SeattleFishGuy's First Planted Tank:14g Biocube!
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Old 03-26-2012, 01:57 AM   #1
SeattleFishGuy
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SeattleFishGuy's First Planted Tank:14g Biocube!


So I have most of this posted in the official Biocube thread but thought I'd start my own thread on my tank.

This is my first planted tank and first freshwater tank since I was a kid...and that was a tank with a few fish and that's it. I'm still learning a lot from everyone here and i'm sure i'll make plenty of mistakes and that's ok as long as i'm still having fun.

I'll start off with what I have in my tank equipment, ferts, flora and fauna and then i'll have plenty of pics.


THE BEGINING:

What's in my tank/what equipment did I buy?

Here is a list:
  • Equipment:
  • 14g Biocube w/Biocube Stand (Closeout at Petco)
  • Tree Stump (manmade)
  • Coralife BioComplete, Black 20lb.
  • Japanese Style Rocks (picked up at LFS but can't remember the rock name)
  • Hagen Nutrafin CO2 Natural Plant System with CO2 Activator and Stabilizer
  • Aqueon Coralife 10000K Straight Pin Compact Fluorescent Lamp (removed actinic bulb that was stock)
  • Coralife Dual Digital Timer (to cycle lights)
  • 6 Pcs Aquarium Plant Pro Tools Set (with case)
  • Drop Checker with soution (will be here tomorrow)

    Test Kit/Media/Ferts:
  • API FRESHWATER MASTER TEST KIT
  • Hagen AquaClear 50 Nylon Bag, 2-Pack (for Carbon if needed)
  • Acurel LLC Economy Activated Filter Carbon Pellets, 3-Pound (if needed)
  • Seachem Purigen 100ml (Middle Chamber 2)
  • Blue Ribbon Filter Floss 7 oz (Top Chamber 2)
  • Half of the Bioballs (Bottom Chamber 2)
  • Seachem Flourish Excel
  • Nutrafin Plant Gro
  • Teta Aquasafe PLus (for tap water)

Flora:
  • Dwarf Baby Tears
  • Dwarf Hair Grass
  • Anubias Nana Petite
  • Duckweed (rode in with the Red Cherry Shrimp)

Fauna:
  • 10 Red Cherry Shrimp
  • Some hitchhiker snails/eggs (unknown species?)
  • Scud

Here are the tank shots in progression over the last few weeks...

Empty tank with tree stump (look how blue it is with stock lighting, better for reef tank):


Next add the substrate and rocks:


Changed out 50/50 bulb for another 10k:


Next I bought some aquascaping tools which were great for planting:


Used the tools to add Baby Tears (foreground) and Hair grass (background):


Anubias Nana Petite added, tried using thread and then I just super glued it, much better:


Here is the growth after one week or so (today), note the floating duckweed that came in with my shrimp:


Here are some close up shots of a few things around the tank like the snail eggs, the scud, cherry shrimp and another mystery snail:

Snail Eggs on bottom left leaf:


Scud:


Cherry Shrimp:


More Cherry Shrimp:


Mystery snail:


So that's it up to today. As you can see on the Cherry Shrimp close up I have some green hair algae creeping in so I added the shrimp to help fight it. The Cherry Shrimp are doing great and eating like pigs on day one. Several also have berries so looking good.

More later!
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Old 03-26-2012, 02:04 AM   #2
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Your mystery snail is a Malaysian Trumpet Snail.

You may not see it very often from here on out, as they stay beneath the substrate during daylight hours.
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Old 03-26-2012, 02:19 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by somewhatshocked View Post
Your mystery snail is a Malaysian Trumpet Snail.

You may not see it very often from here on out, as they stay beneath the substrate during daylight hours.
Thanks, no reason to get rid of the Trumpet Snail right? Also what type of snail would you say those eggs are from? Someone thought the eggs were from a ramshorn...but maybe since they came together on the same plant...hummmm
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Old 03-26-2012, 02:23 AM   #4
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How long do you run your lights? Currently I'm running my BC14 at 12 hours and only one bulb since I was burning my floaters pretty badly when I was running both bulbs.
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Old 03-26-2012, 02:35 AM   #5
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Quote:
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How long do you run your lights? Currently I'm running my BC14 at 12 hours and only one bulb since I was burning my floaters pretty badly when I was running both bulbs.
I'm running the first bulb at 8:00am - 9:00pm and the second bulb from 9:30am - 7:30pm. I did have the second one going a little longer but after the last few days with green hair algae I knocked it back a little. I haven't burned any plants yet but lets see what happens to that duckweed on top...although I didn't really want it anyway but I'm leaving it for now anyway. I really need to add a bunch more Anubias soon to up the plant load and that will help my algae. I'm also considering getting flame moss for my rocks but that will be last.
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Old 03-26-2012, 02:44 AM   #6
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Not sure how often the first few weeks I should be testing my water but up until yesterday I wasn't too concerned as I just had a few plants in.

