12x12x12" 7.5g filterless planted - GTA Aquaria Forum - Aquarium Fish & Plants serving the Greater Toronto Area.
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Beginner's Circle This forum is dedicated to helping people new to the hobby. If you need help, this is your starting point.

View Poll Results: Can you recommend one (or more) of these potential additions?
Excel dosing every day 0 0%
Dwarf puffer + otos 1 50.00%
Dwarf puffer + endlers 0 0%
Endlers + otos 1 50.00%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 2. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 02-13-2020, 02:57 PM   #1
Elmer42
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Default 12x12x12" 7.5g filterless planted

UPDATE: not filterless

Hello

I have a rimless 7.5g tank.
I added:
50W submersible heater
Fluval stratum
Aqueon Planted clip-on LED
Elodea
crypts
Sag
A few pieces of quartz for decor

No filter, "because music room"

I add seachem prime with water top up / fill / change.

Started adding seachem stability and diluted pure ammonia regularly. I currently have 1ppm ammo.

pH is so far 7.5 (out of high range test on the low side, top of low range test) and not dropping from the stratum yet although it's been a few days.

Still calibrating my heater, gradually, as it seems to be about 4 deg low.

No lid so far ... looking for options. I read that plexiglass is clearer in the longterm than Lexan. There are pieces of 12x12 plexiglass on Amazon that I guess I could cut notches out of if I can get a tool. I think I remember trying to drill that as a kid and having it melt around the drillbit...

I'm thinking about adding a few things, probably in a few weeks once I am convinced the plants are here to stay and the bacteria buffer is working.

Here are some of the options I'm considering.

Seachem excel (I figure this should be given as part of a balanced diet with the nitrates being produced by the bacteria buffer)
1 dwarf puffer, aka pea puffer
1 or more otos
small school of green neon tetras
small school of male endlers
1 badis (this may be too difficult)
shrimp (no experience with these, but it is a nano tank)
small, branching malaysian wood (pre-soaked)

The idea is, this tank is fun, and doesn't take up much space or make noise. The fish should eventually be sociable or at least tolerable of people.

In my past experience, I had a 35gal planted tank with HOB, java moss, anubias, swords, vals, dwarf val or sag, driftwood, otos and keyhole cichlids, flourite and play sand, with T5HO lights - I remember using some root tabs and excel when getting it going and eventually just left it. I had to tear it down a few years ago when I moved.

Before that, I had some basic experience with gouramis and platys.

Any questions or comments?
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Last edited by Elmer42; Yesterday at 09:00 AM.. Reason: Update to avoid confusion
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Old 02-15-2020, 07:52 AM   #2
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Hmmm...
It seems people are claiming that canisters are very quiet these days. I wonder - should I take the risk on an Eheim 2211?
ps. nitrites and nitrates in the house!
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Old 02-17-2020, 11:42 AM   #3
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Day 8: Added the Eheim 150. So not filterless anymore! And the clarity has shot up - either that's the filter or a change in the bacteria situation. I closed the outflow valve a bit and I think it's a mild enough current. Put in a small piece of wood with tied anubias nana. The sag and elodea shows small signs of growth. About 3-4 crypt leaves melted.
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Old 02-19-2020, 09:40 AM   #4
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Updates:
- still cycling
- using Excel
- red and green algae appearing here and there
- all plants showing growth
- some small animals appeared - snails with very little shell, mostly transparent body
- the temperature increased since the filter was added. I can definitely say that this heater does not work well without a filter.

Perhaps this is just what nature ordered as food sources for otos and a pea puffer?

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Old 02-20-2020, 09:08 AM   #5
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Without water movement, you're not going to have even heat distribution throughout the tank--that would make calibrating the heater difficult, especially depending on where in the tank you measure the temperature during calibration. If you want to run a no-filter setup in the future with a heater, and want to have even heat distribution, a very small powerhead or an airstone or something would do it. An airstone will be louder though than almost all filters these days (excluding air-powered filters).

Personally, I wouldn't put both otos and a pea puffer in a tank that small. Pea puffers are small, but have huge personalities, and otos do best in groups. Sounds to me like a recipe for a crowded tank with stressed inhabitants. The algae will clear up as the tank establishes (or you'll need to tweak your feeding/lighting), and the snails will munch on it too.

Depending on what type of snail you have, they might breed fast enough to support a pea puffer (acute bladder snails can breed *very* quickly, and if you let them establish a population of 30-40 snails before adding the puffer you might get a sustainable population), but it's also entirely possible for the puffer to just eat them all, and then you're back to manual feeding.

My personal stocking recommendation is endlers, pea puffer, or shrimp--I think all 3 of those options would do well in your setup. If you do shrimp, definitely put a sponge over the filter intake (actually do this anyway; if you have tiny snails, they *will* go on excursions through the intake and outtake pipes and find their way into your filter).
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Old 02-20-2020, 04:34 PM   #6
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That makes sense, about the heater - I think also, if I tried a no-filter setup again, I would have a lid on from day one.

After I decided to get filtration, I almost went with a air-pump-powered sponge filter, but I have a feeling the canister I picked is quieter. I'll take your advice about putting a sponge on the filter intake as well, as soon as possible - I'd like to preserve those snails...

I am probably going to go with one pea puffer and that's it. Even though I think otos are really cute, there isn't likely going to be enough algae to sustain even one, as I'm pretty confident I can tweak this low light setup for low to no algae. The family and I seem to be more interested in the puffer than the endlers. A square tank seems to want a hovering fish.

Feeding something other than pellets on a regular basis will be a new thing for me, which should be interesting. I guess I will start with the frozen stuff, and look for info on feeding techniques, and start looking around for info on live food.

I ended up getting some twin-walled polycabonate and with a razor blade making a lid in two parts (front and back) with a hole in the center to cut down the reflection.

It looks like nitrates are going down slightly, while I continue with the same ammonia addition every day. Crypts are sending out nice brown crinkly leaves, the elodea are branching and the sagitarria are spreading. The snails are gaining weight.

Thanks a lot for your wise comments!
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Old 03-13-2020, 07:28 PM   #7
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Going with the single pea puffer. Here's an updated photo. So far, he/she seems quite at home.
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Old 04-03-2020, 08:51 PM   #8
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Still looking well. And I think we can say this is a male, based on the stripey spots and ventral line.
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