The 6 Gallon Edge of Insanity (Riparium) - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-17-2017, 07:54 PM Thread Starter
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The 6 Gallon Edge of Insanity (Riparium)

I’m 6 Gallons From the Edge

And I’m thinking… (maybe 6 gallons, just ain’t enough)

How are you guys not tired of my puns yet? I mean I’m not. Obviously.

So here we area with another project in the seemingly endless journey of puriance’s addiction. I haven’t taken to robbing my parents blind in the middle of the night, or pawning off my computers and TV. But I’m close.

With everything that needs to be to concluded on my other tanks, naturally, I started a new project that I began planning while I was waiting to setup my 29. Allow me to introduce to you:

The Edge of Insanity

**Side note** The following list is more for me to get my thoughts out, you guys are just lucky enough to have the option to follow along. If you just want to see the 6 gallon project CLICK HERE (or keep scrolling).

Let’s take a small recap on my tanks at this point in time, their current location and their current state of existence. Also for …. and giggles let’s see how I justified buying them.

29 Gallon community tank – Thread seen here – Running
Found on: Facebook, sale group in my area
Running: Rena Filstar XP2, low-light, diy CO2, weekly dosing of Tropica ferts
Fauna: 9 diamond tetra, 5 bronze cories, 2 oto’s and after this coming weekend 5 ____ female bettas.
Reasoning: At the time of purchase I had an angel that I rescued from a tank with more mature angels. It was tiny but I knew it would get larger, so I used this fact to get the tank and upgrade my 20 gallon. The angel turned out to be a not so good for community angel, and started eating my tetra and rasboras. So now it will be a community sorority with spawn sisters from a local breeder I located in my area, with a specific colouration and tail type.
6 Gallon Fluval Edge – This is its start – Running, not completely set up or planted yet.
Found on: Craigslist
Running: It is a divided tank, separated by a pane of glass. Each side will have a 50 watt heater and sponge filter. LED Lightbar from my original 20 gallon marineland tank. Only thing Fluval about it is the tank itself.
Fauna: Currently 1 rosetail/halfmoon marble silver betta prince Sterling, and one betta on the way named Wisp.
Reasoning: It had a cracked top and I decided I could fix it. Which I did.

But then I found and bid on Wisp and realized that I didn’t have a tank for him so it made a great divided tank given its length. Each betta will have 3 gallons each. The lid was the only problem. Off it came. I plan on lighter planting in the tank itself to allow for more swimming room, and setting it up as a riparium. But it will have a bit of a spin on traditional planting.
4 gallon Cube – Thread Seen here – dismantled, to be cleaned and sold
Found on: Craigslist
Running: n/a
Fauna: n/a
Reasoning: It was a rimless Aquatop cube with heater, filter and thermometer for $60. ‘Nuff said.
10 gallon marineland hospital tank – stored
Found on: Craigslist
Running: it came with a marineland biowheel but I may sell that and just use the aquaclear 20 that came with the Edge because I can take the media from my canister. Heater has been jacked for the edge. I hope I don’t need to use it before I get another 50 watt. I have a 25 watt that isn’t in use, and a 10 watt… I have a bag of spare parts. Oh, and that tetra submersible heater rated for 10 gallons that I don’t entirely believe…
Fauna: n/a
Reasoning: Everybody needs a hospital tank and it was FREE.
10 Gallon “?” tank – stored at my parents place unbeknownst to my husband. Cracked.
Found at: Fish Addicts
Running: n/a
Fauna: n/a
Reasoning: It was $5. I bought it before the other 10 gallon, with the intent of fixing it and using that one as my hospital tank. Now it is hiding in a closet in the front of the house. I will eventually fix it. Probably. Maybe.
8 Gallon SunSun HR360B View – mention here – taken down, cleaned, ready to sell
Found on: Craigslist
Running: Internal filtration system
Fauna: Only held plants while I was setting up my 29
Reasoning: I bought this before the first 10 gallon, as it was sold as a 10 gallon for $15 with internal filter, heater, light, and the dimensions were high so I figured for an angel it would be great. But it was only 8 gallons. However now that I type this and I will be keeping only smaller fish this might totally work for me now, and it’s all in the cover, I wouldn’t need to keep extra stuff, and I could still use the media from the canister and the heater it came with. I also wouldn’t have to take the light from the 29 since this one has a built in light… So really that’s perfect…
20 Gallon Marineland – The Tank that Started it all – Ready to be cleaned and sold.
Found at: PetSmart – Purchased as a kit for super cheap. Keeping everything from it.
Running: From its own reality
Fauna: Some dandelion seeds and leftover fluorite and dirt
Reasoning: Aquascaping. Stability. Great starter tank.
Total: 7 Tanks, 2 running, AT LEAST 3 to be sold. 1 in hiding.

