d2mini's 4g Planted Betta Tank
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Old 02-01-2013, 03:14 AM   #1
d2mini
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d2mini's 4g Planted Betta Tank


This is my FIRST EVER planted freshwater tank, so this is not only going to be a journal of my build/progress but I also need it to be part tutorial as well with lots of helpful comments from the peanut gallery. Feel free to make suggestions along the way. I'd rather be corrected early on than end up with a complete failure later. So without further ado...

THE TANK:
My other tank is a 180g Saltwater tank with fish room, lots of tech, etc that can be seen here:
http://www.aquaticlog.com/aquariums/d2mini/1

But for this tank I decided to go ultra simple for now. So I chose an all-in-one... the Cad Lights 4g Freshwater tank. Has it's own filter system and integrated LED light system with around 150 PAR, so they say.




Looking down into the filter area.



Filter items in place. Sponge, then bio material, then return pump section (hoping to fit a heater here).



The original design of this tank was a removable filter area where everything was plastic, but as you can see it's glass baffles and it's all siliconed.



And now the fun part:

I stopped by ADG, got to meet Frank, and picked up some Amazonia soil and some rocks. This is my first attempt at planted tank aquascaping so fire away. I like odd numbers and asymmetry so that's kind of what I was going for. Even though the big rock is basically in the middle, the shape/height is weighted more to the left. I also sloped the substrate up towards the back to try and achieve some depth. The usable space in the tank is really only about 9.5" wide by 7" deep by 9.5" high so not much space to work with!









Fish:
And here is the handsome young stud who will be moving in, once he makes the long journey from Thailand.




That's it for now. I wanted to get some feedback before filling it with water. I'm pretty happy with where it is but open to suggestions, especially if there is anything that will cause a problem down the road. The substrate is 1.5" deep in front and just about 3.5" deep at the very back. Is that ok?

For plants, I was hoping the tank is shallow enough that I could do some ground cover with riccia and dwarf baby tears. Scale is an issue in such a small tank so I'm looking for something pretty small. Then I'm gong to need some taller plants. Something floating, too.


Thanks for looking!

Last edited by d2mini; 02-01-2013 at 02:16 PM.. Reason: fixed pics
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Old 02-01-2013, 03:57 AM   #2
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That's a beautiful Betta. I hope he arrives safely.
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Old 02-01-2013, 04:42 AM   #3
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Nice start. Choose plants that are easy. Marsilea is quite easy for me. Riccia, glosso, hc or hm would be good. For low light, marsilea, liliaeopsis and crypt parva. Just make a selection of plants and arrange it that pleases you.
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Old 02-01-2013, 04:58 AM   #4
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Nice start! That's an amazing reef tank you have! As far as the stones, I would say they look really good, but with some adjustment they could look really great! You might try sloping the substrate from the sides towards the main stone; and moving the left stone a little farther back.

That's a beautiful betta! Make sure the flow isn't too strong for him! I have a tank that the filtration is set up similar to this, if I have the flower too high, my betta gets stuck to the filter inlet.
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Old 02-01-2013, 11:36 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by orchidman View Post
Nice start!
As far as the stones, I would say they look really good, but with some adjustment they could look really great! You might try sloping the substrate from the sides towards the main stone
Agree with Orchidman on the stones and maybe you should tweek the composition a little bit. I like that you have an odd numbered grouping of 3 which adds interest. And they are really lovely stones

I'm afraid I can't chime in on the plant selection as I am not very experienced yet in that area...
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Old 02-01-2013, 12:36 PM   #6
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Thanks for the great comments!

Here it is slightly tweaked. For some reason (must be the focal length of the camera) the slope looks LESS drastic than it does in person, but that suggestion made a huge difference. I also moved the stone a bit. What do you think now???









Last edited by d2mini; 02-01-2013 at 02:17 PM.. Reason: fixed pic
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Old 02-01-2013, 02:20 PM   #7
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Screwed up some of the pics earlier... fixed.
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Old 02-01-2013, 04:38 PM   #8
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It's coming together! I love the placement of the main stone! I would adjust the secondary stones a but so they mirror the angles created by the main stone (see attached pic)

For plants, if you want to have a godo HC carpet, it would be best to have some kind of CO2. and looking at your OP, 150 PAR is a lot of par. Is that level at the light or at the substrate? Your going to end up with an algae farm if it's that much at the substrate, and you don't have co2.

Okay for these pics, I just threw some stuff together in paint to illustrate the angles. See how the main stone created those movements and angles? You want to have the other stones go along with that "flow"

For plants, if you have co2, you could do HC, Riccia, and a little bit of DHG behind the stones. Like you mentioned, the betta would appreciate some floater's I'd recommend frogbit.
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Old 02-01-2013, 04:49 PM   #9
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Thanks for the sketches! I'll see what I can do with the other two rocks, based on their shape.

They say the par is about 136 at 6" below the light, so no... definitely not 150 at the substrate. But the substrate is probably only 10-12" from the light. For now I'm going to keep it low tech and dose Seachem Flourish Excel.
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Old 02-01-2013, 04:52 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by d2mini View Post
Thanks for the sketches! I'll see what I can do with the other two rocks, based on their shape.

They say the par is about 136 at 6" below the light, so no... definitely not 150 at the substrate. But the substrate is probably only 10-12" from the light. For now I'm going to keep it low tech and dose Seachem Flourish Excel.
You're welcome! The sketches were just to illustrate the angles I was talking about, you are obviously welcome to arrange the stones in any way that you like! The light might still be a little high to only dose Excel, I can't say from personal experience though. You might want to do some research on that point.
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Old 02-02-2013, 02:00 AM   #11
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Ok, I think my hardscaping is complete.
Thanks so much for the suggestions!

Here's what it looks like now...







Tomorrow I'm going to start getting some plants and get the tank wet. I found a local source for riccia and hc so I'll start there.
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Old 02-02-2013, 02:19 AM   #12
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Default d2mini's 4g Planted Betta Tank

Looks great!!!
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Old 02-02-2013, 02:41 AM   #13
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Great potential, really liking the center stone. Now plant that sucker!!
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Old 02-02-2013, 04:24 AM   #14
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Nice hardscape!
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Old 02-02-2013, 03:32 PM   #15
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What a lovely setup.

I've always been reluctant to try those little CAD tanks but you're tempting me.

Really looking forward to watching this tank grow and develop.
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