatus, as they are about the only species that will stay small enough to do well in this size tank. They only eat film algaes, though, and you probably won't have enough to keep them fed, so you'll want to supplement them weekly with blanched veggies, they go apey for them. They are handled extremely poorly from capture to retail sales, so if you want to end up with 2-3 of them, then you'll need to plan on purchasing around a dozen of them. Luckily they are very inexpensive.

 

As for the killifish, where are you planning on getting them? I can only find a few for sale online that aren't eggs from another country. I've tried twice to hatch Killi eggs and failed both times. :/

 

Hey Jedi, thanks so much for this. I need to take some time to research and digest your comments today and will revert!

 

As for ADA if you knew me personally you would know why I tend to "over-do it" when it comes to fish. I like to think that I have the best for what money can pay for. This is after all like my only hobby. :lol: I have heard the same thing as you say from others, but I also heard "it can only help".

 

As for the Killifish we first saw them at a LFS near Pittsburgh, PA (Elmer's) when visiting my hometown. I am not sure if we can source them local to NYC yet, but we are checking Absolutely Fish for advice and plants this weekend so will see if they can source them down the road for us. Otherwise we will drive them back on our next trip from Pitt.

 

Your HC wont live without co2. It's just going to melt away.

 

ADA Amazonia does a couple of things. Buffers your pH, leeches ammonia for the plants, and has a good amount on nutrients. Plants fall into your basic 2 categories, root and water column feeders. A carpet plant like HC is your basic root feeder and will get the majority of its nutrients from the soil.

 

Also liquid ferts and co2 are not a substitute for each other. You can carbon dose with excel for low light plants but HC is not one of them. To simplify your life I would dose pps pro instead of ei.

 

So for ferts do you recommend EI/PPS Pro (dry) over liquid?

 

What equipment do you recommend for CO2 dosing. I do not want some messy, smelly DIY setup.

 

Thanks everybody!

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For pressurized CO2 you'll need a CO2 tank (either small paintball setup that you'd swap every couple of months or get a 5lb tank and not have to swap for a year or two), a dual stage regulator, and a post-body kit (which will have a needle valve and solenoid, which fine tune the CO2 output and turn off the CO2 at night, respectively). :)

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For pressurized CO2 you'll need a CO2 tank (either small paintball setup that you'd swap every couple of months or get a 5lb tank and not have to swap for a year or two), a dual stage regulator, and a post-body kit (which will have a needle valve and solenoid, which fine tune the CO2 output and turn off the CO2 at night, respectively). :)

 

So something like this?

 

http://dustinsfishtanks.com/aquarium-product/co2-regulator-dual-stage-co2-regulator-solenoid-bubble-counter/

 

http://www.amazon.com/Zebra-Luxfer-Aluminum-CGA320-Brushed/dp/B0085282UK

 

Freaking pricey!

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I've been very curious if you're ever going to be setting this up, glad to have finally see it going!! I'm playing with the idea of a planted tank myself with some nice small fishes: German Rams, school of neon Tetras, and those red tiny shrimp. I'll be following you for sure.


I'm SO looking forward to seeing this tank start and I can't wait to see it in person.

 

Have you thought about a temperature controller? I highly recommend Reef Solutions nano controller. They are a sponsor on this forum, I actually have 2 of their units, they work great, when you come over Friday I'll show them to you.

 

+1 I bought two and love them, kept my tank within 1 degree tolerance at all time.

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I've been very curious if you're ever going to be setting this up, glad to have finally see it going!! I'm playing with the idea of a planted tank myself with some nice small fishes: German Rams, school of neon Tetras, and those red tiny shrimp. I'll be following you for sure.

 

+1 I bought two and love them, kept my tank within 1 degree tolerance at all time.

 

Hey man! With the holidays and my excessive planning it just has taken forever! Not to mention the cost of this rose to a number which I will not repeat. Let's just saw it might as well be a reef tank at this point. :o

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Well for pressurized CO2 there are a couple of options. If you want absolute cheap get a milwaukee regulator. A good regulator setup is one with a dual stage, precision needle valve, and good solenoid. Now when I say good regulator I mean something like a victor, matheson, etc. Why do you want a dual stage regulator? In some cases when the co2 tank is almost depleted and pressure drops the single stage regulator can't "regulate" anymore and dumps the entire contents of what's left in the tank and nukes your livestock. Now this can be prevented by keeping a close eye on your co2 tank and replacing when you notice around a 200psi drop in tank pressure. Of course that is problematic if you are not around so that is where a dual stage regulator comes in.

 

Dual stage regulators are immune to EOTD (end of tank dump). An EOTD will not harm your plants but will guaranteed kill your fish. I had an EOTD happen to me once with a cheap aquatek regulator and I was lucky that tank had like 2 fish. After that never again. I went out and got myself a Victor VTS regulator on ebay and put a setup together with a fabco nv-55-18 needle valve and burkert solenoid. Now this kind of setup is not cheap. You are looking at minimum $200-250 for one but people sell them all the time. Just recently someone was selling a Matheson setup on here for ~$250.

