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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; --> I've been debating what to do with the water level in the filter. I originally did intend for it to be a trickle filter, ...

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Old 03-30-2013, 02:09 AM   #51
 
I've been debating what to do with the water level in the filter. I originally did intend for it to be a trickle filter, but that is giving me two problems. First, evaporation has been a real pain in the ass. I'm losing water faster than I expected and the fact that the change in water level is only in the filter amplifies the problem. I lose probably a half inch of water out of the filter per day and have to refill daily to keep it functioning properly. The second problem is that since the overflow is waterfall style shrimp are able to get into the filter and are exposed to air when it's run as a trickle. The first part is an inconvenience but not really something I can change, I may consider cutting a piece of clear acrylic to fit right on the top of the aquarium to minimize evaporation. Anyone have any info on how much this limits oxygen exchange? The second part of the problem was definitely my fault, a waterfall overflow was a stupid idea. I thought the height of the water over the edge of the overflow would just be a tiny sheet and everything would just leave it alone. Surface tension causes the water to rise a fair bit before it will actually overflow. I'm definitely going to modify the top to be slotted. I'll let you all know how things go.
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Old 03-30-2013, 06:36 AM   #52
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I doubt that it makes much difference. My tank has a glass top that seals close, everything seems to still breath OK but I have almost no evaporation, not enough to notice anyway.

The slots would fix your issue as would raising the water high enough to overcome the surface tension issue, and then a bit more to accommodate the evaporation.

Jeff.
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Old 04-05-2013, 03:45 PM   #53
 
So a few days ago my tank was starting to grow a lot of soft looking algaes, as well as some of the dark green stuff on the leaves. I was at the lfs and they had some very healthy looking otos, vigorous and obviously eating well. I bought a pair and they got right to work. They've been eating non-stop for a few days now. About two days after getting them I saw a slight bump in ammonia, maybe .1ppm, but after that my parameters are back to perfect. Barely even any measurable nitrate.

Yesterday I noticed that my PH has been creeping up and was at about 7.5. I got some distilled water from the grocery store and mixed some in with my regular water for todays 40% change (so about .5g distilled and 1.5g of the regular). Immediately after the change the PH was about 6.8, a bigger change than I had expected. Is it bad to have such a sudden change even when its a change toward what is best for the fish?
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Old 04-05-2013, 08:41 PM   #54
 
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Fluctuating PH

Some species of fish can take fluctuating ph better than others, for example neon tetra take changes to ph better than the cardinal tetra. I've read that changes have to be gradual.
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Old 04-07-2013, 09:41 PM   #55
 
Ok I have a couple questions. First a reminder of my current maintenance schedule, and tank info. My tap water is extremely hard, as far as I'm concerned it's unusable. For water I use "filtered drinking water" from albertson's. I do not know the hardness of this water, but it's pH is 6.6 directly out of the bottle, and 6.2 after sitting in the test tube for 30 min with occasional shaking. Using only this water the tank stabilizes at right about 7.0. The tank is just over one month old, and currently houses: 10 cherry shrimp, 2 otos, some malaysian trumpet snails, anubias nana, bacopa, spiral val, and dwarf hair grass. All plants and livestock seem extremely healthy. I dose flourish .5ml per 5g every three days, and .5ml flourish excel daily. I currently feed one small piece (nowhere near a whole disk) of hikari sinking wafer daily. ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate are all 0.

First I wanted to ask about replacing evaporated water. It's my understanding that I should replace evaporated water with distilled water so as not to constantly add "stuff" into the tank. Water changes should still be done with the regular filtered drinking water as that has been creating a reasonable pH for my fish. Is this right?

Second, I am starting to have some green water. I actually haven't had this problem before and am not sure what to do. Do I decrease my photo period? Should I blackout for a few days? Big water Change? Maybe reduce fertilizing? If I do reduce fertilizing should I keep dosing excel?

