Bio Cube 14, First planted tank - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-03-2017, 12:48 AM Thread Starter
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Bio Cube 14, First planted tank

Hi all,

I'm new to planted tanks and am going to set up my BC 14 as a planted tank and would love some advice. I've been reading a lot about substrates and dirted tanks and decided to use Turface MVP as a substrate with some Osmocote plus underneath it. The plants I'm looking at getting are some anubias, dwarf sag, hornwort, java fern, and maybe some bacopa, amazon swards, and jungle vals. I have a Betta I'm putting in and want to get some shoaling fish like neon tetras, and a cory or two. I modified the filter on the BC 14 when I had it set up as a reef tank and opened up the overflow from chamber 1 into chamber 2. I'm planning on putting some floss on the tray over chamber 2 as a mechanical filter and remove the bio balls. I'm also removing the large filter pad at the bottom of chamber 2/3. I also want to replace the actinic compact florescent and the 10K compact florescent and replace them with 6500K compact florescent but can't seem to find any.

I need to get some new test kits. Besides test kits for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, pH, carbonate hardness, and general hardness, what other test kits would you recommend? For fertilizes I think I'll start with Seachem Flourish.

Any recommendations or advice to get me off to a good start would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

Chris
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-07-2017, 12:05 AM
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Betta + shoaling fish is probably enough for your tank, unless you use nano fish. Most shoalers really like schools of 6-8+, and if you use regular schoolers/shoalers like neons, corydoras and harlequins, you'll end up with a vastly overstocked tank. Luckily, there's a couple things working for you: there's a dearth of available nano fish like chili/pygmy rasboras and dwarf corydoras that you can more easily keep in your tank. So you could feasibly keep the betta, 6 pygmy rasboras OR ember tetras, and 6 pygmy corydoras OR rosy loaches.

I can't really comment on anything else, I'm more of a fish geek than a plant or parameters geek, but good luck, and welcome to TPT!

So many fish to keep, not enough aquaria.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-07-2017, 10:47 PM Thread Starter
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Hi ichthyogeek,

Thanks. Yeah, I definition do not want to over stock my tank. I'll have to look into the nanos and dwarf/pygmy fish. I picked up some plants the other day and put them in. I bought some dwarf sag, water wisteria, an anubia nano, and some crypt wendtii. Looking forward to see how they do.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-04-2017, 12:09 AM Thread Starter
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Ok, update time.

Shortly after the last post, I set up they Biocube. I used Turface MVP as a substrate and used some Osmocote plus for ferts under the MVP, tossed in a small piece of drift wood, and added an anubia (not sure which one, about 6" tall), some dwarf sag, water wisteria, and some crypt wendii. Checked the parameters and acclimated my betta. Based on LFS advice I dosed with Seachem Flourish twice a week and Flourish advanced every day for 2 weeks. Oh, and I changed out the 10K and actinic bulbs for some 6500 K bulbs I found on line (1000Bulbs.com)

During this time my ph would drop to the low 5s and upper 4s. With a 50% water change, the ph would still drop but a little slower. Also during the first 2 weeks I got some melting on the crypts but the wisteria totally melted. After doing some reseaerch I found out that Turface, being clay, will lower the ph so I pulled everything out and replaced it with BDBS. The ph stayed around 7 and upper 6s but still would drop down to the upper 4s. Water changes would bring the ph up but it would still drop just not as fast. I'm thinking it's the driftwood and the tannin.

Towards the end of July I got some nerite snails but lost them the day after a water change. My fault, I didn't have the new water up to tank temp of 78 deg. I also got some ludwigia repens.

In the second week of August we lost our AC and it took over 2 weeks before we could get anyone to come out and look at it (long story). The inside house temp went up to 90-92 degrees 4-5 of those days and hovered around 82-88 degrees the other days. The tank temp got up into the mid upper 80s so I turned the lights off during that time. By the time we got the AC to work again the ludwigia repens all melted away. I'm surprised the anubia, dwarf sag, and the crypts didn't melt away. They have some brown algai on them but that's it.

Yesterday I went to the LFS and got some more water wisteria, some Hygrophila Angustifolia, 3 otocinclus, and 2 Amano shrimp. The shrimp were fun to watch and now has me thinking of a shrimp only tank. Unfortunately, this morning I can't find them. They may be hiding but after some web surfing, I'm thinking the betta may have had some fun with them. Also lost one of the oto's. Right now he'll come out and swim around one of the other oto's but I haven't seen him attack the oto yet.

While I was at the LFS I saw a betta I took a liking to. He's cream color with some light orange half moon. I didn't get him but after I go home I called the store and told them to hold him for me. I took out an old 2.5 gallon glass jar (biggest think on hand) and got it set up. I picked him up today and he seems to be happy with his new home. I pulled the anubia out of the Biocube and super glued it to a rock and put it in the jar too. Seems to like resting on the leaves. I tried to use 2 50 watt heaters that I have on hand but the first one is stuck in the on position (lost a tank to that several years ago) and the second one won't turn on. I'll run to Petco tomorrow and see what they might have on hand for heaters. The LFS I go to is closed on Mondays.

Bump: Some pics.

Well, maybe not now. Have to find their URL.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-04-2017, 03:50 AM Thread Starter
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Almost forgot. I put 1/4 cup of crushed oyster shell into a media bag and dropped it in the 2nd chamber. I added 3/4 cup more oyster shell a few days ago and the ph looks like it's staying around the upper 6's and low 7's. There seems to be less of a big fluctuation in ph. I'll know for sure after a week.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-04-2017, 06:19 PM Thread Starter
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Interesting. My wife just called me into the kitchen. While she was sweeping up some dog hair (we have 2 big dogs) she found a shrimp body. Not sure how it got there, it's about 15' or so.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-08-2017, 02:03 AM Thread Starter
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-07-2017, 10:02 PM Thread Starter
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Here is an update photo of the Biocube. Everything seems to be growing nicely now. I found some dwarf sag over in the front left of the tank amongst the crypt wendti. I carefully removed them and planted them on in the front right of the tank. The 7 neon tetras seem to be doing well too. I'm debating whether to add a few more neons or add something else. Not sure what yet.

Ok, no photos after all. Can't up load them.

Last edited by Warpiper; 10-07-2017 at 10:09 PM. Reason: Can't up load photos.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-17-2017, 10:38 PM Thread Starter
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Lets see if a photo shows up this time.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-17-2017, 11:24 PM Thread Starter
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I added 5 red cherry barbs to the tank on Sunday. Didn't realize how pretty they looked until they were in the tank with a green back ground. I can see a lot of them in a big planted aquarium. Umm, wonder if I can sneak in another tank.
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