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Old 06-30-2012, 12:07 AM   #1 
Catie79's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2012
Project: Divided Tank

For everyone's amusement, here is my first great betta project: a 10 gallon divided tank.

First I went shopping. I dropped by Petsmart to pick up some specialty items (aquarium salt, fungus meds, a couple plants) I couldn't find anywhere else that my fish, Lucky, needed. I didn't see any tanks that fit the bill without costing an arm and a leg, so I headed off to Walmart. There I found a prefect 10 gallon tank with a hood and filter for $30. Nice. I also found the gravel, some neat resin tree logs, needlepoint mesh, silicone sealant, and report binders that I would need to make my divider (office supply section with all of the report covers for anyone that's been looking). Who knew that Walmart would be my fish project shop and for so cheap?

Loaded down with items, I headed back home. The first step was to get the report binders attached to the sides of the tank. It would need at least three hours to cure. It was pretty straight forward, I measured ten inches in, marked on the outside of the tank with a dry erase marker, and glued the binders into place. I added one to the bottom as well to be more secure.

Don't mind the dishes. Or the bottles. The husband has home brewing as a hobby.

Now that the tank was set to cure (please remember that I said it needed three hours to cure before I should mess with it), I needed to clean all of the other goodies I'd bought for the tank.

Plenty of gravel and new plants and the little logs. Everything went into the sink for a very hot water bath. I'm glad the husband wasn't home to watch me put fifteen pounds of rocks through the kitchen sink. Surely it won't be any harder on the garbage disposal then the little incident with turkey bones after Thanksgiving, right?


So now I've cleaned everything and tossed some plants into Lucky's temporary tank for him to play with and I've tested my water parameters with my new test kit and generally have done everything imaginable except put in the divider. In short, I'm now bored. 1.5 hours is enough, right? It doesn't need to be totally cured for this, the mesh will just slide right in . . .

45 minutes and quite a bit of cussing later, I've managed to pop off all of the report binders and have gotten myself covered in silicone. Of course this is when my husband comes in. That mesh certainly does NOT just slide in. I ended up assembling the divider outside of the tank and then sticking it back on with more silicone. My husband thought it was hilarious, but the end results were pretty good.

Lucky observed all of these going ons from his new bed of water wisteria.

Tonight I'm actually going to leave the tank alone and let it cure properly. Tomorrow I'll update with my adventures in decorating and filling my new divided tank. This will include securing live plants, so it should be a riot.

All of this for a $1.99 fish.
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Old 06-30-2012, 12:49 AM   #2 
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This makes me want to take a late night trip to walmart. Nice work.
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Old 06-30-2012, 10:08 AM   #3 
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The saga continues.

After being given the appropriate amount of time to cure, my divider was securely in place. Hopefully it will be enough to keep Lucky and his future neighbor separated no matter how feisty they may get.

Next up was gravel and the neat resin logs I found at Walmart. Fifteen pounds of gravel was just about perfect with a bit left over for Lucky's current tank.

I added the water, the plants, and the last of the decorations. Popped in the filter, put on the hood, and hit the lights so I could get the full effect.

I've got microswords in the front, an annubias secured to the log on the right, water wisteria floating around on top, and a marimo moss ball. I'll be adding a second annubias for the other log since I really like how that came out and another marimo ball to make the sides even. That bunch of colorful leaves in the center are plastic plants that were originally attached to the logs. If all of my plants die, they're the back up plan.

So success! I have the tank divided and up and running. Now I'm going to go get a plastic bottle and get to work baffling that power filter. I'm also going to go to the grocery store to pick up a raw shrimp to toss into my tank to get the cycle started. Trying to explain to my husband that I was going to be running an empty tank for at least four weeks was an interesting conversation.
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Old 06-30-2012, 10:23 AM   #4 
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It looks so great! I really love the logs, too. I have a 10gal in storage and I want to divide that someday.
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Old 06-30-2012, 10:48 AM   #5 
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I'm really happy with how it came out! I'll get to spend the next four weeks trying to keep the plants alive and see if I can get them happily established before adding fish to the equation. I'm glad I went with the ten gallon to divide, since that looks like a nice bit of space for my fish. I can't wait to move him in there and let him stretch out.

Of course, that also leaves me with four weeks to consider the occupant of the other half . . .

/browses Aquabids
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Old 06-30-2012, 11:28 AM   #6 
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Location: Florida
That looks awesome!! I got that same tank, the best deal ever! I also have that log :)
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Old 06-30-2012, 11:52 AM   #7 
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You can also cycle your tank with ammonia. I've heard it works better then with food but I just use Tetra Safestart for bacteria. If you do ammonia you need 100% pure ammonia that doesn't bubble when shaken. You'll also need a medicine dropper. Add 5 drops of ammonia to the water and then test for ammonia. Continue doing this until ammonia reads 5. Keep track of how many drops you add. Add the same amount of drops every day until nitrItes show up. Then you'll only add half the amount of drops until ammonia and NitrIte read 0. At this point your nitrAtes will be very high so do as many water changes as it takes to bring them back below 40ppm. Your tank should cycle in two weeks with this method.
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Old 06-30-2012, 12:10 PM   #8 
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Location: Ontario Canada
you can also take a decoration, some media or gravel from your current tank (if cycled) and use that to help speed things up.

Your tank looks great! what a lucky little fishy, I may need to get some of the wisteria, because your little guy looking through it is freaking adorable!
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Old 06-30-2012, 01:45 PM   #9 
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Location: Lexington, KY
I noticed in one of the pictures there are plants in tubes. Make sure they say fully submersible or they will rot, and foul your tank.
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Old 06-30-2012, 01:56 PM   #10 
Catfish Billy
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I would love a divided tank but I don't have enough room....
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