No Tech 5.4 ga "Red Stone Puffer Tank" - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-08-2015, 10:15 PM Thread Starter
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No Tech 5.4 ga "Red Stone Puffer Tank"

5.4 ga "Red Stone Puffer Tank"

Started 1/1/15 as a tank for a dwarf puffer. This is a second no-tech project I wanted to try. Please critique my set up as I am a complete n00b.

Equipment
5.4 Rimless tank from Aquatop
2 Deep Blue Solar Flare daylight LED, 6700 K, 3W
Substrate: mushroom compost, peat, ADA Amazonia

Hardscape
Petrified wood, rocks

Flora
Anubias nana
Marsilea Minuta
Money Wort
Willow Hydro
Mini Rose Moss
Water Wisteria
Downoi

Fauna
pond snail hitchhikers

Planned
alternanthera reineckii mini
ramshorn snails (?)
MTS
1 (or 2?) dwarf puffers
3 Cherry shrimps (?) (optional)

Is it too much for this tank as well?

Water parameters (still cycling, I did not have established tank so I used Nite-Out II)

Tap Water
pH (7.3) Ammonia (0) Nitrites (0) Nitrates (5)


Cycling so far


Day 1 pH (6.5), Ammonia (0.5) NitrItes (0.2) NitrAtes (7)
Day 3 pH (6.6), Ammonia (1.5) NitrItes (0.25) NitrAtes (10)
Day 7 pH (6.8), Ammonia (2) NitrItes (0.5) NitrAtes (5)
Day10 pH (6.8-6.9), Ammonia (1.5-2) NitrItes (0.75) NitrAtes (10)

Initial Set Up

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Progress so far

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Last edited by PondLily; 01-08-2015 at 10:29 PM. Reason: added 1 plant
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-19-2015, 09:22 PM Thread Starter
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1/19/15 Update

A small update:

Just like another tank, this one is still cycling, ammonia is zero, but nitrites are still high, also around 2ppm. It has been 19 days already. It has no heater and temp has been around 65-70 F, so I guess it has been slowing the process down.

Pond snails are thriving and laying eggs all over the place and I also apparently got ramshorn snails too. I added 2 plants: Rotala Araguaia and alternanthera reineckii mini.Also added another Deep Blue Solar Flare daylight LED, 6700 K, 3W.

It looks good, imho, but the cycle has been so very slow. I did not do any water changes yet, just add some water once a week to deal with evaporation.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-03-2015, 09:24 PM Thread Starter
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Finally cycled!

My no-tech puffer tank finally cycled! I am so excited, it took 33 days to complete the cycle. It is like a miracle for nitrites to go from 2 ppm to 0.

Now the tank needs its puffer!
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-03-2015, 09:44 PM
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Looks great Pondlily! You're off to a good start. I personally like to vary the depth of the substrate. Maybe try making little cliffs with the rocks? I kept DP's for years love those little guys. Just a warning though if you have 2 males in that small of a tank it'll be WWIII:-)
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-03-2015, 09:47 PM
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Beautiful tank! I love how the plants are growing out of the water.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-03-2015, 10:09 PM Thread Starter
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Rotala Enie

I was planning to put 1 DP, maybe some shrimp and 1 nerite snail? I already have pond snails and ramshorn snail hitchikers in a tank.

Water wisteria and money wort are sticking out, I hope they will grow more , but Rotala Enie is by far the one that grows the fastest in there for some reason.

I am a noob, so the tank is very simple, maybe later I can rearrange stuff a bit to make it more interesting.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-03-2015, 10:18 PM
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Getting ready to get a dwarf puffer myself. Has anyone mentioned to you about how aggressive they are? I have seen DPs attack/pick at large snails including nerites and shrimps (amano). They eat crustaceans mainly so might want to reconsider tank mates.
Ive relocated all my nerites and have a snail breeding tank just started. DP will eat every pond snail in the tank in short time.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-03-2015, 10:22 PM Thread Starter
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I know, DPs sound like beasts I've read that it also depends on their personalities, some are vicious others more laid back, maybe someone can comment on their experiences?

I currently have a lot of snails, big and small that do a great job cleaning, what will happen if DP is in there? I also read that they can eat up to the point of exploding, that sounds scary. If DP will eat all snails who will be cleaning my no-tech tank ?
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-06-2015, 05:12 PM
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Pea or dwarf puffers are fascinating fish and perfect for a 5 gallon or bigger. I keep 3 dwarf puffers in my 5 gallon dirted mish mash of plants. They did asinate a few of the cherry reds and some ramshorn snails but after 3 weeks some are surviving along with 2 otto's and the 3 puffers. I deliberately ordered 2 females and 1 male to keep agresion under control and it seems to be working. The male does harass the females to a small extent but this seems like natural behaviour to me . They are difficult to feed and I really have no idea what mine are eating !! I put frozen bloodworms in the tank but never see the puffers eat them . They must feed when I cannot see and they also could be eating the snail eggs I see everywhere . Personality wise I would not have any other fish for a small tank - - they are great Try to get a ratio of 2 plus females for each male and you should be delighted .

