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 Planted Pico Planning

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Farfromfiji



Join date : 2012-01-19
Posts : 316

PostSubject: Planted Pico Planning   Tue May 22, 2012 8:26 pm

Hi Everyone,

Thanks to student government and the aquarist club I am the proud owner of a 3g picotope (this) and I am planning what to do with it now. I want to have live plants and fw fish. I've been researching planted websites for species that they suggest and that I like. I won't be able to include everything or probably most of what I'm finding but it's good to know. So far this is what I'm planning based on suggestions from the aforementioned websites:


  • I want to have 2 inches of Fluorite substrate and an inch of peat moss or sand on top, leaning towards the former because it sounds really cool
  • Planning on changing out the light, I've heard that it's really difficult to grow things under blue light (the 50/50 bulbs that the aquarium comes with) not sure exactly to what though, I've heard there's a rule of thumb regarding wpg but that it doesn't apply to aquariums below 10g so tease ?
  • I'd like to do some driftwood, or at least a rock or two. What do I need to do to it before I put it in my tank? Should I try to find my own?
  • I haven't done much planning as far as fish, does anyone have suggestions? I've seen tons of Betas, but I don't know if I only want one, and what kind of space do I need for that?
  • The guides are also very unclear about CO2, do I need it? How do I get it?
  • Suggestions for plants for me? How many can I do in a 3g?


If I think of any more I'll add to this, I would appreciate some of our fresh water folks (I've seen some good planted tanks on here) helping me out while I start this tank with any suggestions or tips.
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Nicholas41



Join date : 2011-06-02
Posts : 1062

PostSubject: Re: Planted Pico Planning   Tue May 22, 2012 10:44 pm

Sounds like you have done quite a bit of research! Sounds like the substrate would be good, my only concern would be that you are going to loose quite a bit of volume with a bed that tall.

I had driftwood when I had my 120. I collected it and drilled it to a marble slab which had to be buried to weigh it down, keep in mind though this was a 3+ foot piece of driftwood.

I personally would try some german rams or fancy guppies due to their intense coloring, or that cool looking fish that Gargas had in his tank with the plecos and discus.

As far as plant go, I personally didn't have luck with them. Though I was/am impatient and it was about 5 years back. CO2 I'm not really sure on, but I don't know if they would sell setups to dose CO2 for a 3 gallon tank.

Good luck Dan! I look forward to seeing some pictures.

PM Donald Ruger as he does planted tanks.

__________________________________________________________________
-Nick G.  pirate
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Sam_G
Admin


Join date : 2011-01-15
Posts : 2530

PostSubject: Re: Planted Pico Planning   Wed May 23, 2012 9:39 am

Good job on the research, Dan! It's exciting to see someone finally setting up their pico! Very Happy

I think your substrate plan is good. While it will take up some volume like Nicholas said, you probably need it for the plants' root systems.

I think you might actually be fine with the stock light. A 50/50 bulb is more for corals, but I grow saltwater macros under 50/50 and they do fine. Because of this, I would guess that freshwater plants would be fine as well. However, if you really wanted to change the bulb, most plants grow best under 6500K lighting.

I think driftwood sounds cool! You can either buy it or collect your own. @ NICHOLAS, didn't you have to boil the one you collected or something???

As far as fish. A betta is a good idea. I think rams might be a bad idea (they sound kind of big for a pico, but maybe 1 ram would be okay). Guppies are good. Most tetra would work. Glofish are another option.

I don't think you need CO2. That sounds like overkill for a pico, IMO.

As far as plants, I don't know what to tell you. Hopefully someone with freshwater plant experience like Don (WhySoSerious?) steps in. If not, maybe PM him.

Good luck! thumbs up

__________________________________________________________________
~Samantha snorkel

Founder and Former President of the Aquarist Club at USF

100 Gallon Mixed Reef Aquarium

47 Gallon Macroalgae DT
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Farfromfiji



Join date : 2012-01-19
Posts : 316

PostSubject: Re: Planted Pico Planning   Wed May 23, 2012 10:49 am

Nicholas41 wrote:
my only concern would be that you are going to loose quite a bit of volume with a bed that tall.

Possibly, but most sites suggest at least 2 inches for growing plants because of the root system.

Sam_G wrote:
you probably need it for the plants' root systems.

yup

Nicholas41 wrote:
I had driftwood when I had my 120. I collected it and drilled it to a marble slab which had to be buried to weigh it down, keep in mind though this was a 3+ foot piece of driftwood.

