5 Gallon Tank Gudgie’s Fluval Spec V adventure

Gudgie

After years of wanting a Fluval Spec V but never being able to justify the expense to myself, I’ve finally obtained one! My friend picked it up second hand and offered it to me for free - an opportunity I could not pass up! (I clearly am still suffering from MTS...)

Upon arrival yesterday:
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No idea what was previously in the tank, so I opted for a very thorough cleaning. Washed it out with warm water, then used vinegar to try to decalcify the glass and rinsed again. Didn’t quite get all rid of all the calcification, but at least you can’t see it once the tank is full. Followed that up with a soak in dilute bleach to be safe, in case of prior disease, algae, etc. And then I rinsed the heck out of it numerous times, let it soak with a heavy dose of prime for awhile, rinsed again and let air dry. Then filled it up once more with some extra prime just to be safe.
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Today I added Fluval stratum, moved a small Amazon sword, bit of Rotala, and a small Crypt balansae over from my 75, and filled it up. So far so good. It should already be cycled since I moved some media over from my other tank, but I’m also adding a bit of Stability to be safe. I stuck a heater in the pump compartment, so now I’m just making sure I get the temp stabilized around 79-80F.
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It’s obviously a bit sparse at the moment, but that’s because I’m waiting on some driftwood to arrive later this week. Once it arrives and I’ve boiled it, I’ll pop it in. Then I’ll add some tissue culture plants and see how they do (C. wendtii, C. beckettii, S. repens). I’m a bit worried about how the S. repens will do since this is the old-generation stock light, so I may need to upgrade to a Nicrew or other inexpensive fixture soonish. Everything is original stock for now.

Assuming all goes to plan, I should be safe to add my new male betta later this week! I do have a backup plan in place just to be safe though; if for any reason the tank parameters are off, he’ll go into one of my other tanks until the Spec is fully ready.
 

jkkgron2

Congrats on the new tank! Make sure to post pics of your new betta
 

Gudgie

Congrats on the new tank! Make sure to post pics of your new betta
Will do once he arrives - he’s currently en route from Pennsylvania!
 

Gudgie

Driftwood and my betta arrived today, so it was time to finish planting! The betta is a male from philam, and is absolutely gorgeous! Hopefully I’ll settle on a name for him soon!
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I’ve never worked with tissue culture plants before, so I have no idea how well they’ll do. I’m also adding some to my 75 gallon - I wonder which tank they’ll do better in. For this tank, I planted the S. repens in front and on right. Crypt wendtii brown in back/mid, with some around the driftwood. Crypt beckettii mostly in mid and left. I have a feeling I won’t be able to tell the two crypt species apart in the future. The crypts are also TIIIIIINY right now - hopefully at least some of them will fill in well over the coming months.
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I know the sword on the back left will presumably outgrow this tank and go back to the 75, but at least it helps the tank to look fuller at the moment.
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The driftwood is sadly a bit smaller than I’d envisioned (bought online), so I may get something else eventually to add more height. I was picturing something about twice the size. I do rather like its color though! Maybe I can just build it up with some rocks.
 

Gudgie

Almost a week in and not much to report, but figured I’d at least share a few photos of Riff the betta (as he’s now been named).
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Unsurprisingly haven’t noticed much growth in the plants yet (perhaps very slightly larger crypt leaves?), but also haven’t seen much melt either. So I’ll take that as a win, all things considered. A tiny bit of algae on the sword, but nothing a snail or shrimp couldn’t handle.
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I’d love to eventually add some blue dream shrimp to the tank, but that assumes:
1) the plant cover on the bottom is much more filled in
2) more importantly, that Riff is not a relentless shrimp hunter. I’m not going to hold my breath on this since I know many bettas find shrimp irresistible, but perhaps I’ll eventually test out a couple of less expensive shrimp and see how it goes.
 

Gudgie

Well I bought some seiryu stone and spider wood and rescaped the tank. Overall I like it better, though it may still need some tweaking. Figure I’ll give it a couple days and see how I feel then. I do have a bit more seiryu stone if anyone thinks that’s a good idea.
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I did cave and buy a Nicrew classic plus light that’ll be here on Saturday. I’ll be curious to see how things look with a brighter light. I’m also leaning towards setting up some DIY CO2 with citric acid/baking soda eventually.
 