If you have a thriving snail community then you will have no problem feeding - - - just try to remove the larger one's that have been decapitated , so as to avoid an ammonia spike

oh yea b.t.w My 5 gall mish-mash dirt tank

the fraternity of dirt #169

Last edited by haytch; 02-06-2015 at 05:22 PM. Reason: snails
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-12-2015, 02:20 AM Thread Starter
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4/11/15 update

Finally, puffer tank got its puffers! I added 2 dwarf puffers and 6 cherry shrimps. There are also some pond snails in there and puffers already hunt them. Compared to my bowl, this tank has slower plant growth, probably due to difference in lighting? Ammonia and nitrites are 0, nitrates 10. I only add water once per week due to evaporation.
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-30-2015, 08:48 PM Thread Starter
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Update: 6/3/15

Puffer Tank has been struggling a bit, and for some strange reason plants grow worse there than in Stonehenge Bowl. Moss is gone (probably due to hot temp in my room), plants are sort of growing but also melting a bit. I have algae problem here too (no algae in Stonehenge Bowl). I blame the light, maybe I will need to use the same light I use in a bowl.

I have 1 dwarf puffer and 2 cherry shrimp there. Puffer is incredibly messy. He can eat a whole snail (sucks it out) if it is very small, all larger ones he just bites pieces and then these snails just rotting there cause he cannot get it all out. Shrimps are doing fine. Water parameters are fine, but I also have some surface scum under the lights.

The bottom line is this tank, while bigger than a bowl, has been more challenging to balance. Maybe it is all because of puffer and his snails? Also there are no snails there to clean, what should I do, add more shrimp?
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-30-2015, 10:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PondLily View Post
Puffer Tank has been struggling a bit, and for some strange reason plants grow worse there than in Stonehenge Bowl. Moss is gone (probably due to hot temp in my room), plants are sort of growing but also melting a bit. I have algae problem here too (no algae in Stonehenge Bowl). I blame the light, maybe I will need to use the same light I use in a bowl.

I have 1 dwarf puffer and 2 cherry shrimp there. Puffer is incredibly messy. He can eat a whole snail (sucks it out) if it is very small, all larger ones he just bites pieces and then these snails just rotting there cause he cannot get it all out. Shrimps are doing fine. Water parameters are fine, but I also have some surface scum under the lights.

The bottom line is this tank, while bigger than a bowl, has been more challenging to balance. Maybe it is all because of puffer and his snails? Also there are no snails there to clean, what should I do, add more shrimp?
where did you get those lights from?
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-30-2015, 10:57 PM Thread Starter
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these are 6700 K daylight Solar Flare lights, I only keep 2 on for now due to all these issues in the tank. Got them from [Ebay Link Removed] My smaller bowl (1.75 g) started at the same time and is doing much better, it has one CFL light, 2700 K, 13 w. So I think the problem is puffer and all his rotting snails, but these lights are not helping. As you can see before puffer everything grew perfectly. Another culpit could be increased room temp, summer in FL is horrible, and this room gets 80+ degrees during the day. Still does not explain why bowl does much better, both are in the same room.
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-03-2016, 11:20 PM Thread Starter
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Update 1/3/16: 1-year Anniversary!

Just like my Stonehenge Bowl, this is Red Stone Puffer Tank 1-year anniversary!

It has been a mystery for me, but this tank has been doing much worse than the bowl, and during the crisis lost many more plants. It was also not a good idea to have a puffer there. It turned out the puffer did not "suck out" snails out of their shells, but instead would bite pieces of them, killing them and living them to rot. So it messed up the idea of having no-filter, no air stone, no-tech tank. The puffer is sadly gone, and the surviving cherry shrimp did not survive the crisis due to lousy pet-sitter.

This tank lost quite a few plants and now I have there the following:
Original ones:
Anubias nana
Marsilea Minuta
Money Wort
Willow Hydro

A new addition:
jungle val

Fauna:
ramshorn snails, pond snails, and guppies. The photos from my phone, so not very good ones.

Overall, just like the bowl, I am very impressed. I had no idea I could have a nice looking, no-tech tank that is pretty and requires little maintenance. Just like with the bowl, the only thing I do is weekly adding water with a dash of Nite-Out II.
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