First Tank (15 Gallon) - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-17-2015, 05:45 AM Thread Starter
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First Tank (15 Gallon)

This is going to be a build and question thread. As this is my first tank, all advice is appreciated. I am going with a 15 gallon tank for my desk. I know larger tanks are easier, but but my requirements are 1 that it needs to stay within the weight limit of my desk and 2 it needs to be easily movable as I am currently renting. This tank will be low tech and I need to be able to be away from the tank for 7 day stretches.

So my goals are to have the following:

Fish:
1 Male Betta
6-10 Neon Tetra
1 Bristlenose Pleco
Possible some snails and shrimp

Plants (still deciding):
Foreground:

Mid (around trees):
Right - Staurogyne Repens
Left - Water Wisteri

Background:
Right - This will probably stay empty as it will be hard to maintain
Middle - Amazon Swords
Left -

Trees:
Right tree - Christmas moss
Left tree - Anubius nano midway up the main part / Anubius nano petite on the branchs

Floating: Frogbit (at least for the starting to keep algae under control)

Gear:
Aqueon 15 Gallon
Fluva 206
Cobalt Aquatics 100 watt heater
Finnex Planted+ 24/7 24" (didn't get first preorder unfortuantely)

Stretch:
Use my Raspberry Pi and possibly Arduino(s) as a controller
Potentially automated feeder for when I'm out of town
Redo the 24 hour function on the Planted+ to have a sunrise, 4 hour light cycle, all LEDs full brightness except white, 4 hours cycle, fade to moonlight

Progress/Photos:
Masking tank to plastidip background...Could find any paper so I uses targets lol




The tank was too low on my desk, so I custom made a stand. I took 4 pieces of mdf (drilled the center 2 panels a bit to reduce weight) and screwed and glues them together. Next I took some fake leather from the fabric store and glued it to the mdf. Turned out pretty well.





Fitted stuff in... The driftwood broke so I re-adhered with 20 gallons of silicon, so now it is never moving.


Starting to add substrate.








Quick shot of the desk


Gluing the driftwood back...


After it set enough to tack, I continued with substrate.




Shot with the other pick of driftwood in the tank.


Custom made an intake prefilter


Unfortunately when buying driftwood, my eyes were bigger than my tank. Ended up with an extra piece that looks awesome, but I can't use on this tank. Kind of looks like a dinosaur.


Last edited by Sarlindescent; 06-02-2015 at 03:04 AM. Reason: Adding plants
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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-18-2015, 12:04 AM Thread Starter
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So have a couple questions.

1) Where should the out on the canister filter be? (Under water, half and half, above water)
2) Should the out be facing the front of the tank to create a swirl effect of it just straight across good enough?

Here are some updates.








Last edited by Sarlindescent; 06-02-2015 at 03:01 AM. Reason: removed url links in images
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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-30-2015, 05:53 PM Thread Starter
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Finally coming together. Planted + 24/7 arrived last night, so I put a few plants in.


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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-30-2015, 07:34 PM
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Coming along nicely! I love the footprint of the 15 gallon, I have a custom made acrylic one but it needs some fixing.

Anyways, I usually put the filter outtake in one of the back corners and have it facing the opposite corner to have the water kinda make a u-shape to get back to the intake. Having it under the water is usually no problem, you can have it half in/out if you want more aeration of the water but it'll obviously be louder.

My only thought on the plant selection is the amazon swords can eventually easily fill the entire tank, even just 1 will fill out the entire middle section front to back by itself. maybe some hygro pinnatifida or compakt, or crypts or something would work better over the swords, but up to you ^^ May turn out fine as is.

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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-01-2015, 04:19 PM Thread Starter
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Here are a few more pics. Had the BN since the start and he is a beast. Was planning on waiting a few more weeks for the betta, but finally found one I really wanted. The flaring pic is a bit washed, but he is basically Black body with blue accents and red fins with a 1mm black edge.








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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-01-2015, 05:55 PM
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I'm guessing your beta is a ctxdt mix (crown tail x double tail) from the spiky rays of the dorsal and the split in the caudal fin (unless it ripped?). Snails and shrimp will be in competition for natural grazing microfoods with the pleco. Also shrimp are very sensitive to uncycled/non aged tanks (with plenty of natural food for them).. and its a roll of the dice if the betta will be mellow or hunt and eat the shrimp. As it stands now the tank does not have anywhere near en ugh hiding places/line of sight break up for shrimp, or a schooling fish (imo). Its best to have the tank very heavily planted or with a lot of large decor/hardscape to break up line of sight to reduce tensions between betta and other fish.

Due to photobuckets new bs cost for use of images on forums I have deleted all photobucket accounts. I apologize if you enjoyed or found my photos helpful.

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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-01-2015, 05:58 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AquaAurora View Post
I'm guessing your beta is a ctxdt mix (crown tail x double tail) from the spiky rays of the dorsal and the split in the caudal fin (unless it ripped?). Snails and shrimp will be in competition for natural grazing microfoods with the pleco. Also shrimp are very sensitive to uncycled/non aged tanks (with plenty of natural food for them).. and its a roll of the dice if the betta will be mellow or hunt and eat the shrimp. As it stands now the tank does not have anywhere near en ugh hiding places/line of sight break up for shrimp, or a schooling fish (imo). Its best to have the tank very heavily planted or with a lot of large decor/hardscape to break up line of sight to reduce tensions between betta and other fish.

Thanks. Snails are out. And since I just got the lights Friday, those were the plants I found locally. I have some more in the works pending some deals going down. Excited to have the light, just been waiting and waiting.
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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-04-2015, 02:05 AM Thread Starter
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Got some plants and tank cycled in 2.5 weeks





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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-04-2015, 03:45 AM
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You got your tank cycled in 2.5 weeks? I once got my tank cycled in just a few days , but then again I cheated and used a filter from an already cycled tank lol.
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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-04-2015, 03:47 AM Thread Starter
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You got your tank cycled in 2.5 weeks? I once got my tank cycled in just a few days , but then again I cheated and used a filter from an already cycled tank lol.
I wish I had something, but since this is my first tank its fresh media, substrate, everything.
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post #11 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-04-2015, 04:18 AM Thread Starter
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What kind of algae is this?

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post #12 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-04-2015, 06:25 AM
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I am most likely wrong on this but I think that looks more like mold.
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post #13 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-04-2015, 07:03 AM
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It happens with all of the driftwood I have ever used. It's not algae. It's not harmful. I just blow it off with a powerhead and let the filters get it. It doesn't come back.
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post #14 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-04-2015, 07:24 PM
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My drift wood did it for about 2 months got a oto he cleaned it all


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post #15 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-04-2015, 07:26 PM
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normal for driftwood. fish may eat it
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