Biocube 8 Journal - Starting out - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 10-07-2014, 06:02 PM Thread Starter
Planted Tank Obsessed
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Oregon
Posts: 381
Biocube 8 Journal - Starting out

I like fish, but looking at Iwagumi and other planted tanks is awe inspiring. I know I couldn't do something like that with my current time responsibilities, so I was looking for low tech. Aside from browsing here and reading other sites, I have no idea what I'm doing.

I found a biocube 8gal on Craigslist for $20. Both lights were burned out, and 1 LED was dim and the other was pretty much dead. This tank uses the power compact 18W fluorescent straight 4-pin lights. That would give me 36w of light on 8gal which would put me into the HIGH light. I decided that I would only run 1 bulb at a time since that's a lot of light.

I bought new component LEDs that were 460nm and soldered them into the existing housing with the appropriate resistor. Now the tank has working moonlight LED and daylight.

Then I filled it up with water and added Flora-Max, and started dosing ammonia to build up the bacteria for cycling. It took about 3 weeks, but I was able to dose 4ppm of ammonia and have it down to 0ppm in about 24 hours.

I found a neat piece of driftwood and boiled it for 8 hours to release the tannins and then needed plants! I found someone local on CL and picked up a whole mess of plants for $30. Unfortunately, I don't have a grasp upon which plants are low/med/high but thought I would see what I could grow.

I am starting to get some algae on the glass and the diatoms are growing crazy fast. I need to get a timer on the lights since I've been turning it on when I go to work and turn it off when I get home. I have it stocked with a male/female Endler, and a baby snail that hitched a ride on the plants.

I am still trying to figure out ferts and what plants I actually have. I know I have moneywart Brazilian Pennywort, spiral valsEchinodorus Vesuvius, java fern, and limnophila sessiliflora.

Here are some pictures, first is upon initial planting (9/26/14), then with DIY 9/30/14, and 10/1/14 and 10/5/14 with CO2 ladder.

I am amazed how fast the limnophila sessiliflora in the back is growing, about .5" day with new growth at different parts of the plant.
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Last edited by grizzly_a; 11-30-2014 at 04:46 AM. Reason: corrected plants
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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 11-30-2014, 05:15 AM Thread Starter
Planted Tank Obsessed
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Oregon
Posts: 381
I had to remove the limnophila sessiliflora because it was growing too fast and covering the top half of the tank. I also added an oto to help with the diatoms and algae that was growing. I think those little guys are helpful, but wish they ate staghorn and BBA. The Endler pair had babies which I kept in there until I removed the limnophila, and moved the babies to another tank.

Unfortunately, I had life happen and lost track of keeping up with the DIY CO2 changes and ferts, so I now have BBA on the java fern and sag, and staghorn on the sag as well. I trimmed off the dead leaves with BBA, but have some remaining.

I feel good that I can actually grow plants....algae not so much.
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