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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; --> Looking forward to pics. With the light being so bright I might expect that the plants are just using what nitrate does show up ...

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Old 04-30-2013, 04:52 AM   #61
JDM
 
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Looking forward to pics.

With the light being so bright I might expect that the plants are just using what nitrate does show up as they would run out of ammonia pretty quickly. If it is always at zero you could try adding some and see if it gets used as well, it couldn't hurt as long as you don't go overboard with it.

Who was your parts source for the lights,and stuff? I've been mulling over building rather than buying as I think the next fixture size may be too much light for me. I might build what I want rather than just use what I can get.

Jeff.
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Old 05-01-2013, 07:00 PM   #62
 
The heatsink was from heatsinksusa. I bought the diodes and drivers from a vendor on ebay named joy-deal. Transaction was smooth enough, he sells in lots of ten diodes but let me mix and match the colors. The drivers are simple but seem to work just fine. If I were to do another build I'd probably use a driver that could accept an input from a microcontroller like these: The Triple - Dimming LED Driver. This same site is a good place to get the thermal adhesive I used, they also have the proper optics for 1 and 3 watt leds.

Last edited by Jeffrey; 05-01-2013 at 07:03 PM..
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Old 05-01-2013, 07:56 PM   #63
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeffrey View Post
The heatsink was from heatsinksusa. I bought the diodes and drivers from a vendor on ebay named joy-deal. Transaction was smooth enough, he sells in lots of ten diodes but let me mix and match the colors. The drivers are simple but seem to work just fine. If I were to do another build I'd probably use a driver that could accept an input from a microcontroller like these: The Triple - Dimming LED Driver. This same site is a good place to get the thermal adhesive I used, they also have the proper optics for 1 and 3 watt leds.
Oooooo... Time to go shopping.

Thanks.

Jeff.
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Old 05-06-2013, 01:39 AM   #64
 
Picture time! Water has cleared up nicely and everything is healthy! Only thing I'm not happy with is pH, which is slightly higher than I'd like. Shrimp continue to breed and each time a few grow big enough to be safe from the badis. I'm attaching a bunch of pictures, enjoy!

For any members who are curious about my lighting levels, I have finally achieved water clarity through a short (4 hour) photoperiod and infrequent fertilizing. JDM is entirely correct about my lighting being too strong for this tank, I should have used less. I also probably should be running CO2 with this much light, it's an upgrade I'll consider in the future.
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Old 05-06-2013, 05:01 AM   #65
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Brightness aside, the overall look of the tank makes it seem to be much larger than 5 gallons, small leafed plants create an altered sense of scale. That will be one advantage of higher light over low light here, the leaves will stay smaller rather than larger as they seem to do in low light.

4 hours... Too bad for the viewing period.

Jeff
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Old 06-28-2013, 09:44 PM   #66
 
Been a while now, so I think it is update time.

I started the tank at school, but am in a different location for my summer job. So at the beginning of summer I had to move the tank home where my parents would care for it. Moving the tank was stressful. It was so healthy and I really didn't want to upset the balance I had achieved. I was worried that with such thin glass (5 gallon tank) it might even be damaged during the four hour car ride. I was also concerned about temperature and filtration during the four hours it would be without power.

I made a base for the tank out of a thick piece of plywood to keep the tank from bending or flexing during the drive. To this board I glued four wooden blocks to hold the tank in place and keep it from shifting during the drive. Then I saran wrapped the top to prevent splashing and bubble wrapped the whole thing. After cutting some air holes in the top I started to drain the tank so I could get it to the car. I live on the fourth floor so it needed to be light . I drained it down to within about a half inch of the sand and the fish were obviously stressed. It wasn't too heavy and I got it loaded into the car with no problem. Once it was all tucked in I filled it up to about halfway and drove home.

Unloading was no problem and it filled back up and was clear by the next morning. Unfortunately all the shifting had uprooted a lot of the plants. All my nice slopes in the substrate had leveled out and the anubias (which had apparently developed an enormous root mass) had lifted out of the substrate considerably. I lit it sit and settle for a couple days, and then took the chance to do some maintenance. Most of the plants that had uprooted were stems of bacopa, and they had already started to drop roots from some of the nodes, so I split them up and replanted all the new cuttings. My bacopa stems are quite thick now. I have considerably more plant mass than when I started. I tried to tuck the anubias back down between its rocks but the root growth was too extensive for me to do much. I just left it alone and I expect the bottom to fill out a bit over time.

I had noticed while I let the uprooted plants float that the other plants looked healthier and the fish were more adventurous. I really like the look of the floating plants and I think it added a lot to the tank. I also remember from when I was still tuning my photoperiod that the plants grew much better with a longer period, I just had to turn it down to keep algae under control. I think I am going to try some frog bit in the tank and see if I can increase my period a bit as they fill in and decrease the intensity of the light.

