Question about cycling a 5 gal tank
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Question about cycling a 5 gal tank

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Question about cycling a 5 gal tank
Old 06-05-2011, 09:00 PM   #1
 
jennesque's Avatar
 
Question about cycling a 5 gal tank

Hey,

I have read quite a bit about cycling tanks, but I'm curious about cycling a small 5 gallon tank. I've read that it's apparently a bit more difficult to cycle the small tanks. My end goal is to have 2-3 ADF and some red cherry shrimp in the tank. I also want it to be heavily planted. I was curious if I would need any filter in this small of a tank, cram packed with plants. Is there a way to set it up with only a heater and a light and it'll still be healthy for my critters - I would just need it full of plants, right?

Also, someone is offering a package deal with 10 shrimp and some starter plants to get a nice shrimp tank started. It'll be available until the end of this week and then not available again until August. Should I just wait until August and hope I remember about this deal - or would the tank be safe for use after a week, with the plants. I've only got one frog to put in there now, and then the shrimp. I won't have substrate until the weekend, but I already have two marimo balls in there now. I also filled it with water from my tank which is already set up. I've got gravel from a well established tank hanging in the bigger thank now which could easily be moved to the 5 gallon to assist with bacterial growth - but how much am I at risk of a cycle that'll be deadly to the shrimp if I've got plants in there. I could also probably add some of my amazon swords from my current tank and 3 more marimo balls in there - will this be enough to avoid a major cycle? The package will also come with " small starter amounts" Java Moss, Subwassertang, Guppy Grass, Hornwort, Amazon Frogbit, Pennywort, and Narrow Leaf Java Fern. I know that's quite a few plants for a 5 gallon tank, but I don't know exactly how much power "small starter amounts" will have against ammonia and nitrite. Also, if any of the plants end up being too big/much for the small tank I'd be moving them to my other tank. :)
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Old 06-06-2011, 06:22 AM   #2
 
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5 gallon tanks dont cycle!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

dont even bother trying because a tank that small cycles itself over every single time you do a water change!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 06-06-2011, 01:24 PM   #3
 
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Haha, ok.. that's what I'd heard from some.

So with shrimp apparently being so sensitive, how do they survive in an uncycled tank? I'm assuming it's the heavy planting. If so, I guess my question still remains, should they be ok in the tank if I order them and only have some baby plants? Should I move my adf to my bigger tank until the plants have grown? I'm worried it won't get enough food in the big tank.. should I keep some of my small swords in the small tank too while I wait for the other plants to grow?
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Old 06-06-2011, 01:35 PM   #4
 
That is not true at all, my 1g tank is cycled... Smaller tanks are more prone to mini-cycles but as long as you are careful with filter maintence, there shouldn't be a problem at all.
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Old 06-06-2011, 01:35 PM   #5
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by martian123 View Post
5 gallon tanks dont cycle!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

dont even bother trying because a tank that small cycles itself over every single time you do a water change!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
This is entirely incorrect. If the tank is filtered and cycled it will stay cycled regardless of how large a water change is preformed.

In your case I would first plant the tank and let it run for a while. Then stock it without cycling. Look up the walstad method as that would be the best option for this tank IMO. Use a small powerhead or just an airpump to circulate water. Circulation in mainly for even heating.
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Old 06-06-2011, 03:58 PM   #6
 
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Ok, thank you guys for the advise. I know I've seen both frog and shrimp tanks without actual filters so this is what I was going for in order to create the least amount of stress. The package deal of plants and shrimp sounded so good I was hoping I could work it out that way. With their tiny bioload would it be ok to have them in a freshly planted tank. Then add the frogs one at a time once the tank has grown in?

I have my other tank I can keep the frog in in the meantime.. I'll just be much more careful with this one. He's not skinny like the other one was. He could use a lil fat.. but not like the one who didn't make it.
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Old 06-06-2011, 09:33 PM   #7
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikaila31 View Post
This is entirely incorrect. If the tank is filtered and cycled it will stay cycled regardless of how large a water change is preformed.

In your case I would first plant the tank and let it run for a while. Then stock it without cycling. Look up the walstad method as that would be the best option for this tank IMO. Use a small powerhead or just an airpump to circulate water. Circulation in mainly for even heating.

