Spec III Office Tank in the making - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-16-2015, 05:15 PM Thread Starter
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Spec III Office Tank in the making

Well, in my haste to get the tank set up (i was super excited to get the go ahead to start this little project) I failed to take any pics of the setup. To that end though, the set up really is the same as most of the rest, no need to rehash. I started with the Spec III because of it's size. The goal is to have a low maintenance office tank that will be inhabited by inverts. Current plan is for no fish just because they add to the needs of the tank and additional maintenance that is not super easy to take care of at the office.
Here is how the tank sits right now. It has been up and running for 10 days.

I'm going to be doing a little work on it today (maybe add a few plants) and i'll list what is in it after I wrap up the initial set up. The plan is to let it sit at home another week so the roots can establish themselves. Then I'll drain it and bring it into work one morning and refill it.
I know some people will spot this right away, and yes, the rock is fake, but for the purposes of this tank it is what i went for. As the tank matures, the rock will look more natural.
Let me know what you guys think. The setup is bone stock right now, still looking at Co2 options, but with the root growth I've seen so far it may not be necessary.
Thanks!
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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-18-2015, 01:03 PM
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I agree with you that the rock will look more natural with time (when it's covered in algae... lol). The lobelia cardinals in the back right is more of a mid ground plant. If you are going to add more plants, I would move it forward and add a taller plant behind it. Other than that, I think it's a great start. Just know that the more plants you have, the less shrimp you will see in there.

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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-18-2015, 11:38 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks knm. Knowing that the tank isn't very deep, I used the lobelia cardinals in that location on purpose. Didn't want to put something too tall in front of the out flow. I did add some water wisteria in behind it though to fill in the back of the tank. Also picked up 2 more marimo balls and two anubias nana to fill in the open floor space. Wanted the substrate completely covered.
Tomorrow is moving day. I will be sure to snap a quick pick of the tank before the move to my office cube.
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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-19-2015, 08:14 PM Thread Starter
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Here is a newer full tank shot.

The transition to the office went smoothly. Had it back up and running in no time, just drained it down, put it back in the box, and filled it up once i got into work.
So far i've been very happy with the progress of the tank. Here are some of the specs:

Fluval Plant and Shrimp Stratum

pogostemon helferi
lobelia cardinalis
hygrophila difformis
anubias nana
telanthera cardinalis
marimo balls

I'm going to be adding some shrimp and a snail at some point down the road. Thanks for looking.
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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-19-2015, 09:38 PM
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Was the Cardinalis grown emerged and then lost color in the tank?
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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-19-2015, 10:21 PM
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The stock lights on the Spec tanks are great for low light plants (like Anubias, Java ferns, etc), but inadequate for plants with higher light needs. They are LOW low light. IME most red plants need at least Medium light to stay red. Have you checked the light requirements for the species of plants you've selected?

Specs are great office tanks, though. I love mine!


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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-19-2015, 11:41 PM Thread Starter
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They were tissue cultured. All plants were emerged growth, except for moss balls. I have thought of upgrading the light, but have not done that yet.
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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-26-2015, 04:05 PM Thread Starter
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Time for a brief update:

Plants seem to be doing well, as do the ghost shrimp I added last week. While not exactly the species I was looking for, they were readily available and seem to be enjoying the tank. Plant growth continues with the pogostemon helferi and lobelia cardinalis showing the most growth. The Anubias is also starting to put out new growth. Per the suggestions I did upgrade the lighting. I actually brought in a small Marineland LED fixture that I had at home. I attached some larger rubber feet to it as well. I'm still considering C02, but will be dosing with a liquid booster until i go that route.
One thing I have not been able to source locally are nerite snails. Attempted to buy several from Petco, and they were all dead. During my return of them to the store, the entire stock appeared dead. Not a good experience.
Any feedback is welcome. Thanks for checking out my tank.
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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-26-2015, 05:29 PM
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Looking nice and healthy!

Ghost shrimp don't have an especially interesting appearance, true, but they have more personality than any other species. I think they're a riot.

Nerites can be hit or miss, apparently, in terms of availability. If you order online, you'll pay a small fortune in shipping. May be worth it, that's your call. Otherwise, keep trying local places is all I can say. At least a chain store will give you a refund if you have a dead critter, so there's that.


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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-26-2015, 08:43 PM Thread Starter
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My thoughts exactly on the ghost shrimp, I actually got to watch one molt today which was cool. The whole point of this tank is to be low key, so I'm happy with how it has turned out so far.
I'm running an 8 hr photo period with the light. Do you guys think this is too much? I've not noticed anything negative thus far. Also, when/if I start using CO2, should I adjust this period? I've read that some people prefer two photo periods with a short break in between. With my timer at work this wouldn't be a problem, but was hoping you guys would weigh in on the subject. Thanks!
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post #11 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-26-2015, 09:50 PM
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8 Hours is a good starting point. Siesta timing can sometimes help with algae issues, but don't put the cart before the horse.

Let it run, and see how it does!

No need to add time if you start dosing co2. Although if you end up backing off, timewise, to 6-7 hours, you could bump it back up if you start dosing co2. 8 Hours is normally the max, though, dosing or not.


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post #12 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-03-2015, 07:09 PM Thread Starter
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Well, security came around yesterday and told me that it was against company policy to have aquariums with aerators/pumps. So the tank pump got unplugged. Apparently this is okay. We'll see if I catch any more flack.
I can understand not wanting external filters, or bubblers, that in the even of a failure could leak, but that is the beauty of a Spec, it is all internal and these problems don't occur. Maybe I should have questioned them a bit more, but i was caught off guard, and i did not feel like arguing with them.
So my tank is now going to be plant based filtration only. I will still plug the pump in to eject water for my water changes, but that is the only time the filter will run.
What considerations do I need to make now. Obviously i am not going to be adding any fish. I know I will also need to increase my water changes. Anything else you guys would suggest?
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post #13 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-03-2015, 07:18 PM
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How will they know if it is plugged in? Point the nozzle down. Without a filter your water won't look as good and you won't have circulation.

Could be a good experiment to see how it does. Without fish I don't see a reason for weekly water changes.
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post #14 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-03-2015, 08:17 PM
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You can put the pump on a timer and only have it going while your at your desk or at night. Just to have some circulation sometimes.

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post #15 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-03-2015, 08:25 PM Thread Starter
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Trying to lay low for a little bit in case they come by to follow up. I'm just happy to be able to keep it.

If i'm just running this with Shrimp only, what would you suggest the water change schedule be, with the filter running or not running?
I'm use to large, fish filled tanks that require regular water changes. Small cubes are new to me.

Thanks.
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