7g Office Cube QUICK RESCAPE 9/30/14
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Old 05-19-2014, 05:34 PM   #1
AquaAurora
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7g Office Cube QUICK RESCAPE 9/30/14


I'd been planing this tank pretty much since before Christmas 2013, and the idea of what I wanted has changed a lot. Originally I wanted an all grassy scape and a cave hidden in a hillside covered in said grassy plants. Well I decided the cave would be too hide n in the grass and the hill would eventually erode so I decided to just throw in a large mish-mash of plants and see what happens. I'd bought a few more species than whats in the tank now, but some didn't do so well in the holding tank.
I got the cube for my birthday (along with the filter and heater) and began a fleshless pure ammonia cycle, which was done quickly but had to keep being fed until everything else was ready.
So last week I got the first of a few fish i plan for my 11.8" cube (7g) that sits on my desk. The fish came a day or two earlier than expected so i had to scramble to do enough water changes to bring down nitrates from using ammonia for the BB, wash off some substrate and stuff it with plants. Fortunately everything worked out and after a long acclimation and a few days the fish has settled in.
Incidentally the two unidentified stems that use to be in my 20g long were emerse grown forms of two of the plants I bought for this tank.
I still need to set up the light in a more permanent fashion (its currently hung off a hook and some chains in a sloppy way), and make a DIY inline heater to stuff the eheim jagar into the output of the eheim canister. Unto then the heater is stuffed against the front of the tank so as not to burn any plants.
I hope to get some pygmy cories for this tank (if they will fit) and rescape before they are added. I stupidly stuffed the lotus behind all the stems (want to bring that to mid tank for more color) I also wanted to add some driftwood for the creeping jennies to creep up as they grow out of the tank (didn't have time to sand and rewash it last week).

This tank also shares the room with a 12g long that my husband has on his desk. Its by my tank so the inhabitants can see each other and both of us can see the two tanks at our desks. I will post a journal for it this week or next once the rest of the plants come in.


Tank: 7g cube from AquaTop
Heater:
50Watt Eheim Jagar set at about 80F
Filter:
Eheim 2211 classic Canister Filter
Light:
13 watt 6500k CFL in clamp light reflector (about 15" from substrate.. might lower)
Substrate:
Black Diamond blasting "sand"
Hardscape:
Local Rock
Ferts:
Seaschem Excel, Flourish, Potassium, Phosphorus
Flora:
Rotala Rotundifolia
Hygrophilia sp. tiger
Hydro sp Japan
Staurogyne Repen
Salvia Minima
Creeping Jenny
Gold Creeping Jenny
Ludwigia Repens
Ludwigia arcuata x repens
Ludwigia palustris

Fauana:2 Otos
Malaysian trumpet snails, Pond/bladder, and ramshorn snails.
1 male Halfmoon Plakat betta (Xerxes)


Start up photos:








And some photos from yesterday and today

I cannot get a photo of Xerxes that does him justice, he has very lovely colors and a nice blueish-silver iridescent shine in his fins and several of his body scales. His fins transition from yellow/gold to red (with a few red spots in the yellow) to light and then dark blue



You get a cookie if you can guess why he has the name Xerxes/where the name idea came from ^^
edit: I'll give a second hint: The name idea came from something seen on tv but would NOT be shown in a movie theater.


[Photo Updates]
[6//14]

[6/16/14]

[6/26/14]

[7/28/14]

9/30/14

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3g bowl, 2g jar, & 0.5g Vase 3g 7g Cube 10g 20g long.. something 55g riparium
Coming Soon: 12g long journal (will make a journal.. someday..)
M.T.S.? ...Nahh

Last edited by AquaAurora; 09-30-2014 at 04:29 PM.. Reason: update photos
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Old 05-19-2014, 05:44 PM   #2
Asu1776
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Awesome! Your betta looks very nice! He's definitely going to enjoy that jungle. Might have your betta been in the movie 300?
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Old 05-19-2014, 05:50 PM   #3
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300 the movie
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Old 05-19-2014, 06:54 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Asu1776 View Post
Awesome! Your betta looks very nice! He's definitely going to enjoy that jungle. Might have your betta been in the movie 300?
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmf3460 View Post
300 the movie


Nope, nope, but good guess, I do like that movie.. actually want to watch it again now that you two brought it up haha *grabs popcorn*

I'll give a second hint: The name idea came from something seen on tv but would NOT be shown in a movie theater.
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3g bowl, 2g jar, & 0.5g Vase 3g 7g Cube 10g 20g long.. something 55g riparium
Coming Soon: 12g long journal (will make a journal.. someday..)
M.T.S.? ...Nahh
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Old 05-19-2014, 07:06 PM   #5
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Looks really good!

I'd be afraid of him jumping though. Maybe a ton of floaters would make that less likely, or you should get a lid.
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Old 05-19-2014, 10:42 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Aplomado View Post
Looks really good!

