New Fluval Edge tank! Need tips. :)
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Old 12-28-2013, 02:30 AM   #1
kman
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New Fluval Edge tank! Need tips. :)


Not sure if this should go here, in the Nano tank forum (is 6 gals really "nano"?), or somewhere else, but I could use some advice on my new tank setup. I just moved my existing fish from an established "specialty" tank that was more trouble than it was worth, to this new specialty tank.

I have the initial setup done. I'm definitely going to be tweaking things moving forward, if not completely redoing things, but it's a start. So I don't mind making changes.

At the moment I have:

Fauna:
A Dwarf Gourami (Trichogaster Ialius)
A Long-Finned Red Minor Tetra (Hyphessobrycon eques)
Two Neon Tetras (used to get the tank going)
A Golden Mystery Snail
A Zebra Nerite Snail (Neritina natalensis), and
Five Ghost Shrimp.
Planned: Electric Blue Ram Cichlid

Fauna:
Crypt parva
Anubias barteri
Java Fern Narrow Leaf

Substrate:
Eco-complete

I clearly need more plants, but life has been slightly hectic with the holidays. I hope to do some more work this weekend... I'll be hitting a few local shops, as I'm not blown away by the quality and health of the plants at the main shop I frequent. Any tips on more plants that will do well with a relatively modest amount of light, other than perhaps some more of the same?

I'm also still playing with lighting, since that's clearly this tank's biggest weakness, due to the design. Since I wanted the Burnt Orange color tank for aesthetic reasons, I knew I'd need to upgrade from the stock halogen MR12 lights, which are pretty pathetic. I was initially going to pick up the 42 LED OEM light upgrade (sold with the 12 gallon tanks but fits the 6 gal Edge tanks, too), but given the cost I wanted to look at other options as well.

I picked up Fluval Nano light (Aqualife & Plant version) has double the output (84 LEDs) of the 42 LED Edge light, and is fairly compact, and the same price as the 42 LED light, on Amazon (!), so I gave it a try. It's an 8w light with 84 LEDs, runs at 7800k, and includes some of the red 640nm and blue 460nm LEDs that are supposed to assist photosynthesis (per the sales literature). I'm curious to know if anyone else has experimented with it? So far it seems that by strapping the light to the inside of the hood cover, and taking off the top of the filter, it's literally a mere 1/8" or less off. I'm thinking I can probably tinker with it a bit, and may hang onto it

OEM Halogen lighting:


Upgraded to Fluval Nano light:


The upgraded light clearly gives more even coverage, reaches farther into the corners, and doubtless has better light quality than two little Halogen bulbs, but I'm not certain it's a MASSIVE step up, and it's clearly still an imperfect, at least, solution. Might be good enough that it's worth sticking with the upgrade, though. Better than the MR16 LED upgrade? I wish I knew. There are some DIY upgrades that look pretty decent in the official Edge owner thread that I might give a try, too, but meanwhile I hope this will help get my plants growing nicely.

I plan to use the Osmocote tabs to assist with fertilization, and I also picked up some Flourish and Flourish Excel, although I'm not sure at what point I should begin with that.

So, that's what I know. Any glaring knowledge gaps I should be beefing up, and measures I should be taking sooner rather than later?
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Old 12-29-2013, 04:15 AM   #2
MantisX
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After looking closely, I can see an intensity difference. I'm not trying to go high tech but don't like the stock light either. Will you be dosing co2? Can you take a pic of how you mounted the light?

Last edited by MantisX; 12-29-2013 at 04:39 AM.. Reason: Intensity
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Old 12-29-2013, 06:28 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MantisX View Post
After looking closely, I can see an intensity difference. I'm not trying to go high tech but don't like the stock light either. Will you be dosing co2? Can you take a pic of how you mounted the light?
Yes, there is a definite intensity difference, but more importantly, the light spread is a lot more even in this "high" area, under it, and it actually makes it out to the corners, unlike the OEM lights. It's certainly not "fantastic" lighting, but a huge step up from the stock lights. The two photos aren't a perfect comparison since the iPhone camera is going to adjust to the lighting it sees, but it's the best I can do for now without busting out the DSLR and locking exposure, and reassembling and reinstalling the OEM lights again just to take one photo.

I intend to avoid dosing CO2 if at all possible. I'm hoping this Nano light, plus Flourish, Flourish Excel, and some oscocote tabs will be enough to keep my plants alive, since all were selected with relatively low light levels in mind.

