5gal Fluval Chi - Walstad Syle - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-25-2012, 09:00 AM Thread Starter
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5gal Fluval Chi - Walstad Syle

I started this tank beginning of December of 2011... It's a low light low tech tank- a Walstad Method nano tank... So I'll start this journal now from the beginning and take it through to the current status- and keep updating it!

I've also bolded the more important parts for those who wish to skim through.

At Initial set-up: (current info at bottom of post)
Substrate: organic potting soil topped with aquarium gravel
Lighting: 13w CFL, 12 hour photoperiod
Amazon sword, dwarf hair grass, dwarf baby tears, narrow leaf chain sword, crypt parva, marimo, Lobelia cardinalis, cryptocoryne of some kind
Equipment: Using Fluval Nano heater and Fluval Chi filter/light
Inhabitants: 1 female Betta, 1 Amano Shrimp, 5 Neon Tetras, 5 Zebra Thorn Snail

Notes/Comments: On the first day after adding the fish/shrimp, the betta was so stressed she flew the coop... and spent a good 5-10 minutes on the floor before I noticed she was missing, and puled the whole tank and stand forward to see her lying on the floor behind the tank between the stand and the wall! She was almost dry to the touch, but still alive- so I grabbed her and stuck her back in the water (and pulled the cat hair off her LOL) and to my surprise.... she lived. and is still alive now, months later. After that day... I rushed to Home Hardware and bought some plexiglass and outfitted a nice fitted cover for the tank that fit around the suspended filter/light unit.

Photos from first day of complete set-up:

Late December Update:
- The cryptocorynes (whatever they are, wenditii, maybe?) both melted off, but have plenty of new growths at the bottoms.
- Having issues with tea-colored water.
- Seeing a small bloom of algae, and small start of blue-green algae. Decreased photoperiod to around 8-9 hours.
- Seems a pond snail came with the plants!
- Betta won't stop swimming against the left side of the glass. :/

January Update:
- Some of the nerites have died off, leaving me with 2 or 3 I think...
- Plants are growing steadily, but also is algae. Also begins a larger prevalence of blue-green algae, which I'm fighting off.
- Getting sick of the mess on the dwarf hairgrass, so I pulled it all out- as much as I could.
- The crypts that melted are growing in thick, but the leaves aren't tall and skinny like they were when I bought them, they're thicker and growing curled like they have some kind of deficiency (light maybe?)
- Added an algae eating fish (was living in my 55g tank( to help clean up after the algae bloom
- Pond snail made eggs! picking them out constantly.
- Betta is still swimming fixated against the left side of the tank's glass.

February Update:

- After 2 or so months of use, the Fluval Chi filter is giving me so much trouble and pain that I purchased a new filter! I bought the fluval nano filter (included with the fluval ebi and flora) and installed it.
- To go with the new filter, I bought more plexiglass and made a new vented cover for the tank.
- The blue-green algae has managed to take over the dwarf hairgrass and the dwarf baby tears completely, and starting to take over the lobelia cardinalis. I bought some erythromycin and dosed the tank- and now it's spotless!! Only drawback is that in order to remove as much as I could, I had to also remove 99% of the dwarf baby tears. was a real shame- they were growing in very nicely.
- With the new filter and it's huge increase in water flow, the betta has become even MORE frantic with it's swimming against the glass, and it's REALLY starting to piss me off. it's killing the whole serene mood!

Late February Update:

- The stress of the betta is stressing out the neon tetras- and they keep wedging themselves between the nano filter and the glass and trying to commit suicide. one dead, multiple came close to death- have removed the betta in frustration and it now resides in a large square glass vase (with one marimo in it) with no water movement, and I can't believe how chill she is!! it's amazing... she just really REALLY hated the water movement.... it's like schizophrenic repetitive action fixated fish turned mellow relaxed to the point of me having to poke the glass to see if it's still even alive fish. LOL
- Again, tea colored water... lots of water changes. :/

March Update:

- Fell in love with the amano shrimp, so I bought 5 more! also, the remaining nerites seem to be doing fine. no more dying. lol
- The tank seems to have leveled out, there has been little to no algae growth since I dosed erythromycin and cleared up the blue-green algae. Still issues with tea colored water though. tried purigen in the filter for a little while, worked like a charm!!! but I don't want to rely on it... plus I'm not sure how beneficial it is for the plants.
- Constantly pulling pond snails- almost got all of them.
- Also removed the algae fish I added from my 55g (and gave away, along with the other 2), as the algae is gone and he was no longer needed (or wanted, bad fishes)

Late March Update:
- The amazon sword is getting so big that it's shading everything below it too much... plus there's that huge empty field in the foreground of the tank that used to have the hairgrass and the dwarf baby tears... I've been sort of scared that the area might go anaerobic from having no plants, so I did a shuffle of a re-scape today- I just took everything and moved them forwards a couple inches! also took out the little stones.
- Tank is holding quite steady with no algae, but continued issues with tea colored water.

It's bed time so everyone's hiding... lol

Current Tank Info:

Substrate: organic potting soil topped with aquarium gravel
Lighting: 13w CFL, 8-9 hour photoperiod
Amazon sword, narrow leaf chain sword, crypt parva, marimo, Lobelia cardinalis, cryptocoryne of some kind
Equipment: Using Fluval Nano heater and Fluval Nano Filter
Inhabitants: 6 Amano Shrimp, 4 Neon Tetras, 3 Zebra Thorn Snail

Thanks for taking a look! Comments, suggestions, etc are welcome.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-04-2012, 03:14 AM
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Thanks for sharing. Not too many people use Chi's on the forum. When PetSmart had them on sale, I thought they were a pretty good price, so I picked one up too.

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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-04-2012, 11:44 AM
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Nice shrimp and plants.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-18-2012, 09:19 PM
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Cool!! I have a fluval Chi myself. I am also making a lid because a few of the fish have jumped out, only difference is I did not find them still alive. I have lost a total of five fish because of this. I too removed the stock filter, installed an eheim 2211.

About the Nerites.. how big do they get in your tank? I was thinking of getting some but I don't want to haves snails bigger than my fish. Do they really help with the algae?

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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-22-2012, 02:52 PM
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Neritew come in a variety of colors and sizes
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-22-2012, 03:23 PM
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Beautiful nano tank!
Amano Shrimp are my favorite, I have 4 Amano shrimp, 3 males and 1 female. One note is nice aquarium gravel black, not blue. Amano shrimp is the food you offer?

Good luck!
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5 amano shrimp walstad

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