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Thread: Low Tech 7.5 Gallon Cube Aquarium Set-Up

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    Red face Low Tech 7.5 Gallon Cube Aquarium Set-Up

    To brighten up our office with a splash of green, during the grey winter months, I’m starting a small cube aquarium (30cmX30cmX30). It’s low tech for ease of care. No CO2 injection, just a few squirts of Thrive for nutrients. I chose a cube because I wanted a small footprint of area on my desk, but at the same time enough back to front space to create a sense of depth with different heights and textures of plants.

    The substrate is seachem fluorite black. It’s a nice granule size, and is relatively easy for planting.

    The LED Aqualighter from Angelfins is the brightest LED light for this size that I have ever experienced. I am hoping that it will suffice over the long term, for my selection of low light plants.

    The flora includes a dwarf size sword plant, lots of val, bacopa, rotala, and a few crypts (one which has melted back to its roots). The first blooms of diatoms and green hair algae should appear soon in the next few weeks. Over the long term, in several months, I may replace some of the val with more crypts or a different kind of stem plant. It will depend how well the other plants grow, and how much and what kind of algae may be growing. I thought about anubius, but that is prone to black beard algae, unless you dose with Excel. I am not sure whether I want to add Excel to my aquarium at the expense of losing the val. I’ll wait and see what happens over the next three or four months.

    The office is a steady 23C, which should be OK for some livestock, in a few weeks. I’ve also seeded the tank with a filter sponge from our other office tank housing goldfish. That should help to jump start the bacterial cycle. The candidates for the aquarium are either a betta, or some cherry shrimp, or few male only endlers. The Azoo filter flow is probably too strong for a betta. And I am not sure if the cherry shrimp will be happy with my typical 30% weekly water changes. So, I am leaning toward only keeping five male endlers, unless another idea or suggestion happens.

    I am very happy with the piece of wood from Aquarica! They have an outstanding selection of materials for aquascaping!
    The tank has been set up for just over a week now. There are few new leaves, some white bacterial fuzz on the wood, some expected die back at the tips of the val, and some emerging signs of micro beasts (tiny snails, limpet-like creatures,etc). The water in the tank is about 95% clear. Just a slight hint of cloudiness.
    Any comments or suggestions are welcome! Thanks for having a look!

    http://i835.photobucket.com/albums/z...psrbytilzq.jpg

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    7.5 cube update

    Update on the 7.5 cube tank. The tank was set up on January 4th. First plants added on January 11th. A few more crypts were added on January 25th. After two weeks, the plants are beginning to settle in. The val has sprouted runners and plantlets. The crypts which had melted away are growing new small leaves. The sword plant has several small leaves, but they look like they may remain small. I added another crypt in the center, as I doubt that the mini sword may fill in much space. I had a similar sword some time ago in a cube tank, and it stayed as a dwarf. I've also added a few more sword plantlets of a different species on the left side which are supposed to grow about 4"-6". Both the bacopa and rotala have grow about an inch. I added some more crypt parva at the right front, to fill in that area. No signs of algae yet. Most of the white fuzz on the wood root has gone away. Not bad for a low tech tank! A few photos :

    Week One :

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/135820...etaken-public/

    Week Three:

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/135820...etaken-public/
    Last edited by greenspace; 01-26-2018 at 09:39 AM. Reason: change photo link

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    Very nice. Ever kept chili rasbora?

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    Thanks K! I tried celestial danios once,a year ago, but they were a bad batch and died off among the plants. I thought of chilis, but would they need a group of 10-12 and a bit more space to be happy? I'll check their specs out again. Ideally I would prefer a very light bioload, to avoid algae battles. That's why I was considering a half dozen cherry shrimp. But they don't like 30% weekly water changes. Any suggestions or advice are welcome. Thanks again!

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    Great progress on the tanks!!!! Can't wait to see what you decide for live stock :) Would Pea Puffers be suitable for a tank that size? I'm not sure myself but they would be some cute in there!
    ..` A woman needs a man like a fish needs a net. ..`

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    Yes, one pea puffer would be OK and a good idea. Although it would need to be fed a steady supply of snails. Thanks for the suggestion!

  7. #7
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    Low Tech 7.5 Gallon Cube Aquarium

    Update! The nano tank is at week #7 now. So far so good. Only a minor amount of brown and green algae. The Val continues to grow by leaps and bounds each week, with the plants throwing off several new runners. I did a trim on Rotala this week, because the emergent leaves had rotted away from the main stalk, leaving a tuft of new submersed leaves. I am disappointed in the Bacopa, as it has barely grown any new leaves, and very slowly at that. The crypts and sword have grown very little, so I added some root tabs to the substrate. The crypts have taken root, just no significant new leaves happening yet. Hopefully that will change over the next month. Overall the plants appear to be healthy and happy, albeit growing at a slow low tech pace. I am going to try a few red cherry shrimp, because they have a very low bioload, and maybe that will help keep the algae at bay, for the most part? Important lesson I have learned; not only planting the aqaurium full from the start, in terms of substrate covered, but maybe..... just as importantly to plant the tank full in terms of the total water column,too. A few photos from the past while:

    Week One :

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/135820...etaken-public/

    Week Three:

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/135820...etaken-public/

    Week Seven:

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/135820...etaken-public/


    https://www.flickr.com/photos/135820...etaken-public/


    Thanks for having a look!

    Cheers, Rod
    Last edited by greenspace; 02-23-2018 at 01:47 PM. Reason: image did not upload properly

  8. #8
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    A series of photos side by side, to better show the plant growth over the past seven weeks:

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/135820...etaken-public/

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