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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This tank started out as a No Tech project, the hope was that it would receive enough sunlight from the window behind it to keep some floaters and java moss. It did not, all of the surplus floaters that I put in the tank died off. I never added Java Moss to the tank and I'm glad now.



So about a week ago I decided that I wanted to add a light to the tank, then for whatever reason I was looking online at refuge hang on boxes powered by an air pump so I have two of those hanging on the side of the tank. I've gone a little bit Betta crazy so I'll have a Betta in each of the refuge as well as one in the tank itself.



For the filter I am going to either use a sponge filter, or turn a small refuge/Breeder Box into a filter. Depending on the size of the sponge filter I ordered but I'm leaning more to the box anyways.



I'm going to run DIY Yeast Co2 for now, above is the bulk of the system laid out. The small bottle is the bubble counter/gunk collector, and from there it will go to the tank. The 2 liter bottle will hold the yeast and be connected into the gang valve. I plan to have a 2nd 2 Liter bottle in the system that I will start after a week so the system should never depressurize and its a five port gang valve because that is what I had already.

Next up is plants. I think this tank would look really cool with grass in it. The hope is that I will be able to carpet Dwarf Hairgrass and it will grow over a lot of the plastic Toy Soldiers. I also want to have some Anubias growing on the Driftwood, I'm also considering planting some Needle Leaf Java fern on that piece of wood as well. For floaters it will be a mixture of the plants I have already, Red Root Floaters, Dwarf Water Lettuce, Frogbit, and maybe some Salvinia Minima.



Substrate:
-Black Diamond Blasting Sand 20-40
-Various River Pebbles (Dollar Store bag)

Flora:
- Dwarf Hairgrass
- Various Anubias
- Various Floaters (Red Root Floaters, Dwarf Water Lettuce, Frogbit)

Fauna:
-3 Betta (1 in the tank, and 1 in each refuge)
-4 White Cloud Minnows (in the tank, they look like a golden coloration)

The tank should be cycled already as its been up for about 2 months now. It was running without a filter during that time but the filter should become established decently quick.

In the next couple days I will be planting the plants pictured above, and setting up the CO2. I'll also be trying to hide the temperature probe and the CO2 diffuser behind the rock. The heater should be here tomorrow and I hope to hide that behind the driftwood. I also hope to play around with the small breeder box filter in the next few days.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The are at a slight disadvantage. They still have hope.

On Monday I planted the tank, The dwarf Hairgrass was time consuming to plant, but I already figured that. I almost purchased another pack but I'm glad I didn't now. I plenty to plant the tank significantly.



I did run into a problem with the Anubias Congesis. The rhizome was gone and I purchased just two green leaves. I believe it rotted away. But to make up for it The Anubias Frazeri had two rhizomes inside. I also ended up picking up a Temple Compacta (Hygrophila Corymbosa) as a spur of the moment purchase. I thought I could use it to cap off the driftwood (knowing nothing about the plant when I purchased it) instead I used the Temple plant to frame around the rock and hopefully in time cover the equipment.

Tuesday I experiment more with the CO2 setup. The first bottle was a small amount of Yeast with two cups of sugar. I set up another bottle after this picture was taken with two cups of sugar and a tablespoon of yeast. I wanted to speed along the startup of the system. It functioned as expected and has been pumping out a bunch of co2.




The CO2 diffuser I'm using is a generic ceramic and glass one. I have it hiding behind the rock and the driftwood, so the only way to really see it is from an odd angle.



The Light that I am using is a Beamworks Full Spectrum LED light with the timer module. The Heater is a Hydor 50 watt. And for the filter I am using a small breeder box filled with filter floss. I plan to add a bag of Purigen to the filter when it comes in.

The next step for this tank is to set up an automatic dosing system. I'm going to be using the submersible pumps on a 1 minute timer set up. I'll be dosing with the PPS Pro system.

I'm also going to set up a quarantine/hospital tank next week so that I can start finding some bettas that I like. I plan to keep them in the 2.5g tank for 2 weeks each unless I see an issue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
So this morning when I checked the temperature on this tank I noticed it was lower than it had been (should have been warmer) I checked the heater and it looked to have condensation on the inside of the glass, and was no longer turning on.

I'm starting to question bothering with these Hydor Heaters, this is the second one that I've had a problem with. I just like the design of it a little bit better than others.

A replacement is on its way and should be here Friday. in the meantime I may just go purchase a heater for it locally and hope I have better luck.

Bump:
So with the plants in I'm guessing you're recreating war in the jungle. Is it the Vietnam war?
It started out as being based on some of my Photographs in my Solider Chess Series That was the inspiration behind using the Toy Soldiers. Initially the tank wasn't going to have any carpeting plants.

As for how it is now with the plants and having gone high tech with it I would say for sure it is based around a jungle battlefield and Vietnam. Although not necessarily the layout of the soldiers themself that was just a lot of spur of the moment decisions as well as lacking any large green toys.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I finished up the Auto Dosing System yesterday and its first dose of PPS-Pro went into the tank this morning. The auto dosing system is using one of the cheap submersible 80-90 GPH pumps, one in each solution container. I used the small adapter that is included with the pump and ran airline tubing into it, then I just used some silicone to hold it in place.



