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Old 03-22-2013, 02:02 PM   #1
DefStatic
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DefStatic's Office Evolve 4 - Home to Blue Phoenix


So I thought I would start a tank journal thread, since I never have. There is not a lot to say when building a nano right? LOL.

Inhabitant -
Fish: Halfmoon Doubletail Male (Blue Phoenix)

Equipment -
Tank: Aqueon Evolve 4
Light: Finnex Fugeray-R
Filter: Built in, with an added Fluval Sponge at the intake
Pump: Modified with an adjustable valve
Substrate: Petco Black Sand, about 3/4 a 5lb bag, with root tabs
Heater: Aqueon 50w adjustable
Also: CoralLife Digital Thermometer

Plants:
Amazon Sword
Asian Water Fern
Also: Zebra Stripe Rock

More posts to follow...
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Old 03-22-2013, 02:31 PM   #2
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I will start with a picture of my pump...



I learned from another location, from someone who supposedly helped design the Evolve series, that the pumps for the Evolve 4 and 8 are rated at 100 GPH. WAY too much for most fish IMO in a 4 gallon tank, let alone a Betta. From another user, on here I believe, I learned that at it's lowest setting, it is still putting out 55 GPH.

I researched some methods that others used to reduce the flow. I liked them, but I wanted something a little different. Also, I wanted to be able to fine tune the flow and easily.

So I went to Home Depot and put this together. The original tube was I believe 1" ID. Or something close. Either way, what I purchased was 3/8" OD x 1/4" ID Tubing, which fit right inside and snugly to the tubing that came with the pump. I also purchased a Quick-Connect Lead Free 3/8" OD Straight Valve.

I measured the length of the original setup, and matched the best I could with the new setup, which really wasn't that hard. I used the old tubing as a kind of flange or connector for the smaller tubing that is connected to the valve.

Right now, I have the valve turned a quarter closed. I feel that between this and the slightly smaller size of the tubing, I should have reduced the flow appropriately.

However, it does still seem a little fast for my Betta. He does ok in the current, where there is current. But I still find him resting near the filter intake.

So I also added a Fluval Sponge at the filter intake, hoping that would reduce the flow a little as well, and it really did nothing.

I am also open to better filtration ideas as well. I just have not had a chance to look into these.

I will reduce the flow even more once the tank has fully cycled. I do not want to reduce the flow anymore right now while the tank truly cycles.
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Old 03-22-2013, 02:33 PM   #3
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Nice work on the pump adjustment.

My suggestion would be to revamp the sump compartment to convert into a huge bio filter using a Hamburger Mattenfilter. the volume of water and the course sponge should act as a baffle to prevent fry and shrimp from getting stuck and also use the surface area to host beneficial bacteria.
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Old 03-22-2013, 02:37 PM   #4
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I wish I had more pics to go through kind of a step by step process LOL. However, it is an Evolve 4, nano, pretty straight forward tank.





I am open to suggestions. I do not know if I would like to do a carpet in the front left, infront of the rock. Or maybe some moss. Or maybe leave it alone.
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Old 03-22-2013, 02:39 PM   #5
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Some pics of Blue Phoenix...



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Old 03-22-2013, 02:40 PM   #6
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if you were open to something modular, i'd suggest moss on stainless steel pads. these would be movable and would offer a low growing carpet of sorts
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Old 03-22-2013, 02:42 PM   #7
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I wanted to get rid of the Asian Water Fern after reading about it, but I really like the look. But the even more important reason not to get rid of it, Blue Phoenix seems to have taken a liking to resting underneath them.

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Old 03-22-2013, 04:02 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by acitydweller View Post
if you were open to something modular, i'd suggest moss on stainless steel pads. these would be movable and would offer a low growing carpet of sorts
I am certainly open to moss. There are a few out there that really interest me. I think doing any other kind of carpet would be tough, and I would fear it would get out of control fast.

Plus, while my light is better than the stock light, at the bottom of the tank I think it is still on the high low side. Also, I am not doing CO2 yet. I have a plastic diffuser that I was thinking of using in conjuntion with a DIY type style. I got it and a glass set on the cheap here. If I can get by without CO2 I will.

I have not started using any liquid fert yet either. Not sure if I should yet.
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Old 03-25-2013, 12:56 PM   #9
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He survived the weekend on his own. Looks like I only lost half an inch in water. Temp is still right at 81 even. Timer appears to be working fine.

I will confess. I drove 30 miles to work to check on him Saturday LOL.

Water params seem ok. Right now I only have the 6-in-1 test strips.

PH: 6.8.
KH: 40
GH: 25
Chlorine: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: Well, this one finally started to change from white to a VERY VERY VERY slight pink to it.

I hope to get the API test kit next week.

There was a slight cloudiness still on Friday, which seems to have almost all gone away today.
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Old 03-25-2013, 04:06 PM   #10
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I have made a slight adjustment to the added valve. I turned it another hair, maybe 1/3 closed now.

I do not dare turn it any further, as I do not want to stress the pump.
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Old 03-25-2013, 08:18 PM   #11
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nice betta!
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Old 03-26-2013, 01:00 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andrewss View Post
nice betta!
Thanks, he seems quite happy. I have never seen a Betta so active.
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Old 03-26-2013, 02:11 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DefStatic View Post
I hope to get the API test kit next week.
Just ordered mine on amazon along with the gh / kh test kit

both combined under 26$ not a bad deal considering the master test kit alone at my lfs is 29.99

it seems that the 4 gallon is an ideal betta habitat and will be watching your thread and progress closely
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Old 03-27-2013, 05:23 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hambone870 View Post
Just ordered mine on amazon along with the gh / kh test kit

both combined under 26$ not a bad deal considering the master test kit alone at my lfs is 29.99

it seems that the 4 gallon is an ideal betta habitat and will be watching your thread and progress closely
Thanks, and I agree. Even if you do not change the filter setup, I think it is fine. That is the next thing I am going to look into.

I am switching to only 20% water changed once a week now, instead of daily. The water params based on my test strips is not changing at all. The cloudiness is gone. I doubt there is any way I have had a complete cycle, but at this point I think daily 20% water changes is delaying in further cycling.

I think the 2gal Evolve (which actually, the number for the Evolve is not the gallon size from what I can tell, just their model number which happens to usually be close to the gallon size) is too small, although still better than how many people keep their Bettas. The Evolve 4 I got was on clearance for the same price as the 2.

After I get my 29gal setup someday, I might see if my office will allow me to have a second Evolve 4. They approved me to have a max 10gal tank, so why not two 4's? LOL
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Old 03-27-2013, 05:48 PM   #15
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I just wanted to post a new pic from this week.

IDK if I posted a pic of what it looked like when first setup, if not I will. I cycled with no fish for a week, obviously this would not do much but verify the tank is setup and working.

1st Week Setup/No Fish


2nd Week Setup/1st Week Fish


3rd Week Setup/2nd Week With Fish:


You should be able to clearly see the cloudiness is 99% gone. This is also with no water changes since early Monday.

Last edited by DefStatic; 03-27-2013 at 05:59 PM.. Reason: Added Pics
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