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Low Light 5 Gallon Fluval Cube

Discussion in 'Journals' started by bshenanagins, Aug 10, 2017.

  1. bshenanagins

    bshenanagins Junior Poster

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    New to the forum however I've lurked for a long time. This is my 5 gallon Fluval chi that I converted into a normal cube. Here's the specs:

    -Miracle Grow Natures Care Organic Potting Mix covered with fine sand
    -Malaysian driftwood
    -Aquaclear 30 with lava rock and filter floss as media
    -Feit 9.5 Daylight LED with removed "globe" for better light intensity/color.
    -Plants: hygro angustifolia, hygro kompact, ludwigia ovalis, rotala indica, wisteria, hydrocotyle tripartita.

    This is a low tech setup for my wife's classroom. I'm going to let the tank run for a couple weeks and keep an eye on deficiencies to see when it will be necessary to start adding nutrients. I'm going with Toms no water change approach and no carbon additive whatsoever. Let me know what you think.

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  2. DutchMuch

    DutchMuch Junior Poster

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    Nice tank! those plants you bunched up should plant separately, not in one big bunch, wont have as good of growth squeezed up like that.
     
  3. bshenanagins

    bshenanagins Junior Poster

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    Yeah I was thinking keep it heavily bunched at first to absorb the excess ammonia while they transition, light does make it to the bottom for each bunch but yeah maybe I should lighten it up a little. I got more plants than I probably needed but I figured more plants the better.
     
  4. bshenanagins

    bshenanagins Junior Poster

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    So I've been meaning to separate the stems but I'm already noticing new growth on the rotala and ludwigia which is awesome. Gonna do a trim later and separate some stems to avoid any unnecessary die off.

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  5. bshenanagins

    bshenanagins Junior Poster

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    Did a little bit of a rescape and got rid of a lot of dead leaves. Spread out the stems a bit more but having trouble keeping the ludwigia anchored in the sand. Even floating they seem to be responding well however.

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  6. bshenanagins

    bshenanagins Junior Poster

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    Modified my AC30 today, broke the holding tray for the media and utilized the strainer sections to accommodate my DIY media. Doing so in the output has actually increased my surface agitation and there is now even better disbursement of flow throughout the tank, not to mention improved shimmer.

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  7. bshenanagins

    bshenanagins Junior Poster

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    IMG_2025.JPG IMG_2026.JPG IMG_2027.JPG IMG_2028.JPG IMG_2029.JPG Hey Tom, or anyone else that's well versed with low light and no co2 game, how are the plants looking/responding? My TDS at the moment is around 240 and I'm going to check my levels here shortly but I've noticed several snails at the top of the tank which makes me think my ammonia is still pretty high. I know nutrient absorption is gonna be slow but I want to make sure everything is on pace.
     
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  8. bshenanagins

    bshenanagins Junior Poster

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    if I had to guess I'm being impatient and should account for the lack of co2 being the main issue, I guess I'll sit back and let it do its thing and allow the plants to adapt
     
  9. Dale Hazey

    Dale Hazey Junior Poster

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    Im a noob but
    How long is the photoperiod ? Probably your biggest obstacle, and possible exposure to sunlight?
    I doubt you will need any added ferts for a while. Some plants will compete better than others, for co2 and in general i guess.

    I have a 5.5 in my girlfriends daughters room, constantly overfed, its overstocked, rare water changes, inert sand, ferts sparingly, Srepens does well, some plants just hang in there or grow slow.
    algae comes and goes, snails did good on the algae.

    What fish are you planning on putting in there ?!?!?!

    Tank looks really good man.
     
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  10. bshenanagins

    bshenanagins Junior Poster

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    Thanks appreciate that. I am not sure on the fish yet, I'd like some celestials but they are hard to come by and very expensive. I have a hard time forking out $7-8 on a nano fish, I'm weird like that. I'd like to snag a scarlet badis but also hard to find. Photoperiod is currently 6 hours a day, I checked parameters yesterday and there is plenty of nitrate and phosphate from the soil leaching out into the water column. However, I'm thinking of adding traces soon. I don't want to put it in the wife's classroom until the transition is on the upside with noticeable new growth.
     
  11. DutchMuch

    DutchMuch Junior Poster

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    if you get this, don't get any other fish. They are very territorial.
    And if you get this, get it from Aquatic Arts
     
  12. bshenanagins

    bshenanagins Junior Poster

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    Yes I've read they are quite feisty, however dither fish I can't see them being too aggressive towards? Say if I did the scarlet and the celestials?
     
  13. DutchMuch

    DutchMuch Junior Poster

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    pesonality its all in the fishes personality, badis are like dogs. Huge personality. And highly vary.
    You can do this, but to me its a risk. Plus the badis will benefit from having this small tank to himself... But you could try yes.
     
  14. bshenanagins

    bshenanagins Junior Poster

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    Hygro is starting to melt pretty badly, some stems are literally withering away, is this normal for hygro? I've kept both in the past and never had this happen. Other plants are showing growth turn around. Just added some flourish the other day so there are enough traces and K. Water column is pretty flush with N&P, still being impatient? Plus the tannins are getting on my nerves from the soil and I don't want to alter the water chemistry from WC's so maybe just add some purigen?
     
  15. bshenanagins

    bshenanagins Junior Poster

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    Good to know I'll keep that in mind, I hate lost fish
     
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  16. DutchMuch

    DutchMuch Junior Poster

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    NOW on the side note; I love your idea of getting a badis, because they are extremely rare to this hobby. I myself have my 65gallon dutch, and im stocking it with nano fish only. Dario Dario being one of them. And others that are rare/uncommon to the hobby.
     
  17. Dale Hazey

    Dale Hazey Junior Poster

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    Did the hygro come from a PetSmart tube or bag? I have had these melt and come back, lobelia cardinalis and hygro corymbosa, maybe just adjusting to submerged conditions.
     
  18. bshenanagins

    bshenanagins Junior Poster

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    image.jpg IMG_2030.JPG IMG_2031.JPG No came from AP. Some stems have withered away on the left side while others look okay. I really need a good pair of tweezers to get some loose stems back into the substrate. My driftwood piece is such a PIA to work around lol but I love how it looks.
     
  19. bshenanagins

    bshenanagins Junior Poster

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    Seems the hygro that melted was the one that was mostly shaded, can't fault it for failing then can I. These tannins are driving me crazy though I'm gonna need to get some purigen
     
  20. bshenanagins

    bshenanagins Junior Poster

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    Got purigen yesterday so I'll do a water change tonight or tomorrow and add the purigen, hopefully that will keep the tannins at bay. While I was at petco they had some gorgeous betas, nicest and most colorful bettas I've ever seen at a chain store. I'll prob go with one and some amanos, as much as the Dario would be cool I can't get it local until it happens to arrive at my lfs. Plants are slowly adapting tank looks good.
     
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