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Project II - 5 Gallon Low Tech Cube Tank

Joined
23 Feb 2021
Messages
83
Location
Cochrane, Alberta, 🇨🇦
Newbie sharing my second scape progress and welcoming any tips or advice!

Tank: 5G Marineland Portrait with false back and internal filter ripped out and an Oase filtosmart 60 added. (mech. sponge, biomedia, filter floss and purigen). Mini 25W heater (non adjustable). ONF flat nano on a time

Substrate and Hardscape: ADA Amasoinia soil and powder soil with Ohio/Dragon stone.

Flora:
Cuba
Monte Carlo
Utricularia Graminifolia
Marsilea Crenata
Juncus Repens
Eleochatis Acicularis ‘Mini’
Rotala Rotundifolia (hasn’t arrived yet)
Rotala H’ra (hasn’t arrived yet)

I have a temporary glass cup housing the left overs until my Rotala arrives as it will be planted below that area.

I feel like I am going down a narrow path to High Tech with CO2 because of my lighting and plant selection, but I am still afraid to make that commitment.

I also have steered away from gluing at this point and avoided sand because I’m worried about it all mixing up.

Live stock: I have a Betta that I will add to this tank and wonder if adding shrimp and snails would be to much?
 

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christinecrites

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23 Feb 2021
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83
Location
Cochrane, Alberta, 🇨🇦
Update: Operation Tank Shade Screen

I wanted to protect the tanks from light that comes through my back window early in the morning and from having the kitchen light on late at night. Until now I have been sporting a fancy Amazon cardboard box. I picked up some simple picture frames and a butterfly hinge and presto! Tank screen created... now I just need to print some photos of the tank front and side and make a second for the other side.
 

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christinecrites

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Cochrane, Alberta, 🇨🇦
Little update. It’s been about 1.5 weeks now and my Rotala tissue culture arrived yesterday. I planted them in the back corner by the intake and swapped out one stone at the back. I can’t wait for them to grow! I am so amazed at how all the carpet plants are doing given that I don’t have CO2... I add excel, flourish advance and stability(for now) and have a great light so I am hoping that’s enough... now to find out how long I need to wait for my teeny Rotala H’ras to grow!
923DDA6D-743F-4FE7-9C4C-3C626D16702F.jpeg
 

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nayr88

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4 Feb 2010
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2,100
Very cool, really like the look of the tank on the left itself! They come with a light too but you’ve changed for the ONF?
 

christinecrites

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I did change out the light it came with. Most everything I read said the stock light wasn’t ideal for most plants. I also read that investing in a good light was one of the most popular opinions amongst all the advice.
 

christinecrites

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UPDATE: ALGAE ATTACK 🚨... or Overreacting???

So I am just a little over a month in on this aquarium... I think I am staring to see some brown algae... possibly? I want to stay on top of it and I am hoping it’s just part of the cycling??? I cleaned my filter and that seemed to help improve the flow from the spray bar. I added a new mini bag of Purigen and changed out the filter floss. I think I clouded the water up slightly when I pulled out the intake.
I’ve taken a few shots where I think you can see it. I also did a 50% water change the night before last and clip all the Frogbit tails (roots) that had the brownish sludge on them and cleaned the glass. I am going to do another 50% water change tonight (thankful for a nano tank right now lol) and glass cleaning. Would love any advice 🧐and accept all poking fun if I’m totally overreacting 😱

should I test at this point to see if I have too much ferts? What’s the best way to go about process of elimination? Also should I cut the carpet plants back to remove some of the brown stuff? I am soooo worried because I don’t want to loose this scape.... I wonder if I’ll read this in years to come and have a laugh at my inexperience.
 

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Kalum

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8 Jan 2018
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Scotland
majority looks good and healthy, just hoover up anything you can while doing a water change. You're just going through a diatom phase which is totally normal on a new tank so don't worry ;)

use your frogbit to judge your ferts
 

christinecrites

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23 Feb 2021
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Cochrane, Alberta, 🇨🇦
majority looks good and healthy, just hoover up anything you can while doing a water change. You're just going through a diatom phase which is totally normal on a new tank so don't worry ;)

use your frogbit to judge your ferts
Thanks Kalum! I’m going to see if I can read up on diatom phases and maybe other phases I should be aware of.