Gudgie

Added the new Nicrew light. It’s so much brighter! Now I just need to set up the timer/dimmer. Thinking I’ll try ramping the light up and down to simulate dawn and dusk.
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jkkgron2

Added the new Nicrew light. It’s so much brighter! Now I just need to set up the timer/dimmer. Thinking I’ll try ramping the light up and down to simulate dawn and dusk.
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Wow! Looks awesome!
 

Gudgie

Wow! Looks awesome!
Yeah, thus far I love it! Though I'm glad I have some floating plants so that Riff isn't blinded - he doesn't seem to mind the brighter light at all. Now I just need to get some CO2 soon and hopefully also avoid any crazy algae growth. It'll be my first foray into CO2 - though if it goes well, we may eventually add a full system to our 75 gallon too.
 

Koneko

Nice tank, and Riff is so colorful.
 

Ismene

Love your tank! Where’d you get your betta? I’m thinking of getting one and I like the galaxy plakats.
 

Gudgie

Picked up some giant baby tears (M. umbrosum) today, assuming they were correctly ID’ed at my LFS. They could be regular baby tears - no idea how to tell them apart. I swapped them for the sword in the back left, since that was going to rapidly outgrow this tank. I had a heck of a time getting them to stay rooted in the substrate! They kept coming back out when I would plant the next set of stems! I’m hoping the tears will get more bushy since they get a good amount of light in that corner. They’re a much lighter green than I initially thought...thinking I may need to add another plant nearby for contrast. Any suggestions?
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Love your tank! Where’d you get your betta? I’m thinking of getting one and I like the galaxy plakats.
I got him from philam on the forum. I highly recommend his bettas if he still has any left from his spawn! I have six females from him in my community tank too. Here’s the link to his thread: Outrageous!! Betta breeding with over 458 baby bettas PART 2 | 460147 | Betta Breeding
 

Ismene

Thank you! I’d much rather buy from someone on here than a rando ebay seller
 

jmaldo

I like It.
Thought about treating myself to a Flex but... already have had too many tanks going at the time (6) so "MTS" is a cruel affliction. LOL
The most difficult aspect of "Under-Water Gardening" is Patience!
See how the light works out. Let it grow.
What ferts are you using?

Good Luck!
 

Ismene

I like It.
Thought about treating myself to a Flex but... already have had too many tanks going at the time (6) so "MTS" is a cruel affliction. LOL
The most difficult aspect of "Under-Water Gardening" is Patience!
See how the light works out. Let it grow.
What ferts are you using?

Good Luck!

I am terrible at patience
 

Gudgie

I like It.
Thought about treating myself to a Flex but... already have had too many tanks going at the time (6) so "MTS" is a cruel affliction. LOL
The most difficult aspect of "Under-Water Gardening" is Patience!
See how the light works out. Let it grow.
What ferts are you using?

Good Luck!
Hah I’m terrible at patience right now. Messing with this tank has been my source of stress relief while we’re redoing a lot of our basement ourselves (thanks to water and then some mold damage), so I’m less patient than usual lol. Still, my goal is to try to leave the plants largely undisturbed for awhile and see how they do.

For ferts, I put in some nilocg root tabs when I set it up last month. I also have EI based NPK+CSM+B dry ferts that I’ve mixed liquid micros and macros from, though I’ve yet to dose this tank with them - I should get on that ASAP. I just need to calculate how much to dose with, since the ferts were initially mixed for my 75. And lastly, I’ve been periodically adding some excel to the tank - not sure whether it’s helping, but at least doesn’t seem to be hurting anything.
 

StarGirl

I like those tanks. Yours looks really good! Are they easy to clean and do filter maintenance? What are you using filter media?
 

Vivo

Is the seiryu stone inert? How about the spider wood? Where did you get them?
Very nice tank!
 

ElysiumPlants

Is the seiryu stone inert? How about the spider wood? Where did you get them?
Very nice tank!
Seiryu is not inert.
 

