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FrostyNYC 12-18-2007 06:08 AM

Another 5 Gal Hex
Just figured I'd finally post a pic of my tank. Specs: Inert gravel, 13 watt CF 5700k lighting, DIY CO2 with nano glass diffuser, Flourish, Fleet, Corkscrew Val and Java Moss, MTS, Amano Shrimp, and a couple platies (yes, odd fish choice... not my idea). As you can see, it looks like a big ole mess of vallisneria...

My tank as of today:

My tank two months ago at startup:

As you can see, I pulled out the dwarf sag on the right because it's growth was disappointingly slow. I let the vals send out runners wherever they wanted... I'll clean it up eventually, but I want them to be happy and I enjoy the bright green. I also changed the light from a 2700k to a 5700k. I should go up to 6500k but I don't mind the current color. I also want to stick some root tabs in the soil, or start dosing potassium. I had tried some ludwigia repens and I'm fairly sure it died of potassium difficiency. Though the new growth WAS a very pretty pink... the pinholes were just awful. The vals don't seem to be hurting for lack of anything right now, though I could be wrong. I'd like to swap the inert gravel for Ecocomplete eventually.

Smalltank3 12-19-2007 02:54 AM

Yep, same tank, but yours is way better then mine. Looks great:) Got any thing against platies?!? Haha keep up the good work:)

FrostyNYC 12-19-2007 03:27 AM

I also have a two month head-start on you. And with your new hood and extra lighting, you're gonna outpace me in growth in no time.

I was looking at my tank today and thinking of modding it like you are, but honestly, for all that work, it'd probably be easier to just give away or sell the eclipse and go with a new glass tank where I can set up the lighting and filtration from scratch.

Smalltank3 12-19-2007 04:03 AM

Yes, the only reason that I'm upgrading my lighting is because the hood is already built! Otherwise, yeah lots of work.

mikeb210 01-09-2008 01:11 AM

ANOTHER HEX!!! We could start an army soon haha. This is some good inspiration for us fellow hexers(?) so keep up the good work.


FrostyNYC 01-09-2008 04:54 AM

I actually just got a great deal from a fellow PT'er on some eco-complete for a larger tank I plan to set up, and decided to switch this tank over from inert gravel to the EC. I found guppy grass at a LFS, a plant I'd never seen before but is reportedly tough as nails. I also took out most of my java moss cause I felt that it was just an unruly algae magnet. I took a handsaw to my driftwood and hacked it in half, cause it was too large for my tank (and hidden by vals in previous photos). Anywho, here's my update. Redid the tank two days ago, and I already have a new Val runner. I am losing a couple val leaves right now, though. I suspect they dried out a little while I was rescaping, or maybe they're just suffering some kind of trauma.

First pic is my tank as of two days ago, second is my new Najas. Sweeet.

Mikeb210, I gotta say, Im not a big fan of the 5 gallon hex. I would never recommend it to a plant grower. Its difficult to aquascape. The light fixture is not good at all. Its difficult to photograph. The main benefit is that its a big space-saver.

FrostyNYC 01-18-2008 06:50 PM

Well, I was warned not to aquascape with Najas/Guppy Grass. I have learned my lesson. Also, disappointingly, quite a lot of my Najas melted away. I attribute this to 1. being manhandled at the petstore, as each stem is incredibly fragile, and 2. the insane heat in this apartment. The water temperature in this tank goes up to 86 degrees every day since they turned the heat on, and one morning the tank was 92 degrees. That anything survives in this tank is a miracle. Heck, that *I* can survive in this sweltering apartment is a miracle. And no, I can't leave my windows open, as I'm on the ground floor and I would be robbed. And no, the tank doesn't have a heater as I definitely don't need one.

Fortunately, I'm moving to a new place soon where I'll have my own thermostat for the heat and hopefully the tank will be able to hover around a normal 75+-.

Anyways, here's the half-melted Guppy Grass mess, which completedly spread out all over my tank... On the plus side, the grass put out a ton of roots, and between all the stems, I probably have 50 new leaves in the last week (seriously)... So I have hope that now that it's done melting and has roots, the growth will be good. This stuff is supposed to be indestructible.

mikeb210 01-19-2008 04:13 AM

No the hex definitely sucks. I'm just glad to see other people trying to make it work.

FrostyNYC 01-26-2008 08:31 PM

Well, I assume that today is the last day that my amanos will be eating algae. While feeding my fish, both amano shrimp swam to the surface and stole flake food. And in case you're wondering, they grabbed red "meat" flakes, dropped them, and went back for the green "spirulina" flakes. So they definitely have a preference.

Oh well!

On another note, I ended up letting the Najas grass float. I got two new runners on my Vallisneria, with two new baby plants so far, which I'm pleased about. Since every runner produces about five new plants in my experience, I really do appreciate every bud. It's funny how Vals are the only thing I have grown with 100% success so far. I can't wait to get a tank with more floor area and higher light to try new things.

Oh, and I found a pond snail in my tank today. Just one. I do really want to try some red ramshorns. Some really nice, really crystalline red ones. If anyone has some, or knows where to get really great ones, please do let me know.

mikeb210 01-26-2008 10:06 PM

The vals will grow like mad and eventually take over. Thats what mine did under the CF light that I was using. That single pond snail will turn into a nation of snails if you let it. I started with one too and now I have +100. Aquabid has several auctions for red ramshorns in case you haven't looked there yet. Good luck!

FrostyNYC 01-26-2008 11:04 PM

I checked aquabid. There's only a couple people selling them, and none look nearly as nice as some of the pics I've seen on here and other websites. I'll keep looking.

And regarding the pond snail, I've only seen one so far, so I'm hoping its the only one. I guess I should have smashed it (uhhh I mean humanely euthanized), cause it's no where to be found now.

neilfishguy 01-26-2008 11:10 PM

One can reproduce by itself

mikeb210 01-27-2008 01:46 AM

One can definitely reproduce by itself. I started with one small hitchhiker on some plants from the LFS and I tossed it in my 5 gallon as opposed to "humanely euthanizing" it. Now about 3 months later, that one turned into around 100 and the biggest one is about the size of a quarter. If you don't want them, get rid of that one asap. Mine started laying eggs after about a week.

mikeb210 02-06-2008 03:44 AM

How's the tank looking?

FrostyNYC 02-06-2008 11:16 PM

The tank took a beating when I moved to a new apartment closer to my office. I thought I could just lower the water level halfway, but that resulted in swaying waves in the tank during the car ride to the new place. The driftwood dislodged from the substrate and started smacking against the sides of the tank, but as I was the only person in the car, there wasnt much I could do except try to drive a little slower...

All the fish and the two shrimp made it, though one very large MTS was crushed. The big ones are green inside, if anyone was curious.

I was seeing good growth before the move, so I'm a little disenheartened right now. Everything is back how it was, for the most part. Vals are growing, and most of the Guppy Grass ended up in the trash.

But now I can begin my plans for a new tank, now that I've got my new place. Something that's not an eclipse and not a hex and not acrylic. :) I've already decided to convert this tank to a shrimp tank once I have my next one set up.

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