Here were my water tests as of 2 days ago:
PH: 7.6
Ammonia: 0 ppm
Nitrite: 2ppm-5ppm (hard to read this one)
Nitrate:0 ppm

Also i'm going to slow down (every other day instead of every day) with the Excel as now that I have Cherry Shrimp I don't want to kill them.

Will have my drop checker tomorrow so I can see where i'm at with CO2 in the tank. I'm going to give my Nutrafin Natural CO2 a chance before I break down and go the CO2 tank route.
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Old 03-26-2012, 02:45 AM   #7
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Look like Ramshorn eggs to me. BUT - Pond/Bladder snails have been known to lay round clutches on occasion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SeattleFishGuy View Post
Thanks, no reason to get rid of the Trumpet Snail right? Also what type of snail would you say those eggs are from? Someone thought the eggs were from a ramshorn...but maybe since they came together on the same plant...hummmm
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Old 03-26-2012, 03:25 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by somewhatshocked View Post
Look like Ramshorn eggs to me. BUT - Pond/Bladder snails have been known to lay round clutches on occasion.
Thanks...now that they have hatched I am looking at them with a magnifying glass and they look like ramshorn but time will tell.
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Old 03-26-2012, 01:45 PM   #9
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Ramshorns make a terrific cleanup crew. If you don't overfeed and don't let their population get out of control, I think you'll really enjoy them.

Some of us - including myself - keep massive amounts of them because they're so great at cleaning things up and eating leftover food.
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Old 03-28-2012, 03:36 AM   #10
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Update:

I added my drop checker in my tank and like I thought i'm doing ok on my CO2 amount but not enough, my drop checker is an aqua color I would say. Not straight blue but certainly not straight green either. So I decided to take out my Haggen Nutrafin "ladder" system and instead put the CO2 airline tube right under the impeller of my return pump. That works great as the CO2 gets defused nicely and right into my tank.

That being said there are two downsides to this as I see it. One, you hear the "wusshhhh" sound every 9 seconds (that's my bubble count I guess) when the CO2 hit the impeller and two, there are a ton of micro bubbles now in the tank which doesn't look good.

Tomorrow after it has run a while I'll see if my drop checker looks any greener than it did with the Haggen ladder. If not then the ladder goes back in until I can get a pressurized CO2 system.

Here is a pic tonight with the drop checker in...only one light on for this pic so it's a little bit dark and also the microbubbles make the pic look cloudy, look at the layer of bubbles at the top of the tank:
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Old 03-29-2012, 12:48 AM   #11
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You have a good start on this tank. I like the rock formation.
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Old 03-31-2012, 02:32 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GMYukonon24s View Post
You have a good start on this tank. I like the rock formation.
Thanks!

I think it will look better once I stock it with more Anubias (many more soon) and the HG and baby tears grow in. Speaking of that I feel like I'm really starting to dial in my system, hair algae is almost gone over just a few days and that is good news. Also my plants have really perked up and I can see the growth starting finally.

Here is a FTS pic just now:


Also I have to say adding 3 Olive Nerite Snails were the best money i've ever spent! They can do a number on algae in a hurry...much more than my RCS. However the shrimp are much more fun to watch. Here they are tag teaming the glass and baby tears:
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Old 04-03-2012, 02:55 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GMYukonon24s View Post
You have a good start on this tank
1+ I bet it will look stunning once the plants mature and grow! What fish are you thinking? Great start of a great tank
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Old 04-03-2012, 06:07 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NanoPlanted101 View Post
1+ I bet it will look stunning once the plants mature and grow! What fish are you thinking? Great start of a great tank
I have another thread about fish as i'm still undecided...or should I say can't whittle it down!

I like the following in no order:

Cardinal Tetras
Chili Rasboras
Pygmy Corys
CPD/Celestial Pearl Danios
Dario Dario/Scarlet Badis
Rainbows...either Pseudomugil Furcata or Gertrudae

I will most likely pick the sturdiest ones above to start. The ones that are the hardest to keep or feed (i.e. live foods) I will most likely not go with.
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Old 04-03-2012, 06:38 AM   #15
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Default Good start!

Nice start to your tank. I also started a planted tank after not having one since I was a kid. You've got some nice growth, like the hard scape too.

If you can put your hands on them, a small school of longfin white clouds might look very nice in a tank your size. Although I have to admit we've been looking for more of them for some time now.

Carl
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