Xcom's Low-Tech 14g Biocube w/Pics (56k Warning) - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-20-2010, 06:32 AM Thread Starter
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Xcom's Low-Tech 14g Biocube w/Pics (56k Warning)

Hello and Welcome to my Low-Tech 14 Gallon Freshwater Bio-cube Journal!


Background Information:
I bought this Bio-cube for 50 bucks and decided to transfer over my previous 10 gallon freshwater tank into this bio-cube.
This is my 2nd attempt at Aquascaping as well as my 3rd attempt at keeping a planted aquarium.
My plans for this Journal is to document my progress with this new aquarium as well as ask questions and gain feedback on my current setup as well as addressing possible issues.

Current Aquarium Photo (3/19/2010):





Aquarium Setup

As of 3/19/2010

Equipment:
  • Tank: Oceanic Bio-cube 14 Gallon Aquarium
  • Pump: Rio+800 Aqua Pump 211GPH
  • Heater: Aqueon Submersible Aquarium Heater 10" 100 Watts
  • Lighting: Coralife 6500K 18" T8 Fluorescent Bulb 15Watts (1x15w)
  • Substrate: Seachem Fluorite Aquarium Substrate 15.4 lbs
  • Fertilizers: Flourish excel, Flourish Potassium, Flourish Phosphorus, pfertz nitrogen
  • Digital Temperature Reader
  • Sponge and Ceramic Filtration Media
  • Marineland Premium Activated Carbon
Plants:
Foreground
  • Marsilea Minuta
Mid-ground
  • Anubias (center)
Background
  • Java Fern (center and right)
  • Narrow Leaf Java Fern (Left)
  • ??? (center) (Please let me know what this plant is, I got it from a friend)
Inhabitants:
  • Veil Tale Betta -1
  • Cardinal Tetra -2
  • Amano Shrimp -1
  • Otocinclus -1

Planning Stage (2/18/2010):

I decided this was the best place for it because my previous 10gallon tank was right next to my window on the opposite side of my room which added to some unwanted algae issues.
So far I've enjoyed the new tank's placement since its practically the first thing you see when entering the room.





Aquascaped and Inhabitants Added (3/19/2010):

Took about two weeks till I had gathered the substrate and final peices of equipment, I drained the water from my previous aquarium into a 5 gallon jug and used it to fill about half of this tank after placing the substrate. Then I added all the plants into the aquascape seen below. I think I'm going to try and add a few more cardinal tetras to about a total of 10 eventually. I also really really want to get some better lighting for this aquarium since its missing the premium lighting unit that normally comes with a bio-cube (which is why this thing cost me 50 dollars) I'm thinking of picking up a 22" 2 t5 strip to place on the top but it wont look very pretty but it'll get the job done. I also want to start adding some c02 in the future. One issue I was trying to fix with my previous aquarium's aquascape was that the placement of the drift wood and plants became too symmetrical (which can be seen in my previous 10 gallon freshwater tank). I was trying to fix that by adjusting the initial placement of the drift wood with this current aquascape and properly place larger growing plants towards the back and leaving the anubias up front towards the center.







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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-20-2010, 06:53 AM
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Looking good. Getting a nice carpet in would be so great...


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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-20-2010, 07:04 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks Benon! I really really want to have a carpeted foreground for sure. My Marsilea Minuta has spread a great deal from the time it spent in my previous aquarium since the day I bought it, but with the current lighting I'm not sure how well of a carpet it will make...I have also tried dwarf hair grass but it didn't stand a chance with the lighting. I'm really thinking I should get some more light or at least c02.

thanks for stopping by my journal!


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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-20-2010, 07:35 AM
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Don't discount the power of DIY CO2. I made a yeast reactor and it is kicking ass. It's practically free. All you need is tubing, check valve, and an airstone (I recently saw a post where someone used a chopstick as an airstone... sleek)


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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-20-2010, 07:43 AM Thread Starter
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I actually have tried a DIY c02 system several times on my previous 10g with several different mixtures but each time ether my fish would get too stressed or the c02 pressure would blow the tubing off of the diffuser and spill the mixture inside the tank. Its been a very frustrating experience...


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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-20-2010, 07:49 AM
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wow... i've never created that much pressure with DIY CO2. The check valve will make sure the mixture never spills into the tank.


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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-20-2010, 07:52 AM Thread Starter
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I've been led to believe that I was basing my bubble count too early, because about an hour or two after the mixture was made my counter was setting me about 2-3 bubbles per second, but then it would be 2 days later in the middle of the night when id hear the tubing pop lose from the diffuser...I'm also wondering if I was missing enough surface agitation which would have contributed to my fish getting so stressed so quickly


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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-20-2010, 08:00 AM
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I'm no expert in general fish health, so I don't know how much current, or which kind of current they like.

Depending on how you have your intake and exit filter (in your case I think it might spiral. I have a 10 gallon nano and the water just swings along the front and gets pushed into the "intake".), the current affects the whole tank.

To gain knowledge of how to provide the best natural current, I guess one would have to go to a river and sit there and watch fish swim around and test the current by walking around in it. I used to step on algae-covered branches with my bare feet in rivers and streams and totally took it for granted. Now I'm tying algae to driftwood.


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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-20-2010, 01:14 PM
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That looks like a great start! Just so you know, the anubias' cant have its rhiozome buried in the subtrate. They do best one wood or large rocks.
Jake

"My next hobby is going to be tearing up $100 bills while simultaneously banging my head against a wall and flooding my basement."
"Ask not what the hobby can do for you, but what you can do the the hobby" - ScapeFu

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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-23-2010, 02:52 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the suggestion Jake, I decided to reposition the anubias so that its rhizome wasn't under the gravel. The anubias on the right actually is attached to the drifted even though it may not be very noticeable in the pictures. The one on the left I put a little closer to the drift wood so that it may eventually grow onto it.




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