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Fluval Flex 15 Adventure

Discussion in 'Journals' started by Peter Attanasio, Aug 16, 2018.

  1. Peter Attanasio

    Peter Attanasio New Member

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    Well I decided to jump back into the aquarium hobby. I used to have a large marine setup years ago, but decided to do freshwater this time around, after seeing planted aquascapes.

    Received my Fluval Flex 15 back in July and set it up using FloraMax substrate and stuck a few Florish tabs into it. I’ve been using Seachem products to get it going. Prime to condition the water and Stability to get the biofilter going. Planted the tank partially right away.
    A week later I added six Neon Tetras. Water parameters have been excellent. So far.
    Last weekend I added two Salt & pepper Corydoras and an algae eater. Plus had mail ordered a few more plants from Azgardens, and stuck them in. Additives for plants have been Excel and iron every other day and the plants look happy.

    Yesterday morning found eggs laid on the glass of the tank. Not sure who’s been doing the dirty deed but I was surprised that it occurred so soon.

    28BF00C7-4B9B-40A9-BE4C-8395110EF0F4.jpeg 3E4882E6-4BBF-4F68-8CD5-0DAEEC8A155F.jpeg 35F56B81-C24C-4FD1-B584-8EB3327F5887.jpeg A282F418-ED4C-4319-A9F5-9F68A3E40FF3.jpeg E067D874-4797-4C3D-B3F7-E10FB974F2B5.jpeg
     
  2. Peter Attanasio

    Peter Attanasio New Member

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    So the Fluval Flex comes with a remote for the light fixture, and its has quite a few options to it.
    But you have to do them all manually.
    So I started looking a methods to automate them and I decided to use an IR blaster with controlled by an app on an older iPad that I’ve been using for a slideshow picture frame.
    I ordered a Broadlink RM mini 3. I then downloaded Broadlinks app and got the unit hooked up to my home WiFi.
    I picked the user defined setup to teach it the buttons on the remote for the Flex. I input the on/ off commands for both the RGB and white leds, as well as the brightening and dimming ones. I preset the RGB lights to a nice orange/ red mix.
    Then in the broadlink app I set up two scenes. I named one Aqua on and the other Aqua off. One for turning the RGB lights on first at a low setting then brightening over a period of time and the other does the reverse. When setting up the commands you add to a scene you can adjust the timing between commands to gradually brighten or dim the lights. I then set the scene to turn on the white leds at its lowest setting and turn off the RGB ones and then brighten up gradually from there. I repeated the process in a separate scene to dim the lights and turn them off.
    The only drawback to this is you can’t execute the scene at a preset time via Apples HomeKit. You possibly could with Alexa or Google home.

    So for now I just select the Aqua on scene when I get up in the morning and the other in the evening.
     
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  3. Peter Attanasio

    Peter Attanasio New Member

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    So I’m coming up on the end of week 4 with the Flex now.
    PH steady at 7.8
    Ammonia & Nitrite levels at 0
    Nitrate at 5 ppm

    I’m really satisfied with how the tank has progressed. Plants and fish are all good, compare past pics with the new ones.
    I’m really impressed how well the Seachem products have worked.
    Figured out it was the pepper Corydoras laying eggs.
    Ordered some Rummy Nose Tetras from Azgardens. Should be here this week.
    This week I did vacuum the guck out of the bottom of the filter chamber in back and top off with some fresh water.
    42A8754E-78DD-4BA8-86CB-0F68C29209B1.jpeg EE8E2B1B-94EF-47CA-98C1-E04FDAF776C6.jpeg 1A332C28-49E6-4528-B071-248E6B06D685.jpeg
     
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  4. Peter Attanasio

    Peter Attanasio New Member

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    Well they Rummy nose Tetras haven’t shipped yet.
    Sent an email to find out why not.
     
  5. Peter Attanasio

    Peter Attanasio New Member

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    A little over a month from setup and tank is doing great.
    Plants and fish doing very well.


    04A44168-DB23-4FA5-B2E7-E7318A55FCB1.jpeg D3B6EFAC-F82F-4A51-8A11-1DFFDA53CD56.jpeg 98F88574-0297-4E50-ADDA-670BA12CB5F8.jpeg EA7E7196-CD20-46E1-A063-D6C99B71F2EE.jpeg
     
  6. Peter Attanasio

    Peter Attanasio New Member

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    One of the whole tank.

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  7. Peter Attanasio

    Peter Attanasio New Member

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    The Rummy Nose Tetras finally arrived. Out of the eight I ordered, one was DOA and another died later in the tank. So we have a school of six left and doing well.
    These guys are quite active compared to the Neons. So it’s hard to get a good picture of them.
    During the day they hang around the clear area in the front portion of the tank and school back and forth.
    One of the Neons hangs out with them, but he always was up front watching me.
    The other neons tend to have their respective zones they stay in until feeding time.
    The Chinese Algae eater is the bully of the tank. I have a snail I think arrived on one of the plants, he has doubled in size. So between him, the Agae eater, and the CoryDoras the tank stays pretty clean.

    The Java Fern Lace Microsorum pteropus v. Windelov is developing brown on its leaf tips.
    None of the other plants are showing this.

    There’s also some detritus accumulation in the filter portion of the tank I’ll have to figure a way to vacuum out. It’s a narrow area so it’s gonna be challenging.
    584F0C40-EEFB-4597-ADCB-871EB82A0E30.jpeg

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  8. Kaldurak

    Kaldurak New Member

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    For your filter area, the easier way I found to clean the gunk that collects there (like all spec styled tanks) is to keep a hose on hand that's around 1/2 to 5/8 diameter and use that to reach into the filter area to syphon. Grab a couple feet as you need it for a few cents from most any hardware store.
     
  9. Peter Attanasio

    Peter Attanasio New Member

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    Thanks for the tip.

     
  10. Peter Attanasio

    Peter Attanasio New Member

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    A little while back I posted about having the lights automaticly cycle brightness of the lights with "Scenes" set up in the Broadlink Intelligent Home Center (IHC) App, that I installed on my iPad. But I had to manually run each scene on the iPad when I wanted the lights to cycle on or off.
    "Read quoted text below"

    Well, I've taken it a step further by purchasing a used Amazon Echo Dot 2nd Generation off of eBay for $20.
    I installed the Alexa app on my iPad and set up the Echo Dot. Then I imported the Broadlink skills into the Alexa app.
    You'll need a Broadlink account setup within the BroadLink IHC app to enable the skills.

    I then had the Alexa app do a search for Scenes and it found the "Aqua on" & "Aqua off" scenes I had built in the IHC app.
    I set up two time of day based functions for everyday to run the "Aqua on" in the morning and the "Aqua off" in the evening.
    You can also have Alexa execute the Aqua on or off scene with your voice if you need to.

    So for about $32 I've been able to fully automate the light cycle on My little Fluval Flex 15.


     
  11. Peter Attanasio

    Peter Attanasio New Member

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    Well we’re at about a month and a half, and the tank is progressing beautifully so far.
    Couldn’t be happier with it right now.
    Fluval needs to make a 30 gallon version of this tank.

    I think I figured out the browning on one of the plants is a bit too much iron dosed. So I’ve cut it out for a bit.
    I’ve als cut back on the fertilizer, to Wednesday and Saturday dosing. I was doing every other day.



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