Marineland portrait 5.5 gallon - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-19-2017, 04:13 PM Thread Starter
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Marineland portrait 5.5 gallon

Picked this up for $40 shipped during the amazon prime day sale. Tank internal dimensions are approximately 10" x 9.75" x 17", with an added 2" or so in te rear compartment. Added a fluval 25 watt heater, and ordered up some Garnet #16 sand from The Tacoma Company on that aucton site we aren't allowed to link to (PM me if you want a link, but if you search "Tacoma company garnet #16" it comes up) after being inspired by one of the Bichir tanks I found over at Monsterfishkeepers. This stuff is a very nice color, and can look from mild to wild depending on your lighting.

Brace yourselves for a ton of pics-

First inspection, sand was rinsed and added-




Grabbed some Mopani wood, Azalea wood, and some Ohko stone. Picked up a Banana plant, Java fern, and some Salvinia. Decided to go minimalist on hardscape so that it could get grown in nice and lush...




Tank cycled, decided to add a set of four Dario dario. I wanted a mix of females and males, but females apparently are rarer than hen's teeth in northern California and the SF Bay area. I ended up with two very handsome males, and a couple submissive males. Found a local guy selling some shrimp, all you can catch from his sump for $10. I grabbed fourteen, and a couple white crayfish (not pictured, they're in the kid's room's tank) and they all took to the tank well. Everybody gets along great.








Picked up some free Alternanthera reineckii "mini" and Utricularia graminifolia trimmings from a local guy one night at work in San Francisco. This was also during the week that I was running a "10 watt LED multichip" (1/3 white, 2/3 blue) in place of the anemic stock lighting. It looks very, very blue, and was only temporary, I assure you, too blue for anything other than Mbuna or reef lighting.



Ordered up a 6" MakersLED heatsink kit from their blemish auctions on you-know-where-bay, for 24$ shipped. Threw together a nice little LED rig for it. one 3-up of 1x 4000k white, 1X 2700k white, 1x Lime, and a second star consisting of 1x blue, 1X hyper violet, 1x 4000k white. great color, just a tad more yellow than I liked...





Looks pretty good though!



The fish and shrimp have colored up nicely too. I added a single royal blue LED to the mix, the pictures don't show it very well, but the tank has less of a yellow tint now. I don't have a controller for dimming control yet, but I'm sure some minor adjustment is all it will take to get it to a perfect color balance.






Terrible full tank shot-



This little guy is certainly the star of the tank...






My favorite shot of the tank so far, and the one I think gives the best rendition of the color of the lighting-



Some more pics. It's been a few weeks since adding the shrimp, and a couple are already heavy with eggs. I had a weird overnight algae bloom, added a couple Nerites, and it hasn't come back after a quick scrub with a mag-float.


















Added this. Is this water sprite? Water wisteria? Something else? I'm not sure.



These guys are voracious little monsters!


Terrible full tank shot-

Last edited by Lingwendil; 08-19-2017 at 06:46 PM. Reason: edit
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-19-2017, 04:20 PM
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Nice job so far! Love the color on the Dario.

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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-19-2017, 06:41 PM
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I do like that sand color, compliments the fish/shrimp colors.

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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-19-2017, 09:06 PM
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Nice.
Show off the filter mods!

I think all these tanks have it wrong, but for a good reason. PROFIT.
They use cartridges and designs to keep us coming back for replacement items.

The floss in the first stage just slows the incoming overflow power.
Using floss or tighter material in the later stages is best.
It takes time and a little thought to rearrange the filter to make it so much easier to maintain.
That's the nice part about the forum.

For this 5.5 gal, I have not attcked the filter yet.
As for the other nano tanks that have real baffles and walls, it is very easy to get the harmony correct and not get used by corpoations in the system of buying any proprietary or original parts over and over.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-20-2017, 07:39 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by travellife View Post
I do like that sand color, compliments the fish/shrimp colors.

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I love it. At first I wasn't so sure (even with my favorite color being purple!) since I can't stand artificial looking tanks, but it is an all-natural material that is found in nature, and very practical. I resisted the urge to mix anything else in, and I'm glad I left it alone. It is a wonderful look, and it is heavy enough to stay put, but coarse enough to not compact too densely. I've got a spare 55 in the garage I've been itching to set up as soon as we have the room, and the girlfriend has requested we use the garnet in there as well if I do put it together soon, although I may mix it with some Black Diamond if I use it in a larger tank.


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Originally Posted by theDCpump View Post
Nice.
Show off the filter mods!

I think all these tanks have it wrong, but for a good reason. PROFIT.
They use cartridges and designs to keep us coming back for replacement items.

The floss in the first stage just slows the incoming overflow power.
Using floss or tighter material in the later stages is best.
It takes time and a little thought to rearrange the filter to make it so much easier to maintain.
That's the nice part about the forum.

For this 5.5 gal, I have not attcked the filter yet.
As for the other nano tanks that have real baffles and walls, it is very easy to get the harmony correct and not get used by corpoations in the system of buying any proprietary or original parts over and over.

Currently it's still running the stock media cage, sponge, and cartridge, but I flipped it around, chopped the lower braces out from under the sponge, and glued them back in near the sponge so that it stays put when you slide the assembly in. This way you get the intake in the wall to not suck any little dudes in, and the upper skimmer intake still pulls water in, and down through the cartridge. I'm thinking of cutting up the rack even more, and using some of that nylon mesh that you use for cross-stitching in there so I can run some cut-to-fit filter pad instead of the cartridges from marineland. Other than that, I'm actually pretty happy with it as it sits, and I grabbed a few cartridges on amazon in the meantime (3 for $3.75 was cheap enough for now) until then.

I lost one of my Dario the other day! He had not been eating for a week, and was getting very skinny. Other than the occasional sparring, everyone left him alone, so I'm not certain why he stopped eating. Fortunately the other three are fat and happy, and they all get along well.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-21-2017, 06:58 PM
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When it is sufficient, post some pics.

I like the shape of the tank, but most other nano tanks have the baffles set up and in place.
This one was going to be a modified tank for sure.

I wish they did this 5.5gal in black silicone as well. That will be for a future year.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-03-2017, 07:39 PM Thread Starter
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Nothing new really. AR mini is growing so fast I trim every few days. I changed the light a little (vero 90CRI 5600k instead of the 3-up lime, NW, WW star, also removed the royal blue, adding a cyan) and have been combating an occasional funky hair algae that only likes to grow on the leaves of the AR mini...

I screwed with my phone's camera a bit, and got what seems to be much better color accuracy, so here goes...







Stuck some electrical tape around the upper rim of the tank to combat the light spill a bit too...


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Last edited by Lingwendil; 09-03-2017 at 07:41 PM. Reason: edit
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-04-2017, 02:56 PM Thread Starter
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Better, fancier picture of the tank as it sits on my dresser-

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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-23-2017, 07:46 PM Thread Starter
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-17-2018, 07:43 AM
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Love how your tank is filling out. How is it doing? Have an update?


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