The Planted Tank Forum banner

11.33 gallon cube

5361 34
Well I am the proud new owner of a 11.33 gallon, High Clarity Low Iron, Glass Cube.
Dimensions: 13.78" x 13.78" x 13.78"
For the stand I found an old speaker at Good Will ($6) and the fit is nearly seamless. So I gutted the inside and turned it into a storage cabinet.
So now I'm trying to figure out the best way to create an environment for the critters I'd like to keep.
Fauna plan:
1 Dwarf Puffer
3-6 Kuhli Loaches
Possibly 1-3 otos if the algae gets crazy
I know this is pushing the limits of what I can safely stock in the tank but from what I've heard Kuhlies carry a very light bio load. Does any one have any thoughts on the minimum or maximum number I should keep in this tank?
So keeping the Kuhlies in mind, I pulled out an old under gravel filter I had and I am going to try to turn it into a hiding cave for them. I think I might run a bead of silicone along 2 sides of it, to keep it from moving over time.

I also plan on adding an acrylic lid.
Here is a crude drawing of my hard scape plan.

Key:
A)under gravel filter [UGF]
B)up take from the UGF to the HOB filter
C)pile of stones
D)drift wood
E)sponge covered with moss
F)Plastic tarp
G)entry tube for kuhlies
So I am planning on putting a sheet of plastic, probably from a freezer bag, over the top of the UGF, leaving the back corner (around the filter intake) uncovered. In that corner I'll put gravel, and have the plastic rise up the side of the pile. I'll put potting soil over the plastic, and the rest of the bottom. I think I'll go about 3/4" to 1" from the tank bottom to the top of the soil. Then I'll cap the dirt with sand. I have white silica sand, but I might go with play sand instead, to give it a more natural look. Is one better for kuhlies than the other?
Letter G in the drawing is an entry tube for the kuhlies. I might do more than 1, I haven't decided yet. Any suggestions for what size tube will let the kuhlies through, but be too small for the puffer? Also I've heard that kuhlies are masters of the tight squeeze, what's the maximum size gap that should be over a filter intake?
One side of the UGF, that is up to the glass, has gaps that can be viewed through. I'm thinking about running transparent red tape along the outside of the glass, over this area. Then, hopefully, I'll be able to shine a light in and see the kuhlies without disturbing them. I would really appreciate any input any one can contribute.

2/29\16
I got a lot of good information about the girth of kuhli loaches and pea puffers in a different thread I posted. With this information, I've decided to remove the circle pate covering one of the air tube ports in the UGF, and put a short tube in. the theory is that the puffer won't be inclined to swim down the tube, and if it does then it won't be able to navigate the small space in the UGF, and will hopefully go back up. One of my biggest fears with this design is that I'll have to rip everything up to fish the puffer out of the UGF.
After boiling the water I let it sit for 2 days, emptied the water, and boiled it again. Now the water is stained red.

Now I'm imagining a tank that looks like Moses put a plague upon it.:hihi: At least it's progress, hopefully the tannins will thin out soon.
I got the back panel done today. Since the tank sits in a sunny window I decided to take some reflective window film, and paint it black. The effect looks like a watery mirror.

I went this rout instead of just painting the back panel so I could easily change it if the mood ever strikes. A word of caution for anyone else who wants to try this; I put painters tape on the corner of the film, to lift it from the plastic cover. When I went to pull the tape off, the paint started lifting from the film, so I just left the tape there. If I ever do this again I'll try to get the film off with out tape, or at least use a lower tact tape.
The next step is to silicone the UGF into place. The plan is to tightly wrap the 2 outside edges in saran wrap, then run a bead of silicone along those edges. Hopefully once it dries I'll be able to lift the UGF out, leaving the silicone border in place.

2/10/16 Progress update:
1.The UGF is siliconed into place.
2.I found a tube that fits the filter and into the UGF. I covered the end of it with mesh.
3. I cut out the bars across the plate & the ring in 2 places to allow for some separation, then put the tube in.
4. I cut the rectangular tube down to size. It's about 3/4" taller than I wanted it, but I didn't want to cut through the slits.
5. I cut out the bars over the other plate to make the round entrance, and I cut out a rectangle for the other.
6. I put it all in place and covered it with plastic.

Once I was finished I played around with the placement of the wood.

The plant is just some Anubias barteri var. that I am moving from one tank to another, so I just shoved it in there for effect. I do plan on putting a bunch of Anubias nana in the crevices of the wood. I'm still boiling the top piece, right now the difference between the 2 is noticeable, but once the top one gets some age on it, I think they'll blend nicely. The 2 shapes almost fit together like a puzzle. With all of the seed material I added from other tanks, the ammonia has already dropped down to 0, and I just dosed it back up.

I got a lot done today.

The water's still a bit cloudy, but I wanted to get a picture before all of the crypts melt.

Substrate: Ecocompleet mixed and topped with Silica sand.

