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Old 09-15-2012, 08:24 AM   #31 
labloverl
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Oh, I hope your's finishes soon! It is SO frustrating. Mine actually finished yesterday and Hallyx can probably tell you that it was a long and tiring process for me. :)
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Old 09-15-2012, 08:34 AM   #32 
TigerRegalia
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Originally Posted by labloverl View Post
Oh, I hope your's finishes soon! It is SO frustrating. Mine actually finished yesterday and Hallyx can probably tell you that it was a long and tiring process for me. :)
Thanks for the encouragement!! That's what I needed to hear right about now I hope it finishes soon too!!
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Old 09-15-2012, 08:55 AM   #33 
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Eh? Why did you buy the one that came with the brown leaves? If I had NO choice but to buy from the tubed plants, I wouldn't choose the one with discolored foliage.

  • Just like fish, plants as well.... I will always do what I can to pick the healthiest looking one to bring home. The one you bought they typically throw away at the end of the week or when the new shipment arrives.
  • Also what is the scientific name of that plant? Heard the tubed greens often come mislabeled, but if you haven't tossed the package yet, make sure you research the plant and it's requirements.
Hm... For $8 bucks you could have bought 2 bundles of Wisteria (Hygrophila difformis) & 1 bunch of water primrose (Ludwigia palustris).

  • When it comes to anything, I like extra options in case something goes wrong. Some plants might do better with little to no care, not sure about an Amazon though. I think swords may require root tab fertilizers and good amount of light from a new 6500k rated bulb for at least 8-10 hours.... it will grow HUGE. Not sure how fast before it will outgrow a 5G.
  • For a tank your size, I would have recommended the Wisteria.
I was about to buy a few bundles that I saw on Friday, but glad someone else on the forum mentioned a secret sale going on for Saturday that might enable me to get an extra discount. I may grab $10 worth in the next couple hours, but we'll see if I have time to get down there.

I'm glad you mentioned the Hagen Mini Elite filter, but I wouldn't have attempted using it to cycle a 5G without ADDITIONAL filter media.

Very curious to see how Hally modified his to get it to provide adequate filtration. I think that filter is too small, but 1 betta doesn't create too much filth.

  • The Whisper 3i that comes with the 1.5G Tetra WaterWonders tank..... it filters about 20 GPH, but with a addition of a more powerful air pump and possibly drilling an extra hole like Hally recommended for better water distribution on the media, I should be able to get 50GPH
  • Hagen Elite Mini Underwater Filter
    Size: 58 GPH
    Dimensions: 1.75"W X 1.5"D X 3.5"H
    Aquarium Size: For Tanks Up To 3 Gallons
All I know is my little 1.5G tank is already cycled. Only took took about 2 days with the help of the "established" media jammed in the Whisper 3i.

I'm not sure what to recommend on caring for a decaying sword plant.
  • A photo of the sword would be helpful to judge the condition.
  • Do you have a photo of your 5G in cycle?
  • Do you have any other tanks you can pull media from?
  • Do you have any other filters/sponges/aquarium related items? Anything that can be added to the tank for extra b-bacteria to grow on will only help.
  • In the meantime, just follow what Hally recommends since he has actual experience with your particular filter.
  • My methods are more experimental, but they've all worked for me.

Good luck.
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Old 09-16-2012, 06:25 AM   #34 
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I too have had to resort to buying plants-in-tubes from Petsmart because the (closer) Petco has nothing I'd trust. My only other alternative fish-store is much farther away and has a small, not that great selection. Those plants-in-tubes are hard to evaluate through the packaging; they're even hard to unwrap at home. Maybe I should consider myself lucky that all those Anubias and the one sword came out OK.

The Whisper 3i is a badly designed item which can't possibly work as advertised because only the top 25% of the media sees any water flow at all. My modification only improves the filtering. It does not make it good compared to other sponge filters on the market. My modified 3i will only ever be capable of 20gph (or whatever it claims). My mod did nothing to increase the flow. Even a larger pump would not double the flow.

The Hagen, on the other hand, is over-pumped and under-media-ed, as befits a water-fountain pump. I did mention that my uninhabited 5g features an unmodified Mini Elite, a few plants (Anubias, and a lonely sword in a pot, no more) and no substrate. It eats 2.0ppm ACE ammonia every two days.

I've heard that swords will look sickly for a time and then recover. Hang in there, Tiger.

I'll really try to get that pic, tomorrow. In the mean time, this is what I did:

I took a 1/2 inch thick piece of coarse filter foam 3in long x ~5in wide. I formed it into a 3in long tube and sewed it up, including one end. The open end fits over the filter outlet with no fasteners.

I used to have a piece of foam under the filter at the inlet, but my fish likes to hang out there. That's in my cycled 2.5g.

In my divided 5g, I have a similar filter setup but with additional foam floating around in between two craft-mesh dividers. It's adequate for two Betta.

@TR---regarding your nitrite. I never had too much nitrite in the tanks I've cycled. I've only heard of it here. Maybe you should try OFL's suggestion and cut back on your ammonia. Other than not enough filter area (and it doesn't take much) I can't reason out why it should be.

I'm going to check a recent article. Back later.