A few days after moving home I noticed that the larger of my two scarlet badis had a split in his tail. He was still acting healthy but definitely had an injury. Over the next few days it developed into some sort of tail rot. It is a light purple fuzzy spot. Now I'm going to document how I handled it and what I think was happening, but I want to say upfront that I DO NOT have much experience treating sick fish. I looked around online for a bit and I think I got a pretty good idea of what was going on. As best as I can tell the fish was injured sometime during the move. In combination with the stress, this caused the wound to develop a bacterial infection. From what I have read, a bacterial infection is not particularly visible (maybe some inflammation/ rawness). The purple fuzz was probably a secondary opportunistic fungal infection that took root due to the fish already weakened immune system. From my reading it seems that most organisms don't really have much trouble with fungi unless they are already weakened somehow. As far as I can tell, the best way to treat this was to use an antibiotic to treat the bacterial infection, and then let the fungal portion run its course. Some of what I read suggested that the after the bacteria is treated the fungus can even assist in the removal of dead/damaged flesh, and will then die off as the fish heals. I selected tetracycline as my medication and followed the instructions for dosing. The dosing completed about 48 hours ago and the injury looks slightly less fungus-y. I think this is to be expected, since the antibiotic treats the less visible bacterial infection. The fish has already survived about two weeks since I first noticed the injury, and is still eating and otherwise acting healthy. I take this to be a pretty good sign, in my experience most injured fish do not last anywhere near this long. I will keep you all updated on the treatment. At this point I think I have done about as much as is reasonable for the fish and will let nature take its course. If it doesn't work out, I've recently found a great new lfs that I think may be able to get me some female badis.

As something of an aside, the two big rocks are starting to show a very attractive coating of dark green algae. I was hoping it would grow in this way, I think that allowing it to grow on the rocks (which I like the look of anyway) will help prevent it growing elsewhere (like all over my anubias leaves GRR!)

Oh and other than the badis all the other fish are healthy as can be.
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Old 07-29-2013, 04:30 PM   #67
 
Love your tank. Novice looking for help.

Hi. I think your tank looks fantastic. My two young daughters want a "pet" so I'm planning to get our first fish tank but want to stick to a 5 gallon and avoid a large investment in case it doesn't work out for us.

The tank I'm planning to buy is the Fluval Spec V Aquarium Kit. Besides what the tank comes with do you recommend anything else such as a heater, air pump, etc. Any plant recommendations, I'm assuming lowlight due to the leds in the Fluval. What about substrate, gravel? And finally fish. I love how you have fish, shrimp and snails all in that little tank. What kinds to get that can survive in a small tank without a large time investment. Any help is appreciated. Thanks in advance.
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Old 07-30-2013, 11:11 PM   #68
 
In my opinion, starting with a spec v is probably not your best bet. Small tanks tend to be disproportionately expensive, and small water volumes (like 5g) are hard to maintain. They can destabilize quickly. I have decent experience keeping fish and I still think this was a hard tank to manage. In addition, a 5g tank is too small for almost all fish. To be entirely honest, the fish in my 5g probably don't have enough space, a 10g would suit them better.

I would start with a 20g (regular or long) tank with standard florescent hood, basic heater, and aqua clear hob filter and play sand for substrate. You could probably do this for about $150, though the actual cost depends a lot on exactly where you buy everything. This setup will be easier to maintain, and really open up your options for fish. A lot of people new to the hobby don't realize this, but fish actually need a decent amount of space.

My favorite beginner plants are jungle vallisneria, anubias barteri, java moss, and java fern. All are hearty and easy to keep.

As for livestock, you have tons of options with a 20g. Cherry shrimp are cheap and easy, this is the shrimp I have in my 5g. They are excellent scavengers and do a great job keeping the tank clean. The snails in my tank are malaysian trumpet snails. These too are easy to keep and are also scavengers. They are one of the few freshwater creatures in the hobby that burrow, this gently and slowly agitates the top layer of the substrate which is great for plant health. For fish I recommend you look around to see what you and your daughters like. The variety is enormous but if you have any specific questions about species feel free to post here and if it's something I have personal experience with I'll chime in!

Good luck, let us know if you have any questions
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Old 07-30-2013, 11:14 PM   #69
 
And don't be intimidated by the 20g, it's really not that big. Fish make great pets, they're silent, they don't smell at all, and they really aren't too tough to take care of.
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Old 07-30-2013, 11:45 PM   #70
 
I only have space for the 5 gallon. Thanks anyway.
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