10g blackwater nano

HoldenOn

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Hey all!
I'm going to get a 10 gallon QT, and once I'm done stocking my 29 it will turn into a little nano planted setup!
I want to go the whole 9 yards on this one. I've learned a little bit about aquascaping, stocking, etc.
It's going to be extremely soft water (RO and peat) to mimc a Southeast Asia habitat.
Here is how I'm thinking of having it laid out.

Equipment
Filter - I decided to go with a sponge filter for this smaller tank - QUANEAT Sponge Filter
Lights - Fluval Nano 3.0
Heater - Fluval E 100 watts

Hardness pen (@Retired Viking I require your assistance lol)
Standard 10 USG. (20″ x 10″ x 12″)

Hardscape
Substrate - ADA Aqua Soil 1 1/2 inches (QUIKRETE Play Sand - top off to 2 or 2 1/2 inches)
Hardscape - smooth river rocks and pebbles, driftwood (cholla and manzanita wood) and leaf litter.

Flora
Floating - frogbit
Attached (driftwood and rocks) - taxiphyllum barbieri
Background - Cryptocoryne spp.
Carpet - pogostemon helferi

I don't think these need CO2, if any of them do let me know and I will take them off.
Open to plant suggestions (preferably Southeast Asia)

Fauna
Boraras brigittae (Chili Rasbora) - 10
Parosphromenus deissneri (Deissner's Liquorice Gourami) - 2


Thoughts?
 
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HoldenOn

HoldenOn

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Rather than using soil under the sand I'm leaning to putting a layer of peat under it.
However I'm worried this wouldn't decompose fast enough to provide sufficient nutrients.
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Adding red tiger lotus to foreground plants, rotala wallichiito to midground, and Hygrophila difformis background plants
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I'm going to draw up a hardscape plan tonight.
 
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HoldenOn

HoldenOn

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Screen Shot 2020-10-27 at 7.50.00 PM.png

Stole this representation idea directly from @mbsqw1d. Thanks friend :)!

Any recommendations are welcome :).
 

GuppyBreeder180604

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i thought you were asking for stock ideas before reading the whole thing and i was about to recomend boraras brigittae but knowing that you will put a shcool of them makes me think that it will be a good aquarium. The only thing i do not like is the peat because it is unsustainable to harvest and it destroys ecosystems so i would recomend using soil, i have a dirted aquarium with soil and it runs perfect and i have never had any problems and it makes my water a bit softer (i have otocinclus which prefer soft water and my tap water has a Gh of 300ppm). Also this is more of a personal thing but i think that the placement of plants wpuld look kinda un-natural and also i am a bit worried about the gourami eating the smaller rasboras since they are more than double their size and gourami have big mouths. so i would recomend to use as a center piece fish a wid betta or a smaller gourami species.
 
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HoldenOn

HoldenOn

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i thought you were asking for stock ideas before reading the whole thing and i was about to recomend boraras brigittae but knowing that you will put a shcool of them makes me think that it will be a good aquarium. The only thing i do not like is the peat because it is unsustainable to harvest and it destroys ecosystems so i would recomend using soil, i have a dirted aquarium with soil and it runs perfect and i have never had any problems and it makes my water a bit softer (i have otocinclus which prefer soft water and my tap water has a Gh of 300ppm). Also this is more of a personal thing but i think that the placement of plants wpuld look kinda un-natural and also i am a bit worried about the gourami eating the smaller rasboras since they are more than double their size and gourami have big mouths. so i would recomend to use as a center piece fish a wid betta or a smaller gourami species.
These are a small gourami, and are actually extremely timid. I didn't know that about the peat, I'll stick to soil then :).
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How do you suggest I do the scape? Obviously it wouldn't be as rigid as it is in the picture.
 

GuppyBreeder180604

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These are a small gourami, and are actually extremely timid. I didn't know that about the peat, I'll stick to soil then :).
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How do you suggest I do the scape? Obviously it wouldn't be as rigid as it is in the picture.
oh i did not know that, i have only had a three spot gourami and a chocolate gourami and both where quite the bullies. About the scape i would put the stones right next to each other in the far left corner and the wood coming down from them so it looks like the tree roots on a peat swamp (their natural habitat), the moss in the wood and rocks just as you said and from that i would plant the rest of the plants from smallest to largest thinking about the front glass and the rocks as the shore and the far right corner as the "deep part" of the swamp lake, thus i would put the red tiger lotus somewhere in the middle, keep an irregular space wthout plants in the front glass and plant the smallets plants right around the rocks and "tree root" and just work with the other plants in small patches that are close to each other or even touching but are interrupted by other patches of plants and void spaces since peat swamps do not have that much plant life and after that to give it an even more natural look i would allow the plants to grow and expand without trimming. You can use some CO2 and not worry too much about the fish since peat swamps are oxygen poor and it would make the plants grow faster. Also botanicals are obligatory since they will give the water a drak color and will help the fish feel secure so lots and lots of leaves and twigs, i would also use a dark brown kind of substrate.
 
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HoldenOn

HoldenOn

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oh i did not know that, i have only had a three spot gourami and a chocolate gourami and both where quite the bullies. About the scape i would put the stones right next to each other in the far left corner and the wood coming down from them so it looks like the tree roots on a peat swamp (their natural habitat), the moss in the wood and rocks just as you said and from that i would plant the rest of the plants from smallest to largest thinking about the front glass and the rocks as the shore and the far right corner as the "deep part" of the swamp lake, thus i would put the red tiger lotus somewhere in the middle, keep an irregular space wthout plants in the front glass and plant the smallets plants right around the rocks and "tree root" and just work with the other plants in small patches that are close to each other or even touching but are interrupted by other patches of plants and void spaces since peat swamps do not have that much plant life and after that to give it an even more natural look i would allow the plants to grow and expand without trimming. You can use some CO2 and not worry too much about the fish since peat swamps are oxygen poor and it would make the plants grow faster. Also botanicals are obligatory since they will give the water a drak color and will help the fish feel secure so lots and lots of leaves and twigs, i would also use a dark brown kind of substrate.
Oh wow, this is great info :). I like that idea, I'll do a little drawing of it in a little.
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I don't know anything about CO2. What do you recommend?
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I don't like trimming plants, I much prefer the "jungle" look. I also like the layout ideas you provided. What kind of twigs and leaves should I use?
 

GuppyBreeder180604

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Oh wow, this is great info :). I like that idea, I'll do a little drawing of it in a little.
----------
I don't know anything about CO2. What do you recommend?
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I don't like trimming plants, I much prefer the "jungle" look. I also like the layout ideas you provided. What kind of twigs and leaves should I use?
use twigs of the same type of wood that you will use, and if you do not have a wood yet i would recomend manzanita, since it is quite alge resistant and releases a good and steady amount of tannins. About the CO2 i really like this system:
. I really recomend it, the video explains it better than i could do here.
 

GuppyBreeder180604

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use twigs of the same type of wood that you will use, and if you do not have a wood yet i would recomend manzanita, since it is quite alge resistant and releases a good and steady amount of tannins. About the CO2 i really like this system:
. I really recomend it, the video explains it better than i could do here.
oh and some other things. Leaves i would use magnolia leaves
 
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HoldenOn

HoldenOn

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well, they like soft waters but RO is 0ppm and at the very least they should have 18 ppm but in theory the sand and rocks would release some calcium carbonate so, yes use 100% RO water.
Sounds good. I could also do like 90% RO and 10% tap because my water is like 170 ppm, meaning I'd have a base of 17 ppm, plus whatever comes out of the sand.
 

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