Dirted Desk Cube - 4g [uber pic heavy] - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 11-16-2014, 06:31 AM Thread Starter
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Dirted Desk Cube - 4g [uber pic heavy]

01.08.2015 - 2 Month Update


<-----------O-R-I-G-I-N-A-L--------------P-O-S-T------------------>

This is my first planted tank, well, aquarium for that matter, and I was a little impulsive this weekend and bought a lot of things for this 4.5gal tank that I found in my parent's garage. I think it was my mom's first tank too.

I really want to keep this filterless but I'm beginning to see that I may AT THE LEAST need a sponge filter.

I also have an order of RCS coming in for an office half gallon jarrarium. So when that comes in, i'll have java moss to throw in.

Onto the Good Stuff

Flora:
HC (not sure this will grow)
Anacharis (Egeria densa)
Cambomba (Cabomba caroliniana 'Silver-Green')
Java Fern (Microsorum pteropus)
Banana Plant (Nymphoides aquatica)
Melon Sword (Echinodorus osiris)
Spiralis (Cryptocoryne spiralis)
Ludwigia (Ludwigia glandulosa)
Christmas Moss
HG
Marimo Moss Ball
Rotala sp Green

Fauna:
1x Nerite
2x Neon Tetra
upcoming 5x RCS


3x Ghost Shrimp
4x Strawberry Rasbora
1x Aamano Shrimp
16x Red Cherry Shrimp

Substrate:
Organic Potting soil
Black Gravel I found on sale
and sand from my backyard (rinsed as to take out the smaller particles)

Hardscape:
Backyard Rocks.

Lighting:
3W clip on light from Amazon. (Soon to be replaced with a 7W desk lamp at 5500K)

I havent gotten a filter yet, but I have been doing 25% water changes daily.

Heres what it looked like the last couple of days.

Day 1


Day 2 - threw in the tetra & added black posterboard found from old art school displays.



Day 3


Day 4 - Water cleared up! and light came in with a crummy thermometer. Naturally, I threw that in.


I'll probably keep this going throughout the life of this cube.

oh yeah, my JD 1.75L Shrimp Jarrarium -

Assassin
Anacharis
Java Fern
Marimo



Before all the comments, I want to reiterate how impatient I was when adding the shrimp and fish. My original plan did not include the tetra, but I saw them and impulse bought them...

Update 11-12-2014
I got my plants in and I changed the big rock to a smaller more porous one to promote bacteria growth.

I also got the new light in but I dont like the color temperature on it but I think I'll get more growth out of it. 7W vs 3W.

Here's what the cube looks like today.


New light


Update 11-15-2014

So, after rescaping and adding the new plants, all the fish died except for the nerite. Hes now sharing the Jack Daniels Bottle for now with a TINY assassin. (we'll see how this goes...)

I got a Aquatop IF-201 stuffed it with Fluval Biomax media, widened the holes of the sprayer and added a piece of air tube to reduce flow a bit more.

I also started dosing Excel .2ml every other day and added a cheapo betta heater keeping water temps at 76-78F since the cube is on the wall next to the window.



and here is where the cube sits.




All questions and comments welcome!

Last edited by KwhyLE; 01-09-2015 at 04:30 AM. Reason: plant names
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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 11-16-2014, 07:31 AM
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I would save ur nerite by get ng him away from the assassin snail.

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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 11-19-2014, 06:40 AM Thread Starter
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Took out the nerite, got a new light. pH is 7.5ish, Ammonia is down to .25, nitrite is around 2-3ppm, and nitrate is pretty low like 5ppm.

Tank is a little yellow... (been keeping the light on for 12 hours) I got a timer and its set to 8 hours. I also found that there are mini ramshorn that were probably in one of the plants that were shipped to me. One thing im confused about are these tiny little white things crawling on my glass. I took a video with a magnifying glass to share. From my little research googling, they are either water fleas or seed shrimp... both pretty harmless right?

http://youtu.be/N0EbqHGGwM8



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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 11-22-2014, 06:06 AM
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Nice. Pics like these make me want a cube even more.

The Fraternity of Dirt #169
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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 11-23-2014, 02:25 AM Thread Starter
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One Banana Plant Lilly died, but luckily Liveaquaria gave me two. The living one is shooting out leaves every 3 days.

HC was getting attacked by hair algae so I pulled it out, took off as much algae as I could and put it in some super fine sand in a shot glass. The rest is slowly rooting down into the existing sand. (super slowly)

I also got some rotala green and xmas moss. Of course, I rescaped.

I like it a lot better with the lava rock standing and Java tied into one of the crevices. Don't mind Haggared Hercules the Nerite, hes still alive and eating.

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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-01-2014, 01:58 AM Thread Starter
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A quick update after the holiday.

The tannins from my dirt was really bothering me so I had to do something about it.

