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Old 08-20-2008, 01:53 PM   #1
Spookymuffin
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*Update* 54litre/14Gallon Low Tech.


This is my new Juwel Rekord 60 tank, that I intend on making into a Betta sorority with some small fish and shrimp also.

The substrate is Azoo Plant Grower Bed and black gravel. The light is 15w so I have just a little more than 1w per gallon.

There is some random plant in the background that my Mam picked up for me. I have no idea what it is and it's a little worse for wear but I'm going to give it a chance in this tank and see if it will spring back.

Plants are in the post and should arrive in a few days, most are low-light with one or two are medium-light plants that I decided to take a gamble on. I ordered the following:
  • Fissidens splachnobryoides- Going to be my carpet on the left side of the tank.
  • Echinodorus amazonicus- Tall plant, mainly for the left-background.
  • Plagiomnium Trichomanes- Going to be tied to rock cave and other ornaments.
  • Pellia- Will be tied to driftwood and rocks.
  • Java Moss- Cover any remaining rocks and driftwood.
  • Anubias nana barteri- Middleground plant to be attached to rock.
As for the animals that will be living in the tank:
  • Four Female Bettas.
  • Eight White Cloud Mountain Minnows.
  • Two Otos.
  • 10 Cherry Shrimp.
At the moment it is housing the 8 White Cloud Mountain Minnows. I'm not going to put the Bettas or Shrimp in until I have the tank properly planted.

Any suggestions regarding additional plant or animal species are welcome.

I'll post more pics when the plants arrive. Here's what the tank looks like so far:
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Last edited by Spookymuffin; 09-05-2008 at 03:47 PM..
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Old 08-20-2008, 02:34 PM   #2
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No expert here, but when I had 1 watt per gallon, the only plant that survived in my tank for any length of time was Java Fern, plus the Amazon sword grows too big for a 14 gallon. I'm sure others here can suggest more low-light plants.

It's hard to be sure, but the plant in your picture looks like a Syngonium - a terrestrial houseplant that will die underwater.

Keeping 4 female bettas in there might result in a bloodbath and I wouldn't recommend it. Some people have had success (for a period of time) keeping a large number of them in big tanks, very densely planted but even then there is no guarantee they wont' kill each other.
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Old 08-20-2008, 02:57 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seAdams View Post
Keeping 4 female bettas in there might result in a bloodbath and I wouldn't recommend it. Some people have had success (for a period of time) keeping a large number of them in big tanks, very densely planted but even then there is no guarantee they wont' kill each other.
The females that I'm getting are sisters that my friend has been keeping together in a 10gallon since birth for over six months now. They have a well established pecking order and she's never had any trouble with them.
I know that that doesn't mean that they'll always get along but I'm prepared to house them individually if anything happens.

I think that I'll give the plant a week or two and if it doesn't improve I'll chuck it.

Should I replace my light then? What should I be upgrading to?
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Old 08-20-2008, 03:15 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spookymuffin View Post
Should I replace my light then? What should I be upgrading to?
2 to 3 watts per gallon is considered medium lighting I believe. You will be hard pressed to get a carpet going on one watt per gallon. And like the other poster, the only plants I have been able to grow with one watt per gallon is amazon sword, java fern and cryptocorynes. Mind you, my tank looks great with those in it, they are very nice, lush looking plants and actually get quite bushy with time. I have no intention of upgrading my lighting because those plants do very well with 1 watt per gallon and my black fluorite substrate (good for plants)

I bought an anubia yesterday and added it, we'll see how it goes. I've read they are very tolerant of low light as well.
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Old 08-20-2008, 03:34 PM   #5
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Does the fact that my hood has a built in reflector effect the light output? Would that give me more watts per gallon than a bare 15w bulb would?
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Old 08-20-2008, 11:19 PM   #6
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I tried anubias with my 1 watt per gallon, and it slowly died. That may have been because it was very large when I got it and couldn't take the shock. The reflector I had did no good, IMO.

Try getting smaller plants to see if they'll acclimate, but there are some plants that will not.

You can have a very nice lush planting if you get large Java ferns to attach to your wood, rocks, etc. There's a curly variety called "Windelov" that is very attractive. I kept all my Javas near the middle of the tank and being tied to the driftwood brought them closer to the light. I never tried crypts with that lighting, but you can try one and see how it does.