Vivo

Seiryu is not inert.
I just looked it up. Do you know of any stone that is inert that does not have sharp edges? I know dragon stone and lava stone and slate are inert, but the all have sharpish edges.
 

jmaldo

I have used the gambit of ferts, finally settled on Nilocg. Been using the DIY PPS-PRO Liquid Fertilizer Macros/Micros and root tabs for a couple of years. Now and then I do use Excel for the BBA.
Sooo... Easy! Plus save $'s.
I was able to accomplish some "Beautiful" planted tanks.
Good Luck!

Now I want a Flex for my Office. You're a "Bad" Influence getting my "MTS" going again
LOL
 

Gudgie

Is the seiryu stone inert? How about the spider wood? Where did you get them?
Very nice tank!
Both were purchased from Petco. I usually don’t see good driftwood there, but I really like this piece. As mentioned, seiryu is definitely not inert. I think can it impact pH, GH, and possibly KH. I think spiderwood can slightly lower pH like post driftwood. I actually wanted to raise my pH a bit, since my substrate had lowered it too far for my liking - around 6.2-6.4. Since adding the stone it’s reading 6.8. I’ll see where it stabilizes long term - hopefully it won’t be too high. Haven’t checked the KH/GH yet, hopefully they’re still in an acceptable range.

Do you know of any stone that is inert that does not have sharp edges? I know dragon stone and lava stone and slate are inert, but the all have sharpish edges.
I think granite and quartz are typically inert as well. You may also be able to grind down rough spots on some stones.

I like those tanks. Yours looks really good! Are they easy to clean and do filter maintenance? What are you using filter media?
Thanks! So far, I really like the filter. There’s a giant black filter sponge with two cutouts that I’ve put fluval biomax into. Lots of surface area for BB. And it’s really easy to change/clean the media if I need to do so. I haven’t actually cleaned the glass since there’s been minimal buildup, but I’m sure I will soon. Still trying to decide if a small magfloat versus a scrub brush will be more effective because of the decor.

I have used the gambit of ferts, finally settled on Nilocg. Been using the DIY PPS-PRO Liquid Fertilizer Macros/Micros and root tabs for a couple of years. Now and then I do use Excel for the BBA.
Sooo... Easy! Plus save $'s.
I was able to accomplish some "Beautiful" planted tanks.
Good Luck!

Now I want a Flex for my Office. You're a "Bad" Influence getting my "MTS" going again
LOL
Hah coming back to this forum has been awful for my MTS! We were down to 2 tanks, and now we’re back up to 4 (5 if you count a temporary QT). I’d say you should definitely get a flex, but I’ll refrain so that I don’t add to your MTS.hilarious

Your planted tanks look fantastic! I’d love if I could get all my plants to look that healthy and not be swamped by algae. Have you ever used CO2, or are they all low tech?
 

jmaldo

Believe me quite a bit of trial and error to find out what grows best in my water, bio-load, ferts and lighting. It's all about balance.
No CO2, Just the so called liquid carbon "Excel" as mentioned now and then when the BBA pops up.

Continued success with yours.
 

Gudgie

Two weeks later...

Unsurprisingly since it’s a fairly new tank and I added a brighter light, I’ve now had a massive outbreak of what I’d guess are diatoms. The spider wood is also covered with white slime, as usually happens with new driftwood. Not harmful, just annoying. Really need to clean the glass (for the first time, lol) when I water change it this weekend. We shall see how a small magfloat does - guessing it’ll get stuck on some decor though.
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Riff continues to do well, and never seems bothered by any of the changes to the tank. He’s gained a small nerite as a tank mate, who is ever so slowly cleaning up the driftwood. I really need to get out to my LFS for a shrimp cleaner crew soon - or perhaps order from someone online. Still debating some blue dream neos, but I could add an Amano or two in the meantime.
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I also swapped to NilocG’s liquid Thrive for fertilizer. I have mixed DIY ferts that I use on our 75, but as previously mentioned I’m terrible at remembering to dose - especially this tank that lives upstairs, whereas the macros live downstairs by the 75. The Thrive lives right next to the Spec, so I *should* be better about dosing it regularly...I hope. hilarious

The biggest highlight: I finally decided to go with high tech CO2, albeit still on a budget. I had to sacrifice some regulator quality, but hoping it’ll still work as intended, So far I have the diffuser and the filled 20oz paintball tank; everything else is scheduled to arrive tomorrow! Can’t wait to set it up!

