A 'Rescue' Tank - 6.6 G bookshelf aquarium - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-16-2015, 01:52 PM Thread Starter
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A 'Rescue' Tank - 6.6 G bookshelf aquarium

This tank has suffered through cycles of attention and inattention in my son's bedroom. I've brought it out to the living area to force me and my son to give it the attention it deserves.

This tank has been going for about 2 years now, inhabited mostly by mollies and 1 otocinclus and the two plants that you see.

The isolation tank inside houses another male molly. The two males do not get along.

Recent additions were the corys.

It is stock except for the LED lighting, which is much weaker than the stock fluorescent, but allows us to control the algae (plus a shorter daylight cycle).

I would like to increase the plant cover a little bit, and may even consider supplementing with DIY CO2.

Not sure what to do about the overcrowding, except to promise not to add any more.

Suggestions are welcome!
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-16-2015, 08:51 PM
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Two words: MORE PLANTS! Haha

They'll help keep down on the algae and provide hiding spots to hopefully keep the fish from bothering each other too much. (though in the end the tank may be too small for them to establish their own territories) I also spy a single neon tetra in there who is probably not very happy by itself though you don't have the room for more...

For your low light, you can get some more anubias, crypts, moss, ludwigia (easier ones like repens), other stem plants (more anachris, hygrophila difformis called water wisteria, list goes on), ground cover like dwarf sag or crypt parva would be good with low lighting.

Maybe get some rocks or driftwood to add a new point of interest to the tank.

Hopefully you can snoop around the forum and get some good ideas on where to take the tank that will satisfy you and your son. I find if it's a design you're happy with, you'll have more motivation to keep it looking nice. If you're not invested, then it'll just fall by the wayside.

Best of luck!

Old tanks, all torn down:
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Hope to get a new tank (or two) up soon...
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-16-2015, 11:22 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the response!

Definitely, more plants, is our battle cry! Thanks for the suggestions.

Is there a risk of overplanting a low light tank? Do I gradually increase the plant population or do it in one go?

Second, do I have to add CO2 or Fluorish Excel to my tank? Will it be ok if I don't supplement with CO2/Excel?

Thanks!
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-17-2015, 05:31 AM
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A tank isn't properly planted until you can't see the substrate. More is always an option, haha. You can add the plants all at once, it won't hurt a thing.

With low light plants like crypts, swords, anubias, and java fern no co2 or Excel is needed. Anubias and java fern can just be tied onto rocks and tossed in. Avoid burying the rhizome.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-18-2015, 02:49 AM Thread Starter
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Dropped by our local Petsmart to pick up more plants today. Planted and did a water change. All parameters are within ideal range using Tetra test strip.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-19-2015, 01:57 AM Thread Starter
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Here are the newly obtained plants.

Now it's wait and see.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-19-2015, 06:14 AM
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Looks good...any the anubias is good for the lower light levels you have, and so are any crypts. S. repens might struggle, but you'll have to see...I don't know what light you're using.

I would suggest maybe some more crypts, if you can get healthy crypt wendtii green or other varieties, add those to the tank, and then give them time to fill in. They are slow growers, but once established, will fill in nicely, spreading and growing densely.

Here's my 10 gallon tank with C. parva in the front, C. undulata "red" on the right, and C. wendtii "green" filling in the rest of the tank:



Crypt's are my favorite low-tech, low-light, low-maintenance plants, along with Anubias nana.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Art by Stef* View Post
I did have a bluegill once that ate cooked pasta and bologna rinds as a treat.
Then again, that fish would probably bite on a cigarette butt.

-Stef*
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-19-2015, 09:10 AM Thread Starter
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@EndlerGame

I did see more crypt wendtii at Petsmart. I'll make sure to swing by for more of them. Thanks for the tip on S. repens, very helpful. I'll keep a close eye on them. I have a National Geographic branded LED light on this.

http://www.petsmart.com/fish/lights/...6-catid-300073

It was on sale at the time I bought it, the purpose of which was to reduce lighting (from a T8 fluorescent) to control algae.

I've had the algae mostly under control for a while and more plants should help suck up extra nutrients.

Clearly, your crypts are thriving. What light do you use?
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-21-2015, 01:48 AM Thread Starter
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I started noticing Ich on 2 fishes, the female molly being the worst off. I started treating the whole tank with Kordon Ich Attack. I'm on my second day of treatment and I don't notice new Ich spots (thank goodness).

Question regarding substrate:

I've had this substrate (Fluorite, I think) for about 2 years now. What's the rule of thumb on when to change substrates? Do I have to start dosing with fertilizer?

Thanks.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-21-2015, 02:08 AM
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Flourite shouldn't need to be changed. You can add some root tabs under your crypts to help them out. I really like the flourish tabs, because they dont break apart. Osmocote+ diy gel tabs seem to be the favorite around here though.

Excel is great stuff for low-tech tanks. Liquid CO2. It helps keep algae down too.
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-21-2015, 03:24 AM Thread Starter
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@pheo

Thanks for the tips. I will look into getting fluorish tabs.

I am using Fluorish Excel (I forgot to mention above) and it has keep algae explosions from happening, though I have a steady amount of what I think is black beard algae that's not going away.
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-27-2015, 06:26 AM
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My light is this one:

http://www.aquatraders.com/LED-Aquar...t-p/56413p.htm

Cheap, but very bright...I have 5 fixtures from that company. It will grow algae if you have too long of a photo period. I run two shorter photoperiods on this tank.


To treat ich, if you have fish that can handle it, slowly increase the temp to 86-87*F with added aeration and leave it there for a week before lowering the temp to normal. The ich virus can't reproduce at those temps and it will die out without any need to medicate.

And as for changing substrate, I've got a 55 gallon with flourite that's been running for 10 years, and its healthier than ever with a new light...the structure of the gravel also allows detritus to collect in the gaps and decompose, providing a supply of nutrients to the plant roots. I have just started adding Osmocote+ tabs in the last months as well...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Art by Stef* View Post
I did have a bluegill once that ate cooked pasta and bologna rinds as a treat.
Then again, that fish would probably bite on a cigarette butt.

-Stef*
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-30-2015, 02:29 AM Thread Starter
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@EndlerGame

Thanks for the link on your light fixtures and your feedback on Fluorite.

My 50W submersible heater can only go to 82 on its dial setting. The current temp in the tank is around 78-79F. Almost all Ich spots are gone after about a week on Kordon Ich Attack with no impact on the plants. Planning to continue the treatment as per directions.

I recently added a Fluval Mini CO2 kit to my aquarium. It's the one that uses paintball CO2 cartridges and have the bell diffuser. Since I added it, I've seen noticeable growth in all my plants, which is pretty exciting to see. Didn't see this much growth with just Fluorish Excel. So I learned the lesson that any CO2 is better than none at all (which you all probably know already).







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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-30-2015, 04:08 AM
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One Oto? Add at least 1-2 more asap! They'll become incredibly depressed, and not eat much, and then die, if there's only one. Also, more will help with the algae.

Otherwise, good progress.


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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-30-2015, 09:40 AM Thread Starter
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@kman

yes, just one Oto. After reading through the forums, I've heard other people say what you just did: Otos are social. Although I've had him for more than a year, I'll make sure to get a companion soon.

I've been monitoring ammonia, nitrite, nitrate levels and I can probably afford to add a few more fish (gradually).
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