8 Gallon Biocube - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-11-2009, 09:04 AM Thread Starter
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8 Gallon Biocube

I am starting my first planted tank (although I've had a few normal freshwater tanks). My brother has a biocube 8 and its doing great to support a healthy reef tank. I know the bioballs can be a nitrate trap and is a no no for salt water, but I haven't seen any negative feedback for freshwater/planted. If anyone knows about this I'd love to know how effective it is in a planted tank. Also I know that RO (reverse osmosis) water is ideal, but can I use declorinated tap water or will it hurt the tank. If anyone else has any suggestions or tips on setting up properly I'd love the help. Thanks
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-11-2009, 12:22 PM
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I have a 6 gallon JBJ nano and my plants are doing great. I imagine an 8 gallon would have similar effects.

I use two 20 oz. pop bottles for DIY CO2

I also cut holes in the pump outflow tube to reduce the flow into the main tank (this way most of the flow is in the back filter compartments)

I don't fertilize anything.

Using tap water depends on how hard your tap water is. My tap is GH 8 and so I blend it with distilled to get GH 4 in my tank. If you have relatively soft water <5, then yes, you can use tap water with no problem, in my opinion.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-12-2009, 01:33 AM
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I'm currently using my 8 Gallon Biocube as a plant tank, and so far so good. It's been set up for two weeks so far and everything is growing rather well in it.

I have a few Anubius Nana, Bacopa Carolina, Hygrophila 'Kompakt' and Cryptocoryne growing in it.

I also have 3 Otos, a Dwarf Gourami and a ADF ... oh, and two ghost shrimp
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-12-2009, 05:00 AM Thread Starter
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Are you still using the bioballs or did you switch to any other type of filtration system?
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-12-2009, 05:28 AM
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I'm still using the bioballs; I haven't had a problem with them yet. I've been cycling the tank with Seachrems Stability and all has been well!
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-12-2009, 10:03 AM
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Mines been up for about 6 months and I am using the ceramic bio-media and the sponge filter for much the same purpose. It's a little messy right now, I am having trouble getting the christmas moss to attach to the driftwood. But as you can see, the plants are doing fine.


!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Last edited by spinycheek; 01-12-2009 at 10:07 AM. Reason: wanted to add more
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-12-2009, 10:17 AM
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I forgot to say, I switched the combo bulb out for a 6500K. It was an oddball size, I had to get it on ebay.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-13-2009, 12:08 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks...your tank looks amazing. I'm currently adding some driftwood to the tank. I'm still using the standard lights with it. I've been getting some blue/purple residue on my plants. Seems like its eating away at a few of the plants as one or two are getting some decay. Any suggestions?
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-13-2009, 12:21 PM
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Thanks for the compliment! I honestly don't know what would cause a blue/purple residue. Maybe cyanobacteria? Is it for sure a residue and not the plants themselves rotting away?

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-13-2009, 12:39 PM Thread Starter
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Honestly could be. I'm trying to figure out what to use as far as C02 goes. I haven't gotten a system although some people seem to be ok without it. I'm still really lost after reading a couple of the forums and articles on C02. The set up looks either A) Expensive or B) Really Complicated. I just really have no idea where to start with it or what is involved with setting it up.
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-13-2009, 10:51 PM
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I would look at DIY CO2. You drill a hole in a pop bottle lid, insert air tube and silicone it in. Then you fill the pop bottle with sugar water (or juicy juice) and add yeast. The yeast eats the sugar and produces CO2 just like making beer. The CO2 then goes out the tube where you can bubble it into your tank. It's very self sustained, I only replace the sugar water/yeast once a month. No valves or controllers or timers, really very simple and well worth it.

It's also very cheap to make this way. Once you move up to large tanks, DIY CO2 becomes inefficient and warrants the expensive equipment, but for nano tanks, DIY works great.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-13-2009, 11:13 PM Thread Starter
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Any directions on how many parts sugar water and how many parts yeast? Sounds easy enough, you've been a huge help. Although because there is no real way to control the amount of CO2 into the tank is it ok to keep fish or is it going to have them gasping for air. Also how thick is the tube your using?
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-14-2009, 04:00 AM
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Spinycheek, How do you prevent from overdosing on CO2 and killing the fish in the tank... that's what I'm afraid is going to happen!
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-14-2009, 12:09 PM
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It is near impossible to overdose CO2 with a DIY setup. It's even difficult to do with pressurized CO2. I've never gotten anywhere near saturation levels with my set-up.

As for making the sugar water. Use 1/2 cup sugar (must be real sugar, artificial sweeteners will not work) for every 1 1/2 cups water and shake vigorously until dissolved. You have to hydrate the yeast first before adding, so to do that, fill a shot glass about 1/2 full with slightly warmed water (to warm will kill the yeast), add about 1/4 teaspoon yeast and stir. Let this yeast water sit for 10 minutes, then dump the contents into the pop bottle with the sugar water in it. Shake the mixture up to mix in the yeast. That's it. Replace the yeast/sugar water mixture every month or the alcohol content will build up and eventually kill the yeast.

The tube I use is just regular silicone airline tubing, the same stuff pet stores sell next to the air pumps.

Fish do fine with CO2 in the water, it just can't get supersaturated or they will get a syndrome similar to SCUBA divers getting the Bends (bubbles in the arteries). This shouldn't happen dosing CO2 in this way.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-15-2009, 06:08 AM Thread Starter
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Seriously that was perfect. Recipes = win. Thanks. I'll send a picture once I get the tank running smothly. I'm thinking 4 tetras. Any suggestions or ideas for fish other than tetras. I was going for the shooling fish thing. Looks cool in a planted tank. By the way, I'm moving back to Colorado, any suggestions for good aquarium stores in the Denver area?
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