AquaStudent's First Tank - Plans for an Upgrade (New Video Update)
Planted Tank Forums
Your Tanks Image Hosting *Tank Tracker * Plant Profiles Fish Profiles Planted Tank Guide Photo Gallery Articles

Go Back   The Planted Tank Forum > General Planted Tank Forums > Tank Journals


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 01-05-2011, 03:58 AM   #1
AquaStudent
Wannabe Guru
 
AquaStudent's Avatar
 
PTrader: (10/100%)
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Albany, NY
Posts: 1,234
Arrow

AquaStudent's First Tank - Plans for an Upgrade (New Video Update)


~~Most Recent Update Video~~


Relatively Recent FTS


The original thread...
I am starting my own 10 gallon (Low-Tech) tank (My Dad had a 30 gallon when I was little). I'm a bit overwhelmed at the depth of this hobby but very excited. I admit that I didn't start off with much of a plan. The only idea I had in my head when I went to PetCo last December was that I want a Betta (possibly a community aquarium) in a tank somewhere between 5-10 gallons (so it can fit in my dorm and I'll be able to transport it in my Ford Explorer).

I came home that day with a package deal from PetCo (the local pet store was significantly more expensive) on a 10 gallon tank (heater, decent lighting, filter) all included. After a few weeks I got a bit more ambitious and added some live plants an Amazon Sword (echinodorus bleheri) and a Marimo Ball (suggested by a PetCo employee). I was a bit skeptical of the Marimo Ball at first but I definitely think it was a good buy. It's an interesting piece of aquatic life that's for sure. I also started off with a simple decoration ("Greek" ruins).




I didn't save any of my pictures of the overall view of the tank (stupid me ).

My stock at this time included 3 Zebra danios. They were very energetic and would play tag with each other. They are very entertaining fish to watch.

About a week later I added another inhabitant to the tank, a male Delta Tail Betta. This guy caught my eye at my local PetCo (the local store doesn't treat their fish very well). I am actually quite please with the way PetCo treats the Bettas. They are housed in the "largest" mass produced containers I have seen for a betta. They also didn't stack them at all and had a large variety. All the bettas seemed alert and energetic (I had looked at them a couple of times, even between shipments the fish looked good). Anyway this guy caught my eye. He is blue with a very distinctive marble pattern. I have also only had the veil tail variety (when I was about 10 years old I had one in a 1 gallon bowl...what was I thinking?).





My tank had developed quite a bit of Diatom buildup, especially on the columns, Amazon Sword, and Marimo ball. Eventually I increased my stock to include a Chinese Algae Eater, two more Zebra Danios, and a Bamboo Shrimp.

The story behind the bamboo shrimp is funny because I asked for a ghost shrimp but the lady at PetCo gave me one of the bamboo guys. I didn't complain

A few days ago I increased the plantlife in my aquarium by adding a Micro Sword, Crypts, Java Moss (attached to the columns via fishing line) and a plant that I can't remember the name (it sits in front of the columns if anybody can identify it that would be GREAT!). I am however very worried because I didn't originally plan on having multiple live plants. I didn't purchase high end gravel, in fact I purchased the cheapest gravel possible (PetCo brand in black). I'm worried that the gravel is too large for individual plants. This is why I refuse to remove the plant from the wool it was purchased in. :/

Anyway here are some photos current as of January 4th, 2011.







My betta, named "Pax," is really attached to the Crypts. I hope they make it I've read so many horror stories about them.

Please post with any comments, questions, or concerns. I could use some criticism. Once I get settled at school I was considering changing my substrate, adding in a layer of topsoil beneath the gravel. I have no experience or knowledge of dirted tanks so any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!

Last edited by AquaStudent; 10-01-2012 at 01:01 PM.. Reason: Updating
AquaStudent is online now   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 01-05-2011, 07:25 AM   #2
sewingalot
I ♥ BBA!
 
sewingalot's Avatar
 
PTrader: (112/100%)
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: WV
Posts: 12,768
Default

My suggestion is to remove the rockwool and pots from those plants.
__________________
Without Algae, death of mankind would be inevitable.
sewingalot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2011, 10:06 AM   #3
Cottagewitch
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
Cottagewitch's Avatar
 
PTrader: (5/100%)
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: FL
Posts: 670
Default

What a beautiful Betta!
__________________
"Aquarists are a brave lot. We mix water and electricity every day."
Cottagewitch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2011, 10:56 AM   #4
GMYukonon24s
Planted Tank Guru
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: May 2009
Location: MICHIGAN
Posts: 3,123
Default