The fact that the bettas are sisters is good, but just moving them to your tank could upset their status quo, so keep a careful eye! Many plants and hiding places should help.
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Old 08-20-2008, 11:22 PM   #7
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I love that hut thing on the right.
Can not wait to see this when it grows in some.
Looks like a good start but I am not an expert.
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Old 08-20-2008, 11:29 PM   #8
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1 WPG (even though you cant apply the WPG rule here, more light than normal is needed to attain high light in a tank smaller than 20 or so gallons) is fine to grow anubias, moss, java ferns, most crypts, and most hygros. all of those in my 20H with a 15W light grew perfectly fine. the sword would grow too tall for your tank so you could try something like a sunset hygro "forest" or some wisteria? idk but its worth a shot for some nice looking low light plants!!

go to plantgeek.com and check out the lower light plants.
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Old 09-05-2008, 03:46 PM   #9
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Update now that I've gotten some of my plants. I tried to get plants that were as small as possible so that they wouldn't be too "shocked" by the change in light.

The Amazon Sword that I stuck in to help with cycling seems to be getting a new leaf every second day while the other plants are growing much more slowly, they are growing. I'm hoping that this means that I wont have to upgrade my lighting.

I'm still waiting for another set of plants to come in the post, they are all "low-light" plants.

As you can see the random plant had to be thrown out because it started rotting. I assume that you guys were right and it wasn't actually aquatic.

I've given up on the idea of a carpet anyway, seems like too much work and I really don't want to have to go high-tech.

Currently there are five female Bettas in the tank and four White Clouds (the other four have been moved to a ten gallon tank with one of my male Bettas). I'm thinking of replacing the White Clouds with some Guppies, what do you think?

Anyway here's a crappy pic of the tank now (please ignore the reflection of the big-ass degu cage in the glass)

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Old 09-05-2008, 03:51 PM   #10
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Don't bother with the shrimp - they'll be devoured quickly in that tank.
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Old 09-05-2008, 03:56 PM   #11
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Don't bother with the shrimp - they'll be devoured quickly in that tank.
Really?

My boyfriend has cherries in with some of his Bettas and while the shrimplets are eaten up pretty quickly, he's never had any trouble with Bettas eating adult shrimp.

I just want some kind of animal that will help keep the substrate clean while not making any large impact on the bio-load.
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Old 10-20-2008, 10:04 PM   #12
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Okay some new pics and a big update, specifically for the people who said that I couldn't grow much of anything with 1wpg



Front:


Close-up on my pygmy chain sword and two Betta girls:


Side view:



My pygmy chain sword is trying to take over the tank at the moment and I've been having some pretty bad algae problems (mostly hair algae) recently that I can't seem to shake and that my Otos don't seem to be doing a good job of clearing. Any suggestions on how to get rid of it (other than going high tech on the CO2 front) are welcome.

The pictures are kind of bad quality I know; still using the camera on my mobile.

Current fish stocking:

6 female Bettas.
4 Otos.
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Old 10-21-2008, 05:34 AM   #13
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If you don't want to upgrade your lighting, you might try dosing Excel to address the algae issues. I suspect in your case the plants are currently growing so slowly that the algae is outcompeting them.
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Old 10-21-2008, 02:29 PM   #14
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I'm glad other said it too and that you've discovered you can grow more than just Java moss and fern in 1wpg! I've got PLENTY of good growth going on in my tanks and 2 of them are LESS than 1wpg! Also glad you went along with your Betta sorority idea, male bettas are obviously a no no together, but females just need to establish that pecking order and they're fine. If you still wanted to add more fish though I'd advise against guppies, at least male fancy guppies, because Bettas tend to see the fancy fins as a a sign that the fish are just weird looking Bettas. I've never had much success keeping male guppies with male or female Bettas.
As for the algae, dosing with excel and some trace fertilizer (like Flourish comprehensive) should help the plants out-compete the algae. Also, you might think about adding some Hygrophila difformis (water wisteria) to your tank as it's always grown pretty well and FAST in my <1wpg tanks, that might be a good nutrient sponge to help combat the algae. Spot-treating with excel can work too, but might get costly / lead to an overdose if you have algae everywhere. Or some shrimp, amano or adult RCS should be ok with the bettas. I put 5 juvie (1/4inch/5mm) RCS in my community tank with guppies and zebra danios and they've all grown to adulthood just fine, and it looks like you've got some nice foresty areas that they could hide in which helps.

Ok I think that's all I've got for now Did I mention the tank looks great though? I'm impressed with the growth in 2 months!
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