 

Now while this might seem like a lot of money at first the first thing to note is that a setup like this lasts forever. Seriously, this type of regulator will probably outlast you. Also the advantage of going with something like this is that if you wanted to use it in reefing later on with a calcium reactor you can. You could very easily have 2 outputs on your regulator to handle your reef tank and your planted tank at the same time. The needle valve and solenoid combo is commonly referred to as a post body kit. You can have 2 post body kits controlled separately by different solenoids so you can feed both a calcium reactor and a planted tank at the same time.

 

If you think this is something you want to go with let me know and I can guide you further. Putting together a regulator is actually quite simple.

 

As for EI vs PPS Pro they are just dosing methodologies. PPS Pro is just 2 bottles of liquid dosed everyday. EI has specific days that you need to dose certain things. PPS Pro requires a reset every week or so in the form of a water change as nutrient levels will rise faster than EI. EI also requires a reset in the form of water change but it's not as crucial as PPS Pro.

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I've been very curious if you're ever going to be setting this up, glad to have finally see it going!! I'm playing with the idea of a planted tank myself with some nice small fishes: German Rams, school of neon Tetras, and those red tiny shrimp. I'll be following you for sure.

 

 

+1 I bought two and love them, kept my tank within 1 degree tolerance at all time.

The rams will decimate any shrimp you out into the tank, unfortunately. The only fish confirmed to not eat shrimp is the Otocinclus. Even my juvie guppies will go after juvie shrimp, and my betta ate over a hundred blue Pearl shrimp in less than a weeks time. He actually turned a shade of blue himself for a while lol
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NYfishies, I have a dual stage Milwaukee (at least I think, I don't remember) regulator that you can have for the cost of a CGA-320 fitting and bushing, since I was going to use the CGA fitting on my new Concoa regulator :)

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The rams will decimate any shrimp you out into the tank, unfortunately. The only fish confirmed to not eat shrimp is the Otocinclus. Even my juvie guppies will go after juvie shrimp, and my betta ate over a hundred blue Pearl shrimp in less than a weeks time. He actually turned a shade of blue himself for a while lol

 

He turned blue? LMAO!!!

 

 

Well for pressurized CO2 there are a couple of options. If you want absolute cheap get a milwaukee regulator. A good regulator setup is one with a dual stage, precision needle valve, and good solenoid. Now when I say good regulator I mean something like a victor, matheson, etc. Why do you want a dual stage regulator? In some cases when the co2 tank is almost depleted and pressure drops the single stage regulator can't "regulate" anymore and dumps the entire contents of what's left in the tank and nukes your livestock. Now this can be prevented by keeping a close eye on your co2 tank and replacing when you notice around a 200psi drop in tank pressure. Of course that is problematic if you are not around so that is where a dual stage regulator comes in.

 

Dual stage regulators are immune to EOTD (end of tank dump). An EOTD will not harm your plants but will guaranteed kill your fish. I had an EOTD happen to me once with a cheap aquatek regulator and I was lucky that tank had like 2 fish. After that never again. I went out and got myself a Victor VTS regulator on ebay and put a setup together with a fabco nv-55-18 needle valve and burkert solenoid. Now this kind of setup is not cheap. You are looking at minimum $200-250 for one but people sell them all the time. Just recently someone was selling a Matheson setup on here for ~$250.

 

Now while this might seem like a lot of money at first the first thing to note is that a setup like this lasts forever. Seriously, this type of regulator will probably outlast you. Also the advantage of going with something like this is that if you wanted to use it in reefing later on with a calcium reactor you can. You could very easily have 2 outputs on your regulator to handle your reef tank and your planted tank at the same time. The needle valve and solenoid combo is commonly referred to as a post body kit. You can have 2 post body kits controlled separately by different solenoids so you can feed both a calcium reactor and a planted tank at the same time.

 

If you think this is something you want to go with let me know and I can guide you further. Putting together a regulator is actually quite simple.

 

As for EI vs PPS Pro they are just dosing methodologies. PPS Pro is just 2 bottles of liquid dosed everyday. EI has specific days that you need to dose certain things. PPS Pro requires a reset every week or so in the form of a water change as nutrient levels will rise faster than EI. EI also requires a reset in the form of water change but it's not as crucial as PPS Pro.

 

Gus, I cannot thank you enough for the time you have taken to explain, in such great detail, this process. I am intrigued and now convinced I need a setup. Not that I have not skimped on the tank build, the light, the substrate and I have no intentions to not give 100% to the balance of what s needed to make her tank flourish. The ticket price for this tank is about 3x more than I planned, why not make it 4x lol.

