Iíve thought about doing a tank journal before but never have. In fact Iíve never kept a journal of any type before so this is my first attempt at it and Iím hoping that it will keep me focused and maybe get me the necessary input to get this tank finished in the direction that I think I envision.
Iíve tried a couple other Nano tanks in the recent past including the 3 gallon Picotope and the 4 gallon Finnex. Both are really nice tanks but just didnít do it for me. The Picotope had nice depth front to back but lacked the height that I wanted. The Finnex has nice height for its size but lacked the front to back depth. So I started looking around for something different and came across this Mr. Aqua 1 foot cube and figured why not give it a try. It is advertised as a 7.5 gallon tank but actually only holds a little more than 6 gallons of water. But for a Nano tank it has both the height and depth that I felt I wanted.
I ordered and received the tank and it sat on my table for three weeks at least, empty. What was I going to do with it? Then it hit me, I wanted to try a tank with a moss tree. Iíd seen several of the images of beautiful tanks with moss trees online and one of the local shops had a good start on one in a nano tank. So now I had a mission, finding the right piece of driftwood to create a moss tree. Two weeks of scouring the local shops turned up various hunks of wood but none that would make the right tree trunk and have the necessary branches for the moss to attach to. I then ordered a couple pieces from Aqua Forest requesting pieces of wood that had some texture and branches for a moss tree. To no avail I still hadnít found the right piece of wood for the tree. I had pieces that would make great branches but skinny little trunks with no character or I had pieces that would make nice trunks with no branches. Still on the table sat the tank empty and in need of direction.
Then one afternoon as I was zip tying suction cups to my latest attempt at a DIY lily pipe, it hit me. Just like hitting your thumb with a hammer by accident it hit me, just didnít hurt as much. I could zip tie tree branches onto a piece of wood that would make a good tree trunk. Thus my DIY Zip Tie Moss Tree and now I had both direction and motivation for the tank.
Over the next several days I got all of the hardware in order and installed so to speak. Due to the tanks location the filter is about four feet away and routing the tubing was a bit of a challenge; down a small ledge behind a built in cabinet, pulling with at straightened coat hanger and pushing with a yard stick. Finally after making all the connections I moved the tank into place filled it up and did the final leak test on everything, plus made sure that the DIY heater module was working correctly.
Next I drained the tank put in the hardscape, moss tree, and filled it back up and that is kind of where Iím still at today. Here is an image of the tank at that point. Iíll get an undated one done in a day or so.
Iíve got quite a few DIY projects happening with this tank but wonít go into their details unless I change something significantly. The DIY articles are all linked below in my signature. For this tank I did change the size of the barbed fittings on the heater module to the next larger size to accommodate the filter tubing size used on the Eheim filter. Everything else so far is the same.
Here is the complete equipment list as Iíve got the tank so far:
Tank Ė 7 gallon 1í cube (Mr. Aqua), DIY glass top just to keep evaporation down.
Light Ė Archaea 27 Watt Power Compact Clip on Light Fixture w/10K bulb.
Filter Ė Eheim 2211
Media Ė Eheim mechanical and biological media, no carbon or zeolite, will add some Purigen later.
Pipes Ė DIY Lily Pipes, ĹĒ intake and 3/8Ē outflow.
Heater Ė DIY Nano Heater Module using a 50 watt Catalina Titanium heater.
CO2 Ė Pressurized with Up-Aqua inline Atomizer/Diffuser (D-508-12).
Valve Ė Fabco NV-55 needle valve adjusted to 1 bubble per second 24/7.
Counter Ė Generic Glass bubble counter.
Checker Ė DIY Drop Checker.
Substrate Ė Salt & Pepper 2-3mm generic sand from LFS, no other enhancements used.
Background Ė 50% white acrylic 1/8Ē cut to exact size and held in place with clear tape on the corners.
Plants Ė DIY Moss tree, need help with the rest of them.
Fertilizers Ė Excel??
Inhabitants Ė This will probably end up being a shrimp tank but not sure yet.
So that be my first ever journal entry. It only took me two days to compose and re-compose so hope you enjoy this start. My next will be quicker and contain the pleading for help and further artistic direction.