20L low tech betta albimarginata setup.
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Old 07-06-2014, 05:33 PM   #1
fermentedhiker
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20L low tech betta albimarginata setup.


So it's been awhile since I setup a new tank. I've been meaning to do this one for awhile now and well life just gets in the way sometimes.

I've got a couple betta albimarginata that I want to rehome from my 40B community.

So last night I did the initial setup.

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Old 07-06-2014, 05:38 PM   #2
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I used a base of about 3/4" Organic potting soil and capped it with a bag and a third of eco-complete. The driftwood I already had previously purchased(probably over a year ago, like I said life gets in the way), and never mind the clay pot, it's full of rocks and is just there to hold the driftwood down until it is waterlogged.

I used two Jager 50W heaters(I like redundancy) with magnetic replacements for the suction cups. I'm thinking of swapping them out for 25W heaters though because they are a bit too long given the tank height and substrate depth.

Light is a Marineland double bright. I'm not totally happy with it as it has serious spotlighting. It would certainly be nice if the stock legs raised it a bit more up off of the tank as well.
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Old 07-06-2014, 05:45 PM   #3
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I added a crypt(on the right by the heater, but it's too cloudy still to make out) and a petite nana. I have to do some more harvesting of plants from other tanks. The back wall will be lined mostly with crypts and I might use clusters of Java fern to hide the heaters.

I definitely need to do something on the rights side. I don't want to clutter it too much but something needs to break up the space. I'll be adding Oak leaves over most of that right side as well and possibly doing a DHG "meadow" in front of the driftwood.

Any suggestions on a aquascape feature for the right side? I have a nice piece of petrified wood, but not sure it fits in with the rest of the look.
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Old 07-06-2014, 06:59 PM   #4
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I think a backwall of tall growing crypts and a tank full of oak leaves would be the ideal black water tank for a pair of albimarginatas.
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Old 07-06-2014, 07:24 PM   #5
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Thanks I'm hoping they really come into their own. Even in my busy community tank they show a lot of personality and don't really back down from anyone else in the tank.

For filtration I'm planning on using a large finnex HOB refugium with a little powerhead as a low flow HOB filter. It's arranged with three compartments. I'm going to use an edge prefilter sponge on the intake of the powerhead for mechanical filtration. The three compartments will be biomedia/GAC/ and maybe purigen or more biomedia.
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Old 07-09-2014, 03:46 AM   #6
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I setup the finnex HOB refugium last night. I think it's going to work out nicely. I may need to break it down and clean it better. It has quite a bit of encrusted "salt" creep from being on another tank for a couple of years(was attempting to use it as a planter). I need to get some nylon media bags for the media for the different compartments and it'll be off and running.

Also put a Aqueon glass top on. I normally run open top but from what I've read having an area of humid air at the surface is important for the fry to properly develop their labyrinth organ. Doing so required adjusting the light some, but I'm moderately happy with it.

Still debating on what/how to 'scape the right side........
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Old 07-09-2014, 10:49 AM   #7
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Also added a stick on thermometer. I ended up getting one of the ones designed for a fluval edge because they are quite a bit smaller and hopefully less intrusive.

Added a timer for the light and gave it an initial photoperiod of 6 hours. I'm pretty sure I'll be bumping that up to 8 or 10, but I didn't see the point in doing it now with only three plants in the tank so far.

I'll post an updated photo when I get back home tonight after work.
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Old 07-12-2014, 06:14 PM   #8
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swapped out the jager 50W heaters for 25W ones. I goofed and didn't get the measurements right and they are exactly the same size So that was a waste of effort. No one to blame but myself though :/

Going to play around with the 'scape on the right side a little later. I'll post a pic afterwards.
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Old 07-12-2014, 09:34 PM   #9
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So I stole an algae encrusted cichlid stone from my 40B community and rubberbanded an anubias on to it in an effort to balance the right side a bit.

I also harvested a baby dwarf lily and planted it in between a fork in the DW.

A clump of DHG went on the left in front of the DW.

I need to submerge a few more oak leaves.

FTS
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Old 07-19-2014, 01:45 AM   #10
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So not much to report so far. Did a 10% WC this evening, which wasn't enough to change the tint of the water. Things are still sorting themselves up in the usually fashion for a newly setup dirt tank. The driftwood had a fair amount of gauze looking fungus on it, but that has faded already and now it has little brown turd looking things all over it as well as some slimy white fungus. I anticipate them fading within another week.

I tossed in a couple MTS from another tank to start my clean up crew. Some odd flatish sideways tiny ramshorns hitch hiked in on the anubias. Not sure if they'll be a problem or not. I removed a pond snail that must have hitch hiked in on the DHG(the only tank I have that they still survive in).

I'm seeing some BGA on both Anubias. I'm kind of a bit surprised that it's showing up with as low light as I'm running. I'm sure as I add more plants it will be a thing of the past. I'm considering dosing excel to help keep the plants happy.

I used some AC20 Media bags and filled them with some Eheim ceramic biomedia balls that I had leftover from a dead canister filter. I put the two bags of biomedia in the first chamber of my "HOB". I'm still debating how to utilize the second two. The last one I'm pretty sure will be for GAC/Purigen. The middle one will probably be more biomedia, but I'm also looking into other options.

I've ordered some more plants to help fill things in, so hopefully I'll have an updated FTS that will have things looking a little better.
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