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blink 05-13-2012 06:08 PM

Blink's 27 gallon cube
After looking at the marineland 27 gallon cube in Petsmart and making puppy eyes at my fiancee for long enough she finally caved... I could get it as long as I sold my 12 gallon Edge!
YES! score.

I loved the looks of the Edge but the maintenance and restricted access was a real pain in the butt so this wasn't the toughest choice I ever had to make. I bought the 27 gallon and set it up, seeded with nice old media and a sponge filter from the Edge and a buyer was quickly found for the smaller tank.

Unfortunately my fiancee had lost my camera during this time so I've only got a couple camera phone pics rather than the several dozen I'd normally have taken lol.

I guess if I follow the usual tank journal theme it's time to list the equipment:

Filtration - Initially I started off with an Eheim 2215 which I got used but it turned out to be not the best deal I've ever gotten, there's a thread around here detailing it but long story short, I ended up putting about $100 in parts into it and it's still an unreliable POS.
It has since been replaced with a Fluval 206 which is simply awesome in comparison. I've also got an aquaclear 30 hanging off the tank in a wonderful display of redundancy. Actually it's there because it was my safety net while I was having so many problems with the Eheim and I've been meaning to remove it for a while now.

Heat - There is an Aqueon Pro 100 watt heater in there, nicely exposed in an ugly position across the back which will be replaced with a Hydor inline as soon as budget allows... I mean as soon as I can order one online without my fiancee seeing the box come in the mail :D

Light - I tried the Marineland doublebright that comes in the box for several days and there were two problems with it, A) it didn't provide enough coverage B) my dwarf hairgrass was not getting nearly enough light.
I have since supplemented it with a cheapo Home Depot clamp light and a Phillips 13 watt "daylight" compact fluorescent bulb which has really perked things up. Unfortunately it made my water lettuce take off too, but whatever, that's not the worst thing ever.

CO2 - It's coming... I've got the paintball cylinder, ASA fitting and Home Depot needle valve, Fluval bubble counter and tester and a Boyu diffuser with swirly bubble counter built in. Visually it's kind of lame but whatever, it's worth a try. Basically all I need to do is run tube n connect this beast but for some reason I'm procrastinating, I guess I better get off my duff and get it done today or you'll all make fun of me.

I guess that's it for typing and it's time to show some pics or shut up.
Suppose that means I ought to take some... back in a bit.

blink 05-13-2012 07:00 PM

As promised, pics!

Here is a full tank drama shot showing the clamp light

And another FTS but focused on the tank

Here is a plant ID question, I love this plant but I nearly killed it in the Edge and now, under quite similar conditions it's flourishing, what is it?

And for lols, here's an equipment shot... think I have enough sponge prefilters?

2in10 05-13-2012 07:45 PM

Very nice tank and the plant is Ambulia, Limnophila sessiliflora.

Centromochlus 05-13-2012 07:47 PM

Do you know what the name of the copper colored plant in the center is?

blink 05-13-2012 09:54 PM


Originally Posted by 2in10 (Post 1860357)
Very nice tank and the plant is Ambulia, Limnophila sessiliflora.

Thank you, on both counts :)


Originally Posted by AzFishKid (Post 1860359)
Do you know what the name of the copper colored plant in the center is?

I call it Shedus Leavuseverywhere... I really have no idea what it's called, my LFS sold it to me under an incorrect name (I've forgotten what they called it since it was wrong). I like the looks of it but it's not doing all that well in my tank, there are dead leaves everywhere and it doesn't seem to be bouncing back like I'd hoped but then again the Ambulia and the chain sword did much the same thing before they decided to shock the heck out of me and grow like proverbial weeds.

Centromochlus 05-13-2012 09:58 PM

Can you snap a closer pic of it? It looks interesting... definitely a Hygrophila sp. of some sort (similar to H. corymbosa), but the color is quite different than i've ever seen.

GMYukonon24s 05-13-2012 11:33 PM

Nice tank I like the light

blink 05-14-2012 02:09 AM


Originally Posted by AzFishKid (Post 1860515)
Can you snap a closer pic of it? It looks interesting... definitely a Hygrophila sp. of some sort (similar to H. corymbosa), but the color is quite different than i've ever seen.

