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5 Gallon Desk Tank

This is a discussion on 5 Gallon Desk Tank within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> Originally Posted by JDM Curious, what was the bill on the parts? Jeff. About $60 Posted via Mobile Device...

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Old 03-08-2013, 10:03 AM   #21
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JDM View Post
Curious, what was the bill on the parts?

Jeff.
About $60
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Old 03-08-2013, 10:12 AM   #22
 
These guys make LED bars that I've used to supplement aquarium lighting.
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Old 03-08-2013, 11:11 AM   #23
 
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Great Lil' office tank you got!
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Old 03-08-2013, 11:29 AM   #24
 
JDM what you say agrees with my research. I wish I had more info about how my light selection will actually work for plants but I just don't have that experience yet. Hopefully over the next few months I can document my experience and get some really good info for freshwater planted. I'll do my best to give regular updates! Yes the whites in my setup are 6500k and the red/blue is not necessary. Once the intensity gets under control I think they will provide a better overall light than white alone could, but we will see. And as I said before, it's partially just because I like the color. I do know that typical white leds contain almost no red light, I don't know if my plants will actually care. Perhaps further down the road I can selectively turn off my extra colors and see how it affects growth, could be a fun experiment. My intensity is definitely very very high. I've had trouble with under-lit tanks before but I totally underestimated just how bright these 1W leds are.

Tank update: I was having some cloudy water problems. The water had sort of a whitish milky tint to it. I think this was just a bacteria bloom from it being a new tank. It seems to be clearing now. My ghost shrimp are growing like crazy. I didn't know animals could grow so fast! When I got them, most were around 1/2". Now about half are 1" and one is at least 1.25"! I didn't get a chance to work on the tank last night, but today I should be able to do my pruning and hopefully get my light raised up a little. Anyone have suggestions for where to read up on how to prune plants? I don't want to damage mine...
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Old 03-08-2013, 11:58 AM   #25
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Stems are a matter of cutting and sticking into the substrate. I was thinking that there might be some interesting tricks but there really aren't... there is almost no way to get it wrong or to do it better. The nodes are where the leaves sprout from and, as you have probably already seen, roots as well. If there are roots at a node you can cut a bit below that point and plant it, the already established roots will help to hold it in place. Removing the leaves from this node seems to make little difference but leaving them on if there are no roots yet helps to hold it in the substrate, but otherwise it makes little difference if there are no existing roots as they develop pretty quickly anyway. I'm letting my bacopa grow so I have not directly pruned and planted these yet but I have tons of other plants so I don't need the fast propagation.

One thing that I did play with was cutting above and below a node. That node then produces both leaves and roots simultaneously. You could cut the stems into many nodes, leave them floating and just plant them as they develop new stem pieces... this would really kickstart the proliferation of plants in a tank but I don't know how successful that might be for all stems, Dwarf Hygrophila and red ludwigia definitely work. Other varieties might do better with a few more nodes left on the stem.

Sidenote, the roots don't do much more than hold the plant in place. Leaving most stems floating works as they take almost all of their nutrients from the water... which is why they are such a great addition to any tank.

Jeff.
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Old 03-09-2013, 12:55 AM   #26
 
Hood is almost complete. The splash guard isn't cemented in place yet, I need to see how the plants react to the changes in lighting first. Then I can finalize my diode selection and finish up the hood!
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Old 03-09-2013, 05:21 PM   #27
 
Did a heavy trimming last night. Removed all dead or damaged leaves and cut most stalks in half for replanting. I combed out the hair grass a bit, and tugged out new runners for replanting. Also vacuumed out all the plant matter I stirred up.

The anubias seems pretty happy, but the leaves collect fine debris really well. I'm a little worried about the debris collection, but am counting on the otos to take care of this. The shrimp don't keep the leaves as clean as I had hoped. The bacopa is growing extremely fast and has fresh leaves sprouting for almost ever node. The rotala looks like **** but is slowly getting color back and is making a few new shoots. From looking at the rotala last night it seems to be growing its roots much more slowly than the other plants, I expect this is why it is taking longer to perk up. It also gets a fair bit of water flow across it, does this matter? It's not getting blasted but it's definitely in one of the more turbulent parts of the tank. The hair grass is doing very well. All tufts are showing thick green growth and spreading fast.

Intensity aside, I'm really happy with my lighting. The color is beautiful. The surface has a light purple shimmer and the tank just glows. Now that the silt has settled, the substrate is developing a deep black color. Some of the glossier pieces reflect the colors of the leds in bright red, blue, and purple flashes.

I tested my water today, ammonia .25ppm, nitrite 0 - .25ppm (maybe like .1ppm), still no nitrate. I've done a lot of water changes the last week, I'm planning to reduce the amount considerably from now on while things settle out and mature. Still no signs of algae.

I wanted to talk about stock a bit. I'm still feeling pretty good about the choice of scarlet badis. I think they are a perfect size and temperament for this tank. I'm a little concerned about the otos though. I absolutely love them in planted tanks, such a useful fish, but I'm worried that I won't be able to keep them in a big enough group. Is there a particularly small type of oto that I could maybe fit four or five of? I'll be feeding them in addition to using them for algae control, so I'm mostly worried about overstocking. I think between the plants and the filter this tank has a better ability to process fish waste than most 5 gallon tanks, but I'm still concerned. Let me know what you guys think.

Pictures are post pruning. The last picture shows a snail riding another snail, yee haw!
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Old 03-09-2013, 05:49 PM   #28
 
Otos are very hard for us to keep, but it improves when then learn to eat zucchini.

Did you find any female scarlet badis?
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Old 03-09-2013, 05:53 PM   #29
 
I have always had great luck with otos, such a sweet fish. I haven't found any females, I haven't really looked. I know they can be hard to find. I'm not really looking for fish yet though, I don't think the tank is ready yet. When I do I'll probably look online. I'm not too impressed with my local store.
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Old 03-09-2013, 06:01 PM   #30
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Looking good.

If you put a group of the Badis in and try to squeeze the oto's, even though they are small, you might be pushing it. Probably put one species in, let the tank settle for a few weeks before considering the second... more plants would be beneficial first. Perhaps once your stems have been split again, which might not take long.

Jeff.
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