As usual I appreciate all the help. I'll try to get some pictures up once the water is clearer
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Old 04-08-2013, 05:40 AM   #56
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If its were me I'd drop the excel, reduce flourish (I assume comprehensive) to once a week, reduce the light but I don't know what your photoperiod is. I checked your LEDs... is that a 15 W equivalent or actually a 15W LED fixture? If its a 15W fixture that is WAY too much light for a 5gallon. assuming that the light is of the right spectrum you could get away with a 1 or 2 Watt setup. For reference, I run an 8 Watt for a 37 gallon tank and get good growth on all but the most light needy.

Jeff.
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Old 04-13-2013, 03:27 AM   #57
 
OK, so: I reduced my fixture to 11 electrical watts, and the LEDs aren't super efficient there is a fair amount of heat being dissipated. Of that 11, most of the intensity comes from the 7 electrical watts of white 6500k, the rest is red and blue. My photoperiod has been 8 hours/day but was reduced to 6 a few days ago. I have reduced my fertilizing to once per week (yes its comprehensive). I have also reduced feeding to every other day. Why do you recommend stopping the excel? It seems to me that carbon is my limiting factor for plant growth, and excel is known to be an effective algaecide. Just gotta know why =)

I did a 50% water change yesterday. While I was at it I added a 45 degree piece of pvc to my filter output to redirect it toward the front of the tank. The result is a gentle current along the front of the glass, and the output is no longer battering the tall plants along the back. The otos have been enjoying playing in the current. They are doing extremely well, round bellies, excellent vigor. I found a few baby cherry shrimp in the tank the other day, yay! Water test today still shows zero ammonia nitrite and nitrate.

Ill update again about the green water. Once it clears I'll be adding in the scarlet badis as the lfs has them in stock now.
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Old 04-13-2013, 07:30 AM   #58
 
I've cured green water by turning the light off and covering the tank from outside light. A couple of days, as I recall.

The antique diatom filter worked, too. That was more fun. :)
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Old 04-13-2013, 07:38 AM   #59
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I still think that your light is very high.... you may need the excel. Lower light would not need it and it might serve you well to at least temporarily block some of the light getting into the tank if only to slow down all the photosynthetic processes. You might try a blackout period to see if you can kill off the green.

I would suggest to test your water for hardness unless you know what the bottled water is, I'll bet that you could use a few more degrees. What is very hard in reference to your tap water, do you know the numbers? Unusable is relative, I start with 23dGH and use it. I couldn't keep oto's at that level though.

Oh, you asked about adding to top off. If you are using bottled water and changing water every week you really don't need to worry about having any stuff buildup in the water. That would be an issue if you never changed water.

Jeff.
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Old 04-30-2013, 03:08 AM   #60
 
Yes light is very high, If I could redo the build I would use less. It might even have been a good idea to switch to the regular 5mm diodes for such a small tank. Fortunately the tank is clearing. I have been running the lights 4 hours a day and fertilizing once a week for a while now, and over the last few days a lot of the green has receded. After the next time I go grocery shopping and pick up some water I'll do some maintenance and post pictures.

The lfs got two male scarlet badis in about a week ago. I picked up two and am pretty happy with them. At first they were very shy and I barely saw them, but after a few days they got some confidence and now they act like they own the tank. They have formed territories on opposite sides of the tank, and part from occasional chasing they leave one another alone. They are very picky eaters. I haven't really seen them eat anything other than baby cherry shrimp (which they seem to really like). Two sets of cherry shrimp had hatched just a few days before I got the badis. After adding them, all the babies disappeared and I thought some of the adults did too. Eventually during feeding one day I happened to count all the shrimp out at once. I guess they had just been hiding more after the addition of the badis. The shrimplets are big enough to spot pretty easily now, and at least 3 are now too big to be badis food, hooray.

Ph is a little higher than I'd like for the otos at 7.6. I'll be adding some distilled water in an attempt to continue tweaking it. Ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate are all still at 0. Is it odd to have so little nitrate? does this mean the plants aren't getting enough?

I'll try to post pictures soon!
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