CO2 equipment I decided on:
Tank - 20oz paintball
Regulator - FZone triple stage w/ integrated solenoid, bubble counter and check valve
Diffuser - small Aquario Neo acrylic diffuser (it’s tiiiiiiny!)
Drop checker, CO2 tubing, and analog timer for the solenoid

I think that should be everything I need - please let me know if I’ve forgotten anything.
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The plan is to set up the diffuser under the filter sponge, just next to the pump. I’m hoping that’ll allow for good CO2 distribution throughout the tank. I’ll post some updated pics once everything is in place.

Edit: Oh, and the pH has continued to remain stable at 6.8. I’ll need to be cautious starting the CO2, since I don’t want to dramatically drop the pH all of a sudden.
 

Vivo

Looks good! What is your
Two weeks later...

Unsurprisingly since it’s a fairly new tank and I added a brighter light, I’ve now had a massive outbreak of what I’d guess are diatoms. The spider wood is also covered with white slime, as usually happens with new driftwood. Not harmful, just annoying. Really need to clean the glass (for the first time, lol) when I water change it this weekend. We shall see how a small magfloat does - guessing it’ll get stuck on some decor though.
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Riff continues to do well, and never seems bothered by any of the changes to the tank. He’s gained a small nerite as a tank mate, who is ever so slowly cleaning up the driftwood. I really need to get out to my LFS for a shrimp cleaner crew soon - or perhaps order from someone online. Still debating some blue dream neos, but I could add an Amano or two in the meantime.
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I also swapped to NilocG’s liquid Thrive for fertilizer. I have mixed DIY ferts that I use on our 75, but as previously mentioned I’m terrible at remembering to dose - especially this tank that lives upstairs, whereas the macros live downstairs by the 75. The Thrive lives right next to the Spec, so I *should* be better about dosing it regularly...I hope. hilarious

The biggest highlight: I finally decided to go with high tech CO2, albeit still on a budget. I had to sacrifice some regulator quality, but hoping it’ll still work as intended, So far I have the diffuser and the filled 20oz paintball tank; everything else is scheduled to arrive tomorrow! Can’t wait to set it up!

CO2 equipment I decided on:
Tank - 20oz paintball
Regulator - FZone triple stage w/ integrated solenoid, bubble counter and check valve
Diffuser - small Aquario Neo acrylic diffuser (it’s tiiiiiiny!)
Drop checker, CO2 tubing, and analog timer for the solenoid

I think that should be everything I need - please let me know if I’ve forgotten anything.
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The plan is to set up the diffuser under the filter sponge, just next to the pump. I’m hoping that’ll allow for good CO2 distribution throughout the tank. I’ll post some updated pics once everything is in place.

Edit: Oh, and the pH has continued to remain stable at 6.8. I’ll need to be cautious starting the CO2, since I don’t want to dramatically drop the pH all of a sudden.
floating plant? How much light does it need?
 

Gudgie

Looks good! What is your

floating plant? How much light does it need?
The floating plant is Salvinia minima. Generally needs at least moderate light - but since it’s so close to the light source, that means the light doesn’t necessarily have to be super bright (as judged for lower plants). It was for all the other plants that I upgraded my light. And clearly it’s time to thin out the Salvinia yet again, since it’s blocking too much light.

Edit: for comparison, my 5 gallon crescent is the first tank I put Salvinia in. The light isn’t particularly bright and is an 8+ year old LED, but still grows the plant like crazy.
 

Gudgie

Cleaned up my tank a bit this afternoon - the glass looks much better! Also removed at least a packed half cup of Salvinia, since it was overdue to be thinned.
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Got the paintball CO2 system all hooked up - so far, so good! Setup went much more smoothly than anticipated. Started out at about 0.5 bps, which only caused a 0.2 drop in pH over the few hours it was on this afternoon. The drop checker barely changed color from blue to mostly blue/slightly green. I’ll increase the rate a bit tomorrow - just trying to go slowly to make sure I dont stress Riff.
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I’m not entirely satisfied the scape yet, but I’m trying to be patient and letting the plants fill in before I decide whether to rearrange. I do have some Micranethemum Monte Carlo arriving later this week, so I’ll at least be tweaking some of the S. repens to make room for that.
 

