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Thread: Planted Betta Tank, 5 Gallon
07-22-2013, 10:39 PM #41
Okay, I wasn't entirely happy with the lighting system, and how reduced the light reaching the plants was after changing the baffle. So, I decided to try switching the 10watt bulb for a 14watt 5000K spiral CFL. I wasn't sure if it would even fit, but it does! Barely. LOL There's like, a couple mm between the light and the shield and reflector. But at least it's also shorter, meaning the bulb ends before it goes over the baffle, so hopefully the full light is reaching the plants. I think my recent troubles with nitrogen was due in part to the new baffle. (It certainly coincided!) So we'll just have to see if this now gives the stems the boost they'll need to catch back up.
And now for a side-by-side comparison. (There's actually not that much difference that I can tell. Heh.)
Can YOU tell which is which? LOL
And I think boyfish (STILL haven't named him yet... Trying to figure it out!) likes the new plants.
Last edited by Flyby Stardancer; 07-22-2013 at 10:41 PM.
07-23-2013, 03:12 AM #42
Holy cow! I'm so glad I decided to do another round of tests on the N-based water parameters... Yeah, the ammonia finally went to 0, but the nitrates had sky-rocketed! Immediately did a huge water change (about 60%), and I'm waiting for the water to circulate and mix before I test the nitrates again. (I know there will be some ammonia, that would be the chloramines from my tap.)
It seems to take stem plants a couple days to really settle in to the tank and start sucking up nitrogen. It's just rough getting there...
Last edited by Flyby Stardancer; 07-23-2013 at 03:15 AM.
08-05-2013, 11:21 PM #43
Okay, so I'm working on a new filtration system for this tank (thread in the DIY section, though I'll add an overview to this journal once it's done). Hopefully it will be ready to be installed during next week's water change.
I'll also be getting in some new plants this week, so I'm going to take boyfish out and rescape the tank during the filter change as well.
As far as rescaping goes... I have a big question that I need to decide the answer to... Do I want to cap the Eco Complete with sand? I've been having such an issue keeping it clean that sand might be a good idea. (I don't mind some mixing over time, and will possibly use black sand anyways.)
I've also been having some trouble with finding 6500k CFLs. OSH and Home Depot (my standard home improvement stores) only have 5000k daylight CFLs. Lowes has them, but only in 13 and 23 watts. So, the question becomes... is 14 watts of 5000k better or 13 watts of 6500k? Or should I say screw it and get the 23 watt 6500k? I could place a piece of craft mesh on those flanges holding the current filter to create a shady area for the low-light plants and put the higher-light stems in the center directly under the light.
And sadly, it looks like the salvinia doesn't like the 5 gal tank. It's slowly dying on me. I'll move some to other the other tank and the grow-out tub, see if it likes those better.
08-06-2013, 02:28 AM #44
You don't need to get ALL the gunk out from the substrate anyways if it is a planted tank. As for the light bulbs, have you ever tried looking in a pet store? Most home improvement stores don't carry daylight bulbs.
08-06-2013, 03:05 AM #45
I have the only daylight bulb that pet stores carry that fits my tank lid. It's 10 watts and I had to replace it because the baffle was blocking it. Not to mention that it seems like all of my nitrogen mop plants need higher light.
As for getting all the gunk out of my tanks... I don't think I've gotten any out since I put boyfish in the tank, and I've been struggling with ammonia levels that just won't go to 0. I think there might be a connection. Nothing else seems to be making sense.
And it's not for lack of trying to vacuum the substrate... But Eco Complete seems to be the size of gravel and the weight of sand. When I try to vacuum it the way you're supposed to for gravel, it just gets sucked up until a too-big piece gets wedged into the valve of the vac, and then the suction drops to the point that it can't even pick up super-light stuff and is only slowly siphoning water out of the tank. So I can only vacuum it like sand would be. Might as well add sand to the tank to make it easier to get enough gunk out to keep the filter from being overwhelmed.
Last edited by Flyby Stardancer; 08-06-2013 at 03:15 AM.
08-07-2013, 06:13 AM #46
Any other thoughts? Especially about the light.
08-11-2013, 08:31 AM #47
I've gathered nearly everything I need for a new sump filter for the tank. (Well, I need filter media, but I have everything for the plumbing.) Tomorrow I'm going to get pipes/pipe fittings drilled. Then I'll be spending the week getting everything cemented and painted and cured... Hopefully Friday I'll be ready to take boyfish out and essentially re-set up his tank. (The already-cycled sponge I've been using for filter media will be immediately put in the new filter in water, so as not to lose the BB.)
And in exciting news, boyfish now has a name! He is now called Grimsby. :)
08-11-2013, 01:43 PM #48
This is going to be interesting. Normally sumps are for tanks way bigger than yours. As for ammonia,have you ever tested your tap?
08-11-2013, 03:34 PM #49
The sump seemed like the best way to filter with a minimum of surface disruption, plus it adds water volume and allows me to remove the heater directly from the tank. It's certainly an experiment, but I got the idea from a post on another site about someone who built a sump for a 2.5 gallon tank. That sump was slightly smaller than mine (a 15 cup cereal container, where as mine is 23), and the only filtration used was a mini plastic bottle with filter floss on the intake of his pump.
I've tested my tap. Usually it's around .25-.5ppm from chloramines. Low enough that a cycled filter should take care of it by the next day. However, I have a constant low-level reading in my tank. It was .25, but now it's dropped to less than that (the color is yellower than the .25ppm shade on the card, but still not the yellow of 0, so I call it .2 or .15 in my records depending on the exact shade).
08-13-2013, 12:05 AM #50
I have cemented the overflow pipes! :D
Raw, cut pieces, after having been dry fit, pulled back apart, and washed/dried.
And then all cemented together. It looks like an odd shape for a PVC overflow, but it'll make a bit more sense once it's in my tank. LOL
I have other pieces of pipe, but those aren't going to be cemented in place. lol
Also, anyone have suggestions for getting off the cement mess I made, before I start painting tomorrow? That cement was really drippy-goopy, and it was my first time working with it. I'll be spraying it (and all of the rest of the pipework) with Krylon tomorrow (which I still need to get... whoops! lol).