I totally agree with sewingalot. When I got my 10g awhile back it came as a package deal and I ended up switching out the bulbs because they were incandscent and I bought 2 bulbs from walmart that fit perfect in the fixture.
GMYukonon24s is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2011, 01:02 PM   #5
kevmo911
Planted Tank Guru
 
kevmo911's Avatar
 
PTrader: (32/100%)
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Greensboro, NC
Posts: 3,895
Default

If those bulbs are long and thin incandescents, they won't be enough to keep your plants healthy. I agree with GMYukon, switch them out with cheap spiral CFL's.
kevmo911 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2011, 02:20 PM   #6
AquaStudent
Wannabe Guru
 
AquaStudent's Avatar
 
PTrader: (10/100%)
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Albany, NY
Posts: 1,234
Default

The bulb is a 15watt 8000k Fluorescent daytime bulb. That was one of the first things I checked.

I'm also hesitant to remove the plants from the wool because I have very large and generic gravel. I don't know how well the plants will hold up in them. I was going to keep them in the wool until I get settled up to school. I was thinking of upgrading to a 2 layer substrate with Dirt (Topsoil of some sort) on the bottom with the large gravel on top. Does anybody have any experience with this sort of setup?
AquaStudent is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2011, 02:21 PM   #7
AquaStudent
Wannabe Guru
 
AquaStudent's Avatar
 
PTrader: (10/100%)
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Albany, NY
Posts: 1,234
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cottagewitch View Post
What a beautiful Betta!
Thank you! Pax also says "Thanks"
AquaStudent is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2011, 02:47 PM   #8
Hilde
Planted Tank Guru
 
Hilde's Avatar
 
PTrader: (1/100%)
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Mableton, GA
Posts: 4,551
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by AquaStudent View Post
I was thinking of upgrading to a 2 layer substrate with Dirt (Topsoil of some sort) on the bottom with the large gravel on top. Does anybody have any experience with this sort of setup?
Check at the El Natural section in APC forum. I have tanks set up with dirt for I liked the idea that many only change water 1x a year and don't dose ferts. My water is excessively treated thus have to change 1/3 monthly. Couldn't find the 3ml gravel needed to keep the dirt down so used play sand. Then tried pool filter sand (PFS) and then river sand. I like the river sand the best. It is brown and doesn't get dirty. I found it at a landscaping co. a 50lb bag for $3. I used Scotts top soil. It has a lot of mulch in it that needs to sifted out. Read someone got some dirt with very little mulch at True Value hardware store.

The Amazon plants tend to outgrow even a 30 gallon tank. The micro sword needs iron sulfate via API root tabs. I don't think it will stay in the big rocks without the cotton. Usually people take it out and spread it out.

The Chinese Algae Eater will get to big for the 10 gallon. Keep an eye out for aggressiveness. Some start sucking on other fish so me go after the Betta one day. Even actually to big for 30 which I have 2 in.

When you get ready to upgrade look for a 20 G L at craigslist. They look like a size that is easy to move.
Hilde is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2011, 02:54 PM   #9
AquaStudent
Wannabe Guru
 
AquaStudent's Avatar
 
PTrader: (10/100%)
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Albany, NY
Posts: 1,234
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hilde View Post
Check at the El Natural section in APC forum. I have tanks set up with dirt for I liked the idea that many only change water 1x a year and don't dose ferts. My water is excessively treated thus have to change 1/3 monthly. Couldn't find the 3ml gravel needed to keep the dirt down so used play sand. Then tried pool filter sand (PFS) and then river sand. I like the river sand the best. It is brown and doesn't get dirty. I found it at a landscaping co. a 50lb bag for $3. I used Scotts top soil. It has a lot of mulch in it that needs to sifted out. Read someone got some dirt with very little mulch at True Value hardware store.

The Amazon plants tend to outgrow even a 30 gallon tank. The micro sword needs iron sulfate via API root tabs. I don't think it will stay in the big rocks without the cotton. Usually people take it out and spread it out.
Thanks that's something I'll definitely look into. I was going to spread out the Micro but, like I said, I don't think I have the right substrate just yet. I know the Amazons get big I was going to prune it when it gets really large and perhaps use it's clippings to set up another plant on the other side of the tank (depends how the crypts do...i've heard so many horror stories about them). If worse comes to worse I can always give it away to someone in the area (or if my Dad starts up a larger tank at home give it to him).
AquaStudent is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-06-2011, 01:06 PM   #10
AquaStudent
Wannabe Guru
 
AquaStudent's Avatar
 
PTrader: (10/100%)
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Albany, NY
Posts: 1,234
Default

Does anybody have any insight on what substrates are good for Low-Light Low Tech aquariums?

