I moved out for college, and the apartment I'm staying at could use a lil' more life.
So, I decided to set up an aquarium to give myself something to do when I'm not studying other than play games.
Since my room's upstairs and it's not too big, I decided to stick with something small.
The 60-F really caught my eye. It's less than 10 gallons, but its dimensions give it a much larger appearance.
Whenever I share my pictures with a friend or family member, they think I have a 30 or 50 gallon tank.
I must say, water changes on 8.6 gallons sure are a breeze!
Anyway, I started the whole project late August. However, I kept the updates to myself.
I did this because I've seen threads where people post up their ambitious ideas, yet don't update regularly. It leaves me so anxious!
I didn't want to be a hypocrite and do the same to you all, so I've waited 3 months to finally post this journal.
Hurray! No waiting for updates!
Tank: ADA 60-F (approximately 8.6 gallons)
Light: 150W Metal Halide
CO2: Injected (5 lb.)
Fertilizers: Rootmedic RootCaps, Macro, & Micro Liquid Solution
Filter: Eheim 2215
- Coralife 9W UV Sterilizer, only on at night.
- Hydor ETH
- Hemianthus callitrichoide (dwarf baby tears)
- Taxiphyllum incendia-stipes (flame moss)
- Paracheirodon simulans (green neon tetras)
- Caridina multidentata (amano shrimps)
- Otocinclus macrospilus (otos)
"WHAT?! NO DRY-START METHOD?! 150W METAL HALIDE OVER 8.5 GALLONS?! ALGAE FARM!!!"
Yes, I know I'm not following the norm around here.
But, before you get out your pitch-forks and torches, please remember that the "watts per gallon" rule is practically obsolete now-a-days.
If anything, this journal will prove to you that the submersed growth can be just as effective as immersed growth, if not more effective.
In fact, I think I achieved faster results by jumping into submersed growth.
With the dry-start method, plants could only absorb as much CO2 you let in whenever you open the saran wrap.
Yes, that's enough for growth... but, with the submersed method I could really crank up the CO2 and dose fertilizers as needed.
I planted the HC 09.24.2010, and as of 12.04.2010 (2 months & 10 days)... I think I've achieved a very thick, dense HC carpet that is to my liking.
A similar carpet via dry-start method probably
would've taken longer.
Now, onto the photos... I'd like to apologize in advance for the photos.
I took the photos and video with my Canon EOS 7D, and I uploaded them to Photobucket.
For some reason the photos are ENORMOUS. But, if your forum settings are set to automatically resize the photos, then you're good to go.
If not, I'd recommend changing your settings... sorry!
How it stood as of 08.31.2010.
Slowly collecting all the glassware and other necessities...
Picked up a used "FishNeedIt" 150W Metal Halide.
Got it hanging from a DIY bent conduit light stand. $2/10ft.
Seiryu Stones I picked up from a member on TPT. Thanks!
AquaSoil Amazonia I, Power Sand Special S, Nile Sand, and a fresh 8000K 150W Metal Halide "Green" bulb by ADA.
I finally set up my hardscape as of 09.03.2010.
Going for a "valley" look.
Picked up some dimmable LED lights from Home Depot and bolted it to the back of my stand.
My intentions are to set it on a timer to mimic dawn and dusk.
Hopefully this way the inhabitants aren't spooked too much when the lights are suddenly shut on/off.
This is how it looks when the lights in my room are on.
With my lights off, all you can see is the silhouette.
Well, I finally got it planted and filled! Photo taken 09.24.2010.
I'm doing a fishless cycle, this way I can crank up the CO2 without gassing the inhabitants.
I'm also dosing some of Seachem's "Stability" to get my beneficial bacteria going.
To add to that, the ADA Power Sand Special also has Bacter 100 & Clear Super.
I guess I went a lil' overboard, but it certainly sped up my cycling time... It wasn't instant like taking water and filter media from an establish tank, though.
Photo taken 10.13.2010.
I'm battling the algae and cranking up the CO2. (Yellow dropchecker, lol)
Still no fauna, so no risk of gassing the inhabitants.
10.15.2010. (2 days later) Slight improvement. Added some flame moss.
My mess behind/under the scenes to keep my lil' ecosystem thriving.
My $3 tool rack.
Eheim 2215. I know, I know. "That filter's overkill for ~8.5 gallons!"
Yeah, well... I took it off an old 46 gallon from my parents' place. So it was free.
As for overkill... it's keeping my water pretty darn clean.
I'm also running a Coralife 9W Turbo Twist UV Sterilizer.
The UV's on a timer with my lunar lights. So, it doesn't denature any of my fertilizers that I dose in the morning.
Also running a Hydor ETH. Best heater I've ever used.
5 lb. CO2 tank with a "Nature Beast" CO2 Regulator along with my water conditioners & additives.
Yes, when I took this picture, I needed to refill my CO2. Don't worry, it's full now.
Drilled holes through my stand for my dirty filter pipes.
Drilled another hole through the stand for my CO2 tubing.
I better not have algae growth in my bubble counter... if I did, I'd quit the hobby.
How it stands as of 10.23.2010.
The water has been completely cycled and I've added 5 Amanos & 2 Otos.
The HC seems to be growing well!
Just a warning ahead of time... I'm obsessed with pearling pictures.
The Amanos are a great clean-up crew!
My otos behave very strangely...
My Amanos love screwing up the substrate line between my Amazonia & Nile Sand. I have to use my tweezers to pick each grain back to its proper location.
Once the HC completely covers the Amazonia, that won't be a problem.
Two Amanos crossing the horizon.
How it stands as of 10.30.2010. Still a bit of AquaSoil to cover in the front and the bottom left.
The Amanos are molting!
For about a week or less, my Amanos were displaying very peculiar behavior.
They would climb on the CO2 tubing and just claw at the surface of the water... all day!
After a few days, they just stopped. I wonder why they did that. Were they eating the biofilm?
After a long day of pearling.
Finally added some fish to the picture. 15x Green Neon Tetras.
Fish were added 11.04.2010. Photos were taken 11.07.2010.
11.25.2010. Only 14x Green Neon Tetras. No corpse found. Probably in the bellies of the Amanos. RIP
Grooming the flame moss. Whoops! Looks like some of my HC trimmings got stuck in the moss.
How it stands as of 12.04.2010.
The HC carpet has grown in some more. The Amanos can't mess up my substrate, now.
I'm very satisfied with the HC carpet.
"What's the temperature in here?"
My lunar light setup.
Finally, what you probably clicked the thread for in the first place... my video!
Unfortunately, TPT doesn't allow embedding of YouTube videos into posts so...
Please click the following link:
FlSHRFun's ADA 60-F Iwagumi Video (HD! Up to 1080p!)
Remember, this video goes all the way up to 1080p!
Hope you all enjoy!