A Tale of Three Tanks - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-24-2013, 08:02 PM Thread Starter
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A Tale of Three Tanks

Hello PlantedTankers! It's almost summer and school's out!!!! This is my first, real tank journal and I promise I'll do my best to keep it updated with lots of pictures. I'm starting this tank journal as a way to organize my ideas and plans, and also to get some feedback and advice from you guys. Also, I've talked the ears off of my parents, my brother, my roommates and my girlfriend, so now I'm turning to you guys, my fellow PlantedTankers. I don't want to be the crazy guy that talks to his cat and his dog about fish.

First of all I'd like to thank my parents for driving an hour and a half after work on Friday to pick me up from university and helping me move all my stuff back (including an empty 10gal and my 2.5gal shrimp tank). I love my parents very, very much, and sometimes I feel like I don't show them enough appreciation. And they also put up with my Multi-Tank Syndrome...

Okay, now that I've stopped crying, let's go back to talking about aquariums. For anyone interested in knowing how I moved my tanks back: I drained by 2.5gal so it was half full, lined the bottom of the 10gal with a towel, and put the 2.5gal in the 10gal. I have lids for both the 2.5gal and the 10gal, so a surprisingly small amount of water splashed out of the 2.5gal.

When I got home, I pulled up all the plants in my 2.5gal and planted them all in my dad's Fluval Flora. I put the remaining 5 ghost shrimp from my 2.5gal into the Fluval as well. Then I cleaned out and scrubbed the algae off the glass of my 2.5gal. All done at 2:30am.

On Sunday I dropped by my local Big Al's with my girlfriend (who wasn't exactly excited to be there) to pick up a few things. I bought Flourite substrate, Flourish Excel, a piece of driftwood (my girlfriend is the artistic one, so she picked it out), and some java fern, jungle vals and a moss ball (my girlfriend thought the java fern and jungle vals looked pretty and she really wanted me to buy a moss ball so she could hold it....I really couldn't say no to her since she agreed to go to Big Al's with me).

All new plants went into the Fluval. I added the Flourite to the 10gal and 2.5gal, filled it with water, and now I'm waiting for the water to clear up. I tied some rocks to the driftwood to weigh it down. This gave me the idea to weight down all the stems that keep floating back up by tying them to rocks.

Currently in the Fluval, I have:
some sort of Anubias
some sort of Crypt
Water Wisteria
Java Fern
Jungle Val
Java Moss
Marimo Moss Ball
some sort of stem plant that I can't identify
5 Ghost Shrimp (from my 2.5gal, I saw 2 medium sized ones today, don't know if the rest are still alive)
1 Snail (it's visibly getting bigger each time I see it)
1 Silver Molly
2 Swordtails (1 male, 1 female)
I have another female swordtail in a 1gal pickle jar because the other 3 fish pick on her and she doesn't get enough food to eat. She's much fatter now that she has her own little jar (don't worry I have a sponge filter in there and do small water changes every other day).

Plans for the Three Tanks:
I plan on moving the molly and the 3 swordtails over to the 10gal once the water in that clears up and I start it off with some Seachem Stability. Hopefully the isolated female swordtail will be big enough to fend for herself. I will also move most (if not all) of the plants in the Fluval to the 10gal to provide her with plenty of hiding spots.

I also have my eye on a hood for my 10gal from Big Al's for $38. I've considered using clamp work lamps from Home Depot or another hardware store, but the only ones I've found so far are $17 for the most basic 8.5" diameter reflector work lamps. I find this preposterous. The same work lamp is $7 on homedepot.com and $17 on homedepot.ca.... Okay, done ranting. I'll have 2 10W 6500K CFL daylight bulbs for the 10gal. I'll also have a DIY CO2 system.

The 2.5gal will be on my desk at home. I'm still looking for a small piece of driftwood or a rock to be the centre piece. I love moss and I want the flora of this tank to be mainly moss. I'll put some stem plants in the back to cover up the heater. I want to get a single female betta for this tank and some more ghost shrimp as clean-up crew.

I know that 2.5gal is not ideal for bettas, and I am open to suggestions for another kind of fish to put in this tank. I know shrimps are probably the best choice for such a small tank, but I'd like to have something more active than shrimp. I've kept a betta successfully many years ago in a 1gal pickle jar with no heat and no filtration. I did >50% water changes weekly and my betta (called Storm) lived for 3 years.

