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Baby Aquarium
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rales12
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Joined: 03 Nov 2009
Location: Wyoming

PostPosted: 2010.04.12(Mon)8:30    Post subject: Baby Aquarium Reply with quote

I've decided to set up a little aquarium in my baby's room. Smile

I originally thought it was a ten gallon... but after calculating the dimensions, its actually a six gallon. I'm rather excited about the whole thing and have been trying to decide exactly what I want to do with it for about a month now.

While I was trying to decide where to put it and what I wanted to put in it, etc, I had it sitting on a little table in our living room, cycling and growing a nice bit of algae. The thing on top is a piece of parchment paper to prevent water droplets from getting all over a picture that was hanging directly above the tank.


I spent quite a bit of time trying to decide on sand or gravel... but the smallest bag of playsand that I could find was fifty pounds, and that's definitely overkill for such a small tank. So I went with gravel. I also moved the tank to my son's dresser. Its in dire need of a background. I'm considering doing a "moss curtain" background... once I get a light. Has anybody done one of those? I think they look good. I'll probably hang a piece of black construction paper behind that while I wait for the moss to grow in. But the entire background thing is still to be decided.


I picked up a couple of pieces of Mopani driftwood at PetCo this weekend. I got a larger piece of my forty six gallon tank, and a smaller piece for this tank. But... looking at it, I kind of want to put the bigger piece in the smaller tank. It would run almost the entire length of the tank. Would that look OK, do you think? Here is the piece of driftwood that I am considering putting in this tank:
Dark side:


Light side:


My tank is 16" long, and that piece of wood is 14" to 14.5" long.

I plan on making it a low light planted tank. I'm in the process of trying to find a light fixture that will work for it, and probably a top/hood of some sort, too.

Thoughts, comments, criticisms and ideas are needed, wanted and welcome! Smile
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unissuh
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Joined: 29 Mar 2005
Location: Melbourne, Australia

PostPosted: 2010.04.12(Mon)9:24    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just a comment - consider using a planted substrate instead of plain gravel - it's quite important to have a rich substrate layer in low light/low tech tanks. Gives you much more leeway with managing nutrients for the plants.

Hard to say whether the driftwood would look okay, put it in and see. Laughing I tend to set up the rocks/wood before filling the tank, makes it much easier to play around. Can always jump start the cycle later since you already have an established tank.

Any ideas of what you want to put into it?
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rales12
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Joined: 03 Nov 2009
Location: Wyoming

PostPosted: 2010.04.12(Mon)10:22    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was thinking I'd use fertilizer root tabs. But if a fertilized substrate or something is a better option, I suppose now is the perfect time to switch it out. Smile

Aesthetically speaking, generally... are decorations that take up most of the length of the aquarium attractive? Good idea, though... I should have played around in there a minute before adding water. Rolling Eyes Good thing its a tiny tank... I can easily take the water back and play around with decor if I want.

I'm not quite sure what I want to do for stocking. I was thinking that I wanted to try breeding my mystery snails... but, after watching the three I have quite extensively... I'm pretty certain I only have males. That's when I decided I'd turn it into a real tank. Until this afternoon, I thought it was a ten gallon... So I was thinking about putting in a school of neon tetras. But since its smaller than that... I'm not entirely sure what to put in there. Maybe a betta or something. What kinds of fish are happy in this small of a tank?

I am having issues finding a pre-made top for it... I'd leave it open, but then I suppose the water level needs to be down a few inches, which makes the filter kind of loud. (Though, really... that might be rather comforting for the baby to listen to all night. Smile)

I still need to find a light fixture, too. 10 watts should be good for a low light tank, right?
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unissuh
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Joined: 29 Mar 2005
Location: Melbourne, Australia

PostPosted: 2010.04.12(Mon)11:23    Post subject: Reply with quote

Would use both root tabs and fertilized substrate. Very Happy I actually regret not using a fertilized substrate in my cube, it's really obvious when the root tabs run out. Also depends on the types of planted substrates and root tabs that you are using, Aquasoils release macronutrients as well as micronutrients while the most classic Eco-complete/Flourite are essentially only good for micronutrients. Seachem tabs are mainly micronutrients from what I see, people also use things like clay balls containing Osmocote for complete fertilization.

There are a few types of fish but most are delicate species, not easily obtainable (e.g. Dario dario, small rasboras) or require special care (e.g. bumblebee gobies), I don't know whether you want to go down that road. A betta or honey/pygmy gourami might be your best bet, possibly dwarf puffers but have not kept those.

Can't really suggest help for the light, should be able to find one with legs that you can sit ontop of the tank though? 9-11w should be fine, might be able to go as low as 7w. With the top, you can just get a piece of glass cut at a local glazier for a cover if there are ridges to sit it on.
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bozistheboss
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Joined: 17 Jun 2004
Location: South Carolina

PostPosted: 2010.04.12(Mon)13:13    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
possibly dwarf puffers


I experimented with them and didn't like them at all. I doubt you can keep more than 1 in a 6 gallon since they're so mean. They also only eat live/frozen foods and require snails to be fed to them so they can trim their beaks. High maintenance!
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Caton
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Joined: 28 Jul 2009
Location: Washington State, USA

PostPosted: 2010.04.12(Mon)13:59    Post subject: Reply with quote

unissuh wrote:
possibly dwarf puffers but have not kept those.


Since they are illegal in Australia...

I say get some shrimp and get a population going, once you get a a lot plop a betta in the tank.
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rales12
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Joined: 03 Nov 2009
Location: Wyoming

PostPosted: 2010.04.12(Mon)14:16    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mmm... I'll have to take a look at some of those substrates. It is OK to put a layer of gravel on top, isn't it?

I'm not really looking for any high maintenance or specialized care fish. Those pygmy gourami are rather attractive. Could I have more than one in my tank? I'm also thinking about maybe doing some shrimp.

I like the glass idea. I'll call around tomorrow and see what I can find.

I'm soaking my pieces of wood... How long does it take to get all those tannins out? Is it really going to take a couple of weeks? *impatient*
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Caton
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Joined: 28 Jul 2009
Location: Washington State, USA

PostPosted: 2010.04.12(Mon)14:17    Post subject: Reply with quote

More like a few hours, boil it for 3 hours and it should be fine.
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rales12
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Joined: 03 Nov 2009
Location: Wyoming

PostPosted: 2010.04.12(Mon)14:19    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been soaking it in boiling water for most of today and the water is still pretty dark. Not as dark as it was... but a far cry from clear. It is mopani wood... I don't know if some kinds of wood leech tannins longer than others.
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Caton
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Joined: 28 Jul 2009
Location: Washington State, USA

PostPosted: 2010.04.12(Mon)14:29    Post subject: Reply with quote

My mopani wood hasn't leeched anything really, I say put it in that tank, nothing it can hurt.
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