Let’s just… get started with this one.

Last edited by puriance; 05-17-2017 at 09:37 PM. Reason: url
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-17-2017, 08:10 PM Thread Starter
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In the Beginning

It all started with a post it note, after looking up divided tanks for bettas.



I discovered this post for divided tanks, and a great idea for creating a partition in the middle for the heater, as well as a sort of middle tank in case the betta’s jump. That way there is a buffer zone for them to fall into, but it also allows for a heater to be shared between the tanks.



This got me thinking about a way to hide all of the hardware. I thought by using a shower caddy to plant some trailing plants along the top they would grow over my tank, and allow me to make use of a smaller space. In search of whether or not that would work, I ran into @AquaAurora ‘s riparium plant list, and her own use of shower caddy’s.

Also, I really wanted use the 6 gallon Fluval Edge that I had because it would still be able to fit on my desk at home. The only problem is that pesky lid. The one that was cracked that I fixed with aquarium sealant.



I had read here, and here about the best ways that people have successfully removed the lid. Given that this tank is relatively short, but wide, it would be a great tank for bettas.

I used the straightrazor fishing line method to remove the top and it worked awesome. I didn’t take any pictures at this stage, because it was still hiding in my cabinet at this point and my husband didn’t know anything about it. I had to do this quickly and in stages while he wasn’t home. (We have since come to an understanding that if I am just replacing a tank that I already have, then it’s fine.)

Then I took some measurements (here is the tank disaster for this newest episode) and I measured edge to edge, not inside to inside. Yeah. Brilliance. When I bought the picture frames for the tank they were like 7 mm too wide and I couldn’t fit them in.

In the end, I took the piece of glass from the top of my 4 gallon cube, and used that one to create the divide. This meant I lost the middle channel I was going to fill with plants. Considering that the tank is only going to be 3 gallons per betta anyways, I decided they would probably appreciate the 2 inches of swimming room.

I bought an aquarium background that is blue on one side, and black on the other, and adhered it to the pane of glass. Then I put a bead of silicone along the bottom of the pane and held it in place in the middle of the tank. I had used dry erase markers to define the center of the tank so I knew where it would need to go. Also, I put the line on the inside so it wouldn’t just wipe off when I was moving it around on my lap.

I then sealed in the pane in the center of the tank, and put a thin layer across the top of the pane as well so that:
a) I wouldn’t cut myself
b) it would hold the background in place better since I was probably going to be putting the shower caddies on the center panel.
This cured for about a week. I set up my 29 in the meantime and was trying to get Sterling better from his infection. I realized it was probably the sponge filter in the 4 gallon that wasn’t allowing for adequate water motion under the driftwood.

While the surface agitation and current was more tolerable with the sponge filter, the quality of water deteriorated quite quickly, even with water changes and medication, giving the lack of free space along the bottom of the tank.

So. In one fell swoop I dismantled the cube, quietly set up the Edge and filled it with silk plants while my husband was cooking, and it all went smoothly. (This way I could dose Sterling with a full dose of aquarium salt and not harm any plants)



Sterling has made an almost full recovery, his tail just needs to grow back in, and he is enjoying the movement around the tank.