Ok, so now that I'm home from work I've been reading up on walstad like you suggested. This sounds perfect - I just need to get some plants together. :)

Some questions:

I already have two airpumps, so if I could use one of these instead of buying a powerhead that'd be awesome. I have a weaker and more powerful one, should I be using the powerful one? It can make quite a lot of bubbles in my 29 gallon tank.. that seems like it might be too intense for this small of a tank. Also, how exactly am I to incorporate the air pump? I understand it's got to circulate the water - am I just using this as some sort of a bubbler? Or a sponge filter? Sorry.. I'm too new at this, lol.
Or is an Azoo Palm Filter or similar a better option? I should be able to have in running for a while in my big tank which will help cycle the little tank.. if needed.

Does anyone know if I were to plant glosso or dwarf baby tears if my ADF would still have problems finding their food? I was thinking of trying to copy this tank as far as the aquascape because I'm unoriginal -- actually, I found some driftwood somewhat similar and instantly thought about doing this. I was happy to find someone already had! The plus with the "sand river" is that I feel like the frogs will be more likely to locate their food..





There's no foreground in this picture yet, but I thought I'd still do the dwarf grass in the back, some glasso or hc as a carpet in the front w/ my marimo balls drifting around somewhere.. some of the petite/dwarf anubius on the driftwood - or does someone else have a different suggestion?.. I think I'd want to put some sort of stem plant behind where the drift wood are for the shrimp to chill in, and then a small (but ever growing) floating plant. Would that be sufficient plants for a filter? <---should this all be in the plant section? hahaha, sorry again.

Also, in the case that I do decide to make a little "river" of sand, should I be putting the soil under where the soil would be as well do you think? I'm thinking not because it's not really necessary there, plus that'll lower the "river" area of the substrate.

o_o I think that's all for now.
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Old 06-06-2011, 10:55 PM   #8
 
In terms of aquascaping, the river of sand looks fantastic, however, it does require a lot of maintenence. It is very hard to keep the sand clean and the illusion intact.

For HC and Glosso, both can be done but both are fairly demanding plants. The HC needs strong light and usually a CO2 supplementation and the same for glosso except glosso grows faster than HC and will require regular trimming to keep it in check. For growing plants, if you are seriously aquascaping the tank, ie CO2, avoid HOB filters. The recommended filters for tanks trying to keep co2 in are power internals (no air pump) or canisters. HOBs and air pump filters will release too much of your co2 in the water and your plants will suffer.
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Old 06-07-2011, 01:54 AM   #9
 
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Ok, makes sense. I'll have to keep that in mind. Without googling, fluval makes the power internal filters.. right? Maybe? Hahaha. I'll just research that I guess.
Is there any lower maintenance carpeting plants? Just like moss and like the dwarf grass? I guess I'll probably just go with the grass.. I'll definitely need to add another plant in the background somewhere. There's too many to choose from. :P
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Old 06-07-2011, 08:20 AM   #10
 
Fluval does indeed make internal filters, their "U series" is just that. There are a few other brands that work with internal power filters. Marineland makes the "Duetto", zoomed makes the "Micro Clean", and Tom Aquarium makes the "Dive Clean."

Dwarf hairgrass is usually a commonly carpet plants for bigger aquariums, in smaller ones, they may be too tall. it can grow up to 5 or even 6 inches depending on light. Lower the light, the taller they grow. Mosses like java moss are sometimes used, but they grow fairly quickly as well, but easy to maintain as you just yank out what you dont want and it will naturally grow back. I have also seen fissidens used as carpeting moss, but they are a bit harder to find, grow slow, and expensive.

There are many other carpeting options, but most grass-like plants grow depending on light strength, the less light, the taller they get. Even plants like HC Cuba will grow tall and not spread out as much under low light conditions.

Other options include:
Lilaeopsis brasiliensis (Brazilian Microsword) - Grows very slowly and will grow to be around 2 inches in low light. Slow growth as in, takes several months to carpet a enclosed 2in diameter pot.

Echinodorus tenellus (Dwarf Chain Sword) - Scientific name might be different now, i think it was under revision. Plant will grow tall, like dwarf hairgrass, can get up to 6+inches in lower lighting

Marsilea quadrifolia (Water Clover) - Slow grower, like the others, growth is dependent on light, gets to around 4-6 inches but does well under low light conditions.

Utricularia graminifolia (UG) - Not really suited for tropical tanks, and very demanding plant, but if light and CO2 conditions are met, grows very very fast.

Cryptocoryne parva (Parva Crypt) - Theres a profile on the forums for this, so just click the shaded name or go under tropical fish profiles for more details.

In mosses, theres just too many to list, nearly most mosses can be used as foreground cover.

Most common ones used are java moss, christmas moss, fissidens, and Riccia flutans. There are however numerous mosses like pelia, flame moss, taiwan moss, etc.
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