Yeah I am leaning toward driftwood, though where would I collect it? I hope I don't have to weigh it down.

Sam_G wrote:
I think driftwood sounds cool! You can either buy it or collect your own. @ NICHOLAS, didn't you have to boil the one you collected or something???

I've heard about boiling the wood, or at least washing it and letting it dry out.

Nicholas41 wrote:
I personally would try some german rams or fancy guppies due to their intense coloring, or that cool looking fish that Gargas had in his tank with the plecos and discus.
Sam_G wrote:
As far as fish. A betta is a good idea. I think rams might be a bad idea (they sound kind of big for a pico, but maybe 1 ram would be okay). Guppies are good. Most tetra would work. Glofish are another option.

I'm not too picky as I am stil a complete novice at this and much of what people choose tends to be opinion based. Thanks for your opinions guys. I know I can't keep too much in a pico, but more than one fish would be cool if I can do it.

Sam_G wrote:
I think you might actually be fine with the stock light. A 50/50 bulb is more for corals, but I grow saltwater macros under 50/50 and they do fine. Because of this, I would guess that freshwater plants would be fine as well. However, if you really wanted to change the bulb, most plants grow best under 6500K lighting.

I will look at prices and see if it's worth it. My main concern is that people have said that plants in small tanks (and really large tanks like 100g+) are far less flexible when it comes to light (and CO2 for that matter).

Thanks for the suggestions guys! I'm looking forward to getting started. bouncy
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WhySoSerious?



Join date : 2011-07-12
Posts : 184

PostSubject: Re: Planted Pico Planning   Wed May 23, 2012 11:30 am

Ill get on this after work and Ill help you out buddy.
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Nicholas41



Join date : 2011-06-02
Posts : 1062

PostSubject: Re: Planted Pico Planning   Wed May 23, 2012 11:32 am

For the drift wood you may have to boil it to get the tannins out which would make your tank water brownish like the river. The pieces that are drifting on the river wont break up as much, but do float and have to be anchored. There is a type of driftwood called mopani which does sink naturally, but you do have to soak it for quite a while to release the tannins.

__________________________________________________________________
-Nick G.  pirate
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WhySoSerious?



Join date : 2011-07-12
Posts : 184

PostSubject: Re: Planted Pico Planning   Wed May 23, 2012 6:47 pm

Yeah, what nick said is correct. Mopani is cool, its real, and its not a total pain. Soak it in hot water and the tannins will release faster. So what you do is fill it with hot water, and dump it, fill it,, dump it and so on(dont just fill and dump though, fill soak dump). You may want to go over it a few times to get it good. You will still need to do a few water changes after just to clear it up. *TANNINS ARE NOT BAD FOR YOUR TANK* just wanted to let you know. However.....finding a piece you like for a 3gal may be hard....plus side is that a small piece of mopani is about $6 so yay for the cheap side.
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WhySoSerious?



Join date : 2011-07-12
Posts : 184

PostSubject: Re: Planted Pico Planning   Wed May 23, 2012 6:53 pm

Btw, I wouldn't recommend the german blues.....mine were happy in my 10, but when I moved them to the 20 they became sooooooooo(not enough "o"s can express how happy they became). Pus their kinda hard for a "noob". I have a kind of "formula" for my planted tanks now. It includes non fertilized, organic soil, pea gravel and whatever you want to top it...i also lay some clay on the bottom(Plants take the majority of their nutrients from their roots). I was kind of thinking you could do a tank with moss tiles(from petco...it has java moss attached to a screen that you can lay on the ground) with some black rocks, and dwarf puffers. That would be a cool little tank if i saw so myself.
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Nicholas41



Join date : 2011-06-02
Posts : 1062

PostSubject: Re: Planted Pico Planning   Wed May 23, 2012 7:23 pm

Dwarf puffers would be super cool! I had some a long time ago, they have great personalities!

__________________________________________________________________
-Nick G.  pirate
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Farfromfiji



Join date : 2012-01-19
Posts : 316

PostSubject: Re: Planted Pico Planning   Wed May 23, 2012 7:29 pm

Dwarf Puffers huh? How many could fit in a 3g?
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Farfromfiji



Join date : 2012-01-19
Posts : 316

PostSubject: Re: Planted Pico Planning   Wed May 23, 2012 7:47 pm

Just looked them up, so it sounds like I would be able to do one DP max(at 3g per DP), but they are pretty cool! I wonder what else I could keep with it.
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WhySoSerious?



