5.5 gallon Cryptocoryne tank - Now with Rilis!
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Old 12-16-2011, 06:13 AM   #1
Monster Fish
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5.5 gallon Cryptocoryne tank - Now with Rilis!


Current tank shot - 9/29/12




Here's the shrimp.





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Hello. I decided it was time to set up another desktop tank. Initially I had a 5.5 gallon next to my 5.5 grass tank that housed two bettas seperated by a craft mesh divider. However one of the bettas passed away and I've been using the tank as a makeshift growout tank. However the only thing that grew in that tank was algae due to negligence, excess light from my window, and a lack of nutrients.



As you can see, the only thing that was thriving was the soft green algae smothering the java moss and needle-leaf java fern. The betta was fine though.


After some cleaning with H2O2, vinegar, and some elbow grease, the tank looked like this:








Osmocote+ capsules Im using from somewhatshocked.




Filled up with Fluval Shrimp Stratum. I did not rinse and just grabbed fist-fulls from a 8.8lb bag and tossed it into the tank.




Planted dry. The crypts are C. lutea, C. petchii, and C. lucens. All of them from gordonrichards (who has awesome plants for sale btw).




About 1/2 filled up. I used a plastic watering can (used for watering house plants) to fill up the tank. I S-L-O-W-L-Y poured the water over the driftwood to prevent any kickup or dust storms.




Fully filled up. The cloudiness is caused by the dissolved airbubbles in the tapwater I used.




After a few minutes, it's pretty much crystal clear. Also I removed some of the junk behind the tank (most notable being the old can of Mountain Dew).


As for future plans for this tank, I'll probably re-add my plakat betta in a week or so. I'll also add some floating stems to mitigate the eventual algae formation. The driftwood will remain bare for now, though I plan to add some some moss, maybe fissdens to it when I get the money and time to. Day lighting will come from the window behind the tank with supplemental lighting from the desk lamp only at night and only for 3-4 hours max. I want to keep this tank as low-tech as possible after the initial few months so no dosing the water column or CO2. I might consider adding some other fauna in the tank in the future, maybe some shrimp or dwarf rasboras. It all depends on the betta's temperament. I'll probably add an nerite as well if algae starts growing on the sides. Anyways that's it for now. Hopefully I'll update in about two weeks. Thanks for looking!

Last edited by Monster Fish; 10-01-2012 at 04:09 AM.. Reason: updated
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Old 12-16-2011, 04:00 PM   #2
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Looks good already, looking forward to some future growth and updated pictures.
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Old 12-17-2011, 02:23 AM   #3
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i can't wait to see the final thing.
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Old 12-17-2011, 02:45 AM   #4
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Okay sometimes I am not a nice person.. this is going to be one of those times so forgive me in advance. There is a betta in that first pic, in that filthy &^%@# tank. Personally you should be drop kicked for keeping any livestock in that condition much less a poor betta which I have a soft spot for because they are kept in horrid conditions. This tank takes the freaking cake though. That the poor thing has survived this long is incredible but I can probably guess why the other died.. absolutely awful. Good luck with your new tank, I hope you do not let this tank turn into a festering nightmare and put your poor fish through hell. Don't take it personal though, I had to make my peace after seeing that pic.
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Old 12-17-2011, 04:01 AM   #5
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yeah im sure it was clean too if you could see past the glass.
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Old 12-17-2011, 05:11 AM   #6
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Oh sorry about that. I did a 75% water changes every 3 weeks. Cleaned the box filter in the tank during each water change. I kept some java moss the size of a baseball in the tank. Never had any ammonia or high nitrates. The betta was fine during all of this. In fact he developed a nice iridescent sheen on his fins. All the algae was due to the fact that it got constant sunshine from a south-facing window and I was using the desk lamp 24/7 to grow algae in my 2.5 gallon Opae Ula tank right next to it. Every time I scrapped away the algae, it would come back. My betta didn't mind and my halocaridina enjoyed the soft green algae so much that I decided to grow the algae as a food source for the shrimp. The only thing that happened was that I forgot to replace the cover one night and the other betta jumped.


