How to set up a Nano Nature Aquarium
Necessary Ingredients Before You Proceed
Before you go about setting yourself a nice little nano nature aquarium,do keep the following aspects in mind.
Inspite of the nano size,the rest of the challenges remain constant as with any other nature aquarium,namely:
- You will need a good substrate mixed with fertilizers or will need to use liquid fertilizers occassionaly. I have used Controsoil 3mm (9 Litre pack) with half a pack of Aqua Humus. I also dosed occasionally with JBL Ferropol.
- You will need good filteration without disturbing the water or the substrate. I have used an Azoo Mignon 60 external Hangon Filter
- You will need adequate lighting for the plants to thrive. I have used Aquazonic 11 W Clipon Lights here.
- You will need some Co2 to be supplied for the plants to really come alive. I have used a Nisso 600 system here and it worked well. The plate needs to be cleaned once a month at least.
Putting it all together
The plants I used in this setup are Blyxa japonica,Pygmy Chain Sword grass,Anubias Petite,Hydrocotyle sp and X'Mas moss.
Selecting the right aquarium was important,I wanted one with a bend glass and an open top for ample contact between the surface water and air,given that I was depending solely on the filter to provide adequate air circulation. I selected on of the Ocean free tanks with 18in Length x 14 in Height and 8 in Width.
Next, I had to select the right driftwood as I wanted to create a look of a lone tree amidst rocks. I settled for the one in the pictures. Next,had to select the right moss for the 'leaves' of this tree. X'moss is a beautiful moss that gets it's name from the X'mas tree like fronds. This was the look I wanted. The driftwood was already treated and tanin free as I had soaked it for a good 3 weeks before this. It was important to keep it wet while I tied the X'mass moss as thinly as I could on the top of the 'branches'.
Post this,I spread the humus as the first layer in the tank,followed by about 3 inches of the controsoil towards the back and a gentle slope with about 1.5 inches in the front.
Next, I placed a glass bowl and poured the water on it,so as not to distub the substrate.Once the water was filled,I placed the prepared driftwood in the water. It had to be tied initally to a rock to keep it anchored.The rock was partly hidden in the substrate and was not visible from the front. The plants came next.I placed the Hydrocotyle around the base of the wood and the Anubias Petite was planted in a nook just above the base of the wood. The blyxa,pygmy chain grass were planted around the the base and other suitable places.
Post this, I had the external filter set up. To get the Nitrogen cycle rolling at the earliest, I added some 'muck' from my existing external filter from my main planted tank ( squeezed some from the filter wool) and added it to the new filter media. For those of you who are wondering why I would do that to a perfectly new filter,the fact is that the new filter does not have any nitro-somous bacteria and these micro creatures are the most important part of the nature aquarium. As the tank goes through it's nitrogen cycle,with ammonia levels increasing,these bacteria break it down to nitrates for the plants to take in. (You may want to read a related article on my hubs on transitioning to your new filter from an old one)
Once the filter was running,I installed the Nisso 600 Co2 system. This one is a neat piece and the unit can be attached to a side glass. The main controller is outside and can be regulated to advise the amount of CO2 needed.
This completed the setup. Now all I had to do was sit back, relax and watch this Nano Nature Aquarium bloom over the next few weeks.