For the 2.5gal, I bought an Aquatop PFE-1 HOB filter (FYI: 45gph and it's about the size of my hand) and a 25W Hydor Theo heater from Amazon.ca (Wooot, free shipping!). I'll need to cut the glass lid to fit the HOB filter. I'll buy a $5 ikea desk lamp and a 10W 6500K CFL bulb for lighting. I'm not keen on having DIY CO2 for this tank because it'll be on my desk and the bottles and tubes are an eyesore in my opinion, but if my plants aren't growing well then I guess I'll have to find a way to hide it.

On my trip to Big Al's, my girlfriend saw some plecos and she really liked them for some reason (of all the fish she could've picked) and she really wanted me to get one. She also found African Dwarf Frogs and Orange Bee Shrimp to be cute and she wanted me to get those as well. I've decided not to get African Dwarf Frogs after reading about how hard they are to feed. I'm also not getting plecos because they'll easily outgrow the 10gal.

However, I will get 3 otos for the Fluval since it seems to always grow algae (I think the light that came with the Flora is too strong for the amount of plants I had). I'll supplement with algae wafers. I will also get a whole army of cherry shrimp for the Fluval and the 10gal. I'll let them run amok in those two tanks and hopefully they'll reproduce like rabbits.

I'll buy more flora and fauna from Kijiji, or craigslist, or from members of my local fish forum (GTA Aquaria). My local fish stores seem to have a very limited choice of plants.

Thanks for reading! I'll have pictures up tomorrow night or Friday night.

Last edited by LilGreenMan; 04-25-2013 at 12:29 PM. Reason: mmmm....bacon
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-27-2013, 04:28 AM Thread Starter
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Pictures, as promised

Here are some pictures, as promised.

1. Hi, my name is Lil Green and I have MTS....
2. My silver molly always comes to greet me, probably just wants food
3. Tried to take a FTS, you can see the male swordtail next to the silver molly
4. 1 silver molly, 1 male swordtail, 1 female swordtail, all in one blurry photo
5. Can anyone identify this plant?
6. Snail got knocked off the hornwort by the filter outlet, it was floating around helplessly for the longest time....hilarious
7. The water in my 10gal has cleared up, this is the piece of driftwood, weighed down with rocks, will rearrange later
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-27-2013, 04:49 AM
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Hi LilGreenMan. I love that big chunk of driftwood. Very nice.

Something to consider with your bullied swordtail, maybe put her into the new tank first. Maybe even a day or two ahead of time so she can get comfortable in the territory and hopefully that will give her a fin up against the fish that used to bully her.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-27-2013, 05:09 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Neptoon'd View Post
Hi LilGreenMan. I love that big chunk of driftwood. Very nice.

Something to consider with your bullied swordtail, maybe put her into the new tank first. Maybe even a day or two ahead of time so she can get comfortable in the territory and hopefully that will give her a fin up against the fish that used to bully her.
Thanks! I was thinking the same thing, maybe she'll get first dibs on the cool hiding spots.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 09-09-2013, 04:10 PM Thread Starter
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Sorry for the lack of updates, I was very busy (and productive) this summer.
The fluval and the 10gal tank are both well established now. My silver molly and 2 swordtail (one male and one female) live in the 10gal tank. Happy to say that the smaller female swordtail that used to get bullied is now thriving and very active. My swordtails were also very hard at work and produced lots and lots of baby fish. I've moved about 12 of them over to the fluval. Unfortunately the mother of all the fry is no longer with us. She died a few weeks ago, but her legacy lives on in her offspring.
As far as I can tell, all my cherry shrimp and ghost shrimp have died. I also have not seen my snail in weeks; I assume it has ascended to the great aquarium in the sky.
My 2.5gal tank still has nothing in it as I was too busy to stock it. I've put a piece of driftwood in there and some plant trimmings from the larger tanks. I'll probably set it up as a shrimp tank so it is low maintenance for my dad as I've moved back into university.
I'll take some new pics this Saturday
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10 gallon tank, 2.5 gallon tank, fluval flora

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