Matt's 5.5 Gallon <Tearing it down - see last page> - The Planted Tank Forum
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 107 (permalink) Old 03-11-2010, 03:59 AM Thread Starter
Planted Member
 
matthew.shelly's Avatar
 
PTrader: (3/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Dallas, TX - St. Louis, MO
Posts: 219
Matt's 5.5 Gallon <Tearing it down - see last page>

Matt's 5.5g Planted Tank

Currently set up in my school apartment.

Equipment:
Standard 5.5 gallon aquarium (16"W x 8"D x 10"H)
Standard included hood with 13W 6500K CFL bulb
AquaClear 20 Filter
25W Marineland Visi-Therm Stealth Heater

Scape:
4 Kg sand/gravel mix
Manzanita Driftwood
Various Rocks

Fauna:
Neon Tetras (Paracheirodon innesi)
Pond Snails

Flora:
Anubias (Anubias nana)
Java Moss (Vesicularia dubyana)
Duckweed (Lemna sp.)
Wisteria (Hygrophila difformis)

Last edited by matthew.shelly; 01-30-2011 at 11:54 PM.
matthew.shelly is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 107 (permalink) Old 03-11-2010, 04:19 AM
Planted Tank Obsessed
 
PTrader: (2/100%)
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: San Diego, California
Posts: 486
I recommend you switch that incandescent light bulb with a CFL because it has the correct spectrum for plants.

I would add at least two more Paracheirodon innesi to keep a school. Also, an Otocinclus sp. or two can keep algae in check for the future.

For your flora, I recommend you add a fast growing low light stem plant to help with any algae issues. Rotala rotundifolia var. "Colorata" is a personal favorite of mine.

Pictures would be nice!

Justin
RcScRs is offline  
post #3 of 107 (permalink) Old 03-11-2010, 04:20 AM
Algae Grower
 
catchandrelease's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Alberta, Canada
Posts: 142
not seeing any pics, did you insert your links?
catchandrelease is offline  
 
post #4 of 107 (permalink) Old 03-11-2010, 04:22 AM Thread Starter
Planted Member
 
matthew.shelly's Avatar
 
PTrader: (3/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Dallas, TX - St. Louis, MO
Posts: 219
History

This tank has actually been running in various capacities for about a year now. I though I would share the Different stages it has gone through.
(Dates are estimates)

April '09
I started with plastic plants. There were originally 5 Neons. One died in the first week after getting himself lodged in the filter intake.

That driftwood is fake. The two Anubias plants in front of it, however, are not. They are my first live plants.

At this time, there was also a Black Mystery Snail in the aquarium.

July '09
Here, I had found a nice, large piece of Mopani driftwood at PetSmart at a steal. I believe I paid $2-3 for it.

Sorry for the low picture quality.

I had also purchased several stems of Wisteria. In these pictures they had recently been violently trimmed. I also had some larger rocks I had taken from the yard.

August '09
At this point I had decided I really did not like the way the wood was positioned, so I flipped it. I had also grown tired of the Wisteria which was creating a mess of leaves on the bottom.

I also removed the larger rocks to make more room.


January '10
I spent 4 months studying abroad in Madrid, Spain. During this time The tank was in the care of my younger brother (and dad). I was actually surprised that I only lost 1 Neon. When I returned I split off some baby Anubias and did some minor re-scaping.

I now had 4 plants.

February '10
A month later the Neons made the 11 hour car trip back to St. Louis where I go to school. This was their second time doing this trip as they had originally be bought in St. Louis. After a couple weeks of school, I decided To try something different.

This is what I came up with. I noticed that the empty space in the hood on the left side was just enough for me to be able to have the wood stand upright.

Here you can see each of the 4 individual plants. Just after this picture was taken, I started dosing with Flourish, Flourish Excel, and Flourish Iron (the new leaves were quite yellow).

Overall this new design has left open a lot of space. I hope to get some more plants in the near future to start filling the gaps. Also, even after taking the wood out an boiling it for several hours, it is still leaching. The latest pictures were taken soon after the redesign so the water appears fairly clear, but has since returned to the darker color seen in the earlier pictures. I don't mind it, I'm just looking forward to it clearing up again.
matthew.shelly is offline  
post #5 of 107 (permalink) Old 03-11-2010, 04:31 AM Thread Starter
Planted Member
 
matthew.shelly's Avatar
 
PTrader: (3/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Dallas, TX - St. Louis, MO
Posts: 219
Quote:
Originally Posted by catchandrelease View Post
not seeing any pics, did you insert your links?
Haha. You guys are too fast for me. Pictures are up as you can see.