 

Can you please send a pic of your setup? Which Victor do you have and which Burkert Selenoid?

 

I found this: https://store.fabco-air.com/proddetail.php?prod=NV-55-18

NYfishies, I have a dual stage Milwaukee (at least I think, I don't remember) regulator that you can have for the cost of a CGA-320 fitting and bushing, since I was going to use the CGA fitting on my new Concoa regulator :)

 

Can you put this into lamens terms? LOL

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The rams will decimate any shrimp you out into the tank, unfortunately. The only fish confirmed to not eat shrimp is the Otocinclus. Even my juvie guppies will go after juvie shrimp, and my betta ate over a hundred blue Pearl shrimp in less than a weeks time. He actually turned a shade of blue himself for a while lol

Dang! you just saved me from starting a killing spree...no shrimp then, i do like the rams a lot. In fact, i got a 75G cichlid show tank so I can't have any other fishes in there or they get butchered within 24 hrs, they have been on my list for a long time.

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He turned blue? LMAO!!!

 

Can you put this into lamens terms? LOL

Yep! He started out almost all white, then he had that blue tinge for probably two weeks, then went back to normal! :D

 

CGA-320 fitting is what connects the regulator to the CO2 canister. PM me and we can talk about it if you want to go down that road. If you'd like, you can order the post-body kit and I can assemble it for you and ship it as a whole piece, too.

 

Dang! you just saved me from starting a killing spree...no shrimp then, i do like the rams a lot. In fact, i got a 75G cichlid show tank so I can't have any other fishes in there or they get butchered within 24 hrs, they have been on my list for a long time.

I know, I'm a buzzkill :(

 

I LOVE LOVE LOVE my betta in my tank now, but I would also love to be able to have shrimp again. Even with as much moss and hiding places as I had, he still tracked down every single one of them. I am thinking of bringing him to my new PicO at work and keeping my new 25g setup as guppy, pleco, and otocinclus only and keeping blue pearl shrimp again, and then maybe also some strain of caridina shrimp since the two genii won't intermingle.

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There you can see a pic of my Victor hooked up to my 20lb tank and calcium reactor.

 

IMG_20160102_170932.jpg

 

It's brass and stupid heavy. Not pretty but a tank. I bet Ben got one of those fancy stainless steel Concoas :)

 

So in your case you have no canister filter so easiest way to feed to your tank would be through a diffuser. Something like this.

 

SpioIII.jpg

 

It takes the co2 bubble and breaks it up into tiny little mist in your tank. Then you need a drop checker to figure out how much co2 you should be pushing into the tank.

 

505c366865bf8.jpg

 

You put 4dKH solution in the the bubble and then a couple of drops of pH reagent. You then put in the tank like so. When you push co2 into the water it will change color.

 

yellow = too much co2

blue = not enough co2

green = just the right amount

 

You watch the color when the lights are on which is when the plants are taking in co2 and putting out oxygen.

 

That needle valve is the exact same one I got. There is some contention in this as some people feel you need super fancy ones but the fabco has yet to fail me. The Bugatti Veyron of needle valves is the Ideal 52 series with vernier handle. It's also $$$$$$$$$$$$. This is the solenoid.

http://www.aquariumplants.com/product-p/sol.htm?1=1&CartID=0

 

Solenoids you have other options like a DC mouse solenoid as well.

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I bet Ben got one of those fancy stainless steel Concoas :)

May have scored a 212-3301 on eBay for $70. :D

 

Of course, that was a year and a half ago and I'm just now starting to put shit together :lol:

 

I'm using a Clipboard Mouse solenoid that is 12v and using an SCW controlled by my Bluefish Mini to turn it on and off. I am also looking at a 12v APT dosing pump head to dose an all in one liquid fertilizer, so completely automating the process through Bluefish. :)

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May have scored a 212-3301 on eBay for $70. :D

 

Of course, that was a year and a half ago and I'm just now starting to put shit together :lol:

 

I'm using a Clipboard Mouse solenoid that is 12v and using an SCW controlled by my Bluefish Mini to turn it on and off. I am also looking at a 12v APT dosing pump head to dose an all in one liquid fertilizer, so completely automating the process through Bluefish. :)

 

Nice. Those clippard mouse are nice. They use what? 0.5W? My burkert is a power hog and gets hot. Where did you find your clippard? They were a pain to get a couple years ago. What needle valve you going with?

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Nice. Those clippard mouse are nice. They use what? 0.5W? My burkert is a power hog and gets hot. Where did you find your clippard? They were a pain to get a couple years ago. What needle valve you going with?

Ebay has LOADS of Clippards, just gotta find the right model. The one I got has three connections (one input, two output), but I just bought a plug for the extra one since it was one of the only 12v ones I could find. :)

 

I bought a Fabco NV-55-18.

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