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Old 07-08-2011, 01:27 PM   #1 
Kytkattin's Avatar
Join Date: May 2011
Location: California
College Dorm Digs (With Plants!)

So yes, plants, but no fish yet. That is actually my main question: When should I move my boys into their new tank? I was going to wait until the plants were more mature (moss covering EVERYTHING!), but now I am thinking 2 weeks tops, just long enough for the anubias to attach itself to the rock (and maybe I will go get another one for the other side...). So far (4-5 days) I have minimal growth, but that is good considering I only have Seachem Flourite, and a light that may or may not be from the late 90's. No CO2, and no fertilizer. The two plants I have should not need those things, if I did my research right. Lights are timed currently for 13 hours a day, though I am considering getting a moonlight because honestly, 13 hours just seems so short for viewing purposes. If I wake up at 7, the lights don't go on until 9AM, and then they go off at 10PM and I go to bed at 11-12, I have to spend 4-5 hours with a dark tank. I am slightly worried that the moonlight I am considering ( is going to be too powerful for my tiny little tank. Opinions?

Also, as a side note, for anyone interested, yes, there is a rock going through the divider. It took me a while to figure out how to make the divider line up exactly with the rock. After ruining a lot of the plastic dividers, I eventually took a kneaded eraser (if you know what that is: ) and basically made a mold against the rock and then traced that mold.

One more thing, then pictures! Right now I am still living at home, but this tank needs to go 3 hours with me to my dorm. It will be making this trip 4 times a year (2 there, 2 back). Will the plants be okay if the tank is drained halfway for that time? The only plant out of water would be the anubias.

Day one! Still cloudy.

Day 4. So clear! The anubias looks perkier and there is some definite growth from the moss.

Can you identify this moss? It was just labeled Aquarium Turf at Petco.

Thanks for looking!
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Old 07-09-2011, 07:22 AM   #2 
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Join Date: May 2011
Are you near Santa Barbara? If you are, I've seen that exact moss at a PetCo on State Street - I almost bought it because I thought it might be java moss. Then again java moss is illegal in CA and I've literally looked everywhere for it; I figured $9 is too expensive for something too good to be true.

Based on personal experience, I'd avoid moving your tank back and forth between campus and home. I'm living in university apartments at the moment, and I've been ferrying my bettas since May. It sucks and takes a lot of valuable study time, but I've since upgraded to a Hawkeye 5 gallon from a KritterKeeper, so I'm comfortable leaving them alone for short periods of time (i.e. weekends), and I might just leave them with friends living off campus if I don't plan on staying over breaks.

If you have to, though, you're better off draining the tank entirely - you never want to carry even a half loaded tank in a car, train, or plane. Your plants will be fine if you keep them in a container with a bit of old aquarium water (and you should do the same for your bettas). The reasoning behind this is possible damage to the aquarium due to the weight of water pressing on the bottom pane of glass when it isn't on a stable surface, which can result in cracks, and the fact that movement will cause water to agitate the substrate and shred your plants/fish unfortunate enough to be inside the tank (and of course get gross-smelling aquarium water in your car or whatever).

Good luck with your endeavors, and it'll be pretty tough if it's your freshman year (assuming this since you're living in a dorm) to balance caring for your fish and schoolwork, but at least if you ever become good friends with whoever works at the bio department inventory you can score some free daphnia or brine shrimp or something more exotic for your bettas to eat!!
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Old 07-09-2011, 12:39 PM   #3 
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Join Date: May 2011
Location: California
No, not SB. Closer to the state capital. I am almost certain it is Christmas moss, which is just fine by me. It is growing, that is all I care about. Especially since this is the first time I have ever had a planted tank! I just wish it would hurry up and fill everything in.

I have no problem leaving the tank on weekends, but it has to come back with me during winter and summer break. Winter break is over a month long, and summer is 3! I think what I will try is to drain it down to the top of the substrate (so as much as I can get out with a siphon), and put plastic over the plants to help hold in humidity. So it won't be half full at all, just a bit of water that I couldn't get out without completely tearing down the tank anyways.
The boys were going to be transported in their pet store containers for their own safety, and the filter media will be bagged in tank water.

Thankfully I am not a freshman, just a transfer. And I'm an art major, so meh. Making my tank look good so I can paint it might as well be considered homework. :) Thank you for all of your advise!

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