For the dosing container I picked up two 1 gallon Rubbermaid Pitchers, I liked that they are tall and have a tight fitting lid. I also though the ice guard side of the spout would be nice for running the cords. I'm dosing using PPS-Pro that I received back in December from a generous RAOK by meowschwitz (Thanks again)



This is the dual outlet digital timer that I am using, it is set to run for one minute each day around 5 minutes before the lights turn on in the aquarium.



The next two images show the filter box, and the inputs from the Auto Dosing (the two black airline hoses). The filter is Marineland Rite-Size bonded filter pad as well as a bag of Purigen. It seems to be working well so far.




I'm not happy with the heater. The replacement Hydor came in and is still working but it just doesn't keep the tank up to temperature. At night it will lose five degrees, and spend the entire day to regain that temperature. I'm not even sure its reaching its set temperature. The room is semi-temperature controlled (heat wise anyways) to around 73 degrees. My little 2 gallon Betta Bowl in the same room doesn't lose nearly that amount of heat and will even try to toast my Betta if I don't unplug it. I think I'm going to order a 50 watt Aqueon Pro heater and try one of those. I have one Aqueon heater already and it works great.

For fish in this tank I'm going to move four more White Clouds from my 2.5g Jar, that will give me a school of 8 fish. I still plan on adding a betta to the tank as well as each of the boxes on the side, but not until the temperature is more stable.

Next week I'll be working on my other 10g Shrimp/Neon tank and getting that one back into order. This tank I'll be keeping an eye on the CO2 and plant growth but otherwise shouldn't need to much for now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
The new heater came in today, its the Aqueon Pro 50 watt heater. I was impressed by this heater from the moment I opened the box, its by far the best looking heater I've seen, and it has a nice build quality feeling to it.

I put it in around 6 hours ago, the Hydor Heater was already doing its daily temperature drop and the tank was down to 72 degrees, 5 or so hours later when I checked the tank it was back up to 79 degrees, and continuing to heat until reaching the target temperature.

I'm going to watch it for the next few days, but so far I'm impressed and happy with the heater and would use them in any future tanks without hesitation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
This tank has been a really up and down experience, a current tank shot to start with:



Algae has been out of control recently on the glass, I believe it has to do with the low plant mass of the tank, right now. All of the Dwarf Hair Grass that I started from a tissue culture just melted off and died over time. I recently added more Hairgrass (like 2 days ago) this time it was from one of the potted plants growing submerged already. This was after the tank had been running with pressurized co2 was a while now.



I grew tired of maintaining the DIY CO2 so I upgraded to a paintball canister regulator AuquaTek brand. It seems to work well, and the canister last for a while. I have it set to 1 bubble second right now and it turns on an hour before the lights and off an hour before. The Temple Plant has enjoyed the additional CO2.



I also upgraded the filter to a Marina Slim S15 filter, running the same bag of Purigen inside with the included filter media for now, I really like this filter so far.



Lastly the livestock has been up and down, the Glowlight Tetras (sold to me as White Clouds lol) lived out their lifespan in the tank and even produce an offspring. The offspring still lives in the tank, but as of today I added two new inhabitants, Otto Catfish.


The plan in the next few weeks is to increase the plant mass and get the algae cleared up. Then I want to add a few cory catfish to this tank and call it good. (Still hoping for a Hairgrass carpet)
 

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i love the army guys in there. I was thinking of adding little figurines to my tank too to create a scene. i ahve the same paintball set up. 1 bubbles per second is a golden. hope you can balance out that algae growing though. i like your DIY approach.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
i love the army guys in there. I was thinking of adding little figurines to my tank too to create a scene. i ahve the same paintball set up. 1 bubbles per second is a golden. hope you can balance out that algae growing though. i like your DIY approach.
Thanks, this tank came around after my 2g Alladin jar, I liked how the figurine looked in that so I wanted to take it further with the toy soldiers. The Algae is a work in progress, I think getting the CO2 stable (using the paintball set up now) and getting a filter that had a real flow rate has already helped a lot.

Best tank ever!
Thank you. Our of all my tanks this one is one of my favorites. I just hope I can get the hairgrass to grow in this time, I think that will make the tank look really good.


Just a small update on this tank, one of the Ottos died assumingly shortly after being released (I went to work) It was the larger one in the photo, he was never very active. Went back to the fish store and they replaced him with one that is smaller (and probably younger by extension) I acclimated him in yesterday and so far the two ottos in the tank are doing good. They are really fun to watch because they seem to always be darting around and nibbling on Algae.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
An update on this tank, I pulled out the driftwood, rearranged and added some plants. I added Needle Leaf Java Fern from my other 10g tank, and moved the larger Anubias down lower in the tank.

A full tank shot:


The Otos are doing well, I also added two Amino Shrimp to the tank.



The Dwarf Hair Grass is also starting to take root in the tank, and one is even starting to spread out.



Also I really need to clean the tank. Particularly the glass.
 
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