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[APD] RE: micro tanks

I'm not sure if you'd call them micro, but I have had great luck with the 3G Eclipse tanks.  They only have a 6W regular fluorescent lamp, but the lamp was so close to the substrate that I could grow things in there, without CO2, that I couldn't get enough light to with 2.7w.p.g. in my 29G tanks.  My most stable tank was setup with half an inch of soil under an inch of flourite; 2 of the same tanks setup with an inch and a half of straight flourite also did very well.  I used slow-growing plants for the rear of the tanks (the single bulb made quite a shadow-zone in the rear half of the tank) and some faster growing plants, including some stem plants, near the front.  The main problem was the need for frequent trimming of the stem plants, to keep them from overgrowing the entire tank--I pinched off the longest stems weekly, although I only did water changes monthly.   With a few snails, one pair of small fish apiece, and daily PMDD, I was able to use these tiny tanks as a refuge for plants that were not doing well in the larger tanks even with CO2, and a source of cuttings to take back to the big tanks.

I eventually changed out those tanks for 12G nano cubes from aquabotanic not because there was anything wrong with them from a plant point of view, but because I wanted to keep more than one pair of small fish in each one.....

I also kept up a couple of 1L tanks--just little plexiglass cubes sold as "aquababies"--and was able to keep a pair of them going well, with a bit of soil under fluorite, only ambient room lighting, and a single small fish and a snail or two, and some undemanding plants--a tiny piece of anubias nana or java fern attached to a bit of driftwood, and a small stem plant or two, for six months to a year with water changes every other week.  Light feeding of minimal fauna, and patience with the plants made for pleasant little tanks.  I took these tanks down not because of any maintenance or aquascaping issues, but because I felt guilty keeping even very small fish alone in such a confined space.

--diane brown in st. louis
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