This may be a dumb question but how do I use my Frogbit to judge my ferts?
 

Kalum

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This may be a dumb question but how do I use my Frogbit to judge my ferts?
This is where we summon the magic UKAPS genie that is @dw1305....

Simply put, floating plants aren't co2 or light limited (in majority of cases) so those factors can usually be ruled out, this mean the only factor for them not doing well is ferts. They serve as a good way to get a rough idea of how your fert dosing is without worrying about other factors in play
 

christinecrites

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This is where we summon the magic UKAPS genie that is @dw1305....

Simply put, floating plants aren't co2 or light limited (in majority of cases) so those factors can usually be ruled out, this mean the only factor for them not doing well is ferts. They serve as a good way to get a rough idea of how your fert dosing is without worrying about other factors in play
Ahhhh I see!💡
There is soooo much to learn! 🙏🏻 Much appreciated for taking a few moments to help me out!
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
but how do I use my Frogbit to judge my ferts?
Simply put, floating plants aren't co2 or light limited (in majority of cases) so those factors can usually be ruled out, this mean the only factor for them not doing well is ferts. They serve as a good way to get a rough idea of how your fert dosing is without worrying about other factors in play
Exactly what @Kalum says, you just use the <"health and colour of the leaves of a floating plant"> to assess the nutrient status of the tank, and when to add nutrients. I called it the <"Duckweed Index">.

"Duckweed" was because the original plant I used was <"Lesser Duckweed (Lemna minor)">, but I soon found there was an improved "Duckweed" and that was <"Amazon Frogbit (Limnobium laevigatum)"> and the "index" bit was because, even though it had a very different ethos to the <"Estimative Index (EI)">, it shared the advantage of doing away with <"regular water testing">.

cheers Darrel
 

christinecrites

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23 Feb 2021
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Cochrane, Alberta, 🇨🇦
Hi all,


Exactly what @Kalum says, you just use the <"health and colour of the leaves of a floating plant"> to assess the nutrient status of the tank, and when to add nutrients. I called it the <"Duckweed Index">.

"Duckweed" was because the original plant I used was <"Lesser Duckweed (Lemna minor)">, but I soon found there was an improved "Duckweed" and that was <"Amazon Frogbit (Limnobium laevigatum)"> and the "index" bit was because, even though it had a very different ethos to the <"Estimative Index (EI)">, it shared the advantage of doing away with <"regular water testing">.

cheers Darrel
Darrel you have learned me today and I thank you for that! This tank is my begginers pride and joy. I really want it to succeed and I rather like the idea or philosophy, of not constantly testing the water. I think Testing has its place and there very well may come a time but for now, I am hoping to learn what the environment needs through observation.
 

PARAGUAY

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Diatoms does happen wìth newer set ups and water changes and filter cleans ,depending on your filter how often, physical removal were possible and a couple of compatable algae eaters would help🙂
 

christinecrites

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Diatoms does happen wìth newer set ups and water changes and filter cleans ,depending on your filter how often, physical removal were possible and a couple of compatable algae eaters would help🙂
I am going to try out a few Amano shrimp. I will need to see if my Betta will co-exist with them. I have a back up tank for them if it doesn’t work out. They arrive next week, so I will definitely be giving an update on how that goes over.
 

christinecrites

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UPDATE: My first Shrimp and I can’t find them already!

I’m still struggling with what I believe is diatoms / mulm/ brown algae and received my clean up crew in the mail (4 Amano Shrimp & 2 Dreamy Blue Neocaridinas)... I followed YouTube suggestions on drip acclimation which took about 2hrs + another 2hrs of temp acclimation by floating the container. I released my new friends and watched them for a bit and tried to keep my Betta from terrorizing them until it was lights out. 2 of the 4 Amanos hid on top of my Frogbit and the rest stayed at the bottom. 1 Amano shed during acclimation and this morning there is no sign of any shrimp... I’m hoping they are just hiding well, but I’m a bit nervous. My intake has a basket that should keep them from getting sucked in...

Any advise or consolation would be greatly appropriated!!!
 

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