Quote:
Originally Posted by RcScRs View Post
I recommend you switch that incandescent light bulb with a CFL because it has the correct spectrum for plants.
Already on it. I'm going to be picking one up before the end of my break. I am currently searching my house since I am sure we have some around somewhere. If not, I will stop by Lowe's by the end of the week.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RcScRs View Post
I would add at least two more Paracheirodon innesi to keep a school. Also, an Otocinclus sp. or two can keep algae in check for the future.
That is something else I am currently debating. I can't decide if I want to wait and see how long the Neons last and the switch this over to a Betta tank, or go ahead and add more Neons to complete a school.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RcScRs View Post
For your flora, I recommend you add a fast growing low light stem plant to help with any algae issues. Rotala rotundifolia var. "Colorata" is a personal favorite of mine.
I have looked into these plants also. I'm not sure if I want stem plants at the moment. My past experience with Wisteria wasn't too pleasant. Currently I am looking at getting 2-3 Java Ferns to place in the back corners and some Java Moss to attach to the wood.
matthew.shelly is offline  
post #6 of 107 (permalink) Old 03-11-2010, 05:02 AM Thread Starter
Planted Member
 
matthew.shelly's Avatar
 
PTrader: (3/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Dallas, TX - St. Louis, MO
Posts: 219
Future Plans

Never Satisfied

List of things I want to do with the tank (not listed in any particular order):

1)Replace current incandescent bulb with a CFL bulb.
-Any suggestions on brand, wattage, or other things I should look at on the package? I've seen bulbs that claim to consume only 13W of power while supplying 60W of light. Would this be an acceptable bulb for my little tank?

2) Add more plants. Currently looking to add:
- 2-3 Java Fern plants
- Java Moss
- Possibly some Dwarf Hairgrass
Any other suggestions?

3) Add some Manzanita wood or substitute it for the Mopani already in there. I kind of like the look of the thinner branches.

4) Add a background. Blue? Black? I have no idea yet.

5) Change the current stock of the tank. Right now it has 3 neons. This just isn't really acceptable, but I have an internal debate going on as to how to reconcile this. My two options as of now are:
- Wait for the neons to die. I've had them for about a year and they have been through A LOT. My newbie learning curve, several ill-administered re-scapes, 2 11-hour car rides from St. Louis to Dallas and then back again, another car ride from when we moved across the city last summer, 4 months of my brother's care (something I thought would be a certain death sentence), and a bout or 2 of ick.
Then I could stock the tank with a betta or something else.
OR
- Add more neons to the tank to make a school. I worry about this due to the size of the tank and its current lack of plants.

Maybe you guys can offer advice/cast votes as to what my course of action should be? I love hearing suggestions/criticisms.
matthew.shelly is offline  
post #7 of 107 (permalink) Old 03-11-2010, 06:49 AM
Algae Grower
 
tankaddict's Avatar
 
PTrader: (1/100%)
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Sacramento,CA
Posts: 60
As for lights just get a full spectrum bulb rated at 6500k or higher. A 13 watt CFL will not give you 60 watt of light. For fish I would go get some CPDs (celestial pearl danio) they are very nice and stay fairly small and are much hardier than neons. I would also get a black background to bring out your tank better. Also get some moss they would be a great addition to your tank.
tankaddict is offline  
post #8 of 107 (permalink) Old 03-11-2010, 08:41 AM
Wannabe Guru
 
HypnoticAquatic's Avatar
 
PTrader: (18/100%)
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: arvada, co
Posts: 1,294
theres no such thing as watts of light, watts are how electricity is rated, lumens and par is whats needed to tell if its comparable, every light is different. as for the kelvin thats more of personal choice of what color light u want to look at cause most of the light 90% is wasted and reflected back, plants only absorb around 10% of cfl, hps, mh. i would also watch that temp sensor i've had one fall out and raise the temp to mid 90s just put a alligator clip on it. hope it helps
HypnoticAquatic is offline  
post #9 of 107 (permalink) Old 03-11-2010, 07:34 PM
Planted Member
 
PTrader: (3/100%)
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Louisville KY
Posts: 234
Most of us are using between 26 and 52 watts of cfl 6500k over our 5.5g's when using co2 or excel. Or 15-26 watts when not using those.

