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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Picked up a Fluval Edge 6 gallon with LEDs from Petsmart on clearance for ~$75 (and also three Aqueon Evolve 4's at $30, but that will be another story.)

Already dirty from trying different hardscape ideas.


Equipment
Tank: Fluval Edge 6 Gallon
Lighting: Stock LED Lights (plan on modding more)
Substrate: Azoo Plant Grower
Filtration: ZooMed 501 Canister Filter
Heater: Hydor Theo 50w
Fertilizers: Osmocote+ root tablets / Excel / Seachem Flourish

Plants
Crypt Spiralis
Vesuvius
Undulata
Lutea
Ludwigia Arcuata
Ludwigia Repens
Water Sprite
Dwarf Sag
Antler Fern

Inhabitants
x1 Betta
x1 Nerite snail
x3 Otos

Here are my plants on snail watch while I wait for the root tabs to get in. I manually inspected and removed many snail egg clusters from the plants, but there's bound to be a few I missed. I would like to keep the number down as low as possible starting out.


I have some Ludwigia is in its own tank for some BBA control. I am going to dose Excel or spot treat w/ peroxide and perhaps get a temporary black molly to try to knock this stuff out. Don't want that in my new tank!


I'm not sure how I want the hardscape to be. I've got both a large centerpiece driftwood or slender driftwood/rocks prepping while I gather opinions.

Boiling the driftwood


Soaking the sticks
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Added the Azoo substrate. Found out that my large driftwood piece would not fit without all the height clearance of the tank to work with, but I'm sort of relieved. I liked the driftwood, but it was just a little too big for what I wanted, and it would have taken a lot of water volume from the fish (and floor space for plants!)

Trying some rocks and substrate slope. Also trying my hand at taking terrible pictures. I think I'm doing it right.

No Briz you're doing it wrong


I've come up with a hardscape that I'm really pleased with.

Briz stahp

Next step is putting in the root tabs and planting, but I want to wait for the filter to get in the mail so that I can see how I want to do the outflow. Either tomorrow or Monday according to Amazon.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Planted and flooded the tank last night. I had my fiancée help me with some mods to get the canister filter to sit behind the base tower and have a skimmer connect as the inlet.

Holes cut in the back casing of the base tower so the tubes can sneak through. Dremel, coping saw, and sandpaper used.


Tom Aquatics skimmer and outlet


Planted my plants:
Creeping Jenny
Crypt Spiralis
Vesuvius
Undulata
Anubias Nana
Anubias Nana Narrow Leaf
Lutea

Tank flooded, water cloudy




The creeping jenny was tricky to keep down. The substrate has a lot of air in it, so bubbles keep pushing the plants and getting trapped under the tank glass.

Next morning


The corners are dark as expected, so I tested coverage with a beamworks




I need to trim the taller Creeping Jenny, and I want to move the Lutea from behind the driftwood in the corner. I also need to smooth down the substrate, poke more air up, and a few other tweaks.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I changed the scape up a bit. I've still got Ludwigia getting treated for black fuzz algae and some more plants on the way in the mail, but so far it's looking pretty good. I also had that handy fiancée suspended the Beamworks above the back part of the tank.









 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
The water was crystal clear today when I got home. Unfortunately I had some new plants arrive in the mail, so I had to muck up the water a bit when adding them.

There is some brown/black dust on the leaves of the current plants, which I presume is either the substrate silt that settled on them, or some new tank algae. It wipes off easily.

Added plants:
Ludwigia Arcuata
Ludwigia Sp. Red
Staurogyne Repens







So far I've only dosed Excel with the initial water fill. I think I'm supposed to wait until the plants get established before adding ferts, or else I'm just helping the algae. Hopefully the root tabs are sufficient for now.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
So I still have some Ludwigia getting treated for BBA. I tossed a black molly in there after reading that they *may* eat it. Some people said yes, some said no... well, I caught a video of some BBA being eaten.

 

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Nice set up. I got sick of how inconvenient it is to clean the inside with that small opening. I took a razor to the silicone and took the top off and just use it as a traditional open top tank. Still searching for new lighting as mine came with the 2 x 10w halogens. Currently using it as a QT tank and houses 3 sick Black Phantoms. I have some plants in there now but no real scape. I will redo it once i get new lights and i will add co2 at that time. I got co2 on the 20 tall which i plan to get an actual co2 tank for, then i can use the current paintball tank on the Fluval.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Yes, rescaping is a PITA. I don't know how men with larger arms/hands manage it. I have a hard time with my baby hands!

I was seriously considering using a paintball CO2 for the tank, but I thought of a few problems... the CO2 bubbles would probably somehow get under the glass top, there's already enough concern for O2 in the water, and I'd need to go med/high light. Plant growth might be better, but it would be a lot of work for something that is already a lot of work. I think (hope) my current plants will be fine with daily Excel and the low/med light.

I tried adding a betta to the tank yesterday... it did not go well. It was sort of a quick experiment, so I didn't do it right. I just plopped him in and he panicked. Today I am going to cover the glass top so he can only see light from the opening and watch him closely. He should be able to learn where the opening is there is patience and conditioning.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Did a 50% water change in preparation for adding the first inhabitant of the tank - Mr. Bubbles! I thought Mr. B's long red fins would look good with all the greenery, although I had thought he was white-scaled rather than blue-scaled when I saw him at a LFS. :)

Chilling in his temp tank.