I think you saw my other post where I discussed the shortcomings of the light: It's not a perfect fit, but may be close enough. Here's what I wrote:

Quote:
Here's the deal: This light DOES "fit" under the hood. Kinda. And yes, it's considerably better, IMO, than the stock lights. But it's not a perfect fit: It's literally about 1/4" too tall to fit "comfortably" under the hood. It hits the forward edge of the HOB filter, so the back of the hood is held up about 1/4" towards the back. I think it will be possible to modify the light (and/or the HOB filter) to work, however, since it's so close. Worst case, fire up the bench grinder and remove a little bit of the aluminum heat sink material off the back of the light. Best case, it may be able to be disassembled a bit to remove some housing, although it may need to be re-sealed (a little silicon sealant should do) after disassembly. Definitely going to void the warranty, which sucks (5 year warranty!), but hey, it WILL work.

At the moment, I'm literally using some cotton string through the metal grill on top, and have simply tied the light in place, holding it tight to the top of the hood. Not using the stock armature at all, obviously. I'll set something up a little nicer using wire or something later, once I've exhausted all options as for modifying the light and have a final position in mind.
You can see the hood won't close 100% but it's close:


Looking down on the light, through the hood's top grill (ignore my jerry-rigged string+chopstick; this was just a proof of concept to hold it in place: I plan to attach it in a more attractive manner, perhaps with wire or something hidden underneath):


You can see the overlap, how far the light body goes over the HOB filter inside:


I think it can be made to work in a variety of ways. One might be to replace the perforated metal grill that's on top of the hood with a different one, bent to allow the light that extra quarter inch. Another is to mess with the light itself, removing unnecessary bits and perhaps cutting it down a smidge... wouldn't take much. Last might be to grind off part of the cooling fins or part of the HOB filter, again, just to get that extra smidgen of space. Or, frankly, it works as-is, with no modifications, as long as you're ok with the back of the hood being up 1/2". Oh, I also had to leave the plastic cover off the HOB filter, but that doesn't hurt anything since it's all enclosed anyway.
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Old 12-29-2013, 06:50 AM   #4
MantisX
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I would agree, trimming the light itself (or both)should solve that issue. It almost looks made for the edge. I went ahead and went with the 42 led light arm and will hot glue the remaining 21 led board into my lid for an extra boost. I hope this doesn't push the tank into high tech territory.

I'm glad you did this though as I will be trying the reef version of your light when I can get and setup another edge for saltwater.

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Old 12-29-2013, 06:57 AM   #5
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Update after some time at a local shop with a guy who actually has a firm grasp of all this stuff. All plants are actually planted now, all done with the temporary pots!

Fauna:
A Dwarf Gourami (Trichogaster Ialius)
A Long-Finned Red Minor Tetra (Hyphessobrycon eques)
Three Neon Tetras (Paracheirodon innesi) (used to get the tank going)
A Golden Mystery Snail (Golden bridgesii)
A Zebra Nerite Snail (Neritina natalensis), and
Five Ghost Shrimp (Palaemonetes paludosus).
Planned: Electric Blue Ram Cichlid (just learned this one will eat my shrimp, so back to the drawing board!)

Fauna:
Crypt parva (Cryptocoryne parva)
Anubias Nana (Anubias barteri v. 'Nana') (front two corners)
Hygrophilia 'Kompakt' (Hygrophilia corymbosa 'Kompakt')
Glossostigma (Glossostigma elatinoides) (crossing my fingers there is enough light for this)
Java Fern "Narrow Leaf" (Microsorium pteropus)

Substrate:
CaribSea Eco-Complete

Ferts:
Flourish
Flourish Excel
(Planned: Osmocote capsules)

Hardware:
Fluval Edge Aquarium Set, 6 gallon Fluval Edge Aquarium Set, 6 gallon

Fluval Nano Aqua Life and Plant Performance LED Lamp Fluval Nano Aqua Life and Plant Performance LED Lamp

Aqueon 10w Mini Heater








Now I just need some more substrate, because I'm a bit short. I wish I could buy a 5 lb or even 10 lb bag of Eco-Complete, and not just the 20lb bag! (and that the stuff would keep for a good long while once opened, argh!)

Last edited by kman; 12-29-2013 at 07:09 AM.. Reason: added detail
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Old 08-15-2014, 08:17 PM   #6
AutumnSky
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How's it going? Any updates, new pics?
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