Athos 5 gal hex - yellow shrimp home - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-08-2009, 02:47 AM Thread Starter
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Athos 5 gal hex - yellow shrimp home

Hello everyone. I've been reading up on this site for a few weeks. I decided it was time to show my current work in progress. It's fully cycled and has been setup for about 2 months.

Tank: Eclipse 5 gallon Hex
Filter: Built into hood, replaced the cartridge with the ceramics from a AC50
Light: 10 W spiral power compact 10,000K
Heater: cheap 50 Watt
Substrate: Inert gravel

Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 10-20
pH 7.8
GH and KH: Need to test these
temp: 78 F
Ferts: Seachem Flourish twice weekly
No CO2

Flora:
Java fern
Java Moss
Anubia barteri 'Coffeefolia' (this is what the LFS sold it as, we'll see)
2 unknown varieties of crypts

Fauna:
4 pygmy cories (Aspidoras)
2 Oto Cats
1 Small YoYo Loach
Many unwanted snails that hopefully the loach eats

The tank was setup as a place for some of my smaller plants to grow under higher lights than my current planted tank (it's even more of a work in progress than this one). Eventually, all the fish but the Otos will come out and I will have some Yellow Shrimp in here.

Things I plan to upgrade:
I'm trying to find a 10 or 15 Watt 6700K bulb to fit in this hood.
I've decided this filter sucks and have an AC20 that is being seeded on a bigger tank currently.
The heater will be replaced by a Stealth heater when I get around to ordering one.
I plan switch out for a smaller grained substrate.

I had been turning the lights on when I left for work and off shortly after getting home. I was shooting for about 10 hours a day. I got a timer and they will now get two 4 hour periods with 3 hours in between. This will allow me to see the tank lit up before and after work. The lighting change was brought on by research here and an outbreak of hair algae. I added the Otos yesterday to see if they can help with it.


Also, if anyone can identify these plants I'd appreciate it. I got them from a guy taking his tank down. He said they were crypts. They've definitely rooted into the gravel and have stayed alive pretty well.



Please ignore the glaring rubber band job of attaching the plants. Both my planted tanks are kind of test beds right now until I get the new substrate and things get set more permanently. Right now I'm just trying to get the plants to grow without major algae issues. I'll work on prettying it up later. The rocks are in there because the cories wanted cover from the light. Every time I would turn the light on, they would try and cram themselves under the biggest java fern and stay there all day. Since I added the rocks, they swim freely about the tank with the light on. Crazy little buggers...

-Athos

More pictures can be found at the link
http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/tags/5galhex/

Last edited by Athos710; 02-03-2009 at 01:55 AM.
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-08-2009, 03:32 AM
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Good start! you've picked nice, easy, low light plants so I think it will do well! Welcome to the world of planted nanos!

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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-08-2009, 03:33 AM
 
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Excellent choice of plants. The crypts look like Crytocorne Wentii(bronze and green). Do you plan to keep the Yo Yo loach in the tank long term. It may not be suitable for a 5 gallon long term. IMHO and IME(I have the same 5 gallon hex, check out my signature), you are really pushing stocking levels. In my 5 gallon hex, I have one otocat, assassin snail, and two amano shrimp and a bunch of unwanted snails which I thought the assassin would take care of but he does not care much for them. This seems to be the limit of what my tank can sustain eventhough it is much more heavily planted than yours. IME, it is always risky pushing stocking levels beyond what a tank can sustain even with a heavily planted tank. It places all inhabitants under extreme stress(the number one killer and cause of illness among fish next to overfeeding).

A few fast growing stem plants(ambulia, bacopa, rotala, etc.,) and a floating plant will help to keep algae at bay over the long run. You can always thin them out as your tank matures and stabilizes.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-09-2009, 11:11 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the identification of the crypts

Yes, the YoYo is a temporary inhabitant. If he hasn't put a dent in the snails by the end of the month, he'll be out of the tank. Actually, at that time he'll be out either way as I should be getting my shrimp at the end of the month.

