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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
NEW SCAPE STARTS ON PAGE 3



I figured I would start a new journal with this tank. This tank has been going for about 5-6 months. However, it has been suffering as I had to move it twice in 2 months. Right when it hits it's stride, I have had to move it. The r. macrandra, r. macrandra narrow leaf, and tiger lotus suffered most notably. They are more of a dull orange than the red they were before each move. Most stems have lost lower leaves as well. However, everything is recovering well and should look much better as things go. I don't know if I will add anything, I likely will if I find something interesting.

The Betta is just a Petco betta, nothing wrong with that. We named him "Bobby Flay". It a fitting name if you see it's behavior. Its fairly arrogant, yet intelligent. It is mean and loving at the same time. It loves attention.

The basic design was simple. I bought the tank and driftwood at the same time and they fit. I didn't really know what I wanted to do so I just added plants I had or got from people. I am kind of doing a loose dutch thing, it really doesn't need to wood and may look better without it but I just kind of like it. The stand is my "country style ADA" stand. I just used a bedside table somebody made for us, then a light bar out of some dowels I had laying around.

Specs:
-6 Gallon Generic Rimless Tank (I may be wrong on the gallons)
-DIY CFL fixture with 15 wattx2 bulbs
-Zoo Med 501 Filter
-Flourite or Floramax (can't remember)

I use Seachem comprehensive ferts on a rare occation, pretty much no ferts. No heater either. Very basic tank.

 

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I like it.

I have a 6 gal eclipse that has been my quarantine tank. I just kept it running after I moved my last batch of fish to my 20L.

It originally had a betta & started me out in planted tanks.

I've been debating on what to do with it & keep looking at betta's.

I like the drift wood:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I like it.

I have a 6 gal eclipse that has been my quarantine tank. I just kept it running after I moved my last batch of fish to my 20L.

It originally had a betta & started me out in planted tanks.

I've been debating on what to do with it & keep looking at betta's.

I like the drift wood:)
Bobby (this Betta) started in a 20 long community tank. I have had several and they seem to do great in a community tank or alone. It depends on the personality but some may try to bully. This one did. It was to slow to really do any harm so it was fine. It is actually a bit more timid in this tank until you really sit down and watch it, then it shows off.

I guess my point is, I find Betta's to be pretty flexible fish. Just don't put more than one in a tank unless you are experienced and don't put them with slower moving fish.

Thanks for the compliment, if it bounces back to where it was before the move, it should look much better as time goes on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Very inspiring! I am thinking of a bigger tank so I can plant stems plants and still have swimming room for my fish!
Small tanks (or more so short tanks) are fun for stems. You don't need a bunch of light to get color since the light is close to the substrate. Many fish will swim through/behind the stems so it doesn't encroach on their space as much as you would think, especially if you keep the stems lower in front, higher in back.

Hopefully I will have time to trim tonight. It should encourage some growth where leaves were lost as well as get some plants spread out more over the tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
This is one of those updates that may or may not be interesting but I need it for my own reference. I kicked it with fellow member OVT today. Among discussing life, music, sleeping patterns, lack of sense of direction, dogs, booze and other, we talked a lot about planted aquariums.

In the process, I talked about how I was getting some string/hair algae of some sort. It started when I first moved this tank to my GF's apartment. The tank struggled and it appeared. When the tank got back in order, it thrived about as much as the plants, never taking over but always a nuisance. When we move again, it subsided with the plants struggling from the move and came back with the plants.

He turned me on to using PondCare AlgaeFix, which he found through Tom Barr. He also gave me what he had left, as well as giving me a bottle of wine for my girl, quite the homie. Normally, I would try other mean to rid things of algae but this is thriving when the plants thrive, subsiding when they struggled from the move. I figure I will give it a try.

These pictures are for my reference but some may like them. This is way to much of a jungle for my taste. New additions are blyxa, HM, rotala bangladesh, and one more I don't remember and should have. Trim will come when everything has bounce back to where it was before the move and new plants are rooted well.

Pics (with algae)...light needs adjustment as well...




 

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Small tanks (or more so short tanks) are fun for stems. You don't need a bunch of light to get color since the light is close to the substrate. Many fish will swim through/behind the stems so it doesn't encroach on their space as much as you would think, especially if you keep the stems lower in front, higher in back.

Hopefully I will have time to trim tonight. It should encourage some growth where leaves were lost as well as get some plants spread out more over the tank.
Although this is true, I wonder if the stems stay compact or continue to grow to the top of the water line. I'm not a huge fan of plants hitting the waters surface in small rectangular tanks (I have a fluval spec 5 I'm planting out). Its just not esthetically pleasing.

Yours look just about right. Does that red plant stay low or are trimmings necessary (and how frequent)?
 

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The PondCare AlgaeFix and API AlgaeFix are from the same manufacturer but do check the concentration as I have never personally used either one. The stuff I gave you was used by my wife to keep the pond outside 'clean' as it is our dog's fav watering hole.

IME, green hair algae likes current without o2 (minimal surface agitation), BBA likes current and a lot of o2 (heavy surface agitation). I would increase your surface agitation just a bit.

Some links I've mentioned on the subject, with Tom Barr's comments:

http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/showthread.php?p=2090597#post2090597
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/showthread.php?t=197452
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/showthread.php?p=2091072#post2091072

The 4th plant was Myrio sp 'mini', a plant with an attitude.

Neo and I had a blast: I got to chat with a human and he got to play with a human. Total success! Your stones and R. colorata are much appreciated (next time bring a large bone). Looking forward to picking your brains even more next time.

