alang - Fluval 32G Flex - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-20-2019, 11:01 PM Thread Starter
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alang - Fluval 32G Flex

Thanks for looking. I am reentering the hobby after 10 years. I used to do high tech, but am going to go a different route this time and work off the Walsted method just for fun. This may change depending on the success.
I purchased a Fluval 32G flex and stand. Still researching plants that will work with its lighting and deciding on the scaping.



Note on assembling the doors. It appears that you are supposed to press the hinge into the door and tighten. The white plugs don't fit when attached to the screws. I had to remove the plugs and tap them into place then screw in the hinge.



But the finished product is amazing. Can't wait to get it wet.


Last edited by alang; 08-08-2019 at 08:01 PM. Reason: no longer walstad
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-21-2019, 05:00 AM
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I'll be following along to see what you do. I have a similar story of being out for about 5 years from reef tanks. I just bought the same tank in white yesterday. Can't wait to see how the tank progresses.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-08-2019, 08:50 PM Thread Starter
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Daughter got back from her summer abroad program and we started in on the scape design. We went over a bunch of pics I had collected of different types of scapes. We discussed them and decided on a few styles we liked. After that we headed out to look for rocks.
When we got to the first store's rocks we marked off a section of the floor that was the size of the tank and started messing around. Eventually we got something that was a good start. While we were checking out the dude at the checkout asked me if I had used that type of rock before. I don't know one rock from another so I said no. Turns out these rocks greatly increase Ph! And of course there was no signage informing people like me. So after 45 minutes of messing about, all the rocks got put back. Lesson learned. Ask someone before you start sorting through to be sure the rocks you are looking at will not mess up your parameters.

Time for the next store. I found a type of rock I really liked and first thing did was ask about its impact on water parameters. Was told no worries so back the the rocks.
Again marked off the approx size of the tank and started playing around. Eventually got a nice group of stones. Something we figured we could work with.



Back home I made a cardboard cutout the same size as the tank bottom so we could start fine tuning what we had. I used pebbles in ziplock bags to support/raise up the stones as needed. Its really easy to add or remove pebbles from the ziplocks to fine tune placement. A little wine and a lot of fiddling we get something we both liked.



Final step was to make some custom sized mesh bags to hold the pebbles when they are in the tank. I used a mesh laundry bag and a sewing machine. Replace one ziplock at a time with your custom mesh bag. Eventually you have all the stones supported by mesh bags you need and hopefully the stones are still where you want them. Moving the hardscape from the cardboard to the tank is pretty straight forward too.



Substrate and plants next!
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-08-2019, 09:45 PM
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I'm impressed that the 32gal Flex has such a nice footprint.

Have you given much thought to the livestock you hope to keep? I ask that question because the rock you choose may not even matter. The rock you have in your most recent photos can definitely alter parameters a bit, despite what the salesperson told you. But probably nothing you'll even really notice.

It's going to look really great once you get the tank flooded and it has time to develop a bit of algae growth here and there.

Looking forward to following along on your tank journey.


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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-09-2019, 10:16 PM Thread Starter
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Filter mods.
The Fluval filter comes with a tiny amount of bio media. Also I wanted to be able to use polishing pads and there was really no where to put them.
The only place that I could see where the water is forced to go was at the bottom of the sponge/bio media column. Fortunately there is a lip around the column so it was a simple matter to cut some egg crate up and make a spot for the polishing pads.



The sponge filter as delivered has two small cutouts. One for bio media and one for carbon. I'm not using carbon so I had an extra cutout for additional media, but it was still not much. Additionally, the way the cutouts were positioned, it seemed to me that much of the water would simply bypass the bio media. I followed the lead of many Flex owners and removed the sponge between the cutouts and packed it with bio media. I sewed up two more mesh bags so the media fits very well into the sponges and slides in and out of the compartments easily.



I picked up my Amazonia today, but the store didn't have plants that I wanted, and those that they did have were really expensive. Going to explore online to see if I can find stuff I want.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old Today, 01:19 AM Thread Starter
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Got the tank scaped and planted. Still cloudy but that will clear up in a few days.



Lots of easy fast growers for the cycle

Amazonia substrate

S. Repens
Japanese Dwarf Hairgrass
Purple Cabomba
Lobelia Cardinalis
Foxtail (myriophyllum Pinnatum)
Rotala Rotundifolia Indicia
Ludwigia repens

Bump: I was planning on several weeks of WCs to cycle the tank, but it seems to be getting really close after just 6 days. I had an Anubis and 2 pieces of driftwood from my daughter's tank and nothing else for about 2 weeks before scaping the tank. The tank started to smell really bad so I took them out, drained the tank and soaked the filter material in chlorinated water for about 10 minutes hoping to kill off the bacteria.

For the first few days I was getting 5-10 ppm of ammonia and was doing large WCs
Day 5 ammonia was 1 ppm so I tested nitrites and nitrates and got: Nitrites 3 ppm Nitrates 10 ppm so no water change.
Day 6 ammonia was .5 ppm! Going down still, so no WC today either. I'll test again tomorrow and WC just cuz I am feeling guilty.

I don't know if the filter material was still bacterially active or what, but if this keep going I am going to have a world's record Amazonia cycle!
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old Today, 01:36 AM Thread Starter
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I have been having real problems with water temp on this tank. Its basically a sealed top, so little to no evaporation. With summer temps in the house around 75-77 f, I am seeing water temps of 82-84 f. This is ok for the plants and I have read it might even help cycle times, its way too hot for fish when I am ready to added them.

I adjusted the outflow to provide lots of surface motion, but with evaporation being so limited this wasn't an adequate solution.

I wanted to see if raising the top above the tank would help keep the temps down so I fabed up a pvc pipe hood stand that supports the hood about 4-5 inches above the tank. Hopefully I will see a drop in water temp, otherwise I don't know what to do about it. I can't drop ice packs in the thing all day long.





First signs of algae on one plant. Reduced the photo period and will manually clean the plant as needed. Hopefully it won't spread too much.
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