The stock hood can be modified to hold 2 bulbs to get better light spread fairly easily. It allready uses a double sided bulb housing. You just have to move that to the middle and break out the plastic webbing so the second bulb can fit. Pliers and a steak knife work great and it takes 20-30 minutes tops.
hybridtheoryd16 is offline  
post #10 of 107 (permalink) Old 03-15-2010, 05:39 PM Thread Starter
Planted Member
 
matthew.shelly's Avatar
 
PTrader: (3/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Dallas, TX - St. Louis, MO
Posts: 219
Well I got back from spring break yesterday. All fish and plants were still alive. The tank was a bit cloudy.
I discovered that where the wood came up out of the water there was a bit of fuzzy mold growing on it. yuk. So I decided I needed to switch it back to being fully immersed to prevent that from happening again. After I did some washing and scrubbing I put everything back in the tank. I also trimmed and propagated one of the Anubias. I'm pretty happy with the result. I'll post pictures maybe later today once everything settles a bit.
matthew.shelly is offline  
post #11 of 107 (permalink) Old 03-15-2010, 11:16 PM Thread Starter
Planted Member
 
matthew.shelly's Avatar
 
PTrader: (3/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Dallas, TX - St. Louis, MO
Posts: 219
Pic update

So as promised, here are the pictures:

FTS

I suppose I ought to get some plant to go in front of the heater on the right side.



I like this one because you can see more of the detail in the wood.


angle:


This is me trying to be fancy:




matthew.shelly is offline  
post #12 of 107 (permalink) Old 03-16-2010, 05:57 AM
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Pearl City, HI
Posts: 5
I like that piece of wood! What if you angled it within the tank, with the short upright piece moved back towards the left corner of the tank and the long piece spanning the tank at a diagonal. I think this will give more depth to the tank.

Also, a black background will hide your hob/heater and make your plants pop more. (whoops, you already have that on your list!)
fishycat is offline  
post #13 of 107 (permalink) Old 03-16-2010, 05:17 PM Thread Starter
Planted Member
 
matthew.shelly's Avatar
 
PTrader: (3/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Dallas, TX - St. Louis, MO
Posts: 219
Quote:
Originally Posted by fishycat View Post
I like that piece of wood! What if you angled it within the tank, with the short upright piece moved back towards the left corner of the tank and the long piece spanning the tank at a diagonal. I think this will give more depth to the tank.
That sounds good. I'll have to try it. I'll shift it around a little bit during the next water change.
matthew.shelly is offline  
post #14 of 107 (permalink) Old 03-17-2010, 12:24 AM
Planted Tank Guru
 
RipariumGuy's Avatar
 
PTrader: (10/100%)
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Green Bay, Wisconsin
Posts: 3,614
That looks good!

"My next hobby is going to be tearing up $100 bills while simultaneously banging my head against a wall and flooding my basement."
"Ask not what the hobby can do for you, but what you can do the the hobby" - ScapeFu

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Wabi-Kusa Pimp #3
RipariumGuy is offline  
post #15 of 107 (permalink) Old 03-21-2010, 07:18 AM Thread Starter
Planted Member
 
matthew.shelly's Avatar
 
PTrader: (3/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Dallas, TX - St. Louis, MO
Posts: 219
Quote:
Originally Posted by matthew.shelly View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by fishycat View Post
I like that piece of wood! What if you angled it within the tank, with the short upright piece moved back towards the left corner of the tank and the long piece spanning the tank at a diagonal. I think this will give more depth to the tank.
That sounds good. I'll have to try it. I'll shift it around a little bit during the next water change.
Moved it slightly. The issue is that the wood is naturally curved so it can't really be turned too much before it hits the front of the tank. I also moved the plants just a little. The largest one got pushed back to the corner. Hopefully it will add some depth. Nothing really picture worthy though.
What will be picture worthy is when I get some new plants in. I ordered some moss from the S&S. Can't wait to get that.
matthew.shelly is offline  
Reply

Tags
None

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the The Planted Tank Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome