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Old 05-18-2014, 08:22 PM   #1 
mobius981
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Zen's Habitat Journal

I am keeping a fish-in cycle log in the habitat arena here, and realize perhaps it should have been posted here.

I am starting this thread because I am ecstatic and so is Zen.

Long Story: We had a Hydor 50 watt in a five gallon tank and unbelievably it would not keep to temp so Zen was subject to 75-77 degrees or less (it varied with room temp and would NOT keep up) and Hydor itself (I called them) would not honor warranty unless heater was sent back (you can imagine how I did NOT like this).

So in desperation I ordered an Eheim Jager, also 50 watt. It arrived yesterday when i wasn't looking (earlier than tracking said but took forever ( I am talking to you, Amazon)). We had to subsist on the Hydor until the Eheim showed up. What a wait that was. It also compromised my ability to cycle the tank in a timely manner. And there is more about the Hydor slow shipping (as well) to begin with but don't get me started....

I installed Eheim. Here is the report. In the Eheim vs. Hydor wars, it is Eheim hands down. Tank is now to 80 degrees. In less than two hours. I thought the Hydor would do this same thing but it did NOT.

All of a sudden, Zen starts making moves!

I wish you could see the difference in Zen. I am loving this, just a few degrees means the whole world to him.

He is active, opening fins more than I have ever seen, and he is OWNING his tank....exploring every bit, checking out everything, completely inquisitive, and I swear his coloration is changing.

I waited way too long to get Eheim, I ordered it after realizing Hydor would not honor warranty unless I shipped it back, it was a comedy of errors, and i live in a rural location so it took a long time to repair Hydor mishap. I ranted a bit in my cycling thread in this forum. Very upset to say the least.

The Eheim is MUCH larger than Hydor, but at this point I care not, because Zen seems SO happy. I watch closely and i can see his little eyeballs moving as he looks around. Big open fins. I am very happy about this change (as well as aggravated for the two or three weeks of difficulty and sub-par environment).

All now is good. Problem solved.
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Old 05-19-2014, 05:00 AM   #2 
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Congrats on getting it right. I'm sure Zen is loving a nice warm home. Temp makes all the world right for a little guy like Zen, Just think how you react when it's cold out. Zen is the same way. Now on to heaters. I have no faith in the Hydor brand of heaters. I also have a problem with Marineland heaters. Now a days if you find a good heater (doesn't matter what brand) keep it. Quality in Heaters has fallen with all brands and it just depends on luck of the draw. I Bought a Marineland 25 watt heater for Harry's 4 gallon tank and it has done great. I then started a 10 gallon and bought a Marineland 75 watt. thinking the reviews were wrong and only a few problems out of thousands sold. (wrong) I set the 75 watt to 78 degrees and within 4 hours the tank was past 93 degrees. I reset the heater to 74 to see if it would lower the temp and it did to 84 degrees. I reset it again to 72 and the temp dropped to 78 degrees and stayed that way for a couple of weeks while the tank cycled. The other day I was going to start adding plants and some fish and noticed the temp was again past 90 degrees. (The house stays at 69 degrees year round) I bought an Aqueon heater and set it to 78 and again the temp went higher than set. I have lowered this heater to 76 but with a +- factor of 2 degrees it is staying with in range. The only thing I can say in Marinelands defense is their customer service contacted me the day I posted a bad review and has since sent me out another heater. When it comes I will test it and make sure it is calibrated and we will go from there.
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Old 05-19-2014, 05:25 PM   #3 
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Wow! You SO validated me, I had no idea quality was getting poor and just trusted that a heater (hydors are highly rated) would NEVER be so punk. I deeply thank you for telling me your story. How aggravating is this: Our betta's health and life is on the line (as well as tank cycling but that is a far second). This issue reminds me of the thread about Dangerous Tank Items back on the Habitat area. Grrrrrr!!! Unscrupulous manufacturers, beware. There will be a reckoning!

When I get over my heightened level of jaw-dropping appallation, I will be posting some reviews. Thank you for the idea. So others know. Nothing can repay me for the level of anxiety and worry.

Last edited by mobius981; 05-19-2014 at 05:35 PM.
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Old 05-19-2014, 10:17 PM   #4 
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Well I got home from work tonight around 11 pm and there was a box on the kitchen table addressed to me from Marineland. It had a brand new 75 watt heater in it. being late in the evening I will leave this go until tomorrow and test this new heater and see if I get better results or if they stayed the same. I'll say one thing for Marineland their customer service is very good and they do care that the customer is satisfied. I'll post the results tomorrow.
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Old 06-21-2014, 10:31 AM   #5 
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Zen's tank has completed cycling: The (very long) log is here: http://www.bettafish.com/showthread....391434&page=11

So what did I do yesterday? I went to the LFS and took that dratted snail back. I am not impressed with the LFS, I told them he destroyed plants and the guy laughed and said, yes, they do that. Hahahaha on me, huh? And still no nerites at the LFS. I will look elsewhere. I think they run a bit of a slip-shod operation. That snail caused me no end of trouble.

Now the snail is back in a tank with others of his ilk and no plants. Fine.

So I can't belive what I did next...I exchanged the snail (straight across trade) for an African Dwarf Frog. Yes, yes I did. OMG. Keeping fingers crossed it doesn't upset tank stablility. I really wanted a nerite, but there were these kyoooot little froggies. And I got one.

He was plopped in the tank (using proper dripping approach) and promptly swam to the bottom and hid. Zen investigated him. Didn't seem particularly upset. Here is hoping this will be a better match than the snail.
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Old 06-21-2014, 10:40 AM   #6 
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Here are the tank parameters:

Fish: Zen (Halfmoon)
Frog: African Dwarf
Plants: Too many to count, but: Moss Ball, water onion, beaucoup christmas and java moss, cabomba, a bit of hornwort (floating), water wisteria, windelov java fern and an amazon sword.


Tank: Mr. Aqua 5.2 gallon Bowfront Cube 10x10x12
Heater: Eheim Jager 50 watt
Filter: ATI Hydro-Sponge I with airpump and airstone, turned down VERY low
Light: Dolphin LED Clip-on
Test Kit: API Master Freshwater
Water Conditioner: Seachem Prime
Substrate: Five pounds Pure Water Pebbles

Tank Monitors:
Glass thermometer
Seachem Ammonia and Ph alerts.

Food: New Life Spectrum Betta Formula

Betta Tube and a purchased cave are his hides. Cave has been covered with (glued-on) moss, which is growing nicely. I don't think I can get anything more in this tank!! I will post a picture soon.
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Old 06-21-2014, 10:47 AM   #7 
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I hope you enjoy your frog! I love mine! They are so cute and fun.
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Old 06-21-2014, 11:22 AM   #8 
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Tank Pics

Thank you for note re: frog, I hope it is not too much of a bioload. I will love him if I can find him, lol!
I will get better pics, I promise...
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Old 06-21-2014, 12:34 PM   #9 
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In the pics, it kind of looks a mess, but to me, it is very pretty...now that the tank is cycled, I can deal with some of the aesthetics...
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Old 06-21-2014, 01:51 PM   #10 
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OK so I am reading about ADFs and what to feed them. One place recommended (over and over) small live earthworms. Wow. Guess what I have? A composting worm-bin. I do.

I am thinking of extracting a few baby earthworms (red wrigglers aka fish bait aka these make the best gardening (gold) compost) and putting them in a smallish container with their composting material, say a quart mason jar, and keeping a live jar going for the ADF.

Any thoughts on this process?
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