ThisIsMyName's Aqueon Evolve 8 (text and pic heavy)
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Old 03-19-2013, 04:38 AM   #1
ThisIsMyName
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ThisIsMyName's Aqueon Evolve 8 (text and pic heavy)


Tank: Aqueon Evolve 8
Lighting: stock (around 10 hours daily, too much?)
Filter: stock
Heater: 50W, Aqueon Submersible (set around 74 degrees)
Substrate: Eco-Complete
Plants: 4 Narrow Leaf Java Fern
3 Windelov Java Fern
3 Crypts
4 small Marimo
Hardscape: Mopani wood
Livestock: 4 Neon Tetra
2 Platy

I've only ever kept betta bowls growing up, but as I learned this wasn't really the best environment for my betta, Tully (named after House Tully from Game of Thrones, as he was red and blue), I decided to buy him an Aqueon Evolve 8. However, before I even got to move Tully into the tank, he died.

I then decided to add 4 Neon Tetras and 2 Platies, at the suggestion of the woman at my LFS. At this point I knew very, very little about tanks, and just threw these fish in with a heater, rocks, fake plants, and a little red bridge from Petsmart. The tank ran this way for maybe a month or two during which time I only topped off the water, ran the lights haphazardly, and slowly watched some sort of brown algae develop.

I began researching proper planted aquariums and was a little shocked that all my fish seemed rather healthy.

February 23 I removed the fish, added Eco-Complete, Mopani driftwood (that I boiled for hours and hours before hand), and Narrow Leaf Java Fern, Windelov Java Fern, and some Crypts (all from the little tube things at Petsmart).

My tank had already cycled without me knowing it. After the above changes the tank and fish adjusted well. I haven't lost a single fish and they all have noticeably grown and seem to really enjoy the new environment.

Currently I am doing weekly water changes and have had the stock lighting on for around 10 hours (due to the reappearance of the brown algae, I plan on cutting the lights down by a couple of hours).

I am really new at planted tanks, or any aquarium larger than a betta bowl, really. I need all the help I can get. This is my first Tank Journal; I hope both I and others can learn from it. Thanks so much.
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Old 03-19-2013, 05:12 AM   #2
Conrad283
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Sounds like a good start. How about some pictures?
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Old 03-19-2013, 05:15 AM   #3
ThisIsMyName
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Agh! I'm trying...technology and I are not the best of friends! Sorry!
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Old 03-19-2013, 05:22 AM   #4
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These were all taken on February 23, 2013.
(More up to date shots to follow soon.)


Hardscape


Plants added


View from above


Driftwood looks like some sort of weird animal, sorta


Fish added (I know I should've waited a bit, but I didn't have anywhere else to put them)





Sorry the quality isn't great and the water is a bit murky.
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Old 03-19-2013, 08:22 PM   #5
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Current photos of the tank (taken March 19, 2013).

The mopani wood is still leeching rather heavily, these photos were taken the day after a water change.




Java fern babies!!!




New growth on Widelov java fern!



There is some white mold (?) growing on the mopani. The platies are eating this and the brown algae growing elsewhere in the tank.




There is brown algae growing on the leaves of most of the plants and rather heavily in the pump chamber. This algae started before I planted the tank and I thought I removed all of it before I planted it, that doesn't seem to be the case.


Overall...the brown algae is really annoying, the java fern and windelov are showing new growth plus babies, the crypt looks a bit yellowy but it has grown taller and I've only had to trim off one or two dead leaves.

I've been considering starting a 20 gallon long as a community tank and moving the platies and tetras over there. I want to add a few more neon tetras to that tank so that my current four have more friends to school with. I haven't decided on all the specifics of that tank yet, it will be low/med light plants with maybe DIY CO2 at some point.

As for the Evolve, I would like to modify the filter chamber like HunterX did here on TPT, maybe replant the crypt in the 20L, add some moss, rescape a bit, and add RCS.
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Old 03-19-2013, 08:28 PM   #6
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nice wee tank!
oticinclus take care of brown algae aka diatoms
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Old 03-28-2013, 02:08 AM   #7
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Thanks Conrad283 and plecostomouse for the interest!

Some minor updates (pictures from March 24, 2013).

I rescaped the tank a bit...moved the Narrow Leaf and Windelov Java Ferns to the left side of the tank, added an Amazon Sword and a sickly little Crypt to the right side, and removed two of the Marimo.


