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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Recent FTS (Updated 3/3/13)

Plants: Hydrocotyle tripartita, various mosses, Crepidomanes auriculatum, Crypt nevilli, Crypt wendtii





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I am dry starting a 5.5 gallon before I go off to college so that it will be ready to set up when I move in to my apartment. This little project is to curb my aquarium craze, because I bought a 25 gallon cube that I have decided to save for later. I also need a reason to go to the fish store and visit the cute guy at Neptune's.


Undergravel filter made out of drip system tubes and biomedia.




Threw together a hardscape, and dry starting F. fontanus and H. tripartita. Ugly.




Third try, I think the shrimp might appreciate the driftwood better. It's been 3 weeks since the last photo. I don't think the F. fontantus is doing much. :( Still wondering if I should scrap the stones altogether.




:fish:Any thoughts, good or bad, on hardscape? I figure I don't have to finalize anything yet, and might as well get some opinions before I put in an order for shrimp.
 

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Maybe smaller "pathway" stones?

Are you gonna carpet the background in live plants? That would be sooo totally awsome!
 

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I would some anubiasjava fern and water sprite. Easy, low light tolerant and very BEAUTIFUL! :3
 

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Maybe smaller "pathway" stones?

Are you gonna carpet the background in live plants? That would be sooo totally awsome!
I agree that the smaller pebbles were a great pathway.

The shrimp will love the driftwood -- maybe cover a larger rock or part of the driftwood with a pretty moss like peacock or Christmas?
 

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You are a girl so you are entitled. If you were a dude with girl talk, stop it now!

:p

great plant scape. Which types of mosses are you planning for?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
The only thing I am entitled to is written in the Constitution. But I guess girl talk falls under free speech, right?

Fissidens fontanus will go up front on the plastic mesh. I got some mini x-mas moss sitting in my shrimp holding tank waiting for this tank to flood. Finally, weeping moss for my moss wall! I am so excited, this tank is going to be a moss party.
 

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I really can't wait to see how the moss wall looks when its grown in! I like the hardscape, too :)

(Ah, I don't know how I posted before I was done. haha.)

Actually, I was hoping you could explain your undergravel filter a bit, too? I've never seen a DIY one before, and I'm not sure how they're meant to work..?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I know, I love weeping moss! Right now I'm considering redoing the plastic mesh though, I think the moss might not be getting enough light. I'm going to see if there is some kind of glue I can use.

I based my under gravel filter off of Mordalphus' design, seen in this post: http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/showthread.php?t=155975

As you can see, there is a system of tubes with holes underneath the substrate, I made my holes facing inward, then I covered the tubes with bio-media so that the substrate doesn't get sucked in, and to provide a lot of surface area for a nice bacterial colonization.

The difference is that I use an HOB filter to power the under-gravel filter. However, I don't think this is powerful enough, and also I haven't figured out how to connect the tubes. I might switch to a TOM Mini Rapids canister filter. This way I can also create an inline CO2 reactor for better CO2 dissolution.

I used a UGF because since water is being constantly passed through the substrate, you can grow a great big bacterial colony for nutrient stability. It also acts as a kind of prefilter for the shrimps so they don't get sucked in and made into filter sushi. :D

Since this is a nano shrimp tank, this works well because I don't need a tone of water circulation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
As a side note, I'm a big bio-filter enthusiast. I don't see the need for chemical filtration as long as you have a stable bio-filter, and there isn't a lot of natural mechanical filtration in nature. I am also lazy and poor, so this kind of tank setup lends to more enjoyment by a college student like me.
 

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I love the idea! I might see how it works out, but I'd be so worried about substrate clogging it up if I did anything with soil. I'm quite new to this, and anything DIY scares me, haha. But poor is the name of the game in college, so I might find myself giving it a shot anyway! Thanks for the info :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Don't be afraid of DIY! My worst experience has been to try and de-rim a 5.5 gallon tank. I ended up with broken glass everywhere and bloody, cut up hands. Then my dad walked in and freaked out. $15 down the drain, but then I got another tank for free, so it was alright.

Other than that, you usually end up saving lots of money, and also you get the fun and satisfaction of designing and building it yourself. I would say the #1 rule of DIY is to have the right tools, and put in a good bit of research before commencing any project.

What size tank do you have/want to have? If you're unsure about UGF, look into a Mattenfilter! I will be using that in my next project. If you any questions about it, I will be happy to give you some links to resources.
 

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I'm not about to uproot everything in my 10g at the moment, but I've been hearing so much about everyone with thier shrimp tanks and all of the joy those bring, so I was looking at maybe starting a shrimp tank of my own.

Other than that, I'm debating the merits of getting a 55gallon in (provided I can convince my roommate) the livingroom. (We could fit a 300 gallon if I wanted. But we only have a year lease, that seems excessive... haha) I'd be considering UGF for that one if I do it. In the meantime, research and such!

I've heard the term thrown around before, but I've not really know what a mattenfilter is. A quick google gives me the impression that it's confusing. A sponge surrounding the intake hose instead of by the output?
 

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Nice tank. I love the gravel pathway. A few questions:
What substrate are you using?
What type of lighting are you using?
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
Silmarwen: Trust me, TRUST ME. If you forsee even 1 move in the near future, much less 2 or 3, wait for the 55 gallon. It's a pain in the student's gluteal (which is already sore from hours of uncomfortable library chair usage) to move a tank. It may also disrupt your biological filter, and or cause stress and susceptibility to disease for your fish (and maybe even for you??).

Shrimp tanks are indeed lovely, much easier to care for, and very fascinating! Just don't let your drunk visitors pour vodka in the tank. Bad news for your shrimps.

Monster: Azoo substrate, suggested to me because of less cloudiness in the set up, which was certainly the case for me.

I used the Marineland double bright 18" led fixture for dry start, then switched to the very small Marineland 11" LED fixture, which is perfect for a medium lighted 5 gal. I am getting good results so far, and I am injecting CO2. No algae yet, and H. tripartita is pearling a little!
 
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