Last edited by Hallyx; 09-16-2012 at 06:37 AM.
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Old 09-16-2012, 05:15 PM   #35 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MSG View Post
Eh? Why did you buy the one that came with the brown leaves? If I had NO choice but to buy from the tubed plants, I wouldn't choose the one with discolored foliage.
I bought it because I needed a live plant for my cycle and didn't know what to get. I had read the Sword could live in slightly higher temperatures and that someone's Wisteria was dying due to their water's temperature, so that's why I didn't get a Wisteria. I looked through the tubed plants the best that I could, but, like Hallyx said, it is difficult to really tell what their condition is through the tubing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MSG View Post
Hm... For $8 bucks you could have bought 2 bundles of Wisteria (Hygrophila difformis) & 1 bunch of water primrose (Ludwigia palustris).

  • When it comes to anything, I like extra options in case something goes wrong. Some plants might do better with little to no care, not sure about an Amazon though. I think swords may require root tab fertilizers and good amount of light from a new 6500k rated bulb for at least 8-10 hours.... it will grow HUGE. Not sure how fast before it will outgrow a 5G.
  • For a tank your size, I would have recommended the Wisteria
PetSmart is overpriced in every item they carry, but it is my only option, as there are no other pet stores around here (and this PetSmart is 25-30 min away as it is). I didn't know that I would also need to buy fertilizer... I am a graduate student which means I don't have a lot of money, but I will look into what I need to do to care for live plants. I was wanting a plant that doesn't require much care at all, and I thought I had remembered reading somewhere at one time or another that Swords didn't take much... but I could be (and probably am) wrong on this.


Quote:
Originally Posted by MSG View Post
I'm not sure what to recommend on caring for a decaying sword plant.
  • A photo of the sword would be helpful to judge the condition.
  • Do you have a photo of your 5G in cycle?
  • Do you have any other tanks you can pull media from?
  • Do you have any other filters/sponges/aquarium related items? Anything that can be added to the tank for extra b-bacteria to grow on will only help.
  • In the meantime, just follow what Hally recommends since he has actual experience with your particular filter.
My methods are more experimental, but they've all worked for me.
I can take a picture of what I planted that was left of the sword when I get back to my apartment tomorrow. I tossed the brown and detached leaves, though. I can also take a picture of my tank in cycle. The only other tank that I have is what Tom is currently housed in--a 1-gallon tank that he is actually quite happy in for the time being. I've heard that you can't reliably cycle a 1-gallon tank, which is why I change his water 3 times per week.
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Old 09-16-2012, 05:24 PM   #36 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hallyx View Post
I too have had to resort to buying plants-in-tubes from Petsmart because the (closer) Petco has nothing I'd trust. My only other alternative fish-store is much farther away and has a small, not that great selection. Those plants-in-tubes are hard to evaluate through the packaging; they're even hard to unwrap at home. Maybe I should consider myself lucky that all those Anubias and the one sword came out OK.
These tube plants really are difficult to evaluate! It makes things more difficult in the long run, and plus I am a complete newbie to both fishless cycling and planted aquariums. The employees at PetSmart have never truly helped me with any questions I've ever had, either. I'll never forget when I was a newbie to bettas and the fish dept. guy told me that betta are native to mud puddles in Thailand and thus are much happier in the smaller tanks (i.e., .5 gallon bowls). Then, when I brought in my sick Iggy, he gave me some advice that ended up playing into his later death :( *shudder*


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Originally Posted by Hallyx View Post
I've heard that swords will look sickly for a time and then recover. Hang in there, Tiger.
Thanks for the encouragement!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Hallyx View Post
I took a 1/2 inch thick piece of coarse filter foam 3in long x ~5in wide. I formed it into a 3in long tube and sewed it up, including one end. The open end fits over the filter outlet with no fasteners.

I used to have a piece of foam under the filter at the inlet, but my fish likes to hang out there. That's in my cycled 2.5g.
Thanks for this! I'll see what I can do, but I will wait on your picture before I try anything, as I am a visual learner


Quote:
Originally Posted by Hallyx View Post
@TR---regarding your nitrite. I never had too much nitrite in the tanks I've cycled. I've only heard of it here. Maybe you should try OFL's suggestion and cut back on your ammonia. Other than not enough filter area (and it doesn't take much) I can't reason out why it should be.
I am going to stop with the ammonia doses. I remember OFL told me to just sit back from the cycle and let it work itself out. I'm glad you all are helping me out!!
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Old 09-16-2012, 10:29 PM   #37 
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Now that you've stopped dosing ammonia, let me know how it goes.

Here's a not very clear picture of my foam-tube bacteria condo. Turns out, it's a 3in x 6 in foam tube (1/2in foam) rolled into a 3in long tube and sewn.

Probably overkill in a 5g with substrate, plants and decor. It totally stifles any current. It's still less foam than the sponge filters I use in my 3gals.
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Old 09-17-2012, 04:04 PM   #38 
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Thanks for the picture, Hallyx! I'll see what I can do... I'm not promising anything, though; I am not very handy when it comes to fixing things.

Here are some pictures of my tank in cycle and of the sword I bought. I think I am going to ask for a refund the next time I'm headed over in the direction of PetSmart.

I know the sword looks terrible... it's probably already dead :(
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Old 09-21-2012, 07:57 PM   #39 
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Talking

Great news!! I have left the tank alone without redosing any ammonia, and I just now rechecked the water params:

-Ammonia: .25 ppm
-NitrIte: in between .25 and .5 ppm!!
-NitrAte: 40 ppm

Looks like it's *FiNaLLy* starting to level out!!!
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Old 09-21-2012, 11:36 PM   #40 
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Expect the nitrites to increase some before they go down.

You're on the home stretch.

That sword doesn't look terminal. It'll love all that nitrate.
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