I'd be afraid of him jumping though. Maybe a ton of floaters would make that less likely, or you should get a lid.
Thank you! I am hoping to add driftwood that will reach out of the tank and make something of a canopy with the stems as they grow out of the water and around the branches ... if that made sence?
I have floaters in my 20g long which also has had a betta for over a month without a lid. I only have 1/2 the tank conver with floaters, corralled off to keep them from being pushed under and against the intake foam cover. He prefers the shaded side since there is less water movement and has not tried jumping yet.
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3g bowl, 2g jar, & 0.5g Vase 3g 7g Cube 10g 20g long.. something 55g riparium
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Old 06-04-2014, 05:17 PM   #7
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Default new additions!

So starting to see diatoms.. decided to get something to deal with that:

Added them Monday, photo from yesterday. They are finally colored up normal like my other 3 otos (different tank). Amusingly when I added these guys Xerxes decided to be very flare-y (not around them just in general) and build a bubble nest.. hes back to normal non flare mode now.
Now I have the fun task of trying to train them to each blanched veggies and/or algae wafers like the others.
On another note, here's an update on the dwarf lily plant:


More than double (nearly triple) leaf count and nicer color now, also got some good roots going. I've sniped off a few of the old leaves and one attmepting to shoot for the surface so it stays semi compact.

Aside from that, the Staurogyne Repen is melting, and the hygro tiger is showing some potassium deficiency (holes) so upping that fert dose but otherwise that plant is growing quite nicely. I got a bit snip happy with the golden and regular creeping jenny and am not happy wit the look of the tank at the moment so have to wait for it to grow back. The hydro sp japan is doing well and needs a trim to fill in some more open areas in the substrate.

I was going to try to cram a school of pygmy cories into this tank but I can't find a lfs that will get/order them, and don't want to pay the shipping expenses for any just yet... I might just skip them all together. Don't know if -with the otos- I have room for any other nano fish in here.. any suggestions? I'd love a dither fish school but I don't think 11.8" cube is enough swim space for such..


No ones tried guessing again at where my betta's name idea came from (not "300").. might try making a RAOK some time with that as the 'theme' to win once the tank is over grown and I don't have room to replant anything from it.
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Coming Soon: 12g long journal (will make a journal.. someday..)
M.T.S.? ...Nahh
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Old 06-05-2014, 06:26 PM   #8
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Default Xerxes

He finally holds still long enough for me to get non blurred photos of him... You can see the baren upper corner I made from my over trimming earlier

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Old 06-11-2014, 03:43 PM   #9
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Default Photos

Quick photo update

Dwarf lily is turning into a beast, will have to re-scape soon to give other plants a chance at more light. Diatoms are all over the glass *glares at lazy otos* I think I'll have to get 1 more oto to help clean but don't have a quarantine atm for a new fish and won't roll the dice on another sick batch. Stuffed some ludwigia p. in the tank at the front corners (Xerxes likes to spaz at the substrate in the corners for some reason and makes it impossible to get 'carpet' plants to root so using a big stem to deter him until he curbs that habit and I can plant the corners. Jenny and Rotala have reached the surface and need a trim, the other two ludwiga species have also been recently snipped and replanted. Hygro is doing awesome, so is hydro, staurogyne .. still melted but seeing some new leaves form, one didn't completely melt.. yet because it was lodge between some stem plants after Xerxes kicked it loose.. of course as soon as I put it back by the others it starts melting *sigh*.
Anyways added a spray bar wit a valve at the end (used in airline tubing) that's kept open and have holes aimed at closest tank walls. It creates enough water movement to prevent bio-film but is not too strong for Xerxes.
He had a bubble nest going for a few days but the most recent activity in the tank wrecked it.. and i think he pouts about that and doesn't try to build a new one immediately... .. he's also very odd and likes to swim in between narrow spaces in the ground cover plants by the substrate.. "you're suppose to be an upper water column fish not a bottom dweller.. wierdo..."

[edit]
And we'll add a top tank shot, really love how this looks from above

Camera doesn't pick up colors exactly.. the lily and ludwigia are more red hue than shown here (first photo is more color accurate).

Man I really want some clear inflow/out flow pips (with a way to control outflow for the betta) so sick of looking at fugly green plastic....
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3g bowl, 2g jar, & 0.5g Vase 3g 7g Cube 10g 20g long.. something 55g riparium
Coming Soon: 12g long journal (will make a journal.. someday..)
M.T.S.? ...Nahh

Last edited by AquaAurora; 06-11-2014 at 04:04 PM.. Reason: added photo
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Old 06-11-2014, 06:54 PM   #10
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Default some more photos

O forgot to add, husband put the DIY inline heater together this past weekend so no more fugly large heater blocking up the view in this tank (yay). Had to tweak the temp setting down to i think 72F to make it stay 78F in tank, it heats very efficiently ^^ Its strapped to the table leg with wire ties now.