Gudgie

Well Riff jumped out of the tank at some point, and I’m not sure if he’s going to make it. I think he must have been out awhile - honestly I thought he was dead until he moved a bit when I went to pick him up. Immediately put him into a small bowl of water. He’s breathing, but basically not moving and in a vertical position.

I was worried that perhaps CO2 levels were elevated in the tank, so I just tested the pH. The pH hasn’t changed since last night though, so I don’t think the CO2 level could be very high. Tank specs are all fine. Perhaps he just got startled by the CO2 or light turning on (first day it’s on a timer). Or in traditional betta fashion, just decided to try jumping for whatever reasons.

Edit: Right as I was ready to post this, Riff righted himself and started swimming a little bit - that was after about an hour of just sitting verticallly. Thank goodness! He’s still got some dog hair stuck to him, but I moved him back to his regular tank since all parameters seemed okay. I don’t have any stress coat on hand, but I’m going to run out to the pet store for some as soon as my next work meeting is over. Anything else you think I should do for him? He’s still in rather rough shape, but I’m hopeful at least.
 

Gudgie

Riff didn’t make it. I feel heartbroken. His tank is right next to my telework space, so I know he was alive up until a couple moments ago.

I just double checked all the parameters yet again, to make sure I didn’t somehow mess up the tests earlier. Still 0/0/5 for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate. PH was slightly lower at 6.6, I think because I didn’t think to shut off the CO2 immediately. I’m guessing that he must have just been too injured from the lengthy time out of the water
 

jkkgron2

Riff didn’t make it. I feel heartbroken. His tank is right next to my telework space, so I know he was alive up until a couple moments ago.

I just double checked all the parameters yet again, to make sure I didn’t somehow mess up the tests earlier. Still 0/0/5 for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate. PH was slightly lower at 6.6, I think because I didn’t think to shut off the CO2 immediately. I’m guessing that he must have just been too injured from the lengthy time out of the water
I’m so sorry! Loosing fish is the worst
 

Gudgie

I’m so sorry! Loosing fish is the worst
I just also feel guilty since I don’t know if the CO2 somehow contributed. Given the very minor pH change and the drop checker being nowhere near yellow, I’m hoping that at least wasn’t that case, though hard to say for sure.
 

jkkgron2

I just also feel guilty since I don’t know if the CO2 somehow contributed. Given the very minor pH change and the drop checker being nowhere near yellow, I’m hoping that at least wasn’t that case, though hard to say for sure.
Sometimes bettas just jump . Mine has. Thankfully I was there and he landed in the water change bowl (I was refilling the tank) but If not for that bowl I could’ve lost him.
 

Gudgie

Sometimes bettas just jump . Mine has. Thankfully I was there and he landed in the water change bowl (I was refilling the tank) but If not for that bowl I could’ve lost him.
I’m definitely going to lower the light a bit to make it harder for any future fish to jump out. Also trying to decide whether to cover the big hole in the spec lid with anything, since that would make jumping impossible.
 

jkkgron2

I’m definitely going to lower the light a bit to make it harder for any future fish to jump out. Also trying to decide whether to cover the big hole in the spec lid with anything, since that would make jumping impossible.
Yeah, you might want to cover the hole. Maybe some sort of mesh? You’ll need to make sure air can get through.
 

Gudgie

Still missing Riff - I know I hadn’t had him much more than a month, but he was my work-from-home buddy (next to my teleworkspace).

I’ve now made a couple of mods to the setup to make it safer for fish and shrimp (ironically, I’d gotten some test Neocaridina the day Riff jumped - intending to see whether Riff left them alone or not). I added some craft mesh to the lid, so any future fish can no longer jump out. Just deciding whether to glue it in place versus weight it down with report cover bars. I also bent some stainless steel mesh over the filter intake so shrimp can’t get into the filter compartment.

Decided to do a bit more cleanup in the tank this afternoon while it’s fishless. Scrubbed some of the rocks and driftwood with a toothbrush to get rid of some diatoms and slime. Removed a few rocks since the spider wood no longer needed to be weighted down, then shifted it and some of the rocks slightly to the left. Also moved some of the S. repens around, since I needed to make room for Micranthemum Monte Carlo. The Monte Carlo is now planted on the front right - hoping to eventually carpet. And removed a bunch of Salvinia again - was blocking way too much light. Just waiting on some red stems to arrive next week - should be the last plants I add for quite awhile.
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Current inhabitants are one nerite snail and four Neocaridina shrimp. I do think I’ll add another fish soonish - tentatively still planning on a betta, as I like having a personable fish in the tank.
 

