Chickennublet's nano cube - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 55 (permalink) Old 08-04-2019, 03:28 PM Thread Starter
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Chickennublet's nano cube

Hello!

So, I got myself a new tank! This is just my second tank, and I've decided to go low tech again, but I decided to actually plant it this time now that I have a bit more experience with the hobby. So it's kind of my first planted tank.

The tank is a 30cm cube tank from ANS. Frankly I have no information on the manufacturer at all, but ANS products are fairly ubiquitous in Singapore fish stores and they are a lot more affordable than ADA stuff. I would have loved to pick up a UNS 30C but unfortunately their products aren't available here. Anyway, this tank cost me just S$40.

For lights I ordered a Chihiros WRGB on their online store from Taobao. These lights are available locally but I save about S$65 by ordering them. The light I ordered cost like S$80 and i'm expecting to receive it tomorrow.

Substrate is Tropica aqua soil. I chose Tropica because it's cheaper than Amazonia and also I hear that it doesn't leech as much as Amazonia.

For plants I picked up the following:
- DHG (eleocharis acicularis)
- Staurogyene Repens
- Alternanthera Reineckii 'Mini'
- Limnophila Hippuridoides
- Hygrophila Polysperma 'Sunset'
- Some unlabelled Cryptocoryne
- Bucephalandra SP

Planting did take a ridiculously long time, I think I spent about 3 hours to set it all up. I also grabbed a handful of seachem matrix from my existing tank to jump start the filter, so I hope to add a couple of low grade cheap shrimp to the tank as soon as possible. Eventually I will keep a betta in here.

Here's a picture of the tank with temporary lighting until my order gets here. Don't mind the lava rock on the top of the wood, it's just there to keep it down until it gets waterlogged hahaha! I do hope that the plants I chose survive, especially since I won't be running CO2



Thank you for reading!

Last edited by chicken.nublet; 10-18-2019 at 07:10 AM. Reason: .
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post #2 of 55 (permalink) Old 08-04-2019, 05:25 PM
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Looks like a great start! What filter is that? A small Fluval C series?

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post #3 of 55 (permalink) Old 08-04-2019, 11:39 PM
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Love it already! Absolutely gorgeous tank and scape.

Very interested to see how your DHG does without CO2 as I want it in my new tank too

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post #4 of 55 (permalink) Old 08-05-2019, 12:48 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by irishspy View Post
Looks like a great start! What filter is that? A small Fluval C series?
Hello and thanks! Nah it's from Shiruba. All I know about the manufacturer is that they're from Taiwan. It doesn't hold a lot of media but should be good enough for my purposes.

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Love it already! Absolutely gorgeous tank and scape.

Very interested to see how your DHG does without CO2 as I want it in my new tank too <a href="https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/images/smilie/icon_smile.gif" border="0" alt="" title="Smile" >:-)</a>
Thank you! I have read that some folk have had success with DHG in a low tech, hopefully I'll have the same success. I'll be happy enough if they don't die.


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post #5 of 55 (permalink) Old 08-06-2019, 05:24 AM Thread Starter
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We have light! My order arrived from China yesterday, I just set it up this morning. Here's a picture, running at about 50% brightness.



Timing, brightness and colour is controlled by an additional module and accompanying app.

I just tested the water today as well. pH is at a stable 6.4, a little low but I guess that's what aqua soil is supposed to do? Still no nitrites, but still have about 1ppm of ammonia in the tank. I guess the bacteria in my existing media isn't doing so well in the new environment or something. The filter is frankly really tiny and doesn't hold much media at all, but this tank is meant to house a single betta so it should be enough. I do hope it cycles without to many issues! I will probably pick up a bottle of API Quick Start or Microbe Lift Nite Out II, I know these have a bad rep but some people have had success with these as well so I thought I might give it a try.

I might also get a couple more crypts today to cover the shaded area on the right of the tank under the wood.

