My first attempt 2.5g Bow. Need pointers. - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 45 (permalink) Old 09-22-2008, 04:46 AM Thread Starter
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My first attempt 2.5g Bow. Need pointers.

Noooob warning!

Attempted to do a 2.5 nano this weekend. This is my first attempt at something more advanced than gold fish in a bowl.

I took an old 2.5g mini bow tank that looked like this
and removed the plastics for a semi rimless look.

It was a very budget minded setup, without the light and tank, the accessories (SMS, Filter/refills, Driftwood, PlantSolutions Water Conditioning fizz tabs, Florapride) totalled about 50 dollars total. (including the 20 dollars for the plants)

I went ahead to got some SMS from Home depot, some Java Moss, some other java.. Fern[?], and a Green Wendtii. I basically looked around for some low light plants since I don't really have a tank light right now.

Whisper 3g hanging filter.
http://wholesale-garden-supplies.com...roductid=18727

Here is a pic:




Now for the Q's:
1) I think my Green Wendtii is dying (turning brown). Is it too late to maybe try to find some tabs for it? I put a few drops of liquid nutrients into the tank already. Not enough light? What's wrong with it

2) The tank has been cloudy since late last night (when I put everything together). From what I read, SMS is the culprit. My filter has been rinsed 3x already since it has turned completely brown every few hours. I put some clearwater drips into the tank. Anything else I should try? I'm going to attempt a small water change tomorrow.

3) I have a single Halogen bulb G4 12V 20W (the one from IKEA http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/20119381) on the tank. Will this be enough?

4) Will having a hanging filter cancel out the option of running a diy co2?

5) I had a hard time anchoring my plants into the light SMS. Where can I find a place to pick up a small package of sand? I'm seriously thinking about picking up some sand from the Charles (I live 5 minutes from the river) and putting a layering it above the SMS. After I boil it ofcourse. I don't see the point in buying a big bag of playsand from HomeDepot if I only need enough for a 2.5g
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post #2 of 45 (permalink) Old 09-22-2008, 01:26 PM
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If it was my tank, I would change a gallon out today, and another tomorrow if the tank was still cloudy. But two important things right off the bat are water source and that you don't stir it up even more when adding the fresh water.

I use an RO/DI unit, and while that's not for everyone, at least I know I have good water entering the system. What type of water did you add? (tap, bottled etc)

Also, use a bowl or something to pour the water into, in the tank, so that it doesn't disrupt the settling that's already taken place.

Finally, maybe the little filter just isn't strong enough to de-cloud the water? Do you know how many gallons per hour it is or if it looks like it's doing work in there? Are you running charcoal in the filter?

I'm not one to give advice on planteds since I just started a 3g planted myself, but I have been keeping saltwater reefs since 2000 and fish only freshies since before that.
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post #3 of 45 (permalink) Old 09-22-2008, 01:33 PM
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I just read the specs on that filter, 20 gallons per hour is not enough in my opinion to clear up the water as fast as you would like. Maybe on a setup and running system, it would be fine, but it's having a hard time cleaning the water column IMO
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post #4 of 45 (permalink) Old 09-22-2008, 02:44 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taku View Post
I just read the specs on that filter, 20 gallons per hour is not enough in my opinion to clear up the water as fast as you would like. Maybe on a setup and running system, it would be fine, but it's having a hard time cleaning the water column IMO
What do you suggest is sufficient? I see there are small sized submersible filters like mine that do ~60-80gph. Is that enough?
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post #5 of 45 (permalink) Old 09-22-2008, 02:45 PM
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The wendtii might be just melting away, as it commonly does after being planted or transplanted. It will grow back. It certainly doesn't need any large amounts of light. Don't go too crazy on the liquid ferts, either. Not yet, anyway.

As far as the cloudiness goes, I'm sure it will clear away. It's just suspended particulate. One thing that might help is to actually turn your filter OFF for an hour or so, to let it all settle. Otherwise, just be patient, and don't go overboard on the water changes, which may very well just stir up the substrate some more.

Less is more, keep that in mind at all times.
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post #6 of 45 (permalink) Old 09-22-2008, 02:48 PM
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As far as your filter is concerned, I wouldn't worry about it. I use a Red Sea nanofilter, which is only rated at 15gph, and I use it on a 5 gallon, and it does the job very well. I also, FWIW, have the same filter on the exact same 2.5 minibow you are using. So if your Whisper filter is rated with a higher flow than the Red Sea nano, I wouldn't worry about it.
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post #7 of 45 (permalink) Old 09-22-2008, 02:49 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Church View Post
The wendtii might be just melting away, as it commonly does after being planted or transplanted. It will grow back. It certainly doesn't need any large amounts of light. Don't go too crazy on the liquid ferts, either. Not yet, anyway.

As far as the cloudiness goes, I'm sure it will clear away. It's just suspended particulate. One thing that might help is to actually turn your filter OFF for an hour or so, to let it all settle. Otherwise, just be patient, and don't go overboard on the water changes, which may very well just stir up the substrate some more.