Plants that I know the names of: Anubias barteri var., Anubias nana, Echinodorus tenellus (dwarf sword), Ludwigia repens, Staurogyne repens, Java fern, Java moss, and Crypts that I think are; Cryptocoryne wendtii, Cryptocoryne beckettii but they were sold as "Crypt Plant".
I don't know what the 2 with the sparse large leaves, that are red on the underside, are.

The one at the top, with the small bright green leaves I found and has done well in my other tank.

There also is some moss that was found.

I positioned and zip tied the 2 pieces of wood together. The top piece of drift wood is still letting out tannin, but at a much slower rate. I decided it was good enough, since I am still cycling the tank, so will be doing a very large water change in the future. Also I plan on adding Purigin, once the filter is established.

I've put the moss I found by a stream at a couple of the peaks on the wood. Then I put Java moss across the diffuser grid in hopes that It will grow tight onto the wood.

So far everything looks good with the UGF.

Not too much sand made it down.
I might need to replace my heater. It was keeping the 3 gallon tub heated to 75* but in the big tank the temp is at 72*.
21 - 35 of 35 Posts

· Registered
Joined
·
326 Posts
Discussion Starter · #21 · (Edited)
I got a lot done today.

The water's still a bit cloudy, but I wanted to get a picture before all of the crypts melt.

Substrate: Ecocompleet mixed and topped with Silica sand.

Plants that I know the names of: Anubias barteri var., Anubias nana, Echinodorus tenellus (dwarf sword), Ludwigia repens, Staurogyne repens, Java fern, Java moss, and Crypts that I think are; Cryptocoryne wendtii, Cryptocoryne beckettii but they were sold as "Crypt Plant".
I don't know what the 2 with the sparse large leaves, that are red on the underside, are.

The one at the top, with the small bright green leaves I found and has done well in my other tank.

There also is some moss that was found.

I positioned and zip tied the 2 pieces of wood together. The top piece of drift wood is still letting out tannin, but at a much slower rate. I decided it was good enough, since I am still cycling the tank, so will be doing a very large water change in the future. Also I plan on adding Purigin, once the filter is established.

I've put the moss I found by a stream at a couple of the peaks on the wood. Then I put Java moss across the diffuser grid in hopes that It will grow tight onto the wood.

So far everything looks good with the UGF.

Not too much sand made it down.
I might need to replace my heater. It was keeping the 3 gallon tub heated to 75* but in the big tank the temp is at 72*.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
326 Posts
Discussion Starter · #22 ·
As a side project to this tank I've started a snail jar, so I'll always have a supply at hand.

It's a 3 gallon cookie jar. For the sponge filter I drilled holes around the bottom of a short length of PVC pipe and glued it to the bottom of a small terracotta pot. Once the glue was dry I put a sponge over the holes. I drilled a hole in the top of an elbow joint, fed an airline tube through it and put an air stone on it. Then I drilled a hole in glass lid to the jar (this was my first time ever drilling glass, I'm quite proud of myself for not breaking it:grin2:). Then I threw as many snails I could find out of all of my other tanks in. I also put some moss and plant clippings in. I didn't bother with cycling, the snails are tough and can take it. So the plan is to periodically grab as many snails as I can see from my other tanks and toss them in. once the jar becomes more established I might try to catch some black worms, that are quite cocky in my shrimp tank since my scarlet badis passed, and see if they will culture.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
5,740 Posts
Anchor Hawkingcookie jar? Are you sure its 3g? I've only seen it in 1g and 2g size.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
326 Posts
Discussion Starter · #24 ·
Anchor Hawkingcookie jar? Are you sure its 3g? I've only seen it in 1g and 2g size.
I don't know the brand, it's not stamped. I bought it 13 years ago to keep cat food in. Soon after I decided to get a larger container for the cat's food and it's been sitting empty since. It is about 10.5"h with about a 4.5" radius= approximately 2.89285714285714 gallons.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
326 Posts
Discussion Starter · #25 ·
Well I win the "idiot of the day" award. I was messing with the filter intake, I left it running w/o any covering and something jammed the impeller. I unclipped it and instead of going to get a screwdriver to pry the bottom off, I grabbed a small pair of very sharp scissors that was right where I was working. Of course they slipped and I now have 2 puncture wounds on my left hand. I got it checked, no stitches needed. to keep my hands dry for the near future I got some arm length rubber gloves from the farm supply store.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
326 Posts
Discussion Starter · #27 ·
pH problems

I think I'm going to have to loose the rock. Although it didn't react to vinegar, when I put it in the tank the pH raised to 8.4.
I let a handful of the river rocks sit in one bowl of water, and the large rock in another overnight. when I tested this morning the large rock made the pH 8.2 and the small ones raised it up to 8.4.
My water comes out at around 7.6 and most of my other tanks run at around 8.0-8.2, because of substrate, but I think this might be pushing it too far for the fish I want. I'm also going to test the sand after it's been soaking for a day. It's silica sand, so it should be inert, but I'm going to make sure. So the tank's a mess right now, while I try to figure out a detour in the direction of the scape. Anyone have any suggestions for a type of replacement rock? I've heard lava rock is inert, but I wonder if it's too rough for the kuhlies.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
326 Posts
Discussion Starter · #28 ·
I just tested the water that has had sand in it overnight and the pH is 8.2 :angryfire I thought silica sand was supposed to be inert. [exhausted sigh] one more thing to try to figure out.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
504 Posts
I think the main problem is water out of your tap is 7.6. First you want to make sure your test kit didn't expire and if it is really 7.6.

