New Year, New Tank

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Well, this happened last weekend. Yep, it’s a new tank and I’m super excited about it!

One of my favorite LFS is having an anniversary sale this month so we went to check it out (with full intention of getting this tank). It’s the Fluval Flex 15 gallon and we also got the stand for it. It’s an “early” birthday gift. My birthday is in April!

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The stand for the Fluval Flex

We paid a little more in-store for it than what it would have been at Amazon, but I feel good about supporting the local store and I don’t have to worry about it getting damaged in shipping. I also don’t have to watch for it to be delivered and sitting on my front porch while I’m at work. The stand looks great in our living room, and so does the tank!

Why another tank, you ask? Why not? No! Seriously…it’s actually going to be an upgrade for the Endler Livebearer tank which you might recall is just a 5 gallon right now.  We were always going to give them a bigger tank; we just weren’t sure how soon.

The 5 gallon is pictured in this post from November when I first set it up. It had no fish in it at the time. I set it up and then went on vacation for a week, but a baby guppy and one shrimp that was in the no-tech nano set-up also mentioned in that post needed to be rehomed. Luckily, this 5 gallon was standing by for them!

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The 5 gallon I called Riverbend

In December, I added two male endlers, one female endler, and two more babies that I didn’t want to leave stranded at the fish store. I also added three more red rilli shrimp and two tiny panda corys. I admit it was a bit much for the 5 gallon. We knew we were not going to be able to keep the endlers in this tank if they bred, and we did eventually rehome the two males this month in the 36 gallon just to give the female some peace.

The 5 gallon has been a great tank that I’ve sustained by changing about 2 gallons of water per week. I fertilize it with only 2mL of API Leaf Zone about every other day. I was using API C02 Booster once a day but stopped. No reason other than I didn’t like some of the information I was reading about it in Facebook groups and on the web.

The only tragedy we’ve had since the set-up is one of the panda corys. Yep, the original baby guppy and the two from the store have all survived and are growing well. We thought we lost a shrimp, but then I spotted all 4 on Christmas Day. For the first time since then, we saw all 4 again this past weekend.

71rv38f2D4L._SL1500_And then…we came home on Friday and spotted a new baby in the tank, and then another, and another. We were up to seven babies as of Sunday so it looked like we were going to be buying that new tank sooner than expected. So here we are.

I love the bow front style that goes from top to bottom instead of side to side like on my 36 gallon. This tank also has the filtration compartment hidden in the back just like the 5 gallon. It’s a 3 compartment system too with two outlets on the left side of the tank that appear to be very shrimp and fry friendly.

The first filter compartment is just a large 3 inch empty chamber from top to bottom, perfect for a heater. The second contains a biosponge insert with two inner compartments. One of the inner compartments is for ceramic filter media which was included. The other is for carbon media which was also included. The third compartment contains the submersed pump which returns the water to the tank through two flat spickets just below the water’s surface.  The only thing I don’t like about the pump is that the speed of flow is not adjustable.

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The remote!

And the lighting!  Wow! It’s got a remote control with about a dozen combos of red, green, and blue. It also has three special effect settings including thunder storm! It’s fun although I’ll probably eventually just stick to one setting due to the plants.

There’s also a grid-like pattern around the top of the tank that is printed on the glass. It hides water levels and calcium deposits from evaporated water. It also cuts down on the glare of the light.

I wanted to try working with sand for this tank, but I did add Fluval Stratum substrate to the bottom.  I was very excited about how easy the sand was to work with, and it kept the detritus from the substrate out of the water. IAfter a quick rinse, the sand was perfect. ‘m definitely going to consider adding sand in the future. If you are curious, I used a bag of aquarium sand from Petco that is good for both fresh water and salt water tanks.

The large stones are Black Mountain Seiryu which I got on Ebay from a local seller. The pebbles you see in the middle are actually a small “walking” path I made using gravel I removed from the “Mississippi” 10 gallon a few weeks ago. I’ll share a better picture of the path later once the tank is planted. Speaking of plants, I threw in a few extra Marimo moss balls that were in my grow-out tank, but I already have more plants in mind.

I needed to do a water change on the Endler tank yesterday so I pumped out two gallons and actually poured it in over the biosponge of the Fluval. I plan to do this again in about a week. Using “old” water like this can help speed up the cycling and establish healthy bacteria in the tank, especially since we will be moving the same fish from one tank to the other.

Once we are done with the transition, that leaves the 5 gallon open. It will be moved back to the fish room in the basement. Not sure yet what my plans are for it, but I will think of something. I do plan to move most of the plants out of it and into the new tank, so it will have to be rescaped.

More to come as we go along! The tank doesn’t have a name yet. Any suggestions?

 

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