Less is more, keep that in mind at all times.
Hey Church, just wanted to say your gf's 2.5 tank came up on some of my searches. That was one of the inspirations that got me into attempting to use my tank!

Sounds like I will look into a CF at the local hardware store and leave it as is for a bit to let everything settle.
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post #8 of 45 (permalink) Old 09-22-2008, 02:54 PM
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^ Why thank you!

My girlfriend will be proud to hear that!
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post #9 of 45 (permalink) Old 09-22-2008, 08:23 PM Thread Starter
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Got home from work. Took the dog around the block and went into a hardware store down the street, picked up CF lamp sweet. A sand pile from some construction caught my eye.. so I bagged a sandwich bag full >=) Boiled the sand for a long while and picked at it for a little bit.

Here's the lamp if anyone is interested:
http://interstore.com/product/132-18..._DeskLamp.html
A accidental find, 26 bucks OTD.

Had some time before class so I figured I'd play around with the tank again. I siphoned out about 60% of the water and refilled. Also replanted and fixed some things that were bothering me. I dunno cus I'm a noob to this whole thing, but layering the sand over the SMS really helped keep the plants down! Threw a tab in there just in case.

Water cleared a little bit, no more crazy brownish color. it's more of a hazey color now. I can actually SEE the plants!

Thanks for the suggestions guys.




Here's the guy I'm worried about =(


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post #10 of 45 (permalink) Old 09-22-2008, 08:35 PM
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Looks good. Just do yourself a favor and leave the water changes alone for a little while, lol. It definitely looks good as it is, so just let it all settle and let the cycle begin. Forgive me if you already know what I'm about to say, but you said something about only doing goldfish bowls before this, so...

...DON'T ADD LIVESTOCK YET UNTIL AFTER THE TANK CYCLES!!!!

Do yourself a favor and read up on "fishless cycling." Working with such a small tank is not exactly easy, although I wouldn't say it's difficult either. But little things that are normally innocuous, like a water change, are more drastic on a small tank such as this. When the tank cycles, it's more of a defined swing in the nitrite and ammonia levels than a bigger tank. When you overfeed in a small tank, it's more detrimental than it would be in a 10g.

Just keep all those things in mind, and for the next few weeks while it cycles, DON'T TOUCH ANYTHING! The water is going to get cloudy again, while the initial bacterial bloom occurs, and if you change the water it will set you back. After the bacteria establishes itself and the nitrites go down to 0, then go ahead and add your livestock.

Best of luck to you! This place is the best place for all your answers, for sure.

Welcome to the Planted Tank, btw.
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post #11 of 45 (permalink) Old 09-22-2008, 08:38 PM Thread Starter
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Yar thanks for the info! I wasn't planning on adding stock for a while, I know I have to cycle. Just didn't know when it's done =) Was just reading about it on RexGrigg's blog.

Oh and random question.. my filter is producing alot of bubbles from the air pump. These bubbles get to the surface of the water and pop.. splash small bits of water out of the tank.. Any info on this? Do I need some kind of valve to adjust the air pipe?


Heading out to class. Thanks guys.
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post #12 of 45 (permalink) Old 09-22-2008, 08:50 PM
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I've never used an air pump in any of my planted tanks before, so I've never had that problem. My advice would be to either limit the airflow coming from the pump somehow, like with a valve, like you mentioned. Or, just find a way to diffuse those bubbles so they don't attack the surface so violently. I'm thinking, like, maybe putting some floating plants right above the bubble current? Or, just get a red sea nano filter. Those don't use air pumps like that whisper does.

(I got my red sea nano from a lfs for $12, brand new.)
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post #13 of 45 (permalink) Old 09-24-2008, 12:36 AM Thread Starter
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So my tank was running fine all day yesterday and the water wasn't too cloudy like before. Except now it's looking funny.

There's a weird cloudyness to the water and visibility has been reduced.

The filter has been catching what look like a green/brownish color to it. What is this?

The only thing I can thing of is the SMS is kicking up?

Also my plants had these air bubbles all over them yesterday and they all seem to have disappeared, is this normal?

I guess I just have to sit back and wait it out?
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post #14 of 45 (permalink) Old 09-24-2008, 03:21 AM
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The cloudiness could be a bacteria bloom. Normal stuff. I'd just let the tank do it's thing for a couple of weeks more before I tried troubleshooting anything else it may be.

One thing I'd do is I'd tie the moss to a rock or the driftwood. It'll grow neater and nicer that way.

Otherwise, great start!
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post #15 of 45 (permalink) Old 09-24-2008, 04:06 AM Thread Starter
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Just got home and my gf was shocked at how the tank cleared by itself. It's not completely crystal clear, but it's a tad bit visible now. The filter is soooo brown. I guess I'll leave everything be for the time being.

I was curious how people were getting the moss to grow on stuff.. How do you "tie" it to a large piece of Driftwood like mine? It's growing very unevenly at the moment.
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