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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Update 3-1-13

Update 11-15-12

Update 9-27-13




Decided to tear down my Petco 6gallon bookshelf and picked up an Aqueon Evolve 8 for my office. Also, decided to do my 1st dirt tank :proud:

I used about 1" of Miracle Gro Organic potting soil and 1 1/2" of petco black sand.

Plants are:
Crypt wendtii green
Crypt wendtii red
Bacopa
Ludwigia Repens Broad Leaf
temporary Wisteria floating as an excess nutrient sponge

Very little cloudiness after filling it with water and I'm seeding the filter with the media (foam, bio modules, purigen bag) on my AC20 that was on the Petco bookshelf tank.

The Tank looks awesome and does not take up a lot of space. I'm very happy with how it turned out.

FTS:





Unboxing and Set up:





Filter chamber:



Driftwood I'll be using:



The dirt after straining it:



Added water till it is a thick mud, almost looks like a brownie:
 

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Thanks!

I'm thinking of probably trying out:

Red Cherry Shrimp
CPD's
Endlers
Corys or Pygmy Corys

I already have 2 platies and don't want to go overboard with the stocking.
Have you seen chili rasboras? Boraras brigittae. They're awesome nano fish with personality! lol Two platies in an 8G is kinda overboard already IMHO because of they're bioload. If you do go with corys, definitely go with pygmy corys.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Have you seen chili rasboras? Boraras brigittae. They're awesome nano fish with personality! lol Two platies in an 8G is kinda overboard already IMHO because of they're bioload. If you do go with corys, definitely go with pygmy corys.
Yes, I agree that I am pushing it with the 2 platies in terms of bio-load. I may keep them as is for now and probably not add any more fish. I'll see in a month or two and maybe try some cherry shrimps.
 

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Your tank is looking good.

I just purchased the same tank this afternoon. I'm intend on it being a shrimp tank.

How is the stock light doing with your plants?

Have you had any issues?

How is the "Bacopa" doing?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Your tank is looking good.

I just purchased the same tank this afternoon. I'm intend on it being a shrimp tank.

How is the stock light doing with your plants?

Have you had any issues?

How is the "Bacopa" doing?
The stock light I think is fine with plants but we'll see how it goes in the long run. Right now, the tank looks dark because my driftwood is leaching tannins but it's improving with a combination of water changes, purigen and activated carbon in the filter chamber. The bacopa seems to be doing well, I'm not noticing any change with it. I've had it grown in my other low light tank with no problems.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Just a quick update on the tank:

The water was dark tea color on the 2nd day due to the driftwood but it is clearing up, I've been doing 2 50% WC's daily and have added Activated Carbon while my purigen bag is regenerating in its bleach bath. My crypts are starting to melt, but that is something I was expecting. However, my java fern is not doing so well, most of its leaves have dissolved and it's not even planted in the substrate, only shoved in the driftwood's crevice. My stems, bacopa and ludwigia looks ok and have not noticed any change.

I will be adding some MTS from my 37 to help mix and aerate the sand keep it from going anaerobic.


An observation regarding the filter:

I have it adjusted to only running 25% flow and it churns the water well. If I was keeping a betta in this tank, I would do some kind of mod on the outlet to slow it even more. The oveflow (intake) works well and filters floating debris nicely.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Excellent looking start & cheers to Evolve 8's!!!:smile:

Edit: If possible I'd love to see some pics of the modified filter media!
Thanks!

I haven't done any mods yet with the filter, still running the included filter media. All I did was take the media from my AC20 and shove it down the 2nd filter compartment, where the pump resides so that I can maintain the bio filter and seed the new one. Eventually though, I will use the "blue" filter pads and cut it to size and use the filter frame to hold it.

Hunter,

The pump's flow can be adjusted with a sliding lever.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Just a quick update,

I came in this morning and noticed it is making gurgling noises. Now this tank is in my office so it is unattended over the weekends. I noticed that my filter media was full, mostly mud. What's interesting is that I only have this running for almost 2 weeks.

The pump was pulling water faster in the second (right chamber) than the first (left chamber) can fill it with water. The water level was low in the pump chamber and I'm surprised that it did not burn out the motor or my heater :icon_eek:

Just want to give anybody that has an Evolve or thinking of getting one to keep an eye on your filter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
Not that I could see, I have about 1.5" sand cap and made sure it was even before I flooded - well the back is deeper as I was going for a slope.

Right now I have filter floss stuffed in the filter chamber.

edit: The more I think about it, I think most of my plants melted and the dead leaves got sucked up in the filter (as it should be) and clogged the media faster than it normally would.
 

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Could be. I've noticed a pretty decent mulm buildup in the bottom of the "pump chamber" of my Evolve, but it's nothing a quick siphon hasn't taken care of. When you said 'mud' I thought you meant the dirt was getting loose :flick:
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
Quick update:

Couldn't resist, added 2 fancy guppies. May still go with adding shrimp later on. The wood is still leaching tannins but not as much and I've been doing 50% WC 2x a week to help with water clarity.

FTS:



Some of my crypts melted but have noticed new growth!


Here's my replacement filter:


and added some extra media (the bio max from an established filter):



I cut a 7" x 7" square of the blue bonded pad I bought from petsmart. What I noticed from using the stock filter, you can't really put your water level higher than the height of the filter, otherwise you will get bypass.

I measured my cut and this allows me to have my water line a little higher with no bypass and also helps the output flow less turbulent.
 
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