Inspecting me


He's a bit of a spaz, so I made him wait in the net in the water after moving him from the temp tank until he calmed down. I also covered the top glass with black objects to make it a little easier for him to tell where the opening was. Once he was clam(er), I slowly moved the net out from around him until he was floating by himself at the tank's opening.

For the next 30 minutes I sat in front of the tank to make sure he could figure out the top situation. He's not exactly the smartest betta I've ever had, but he was much more calm this time and it helped a ton. He wanted to explore the tank almost immediately, so I'll give him props for curiosity. An hour later he's almost always beelining for the opening when he wants air. Night will prove another test, but I'll be keeping a close eye on him.

Peeking out


Exploring every corner


Water's still a bit cloudy. Perhaps mild bacteria bloom? Or I need to rinse my filter out after the initial dust cloud of starting the tank.




Sitting in front of a tank makes you notice a thin white line wiggling around in the water. Since the system hasn't had any fish food added to it yet, it must have hitched a ride on the plants. Shouldn't become a problem. I will feed Mr. B New Life Spectrum one pellet at a time, and any uneaten will be turkey basted out.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Nothing much to report so far. Just posting this so I can remember how it looked with that "new tank melt".

The crypts were hit pretty hard, but they have good roots. Hopeful for their recovery.


In case anyone was worried, Mr. Bubbles did fine his first night and has been enjoying his tank ever since.

Living up to his namesake. This guy really loves making bubble nests.
 

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I love your scape. Mr. Bubbles looks so happy!

I have the 12 gallon fluval edge. It has been running since July. It is a lot of work, but so worth it because these tanks are so pretty. I tried to house my Betta Sammie in mine, but he couldn't understand where to breath. He nearly passed out after hours of guessing right 10 percent of the time. I switched to Fluval Specs for my Bettas after that. (Sammie is now known as the Betta who cost me a couple hundred extra dollars, or maybe the Betta who gave me more gardening space, lol!)

I wonder what tools might make maintenance in the 6 gallon edge easier? Have you found anything that helps? Short of being a contortionist, you will probably need help. I chose the larger edge after reading reviews about the tight cornering in the 6 gallon. I do love how the 6 gallon looks though!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Varmint: I certainly wouldn't recommend anyone new to aquariums or fish in general to try a betta in these tanks. I had to be very careful with introducing him to the environment and make sure he could figure it out. Putting yours in a spec is definitely the easiest and probably best option. Besides, you had an excuse to get more tanks!
I use long steel tweezers and curved scissors to doctor in the tank when it's full. I have been doing water changes daily up until last weekend, so it was easy to mess around while the water was low. When it's full, the tools help keep the water in the tank.

----

Lost a lot of plants to melting, including the anubias. Filled in gaps with water sprite and water wisteria. I didn't want any crazy fast-growing plants like these in this tank since less-maintenance is more, but I need to explore viable plant options. I also took out the wood in the back-right corner since it was falling over and blocking light. I trimmed down the Ludwigia that was being treated for BBA to portions with roots and very little BBA and added them to the tank.




Mr. Bubbles is very happy in his home and gets twice-daily feeding. I have not seen any pest snails whatsoever yet, which is quite pleasing.

I added three nerite snails, but they all stop moving after a couple of days. I have moved them out of the tank before and they became active again, so it must be something about this tank they don't like. Time to stop babying them and see if they pull through.


My LFS got in some olive nerites at my request, but they all had terrible pocketing in the shells. I've got a little cuttlebone in the tank for them, but they haven't found it since they've stopped moving. The tiger nerite was from Petco.
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
Yup, nerites were dead. My zebra one fell out of its shell when I picked it up, eww! The others smelled bad. I should rename this tank to "The Place Where Snails Go to Die"... I wonder if this is why I haven't seen any hitchhiker pest snails (I thought I had simply done a good job picking off egg sacks!). Something about this tank is not right with snails. I tried putting 4 pretty gold/spotted ramshorns in, but lo and behold only one was still moving by the next day, and a smaller one died almost instantly. I moved the possible three survivors to my new snail breeding tank. The betta is doing just fine. I'm keeping snails and shrimp just fine in other tanks, so shouldn't be the water. I'll hold off on snails for a while and see if time can cure this. I'd love to have some nerites.

I'm going to move the wisteria out of the tank once I get some new replacement plants from a user here. Possibly some of the water sprite as well.

Mr. Bubbles doing just fine with his fantastic red fins, and showing off some of the new Creeping Jenny growth in the background. I haven't seem him flare before. I tried to trick him with my phone but he would have none of it. :)


Wait, do I have two bettas?

You can see the new leaves emerging from the crypts.
 

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Weird about your snails. My edge is where the snails go to have a roman [email protected] and plot world domination through sheer numbers. They are currently eating my bacopa forest down to green Popsicle sticks.

Have you noticed if Mr. Bubbles...um..enjoys snails? Sammie eats them when they are small, shell and all (even baby MTS. He has strong teeth). Both of my boys harass the hell out of the neritas. If a nerita manages to go bottom up, it may get attacked before it can turn back over. I notice that either my Bettas like to snack on snail antennae, or my snails are smart and they hold their antennae in their shells.
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
DefStatic: I would never recommend anyone not experienced with bettas to put one in these tanks. With the removal of the HOB filter, the water isn't being moved very violently at the opening, so he can breath and hang out there with ease. He sleeps between the wall and the surface skimmer.

Varmint: I never saw him give any indication that he acknowledged the snails' existence. Quite possible however.
 
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