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Title Planted Nano-Tank Guide

Jacob Buford

Last Updated



This article is a general synopsis of steps on how to do a wet start on a new planted nano-tank.

Looking to start a new planted nano-tank?

Within this article you will find a comprehensive guide on how to set up your new favorite tank along with helpful tips, tricks, and items. This tank set-up will be for a planted 3 gallon bow-front aquarium perfect for a betta or shrimp.


Here are a few things you will need:


Follow these simple steps and you will be on your way to a perfect new habitat for your favorite new pets.


Step 1:

Find a flat, open work space for you to be able to lay out everything. Place the aquarium directly in front of you with the paper towels on either side. It is important to note that the paper towels need to be damp since this is where the dwarf baby tears are going to be placed while they are being planted. *Keeping both the paper towels and the dwarf baby tears damp while planting is important to keeping them alive while working with them (make sure the plants glisten)*

Step 2:

Pour the substrate into the aquarium. If possible, use the 1 liter Mr. Aqua Aquarium Substrate. This is a nutrient rich substrate that allows for healthy plant and root growth. A substrate with a depth of 2 - 3 inches would be great for a planted nano-aquarium. To create depth in the aquarium, gradually create an incline from front to back.

Step 3:

Special Seiryu Stone HYD206 

Step 4:

Remove the plants from the transport container and remove them from packaging. Be sure not to break many roots while removing them from packaging. Start to separate the plants from each other, and place the sprigs on the dampened paper towels. Many different dwarf baby tear plants can be separated from the bunch. Keep the plants moist during this step and future steps to insure that it stays alive throughout the aquascaping process.

Step 5:

While making sure the plants stay moist, place the sprigs in the substrate. Be sure the roots are buried deep enough so the plants do not float to the top of the tank when water is added. Using aquascaping tweezers makes this a much easier process!

Step 6:

Once all of the plant sprigs are added, gently pour dechlorinated water into the tank making sure to not agitate and stir the soil or plants. An easy way to do this is gently pouring the water in the tank on the rock(s) to break the stream.

Step 7:

Set up and place the filter on the aquarium. The perfect filter for this is the AZoo Mignon Filter 60 Special Edition.

Step 8:

Place the lighting on the back of the aquarium and adjust in order to get coverage on all all plants.


Step 9:

Wait for signs of the plants carpeting the bottom of the tank (new growth), dose with proper supplements, and add your new pets! Use AquaLife Activate beneficial bacteria when adding water and and new Livestock along with AquaLife Complete.

This set-up uses the wet start method, which means that the plants are submerged in the water and are buried in the soil for the first few weeks after the tank has been put together. This method is easy and most common among many beginning aquascapers. One thing that will be beneficial to the viability and growth of the plants in the new environment are fertilizers and CO2 supplements. Use AquaLife Lush and Evoke if you are not keeping shrimp. The AquaLife Phyto-Tone and Evoke would be the perfect items if you are! Aqua Life Phyto-Tone is formulated to give freshwater planted aquariums everything they need to thrive. It does not contain copper and would not be toxic to shrimp in the tank either. Evoke is a product that allows the plants to get the necessary CO2 for them to grow. It is recommended to use in shrimp tanks without sensitive types of shrimp like the crystal red variety, and the best part is everything can be bought in store at Aquariumconnection.com or local store pickup!


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