Thanks for reading!
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Last edited by chicken.nublet; 08-06-2019 at 05:47 AM. Reason: .
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post #6 of 55 (permalink) Old 08-06-2019, 05:55 AM
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Much nicer with the new light =)

I wouldn't bother with the bottled bacteria since you already have another tank! Just take a bit more media from the existing tank. Since the filter basket is small in the new filter just temporary dump a little bag of bio media in a mesh bag will be sufficient. or squeeze some mulm from other filter sponge into the new one (makes it a bit dirty but HOB filters are easy to clean later anyways)


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post #7 of 55 (permalink) Old 08-06-2019, 06:50 AM Thread Starter
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Much nicer with the new light &#x1f603;

I wouldn't bother with the bottled bacteria since you already have another tank! Just take a bit more media from the existing tank. Since the filter basket is small in the new filter just temporary dump a little bag of bio media in a mesh bag will be sufficient. or squeeze some mulm from other filter sponge into the new one (makes it a bit dirty but HOB filters are easy to clean later anyways)
Thanks! Yes, it is much nicer.

I've gone ahead to add a couple more pieces of matrix from my current tank to the cube. I've also added some new matrix to the current tank for the existing BB to colonise. I'll test the parameters again tomorrow.


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post #8 of 55 (permalink) Old 08-08-2019, 02:27 PM Thread Starter
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Update! Tank has been set up for like 5 days. There is quite a lot of melt on the DHG and s. repens.



Guess I should have expected this to happen with tissue culture plants in a cycling tank. In any case I've tried to remove the dying leaves, did a big water change and added more crypts. Hope the plants get established soon!


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post #9 of 55 (permalink) Old 08-09-2019, 04:33 AM Thread Starter
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More updates! It's been nearly a week since set up.

Tank is still cycling. Ammonia is still 1ppm, which I suppose is not so high as to hurt the plants too badly. Nitrites are starting to appear.



Alternanthera reineckii seems to be doing well, which is quite a surprise!



Plants on this side seem to be doing fine too.



These stems seem happy enough. These aren't tissue culture grown so they're probably more robust than the staurogyne and DHG.



Unfortunately the plants in the center are melting quite a lot. Makes me wonder if it's an issue with flow since the filter isn't that strong. I've lowered the water level a tiny bit so that there's a little more flow without too much of a waterfall effect. I've also moved the light a little more to the front to give that part slightly more light.
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post #10 of 55 (permalink) Old 08-18-2019, 09:27 AM Thread Starter
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We have life!

Just tested the water parameters and I'm happy to say that the tank has cycled. Took only about two weeks with established media.

Added some cherry shrimp to the tank! They cleaned up the dying hairgrass pretty nicely.



I've just gone out to get myself a betta as well, currently acclimating. I'll upload a few more photos later!
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post #11 of 55 (permalink) Old 08-18-2019, 03:11 PM Thread Starter
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This is the betta! A copper halfmoon who actually looked very different in the shop, probably from the lighting.




I have not yet decided if I should name him. Maybe I'll think about it after I've had him for a bit.

No FTS for now since the tank itself looks like crap. All the tissue culture plants melted back a ton. I lost basically all the AR Mini as well. In the end I bought some potted ones to replace them, these should do better than tissue culture.

I picked up some more Staurogyne Repens tissue culture as well, this time from a different producer. They look very different from Tropica's though and came in a different substrate. Hoping these will pull through now that the tank is cycled.


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post #12 of 55 (permalink) Old 08-18-2019, 08:40 PM
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Very handsome betta! Does he bother the shrimp at all?

I'm surprised you had such trouble with the tissue-culture plants. I've heard nothing but good things about them.
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post #13 of 55 (permalink) Old 08-18-2019, 11:10 PM
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That photo alone is enough to make me want to give up one of my shrimp tanks so I can start a Betta tank. Wow.

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post #14 of 55 (permalink) Old 08-19-2019, 03:39 AM Thread Starter
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Very handsome betta! Does he bother the shrimp at all?

I'm surprised you had such trouble with the tissue-culture plants. I've heard nothing but good things about them.
He has shown some interest but hasn't really tried to kill them hahaha...

I guess tissue culture plants might not be a good choice for a tank that's still cycling since they still have to convert to their submersed forms? Plus I have heard that they are more delicate than potted.

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That photo alone is enough to make me want to give up one of my shrimp tanks so I can start a Betta tank. Wow.
Do it! I think you could probably have a betta and shrimp in the same tank, although the shrimp won't multiply as fast.
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Last edited by chicken.nublet; 08-19-2019 at 10:42 AM. Reason: .
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post #15 of 55 (permalink) Old 08-19-2019, 06:54 PM
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He has shown some interest but hasn't really tried to kill them hahaha...
That's the way with bettas: no problems at all, until, one day, one decides to put on a goalie mask and change his name to "Jason".

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