This made me reconsider my heavy planting method with driftwood for this tank, so I’m going to be incorporating some silk plants with real plants.

The betta that I have coming from aquabid makes me think of a moonstone, so I’m going to have my tank model those colours on both sides, in contrasting ways.

Also because each side is essentially a closed system, they will both have an adjustable 50 watt heater, as well as these sponge filters. They are adjustable for height, and will suction to the tank itself, with adjustable flow direction as well. I bought an air hose divider, and will run them off the same air pump.









So now that I have it all in place, I purchased some Creeping Jenny and Ice Dance Sedge for the shower caddies. I did some more reading on the best substrate for a riparium and came to a couple of different conclusions:
a) Terrestrial plants will grow anywhere
b) substrate doesn’t matter as much as light
c) dirt, is dirty
The first thing I did was wash the caddies in treated water, and then bought a sheer curtain panel that wasn't dyed, and made pouches for the inside of the caddy so the little bits of substrate wouldn’t fall out.





I sewed the edge:


And then turned it inside out:



Then I went to the sink, and had all the following materials on hand:
a) River Rocks
b) Black Sand
c) Leftover fluorite
d) …Spoon
e) Lava rocks


Because the lava rocks are lighter I wanted to have the bottom filled with them so as to not weigh the caddy down as much. I was hoping to be able to get the plants to stay without having to make any modifications to their planters.



Next I put in some small river rocks:



Then I put in the fluorite:



Then I started washing out most of the dirt from the roots of the plants.





At this point I positioned the plants, filled them in with sand, soaked the caddies so everything would settle, and walked it over to my tank and stuck ‘em on.





And that’s where we are at for now! I’m hoping to make the silk plant decorations tonight and setup the other side of the tank. Still waiting for the sponge filters to show up and I have this little hide on the way for Wisp’s side of the tank, and I will be covering Sterling’s coconut in moss. (He was very happy to have it back. I’m positive he remembered it.)

.

I am hoping that my internal eye will make it work in real life, so here’s hoping!

29 Gallons under the Sea, 4.12 Gallon, 6 Gallons From the Edge of Insanity
May all your algae get eaten, and all your scales be slimy.


Last edited by puriance; 05-18-2017 at 05:04 PM. Reason: verbage
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-18-2017, 12:05 AM
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Nice riparium setup ^^ Glad the riparium thread helped answer a question for you.
Unless the room the tank is in is very humid you may need to mist the creeping jenny once a day for a while (week or two) particularly the part that is not directly over the tank (I see a bit hanging off to the side) until it settles into the new environment. When I transition submerged planted to emersed growth I bought a cheap $1 mister from a dollar store and just put in some water from the tank to use... granted my house has low humidity typically in the 45-55 range it may be a non issue for you but I thought I'd mention it.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-18-2017, 04:36 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AquaAurora View Post
Nice riparium setup ^^ Glad the riparium thread helped answer a question for you.
Unless the room the tank is in is very humid you may need to mist the creeping jenny once a day for a while (week or two) particularly the part that is not directly over the tank (I see a bit hanging off to the side) until it settles into the new environment. When I transition submerged planted to emersed growth I bought a cheap $1 mister from a dollar store and just put in some water from the tank to use... granted my house has low humidity typically in the 45-55 range it may be a non issue for you but I thought I'd mention it.
Ah yes, that is a good point. I live in a temperate climate where we have like 75-100% humidity outside everyday. However inside it wouldn’t be nearly that much. After I read your comment, my husband pointed out that now it was a weeping Jenny, and not a creeping Jenny. Haha. I have a spray bottle of water mixed with prime that I will spritz it with for sure. Especially seeing as they came from an outdoor garden centre and now live in my shaded bedroom. I also raised the light so that more of it was spread out over the tank. It was pretty concentrated on the exposed plants, and even low light wouldn’t survive with the lack of light into the edges. I’m hoping to set up the other side of the tank tonight and get the thing planted so I can post more pictures tomorrow

29 Gallons under the Sea, 4.12 Gallon, 6 Gallons From the Edge of Insanity
May all your algae get eaten, and all your scales be slimy.