As for my crypt tank, some of the crypts have started to melt. I'll be adding some floating Hygro sp Tiger sometime next week.
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Old 12-31-2011, 09:09 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by demonr6 View Post
Okay sometimes I am not a nice person.. this is going to be one of those times so forgive me in advance. There is a betta in that first pic, in that filthy &^%@# tank. Personally you should be drop kicked for keeping any livestock in that condition much less a poor betta which I have a soft spot for because they are kept in horrid conditions. This tank takes the freaking cake though. That the poor thing has survived this long is incredible but I can probably guess why the other died.. absolutely awful. Good luck with your new tank, I hope you do not let this tank turn into a festering nightmare and put your poor fish through hell. Don't take it personal though, I had to make my peace after seeing that pic.
Actually as long as the water was fine that betta was probably happier with a nice algae "shield" around it than any betta from a crystal clear tank. Less stressed I would bet...
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Old 01-01-2012, 09:50 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WallaceGrover View Post
Actually as long as the water was fine that betta was probably happier with a nice algae "shield" around it than any betta from a crystal clear tank. Less stressed I would bet...
I agree with that, if anything I let algae grow to help naturally filter/help a teenie bit with my big tanks. All my tanks get algae and I test the water and its great quality. So it could have been good water, just didn't keep up with the algae wallpaper :P
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Old 01-02-2012, 07:45 AM   #9
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So it's been a while since I've posted the initial planting. Time for some updates.




Here's the tank now. Most of the crypts melted and there's some new growth. Also there's some brown and soft green algae growing on some of the older leaves, the driftwood, and the rock. Hopefully it doesn't get too bad.




C. lucens growth.




Added some Dwarf Water Lettuce from dhgyello04. Also, can you spot the Frogbit?



Azure, the plakat betta.




His fin color changes depending on the lighting. Here's with a flash.




It's pretty hard to take pics of him since he doesn't like to stay still.






After several shots, he decided to stay still so I could take a pic of his side without the flash. Also Im not sure if that MTS is alive or dead. Some days I see it at random spots in the tank, upside-down and not moving for hours on end. Other days, it's busy munching away on melted crypt leaves.


Anyways, I ordered some liquid ferts from Rootmedic and I should be dosing those for the DWL and w/e moss and stuff I decide to add later on. Also I was thinking of adding some Dwarf Rasboras of some sort or maybe some shrimp sometime in the future but only if Azure doesn't try to eat them. He tries to eat my MTS from time to time when it's moving...
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Old 01-02-2012, 07:55 AM   #10
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Since this tank faces a southern window, I use the extra sunlight to grow some mosses above the tank.



A pair of Slurpee cups filled with mixed mosses. There's java, taiwan, flame, fissdens, peacock, and some other random stuff growing in there.




There's about a softball-baseball sized clump of moss in each of those cups. They might end up in the SnS in the near future.




Some fissdens I am trying to save from Cladophora. The fissdens attached to the driftwood but so did the clado. Currently Im using some H202 to kill the algae.




And lastly, here's some Taiwan moss im trying to grow in a 16oz jar. This too will end up in the SnS once it completely fills up the container. Also that's a shrimp tank underneath the moss. It's not Neos or CRS but something else. But that's for another thread
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Old 02-17-2012, 01:12 AM   #11
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I guess it's time for another update. Here's the tank now:



I added some Dwarf Water Lettuce to deal with some high nitrates. I seemed to have used too much osmocote+ when starting up the tank so the Nitrates were jumping up to 80ppm. I added some DWL and all the excess nitrates seem to be gone, and now I have a nice thick cover of DWL (and some stray Frogbit). Also I used to have some anubias petite on the driftwood but for some reason, the rhizomes rotted away. Now there's only one left and I'm hoping it pulls through.




A top view of the tank. Can you spot the Frogbit?




I had a problem with some algae so I overdosed Metricide 14. The crypts completely melted but after 3 weeks since the last overdose, here are the crypts now.




Here's Azure chilling near the substrate. He tends to swim at all levels of the tank.

Other than that, I had an issue with some diatoms and some algae on the glass. A pair of otos took care of the algae and now the tank seems to be clean of most of the algae. And I don't have to worry about them getting enough to eat. The otos are constantly pooping while cleaning the glass and plants even though there is no more visible algae.
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Old 09-12-2012, 04:02 AM   #12
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Default It's about time for an update

Hello. Sorry to those of you that have been wondering what happened to this tank. Anyways, a lot of changes have happened since I last updated. Anyhow, the tank was doing fine but the crypts weren't growing at all. They would keep on growing but once they got to a certain height, they would just melt on me. I had the proper ferts (rootmedic tabs with rootmedic dosing after every water change) and the light was ok (23 watt CFL raised 8 inches above the tank). However, I was still stumped as to why my crypts were suffering. So, after doing some research on the forum, I read somewhere that crypts didn't do too well in low KH values. I checked my KH and it registered at 0-1 dKH. It seems that the Fluval Shrimp Stratum did a great job of lowering my KH and PH. Almost too good since my water was already soft to begin with.