Join date : 2011-07-12
Posts : 184

PostSubject: Re: Planted Pico Planning   Wed May 23, 2012 9:05 pm

If you want RCS(Red Cherry Shrimp) I have them. And if your tank is spaced well you can get two in just make it planted well. =D
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Farfromfiji



Join date : 2012-01-19
Posts : 316

PostSubject: Re: Planted Pico Planning   Wed May 23, 2012 9:16 pm

Thanks for the hints Don. I like the idea of shrimp, and that may be my only option in addition to one or two fish since the tank is so small. What's your opinion on the lighting situation?
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WhySoSerious?



Join date : 2011-07-12
Posts : 184

PostSubject: Re: Planted Pico Planning   Thu May 24, 2012 4:19 pm

I am going to test something out, if it works then the light im thinking of is PERFECT!. what are the dimensions of the tank? I was going to get this specific light if i did a 2gal, but i have it on my gf's 5 gal and its working out fine so far.

http://www.petco.com/product/118303/Marineland-LED-Aquarium-Light-Bar.aspx?CoreCat=OnSiteSearch
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WhySoSerious?



Join date : 2011-07-12
Posts : 184

PostSubject: Re: Planted Pico Planning   Thu May 24, 2012 4:21 pm

if you want rcs though, ill give you some. Just let me know and ill "fish" some out. And you can always message me with more quiestions fishing
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Farfromfiji



Join date : 2012-01-19
Posts : 316

PostSubject: Re: Planted Pico Planning   Thu May 24, 2012 5:02 pm

11-3/4" x 8-7/8" x 8" and thanks Don, I hope to start collecting things next week!
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WhySoSerious?



Join date : 2011-07-12
Posts : 184

PostSubject: Re: Planted Pico Planning   Thu May 24, 2012 8:23 pm

sounds like that light will work then =D
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WhySoSerious?



Join date : 2011-07-12
Posts : 184

PostSubject: Re: Planted Pico Planning   Wed May 30, 2012 12:56 pm

How's the tank coming along?
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Farfromfiji



Join date : 2012-01-19
Posts : 316

PostSubject: Re: Planted Pico Planning   Wed May 30, 2012 1:51 pm

WhySoSerious? wrote:
How's the tank coming along?

Just got back to FL, so I will begin buying things for it this week. And I will begin setting it up next week after I move in to my new apartment. excited

That's all for now.
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WhySoSerious?



Join date : 2011-07-12
Posts : 184

PostSubject: Re: Planted Pico Planning   Thu May 31, 2012 3:32 am

Awesome, I have time tomorrow for once, so I will put up that dyi Smile
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WhySoSerious?



Join date : 2011-07-12
Posts : 184

PostSubject: Re: Planted Pico Planning   Thu Jun 07, 2012 1:51 pm

Hows the tank coming along?????? bouncy
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Farfromfiji



Join date : 2012-01-19
Posts : 316

PostSubject: Re: Planted Pico Planning   Thu Jun 07, 2012 2:42 pm

Pretty good, I just started buying things for it and plan to set it up to cycle this upcoming week. I saw you posted about marine warehouse, where's/what's your other place Don? (as I'm just getting ready to get my plants and stuff soon, I'd like to know soon)

By the way, Java moss is on my list of plants to get if you have any extra.
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WhySoSerious?



Join date : 2011-07-12
Posts : 184

PostSubject: Re: Planted Pico Planning   Thu Jun 07, 2012 2:53 pm

I have tons of it Smile I would still recommend Marine Warehouse for the selection of plants they have, but, the store is called West Side Pets on dale mabry. The owners name is Paul, very nice guy. What are you putting in the tank? Maybe I can help you decide on locations. And do you want RCS?
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Farfromfiji



Join date : 2012-01-19
Posts : 316

PostSubject: Re: Planted Pico Planning   Thu Jun 07, 2012 2:59 pm

I think they would be great in my tank! I'll post a few more of my plant list later today. No time right now. How long will the plants last if I bought them today? I may not be able to get the all of substrate I want to begin cycling before the weekend.
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WhySoSerious?



Join date : 2011-07-12
Posts : 184

PostSubject: Re: Planted Pico Planning   Thu Jun 07, 2012 3:20 pm

well you don't need to cycle before adding plants...they help cycle. But your question, as long as they are not high light plants (red, yellow, orange) your fine with having them sit in a bucket with water. also fine(needle like) leaves have to be in a high light. So as long as your sticking to regular green plants, your good
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