If it is really 7.6. Then using ADA amazonia substrate will buffer water to a lower slightly acidic pH or alternatively adding a small porous tied up bag of peat moss will also lower the pH.

There might be a reason why your tap water is so high in pH assuming your test kit is correct, you should test kh and gh too. If these are high then it's not surprising for pH to be high. Your water might be perfect for African Cichlids!

Sent from my SM-N910W8 using Tapatalk
 

· Registered
Joined
·
326 Posts
Discussion Starter · #30 ·
I think the main problem is water out of your tap is 7.6. First you want to make sure your test kit didn't expire and if it is really 7.6.

If it is really 7.6. Then using ADA amazonia substrate will buffer water to a lower slightly acidic pH or alternatively adding a small porous tied up bag of peat moss will also lower the pH.

There might be a reason why your tap water is so high in pH assuming your test kit is correct, you should test kh and gh too. If these are high then it's not surprising for pH to be high. Your water might be perfect for African Cichlids!

Sent from my SM-N910W8 using Tapatalk
Yeah our water is really that high. But the area fish stores also keep their livestock in local water. I'd rather not be constantly trying to adjust the tank's pH levels, from what I understand this is more stressful on the fish then just keeping them at a higher pH. But if I can figure out how to set up the tank, from the beginning, so the pH doesn't raise so much, then I'll do that.
Also I'm trying to get a feel for just how sensitive Kuhli loaches and pea puffers are to hard water and high pH. Our water comes out with 150ppm GH. I don't have a TDS tester yet (it's on my list).
 

· Registered
Joined
·
504 Posts
Yeah our water is really that high. But the area fish stores also keep their livestock in local water. I'd rather not be constantly trying to adjust the tank's pH levels, from what I understand this is more stressful on the fish then just keeping them at a higher pH. But if I can figure out how to set up the tank, from the beginning, so the pH doesn't raise so much, then I'll do that.
Also I'm trying to get a feel for just how sensitive Kuhli loaches and pea puffers are to hard water and high pH. Our water comes out with 150ppm GH. I don't have a TDS tester yet (it's on my list).
Yes I agree that maintaining a stable pH even if it is high is better than constantly trying to change the pH. Since your local water is like that, and local fish stores also have their fishes in high pH then I guess as long as you acclimatize your livestock very slowly and carefully should be okay? Cardinal shrimps would suit your water too by the way.

Sent from my SM-N910W8 using Tapatalk
 

· Registered
Joined
·
326 Posts
Discussion Starter · #32 ·
Well thanks to a discussion on this thread I have figured out that my water's pH raises from 7.6 to 8.2 when left to sit overnight. So that mostly solves the mystery of the rising pH. I'm still trying to decide if I should nix the river rocks. They raise the water from 8.2 to 8.4, will a 0.2 raise in pH levels make that much of a difference? They're out right now, while I figure out how I want the wood. I'm going to look into something to replace them with, as I really liked the way the black rock looked around the wood.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
326 Posts
Discussion Starter · #33 ·
Yesterday I did emptied most of the water, messed with the wood and got it configured. I'm pretty pleased with the hardscape arrangement I ended up with.

I took this pretty bad, back lit, cell phone picture, after filling it back up. I'll take a better one when I get the chance. I also got a chance to set up the "moss flow"

The top piece of wood is getting a bit of white fuzz on it, but that's to be expected, since it's the only piece that was new to a tank. Every night I dose ammonia and in the morning I test for it and get a zero reading. So really the tank is ready for fish, but I'm going to stare at it for a while and make sure that I don't notice anything else that needs to be messed with.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
326 Posts
Discussion Starter · #34 ·
A few days ago I noticed some of the anubias leaves are starting to turn brown. It seems to be getting worse every day. I was looking up different threads to try to find the cause and had a "Duh" moment when someone mentioned CO2 levels. Once I knew the tank cycled I turned off the Air stone. With little surface agitation and no fauna (except copepods and a couple pond snails) the water is probably chocked full of O2 and has very little CO2. So now I'm going to run the air stone again until I can get the Kuhli Loaches.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
326 Posts
Discussion Starter · #35 ·
I made n interesting discovery. After nearly suffocating (is there a word for depriving plants of CO2?) my tank my Ludwigia repens said "thank you for fixing it" by growing 2" and deepening the red on every leaf down it's stem. Hears a picture of the top 5" I trimmed off.

The nitrates were pretty high (80ppm) so I did a large water change tonight, in case I come home with some thing good from the swap meet I'm going to tomorrow. Now I'm wondering if I should trim off the brown from the leaves on the anubias plants, snip off the entire leaf, or just let it be? The moss has started to adhear to the wood, so I raised the water level in the tank to 2" below the rim.This still gives me a little bump of an island sticking above the water.
 
21 - 35 of 35 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top