Last edited by puriance; 05-18-2017 at 09:42 PM. Reason: .
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-19-2017, 05:24 PM Thread Starter
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Update #1 - The First Steps

When I got home yesterday a little package from China was waiting for me. I was really hoping that it was my new sponge filters, but it was my little house instead! So I set about planting and putting the tank together.

I have the Marineland 50 watt heater on the right side, and the Marina 50 watt on the left side. The Marineland is fully submersible, whereas the Marina, is not. I'm going away this weekend, so I put the heater on anyways, hoping that the convection currents will keep the water moving slightly on the right side. There are no fish in this tank right now so it's just getting stuff ready for when Wisp shows up next week.

I have media for another filter in my canister that I will pop into it and set up when he gets here. At least until my sponge filters come and are seeded.

I'm using a sand substrate as I plan on dosing, and I didn't want to lose too much volume of water given the already small nature of the tank. Therefore I picked super easy growing plants, and very lowlight plants given the reading I have done that suggest shadows from the terrestrial plants can inhibit the plants directly in the substrate.

Keeping this in mind, I planted with the live plants more along the edges of the tank away from the shower caddies, and made use of the silk plants I had for colour. This is more of an experiment tank for me, and it will undoubtedly change shape in the future. For right now though, this is a fun take on my desktop tank. I was also wanting to take out that tall purple plant (I had bought it for the hospital tank) but Sterling kept resting on it so I put it at the front so I can see him when he does so. I hope to eventually replace it with a large anubias plant or just remove it entirely. We'll see.

Basically it's just s repends and anubias petite to start. I don't want anything too tall that will obscure the fish, as I am hoping to have 3 viewing angles, which is another reason I went with some silk plants. I also have some lovely Limnobium laevigatum, a surface plant for the bettas to play in. I also affixed some Christmas moss to the coconut, and I'm hoping to have it cover it eventually.

I really like the black side of the tank, but I'm not so sure about the left side. Once everything starts growing a bit and I decide what I want to do with the tank on a more permanent scale, I will be changing things around. But for now, here are the pictures!











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29 Gallons under the Sea, 4.12 Gallon, 6 Gallons From the Edge of Insanity
May all your algae get eaten, and all your scales be slimy.

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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-25-2017, 04:34 AM Thread Starter
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I have pictures, but...

I am sick.

Also my boy Wisp has been in transit all day and was supposed to be here, and now I'm worried they will now keep him overnight and he won't make it. It's 9:30 PM and he hasn't been to my door yet.

I refresh the tracking page every 10 minutes.

His home is waiting.

Please give me all the positive vibes hat you have because I really want him to show up ok tomorrow.

29 Gallons under the Sea, 4.12 Gallon, 6 Gallons From the Edge of Insanity
May all your algae get eaten, and all your scales be slimy.

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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-16-2017, 07:41 PM Thread Starter
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Update #1 - The 'ol Bait 'n' Switch

Well hello Ladies and Gentlefish,

Long time no write!

I am no longer sick, some changes have been had, and Wisp (now Jazz) showed up a-ok and now he is happy in his little home.

First off, he is quite the ham.

When he arrived at my house I was away at the office. Working. Fortunately, my husband was home and working in the garage so he was there when the post man showed up. I had given him specific instructions to text me pictures, and if he was dead I needed proof so I could email the seller on aquabid. I had also sent him a small novel in the form of a text message, with more specifics on how to acclimate the fish and introduce him to the tank.

I get nothing but asinine texts for the better part of an hour after the fish shows up. Which obviously means that the fish is ok, but I want proof.

Cold hard proof.

He said he was cold so he boiled some water to warm him up.