Before Purigen

After Purigen.

um... AMAZING.

I have the album in chronological order here: http://imgur.com/a/NezBi (will probably add dates if I'm not too lazy tonight)

The tank finally zeroed out and Black Friday came just in time. So, I bought a twin tail Betta for $5 at petsmart!

His name is Porn Stache.


Because... you know.... he's got a porn stache...


Hes got a little case of SBD, so I fasted him for 2 days and gave him a 1/4 of a pea. Still has a swollen swim bladder and struggles to stay away from the surface. Hope all goes well...

A little something cool. This is the tank Thanksgiving Day.


Today. look at the cabomba!


Everything is growing very nicely! Even the HC, which I didnt have high hopes for. They're little tiny roots are growing and trying to reach the dirt. So cool! Also, last night, I saw some pearling from the melon sword, anacharis, cabomba, and some of the rotala green in the back. Super pleased.

I also have a couple red cherries being sent! I'll keep y'all posted. Cheers!

P.s. Would I have a super overstocked tank if I add some (x5) Boraras maculatus (Dwarf Spotted Rasbora)? I know the betta shouldnt be kept with other fauna, but Porn Stache is leaving the ghost shrimp alone... I wouldnt think he's be that aggressive to other fish.
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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-10-2014, 05:48 AM Thread Starter
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1 Month Update.

Red Cherry Shrimp & Ghosts living happily together!


HC is ... living...


I witnessed the betta gooble up a RCS so I moved him to a temp 1.5 gallon bowl. Doing 50% water changes every other day... getting old already...


The 4G is doing really well. Everything is taking off aside from the HC. Java fern has its spores doing its thing. Ludwigia is producing smaller bushier leaves, rotala green is pushing out new stems albeit slowly. Xmas moss is slowly doing its thing and anacharis is doing anacharis things in the back trying to cover the filter.



Bump: Also, just one question, does anyone know why the melon plant is growing SUPER huge leaves compared to its original leaves?
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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-10-2014, 11:43 AM
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Beautiful tank!
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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-10-2014, 04:48 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks!

I just realised the light is sliding back after I uploaded the photos last night. Light is 25W CFL about 10" above substrate. Only now getting GSA. Going to raise it to 12" soom.
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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-22-2014, 02:25 AM Thread Starter
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Week 6

A week or so ago, I picked up 5 Strawberry Rasboras and 2 Amanos. One morning, 1 rasbora jumped and 1 amano was pink at the bottom.



Crypt Spiralis is really taking off and my HC is shooting runners! (its so exciting!) High Light and dosing Excel daily.

Xmas moss has doubled in size and I found some Fissdens at the bottom of the patch, so I'm going to try to grow them back.

Also, the betta got a new 4.5 gal bowl home.



I trimmed the Melon Sword, Planted some HG trimmings I got when my LFS captured my Rasboras and got rid of cabomba on the right. The root system of these were so darned nice It was a shame to rip them up...

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post #11 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-22-2014, 05:38 AM
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beautiful tank - I have a 4 gallon and I am going to put pea puffers in once planted.
Keep up the posts , I want to see how your tank develops.

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post #12 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-22-2014, 06:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KwhyLE View Post
Bump: Also, just one question, does anyone know why the melon plant is growing SUPER huge leaves compared to its original leaves?

I'm not sure exactly, but I might take a gamble and say it could be due to different lighting conditions? It's possible you're giving it less light than what it was grown with.

I received some Bacopa Japan with larger-than-normal leaves and the seller said it's because it was struggling for light in his setup, so it thins out and gets larger to increase its surface area to absorb as much light as possible.


I'm loving the cube. Nice layout.


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Last edited by Dan110024; 12-22-2014 at 06:12 AM. Reason: .
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post #13 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-22-2014, 07:04 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by haytch View Post
beautiful tank - I have a 4 gallon and I am going to put pea puffers in once planted.
Keep up the posts , I want to see how your tank develops.
will do. theres a link in one of my posts with the album on imgur. I update that normally. I post here when i have time. I thought about a pea puffer and read success stories with PP & RCS but I dont really want to risk it yet. This is my first tank so we'll see what happens

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan110024 View Post
I'm not sure exactly, but I might take a gamble and say it could be due to different lighting conditions? It's possible you're giving it less light than what it was grown with.

I received some Bacopa Japan with larger-than-normal leaves and the seller said it's because it was struggling for light in his setup, so it thins out and gets larger to increase its surface area to absorb as much light as possible.


I'm loving the cube. Nice layout.
I think its emersed growth vs immersed growth. It is in high light and shoots off new leaves every couple of days. Who knows, its going in my 20L once petco has its sale
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post #14 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-23-2014, 07:03 AM
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I love the look you got going here!


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post #15 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-23-2014, 08:56 AM
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Where did you buy the CFL bulb from?


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