I also removed the ugly rubber bands that held the Java Ferns in place and replaced them with fishing line. In doing so I noticed tons of new growth and lots and lots of baby Java Ferns! Sadly, I couldn't get my camera to focus very well on the plantlets...there are 15 or so per plant at different stages, with some just wee little buds and others with leaves around 2 inches long and rather long roots.
Some of the new growth can be seen below.


I'm hoping to modify the filter chamber soon, plant something in the foreground (maybe some sort of moss carpet...any suggestions?), and eventually add RCS.

Last edited by ThisIsMyName; 03-28-2013 at 02:18 AM.. Reason: correction
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Old 03-28-2013, 02:18 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThisIsMyName View Post
Thanks Conrad283 and plecostomouse for the interest!

Some minor updates (pictures from March 24, 2013).

I rescaped the tank a bit...moved the Narrow Leaf and Windelov Java Ferns to the left side of the tank, added an Amazon Sword and a sickly little Crypt to the right side, and removed two of the Marimo.


I also removed the ugly rubber bands that held the Java Ferns in place and replaced them with fishing line. In doing so I noticed tons of new growth and lots and lots of baby Java Ferns! Sadly, I couldn't get my camera to focus very well on the plantlets...there are 15 or so per plant at different stages, with some just wee little buds and others with leaves around 2 inches long and rather long roots.
Some of the new growth can be seen below.


I'm hoping to modify the filter chamber soon, plant something in the foreground (maybe some sort of moss carpet...any suggestions?), and eventually add CRS.
Your tank looks beautiful! I think a moss carpet would look super nice up front

Can't wait to see what filter mods you do!
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Old 03-28-2013, 02:46 AM   #9
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Your tank looks great!
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Old 04-04-2013, 05:27 AM   #10
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On March 31, 2013 I removed all of my livestock to a 20 gallon long I'm setting up and finally modded my tank!

Though I really like the Aqueon Evolve, I wasn't satisfied with the filtration. If you are unfamiliar with the Evolve, it has a large, main chamber for livestock and plants, ect. and in the back are two connected chambers for the filter and pump. The stock filter is just a single slide in pad that the water is pulled through into the pump chamber then pushed back out into the main chamber. However, the water and any loose particles pass mostly through the top of the filter only and when it's time to replace the filter all the bacteria you've grown go out with it. Several weeks ago, in preparation for my modifications, I stuffed a couple of bio-bags into the filter chamber along with the old filter to start growing bacteria.

I used HunterX's modification plans as the basis for my own. His tank journal (http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...d.php?t=195022) describes the modifications he made.

Anyway...on March 31st I removed the livestock, pumped out most of the water, and removed everything from the back filter/pump chambers. Then I drilled holes into the bottom of the filter chamber, which sits above part of the pump chamber.
(Below is a shot of the filter chamber before any modifications.)


(Holes drilled, I may have added a few more after I took this picture.)


After drilling the holes, I super glued a piece of plastic over the small opening between the filter chamber and pump chamber. This will force the water down through the filter media and the new holes in the bottom of the chamber instead of just through the top of the chamber.
(I used a piece of Five Star plastic notebook cover and water proof super glue.)


Then I layered my filter media, put the pump and heater back in, and filled with water. However, I noticed that while the water flow was normal, nothing was being sucked into the filter. I drained the water a bit again and rearranged the filter media. Now the media is all layered within the filter chamber with two bio-bags in the bottom, a small bag of carbon/ammonia remover, and finally an Aqua Clear 70 sponge cut to fit. This seems to have fixed the suction problem, I guess I just had too much media stuffed in the chamber (there were multiple sponges at first). I also wrapped a bit of sponge around the pump since it can be pretty loud if it happens to bump against the chamber wall.

(Filter chamber)


(Before I refilled the tank)



Since I want to add shrimp to this tank, I need to block the filter intake. Would the AquaClear sponge be enough or should I add stainless steel mesh?

Sorry I didn't get very many pictures of the modification process or of the different chambers. If anything I've said is unclear let me know.

Last edited by ThisIsMyName; 04-05-2013 at 12:17 AM.. Reason: Date correction (I haven't been to the future)
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Old 04-04-2013, 06:40 AM   #11
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What were the Powerball numbers for March 31st, 3013? Whos president?
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Old 04-05-2013, 12:19 AM   #12
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Oh, wow! Thanks for catching that mistake, hunterlook! Sadly, I haven't been to the future so I can't answer those questions for you. As soon as I find a Tardis or a DeLorean I'll let you know!
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