Gemini Picos - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-16-2019, 01:27 AM Thread Starter
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Lightbulb Gemini Picos

My main tank is a small community tank (organic soil with sand cap), that is about nine months old. As I have worked thru the learning curve on that aquarium, I have saved most of the plants that I have pulled, and kept them alive in a couple of filtered buckets on my windowsill. This includes Java Fern, Amazon Sword, Bacopa—basically all the plants I got in plastic tubes.

Today I decided to turn my rescue buckets into rescue aquariums. I went and bought a pair of Deep Blue 5B tanks, plus a couple of bags of Fluval Stratum. While I love sand over soil, I wanted to try something where I could replant much more frequently, since I hope to give away Walstad jars as soon as I find the right jar (with lid for travel).

I should have known from the packaging, but I was surprised to find that each of them came with 4 glass dividers. I didn't use any at first, but then as I tried to find which of my filters would fit in the tank, I kept having issues with the suction cups, which I never had on my rimless tank. I installed one divider and used it to mount my filter, so now I can slide the filter out or just the glass up to squeeze out my sponge.

This created a separate chamber in each tank. There is still enough minimal water movement to filter that section. What should I do with those chambers? Hospital, fry, sump, experiments?

I should add that I quickly realized that these tanks are way too small to host more than the small scraps from my main tank, so I think I am just going to give all those tube plants away that can't fit.

I am also going to keep going with my terrestrial moss rock in one of them, since it is still alive after about two months.

Now I think I should breed stuff in them, shrimp in one, and I will take suggestions for the other!

Cheers

Style: Organic potting soil, sand, gravel, wood, plants, moss, snails, shrimp, small fish
Tech : Small tanks, Fluval Plant 3.0 Nano, Top Fin MF10, Eheim Skim 350, Tunze 3161, Neptune Apex EL
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Last edited by Streetwise; 11-11-2019 at 04:06 AM. Reason: Moss rock
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-17-2019, 01:56 AM Thread Starter
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Sunset Photos
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Last edited by Streetwise; 09-21-2019 at 06:43 AM.
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-18-2019, 12:36 AM Thread Starter
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Another day. Sorry for the water stains and such.

I also think I finally caught my cat watching my main tank. He drinks out of my filter bucket but usually ignores the tanks.

On a cat tangent, my kitty Valcour is a former stray, so he doesn't trust standing water. When I first took him in, I had to leave the sink running all the time. I have a cycling water thing in the kitchen, but he actually now likes my new water filter bucket where I run an internal filter. I'm thinking of replacing his feeder thing because my bucket and filter is better and easier to clean!

Cheers
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Last edited by Streetwise; 06-30-2019 at 06:45 AM. Reason: Photos
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-26-2019, 01:07 AM Thread Starter
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Update:

I added some plants, and updated my internal sump so that I could use the Fluval Nano without cutting my rim. I also added a tiny heater, because of the window proximity.

I siphoned out a bunch of this Fluval substrate to get it to a lower average level than my foam pre-filter block. I also added a U-tube so shrimp could get in and out of the sump without trying to squeeze past the glass divider. I will probably get the divider drilled for a one-inch hole, since I have a bunch of spares.

I am just a few weeks into using this Fluval Stratum. I appreciate that it has let me change my tank configuration easily, but it is so strange compared to the soil/sand layering in my main tank, which I love. My Fluval tongs are almost totally useless planting into these little spheres. I have to push a plant down and then scatter spheres over the roots.

Cheers
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-30-2019, 06:43 AM Thread Starter
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I got sick of trying to keep things rooted in the Fluval Stratum. I threw most of my plants into my 20 gallon, along with all my shrimp. It now looks like a crazy jungle with all the floating plants and moss.

I put a few plants and some moss in my pico sumps, and then drained all the Stratum. I may use it for aquaponics, but it just doesn't work for my style of tank.

I ran my spare BF5 filters overnight, cleaned up the leftover substrate, and then filled with organic potting soil, sorted out floaters, did a couple of water changes, capped with black sand, and ran a couple more water changes. Now my regular filters are running, and I should be able to plant tomorrow.

I may go back and delete some of the old prep photos from this thread.

Cheers
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-09-2019, 04:54 AM Thread Starter
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Here they are after about ten days with soil, sand, and my tiny un-sealed sump. All that foam is a pre-filter for my MF-10, and I had to use the partition to fit my light. I just added the gravel to slow the flow of sand and mulm into my sump, like you would do to slow erosion in a ditch. I'm also trying a little trickle of CO2, about one bubble every two seconds. I think I am almost ready to add shrimp back to the tanks.

Cheers,

Jason


Last edited by Streetwise; 10-14-2019 at 02:30 AM. Reason: Photos
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-20-2019, 01:59 AM Thread Starter
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-20-2019, 02:06 AM
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Ha! And people wonder how shrimp get into filters, climb over barriers and generally escape.

Great video.

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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-31-2019, 06:30 AM Thread Starter
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I've just been topping off the water, and running the lights with two siestas. The shrimp are happy with all the plants and their little sponge rooms. I really only have the glass betta dividers to hold my Fluval Nano lights.

Here is a little video update:





Cheers,

Jason
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Last edited by Streetwise; 08-31-2019 at 06:47 AM. Reason: Details
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-14-2019, 12:38 AM Thread Starter
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The duckweed has taken over, so now I am working on removing it.
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Style: Organic potting soil, sand, gravel, wood, plants, moss, snails, shrimp, small fish
Tech : Small tanks, Fluval Plant 3.0 Nano, Top Fin MF10, Eheim Skim 350, Tunze 3161, Neptune Apex EL
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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-14-2019, 01:26 AM
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Ha! Better hold on tight because you're in for a long haul.

I really like duckweed but it's pretty much the devil when it comes to trying to remove it from a tank - even one as small as these.

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The duckweed has taken over, so now I am working on removing it.


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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-14-2019, 01:56 AM Thread Starter
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I don't even hate it. It just exists on a totally different time scale. I am trying to stay as simple as possible, and now I have a new job!
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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-15-2019, 05:48 PM Thread Starter
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While going after the duckweed, I spotted some shrimp fry. Here's one of them:

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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-24-2019, 04:42 AM
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What a great little tank! Keep the updates coming!


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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-01-2019, 12:23 AM Thread Starter
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Removed old photos to save space.

Last edited by Streetwise; 10-14-2019 at 02:31 AM. Reason: Photos
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