Also sneak peak at the 12g that I'll make a journal for eventually (pardon the water stains).
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Coming Soon: 12g long journal (will make a journal.. someday..)
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Old 06-11-2014, 08:55 PM   #11
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hi little puffer!
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Old 06-12-2014, 03:32 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leemacnyc View Post
hi little puffer!
^^ He(she?) was the first one to finally hold still long enough for me to get a non blurred photo, there are 2 others and they are all constantly foraging (tank is stocked with mts, periodic pond and ramshorn snails, and has black worms in the substrate). They're fat little [censor]s from all the food but it seems to reduces aggression.
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3g bowl, 2g jar, & 0.5g Vase 3g 7g Cube 10g 20g long.. something 55g riparium
Coming Soon: 12g long journal (will make a journal.. someday..)
M.T.S.? ...Nahh

Last edited by AquaAurora; 07-31-2014 at 03:11 PM.. Reason: typo
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Old 06-16-2014, 03:42 PM   #13
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Default MUST RE-SCAPE! + aquarium visit





These ae the last photos of the tank before it gets redone.
The dwarf lily is just dominating this tank, I'm going to have to remove it and re-arrange the new ludwigia in its spot, also need to trim and replant a lot of stuff in there, getting a bit over grown. The lily will go into my 20g riparium setup. It sucks because I really love the hue of the lily leaves *sigh* need to find another simple plant I can keep red.. the ludwigia palustris is coming in green with its new growth, but its got a decent bit of growth at least.
Thinking of getting 2 more otos instead of just 1 for the tank, not sure how that will do for bioload though. I still haven't managed to get the new ones to learn that zuchini is food yet... Half tempted to put my older otos from the 12g in the tank with them for a week to teach them to clean better and what is food (that I put in).


On another note, my parents visited for the weekend and we went to the aquarium at Camden (Baltimore was too far of a drive)... gotta say it was rather depressing.. First tank I walked up to has a huge Arapaima, some medium small plecos at the botom (too murky to make out specific breeds) and some piranha. I felt so bad for the Arapaima, it didn't even have enough room in the tank (width) to turn around, and length was rather pathetic considering its size. It literally just coasted to a corner and stopped, leaning against the wall, it looked depressed.. I'd be too in such a tiny tank. Next tank had a few differnt rainbow fish but rather than species name the labels just had [lake name] rainbow fish, and some turtles with creepy long necks. In the salt water section thier "schooling fish" tank was a cylinder that forces a tight circular swim.. was nauseating to watch. The 'touch a shark' tank had one shark (very pretty) that swam with is head/mouth constantly above water.. was not trying to take fingers.. it looked like it was gasping for air O.o In the hippo section they had a ton of african cichlids.. and of course no staff knew what actually breeds they had just "african cichlids".. that the tanks filtration was horrible. There was also a tank with 5 large wolf eels who had no swim room and were simply laying on the bottom bored.. one was yawning.. seems like a [censored] life in there to be so bored. Anywyas for all that non awesome tank viewing it cost about $26 per person (and this is just general admissions no add ons), big disappointment and waste of money.
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3g bowl, 2g jar, & 0.5g Vase 3g 7g Cube 10g 20g long.. something 55g riparium
Coming Soon: 12g long journal (will make a journal.. someday..)
M.T.S.? ...Nahh
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Old 06-23-2014, 09:43 PM   #14
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Default Dwarf Lilly departure

So the dwarf lily got so monstrous in the cube and smothering the other plants out that it was removed last week and put it in the 20g riparium, really like how it's doing in that tank.
Did a rescale this past Sunday and removed a lot of stems I have for sale in the sales forum along with some dwarf baby tears I stupidly bought on impulse.
I'll post updated tank photos tomorrow.
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Coming Soon: 12g long journal (will make a journal.. someday..)
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Old 06-26-2014, 04:38 PM   #15
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Default Rescape photo update

So not too happy with house this looks right now, need the stems to grow so I can trim and fill this in better.. but Xerxes and the still unnamed oto (thinking of naming it "Auto" since that's how I say "oto".. too corny?) seem to be doing fine. I found out one of my 2 otos in the 7g disappeared, completely gutted the tank to rescape, and only the one oto and betta remained.. Guessing the other jumped in the night and a cat ate it (can't find a corpse). Unfortunately my husband's 12g long also had a jumper recently, sadly it was his favorite dwarf puffer. SO this weekend we will hopefully be making lids for our two office tanks with Lexan polycarbonate..
As for plants, the Hygro sp Tiger, Ludwigia arcuata x repens, Ludwigia palustris, and Rotala Rotundifolia are all liking the beter light now with teh dwarf lily out (all have some pink/red-ening on upper growth. The Creeping Jenny i left in grows to the surface quick.. and though I originally planted to let some grow out emersed, with a lid plan I'll have to trim it back.. also have to cut the Ludwigia arcuata x repens again, this stuff grows awesomely fast. I'll get around to updating the plant list sometime this week hopefully.
I doubt anyone's really reading this anyways.. so here's some photos.. and no that's not algae its a day old very thin zucchini slice.. since the oto isn't smart enough to eat the diatoms on the glass and still is thin I have to throw him veggies more often that I'd prefer to.. Thinking of getting anotehr oto and a nerite snail once I have a lid...
FTS


My perspective



Top View


Xerxes

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3g bowl, 2g jar, & 0.5g Vase 3g 7g Cube 10g 20g long.. something 55g riparium
Coming Soon: 12g long journal (will make a journal.. someday..)
M.T.S.? ...Nahh
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