5 gallon semi-hex - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-24-2013, 09:32 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Mississippi
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5 gallon semi-hex

Hello everyone. I am new to the forum and the hobby.
I bought an Aquarius 5 gallon semi-hex kit for my niece, only to find out that her father had already gotten her a kit, so I kept the one I bought for myself. I was originally going to keep a cool water tank, but was unhappy with the stocking choices so I bought a heater. I don't yet know whether or not I am going to use a filter. I apologize for the image quality.

Lighting: 5k fluorescent daylight hood
Substrate: A few scattered river stones with black poster board under tank
Flora: Java moss and moneywort
Fauna: Undetermined; I was going to go with the betta, but now that it is completely filled, I am tentatively hoping for other options, perhaps a school of nanofish.






And this is my niece's tank, she picked out all the décor, though I bargained her down to black gravel with neon pieces instead of all neon gravel. There is a large handful of java moss hidden behind Squidward's house because I have decided all tanks should have live plants.



Close up of the only tenant, Mr. Fish:


Stocking or general suggestions are welcome for either tank, though I can go ahead and tell you that the décor in Mr. Fish's home is unlikely to be changed as it isn't up to me.
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-25-2013, 12:15 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Mississippi
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Bump
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-25-2013, 01:31 AM
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I have the same tank, I think you should use the filter because I didn't use mine at first causing a film to cover the top in less than 3 days which caused my betta to get a little bit of fin rot (he's better now). the filter was a little strong but I just cut a little piece of sponge and put it infront of little jet things (can't remember what their called)
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-25-2013, 02:05 AM
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Location: Twin Falls, Idaho
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Read up on the nitrogen cycle when starting up a new tank. There are several good sources on the internet for this info. Read all that you can about starting up a new tank. Use declorinators when adding new water. Yes, use a filter. You can even use a small submersible internal filter. They are quiet and do a nice job. Be careful not to overstock the tank. Once the tank is cycled.....small hardy fish like Endler's Livebearers (males only) will make for a very active and pretty school of fish. Do NOT get a female or you will have an overstocked tank and more fish than you can imagine. Heaters are not necessary for these -- the Endlers. For plants, go for low light plants such as the various ANUBIAS species and mosses. With the stock lighting on that tank, you have low light. Also, with that kind of gravel, you would be best using the kinds of plants that are rooted to driftwood, ornaments, etc. Do look up the plants that you see in your local fish store before you buy. For example, our local PetSmart sells a lot of plants that will do nothing but die in your tank. They are fine for terrariums, but not for growing submersed. Just a few suggestions. Again, Welcome!!
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-25-2013, 02:48 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Mississippi
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Hi all, and thank you for the warm welcome.

The low light is the reason I am using the java moss as the substrate. The moneywort was purchased by someone else for my niece's tank, and I did not think it would survive in there with nothing but a tiny LED, which is why I have it floating at the top of my tank. It seems to be doing well, and I am doing a fishless cycle, seeding the tank with fish food because I cannot find pure ammonia anywhere.

The water conditioner I am using is Seachem Prime, as it seemed to be highly recommended here.

I have no intention of adding any ferts, which should be fine for the moss, but if it will be a problem for the floating pennywort, I will remove it. I just hate to waste a good plant.

I will go ahead and add the filter. I wanted go filterless, but without a gravel/sand substrate for the bacteria to colonize on, the filter is probably necessary so that the bacteria can colonize on the filter media.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-25-2013, 02:57 AM
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Believe it or not, check out the Dollar stores for pure ammonia. I looked all over trying to find ammonia without additives with no luck until I stumbled upon some in a Dollar General. You are off to a great start. :-)
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-25-2013, 03:09 AM Thread Starter
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Okay, thank you, I will check tomorrow.

Would my tank be considered a nature scape, iwagumi, or not scaped at all?
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-25-2013, 09:32 AM Thread Starter
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or is this the wrong area for that question? I don't know how many threads are allowed when they are all about the same tank...
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-08-2013, 12:01 PM Thread Starter
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Update

I got some presents yesterday from a well-meaning family member who decided that it was a shame for my tank to be sitting around empty for so long. I got home to this:
















I had been eyeballing a similar betta and the tiger nerites at the LFS for a while, but I wanted to wait until the tank was cycled. Luckily the ammonia was down to .20 when I tested it, but I dropped some prime in there just in case. I hope these guys are tough; they weren't even properly acclimated; he just netted them directly into the tank I broke a veggie wafer in half and dropped it in two separate locations for the snails. I am gonna hold off on feeding the betta for a day or two. I was hoping to avoid the whole daily water change for a fish-in cycle thing, but thank goodness the ammonia was down when they were added, and that is a very cool betta.

The betta has me worried though; I see some slight fin damage and he appears to enjoy slithering around in the moss like a snake to stalk the snails. I don't know if this is an illness related behavior or if he is just "hunting" so to speak.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-13-2013, 11:49 PM Thread Starter
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New pictures soon. The moneywort is growing like crazy with the daily water changes, but unfortunately I am getting some algae growth on the moss and the top of the moneywort. I have reduced the photoperiod from 12 hours to 8.
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-25-2013, 08:14 AM Thread Starter
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Its been a while since I updated. The snails didn't make it... I guess my water is too soft even with calcium-enriched snail food. I have had a couple battles with algae, and I need to clean it, but the plants are growing well and the Serpent (the betta) is healthy. I apologize for the picture quality.
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-25-2013, 04:43 PM
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cool betta and I love how you have the moss/ river stone bottom. was looking at this thread last night and had a dream about this tank.


Kevin
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-27-2013, 12:59 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks aquamoon I hope your dreams were pleasant. Do you think I should flatten the moss or leave it untamed?
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