I got a couple better pics, not sure if they're really going to help ID it with all the clutter in the shots. I may try to steal my fiancee's waterproof sony and take REAL close up shots if needed :)

Don't mind the Celestial pearl danios, they won't pose for photos when I want shots of them but they photobomb me whenever I want shots of the plants lol.

blink 05-14-2012 06:13 AM

Tonight was water change night and I decided to get my butt in gear and clean the tank up. I'm also going to post everything I did which will probably bore most of you to tears but it'll help me remember.

So, in some semblance of chronological order here's what I got done tonight:
- Swapped out my carbon in the filter for more filter floss, cut the seachem matrix bag and just tossed my matrix in the bio media tray because the bag was disgusting and generally gave the Fluval 206 a nice cleaning.
- Removed the aquaclear 30 and cleaned it up to put back into emergency storage
- Moved some berried cherry shrimp into their mesh breeder box safe haven
- Replanted a couple plants which had come loose and fished out excess water lettuce
- Watched my Bolivian ram and a cherry shrimp gnaw on the same shrimp pellet... apparently rams aren't the decimators of shrimp I was warned they were

And the big one, I installed my CO2!
I've got a home depot needle valve and I've got to say it's definitely not the best for aquarium CO2, very hard to modulate and set but just when I THINK I have it set ok, about 1 bubble per second after a minute or two it slows right down and peeters out.

Guess a trip to the local swageloc is in order, was hoping to do this on the cheap but whatever, better to do it right.

blink 05-18-2012 01:54 AM

Time for an update.

CO2 is on hold until I get myself a Milwaukee regulator, local people seem to have really good luck with them and the price is right, plus the store is on the way home from work and I can pick up some coral or reef livestock for my fiancee's tank and PROBABLY have a good excuse for the credit card bill.
I even have a plan for getting her to sign off on buying or renting a cylinder from one of the local welding supply shops: she does airbrush tattoos and body painting :D Airbrushes run just great off CO2 so I can promise to let her borrow it before making it disappear into the back of my aquarium stand, never to be seen again (or for at least a few months till it needs a fill up).

I'm really not that whipped, or sneaky but it's more fun this way.

Today also marks the start of Operation: NoMoreBrownAlgae. I'm making myself promise to feed the fish less and do more frequent but smaller water changes. Hoping to get a handle on the crud without resorting to swarms of Otos but I might pick up a couple of the cute lil boogers anyways.

I guess that's it for todays update!

NightWalker 05-19-2012 08:21 AM

How did you attach the clamp on light?

blink 05-20-2012 08:08 AM

I actually cheated and just set the clamp light on top of the glass top. I had been planning on using the clamp but this just seemed a lot easier than trying to rig something up and fortunately the dome on the light is deep enough to fit the entire bulb inside, sometimes you don't get that lucky.

JEden8 05-20-2012 11:54 AM

Nice looking tank you got! HAHA Glad to see you got your journal up and running! Looking good!

blink 05-20-2012 06:01 PM

Thanks, lots to do and always something to tinker with, but I love it.

blink 07-02-2012 05:23 PM

Soooo, I've got a dilemma... I haven't been happy with the looks of my tank for a while and at first I wasn't sure what it is, but I've decided that I think it's the light substrate. Well, that and the fact it's not a very visually appealing "scape".

I've got two bags of fluorite dark sitting in the garage and I was all ready to tear down the tank and swap everyone over when a deal came up on a local forum, Ecoxotic 25 gallon rimless cube for $100. It's an all-in-one primarily meant for saltwater but as we all know, that's just a small modification away from freshwater keeping.
Needless to say, I jumped on the deal and it's sitting in the garage :)

I'm not sure if I should keep my current tank and try to fix the problems I have with it, or immediately press forward and get this Ecoxotic up and running?
I like this marineland but it's pretty basic while the ecoxotic has it's built in filtration, a spot for a heater, water top-up bottles and a skimmer which can apparently be used as a CO2 diffuser all hidden behind a nice black wall which really appeals to me.

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