Gudgie

Tweaked the tank a bit more! Added a slightly taller seiryu stone to the right - I think the tank looks a bit more balanced now. Ruthlessly thinned out most of the Salvinia, since it was blocking too much light, then added a few stems of Ludwigia super red mini and Ludwigia repens. Also added a few stems of what was sold as Rotala macrandra, but based on pics it may be R. rotundifolia or indica. They’re all the way on the front left in the full tank shot (currently short) if you happen to be good at identifying Rotala species.
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Lastly, I added one of Riff’s brothers to the tank today. Decided I wanted to stick with a betta, so I’m super glad philam still had some. He has been settling in and exploring the tank. Just still needs a name!
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Oh, and I made a cover using craft mesh and report cover spines. It’s now covering the Spec lid, so hopefully there will never be another jumping incident. :/
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philam

Very nice set up! He is getting spoiled big time! Thank you for giving him a good home! I love the set up
 

Basil

Tweaked the tank a bit more! Added a slightly taller seiryu stone to the right - I think the tank looks a bit more balanced now. Ruthlessly thinned out most of the Salvinia, since it was blocking too much light, then added a few stems of Ludwigia super red mini and Ludwigia repens. Also added a few stems of what was sold as Rotala macrandra, but based on pics it may be R. rotundifolia or indica. They’re all the way on the front left in the full tank shot (currently short) if you happen to be good at identifying Rotala species.
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Lastly, I added one of Riff’s brothers to the tank today. Decided I wanted to stick with a betta, so I’m super glad philam still had some. He has been settling in and exploring the tank. Just still needs a name!
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Oh, and I made a cover using craft mesh and report cover spines. It’s now covering the Spec lid, so hopefully there will never be another jumping incident. :/
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I just found your thread. So sorry about Riff
And super glad I have a full glass canopy. Never checked about bettas being jumpers. But I have other fish who are.
Your new boy is gorgeous! They all are. I had such a difficult time picking mine!
 

Gudgie

I just found your thread. So sorry about Riff
And super glad I have a full glass canopy. Never checked about bettas being jumpers. But I have other fish who are.
Your new boy is gorgeous! They all are. I had such a difficult time picking mine!
I’ve had female bettas that were jumpers, but never a male before. After Riff, I don’t think I’ll ever keep a betta without a full cover again.

I also had such a difficult time picking my second male - I went back and forth. But I’m super happy with the new boy I have. I saw pics of your betta in your thread - he’s also gorgeous! Really, I think the entire spawn was beautiful. The six girls I got have developed such beautiful colors too.

I think the name Bubba is going to stick for my new boy. When I first got him, the coloring on his bottom lip made it look like it was sticking out, and for whatever reason reminded me of the character Bubba from Forrest Gump (which I haven’t seen in over a decade lol). Then I looked up the name Bubba, and apparently it’s often a term of endearment for brother/little brother. So it feels fitting, especially since I think he’s a bit smaller than Riff. Though hopefully he doesn’t go into the shrimping business hilarious

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Gudgie

Well, Bubba entered the shrimping business. I caught him chomping one of the blue dream shrimp a couple days ago. There are still at least a few shrimp in there, so hopefully they’ll survive. Hard to tell how many, since they’ve found some small areas that Bubba can’t get to. I am thinking of setting up a no-tech bowl, so any remaining shrimp may eventually move there if I’m able to catch them.

Did another major clean out yesterday. I majorly thinned the Salvinia - probably removed 1-2 cups worth (anyone want it?). It’s growing like crazy, and keeps blocking way too much light! I think I’m thinning some almost every week. Here are the before and after pics from that.
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Unfortunately, most of the Ludwigia super red has melted. There are still a couple of small stems, so hopefully they’ll recover with time.

I’ve also realized I’m not happy with the Ludwigia repens in this tank - I think the leaves are just too big and spaced too far apart. I already moved the stem I had in the right side to my 75 gallon. I’d also like to move all of it from the left side, but I’m holding off until I find a replacement.