PS: remember: wine for the GF, weed killer for the tank: you mix them up and I have never met you :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
PS: remember: wine for the GF, weed killer for the tank: you mix them up and I have never met you :)
I actually just mixed them together and we all had one hell of a party last night:icon_eek:

As I said in my PM, I actually have used the API stuff I believe, when I first started the hobby, as per a Petco employee's recommendation. So I am more familiar with the stuff than I thought. Thanks for the link and the species name of the plant.

Also, let me know how that R. colorata (if that in fact is what it is) does for you. As I said, it's one of my favorite plants and it works well in all lighting conditions, just with different coloration.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Although this is true, I wonder if the stems stay compact or continue to grow to the top of the water line. I'm not a huge fan of plants hitting the waters surface in small rectangular tanks (I have a fluval spec 5 I'm planting out). Its just not esthetically pleasing.

Yours look just about right. Does that red plant stay low or are trimmings necessary (and how frequent)?
All stem plants I have will reach the surface if you do not trim. That's just how they are. Nothing you can really do about it, except trim them.

I trim about once every 2 weeks in this tank. However, I don't trim that aggressively, meaning I don't cut a large amount off the top. I also don't wait until plants hit the top, except sometimes in back. I keep the low plants low, medium plants medium, high plants high, if that makes sense.

The only plants I have yet to trim are the two red plants in front of the wood. I have even trimmed the ground cover already, not since I started this journal.

Hope that helps, most plants, and basically all stem plants will need a proper trimming from time to time and the smaller the tank, the more often that usually is. CO2 or quick growth in general will lead to more frequent trimming. Trimming is what helps style a tank, which I hope will become evident as this evolves because I find it pretty ugly right now lol.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
So, the Algaefix isn't doing anything for the string algae. It is killing my snails which will not be missed, though I don't care if they survive either. Manual removal is really difficult with the driftwood, amount of stems, and tank size. If I leave any in, it will come back. It's not unmanageable and seems to only thrive to a point, then it kind of equalizes so it is not taking over. Hopefully something changes in the next 2 doses or I am going to stop and just deal with it.

On the flip side, my plants are thriving while using Algaefix so for anyone who has thought about it, but is concerned about their plants, don't be. Growth/color/condition has been totally unaffected which is good to know for future reference for myself. I thought they would be mildly affected but they are totally unaffected.
 

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But the Betta is still happy right?:)

I've been fighting green hair algae in my 20gl but I have a zebra nerite in there I'd hate to lose.

Maybe move him to the eclipse & dose the tank? How long till it would be safe to move him back? after the last dose? does the stuff break down fairly quickly?

Other fauna are threadfin rainbows & dwarf neon rainbows.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
But the Betta is still happy right?:)

I've been fighting green hair algae in my 20gl but I have a zebra nerite in there I'd hate to lose.

Maybe move him to the eclipse & dose the tank? How long till it would be safe to move him back? after the last dose? does the stuff break down fairly quickly?

Other fauna are threadfin rainbows & dwarf neon rainbows.
Betta is doing the same as he was before, kind of happy. He's over 2 years old so he is pretty lazy, especially now that he is by himself and has nobody to bully.

I don't have hair algae, I can't find it online but I have had it before, it's fine strands that are pretty course feeling out of water. I think it would do a much better job a hair algae than what I have.

As for advice on everything, I am hesitant to give any, as this is my first go around and my tank only has one fish. Snails will obviously die and many people have said shrimp will as well. I am not having any difficulty but I would consult some of the other threads for advice as I have very little going on in this tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
So...The Algaefix did not work at all on the type of algae I have. Not saying it is ineffective, just not on that type. I also tried using an Aquaclear 20 to increase oxygen in the water but it was too much flow for my betta.

I don't know if it's the fact my Betta is old (2.5 years), the fact that he is alone and doesn't have anything to chase, or the fact I don't have a heater but he seems to be much more "picky" these days. He will become active when I am in the room looking but when I walk in, he just chills. I think I need a heater.

As for the algae, I don't find it to be ugly so I am just going to see what happens. I did a 50% water change and just the tube sucks up 75% of it. It will come back to where it was, or it has, as I only water change every 2-4 weeks.

As for the plants/scape. The tank is past "recovery" mode and all plants are growing well. I feel my midground is good. The foreground will take time which I knew from the start. Background is ugly as all the plants needed to recover and will take some time to grow out.

New pic
 

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I love the tank, It looks like you took a section out of the betta's natural habitat and boxed it.

If the algaefix isnt working maybe the algae isnt algae? Could it be slime "algae"(CyanoBacteria) in which case Maracyn, an antibiotic, would be a better remedy.

I myself have some greenslime, first dose of antibiotic today.
 

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Did you slow down the filter at all? My betta seemingly just hides under the stem plants and does not much swimming anymore.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Did you slow down the filter at all? My betta seemingly just hides under the stem plants and does not much swimming anymore.
When I had the HOB in, I didn't slow down the flow. My Zoo Med doesn't put out enough flow to bother the Betta though, he doesn't mind being any place in tank with just the Zoo Med 501, he's just on the lazier side. Temp is about 73-74 which is on the low side, reason I am thinking a heater. I have been told by a few people that I need to be about 72-73 before a heater should become a concern, but he will slow down. The last tank he was in was about 80 degrees and he was active.

I am going to try a Fluval 25 watt as it is pretty unassuming and made for a 6 gallon tank. It's not adjustable which doesn't bug me it itself as I would have choose the same temp. However, the only non adjustable heaters I have had (all Tetra brand) have failed on me. It sucks because I have 4 heaters but they are too big, both size wise and wattage wise. I think only one will fit in the tank at all.
 
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