My husband said that Wisp (at this point still his name) looked thirsty, so he sent me a picture of him in a whiskey tumbler. (He was still in the bag and in the process of being transferred to the tank, so no one get your panties in a knot)



After some begging, a screened phone call or… four, I finally get some pictures of my little munchkin in his tank.





And while they were terrible quality, he was alive.


All is right with the world.

Now this boy, is all about volume when it comes to bubble nests.

He likes them long:



And he likes them big (so not dirty, get your minds out of the gutters)




But he is also lazy at times, and blows them from his leaf.





Look at him:



And the more I look:



The more I realize:



This is not the same fish I ordered of aquadbid.





Yeah.

Well. It seems to be the same quality, and most of my money into this fish was in the shipping. But still, I was a little sad. But this dude is so full of spunk it’s really not that big of a deal. I have also since found a local breeder, so I doubt that I will ever buy off of aquabid again. (She says, as she thinks about logging on just to take a look.

ALSO, SIDE NOTE FOR MY FELLOW CANADIANS, (if you are not Canadian, please adjust your babel fish frequency to read the following message)

Shipping is hella expensive. Like. Hella. Unless you live in Ontario. For those of us on the west coast, please be advised that shipping will run you $65+ AND THEN there is the import fee, box fee and if it’s cold out, hot pack fee.

Moving on.

Since this tank is on my desk on my husband’s side of the room, he has actually taken a bit of an interest in them. I fawn all over my fish when I get home (my poor, poor dog) so often if he wants to talk to me about something he has to come interrupt while I am meditating with my fish.

Anyhow, my husband noticed that because Wisp is a dumbo betta, when he is still in the water, and flaps his fins… it looks like he is wearing gloves… and… doing Jazz Hands.

Yeah.

So, everyone, meet my new betta Jazz (Hands). I’m obviously super impressed.

I actually quite enjoy this tank. It’s a great size, I have two boys to look at, and it’s green and wonderful.

I bought sponge filters months ago that have still not shown up, and contacted the seller (I just have the best luck) and they said they would give me a refund. In the interim I was using that god awful elite min filter that I said I would never use again because it was awful. It’s still awful.

So after I contacted the seller, I purchased a couple of sponge filters off of amazon that could be overnighted.

And.

Well.

Always read the product descriptions folks.



Turns out they were bloody HUGE. Like, 5"L x 1.8"W x 5.5" H.

Enter my husband yet again, to save the day, as I wail in despair behind his head while he sits peacefully on the couch.

Because the intake and outflow tube on the sponge filter were plastic, I could just cut the length of it so it would fit in the tank, and while Jazz would lose a little bit of swimming room, the filter would be able to fit in his tank.

So instead of having matching filters in the tank, I kept Sterling with his old sponge filter rather than re-cycle the tank, and have been adding stability with great success to Jazz’s tank.

I used a split valve so I only need one air pump, and then it turns out because the one filter is so much bigger, the air also followed the path of least resistance and basically only spewed bubbles out of the one side.

Yeah.

So, I clinched it with a ziptie, a twisttie and a bolt, so I could manually meter the flow on the air pump so it pushes air through both filters. I will take picture of my McGuyvering tonight while I write the update for the 29.

Yup.

I removed some plants because they weren’t getting enough light. I also added some Indian almond leaves to aid the transition for everyone.

All in all it’s a happy little tank.

And the best part is:

STERLING IS DOING AWESOME:





His tail is growing back and he is no longer lethargic and all his scales are back and I am just so happy.

He is now red black and blue.

Huh.



I also dropped in a couple of leopard Ramshorn snails (one on each side) just to help between water changes.

Did I mention that I’m like 6 years old and that I have glow in the dark things in each tank?





And that’s all I have for you right now folks.

Let me know what you think or if you have any suggestions for my tank!

29 Gallons under the Sea, 4.12 Gallon, 6 Gallons From the Edge of Insanity
May all your algae get eaten, and all your scales be slimy.

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