Does anyone have a good recommendation for a bushy plant I could use on the back left once I pull the Ludwigia? I’m debating a small sword species such as a Kleiner prinz sword or a Echinodorus Hadi Red Pearl (does that one stay small? I’ve seen conflicting info), but I’m open to other suggestions. Perhaps an Alternanthera species instead?

Also, the older leaves on the stems of my giant baby tears appear to be suffering from a deficiency - see pic below. It’s always the older leaves, not the newer tops. Any idea whether it could be a light deficiency (due to lack of thinning Salvinia) versus a specific nutrient?
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The S. repens and Monte Carlo continue to fill in nicely! I’ve been very happy with both of those.
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Other than his interest in shrimping, Bubba continues to do well! He’s always super excited to see me, which makes it hard to get a good photo - I think he’s associated me with food.
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Maryellen

Just found your thread. Love the progression on the tank! Keep us updated on the plants
 

Gudgie

Good news! Bubba has definitely not decimated all of the shrimp. I’ve reliably seen three out and about the last couple days. I’m hoping there are more hiding somewhere, but I’ve been able to see these from a quick glance. And thus far Bubba has ignored them, so perhaps he’s closed down the shrimping business. Time will tell (obviously, I do not fully trust him).
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Slightly bad news is that I think the last round of plants brought in a bunch of pond snails. They don’t really bother me, but I’ve been slowly picking them out with forceps.
 

mattgirl

I just found this thread. I have really enjoyed watching as this tank evolved. Was sad to read of Riff's passing and then thrilled to read you were able to get one of his brothers. Bubba does sound like the perfect name for him. It is great that he has removed shrimp from his menu.

Thank you for sharing this journey with all of us.
 

Gudgie

Just figured I’d share a few photos of Bubba and the shrimp from today while I take a break from telework.
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Gudgie

Another overdue update from me. Did some much needed tank maintenance with a major plant cleanup, since I’d really been neglecting the plants the last couple months. Bubba continues to do great though!

All my S. repens ended up dying away; best guess is that it was light related. I hadn’t thinned the Salvinia much so it was blocking a ton of light - I’ve now fixed that. Thankfully, the Monte Carlo continued to grow well!

The stems were a tangled jungle. No more giant baby tears - those slowly faded away. The Rotala and Ludwigia have been so-so, not entirely happy with those. Thankfully, at least the crypt balansae is fantastic, and some of the small crypt wendtii have been slowly filling in.

The Salvinia was spreading like gangbusters - I thinned out at least four cups worth, and probably more like 6-8.

Before:
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After:
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I still need to find a background plant that I’m happy with for the back left. Mulling over a small sword again, or something similarly bushy that would grow nearly to the top.
 

Basil

Bubba looks great and lovely tank!
I cannot grow stem plants for the life of me. Although so far so good in my reset up 29 with eco complete.
It’s not bushy but my Italian vals grow great. In fact, I really need to thin some out of Eddie Betta’s tank.
Where in MD are you? I’ll trade vals for some salvinia if you are interested!
Send me a pm.
 

Bettatakeover

What about a dwarf lily?
 

Gudgie

What about a dwarf lily?
I know basically nothing about dwarf lilies, but I’ll definitely look into them!
 

Gudgie

Tweaked the tank a bit today and then had a mini photoshoot w/ Bubba.

I pulled out the back left stems and then moved a small sword back to the Spec from my 75 - it's the same sword that this tank started out with. No idea what species of sword, but it's stayed smallish for quite awhile. Worst case, if it starts growing like crazy it'll just get moved again. Also added a couple of crypts that I received from Demeter - fingers crossed that they recovery nicely in the tank!
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And then I went to take a couple photos of Bubba, and ended up taking a ton instead. The highlights are attached.
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Pretty sure the blue shrimp are long gone - I haven't seen them in a couple months. At some point, I may try some cull shrimp and see how they do; if they do alright, then I'll move on to pricier shrimp. I don't know for sure if Bubba killed the rest (I never witnessed it again), or if they just slowly died off. I'll be curious to see if another set (and/or another color) do better.
 

philam

Wow he is really such a gorgeous boy! Can I have him back? Jk Lol! He will turn one year old in March! I’m surprised you haven’t thought about breeding him.
 

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