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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I decided to start up my first planted tank as a home for a new betta fish. I am coming over from the saltwater side, so we will see how this goes! I am going to run a stock Aqueon Evolve8 with just the single betta fish. Was thinking either a Halfmoon or a Halfmoon Plakat, but can't decide.

Plant list will include Nana, Java Fern, Tiger Lotus, Dwarf Sagittaria, Amazon Sword, and Jungle Val along with some driftwood and possibly a rock.

Will these plants work with the stock lighting that the Evolve8 has? I tried to pick plants that used low light and seemed hardy, but am looking for something else red that will help contrast the green color.

Substrate is 2" of pure Flourite. This seems like a lot of substrate for such a small tank. Is this the correct depth?

I plan on hunting down some plants and wood tomorrow from my LFS so I can get some stuff planted! Planning on doing a soft cycle with one fish at the moment, using API Quickstart as well.

Will try to add pictures as I go!

Boxed Up:


Water Added:
 

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the lighting is ..........ok for low light plants barely but it is a great little tank add some bioballs or ceramic rings to the sump area for extra biomedia
 

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I would seriously drop back on your plant list.
the amazon sword alone would burst the tank in a few months. A single amazon sword can get so big as to fill up a 29 gallon tank. Even the lotus can be to big for this tank.
look into dwarf versions of plants for this tank, even dwarf sag can get very large when in optimal conditions. Mine get to be 10+ inches with low light and CO2 but only 2inches under high light.
When you say nana I assume you mean anubias nana? which is a great idea, if you aren't using high light, co2 or a heater then I would say find a nice piece of wood for this tank and co grazy with anubias nana.
 

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Agree, remove the amazon sword and probably jungle val as they will choke out other plants for light (and room from the sword's growth.) I'd advise getting smaller versions of sword and val if you want them in the tank. Jungle val get to 5 ft long, bit over kill for a nano, maybe look at "Corkscrew" or "Italian" val as a more manageable size, and thinner leaves so they don't take up the whole space and hog all the light.
For swords there are some smaller breeds, the one I best recall is "Echinodorus Parviflorus 'Tropica'" its max height is about 6 inches, and I'd assume it won't spread out to consume all room in an 6-ish gallon (the # after "evolve" is not the the true gallon amount, anyone who sells it as such is a liar).

As for the evolve.. I tried the evolve 4 only because it was on sale 1/2 price.. absolutely hated it. Horrible filtration and crappy light, could never get it to suck up sediment from the substrate and only could support low light plants directly under its light source (contacted the company to get a visual graph of par readings and such). Also its cheap plastic body get stress fractures (tons of tiny 'scratches' very close together all along the mid and upper section). It noticeably bows when filled (used lid as a verification of this) which caused the unsightly and un-removable fractures.
Hopefully yours turns out better.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
What would you recommend for a carpet plant then? I was planning on keeping the dwarf sag cut short, but if there is a better plant for this purpose I will switch!

What do you think about Wisteria for a background, Round Leaf Anubias to possibly replace the Amazon Sword, Java Fern kept cut back, and Broad leaves hygrophyla towards the center of the tank for color?

I'll admit that I did pick up some Amazon Sword on my way home from school before I checked the advice, so I will probably be pulling that out of the tank soon.

As far the tank itself goes, I have been cautious of doing acrylic tanks in the past for these reasons, so I will just have to keep an eye on it. I don't mind the way the filtration is set up, as it gives me a place to run a basic filter and extra chemical media if I need to. Also lets me hide my heater in the back of the tank and I can reduce the flow pretty low for my betta fish.
 

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I did some really simple changes for filtration on my tank which has been shrimp only: http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/showthread.php?t=488001&highlight=

The only cutting done was cutting an AC70 sponge in half the long way, used the stock filter pad holder to keep the sponges tight to the overflow of the sump and then just dropped a couple bags of AC70 bio media behind that. Has been great for almost 6 months now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I performed the filter mod to add some more biological filtration, and added some more plants. Also added a halfmoon betta named Roku. I'm trying out Quick Start, and will keep an eye on the water parameters in case I need to soft cycle the tank. All seems to be doing well up to now.

Roku:


FTS as of 03-08-2014:


I will be headed out to Aransas National Park to see if i can find some driftwood for the tank this week. Would there be an issue using driftwood that has been in salt water? I am going to boil and dry out whatever I find, but I don't really have access to wooded type areas near the coast, and I can't find any nice pieces at any of the local stores.
 

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I love the color on your betta!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks! I was really surprised when I found him in Petco. He is eating very well and has been active since he got put in the tank. I ended up putting a modified spray bar that points in three directions in order to lower the flow for him.

Do you think that a tank of this size will need additional fertilization past just water changes?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I removed the amazon swords and added in some corkscrew val and java moss. I think I am going to try and do a java moss carpet or may add a small rock to the front right corner instead of the driftwood that is there and cover the rock.

I also added a piece of driftwood to the back left corner and attached my java fern to it. I like how the scape turned out, except for the front right corner.

I am curious what additives I may need since I cannot use Excel with the Corkscrew Val?

FTS 3-14-2014:


Wood Soaking: Ended up boiling it and soaking it for a few days for it to finally sink.


FTS 3-17-2014:
 

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I think your tank is looking great. I set up an evolve 4 about two months ago and I like it quite a bit. The best upgrade I made was replacing the stock light with a finnex fugeray-r clip on light. Better plant growth and makes the viewing area look better and brighter. Good luck with the tank going forward!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks. I am trying to keep this tank as close to stock as possible, both to save some money and to just see what it can grow for future reference. I ended up replacing the stock filter and keeping the biomedia in the second chamber. I was developing a film on the top of the water with the sponge that went away with the filter pad.

I think I am going to just remove the Java Moss though, as I don't have a good place to put it.
 
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