I tried rubbing some of the algae off of the side of the tank by hand yesterday when I did my water change. The algae was having none of that. It was very solidly attached. Would it be worth it to get a little magnetic scraper?
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-09-2009, 12:12 PM
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I found one of those bath gloves that is exfoliates works great on plastic tanks that is hex shaped it is easier for me to get in all those corners. I got mine at the dollar store, I rinsed mine out really good first just to make sure there was nothing that could be toxic to the fish. Never know what they have to spray in the containers when they are shipped from overseas.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-09-2009, 12:37 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Athos710 View Post
Would it be worth it to get a little magnetic scraper?
When I was looking at reviews for this 5 gallon hex, many did not like the fact that the plastic scratched up so easily. Although I have no experience with a magnetic scraper, a pet store staff member who had the exact same tank warned me not to use one. She said in her experience it would scratch up the tank even the ones identified as safe for acrylic tanks. She said that the inability to scrape algae of these tanks without scratching them up badly is the reason that she will never buy a plastic tank again and stick to glass. I have some green dust algae and green spot algae on my tank walls, but I am not messing with it too much. I may get a nerite snail as they are known to feed off this kind of stuff. But for now, I would rather have the green dust and green spot algae(which is only visible in some areas and not the whole tank) than have a badly scratched up tank with scratches showing all over the place.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-09-2009, 11:09 PM
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I had this tank. Its true, "acrylic safe" scrapers will scratch it. Not so bad that you can't see into the tank, but definitely make the tank look foggy, via a million tiny scratches. I had to clean the sides of this tank with wet, rinsed papertowels, and do tons of rubbing.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-10-2009, 08:47 PM Thread Starter
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I am holding off on putting too many more plants in until I get my new substrate (should be in about a month). I have a feeling the crypts won't make it through a complete removal and replacement of the substrate, but we'll see. I don't know much about plants that aren't moss or Anubias.

I'm looking into some stem plants. Does anyone have suggestions for what could work in a tank this size? I think I will try sunset Hygro when I get the new substrate, but I like having options.
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-10-2009, 09:29 PM
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sunset hygro is very easy plant to grow in fact it will take over your tank lol
I trim 5 to 6 inches off every couple weeks or less it is good for using up nutrients in tank
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-10-2009, 11:20 PM
 
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I have ambulia in the tank and it grows like a weed. It does tend to grow leggy after a few months, but you just need to cut the stems closest to the top, cut the remainder off closest to the base(I would not yank it right out or you could end up with dangerous ammonia spikes) and replant and they will grow more bushy. They look better grown in bunches so I would plant no less than 3 together.
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-15-2009, 02:26 AM Thread Starter
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Against my better judgment, I went ahead and got some sunset hygro before I switched the substrate. Someone in the local club was giving it away for free . I should have waited, my substrate won't hold it down very well and most of it now exists as floating plants in my tank. The good news is that I can see roots coming out from the floaters, so they seem to be liking my tank at least a little.

I am about to leave on a work trip for 8 days (I leave Friday). I am trying to decide what to do with the lights while I am gone. I got a splendid timer for Christmas that I can program for different light cycles on different days if I need to. I still have a fair amount of hair algae in the tank right now. I was able to clean the most of the hair algae off the sides of the tank by using an "algae sponge" they sold at the LFS. It did not scratch the tank, this time. However, the algae looks like it is trying to choke out my big java fern and that makes me sad. I'd be very happy if I could just get this stuff kicked.

I believe that amount of time (8 days) would be too long for a black out. I have a feeling I'd come home to some dead plants. Anyone have any advice on what I should do with my lights while I am gone? Should I change something or just leave them with the (2) four hour periods each day?
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-16-2009, 03:13 AM Thread Starter
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I'm leaving in 16 hours. Can anyone offer some advice?
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-17-2009, 09:06 PM
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I have to say, it sounds like you are going to need to put in a DIY CO2 to kick the problem. That or dose Excel, but since you're leaving you'd need someone to do that for you.


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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-25-2009, 02:34 AM Thread Starter
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I left the light on my standard (2x) 4 hour cycle for the whole trip. Most of the algae on the plants seems to have subsided. Of course, I have a lot more on the sides of the tank now. I think I'm going to look into ordering some Excel. The sunset hygro is doing fine, the Anubias sprouted 2 new leaves and the java fern is just chugging along.
All my fish seem to be doing fine, except the 1 otto cat that is still hiding from me. No evidence of a dead body, but no sign of him either. I also had a snail explosion while I was gone. I'm thinking of moving all my fish to a different tank and shooting my CO2 levels through the roof to eliminate the snails.

In an attempt to get some algae for the plecos to eat in my 40 gallon while I was gone I left the single 40 watt T8 bulb on for the whole week. The plants (java moss, java fern, anubia) all look great and there's not a speck of algae I can see.

Picture update coming soon.
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-30-2009, 05:11 AM Thread Starter
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Pictures as promised. Things got delayed a little, the mini-blizzard in my area kept me from getting my new shrimp until tonight.
Current stock list is 1 Otto cat and 17-18 yellow shrimp, I never could get a good count. There's also a bunch of tiny ramshorn (I think) snails that I am attempting to exterminate.
The new stem plant was given to me as "narrow leaf hygro" I tried to get a clean shot of it in the 3rd picture.

There's still quite a bit of algae. I've graduated from only hair algae to also having green fuzz algae. My excel should get here next week. We'll see if the shrimp have any effect on the algae between now and then.

I got some Amazon frogbit as well with my shrimp, but it's in my larger tank right now. I think it might block out too much of the light for my stem plants in this tank. Anyone think it could work in this tank?
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