Brand New 6 gallon, Take a look if you don't mind helping a beginner... - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-17-2007, 07:47 AM Thread Starter
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Brand New 6 gallon, Take a look if you don't mind helping a beginner...

I currently have two reefs, a 29 gallon and a 12 gallon, and now out of interest I am taking up their planted cousin. I have a small little 6 gallon all in one, a JBJ Nanocube, and am looking to start it up. I have read quite a bit and have the tank up and running. I have a 1.5" layer of FLuorite as the substrate, some driftwood, and the tank is filled with half tap/half RO water. I am running 18 watts PCs with a 6500k bulb. For the first week, the water was a milky white, so I ran a big HOB canister filter on it, and after a few water changes, the water seems to be turning into a yellowish/brown color but has remained clear. The pH is 7.8 and I have added 5 ml of Fluorish Excel. Eventually, I would like to have a single Dwarf puffer.

a)How am I doing so far? Is there something I should change?
b)Is it normal to run carbon?
c)Is excel adequate? I have read that general opinion is that its ok for smaller tanks, but figured Id ask
d)How can I clear up the water?
e)Any other advice?

Thanks, Steve
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-17-2007, 09:42 AM
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a)Good! not really, just add a bunch of plants.

b)Not all the time, no need, it wastes after a few weeks and becomes biomedia anyway, so it really doesn't matter. I save it to strip meds from hospital tanks. Just fill your filter compartment with some type of biomedia and filter floss.

c)Excel is great stuff, besides supplying organic carbons, it's a mild algecide. You might want to hook up DIY CO2, but it's not totally necessary. Check out writings on Tom Barr's no CO2 method, or Diana Walstad's El Natural method if you want to better understand ways of providing a carbon source other than

d)The driftwood is probably going to keep leaching tannins for a little while, so you'll need to be patient and do water changes. You can try a few runs with something like carbon or Purigen.

e)Add lots of plants! Start with a ton of stem plants then replace them later with Crypts, anubias and java fern! Build a wicked hardscape with manzanita branches and post pics

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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-18-2007, 01:57 AM
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I second jaidexl on this one, add a lot of plants from the beginning, if you do you will have less problem with algea b/c the plants will try and milk every nutrient out of the water that they can. Yes driftwood will still leak tannins for a while, that is to say unless you take it out and boil it for a few hours. I've dosed excel in my 30 gal and it has helped tremendously, as well as normal flourish and flourish Iron (which brings out the reds). What is the hardness of your water? I have a ph of 7.8 that will not go down b/c the alkalinity is out the roof, however my overall water hardness is moderate, not to hard or soft. Is the puffer the only thing you wish to put in there? They don't get but the size of a dime and usually hide (at least mine always did)...

What kind of plants did you want to put in there? Also, unless you're planning to put a shallow rooted plants in the tank, I would suggest leveling the substrate out to 2 inches, that extra 1/2 can make a difference with plant roots.

What kind of theme were you going for?

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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-18-2007, 10:13 AM
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I also have two reefs, a 90 and a JBJ 12,and just started 2 fw planted nanos a few months ago. I as well, keep a single dwarf puffer in one, but keep two orange shrimp with him. I started with 1/2 tap 1/2 RO, but have switched to using straight RO. What plants were you thinking of getting for your tank? I have found if you can place the tank where it gets a bit of sunshine it really helps.If you haven't already, you may want to take a look at the dwarf puffer site, lots of good info on their care.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-21-2007, 08:07 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys! Let me say what a friendly welcome to the forum.

Actually I've read the dwarfpuffer website pretty thoroughly and have decided to make this as natural a habitat as possible. I was planning on keeping some combination of the following:

giant hygrophilia, dwarf hygrophilia, java moss, beckett's cryptocoryne, any other ideas?

This is my first planted, so Im not well versed in the different aesthetic designs.

Is the tank large enough to house two puffers?

Also in regards to the driftwood, before putting it in I boiled it for about 5 hours. But in the tank they are still leaching tannins, I suppose. I have done several water changes wit RO water and no additives and still have slightly hazy water, I've also been running carbon since day 1.

My hardness is somewhat soft. Also, I added more fluorite to get the 2".
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-21-2007, 11:37 PM
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i agree with all add lots of plants,my only problem was the ahlogen light i use to the beggining, but i switch for a fluorescent light ,add some ramhornesnails a couple of otocinclos and alga its gone, and the fertilizer u are using its great
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-22-2007, 02:24 AM
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In dealing with puffers, it is a coin toss, some can be very nice, others can be very betta's it just depends on the individual fish. As a species however, the dwarf puffers aren't generally mean as long as they have enough food. If there are enough snails in the tank to keep them busy, generally (in my experience) they're ok. However, they are territorial with their own kind. I had 2 in a 29 gallon and they still could be nasty once in a while. Basically, do as we all have been saying, plant heavily and you should be fine. Past that, the Giant Hygro might get a little too big and be a pain to trim constantly. What about other crypts? Wendtii (green, bronze, red) are pretty tolerant of conditions. Java fern and anubis would be good attached to the driftwood, just like the java moss will be. Corkscrew val doesn't get as big as many of the others, that would lend you a very intersting plant to have.

As far as aquascaping, usually the tallest plants go to the back, the next in the midground, and the shortest in the foreground. Place the driftwood in such a way that it doesn't draw all the attention, but draws some of it. Set it off center or something... I could go on about aquascaping but there are some pretty good pictures of aquascapes that are on this forum, look around to get a good idea of what you want to make and then create it as your own...

Oh and the hazieness just might be the flourite dust or (more than likely) it is the bacteria trying to colonize in the tank...Happy Scaping and Merry Christmas...


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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-22-2007, 06:02 AM
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I have a dwarf puffer and he is docile. I won the coin toss. He is my invisible 'honorable mention' in an S.A. tank. I don't see him too often, as he is amongst the plants keeping a watchful eye for developing snails. Sentinel is his name.

I'd say go with carbon rather than purigen to get out tannins. I ruined a whole batch of purigen with tannins (wouldn't bleach out), so I don't waste the expensive stuff for this purpose anymore.

Oh, and "add some ramshorns" = dead ramshorns with a DP. THE BEST snailicide ever.

Welcome and good luck. I've long thought about a mini reef, but planted tanks are limitless in possibilities and way cheaper.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-24-2007, 11:04 AM Thread Starter
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Well let me know what you all think. There is still more work to be done as far as the aquascaping goes. Like I said, I'd like to recreate a biotope, so I will adding some more stuff and substituting some different plants, but this will suffice. So far, I've been unsuccessful in finding a dwarf puffer for sale since I wanted adults so that I could sex them. Enjoy!

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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-24-2007, 11:33 AM
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Great looking tank! Good luck with it.
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-24-2007, 11:36 AM
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I like it. I hope your plants do well in there. Do you think that picture does the lighting justice or is it brighter in person?
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-24-2007, 12:43 PM
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Looks great!

I would add a little needle leafed java fern on the hardscape and call it a day!

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