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Old 03-11-2014, 06:07 PM   #16
Octantis
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Fluval Spec 3


The diatoms in the tank are on the retreat. It wasn't a new tank issue. There was in fact a cause. My tank has / had two stones in it that I picked up from around my house. I live in the St. Louis area of Missouri and all the rocks around us are limestone. Talking to a geologist friend of mine and apparently limestone is the fossilized remains of diatoms. So the rocks made out of diatoms and their silica were leaching the silica right back into the water column. My diatoms were eating their genetic ancestors.

Anyway, I ripped out those rocks and replaced them with two pieces of petrified wood; which is really hard to break by the way. Since then the diatoms have been in full retreat. Each day I come into the office there are less and less of them. Even a leaf I can't get access to on an anubias is finally clearing up.

So word to the wise those looking to decorate your tank on the cheap, don't use limestone.
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Old 03-12-2014, 06:07 AM   #17
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Nice work!

This makes me want to get a Spec 3 more and more. Been kicking the idea around for a while now, as the itch to start up a desktop nano again is returning.

Is that the stock light?
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Old 03-13-2014, 07:14 PM   #18
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Yes that is the stock light. It is brighter in the pictures than it is in real life. That being said I'm not having any problems with low light plants. Each Anubias makes a new leaf a week. I think the Repens is a bit light starved from the diatoms. I just planted some Bacopa Carolinia in a back corner that gets a lot of light and it is doing rather well for only being in there 4 days. The lights are on from 7:45 in the morning until 5:15 at night. I add 3 drops (1.5 ml) of Flourish Excel 5 days a week (it's an office tank).

This is my first big boy tank (daughter has a betta tank with plastic plants) and I really like the Specs. The built in filter plus the light makes the $50 have a lot of value. I've been nothing but happy with it but I don't have a lot to compare it to.
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Old 03-14-2014, 12:11 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Octantis View Post
Yes that is the stock light. It is brighter in the pictures than it is in real life. That being said I'm not having any problems with low light plants. Each Anubias makes a new leaf a week. I think the Repens is a bit light starved from the diatoms. I just planted some Bacopa Carolinia in a back corner that gets a lot of light and it is doing rather well for only being in there 4 days. The lights are on from 7:45 in the morning until 5:15 at night. I add 3 drops (1.5 ml) of Flourish Excel 5 days a week (it's an office tank).

This is my first big boy tank (daughter has a betta tank with plastic plants) and I really like the Specs. The built in filter plus the light makes the $50 have a lot of value. I've been nothing but happy with it but I don't have a lot to compare it to.
Couldn't agree more. I have the Spec 2 and simply adore it. Incredible little tank! We have a similar schedule, as well (also an office tank). Anubias, Java Fern, Crypt Parva, and DHG (won't carpet but grows up slowly just fine), with duckweed floaters.
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Old 03-14-2014, 04:45 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Octantis View Post
Yes that is the stock light. It is brighter in the pictures than it is in real life. That being said I'm not having any problems with low light plants. Each Anubias makes a new leaf a week. I think the Repens is a bit light starved from the diatoms. I just planted some Bacopa Carolinia in a back corner that gets a lot of light and it is doing rather well for only being in there 4 days. The lights are on from 7:45 in the morning until 5:15 at night. I add 3 drops (1.5 ml) of Flourish Excel 5 days a week (it's an office tank).

This is my first big boy tank (daughter has a betta tank with plastic plants) and I really like the Specs. The built in filter plus the light makes the $50 have a lot of value. I've been nothing but happy with it but I don't have a lot to compare it to.
I just pulled the trigger on a spec 3. Got it at petco.com, it's 25% off and free shipping!
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Old 03-14-2014, 02:21 PM   #21
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Awesome! Since you have 240g Discus tank I sure you know just about everything you need to know. The only advice I have is to test the flow before you get too far into it and take any actions needed for the fish you choose.
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Old 03-31-2014, 07:35 PM   #22
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Default March 31st 2014 update.

Another Spec 3 Update!

The diatoms are still in the tank. However they are showing up very slowly. My Anubias plants require is cleaning about once a week. The leaves that get the most light seem to have the least amount of problem. I've increased the photo period in hopes of replicating the effect to the more shaded plants. I've had mixed success.

I've recently picked up Nerite snail in hopes of combating the diatoms. I tried Amano shrimp but they stayed hidden during the day. Eventually I think the Betta forced them out as on separate days each shrimp jumped out of the tank.

Diatom question for the masses. Would I do better scrubbing everything down and the vacuuming up the water or letting the diatoms stay in places where I don't mind. The wood in the tank darkens considerably with them. After a good brush the water is a mess but the wood looks great.

My mystery snail is on some weird siesta. He isn't moving around all that much and spends a lot of time on his back. He recoils into his shell if I poke him and he doesn't smell bad. He used to spend a lot of time getting gulps of air up top but now he just lays around. Kind of weird. He's put on a 1/4 turn of shell since I got him in January so I doubt calcium deficiency is an issue.

The nerite isn't much better. Every morning I come in he is in a different place yet I don't see much change in the tank. I'm guessing he's eating diatoms from someplace but I haven't seen any difference. I wonder if my tank is missing something and the snails are having difficulties.

The attached picture is post clean up.



The S Repens at the bottoms has the worst diatoms. I'm guessing that's based on distance from the light. I ripped out one of the repens on the bottom left hand side as he was impossible to get to for cleaning or trimming.

The anubias are still averaging a new leaf a week which is nice. The one up top imbedded himself so much I was able to remove the fishing line holding him down.

The Bacopa Carolinia is doing well. The new leaves it's growing are huge compared to the originals. Once they get some decent roots I'll trim them all down for some tighter growth. In the mean time Skittles (Betta) likes to swim through the branches.

Skittles is doing well. Tons of bubble nests and his tail is gigantic and in great shape. The plants keep the nitrogen near 0. He greets everyone that comes to see me in my office. He just needs to leave the snails and shrimp alone.
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Old 04-07-2014, 04:12 AM   #23
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Here's the current state of the tank.

The Bacopa Carolinia are doing great. They are adding about 1/2" a week. The leaves are really tight too. I'm kind of impressed based on the Fluval spec 3 light being low light.

The anubias are doing well. The ones on the left are doing ok. It is making a new leaves but they are quite small in comparrison to the others in the tank. I'm guessing he's getting less light than the others. That being said it's sending roots everywhere. The ones up front are growing on both sides. The ones in back are wrapping around well; even growing into the Bacopa.

Sadly my mystery snail Spike died this week. Not sure what happened there. He just seemed to go down hill over the period of a month or so. I didn't add calcium to the tank and that might have been the issue. However, he added a 1/4 turn of shell since I got him in January.

I picked up a nerite snail a few days earlier and got some cuttlebone for him. So if calcium deficiency did in the mystery hopefully I can avoid that with the nerite. The nerite is there to eat up the diatoms in the tank. They aren't going nuts but they do keep showing up. From what I can tell it's more interested in eating the diatoms on the driftwood than the plants.

A new arrival this week was some green spot algae on my plants closest to the light. Just a few bits. I have a phosphate test and it reads 0 so I ordered up some Seachem Phosphate to up that number and hopefully knock those out before they get started.

Finally I can't get over how well Skittle's the betta is looking. Since I got him his tail has only gotten bigger and in perfect shape. Bubble nests everywhere. He's always hungry doing the hungry dance. He even will eat food off of my finger. When he just stops and floats for a bit in the tank all his fins billow up and looks amazing.

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Old 04-07-2014, 04:27 AM   #24
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Wow his colors look neon! What a stunning betta!
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