Looks like your off to a good start. I have the same evolve 4 for my betta. You are correct in adjust the flow way down. You can also reduce flow by replacing the stock filter panel with a piece of plexiglass/ lexan or half of a thin CD/ case. Cut a knotch in the bottom and use your own filter media. I use egg crate foam and lots filter floss with fluval biomax. My betta loves the almost zero flow. O have to look in the sump to make sure it's still flowing. I'll try to post pics of how I have it set up.
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Thanks for the tips, will keep that in mind. I am still unsure where I want to go with the filter system, but I'd prefer to heavily mod the sump and intake/outflow than buy a new filter.
Cycling log: (10/16)
Received Ehiem Jagar 25 watt Heater today (along with test tubes and some tetra safe start and aquasafe+), hopefully I can wedge it into the back compartment without causing more vibration from the sump.
Temperature before heater:74F
I'm surprised how warm the want was without a heater, I hope it doesn't mean 'm burning up the sump and that's raising the temp.
I'm already disappointed in buying this tank.. the cheap plastic already has stress fractures (look like several tiny scratches) and there is no fixing that. maybe I'll order some custom cut glass and just hand make (aka silicone together) a tank. If i do I will probably get some plastic to use as a divider to separate the heater and filter from the display area, I rather like the idea of keeping them away from the fish and it looks better that way too.. But for now this tank is my guinea-pig for capped soil planted style tanks.
In less than an hour the new heater brought the tank up to 80F, I had it set for 78 so going to do minor re-calibrating to make it accurate, love these heaters so effective ^^
Sorry no new picks of tank, the stock light is so bright it ruins the photos I try to take with my phone so have to find another light to slap over the plants for photo-ops.
Cycling log: (10/21)
Temp: steady 78F now
Nitrate has gone up so there must be some nitrite eating bacteria growing, but not enough to plummet the nitrite to 0 yet. I pulled the anacaris I had in here out as I kept having snail problems (they lived and laid eggs on it). All the anacharis from both cycling tanks (see signature for other tank journal) have been moved along with one few the two "55" gallon's light to my driftwood soaking bin (anahcaris can supposedly stand cold water so hopefully it lives till I'm ready to use it). I currently have some of the old java fern that had been in my "55" in the Evolve now, mainly the peices that were small and broken up with new plantles on them. I didn't want them tog et sucked into the filter so they're in the Evovle now.
Still can't get a decent photo without the exposure making the plants look white and glowing, but one of the java plantlets looks like it wants to be a 3 leaf clover O.o its got two rounded bumps instead of one pointed leaf... silly java.
I am starting to debate about changing my plant list for the final set up of the Evolve. I still want rooted plants since I did a capped soil substrate.... what would be the point of all floaters/mosses/non buried root types (java/anubias) with that right? My issue is size and low tech limitations. From top of the gravel to water line is 7.5 inches.. 7.75 at most, so it has to be something that can stay short or be trimmed without killing the leaf. My lighting will remain medium-low and I won't be using co2, though I am going to try out diy fert capsules for the sword I have in there now, so nutrient sucking plants (via roots) aren't limited at least.
I was thinking of switching the Echinodorus tenellus for
Lilaeopsis Mauritiana (pygmy chain for micro sword) as a foreground carpet, I micro believe it can be trimmed unlike the chain sword? I've also be considering trying out some crypt species but I'm not sure if I like them. Also considering finding the smallest breed of Val plant and trying that since it can be trimmed... but I worry about it blocking up the intake for the filter system with its long grassy-ness..hmm
I'm also wondering... I know anubias and java fern can't have their rhizomes buried, but what about their roots? the two newer anubias nana in the "55" have monster roots, can those go into the substrate or do they need to stay up in the water column?
Any suggestions for other rooted plants for a nano tank?
Cycling log: (10/22)
[Que Paul Revere impersonation]
THE NITRITES ARE LEAVING THE NITRITES ARE LEAVING!
*ahem* I brain farted on taking a photo of the test tubes before dumping them but my nitrites in 24 hours plummeted from 5 to 0.5!! I was in such disbelief I redid the test with a fresh tube... 0.5!
Figures the tank I'm not in as big a rush to cycle is closer to finishing first... but when you think about it 3.1 gallons<"55" gallons so needs less bacteria.. but I put all the seed material and supposed boosting agents into the larger tank and nitrites still haven't budged *sigh*
Will have to start seriously deciding final flora so I can get it in and start looking for my fauna. I want to find a male plakat betta with mustard gas colors, I don't care if its a halfmoon, double tail, or plain plakat.
Cycling Log: (10/23)
Nitrite is staying low but still not that magic "0" yet. Got some DIY made fert tabs today and pushed one in between my Argentinian Swords after pruning off the translucent and browned leaves. Hopefully it helps kick start them to grow healthy.
I am still debating if I want to go with swords for my nano. I'd love to, but until the recuperating swords I have in there show that they can grow healthy with that light/soil/fert, I won't buy more. If they fail maybe I'll try my hand with crypts.
Here some unsightly photos of the tank so far. No where near what I want to do with aqua-scaping mind you just threw java scraps in so they weren't sucked into the "55"s canister, most if ti is tried to a clear piece of hose, some is free flaoting. Light for photo is from a Marina 'betta' cube (ignore the black tape... ignore it I say!!), the Evovle4 stock light next to it is turned off for a moment as it is too bright for photos.
Attachment 226681Attachment 226689
Can't wait to do real aquascaping in here... someday
Cycling log: (10/24)
Its cycled! I'm surprised it was done so fast once it started showing signs of munching up the nitrites! Unfortunately I still am not 100% sure if the stock light will be enough for a medium light tank, and if not.. what will be? Have to find some light recomendations for a nano fast...