RE: NANFA-- Small Fish Tanks

Crail, Todd (
Sun, 5 Jan 2003 14:14:41 -0500

I'm not a real big fan of the "betta bottles" for the generally misinformed public myself, but I've been watching some pico-tanks that use more efficient plants as filters (java moss, water sprite, hygro) and sufficient lighting to keep them rockin. By pico, I mean 5 gallons or less. Sunlight, like Ray is using, would of course be prime, second to that would be a rack where they're side by side and sharing standard flourescent lighting... but there are occassions where either are not an option. Like in my windowless, "I have to walk 40 feet to see some sunlight" cube at work. If I were to drag in another fair sized tank, I think I'd be pushing it. And since I've got a strictly enforced "3 tanks in the house" law... Where could I put a couple small systems for Blackbandeds or Formosas, since I'm collapsing under the temptation to keep these beautiful animals?

Light *was* the issue for me. Obviously an aquarium can work at this size, as Ray and others have demonstrated. I'm sometimes a "do-it-yourself" kind of guy, but I'm tired of thinking. I just want to go and buy something at a reasonable price and forget about it. So instead of playing pseudo-electrician *again* and risking burning down buildings in the process... The local fish shop has been carrying these:

The light they have at the bottom of the page is $18 separate... They also have a 13watt pc (I'd say this is the one to get) for $35 (not on their site yet.. couldn't find it at AZOO either). It's bigger and the lamp is longer. It also has a much more sturdy construction. I really don't think the tanks themselves are worth the money, but as Warhol said "Taste is Art's greatest enemy." ;) The LFS guy wasn't prepared for someone asking what the price of a replacement lamp was, so I'm not sure about long term operation costs (it can't be that bad tho). The lamp color is 7500k which is a beautiful white/blue. Seemed to be the perfect solution for my situation.

In addition to knowing that plants are efficient filters, my experiment with sand is going fantastically. I've increased feeding to "faaaat fish" levels (like my dad's jaw hit the floor when he saw how much I put in) and stopped changing water... After a month of this, all parameters have been locked in (the pH is actually going thru a normal photoperiod rise and dark cycle fall :), nitrate at a big fat zippo. I just add food and plant fertilizers (iron, potassium, sulfur, magnesium and trace stuff). I need to test the nitrate at work yet (this will be the true test as it's smaller, less plants and waaay more food to get these darters conditioned), but based on observation of the system, it really swung into prime after I'd gotten a bad piece of driftwood out of there and cycled thru the nutrients from the poorly chosen used carbonate sand I added in addition to the silica. I do expect to find similar results however. :)

That's all from the farm these days...

[demime 0.99d.1 removed an attachment of type application/ms-tnef which had a name of winmail.dat]
/"Unless stated otherwise, comments made on this list do not necessarily
/ reflect the beliefs or goals of the North American Native Fishes
/ Association"
/ This is the discussion list of the North American Native Fishes Association
/ To subscribe, unsubscribe, or get help, send the word
/ subscribe, unsubscribe, or help in the body (not subject) of an email to
/ For a digest version, send the command to
/ instead.
/ For more information about NANFA, visit our web page,