Dirt, Sand, BioFriendly Gravel?
AquaStudent is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-06-2011, 04:53 PM   #11
Betta Maniac
Wanabe BKK Herder
 
Betta Maniac's Avatar
 
PTrader: (17/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: IHella<3Oakland
Posts: 2,159
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by AquaStudent View Post
Does anybody have any insight on what substrates are good for Low-Light Low Tech aquariums?

Dirt, Sand, BioFriendly Gravel?
IMO some kind of "dirt" is best. Whether this means ADA's expensive aquasoil or a Wallstad set up is less important though:

http://theaquariumwiki.com/Walstad_method

There's a ton of info on "dirt" over in the substrate section of this forum. I'm thinking of doing a walstad-type set-up and topping with ADA (cause I like the look of it) for my next tank.
__________________
Betta Maniac is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-06-2011, 05:11 PM   #12
Hilde
Planted Tank Guru
 
Hilde's Avatar
 
PTrader: (1/100%)
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Mableton, GA
Posts: 4,551
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Betta Maniac View Post
More info on this at El Natural section at APC
Hilde is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-06-2011, 08:20 PM   #13
Karackle
Woah, I'm a Guru?!
 
Karackle's Avatar
 
PTrader: (16/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Metuchen, NJ
Posts: 4,187
Default

I've found that simple eco-complete is a great substrate for low tech aquariums. All of my tanks are low tech and I actually just have plain gravel in 2 of them though, with some root tabs, the plants do just fine. Also, the plants will do just fine in the gravel without the rock wool, probably better to remove them from it sooner rather than later so the roots don't get too entangled in it causing you to pull them off if you wait to remove the rock wool
__________________
30g Low Tech Journal, 5 & 10g Low Tech Journal
1 year old Tibetan Terrier named Whisky
8 year old miniature Poodle named Cody
I enjoy having a zoo to care for!
20gH Planted tank,5g Planted Betta Tank
Karackle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-06-2011, 10:15 PM   #14
orchidman
Planted Tank Guru
 
orchidman's Avatar
 
PTrader: (18/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 7,421
Default

This is how I started. My plants did fine in normal gravel.. Except the mini sword. I gave up on it.

Looks like a good start.

Friendly tip- try changing the background, or removing it completely, I really takes away from your stunning betta


You can call me Bob
orchidman is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-07-2011, 03:08 AM   #15
AquaStudent
Wannabe Guru
 
AquaStudent's Avatar
 
PTrader: (10/100%)
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Albany, NY
Posts: 1,234
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Betta Maniac View Post
IMO some kind of "dirt" is best. Whether this means ADA's expensive aquasoil or a Wallstad set up is less important though:

http://theaquariumwiki.com/Walstad_method

There's a ton of info on "dirt" over in the substrate section of this forum. I'm thinking of doing a walstad-type set-up and topping with ADA (cause I like the look of it) for my next tank.
Thanks for the link. I've thought about that exact same idea...of course someone has made it popular already. It's such a simple but amazing idea...make an ecosystem in a smaller portion. BRILLIANT!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Karackle View Post
I've found that simple eco-complete is a great substrate for low tech aquariums. All of my tanks are low tech and I actually just have plain gravel in 2 of them though, with some root tabs, the plants do just fine. Also, the plants will do just fine in the gravel without the rock wool, probably better to remove them from it sooner rather than later so the roots don't get too entangled in it causing you to pull them off if you wait to remove the rock wool
Thanks I'll try that and see how they fair. It'll have to happen eventually and might as well make it an easier transition.

Quote:
Originally Posted by orchidman View Post
This is how I started. My plants did fine in normal gravel.. Except the mini sword. I gave up on it.

Looks like a good start.

Friendly tip- try changing the background, or removing it completely, I really takes away from your stunning betta


You can call me Bob
I was thinking about that too when I made it :/ It hides Pax quite a bit. I'll see what I can do. Thanks for the suggestion.
AquaStudent is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
10 gallon, betta community, gravel, low tech

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 01:33 PM.


Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright Planted Tank LLC 2012