So one day, I decided to swap out the substrate and start the tank all over. I drained the tank, removed all the plants and hardscape, and started to remove what was left of the plants. The floaters and subwassertang were healthy, but the crypts were near death. I then began to shovel out the FSS. After giving the tank a good cleaning, I let it dry out for a few days. My betta was temporarily residing in a small critter keeper.

After a few days, I started pouring in my new substrate, black beauty blasting sand. I then started planting some new crypts and placed the hardscape down. I filled the tank up and added the subwassertang to float around in the tank. To help suck up the ammonia and nitrates, I introduced giant duckweed to the tank. I switched my bulb from 23 watts to 13 watts to prevent any algae problems. To keep my betta safe, I kept him in the critter keeper for about 1 weeks. The last thing to do was insert root tabs into the substrate. I did daily testing and my params other than Nitrates were stable. They were a bit high, at around 40 ppm. I wasn't too worried because I thought the floaters would take care of it. To boost the GH and KH, I dosed GH booster and baking soda until both of my values registered at 7 dKH.

After another week, I introduced my betta into my tank. He was happy at first, aggressively attacking w/e food I dropped for him. But then one day I had found him dried up and dead outside the tank. I dunno what happened but when I checked the nitrates, they had spiked to dangerous levels. I wasn't sure but I think when uprooting some plants, some of the root tabs got exposed but were hidden under the subwassertang. So, I did the best I could do. I changed 50% of the water and added some amazon frogbit to the tank. The nitrates were cut in half but they were still too high. I added some more floaters and did more changes. Luckily for me, I was able to obtain some nice nitrate sponges during a local swap meet this past Sunday. I added them all to my tank after a water change and checked my nitrates. They were dropping fast. They went from 80 ppm on Sunday to 40 ppm as of this morning. Anyways, once I get my nitrates low enough and my other params stable, I plan on turning this tank to a home for neocaridina shrimp.


The current flora stocklist is:

Floaters -
Hygroryza Aristata
Dwarf water lettuce
amazon frogbit
giant duckweed

Stems -
Hygrophila polysperma "Ceylon"
hygrophila sp. 'tiger'
najas guadalupensis

Ferns -
trident java fern
needleleaf java fern

Crypts -
Cryptocoryne willisi x lucens
cryptocoryne undulata
C. nevellii, willisii, x lucens hybrid
Green Gecko

Mosses -
Subwassertang
Assorted hitchhiker mosses

Thanks to those I met during the NYC swap meet, who gave me the awesome floaters and stems.

The only fauna in the tank are MTS, pond snails, ramshorn snails, daphnia, and some hydras.


Here's some pics of the tank now. It's been six weeks since I restarted the tank.




The tank as of last night.




Taken this morning. The long stem plant in the background is hygrophila polysperma "Ceylon". It's really taking off in my tank. (Thanks szenic!)




Here's a Cryptocoryne willisi x lucens. It's growing slowly but steadily.


Anyways, once my nitrates are under control, I see if I can start adding some shrimp soon. Not sure what kind yet, but I'll figure it out.
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Old 09-12-2012, 05:10 AM   #13
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Poor betta. Looking good, though!
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Old 09-18-2012, 05:53 AM   #14
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The revamped tank is coming along nicely! I added Subwassertang to my list of plants to acquire after viewing your pics--thanks for sharing!
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Old 09-27-2012, 05:19 PM   #15
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Here's the tank two weeks later.



The floaters are growing, the subwassertang is slowly multiplying, the hygro ceylon is growing like a weed, and the crypts are doing fine.




Some crypts. Some of the leaves were getting pinholes so I dosed some extra potassium.



The subwassertang is steadily spreading.


After numerous water changes, I finally got my nitrates to 5 ppm. I had some hydras so I nuked the tank with fenbendazole. Oddly enough, none of the snails died, even though I overdosed the stuff. I've been working with the KH and GH of the tank to get it to the correct levels for neocaridinas.

Currently my parameters are:

Ammonia: 0 ppm
Nitrite: 0 ppm
Nitrate: 5 ppm

pH - 7.6
dKH - 4
dGH - 6
TDS - 240

Temp - 79 deg. F

I'm getting some shrimp on Sunday. I'll post some more pics when they get into the tank.
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